“Pluck the cotton wool of heedlessness from the ear of awareness, so that the wisdom of dead men may reach your ear.” Saadi of Shiraz  This unexpected, delicious, mind-stretching book is a basic study course by Idries Shah, the world’s most influential modern exponent of Sufi thought and practice. It contains a vast array of classical poetry, humour, Teaching-Stories, letters, […]

Nasrudin went to a shop of a man who stocked all kinds of bit and pieces. “Have you got nails?” he asked. “Yes.” “And leather, good leather?” “Yes.” “And dye?” “Yes.” “Then why, for Heaven’s sake, don’t you make a pair of boots?” Occasionally I manage to take Nasrudin’s advice and make myself something useful from the jokes collected by […]

The Dermis Probe is named after Idries Shah’s award-winning film based on Sanai’s and Rumi’s ancient tale: The Blind Men and the Elephant. I’ve read this book many times. Often I’ve had a strange feeling that this exotic mind-bending hodgepodge of tales and aphorisms formed a comprehensive expression of Sufi thought and action. It’s all there. It is an “Elephant” […]

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 […]

This book is filled with surprises for thoughtful, adventurous readers who value questioning their assumptions about people and society. It helped me begin to see the perfume and the scorpion: the overlay and reality; the hypocrisy and self-deception in ourselves and our institutions. Compelling arguments, imagery and illustrative anecdotes from contemporary life appear to be scattered about haphazardly. But it’s […]