The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin

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9780525473398: The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin
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"Perfectly designed models for isolating and holding distortions of the mind which so often pass for reasonable behavior." --Idries Shah

Today we find him in a high-level physics report, illustrating phenomena that can't be described in ordinary technical terms. He appears in psychology textbooks, illuminating the workings of the mind in a way no straightforward explanation can.

Here, in three definitive volumes, Idries Shah takes us to the very heart of this mysterious mentor, the Mulla Nasrudin. Skillful contemporary retellings of hundreds of collected stories and sayings bring the unmistakable--often backhanded--wisdom, wit and charm of the timeless jokester to life.

The Mulla and his stories appear in literature and oral traditions from the Middle East to Greece, Russia, France--even China. Many nations claim Nasrudin as a native son, the Turks going so far as to exhibit a grave with his date of death as 386. But nobody really knows who he was or where he came from.

According to a legend dating from at least the 13th century, Nasrudin was snatched as a schoolboy from the clutches of the "Old Villain"--the crude system of thought that ensnares man--to carry through the ages the message of how to escape. He was chosen because he could make people laugh, and humor has a way of slipping through the cracks of the most rigid thinking habits.

Today--as they have for centuries--the Sufis use these stories as teaching exercises, in part to momentarily "freeze" situations in which states of mind can be recognized. In these delightful volumes, Shah not only gives the Mulla a proper vehicle for our times, he proves that the centuries-old stories and quips of Nasrudin are still some of the funniest jokes in the world.

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About the Author:

As the urgency of our global situation becomes apparent, more and more readers are turning to the books of Idries Shah (1924-1996) 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 over 15 million copies in 12 languages worldwide and have been awarded many prizes. They have been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Times, The Tribune, The Telegraph, and numerous other international journals and newspapers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

COOKING BY CANDLE
Nasrudin made a wager that he could spend a night on a near-by mountain and survive, in spite of ice and snow. Several wags in the teahouse agreed to adjudicate.

Nasrudin took a book and a candle and sat through the coldest night he had ever known. In the morning, half-dead, he claimed his money.

"Did you have nothing at all to keep you warm?" asked the villagers.

"Nothing."

"Not even a candle?"

"Yes, I had a candle."

"Then the bet is off."

Nasrudin did not argue.

Some months later he invited the same people to a feast at his house. They sat down in his reception room, waiting for the food. Hours passed.

They started to mutter about food.

"Let's go and see how it is getting on," said Nasrudin.

Everyone trooped into the kitchen. They found an enormous pot of water, under which a candle was burning. The water was not even tepid.

"It is not ready yet," said the Mulla. "I don't know why - it has been there since yesterday."

THE SHORT CUT
Walking home one wonderful morning, Nasrudin thought that it would be a good idea to take a short cut through the woods. "Why", he asked himself; "should I plod along a dusty road when I could be communing with Nature, listening to the birds and looking at the flowers? This is indeed a day of days; a day for fortunate pursuits!"

So saying, he launched himself into the greenery. He had not gone very far, however, when he fell into a pit, where he lay reflecting.

"It is not such a fortunate day, after all," he meditated; "in fact it is just as well that I took this short cut. If things like this can happen in a beautiful setting like this, what might not have befallen me on that nasty highway?"

Excerpted from The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah. Copyright © 1983. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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9781784790097: The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin

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ISBN 10:  1784790095 ISBN 13:  9781784790097
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