The road of the Sufi
Author: Idries Shah
Sufism has a large following in the West, not only as a subject of study for Orientalists, but as a practical path of spiritual development. It is also the source of inspiration for some notable literary works. On the Sufi Road, Idries Shah presents an incomparable collection of material drawn from the classical teachings and writings of the Sufi schools. The author begins with the external aspects of the teaching that can most embarrass the scholar who approaches the subject for the first time. It expounds the various attitudes towards Sufi ideas, emphasizing their assumptions in medieval Christianity, Hinduism and Jewish mysticism. He then proceeds by examining more closely some surprising Sufi claims, such as precognitions by direct perception and anticipations of scientific and therapeutic conclusions that would later be generally accepted. The laborious clinical and experimental methods that characterize the cognitive approach in today's world play little part in the Sufi way of knowing, as is clearly demonstrated here. Most of the text illuminates the secret aspects of Sufi action and spirit, and much of this material is not otherwise accessible. A critical introduction, valuable notes on the sources, and an extensive bibliography complete the book.