This first collection of talks by the contemporary Sufi
teacher Omar Ali-Shah was a milestone in Sufi literature, since
for the first time a Sufi master was willing to openly share his
"trade secrets" with his pupils, i.e., give a clear and
uncluttered account of the various obstacles in contemporary life
which prevent the seeker from achieving the lucidity we are all
aiming for and which ought to be within our grasp, and also
outline the group interactions and other techniques by which such
a teaching is carried out. This re-edited version of the book
originally published in 1988 is completed with the addition of
five new chapters dealing with the master/pupil relationship,
clearly the biggest hurdle to acceptance of the Sufi Tradition in
the western world, insofar as a Sufi envisages the intellectual
mind, so idolized in western education, as an artisan considers a
tool, i.e., a good servant but a poor master.
ISBN10 2-909347-05-2 ISBN 978-2-909347-05-9 QPB 299p. $25/£15/25 euro _____EXCERPT
This collection extends the original version of this book,
first published by Tractus in 1992 as a working textbook for the
students of Omar Ali-Shah throughout the world. By adding about
three-quaters of hitherto unpublished material, mostly concerned
with the internalization and application of the rules, the book
takes on a new and more general focus, and is possibly destined
to become a classic of contemporary sufism.
The rules themselves, eleven simply-expressed concepts which students of sufism were expected to work over and apply, were first drafted in the twelfth and fourteenth century by the Sufi Masters Abd al-Khaliq Ghujawani and Bahaudin Naqshband, who founded the order. Contemporary orientalists have generally relegated them to the category of interesting historical footnotes, but the genius of Omar Ali-Shah has been to dust off these shelved ideas and show us how relevant they are to our lives and inner thinking here and now. They are not secrets in the sense of inpenetrable mysteries, they are secrets because they refer to hidden or intimate aspects of ourselves which must be exercised to develop further.
ISBN10 2-909347-09-5 ISBN 978-2-909347-09-7 QPB 350p. $25/£15/25 euro _____EXCERPT
This collection by the contemporary Sufi teacher Omar Ali-Shah
brings together a series of talks made to congresses of medical
and healthcare professionals interested in adding a dimension of
traditional knowledge to their own therapeutic disciplines. The
Sufi Tradition is not considered here as a sort of magic
miracle-cure, but as a very real and useful adjunct for people
whose basic concern is to help others, or themselves.The focus of
this book is therefore less a series of recipes than an
indication of how a certain mind-set inherent to the Sufi
Tradition can be used to overcome mental and physical imbalances.
Along the way it also contains a good deal of information about
how the ideal of sufism can be integrated into contemporary life.
As the author says: "The Sufi Tradition contains techniques,
energies and applications for therapy, but the Sufi Tradition
itself is not a therapy."
ISBN10 2-909347-03-6 ISBN 978-2-909347-03-05 QPB 256p. $20/£13/20 euro _____EXCERPT
This book is a collection of talks givens by Omar Ali-Shah to study groups throughout the world during the eighties. After describing how the Sufi Tradition functions over the time span of many generations, Omar Ali-Shah draws a clear and lucid picture of what is required both from a student and from a teacher in this tradition, and then goes into the various traits of character and circumstance which one develops in order to be able to implement the transformation of the self that is the basis of Sufism.
The approach adopted here is based on simplicity and common sense, and even if one has no particular interest in the Sufi Tradition as such, this is a book which can help one deal usefully with the various pressurers and conditioning a person is subjected to in the course of contemporary life.
ISBN10 2-909347-00-1 ISBN 978-2-909347-00-4 PB 215p. $20/£13/20 euro _____EXCERPT
The Sufi Tradition in the West is the fourth volume in the series of talks given by the Sufi teacher Omar Ali-Shah to his many students throughout the world, the first volume of the collection being Sufism for Today, published by Alif in 1992.
Although often considered in some minds as an offshoot of Islam, the Sufi Tradition does in fact stand on its own without help from any race or religion, and it is now beginning to take its place openly in the main stream of western as well as eastern thought - all the more so now that the West has divested itself of the utopian social and philosophical fantasies that polluted its thinking for so many years. In this context, there is an abiding need for a way of thought that is based on objective and eternal values, while eschewing all forms of ideological and religious manipulation.
This book is timely, because it clearly states what in the West is compatible with this very ancient body of thought, as well as what is incompatible. This message is not put over in any excoriating or disparaging way, but with wit, tenderness and the exasperated patience of a cat playing with her young.
