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A Veiled Gazelle: Seeing How to See Hardcover – June, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

As the urgency of our global situation becomes apparent, more and more readers are turning to the books of writer Idries Shah as a way to train new capacities and new ways of thinking. Shah has been described as "the most significant worker adapting classical spiritual thought to the modern world." His lively contemporary books have sold more than 15 million copies in 12 languages worldwide. They have been reviewed positively by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Times (London), The Tribune, The Telegraph, and numerous other international journals and newspapers. "The most interesting books in the English language."

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.


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?"

He said:

"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 .


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 103 pages
  • Publisher: Ishk Book Service; First Edition edition (June 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0900860588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0900860584
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
A hundred pages of highly entertaining stories and anecdotes. On one hand complex and intricate dealing with the veiling of our vision from seeing the truth - on the other simple and clear making great bedside reading for the children. This book has a wonderful way of tricking us into facing the barriers that make us less clear-headed than we think we are. Great food for thought if there ever was such a thing - taste, nutrition and medicine all in one.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of this book comes from the Sufi ibn al-Arabi's description of a "veiled gazelle" as a "subtlety," an organ of spiritual perception. The book appears to offer instruction to help one gain increased perception in Sufi study. It offers a series of teaching-stories which seem designed to help toward this end. And even as pure entertainment the book succeeds, such tales as "Horse-Khan, Son of a Khan," or the riotous adventures of Alim the Artful or Latif the Thief being rewarding just on the level of enjoyment.


Published: London: The Octagon Press, 1978.
Scheduled to be reissued in the next few years by ISF Publishing (http://isf-publishing.org/titles/a-veiled-gazelle).
Written by: Afghan author Idries Shah, notable traveler, collector of stories, and commentator upon the Sufis.
vi [=6] + 103 pages, hardcover

Like other books of Idries Shah's, A Veiled Gazelle, with its wonderful storytelling, is a work of art. It's art that introduces us to a world of unusual patterns and relationships, and reintroduces us to our familiar world -- it seems to help us broaden our minds, not simply to provide emotional stimulus (vital as that is).

The book is a collection of mostly short tales or narratives, which appear to contain a great deal of food for thought. Selecting at random, they include the extremely interesting "Four Friends," the sophisticated psychological assessments of "Never Complain" or "The Murder" (among many), the possibly shocking effects of "The Reason......
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