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Idries Shah Foundation Podcast | Practical Psychology for Today

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault.
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Apr 19, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode, from our Cultural Crossroads series, features an interview with Dr Wade Davis.

During his lifetime Idries Shah promoted contacts and connections between different traditions around the world, believing this to be an important element in the advancement of human culture. In this spirit, The Idries Shah Foundation has created ‘Cultural Crossroads’, a website forum where people from many walks of life are invited to talk about their own experiences crossing cultural boundaries, and the lessons that they have learned as a result. You can find these articles on the ISF blog. This is our first Cultural Crossroads interview for this podcast.

About Wade Davis

Professor of anthropology Wade Davis is a true polymath who has made substantial contributions in at least four significant areas. Aged only twenty he completed a traverse of the Darien Gap with British explorer Sebastian Snow. He then became an ethnobotanist under the tutelage of Dr Richard Schultes and went on to discover the ‘zombie poison’ used in voodoo rituals in Haiti. This lead him towards anthropology and the study of shamanic practices all over the world. It also led to a Hollywood film based on his exploits in Haiti- the marvellous Serpent and the Rainbow (titled after his own account of his time there). He is an explorer in residence at National Geographic as well as a photographer and documentary film maker. (He is also a qualified river rafting guide). At the same time he has pursued a career as a non-fiction writer on a variety of subjects including an investigation of the 1924 Everest attempt and its links to the collective trauma of WW1. Here Dr Davis talks to Robert Twigger about exploration, the need to take risks in life and a preview of his new fascinating book about Colombia.

Apr 18, 2019

The Story of Mushkil Gusha

Once upon a time, not a thousand miles from here, there lived a poor old wood-cutter, who was a widower, and his little daughter. He used to go every day into the mountains to cut firewood which he brought home and tied into bundles. Then he used to have breakfast and walk into the nearest town, where he would sell his wood and rest for a time before returning home.

One day, when he got home very late, the girl said to him: ‘Father, I sometimes wish that we would have some nicer food, and more and different kinds of things to eat.’

‘Very well, my child,’ said the old man, ‘tomorrow I shall get up much earlier than I usually do. I shall go further into the mountains where there is more wood, and I shall bring back a much larger quantity than usual. I will get home earlier and I will be able to bundle the wood sooner, and I will go into town and sell it so that we can have more money and I shall bring you back all kinds of nice things to eat.’

The next morning the wood-cutter rose before dawn and went into the mountains. He worked very hard cutting wood and trimming it and made it into a huge bundle which he carried on his back to his little house.

When he got home, it was still very early. He put his load of wood down, and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Daughter, Daughter, open the door, for I am hungry and thirsty and I need a meal before I go to market.’

But the door was locked. The wood-cutter was so tired that he lay down and was soon fast asleep beside his bundle. The little girl, having forgotten all about their conversation the night before, was fast asleep in bed. When he woke up a few hours later, the sun was high. The wood-cutter knocked at the door again and again and said, ‘Daughter, Daughter, come quickly; I must have a little food and go to market to sell the wood; for it is already much later than my usual time of starting.’

But, having forgotten all about the conversation the night before, the little girl had meanwhile got up, tidied the house, and gone out for a walk. She had locked the door assuming in her forgetfulness that her father was still in the town.

So the wood-cutter thought to himself, ‘It is now rather late to go into the town. I will therefore return to the mountains and cut another bundle of wood, which I will bring home, and tomorrow I will take a double load to market.’

All that day the old man toiled in the mountains cutting wood and shaping the branches. When he got home with the wood on his shoulders, it was evening.

He put down his burden behind the house, knocked on the door and said, ‘Daughter, Daughter, open the door for I am tired and I have eaten nothing all the day. I have a double bundle of wood which I hope to take to market tomorrow. Tonight I must sleep well so that I will be strong.’

But there was no answer, for the little girl when she came home had felt very sleepy, and had made a meal for herself, and gone to bed. She had been rather worried at first that her father was not at home, but she decided that he must have arranged to stay in the town overnight.

Once again the wood-cutter, finding that he could not get into the house, tired, hungry and thirsty, lay down by his bundles of wood and fell fast asleep. He could not keep awake, although he was fearful for what might have happened to the little girl.

Now the wood-cutter, because he was so cold and hungry and tired, woke up very, very early the next morning: before it was even light.

He sat up, and looked around, but he could not see anything. And then a strange thing happened. The wood-cutter thought he heard a voice saying: ‘Hurry, hurry! Leave your wood and come this way. If you need enough, and you want little enough, you shall have delicious food.’

