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.
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While you're waiting for the March issue of Literary Review to pop through your letterbox, have another read of February's cover piece: Richard Davenport-Hines on the stormy letters Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick wrote to one another.
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