Review: The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin By Idries Shah As a child both the Bible and Mad Magazine shook me up. Both moved me to reflect on my life, my world and beyond. When I read Idries Shah’s The Sufis as an adult, I met an outlandish character that did something similar, maybe more: The Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin. I felt like I’d been waiting for this idiotic sage my whole life. Who was this mad Mulla? Did he even exist? Nobody knows. However we are blessed with a vast treasury of his multi-dimensional jokes retold for centuries in countries around the Mediterranean and beyond. Idries Shah spent decades collecting these delicious, outlandish and eminently practical instruments of human development. Provocative and puzzling, these literary “swiss army knives” have many uses. They’ve been called “an addendum to language”. As mirrors, Nasrudin’s antics and our reactions to them help reveal underrecognized aspects of ourselves. The imagery, plot, characters and movements in these tales create dynamic blueprints of our elusive minds. Physicists have employed them to model realities that can’t be encompassed by mathematical formulae or technical language. Rereading these bottomless jokes over time, people often gain fresh insights into them and themselves. They awaken a taste for new ways of thinking and seeing, maybe even nurturing our incipient intuitive faculties. Remarkable! I can’t recommend this book enough.
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