When a boy visits another village, he is surprised to find people terrified of something that - just because they have not seen it before - they mistake for a terrible, dangerous animal. With his own knowledge and by demonstration, the boy helps them overcome their fears.
This story is part of an oral tradition from the Middle East and Central Asia that is more than a thousand years old. In an entertaining way, it introduces children to an interesting aspect of human behavior and so enables them to recognize it in their daily lives.
One of the many tales from the body Sufi literature collected by Idries Shah, the tale is presented here as part of his series of books for young readers. This is the second book in the series illustrated by Rose Mary Santiago, following the award-winning bestseller, The Farmer's Wife.
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Beautifully illustrated in stunning color, this award-winning series of large-format children's books by Idries Shah presents tales from a rich tradition of storytelling. All books were well reviewed and one received a National Parenting Publications Honors Award.
For thousands of years all over the Middle East and Central Asia children have been entertained and taught by these stories and have continued to tell them in adult life. Until his death in 1996, Shah collected hundreds of such stories and adapted them to contemporary Western culture. His adult books continue to attract millions of readers from all over the world.
Sufi tradition affirms that there is a continuum of the children's story, the entertainment story, and the teaching story. A story can help young children deal with difficult situations and give them something to hold on to. Adults can at the same time understand it on a more spiritual level. Through repeated readings of this rich body of oral and written material both children and adults can now learn to develop the capacity to be more flexible, as well as get fresh insights into many things about themselves and about life.About the Author:
As the urgency of our global situation becomes apparent, more and more readers are turning to the books of Idries Shah (1924-1996) as a way to train new capacities and new ways of thinking. Shah has been described as "the most significant worker adapting classical spiritual thought to the modern world."
Shah was educated in both the East and West, by private tutors and through wide-ranging travel and personal encounters - the series of journeys which characterize Sufi education and development. In keeping with Sufi tradition, his life was essentially one of service. His knowledge and interests appeared limitless, and his activities and accomplishments took place in many different countries and in numerous fields of endeavor.
Shah was Director of Studies of the Institute for Cultural Research, an educational organization sponsoring interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies of human thought; a founding member of the Club of Rome; a Governor of the Royal Humane Society and the Royal Hospital and Home for Incurables; and the founder of publishing house Octagon Press.
Shah's landmark book, "The Sufis", invited readers to approach Sufi ideas and test them out. The evident and common sense made it clear that here was a sane, authoritative voice in the wilderness of the gobbledygookish mysticism of the sixties. The lively, contemporary books on traditional psychologies, literature, philosophy, and Sufi thought that followed established a broad historical and cultural context for Sufi thought and action. These have so far sold over 15 million copies in 12 languages worldwide and have been awarded many prizes. They have been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Times, The Tribune, The Telegraph, and numerous other international journals and newspapers.
University and college courses throughout the world are employing Shah's books, or works based on them, in a wide variety of disciplines including sociology, psychology, and literature.
In 1969, Idries Shah was awarded the Dictionary of International Biography's Certificate of Merit for Distinguished Service to Human Thought. Other honors included a Two Thousand Men of Achievement award (1971), Six First Prizes awarded by the UNESCO International Book Year (1972), and the International Who's Who in Poetry's Gold Medal for Poetry (1975).
According to his obituary in the London Daily Telegraph "it is impossible to assess his influence, and his legacy is incalculable".
He was, it is said, the Sufi Teacher of the Age.
"The most interesting books in the English language."
"A major psychological and cultural event of our time."
"One is immediately forced to use one's mind in a new way."
New York Times
The instrumental function of Shah's work is now well established among people from all walks of life. Stockbrokers, scientists, lawyers, managers, writers, physicians, and diplomats have found Shah's literature for human development "extraordinary".
"It presents a blueprint of the human mental structure."
Robert Ornstein, Ph.D.
"Extremely useful in teaching students about management and computers."
Thomas Malone, MIT
"Idries Shah provides the unique perspective that allows us to assess real motivations and social biases in a more accurate light."
E. Neilsen, Attorney at Law
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