The wood-cutter stood up and walked in the direction of the voice. And he walked and he walked; but he found nothing.

By now he was colder and hungrier and more tired than ever, and he was lost. He had been full of hope, but that did not seem to have helped him. Now he felt sad, and he wanted to cry. But he realized that crying would not help him either, so he lay down and fell asleep.

Quite soon he woke up again. It was too cold, and he was too hungry, to sleep. So he decided to tell himself, as if in a story, everything that had happened to him since his little daughter had first said that she wanted a different kind of food.

As soon as he had finished his story, he thought he heard another voice, saying, somewhere above him, out of the dawn, ‘Old man, what are you doing sitting there?’

‘I am telling myself my own story,’ said the wood-cutter.

‘And what is that?’ said the voice.

The old man repeated his tale. ‘Very well,’ said the voice. And then the voice told the old wood-cutter to close his eyes and to mount as it were, a step. ‘But I do not see any step,’ said the old man. ‘Never mind, but do as I say,’ said the voice.

The old man did as he was told. As soon as he had closed his eyes he found that he was standing up and as he raised his right foot he felt that there was something like a step under it. He started to ascend what seemed to be a staircase. Suddenly the whole flight of steps started to move, very fast, and the voice said, ‘Do not open your eyes until I tell you to do so.’

In a very short time, the voice told the old man to open his eyes. When he did he found that he was in a place which looked rather like a desert, with the sun beating down on him. He was surrounded by masses and masses of pebbles; pebbles of all colours: red, green, blue and white. But he seemed to be alone. He looked all around him, and could not see anyone, but the voice started to speak again.

‘Take up as many of these stones as you can,’ said the voice, ‘Then close your eyes, and walk down the steps once more.’

The wood-cutter did as he was told, and he found himself, when he opened his eyes again at the voice's bidding, standing before the door of his own house.

He knocked at the door and his little daughter answered it. She asked him where he had been, and he told her, although she could hardly understand what he was saying, it all sounded so confusing.

They went into the house, and the little girl and her father shared the last food which they had, which was a handful of dried dates. When they had finished, the old man thought that he heard the voice speaking to him again, a voice just like the other one which had told him to climb the stairs.

The voice said, ‘Although you may not know it yet, you have been saved by Mushkil Gusha. Remember that Mushkil Gusha is always here. Make sure that every Thursday night you eat some dates and give some to any needy person, and tell the story of Mushkil Gusha. Or give a gift in the name of Mushkil Gusha to someone who will help the needy. Make sure that the story of Mushkil Gusha is never, never forgotten. If you do this, and if this is done by those to whom you tell the story, the people who are in real need will always find their way.’

The wood-cutter put all the stones which he had brought back from the desert in a corner of his little house. They looked very much like ordinary stones, and he did not know what to do with them.

The next day he took his two enormous bundles of wood to the market, and sold them easily for a high price. When he got home he took his daughter all sort of delicious kinds of food, which she had never tasted before. And when they had eaten it, the old wood-cutter said, ‘Now I am going to tell you the whole story of Mushkil Gusha. Mushkil Gusha is the remover of all difficulties. Our difficulties have been removed through Mushkil Gusha and we must always remember it.’

For nearly a week after that the old man carried on as usual. He went into the mountains, brought back wood, had a meal, took the wood to market and sold it. He always found a buyer without difficulty.

Now the next Thursday came, and, as it is the way of men, the wood-cutter forgot to repeat the tale of Mushkil Gusha.

Late that evening, in the house of the wood-cutter's neighbours, the fire had gone out. The neighbours had nothing with which to re-light the fire, and they went to the house of the wood-cutter. They said, ‘Neighbour, neighbour, please give us a light from those wonderful lamps of yours which we see shining through the window.’

‘What lamps?’ said the wood-cutter.

‘Come outside,’ said the neighbours, ‘and see what we mean.’

So the wood-cutter went outside and then he saw, sure enough, all kinds of brilliant lights shining through the window from the inside.

He went back to the house, and saw that the light was streaming from the pile of pebbles which he had put in the corner. But the rays of light were cold, and it was not possible to use them to light a fire. So he went out to the neighbours and said, ‘Neighbours, I am sorry, but I have no fire.’ And he banged the door in their faces. They were annoyed and confused, and went back to their house, muttering. They leave our story here.

The wood-cutter and his daughter quickly covered up the brilliant lights with every piece of cloth they could find, for fear that anyone would see what a treasure they had. The next morning, when they uncovered the stones, they discovered that they were precious, luminous gems.

