Seeker After Truth by Idries Shah; A Book of Wisdom and Lies by Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani - review by Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing

Sufic Searches

Seeker After Truth


Octagon Press 214pp £8 order from our bookshop

A Book of Wisdom and Lies


Octagon Press l74pp £7.50 order from our bookshop

Seeker After Truth has in it twelve traditional tales – 'teaching stories' – as beguiling as our familiar fairy tales, and I believe until now unknown in the West... tales of Sufi Ancients, chosen to illustrate problems of now as much as of then... exchanges from the supper-table talk of a modern Sufi teacher and his pupils... difficulties of contemporary Sufi teaching in the West... samples from a letter bag that must be unique in our time, set out in question-and-answer form... anecdotes and narratives designed to show Sufi thought in action... results of current sociological and psychological research that throw light on defects in our thinking. This book which describes itself as a handbook, is food for many different kinds of stud – a book unlike anything our own society has produced until recently, in its richness, its unexpectedness, its capacity to shock us into seeing ourselves as others see us, both personally and as a society.

What can be the source of such a book, that so defies our conventions, putting together subjects that we agree should be kept separate, like science and religion, entertainment and learning? Those who have already met the books of Idries Shah will know the answer. Few who fairly and open-mindedly

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