Not only is this book a lucid account of what the Sufi Tradition can mean to the individual, it also casts a beady eye at many contemporary sacred cows, providing a highly useful "distanced view" of today's world, even to someone who is not specifically seeking out the Sufi Tradition.
ISBN10 1-883816-00-9 ISBN 978-1-883816-00-1 PB 235p. $20/£13/20 euro _____EXCERPT
"Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a kingdom that, naturally, had a king. One day the King decided that out of many possibilities the best thing he could do would be to build a great triumphal arch, under which he could ride in pomp and splendor for the delight of his subjects..."
ISBN10 1-883816-01-7 ISBN 978-1-883816-01-8 HB 24p. $20/£13/20 euro _____EXCERPT
The Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah says "The modern world stands in need of biological renewal.
And religion, which in its higher manifestations is neither dogma, nor priesthood, nor ritual,
can alone ethically prepare the modern man for the burden of the great responsibility which the
advancement of modern science necessarily involves, and restore to him that attitude of faith
which makes him capable of winning a personality here and retaining it hereafter."
Islamic Sufism is possibly the best book ever written on its subject, bar none. It gives a clear and uncluttered picture of both Islam and Sufism, stating exactly what the difference between Sufism and orthodox religion is, and also presents a complete genealogy of its most important teachers and communicators from the Prophet Muhammed onwards. Its compatibility with modern philosophy and thinking is discussed without falling into a fundamentalist stance, although many modern sacred cows are given short shrift. The effect of this uncompromising book is profoundly liberating, because the self-transforming consciousness it represents is considered to be accessible to every man that walks the earth, no matter what their background or faith.
ISBN10 2-909347-07-9 ISBN 978-2-909347-07-3 QPB 334p. $25/£15/25 euro _____EXCERPT
A simple and lucid introduction to the four main religions of
the "Book"; Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddism,
as told in their own words from their own texts, which completely
eschews modern political-based debate about who's right or who's
wrong. The four faiths are presented "in a vigourous almost
passionate exposition"; in which "each religion speaks
for itself without challenge, so that its full glow and warmth
should be given to the reader". It is a particularly timely
book for an epoch such as ours where religion has been debased
and used as a political weapon, and it is possibly one of the
best books ever written on what the four religions are really
about, by a man who is not without his own convictions, but who
has no axe to grind.
ISBN10 2-909347-10-9 ISBN 978-2-909347-10-3 QPB 320p. $25/£15/25 euro _____EXCERPT
This biography of the Prophet Muhammed reads like an exciting
novel, since the Prophet himself led a life of almost incredible
adventure, both in the spiritual area and worldly level. The
Sirdar does full justice to the sweep and drama of this life
without any novelettish tackyness, and his narrative rises to the
lofty heights of great poetry as he relates the true story of an
illiterate orphan who became a model for all mankind. Both as a
narrative biography and as a general introduction to Islam, it is
a book that can hardly be bettered.
The Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah was born in 1894 and died in 1969. He enjoyed a long and varied career as advisor to statesmen, as a Sufi teacher of the Naqshbandi order, and as author of more than 25 books in English alone. He was friend and biographer to King Fuad of Egypt, Kemal Ataturk and the Agha Khan, and the father of the Sufi authors Idries Shah, Amina Shah and Omar Ali-Shah.
ISBN10 2-909347-04-4 ISBN 978-2-909347-04-2 QPB 285p. $25/£15/25 euro _____EXCERPT
Fictions and Factions is a kaleidoscope of autobiographical fragments, poems, short stories, book introductions, and a student's memoir on various aspects of contemporary sufism, including material on three major twentieth century Sufi teachers: Ikbal Ali Shah, Idries Shah and Omar Ali-Shah.
Through the use of different literary forms to record what he has absorbed from a wide variety of activities, Augy Hayter's work expresses a range of experience which comes closer than many more overtly "spiritual" books in communicating some of the attitudes needed to rid oneself of the "excess baggage" that clutters up our lives, even if this book presents itself more as a "consumer's memo" by a fellow-student of sufism than the work of an omnicient master who writes top down. In this sense, it can be considered an accurate record of what a true student of sufism must face up to.
It is the record of one man's struggle to make sense of and accept all levels of life's impacts within a context of faith and trust, without losing sight of the fact that a life not informed by love is no life at all, since it is in this area that we come closest to a divine order.
