“Sufism is the knowledge whereby man can realize himself and attain permanency.”

— Idries Shah, Share via Whatsapp

“A Better Beard that Yours. All true devotees wear a beard, said the Imam to his audience. Show me a thick and lustrous beard and I ll show you a true believer! My goat has a beard far bushier and longer than yours, replied Nasrudin. Does that mean he is a better Muslim than you?”

— Idries Shah, The World of Nasrudin, Share via Whatsapp

“In the modern world we are in a paradoxical situation; because although in theory man knows that he can extend his attention to something and then remove it, he very often does not do so. In many areas he does not look at something and then detach from it, and look at something else. Once he has found something to interest himself in, he cannot detach himself from it efficiently, and therefore he cannot be objective. Note that, in most if not all languages, we have words like objectivity which leads people to imagine that they have it, or can easily use it. That is equivalent (in reality if not in theory) to saying I know the word “gold”, so I am rich.”

— Idries Shah, Knowing How to Know: A Practical Philosophy in the Sufi Tradition, Share via Whatsapp

“Contrary to Expectation. A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom. He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome which was kept in a place of honour in his room. The sage would allow nobody to open the volume. When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as his heirs, ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained. They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page. They became even more bewildered and then annoyed when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase which met their eyes. It was: When you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.”

— Idries Shah, The Book of the Book, Share via Whatsapp

“Sufism, the secret tradition, is not available on the basis of assumptions which belong to another world, the world of intellect.”

— Idries Shah, The Sufis, Share via Whatsapp

“Many Americans first fell in love with the poetry of the thirteenth century teacher and spiritual leader Jelalludin Rumi during the early 1990s when the unparalleled lyrical grace, philosophical brilliance, and spiritual daring of his work took modern Western readers completely by surprise. The impact of its soulful beauty and the depth of its profound humanity were so intense that they reportedly prompted numerous individuals to spontaneously compose poetry.”

— Aberjhani, Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I., Share via Whatsapp

“Sandals. The Sufi teacher Ghulam-Shah was asked what pattern he used in formulating his courses for disciples. He said: Barefoot until you can get sandals, sandals until you can manage boots.”

— Idries Shah, The Dermis Probe, Share via Whatsapp

“The Book of Wisdom. Simab said: I shall sell the Book of Wisdom for a hundred gold pieces, and some people will say that it is cheap. Yunus Marmar said to him: And I shall give away the key to understanding it, and almost none shall take it, even free of charge.”

— Idries Shah, Thinkers of the East, Share via Whatsapp

“Saying of the Mulla Nasrudin. If I survive this life without dying, I ll be surprised.”

— Idries Shah, The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin, Share via Whatsapp

“Salute to the Thief. Junaid of Baghdad was passing the scene of a public hanging, where a thief was on the scaffold. Junaid bowed towards the criminal. Someone asked him: What did you do that? Junaid said: I was bowing before his single-mindedness. For his aim, that man has given his life.”

— Idries Shah, The Dermis Probe, Share via Whatsapp

“The main problem is that most commentators are accustomed to thinking of spiritual schools as systems , which are more or less alike, and which depend upon dogma and ritual: and especially upon repetition and the application of continual and standardised pressures upon their followers. The Sufi way, except in degenerate forms which are not to be classified as Sufic, is entirely different from this.”

— Idries Shah, The Commanding Self, Share via Whatsapp

“If a pot can multiply. One day Nasrudin lent his cooking pots to a neighbour, who was giving a feast. The neighbour returned them, together with one extra one – a very tiny pot. What is this? asked Nasrudin. According to law, I have given you the offspring of your property which was born when the pots were in my care, said the joker. Shortly afterwards Nasrudin borrowed his neighbour s pots, but did not return them. The man came round to get them back. Alas! said Nasrudin, they are dead. We have established, have we not, that pots are mortal? .”

— Idries Shah, The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin, Share via Whatsapp

“LA RESPUESTA A UN TONTO El proverbio dice que “la respuesta a un tonto es el silencio”: La observación, sin embargo, indica que prácticamente cualquier otra respuesta tendrá el mismo efecto a largo plazo.”

— Idries Shah, Reflexiones, Share via Whatsapp

“Ali, Son of the Father of the Seeker Ali said: None may arrive at the Truth until he is able to think that the Path itself may be wrong. This is because those who can only believe that it must be right are not believers, but people who are incapable of thinking otherwise than they already think. Such people are not men at all. Like animals they must follow certain beliefs, and during this time they cannot learn. Because they cannot be called “humanity”, they cannot arrive at the Truth.”

— Idries Shah, Thinkers of the East, Share via Whatsapp

“The would-be students wish to transcend books. But, ask yourselves: if someone says that books do not contain wisdom, and yet he writes books; books do not contain Sufism, and yet he continues to publish books on Sufism, what is really happening? It really is your duty, and not mine, to ask and to find the answer to that question, if you are interested enough.”

— Idries Shah, Neglected Aspects of Sufi Study, Share via Whatsapp

“The Seeking of the Master. Musa Najib was asked why he charged a fee from those who came to his sessions; and why he often did not even address his audience. He said: I charge for this object lesson: people believe that knowledge must be given freely, and consequently mistake everything which is free for knowledge. I do not always lecture because, among Sufis, “The Master finds the pupil.” The pupil has to be physically present: but he may be absent in every other sense. When I discern that a pupil is “present” then I “find” him, for then his inner call is audible to me, even if it is silent to him. Seek and you will be found.”

— Idries Shah, Reflections, Share via Whatsapp

“Cualquier cosa puede interponerse entre tú y el conocimiento, si eres inepto para éste.”

— Idries Shah, Share via Whatsapp