They took the jewels, one by one, to neighbouring towns, where they sold them for a huge price. Now the wood-cutter decided to build for himself and for his daughter a wonderful palace. They chose a site just opposite the castle of the king of their country. In a very short time a marvellous building had come into being.

Now that particular king had a beautiful daughter, and one day when she got up in the morning, she saw a sort of fairy-tale castle just opposite her father's and she was amazed. She asked her servants, ‘Who has built this castle? What right have these people to do such a thing so near to our home?’

The servants went away and made enquiries and they came back and told the story, as far as they could collect it, to the princess.

The princess called for the little daughter of the wood-cutter, for she was angry with her, but when the two girls met and talked they soon became fast friends. They started to meet every day and went to swim and play in the stream which had been made for the princess by her father. A few days after they first met, the princess took off a beautiful and valuable necklace and hung it up on a tree just beside the stream. She forgot to take it down when she came out of the water, and when she got home she thought it must have been lost.

The princess thought a little and then decided that the daughter of the wood-cutter had stolen her necklace. So she told her father, and he had the wood-cutter arrested; he confiscated the castle and declared forfeit everything that the wood-cutter had. The old man was thrown into prison, and the daughter was put into an orphanage.

As it was the custom in that country, after a period of time the wood-cutter was taken from the dungeon and put in the public square, chained to a post, with a sign around his neck. On the sign was written ‘This is what happens to those who steal from Kings.’

At first people gathered around him, and jeered and threw things at him. He was most unhappy.

But quite soon, as is the way of men, everyone became used to the sight of the old man sitting there by his post, and took very little notice of him. Sometimes people threw him scraps of food, sometimes they did not.

One day he overheard somebody saying that it was Thursday afternoon. Suddenly, the thought came into his mind that it would soon be the evening of Mushkil Gusha, the remover of all difficulties, and that he had forgotten to commemorate him for so many days. No sooner had this thought come into his head, than a charitable man, passing by, threw him a tiny coin. The wood-cutter called out: ‘Generous friend, you have given me money, which is of no use to me. If, however, your kindness could extend to buying one or two dates and coming and sitting and eating them with me, I would be eternally grateful to you.’

The other man went and bought a few dates. And they sat and ate them together. When they had finished, the wood-cutter told the other man the story of Mushkil Gusha. ‘I think you must be mad,’ said the generous man. But he was a kindly person who himself had many difficulties. When he arrived home after this incident, he found that all his problems had disappeared. And that made him start to think a great deal about Mushkil Gusha. But he leaves our story here.

The very next morning the princess went back to her bathing-place. As she was about to go into the water, she saw what looked like her necklace down at the bottom of the stream. As she was going to dive in to try to get it back, she happened to sneeze. Her head went up, and she saw that what she had thought was the necklace was only its reflection in the water. It was hanging on the bough of the tree where she had left it such a long time before. Taking the necklace down, the princess ran excitedly to her father and told him what had happened. The King gave orders for the wood-cutter to be released and given a public apology. The little girl was brought back from the orphanage, and everyone lived happily ever after.

These are some of the incidents in the story of Mushkil Gusha. It is a very long tale and it is never ended. It has many forms. Some of them are even not called the story of Mushkil Gusha at all, so people do not recognise it. But it is because of Mushkil Gusha that his story, in whatever form, is remembered by somebody, somewhere in the world, day and night, wherever there are people. As his story had always been recited, so it will always continue to be told.

Will you repeat the story of Mushkil Gusha on Thursday nights, and help the work of Mushkil Gusha?

Apr 15, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Seeker After Truth, by Idries Shah.

 
Apr 12, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features the story Prison, by Idries Shah.

Apr 8, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features a selection of World Tales, by Idries Shah.

Apr 5, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features the story The Magician's Dinner, by Idries Shah.

Apr 2, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features a selection of The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin, by Idries Shah.

Mar 26, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features a selection of Sufi Thought and Action, by Idries Shah.

Mar 22, 2019

Paradise of Song

Ahangar was a mighty swordsmith who lived in one of Afghanistan's remote eastern valleys. In time of peace he made steel ploughs, shoed horses and, above all, he sang.

The songs of Ahangar, who is known by different names in various parts of Central Asia, were eagerly listened to by the people of the valleys. They came from the forests of giant walnuts trees, from the snowcapped Hindu-Kush, from Qataghan and Badakhshan, from Khanabad and Kunar, from Herat and Paghman, to hear his songs.

