Nasruddin Speaks: The Magical Mind of Idries Shah


It's All About Perspective.

Nasruddin sat on a river bank when someone called to him, "Hey, how do I get to the other side?" "You are on the other side, Nasruddin shouted back."

Illogical yet logical, rational yet irrational, bizarre yet normal, foolish yet sharp, simple yet profound are some of the paradoxes used to describe Mullah Nasruddin, the legendary, fictional character popularized by Sufi author Idries Shah.

Nasruddin was riding along one day when his donkey took fright at something in its path and started to bolt. As he sped past them at an unaccustomed pace, some countrymen called out: "Where are you going so fast?" Nasruddin shouted back, "Don't ask me, ask my donkey!"

The tales of Nasruddin are generally told in short vignettes, rich with allegory, metaphor, irony and often humor that illuminate the mystical dimension of Sufism, an aspect of Islamic faith.

The tales do more than simply tell a story. They engage us with the goal of changing our perspective and changing, in turn, how we think.


"When I was in the desert," said Nasruddin one day, "I caused an entire tribe of horrible and bloodthirsty bedouins to run." "However did you do it?" "Easy. I just ran, and they ran after me."

Mullah Nasruddin embraces an apocalypzian view of the End of Days...

A philosopher asked Nasruddin, "Do you know when the end of the world will be?" "Of course," said Nasruddin, "when I die that will be the end of the world." "When you die?," asked the philospher. "...are you sure?" Nasruddin replied, "It will be for me, at least."

See more Apocalypzia posts in the Philosophy / World View category.

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Apocalypse Soon: Down for the Long Count