Idries Shah Seeker After Truth: A Handbook

ISBN 13: 9780863040122

Seeker After Truth: A Handbook

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9780863040122: Seeker After Truth: A Handbook

This collection of tales, discussions, teachings, letters and lectures is a handbook, inviting the reader to re-examine the assumptions of his particular culture; assumptions which are responsible for his conditioning and his outlook on life. It is precisely because of the unreliability of vision, of memory, of wanting to believe, of induced belief ... that the Sufis say that an objective perception must be acquired before even familiar things can be seen as they are. "Seeker After Truth" goes beyond the familiar "first do this, then do that" style of handbook, transporting the reader to new ranges of perception, according to his or her capacity. Among the many assumptions questioned are: the objective worth of deep emotional feelings; the superiority of man's social habits over those of rats, and the origin of those habits; the evils of deceit ... The magazine Literary Review said about it: "This book ... is food for many different kinds of study - a book unlike anything our society has produced until recently, in its richness, its unexpectedness, its capacity to shock us into seeing ourselves as others see us, both personally and as a society."

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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." Shah was educated in both the East and West, by private tutors and through wide-ranging travel and personal encounters - the series of journeys which characterize Sufi education and development. In keeping with Sufi tradition, his life was essentially one of service. His knowledge and interests appeared limitless, and his activities and accomplishments took place in many different countries and in numerous fields of endeavor. Shah was Director of Studies of the Institute for Cultural Research, an educational organization sponsoring interdisciplinary and crosscultural studies of human thought; a founding member of the Club of Rome; a Governor of the Royal Humane Society and the Royal Hospital and Home for Incurables; and the founder of publishing house Octagon Press. Shah's landmark book, "The Sufis", invited readers to approach Sufi ideas and test them out. The evident and common sense made it clear that here was a sane, authoritative voice in the wilderness of the gobbledegookish mysticism of the sixties. The lively, contemporary books on traditional psychologies, literature, philosophy and Sufi thought that followed established a broad historical and cultural context for Sufi thought and action. These have so far 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. University and college courses throughout the world are employing Shah's books, or works based on them, in a wide variety of disciplines including sociology, psychology and literature. In 1969, Idries Shah was awarded the Dictionary of International Biography's Certificate of Merit for Distinguished Service to Human Thought. Other honors included a Two Thousand Men of Achievement award (1971), Six First Prizes awarded by the UNESCO International Book Year (1972), and the International Who's Who in Poetry's Gold Medal for Poetry (1975). According to his obituary in the London Daily Telegraph "it is impossible to assess his influence, and his legacy is incalculable". He was, it is said, the Sufi Teacher of the Age.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ALARM

Q: The dangers of personality-worship and the need for everyone to find his own way are the most attractive statements of a certain guru, who has many disciples all over the world. Should he not be listened to?

A: There is a saying: "Do not fell a tree which is giving shade." Many people imagine that such gurus as this are holy and useful. They are, in fact, providing a distinguished social (though not a spiritual) service. Those who need this "shade" should certainly have it.

As for others, they should be able to know what is shade and what is something else.

The way to determine this is to look and see whether, in the words of another proverb, some people are 'Feeding a flame and crying "Fire"!'

Copyright © 1982, 1992. Idries Shah. All rights reserved

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Shah, Idries
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