Above all, the people came to hear the song of all songs, which was Ahangar's Song of the Valley of Paradise.

This song had a haunting quality, and a strange lilt, and most of all it had a story which was so strange that people felt they knew the remote Valley of Paradise of which the smith sang. Often they asked him to sing it when he was not in the mood to do so, and he would refuse. Sometimes people asked him whether the Valley was truly real, and Ahangar could only say:

"The Valley of the Song is as real as real can be."

"But how do you know?" the people would ask, "Have you ever been there?"

To Ahangar, and to nearly all the people who heard him, the Valley of the Song was, however, real, real as real can be.

Aisha, a local maiden whom he loved, doubted whether there was such a place. So, too, did Hasan, a braggart and fearsome swordsman who swore to marry Aisha, and who lost no opportunity of laughing at the smith.

One day, when the villagers were sitting around silently after Ahangar had been telling his tale to them, Hasan spoke:

"If you believe that this valley is so real, and that it is, as you say, in those mountains of Sangan yonder, where the blue haze rises, why do you not try to find it?".

"It would not be right, I know that," said Ahangar.

"You know what it is convenient to know, and do not know what you do not want to know!" shouted Hasan. "Now, my friend, I propose a test. You love Aisha, but she does not trust you. She has no faith in this absurd Valley of yours. You could never marry her, because when there is no confidence between man and wife, they are not happy and all manner of evils result."

"Do you expect me to go to the valley, then?" asked Ahangar.

"Yes," said Hasan and all the audience together.

"If I go and return safely, will Aisha consent to marry me?" asked Ahangar.

"Yes," murmured Aisha.

So Ahangar, collecting some dried mulberries and a scrap of bread, set off for the distant mountains.

He climbed and climbed, until he came to a wall which encircled the entire range. When he had ascended its sheer sides, there was another wall, even more precipitous then the first. After that there was a third, then a fourth, and finally a fifth wall.

Descending on the other side, Ahangar found that he was in a valley, strikingly similar to his own.

People came out to welcome him, and as he saw them, Ahangar realized that something very strange was happening.

Months later, Ahangar the Smith, walking like an old man, limped into his native village, and made for his humble hut.

As word of his return spread throughout the countryside, people gathered in front of his home to hear what his adventures had been.

Hasan the swordsman spoke for them all, and called Ahangar to his window.

There was a gasp as everyone saw how old he had become.

"Well, Master Ahangar, and did you reach the Valley of Paradise?"

"I did."

"And what was it like?"

Ahangar, fumbling for his words, looked at the assembled people with a weariness and hopelessness that he had never felt before. He said:

"I climbed and I climbed, and I climbed. When it seemed as though there could be no human habitation in such a desolate place, and after many trials and disappointments, I came upon a valley. This valley was exactly like the one in which we live. And then I saw the people. Those people are not only like us people: they are the same people.For every Hasan, every Aisha, every Ahangar, every anybody whom we have here, there is another one, exactly the same in that valley."

"These are likenesses and reflections to us, when we see such things. But it is we who are the likeness and reflection of them -- we who are here, we are their twins..."

Everyone thought that Ahangar had gone mad through his privations, and Aisha married Hasan the swordsman. Ahangar rapidly grew old and died. And all the people, every one who had heard this story from the lips of Ahangar, first lost heart in their lives, then grew old and died, for they felt that something was going to happen over which they had no control and from which they had no hope, and so they lost interest in life itself.

It is only once in a thousand years that this secret is seen by man. When he sees it, he is changed. When he tells its bare facts to others, they wither and die out.

People think that such an event is a catastrophe, and so they must not know about it, for they cannot understand [such is the nature of their ordinary life] that they have more selves than one, more hopes than one, more chances than one -- up there, in the Paradise of the Song of Ahangar, the mighty smith.

Mar 21, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of The Secret Lore of Magic, by Idries Shah.

Mar 12, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Destination Mecca, by Idries Shah.

 
Mar 8, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features one of the ISF children's books, Speak First and Lose.

Very often we urge our children not to be stubborn, not to sulk, not to bear a grudge, to know when to reach a compromise. But what would happen if we all refused to be as reasonable and as rational as we are asking children to be?

Speak First and Lose shows us what could happen if adults failed to resolve their differences in an intelligent, thoughtful way.

But surely grown men and women would never allow themselves to get snarled up by such trivial matters?

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first three children's books. These books have been beautifully illustrated, and made possible through very generous donations for which we are extremely grateful. All proceeds from the sales of the children’s books (and our other special and limited editions) are ring-fenced for the Books for Afghan Children Project.