ISBN10 2-909347-14-1 ISBN 978-2-909347-14-1 QPB 286p. $20/£13/20 euro_____EXCERPT
The five plays here, although not always similar to each other, all deal with characters teetering on the edge of disaster without being overcome by it. One might call them all comic tragedies or rather tragic comedies insofar as they all deal with fundamental aspects of our lives without solemnity, since the humour and wit in these plays comes from the unexpected twists and turns that life itself has in store for us. Earthly Traps makes use of mime and dance to tell the story of an outlaw robot who, by finding a use for the memory he has acquired in many lifetimes of service to others, becomes truly human. The Karma Connection is the story of a friendship building up between two men, both veterans of the wars between the sexes, who once shared the favours of the same woman many years before. Middleman relates the adventures of a man who has organized himself the perfect lifestyle between two women, and who is led to see by his own children that the act can't go on forever. Fit to be Tied involves a young man who comes to an office to apply for a job, and who ends up getting a great deal more than he bargained for. Sheherazade is both a suspenseful melodrama and a subtle comedy of misdirected intentions in which a very young woman manages to talk herself out of rape and murder by recounting an incredible saga of sexual adventures that may or may not be true.
ISBN10 2-909347-13-3 ISBN 978-2-909347-13-4 QPB 247 p. $15/£10/15 euro _____EXCERPT
Just as the author's previous book The Woman I Love was a sort of compendium of
what a man goes through in a lifetime of relationships with women, so Godbothering is
a sequence of story-poems, written over nearly half a century, which deals with one man's
effort to establish an ongoing relationship with what one might call the Higher Intelligence.
The instrument used do this is the Sufi Tradition, through two teachers, Idries Shah and
Omar Ali-Shah, both them pioneers in the introduction of Sufi thinking into what was at
the time a hostile and materialistic environment in the West. The poems and texts here are
therefore a record of a learner in this context, moving from youth into middle age as he tries
to make sense of what he sees and feels as he pursues his ambition of stretching himself to
read the endless series of signs the Higher Intelligence has put in our way.
ISBN10 2-909347-12-5 ISBN 978-2-909347-12-7 QPB 123p. $20/£13/20 euro _____EXCERPT
is a blow-by-blow account of the kind of passionate love affair everyone dreams about,
then dreams of escaping from when it actually happens. The story is told through a series of
free-standing letters, insults, love poems, phone calls, press clippings, various reports and even
a short play, enabling the reader to piece together what is going on in his or her own mind. We
are led from room to room in a subtly familiar house, the effect all the stronger since one is
induced to look at what is going on from the viewpoint of all parties at the same time. The
plot? Boy meets girl and it all works out, and then doesn't, no-one ever quite knowing why,
although mutual passion is such that their families pay the price. Both live through and then
gradually pass alongside of the great love they have touched on, achieving the near-tragic
status of the great legendary loves of the past, even if this powerful yet funny work is firmly
rooted in the language, mores, and context of our contemporary idiocies. The title? Love as a
sacred illness that knows no cure.
ISBN10 2-909347-02-8 ISBN 978-2-909347-02-8 QPB 514p. $25/£15/25 euro _____EXCERPT
This is a collection of story-poems, loosely modelled on the
oriental form of the Diwan, which deal with the various forms
that love can take, whether legitimate, illegitimate, friendly or
hostile, joyous or depressd, addressing spouse, children,
mistress, mother, father, and ultimately God, all of which add up
to a kind of crossection of twentieth-century love customs and
obsessions, a sort of inner geographical map of the affect whose
sum may be considered greater than its parts.
ISBN10 2-909347-11-7 ISBN 978-2-909347-11-0 QPB 209p. $20/£13/20 euro _____EXCERPT
This great Persian classic collection of sayings, stories and
poems is considered to be so important that children are taught
ethics and behavior with it in schools. They are so simple, funny
and accessible to all that there is hardly a Farsi-speaker alive
that does not know some of them by heart.
Sayed Omar Ali-Shah's translation, hitherto only available in French, was the first to reveal the sufic dimension of this masterpiece, but children have instinctively recognized its inner truth since time immemorial both in the East and in the West, insofar as the book acts as a kind of primer or exercise-machine of the spirit, because of the flexibility of mind it demands and obtains from its reader.
ISBN10 2-909347-06-0 ISBN 978-2-909347-06-6 QPB 235p. $23/£14/23 euro _____EXCERPT
国际标准书号10／ISBN10 2-909347-15-X 国际标准书号／ISBN 978-2-909347-15-8 高级平装本 135页／QPB 135p. $20/£13/20 euro
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国际标准书号10／ISBN10 2-909347-16-8 国际标准书号／ISBN 978-2-909347-16-5 高级平装本 275页／QPB 275p. $20/£13/20 euro
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