About the Author
Saturday Review "A major psychological and cultural event of our time."
Psychology Today "One is immediately forced to use one's mind in a new way."
New York Times The instrumental function of Shah's work is now well established among people from all walks of life. Stockbrokers, scientists, lawyers, managers, writers, physicians, and diplomats have found Shah's literature for human development "extraordinary." "It presents a blueprint of the human mental structure."
Robert Ornstein, psychologist and author "Extremely useful in teaching students about management and computers."
Thomas Malone, MIT "Idries Shah provides the unique perspective that allows us to assess real motivations and social biases in a more accurate light."
E. Neilsen, attorney at law
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Two worthies of the Land of Fools heard that someone called the Polite Man was visiting their capital. Desiring to meet him, they went to the city's main square. Here they saw a stranger sitting on a bench.
"Do you think that it's him?" one asked the other.
"Why don't you go and ask him?"
The first man went up to the stranger and said:
"Excuse me, but are you the Polite Man?"
The stranger answered: "If you do not leave me alone, I'll smash your face in!"
The enquirer went back to his companion. "Well, was he the man we're looking for?"
"I don't know -- he didn't tell me!"
Excerpted from A Veiled Gazelle by Idries Shah: Octagon Press, London, p. 69. Copyright © 1978 by The Estate of Idries Shah. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
YOUNG AND OLD
Two incidents, separated by a decade, both of them witnessed by me, as it happened, help to show how one often sees only one part of a process.
I was in the presence of Kaka Anwar, carrying out a period of Service (Khidmat), following his instructions in every way.
A highly recommended aspirant to studentship, a man of forty years or so, was announced.
When he had been with us for an hour or two, and the Kaka had not given him the kind of answers he quite evidently desired, he said:
"I am a man of much experience in occult, spiritual and similar matters, and I have visited many reputed sages. You and I do not speak the same language. I must be frank, for 'sincerity is the lifeblood of reality': and I say to you that you are still far too young. You are no use to me."
He went on his way, and Kaka made no comment on the event. Ten years later, having followed his nose, read more books, pursued rumours of sages and attended many a circus, the same man was back at Kaka Anwar's house. As it happened, I was also in the presence of the Master.
Kaka Anwar said to him:
"Is there anything which you want?"
"It has cost me a decade of my life, but I now realise that it is you whom I should have been following."
"I do not deny it" said the Kaka, "but unfortunately there is no place for you. Ten years have passed, during which I could have been of use to you. You thought I was too young. Now I find that you are too old. You should have been following me: but now you cannot - for I am no use to you. What you thought was true then, is true now. What you think true now, was true then."
Excerpted from A Veiled Gazelle : Seeing How to See by Idries Shah. Copyright © 1988. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved .