Shah on "The Commanding Self"

Since I’ve mentioned Idries Shah twice now in the past couple of days – both here and over at Vajrayana Practice – I thought it might be a good time to let the man speak for himself, as it were. Shah was an extremely influential 20th-century Iranian-British teacher in the Naqshbandi tradition of Central Asian and Middle Eastern Sufism. Although it would be much more entertaining to transcribe one of his teaching stories, a passage from the introduction to The Commanding Self (London: The Octagon Press, 1994) seems more appropriate, because it touches on themes I have raised in the past several posts. And unlike the darn-near impenetrable teaching stories (collected in many volumes such as Tales of the Dervishes, Thinkers of the East, Caravan of Dreams, etc.), here he actually tells the reader what he’s about.

It’s a lengthy excerpt, so I stuck it up on a separate page for now. Click here.

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