A thought that came to me reading that paragraph. Khidre read his thoughts and said to him: 'If I approach people in the street and tell them what to do they will think I am mad, or am doing it for myself, and they will not do it.
Reading this book will induce much thinking, hopefully of the helpful sort.
We have only a single sting, but God, he has two!' Exclusion Rais El-Aflak, 'The Lord of the Skies', who suddenly appeared in Afghanistan and then disappeared after giving a number of cryptic lectures, said: 'Almost all the men who come to see me have strange imaginings about man. Those who are really the Wise know that the Teaching may be carried out also by exclusion of those things which make man blind and deaf.'
Books like 'Thinkers of the East' have been compiled to avoid peril, while allowing us to 'familiarise ourselves with the outward, factual appearance of knowledge' ... And life the key to knowledge is the most banal of all things.' 'Thinkers of the East' enables us to recognise a Sufi guide, one who has experienced and overcome the difficulties encountered by man.
The Sufis use a much greater range of impacts than discursive argument: their repertoire includes, for instance, tales, jokes, poetry, actions, experience, exercises, and situations in life.
'I thought, "If only I could reform this man and make him like I am instead of the degenerate creature which he is!" 'At that moment I saw a boat in the river, beginning to sink. The other man at once threw himself into the water where seven people were struggling, and brought six of them safely to the bank. This is how you judge, and this is what you are like." 'I threw myself at his feet and cried out: '"As you have saved six out of these seven in peril, save me from drowning in pride disguised as merit!" 'The stranger said: '"I pray that God may fulfil your aim."' Since that aphorism efficiently made a hole in my self-created pride, I knew I was reading something meaningful.
Considering two of the themes: self-observation and the need to digest material at a certain rate could be illustrative of how this book can relate to experience. Such a book demands close and repeated reading over time but with a dispositions that lets insights be revealed to the reader when time and experience allow.
I've read Thinkers Of The East a few times, but I'm sure there is a wealth of material in it that has passed me by.
Idries Shah (Persian: ), also known as Idris Shah, né Sayed Idries el-Hashimi (Arabic: ), was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote over three dozen critically acclaimed books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies. A similar organisation, the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK), exists in the United States, under the directorship of Stanford University psychology professor Robert Ornstein, whom Shah appointed as his deputy in the U.S. In his writings, Shah presented Sufism as a universal form of wisdom that predated Islam. Idries Shah's books on Sufism achieved considerable critical acclaim. Some orientalists were hostile, in part because Shah presented classical Sufi writings as tools for self-development to be used by contemporary people, rather than as objects of historical study.