Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wisdom and common sense in the Sufi Way

In Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way, the writer, thinker and Sufi mystical teacher, Idries Shah wrote: "There is no wisdom where there is no common sense: it cannot under those conditions find any expression."

There is no wisdom where there is no common sense ~ Shah.

In response to this quote, in a recent on-line discussion, a friend wrote: "We are, as Al Ghazali points out in his Niche for Lights, surrounded by symbols and metaphors in our "everyday life" that potentially, if looked at carefully, can act as a bridge to higher realities i.e. "the metaphorical is the Bridge to the Real" but if we cannot understand those metaphors or symbols in their most ordinary sense and what they mean in commonsensical terms, it will do us little good to "fly" toward the "esoteric".

Whilst I agree with that up to a point, and agree with the need to first carry out the preliminary work of learning how to learn before moving on to higher things, I'd still like to take this further.

Shah's use of the term "common sense" might not be quite what we think it is. When people say that "you haven't got the sense you were born with", this perhaps comes a little closer?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Heart's Code by Paul P. Pearsall: Book review

The Heart's Code
Product description

The Heart's Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Our Heart Energy, by Dr. Paul P. Pearsall, is a fascinating synthesis of ancient wisdom, modern medicine, scientific research, and personal experiences that proves that the human heart, not the brain, holds the secrets that link body, mind, and spirit.

You know that the heart loves and feels, but did you know that the heart also thinks, remembers, communicates with other hearts, helps regulate immunity, and contains stored information that continually pulses through your body? In The Heart's Code, Dr. Paul Pearsall explains the theory and science behind energy cardiology, the emerging field that is uncovering one of the most significant medical, social, and spiritual discoveries of our time: The heart is more than just a pump; it conducts the cellular symphony that is the very essence of our being.

Full of amazing anecdotes and data, The Heart's Code presents the latest research on cellular memory and the power of the heart's energy and explores what these breakthroughs mean about how we should live our lives. By unlocking the heart's code we can discover new ways of understanding human healing and consciousness and create a new model for living that leads to better health, happiness, and self-knowledge.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Nasrudin, the Wise Fool: I think you are right!

The Wise Fool
There was a magical exchange across at the Facebook page of the Web Organization for Research into Knowledge (W.O.R.K.) the other day, and I feel that it is well worth reproducing here, for posterity, before it is lost in the labyrinthine archives. But first, a little more context.

Humour in the Sufi Way

At the Facebook Page for the writer, thinker and Sufi mystical teacher, Idries Shah, the page owner had been posting one quote from the works of Idries Shah each day and folk were commenting on those quotes. There were a couple of relevant quotes on the page, taken from the book Special Illumination, which also help explain the use of humour by the Sufi mystics:

"Jokes are structures, and in their Sufic usage they may fulfil many different functions. Just as we may get the humour nutrient out of a joke, we can also get several dimensions out of it on various occasions: there is no standard meaning of a joke."

"One of the characteristics of many truly metaphysical jokes (that is, tales and quips intended to jolt the consciousness) is that they are viable in several different ranges of meaning."

One of the commentators, B.D., thoughtfully explained that: "The Nasrudin tales are perhaps the best example of the 'metaphysical joke' genre. In any one tale it is difficult to tell, solely by looking at his external behavior whether the Mulla [Nasrudin] is 1) a wise man 2) a fool 3) a wise man who is acting the part of a fool as a mirror for his audience, or 4) a fool who is rationalizing his foolish behavior in order to make himself appear wise. All of these possibilities are present in the best Nasrudin jokes, and while we are on the topic, all of these possibilities (in so far as Nasrudin is a mirror) are present in our own behavior." [Nasrudin holds up a mirror to our faces, so that we can see our wayward self reflected in the jokes].

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Scorpion Soup by Tahir Shah: Book review

Scorpion Soup: Dancing to a different drum

Tahir Shah has been steeped in traditional storytelling, folklore, legend and creative mythology from an early age and he was brought up in a family gifted in the art and possessing vivid creative imagination. This shines through in the interlinked short stories which comprise Scorpion Soup: A story in a story, which was inspired by the One Thousand and One Nights.

As each tale is recounted and segues into the next -- as if hinting at and mimicking the world itself emerging and blossoming in a stream of consciousness -- the reader is tantalized by what he has read and drawn into and drawn along by what "moreish" tale might come next. Tales not only of creative imagination, but also -- as is the way of the world -- partly-cautionary tales about its wayward cousin, spurious imagination; at times recurring tales of wondrous destiny and also of less happy fate; tales whose apparently-opposing warp and weft are craftily and necessaily woven together to augment the rich tapestry of life.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

(6) Time and Time Again (Shadowlands)

Time and Time Again tells the story of difficult decisions and hard times for the common people with the rise of a violent movement of religious fanatics, the Hujardi, sweeping through the land of Gilgamar.

"The culture that was to become so famed for its profound humanity, its immense treasury of learning, its paradisal gardens and its grand architecture hung onto life for so many long years with no more secure a purchase on life than a mountain flower clinging to a crevice in a sheer rock face, or an oasis in a desert. And now a gargantuan monster rears up, threatening to rock the very foundations of our own frail societies."

~ Tenzing Jangbu Rinchen.

Time and Time Again is a short novel, circa 50,000 words, in the genre of "mystical faction". It is book 6 in the Shadowlands series.

The book is available for the Kindle at Amazon UK, Amazon US and European web sites. ASIN: B00AWU9YPK. If you don't have a Kindle, simply google "free kindle reading apps".

You can also find the book at Goodreads.

• By Etienne de L'Amour ~ Google+