Mar 5, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of The Hundred Tales of Wisdom, by Idries Shah.

Mar 1, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features one of the ISF children's books, The Ants and the Pen.

Surely scientific scrutiny must be the only worthwhile form of research worthy of our modern times? After all, science builds on information that has been gathered and rigourously tested before. Science stretches the boundaries of our knowledge and moves us towards that which would once have been little more than a figment of our imagination.

But what does scientific fact actually tell us? Does it always offer a full explanation, or could it simply be a mere part of the key needed to unlock a far more elaborate and far-reaching puzzle?

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first three children's books. These books have been beautifully illustrated, and made possible through very generous donations for which we are extremely grateful. All proceeds from the sales of the children’s books (and our other special and limited editions) are ring-fenced for the Books for Afghan Children Project.

Feb 26, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features a selection of A Perfumed Scorpion, by Idries Shah.

Feb 22, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features one of the ISF children's books, The Onion.

When we come across something new, something alien to our everyday, our first impulse is often to rush to make sense of that unknown object, or situation or phenomenon. In our haste to understand fast, we jump to conclusions before we have spared the time to make more than the most superficial observations.

Were we to give ourselves more time, we would no doubt learn more, experience more deeply, or manage to discuss our findings with those around us.

But even if we were to take time, our inbuilt distrust of what we do not understand could cause us to discard or distrust the new or unknown, rather than welcoming the opportunity to add something novel to our lives.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our first three children's books. These books have been beautifully illustrated, and made possible through very generous donations for which we are extremely grateful. All proceeds from the sales of the children’s books (and our other special and limited editions) are ring-fenced for the Books for Afghan Children Project.

Feb 19, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Special Illumination: The Sufi Use of Humour, by Idries Shah.

Feb 15, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode, the second in our Cultural Crossroads series, features an interview with Erik Weihenmayer.

During his lifetime Idries Shah promoted contacts and connections between different traditions around the world, believing this to be an important element in the advancement of human culture. In this spirit, The Idries Shah Foundation has created ‘Cultural Crossroads’, a website forum where people from many walks of life are invited to talk about their own experiences crossing cultural boundaries, and the lessons that they have learned as a result. You can find these articles on the ISF blog. This is our first Cultural Crossroads interview for this podcast.

About Erik Weihenmayer

On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. In 2008 he climbed Carstensz Pyramid on the island of Papua New Guinea, completing the Seven Summits, the highest point on every continent. This accomplishment closed the circuit on a 13-year journey that had begun with his 1995 ascent of Denali. He is joined by a select company of only 150 mountaineers to have accomplished the feat.

Feb 12, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Learning How to Learn, by Idries Shah.

 
Feb 8, 2019
 

The Tale of the Sands

A stream, from its source in far-off mountains, passing through every kind and description of countryside, at last reached the sands of the desert. Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but it found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared.

It was convinced, however, that its destiny was to cross this desert, and yet there was no way. Now a hidden voice, coming from the desert itself, whispered: “The Wind crosses the desert, and so can the stream.”

 The stream objected that it was dashing itself against the sand, and only getting absorbed: that the wind could fly, and this was why it could cross a desert.

“By hurtling in your own accustomed way you cannot get across. You will either disappear or become a marsh. You must allow the wind to carry you over, to your destination.”

“But how could this happen?”

“By allowing yourself to be absorbed in the wind.”

This idea was not acceptable to the stream. After all, it had never been absorbed before. It did not want to lose its individuality. And, once having lost it, how was one to know that it could ever be regained?

“The wind,” said the sand, “performs this function. It takes up water, carries it over the desert, and then lets it fall again. Falling as rain, the water again becomes a river.”

“How can I know that this is true?”

“It is so, and if you do not believe it, you cannot become more than a quagmire, and even that could take many, many years; and it certainly is not the same as a stream.”

“But can I not remain the same stream that I am today?”

“You cannot in either case remain so,” the whisper said. “Your essential part is carried away and forms a stream again. You are called what you are even today because you do not know which part of you is the essential one.”

Feb 5, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Neglected Aspects of Sufi Studies, by Idries Shah.

 
Jan 31, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Oriental Magic, by Idries Shah.

Jan 24, 2019

Welcome to the Idries Shah Foundation podcast, practical psychology for today. This weekly podcast features selections from Idries Shah books, as well as original recordings. It has been made available by The Idries Shah Foundation, and is voiced by David Ault. This episode features selections of Seeker After Truth, by Idries Shah.

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