Studies in Experientialism
Thinkers of the East is a collection of anecdotes and ‘parables in action’ illustrating the eminently practical and lucid approach of Eastern Dervish teachers.
Distilled from the teachings of more than one hundred sages in three continents, this material stresses the experimental rather than the theoretical – and it is that characteristic of Sufi study which provides its impact and vitality.
The emphasis of Thinkers of the East contrasts sharply with the Western concept of the East as a place of theory without practice, or thought without action.
The book’s author, Idries Shah, says ‘Without direct experience of such teaching, or at least a direct recording of it, I cannot see how Eastern thought can ever be understood’.
There are over 150 short pieces of anecdotes and parables in this book dealing with various subjects (See below). Most of them convey very deep and subtle meaning which forces you to introspect. But there were several stories that I could not really understand. Wish the author had provided annotations along with the stories for the readers to appreciate them better. But then any attempt to explain the underlying the teachings would defeat the purpose of experience and may not convey the entire meaning. Therefore I think it is good that the interpretation is left to the reader.
Goodreads Rating - 4.37 out of 5 ( 79 Ratings)
Subjects Dealt With in Thinkers of the East (click on the image to enlarge)