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As he gapes and growls at his ferocious reflection in a pool of water as shiny as a mirror, a terrified lion grows desperately thirsty.
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Beautifully illustrated in stunning color, this award-winning series of large-format children's books by Idries Shah presents tales from a rich tradition of storytelling.
In this Sufi tradition, there is a continuum between the children's story, the entertainment or folklore story, and the instruction or instrumental story. A story can help children deal with difficult situations and give them something to hold on to. It can, at the same time, be understood on other levels as they grow up and experience more.
For more than a thousand years all over the Middle East and Central Asia, children have been entertained and taught by these stories and have continued to tell them in adult life. Familiarity with these entertaining tales can help us all, both young and old, develop the capacity to be more flexible and to understand many more things about ourselves and about life.
Until his death in 1996, Shah collected hundreds of such stories and adapted them to contemporary Western culture. His adult books continue to attract millions of readers from all over the world.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 cross-cultural 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 gobbledygookish 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.
"The most interesting books in the English language."
"A major psychological and cultural event of our time."
"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, Ph.D.
"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
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