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Tales of the Dervishes: Teaching-Stories of the Sufi Masters over the Past Thousand Years Paperback – October 1, 1993
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"... a collection of diamonds ... incredibly well-crafted, multifaceted ... likely to endure in the manner of the Koran and the Bible." -- Professor Robert E. Ornstein, Ph.D., Psychology Today, July 1973
"... challenges our intellectual assumptions at almost every point." -- The Observer
"... equal, and sometimes surpass, in relevance, piquancy and humour, the best of the spiritual and ethical teachers of the West ..." -- Kirkus Review, November 5, 1969
"... some really cracking tales ... full of wit, sophistication, irony and commonsense ... completely absorbing." -- Northern Despatch, October 20, 1967
"... these teaching-tales could become a permanent part of the reader's experience ..." -- Geoffrey Grigson, Country Life, October 26, 1967
"An astonishingly generous and liberating book ... strikingly appropriate for our time and situation ... a jewel flung in the market-place." -- Sunday Times
"Beautifully translated . . equips men and women to make good use of their lives." -- Professor James Kritzeck, The Nation
"For every decade we live, we will find another meaning in each story." -- Desmond Morris, BBC - The World of Books
About the Author
Idries Shah was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote dozens of books on topics ranging from psychology to spiritualilty to travelogues to other anthropological studies. In his writings, Shah presented Sufism as a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam. Shah is known for The Sufis, The Commanding Self, The Subleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin, The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin, Thinkers of the East, and Learning How to Learn.
Top customer reviews
Sufi masters used these tales to teach. Indeed, one of them (“The Story of Fire”) concludes with the following, which I think lays out this philosophy quite well: “You have to learn how to teach, for man does not want to be taught. First of all, you will have to teach people how to learn. And before that you have to teach them that there is still something to be learned. They imagine that they are ready to learn. But they want to learn what they IMAGINE is to be learned, not what they have first to learn. When you have learned all this, then you can devise the way to teach. Knowledge without special capacity to teach is not the same as knowledge and capacity.”
Most of these tales were completely new to me, but many readers with a Western background may find a couple of them familiar, such as “The Blind Ones and the Matter of the Elephant” and “How to Catch Monkeys.” I cannot say what the original source is, but do not find it surprising that a number of folk tales have experienced cultural bleed-through and are now part of more than one cultural tradition.
This would be a great addition to your personal library, as many will want to read these tales more than once.
Most recent customer reviews
Some of them are incoherently written even. Would not recommend.