Idries Shah, Learning How To Learn: Psychology And Spirituality In The Sufi Way Quotes
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Progress comes through capacity to learn, and is irresistible.
What you are seeking in your retreat, I see clearly in every road and alleyway.
Neither imagine that you are false, nor lash yourself, for both may be forms of self-indulgence.
The real generosity is when a man does something generous when nobody knows about it.
People who have fallacious objectives are like the barren soil. The flowers grow from soil which is composed of the right objectives.
...action is in fact knowledge in operation. Right action stems from right knowledge. Right knowledge is acquired through the teacher.
Rumi speaks of people who rely upon the written word as sometimes being no more than donkeys laden with books.
Why do people always wonder whether books are any good, without wondering whether they are themselves in a state to profit from them?
Why did I do such-and-such a thing?' is all very well. But what about 'How otherwise could I have done it?
All approaches to a study or an individual may start with a desire for attention. However they start, they must never end up in this manner.
You have come a long way, and you do not know it. You have a long way to do, and you do know what that means.
But the world itself, as well as special attitudes, properly understood, constitute the Sufi school.
They say: 'Seek wisdom while you have the strength, or you may lose the strength without gaining wisdom.
The person that you feel yourself to be, according to the Sufis, is a false person, which has no true reality.
He who knows himself, knows his Lord' means, among other things, that self-deception prevents knowledge.
It has truly been said that 'Humility is not so much a virtue as a necessity, in order to learn.
Words have to die if humans are to live.
The would-be Sufi needs guidance precisely because books, texts, while telling you what is needed, do not tell you when.
If you really want to learn, do not be surprised if someone tries to teach you. And do not lightly reject the method.
Study institutions may become visible when the head is more emptied of imaginings.
Most people, whatever their opinions and protestations, do not want to learn.
Greed harms you: generosity helps you. This is why is has been said: 'Greed is the mother of incapacity'.
You can perceive a person's aspiration if it is genuine, because this creates a change in the emanations from such a person.
if... says: 'Do not be greedy, be generous', you may inwardly interpret this in such a manner that you will develop a greed for generosity
The automatism of man is overcome, in the words of Dhun'Nun, by aiming for 'being as you were, where you were, before you were'.
One of the basic Sufi needs is to enable people to see themselves as they really are.
The skilled artisan uses the same iron to make a horseshoeAs he does for a polished mirror for the King.
The Sufi teacher’s mission is to be in the service of those who can learn.
The great poet Hafiz says that you should dye your prayer-carpet with wine if your teacher tells you to do so.
Greed harms you: generosity helps you. This is why it has been said: 'Greed is the mother of incapacity'.
Man (and woman) has an infinite capacity for self-development. Equally, he has an infinite capacity for self-destruction.
Everything man needs is in the world.
God provides the food, men provide the cooks.
Remember the proverb: 'A sign is enough for the alert, but a thousand counsels are not enough for the negligent.
If you are 'humble', it may help you in ordinary life. If you are not, you will get nowhere in higher things.
The secret of Sufism is that it has no secret at all'.
The teacher works in accordance with the prospects of his students and the possibility of maintaining the community of Sufis.
No practice exists in isolation.
Do not try to be humble: learn humility.
Not to be greedy is, paradoxically, the highest form of looking after one's true interests.
If your desire for 'good' is based on greed, it is not good, but greed.
To copy a virtue in another is more copying than it is virtue. Try to learn what that virtue is based upon.
Exercise power by means of kindness, and you may be causing more damage than you could by cruelty. Neither approach is correct.
If you seek a teacher, try to become a real student. If you want to be a student, try to find a real teacher.
If you cannot laugh frequently and genuinely, you have no soul.
Assume that you are part-hypocrite and part heedless, and you will not be far wrong.
Laziness is always your fault. It is the sign that a man has persevered in uselessness for too long.
One of the great Sufis said: 'A saint is a saint unless he knows that he is one.
Premature independence is the daughter of conceit.
When people believe that the form is more important than the Truth, they will not find truth, but will stay with form.