Thinkers of the East: Studies in Experientialism

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9780900860461: Thinkers of the East: Studies in Experientialism

A collection of entertaining anecdotes and "parables in action" illustrating the eminently practical and lucid approach of Eastern dervish teachers. Distilled from the teachings of more than one hundred sages in three continents, it offers an extraordinary variety of underlying themes, from "the inner significance of outward service" to "real and imagined desire".

A book of enormous breath and depth it emphasizes experience over theory and it is this characteristic of Sufic study which provides its impact and vitality.

Valuable as it is, this book's publication in the West has only recently become possible, because only recently has the West been able to accept the fluid thinking of the East and to reject the old rigid systems that have only appearance of wisdom. As a master teacher says in these pages, "The wisdom which is invisible but which sustains is a hundred times better than the appearance of wisdom, for that has itself to be sustained."

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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 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.:

MOTIVATION
A woman was sitting by the roadside, weeping most bitterly at the grave of her daughter. She was the object of sympathy and concern to everyone who saw her. Yet Sheikh Attar observes that those who sympathized with her were themselves in a worse case.

The woman, as a wayfarer points out, unlike a thousand other people around, at least knew the cause of her grief and the object from which she had been separated.

Man is in a similar condition of estrangement - as it were from his family - but does not know it. All he knows is that he is unhappy, and he has to invent reasons to which he then attributes his misery.

Excerpted from Thinkers of the East : Studies in Experientialism by Idries Shah, Shah Idries. Copyright © 1971. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

MYSTERY
Talib said:
'People who know nothing, or know very little and should be studying instead of teaching, are fond of creating an air of mystery. They may foster rumours about themselves and pretend that they do things for some secret reason. They always strive to increase the sense of mystery.

'But this is mystery for itself, not as the outer manifestation of inner knowledge.

'The people who really know the inner secrets generally look and behave like ordinary people.

'So the ones who increase the air of mystery may be like the spider's web, they only catch flies. Are you, like the fly, a spider's dinner?'

Excerpted from Thinkers of the East by Idries Shah: Octagon Press, London, p. 98. Copyright © 1971, 1977, 1982 by The Estate of Idries Shah. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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