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Studying ancient wisdom in Kashmere and elsewhere...

Jan 10, 2003 04:30 PM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

He He all of you,

Here is a little something from Idries Shah's book "Learning how to Learn"; 1981; page 166, put on email doing my best:


Reading does not change people unless they are ready to change.
Rumi said: 'You have seen the mountain, you have not seen the 
mine inside the mountain.'
Just because a book is available, even one of the very greatest 
books, does not mean that one can, or perhaps should, try to learn
correctly from it at any given moment. The Sufi Sadruddin said 
in his "Testament", 'Herafter let not every man seek to learn from 
the writings of Sheikh Ibn Arabi or from mine, for that gate 
is barred to the majority of mankind.'*
This is because teachers may not need what is in books, but can 
use them for students, while students may not know, but might 
well not profit from studying them as arbitrarily as they ordinarily 
Even the self-styled 'specialists', some of them scholars, do not
translate the various levels and implications of sufi materials 
correctly. In fact, there are indications that many of these people 
do not see the extra dimensions and alternative readings in the 
classical litterature at all. Some even admit that they have not been 
able to do this.**

*Katib Chelebi: The Balance of Truth, tr. G. L. Lewis, London: 
Allen & Unwin, 1957.
**Cf. L. F. Rushbrook Williams, Sufi Studies East & West, London: 
Octagon, and New York: E. P. Dunton Inc., 1973 and 1974."

Another one from the same book; page 174:


A guide in a certain madhouse was describing two cases to some visiting psychiatrists. 'In this padded cell,' he said, 'we have a man who went mad when another man married the girl whom he was in love with.'
'And in the next cell?' asked a visitor.
'In that one we have the man who actually did marry the girl.' "

Feel free to comment or do your best...

M. Sufilight with designs and peace...

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