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The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin (edition 1993)

by Idries Shah

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217253,683 (3.94)9
Member:mitchellray
Title:The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin
Authors:Idries Shah
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1993), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:56/1 R

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The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mullah Nasrudin by Idries Shah

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The foolish-wisdom of Nasrudin, legendary Sufi Mulla of the 13th century:

‘What is the meaning of fate, Mulla?’
‘Assumptions.’
‘In what way?’
‘You assume things are going to go well and they don’t - that you call bad luck. You assume things are going to go badly and they don’t - that you call good luck. You assume that certain things are going to happen or not happen - and you so lack intuition that you don’t know what is going to happen. You assume that the future is unknown.
‘When you are caught out - you call that Fate.’ pg. 20

'Where do we come from and where do we go to, and what is it like?' thundered a wandering dervish.
'I don’t know,' said Nasrudin, 'but it must be pretty terrible.'
A bystander asked him why.
'Observation shows me that when we arrive as babies we are crying. And many of us leave crying and reluctantly, too.' pg. 146

The Holy-Fool demonstrates synchronicity:
Nasrudin was penniless, and sat huddled in a blanket while the wind howled outside. ‘At least,’ he thought, ‘the people next door will not smell cooking from my kitchen - so they can’t send round to cadge some food.’
At that the thought of hot, aromatic soup came into his mind, and he savored it mentally for several minutes.
There came a knocking on the door. ‘Mother sent me,’ said the little daughter of his neighbour, ‘to ask whether you had any soup to spare, hot, seasoned soup.’
‘Heaven help us,’ said Nasrudin, ‘the neighbors even smell my thoughts.’ pg. 149
  maryoverton | Jan 25, 2014 |
Very fun short stories about the foolish Wise Man Nasrudin. One example, he said he could see at night as well as during the day. When someone saw him at night carrying a lantern, they asked him why, if he could see at night. "So you won't run into me," he answered.

If you like Fool stories, that carry hidden kernels of wisdom, this is the book for you. ( )
  Arctic-Stranger | Mar 11, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Idries Shahprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Cain, ErrolIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014019357X, Paperback)

Today we find him in a high-level physics report, illustrating phenomena that can't be described in ordinary technical terms. He appears in psychology textbooks, illuminating the workings of the mind in a way no straightforward explanation can.

In three definitive volumes (The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin, The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin, and The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin) Idries Shah takes us to the very heart of this mysterious mentor, the Mulla Nasrudin. Skillful contemporary retellings of hundreds of collected stories and sayings bring the unmistakable - often backhanded - wisdom, wit and charm of the timeless jokester to life.

The Mulla and his stories appear in literature and oral traditions from the Middle East to Greece, Russia, France - even China. Many nations claim Nasrudin as a native son, but nobody really knows who he was or where he came from.

According to a legend dating from at least the 13th century, Nasrudin was snatched as a schoolboy from the clutches of the "Old Villain" - the crude system of thought that ensnares man - to carry through the ages the message of how to escape. He was chosen because he could make people laugh, and humor has a way of slipping through the cracks of the most rigid thinking habits.

Acclaimed as humorous masterpieces, as collections of the finest jokes, as priceless gift books, and for hundreds "enchanted tales", this folklore figure's antics have also been divined as "mirroring the antics of the mind". The jokes are, as Idries Shah notes, "perfectly designed models for isolating and holding distortions of the mind which so often pass for reasonable behavior". Therefore they have a double use: when the jokes have been enjoyed, their psychological significance starts to sink in.

In fact, for many centuries they have been studied in Sufi circles for their hidden wisdom. They are used as teaching exercises, in part to momentarily "freeze" situations in which states of mind can be recognized. The key to the philosophic significance of the Nasrudin jokes is given in Idries Shah's book "The Sufis" and a complete system of mystical training based upon them was described in the Hibbert Journal.

In these delightful volumes, Shah not only gives the Mulla a proper vehicle for our times, he proves that the centuries-old stories and quips of Nasrudin are still some of the funniest jokes in the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:14 -0400)

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