The Magic Monastery by Idries Shah

Many of Idries Shah’s books are comprised of tales and teaching stories taken from both written and oral sources, which illustrate the instructional methods employed by Eastern wise men for thousands of years. The Magic Monastery differs from its predecessors in that it contains not only traditional tales, mostly unpublished, but also stories specially written by Shah to complete the book as a ‘course in non-linear thinking’. read more

Formats: Audiobook, Ebook, Hardback, Paperback
Translations: Spanish

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As with all of his works, The Magic Monastery is rich in thought-provoking material, and can be read and enjoyed at many levels.

Writer, novelist and philosopher Colin Wilson in his review of The Magic Monastery noted that Shah ‘is not primarily concerned with propagating some secret doctrine. He is concerned with the method by which mystical knowledge is transmitted... The Sufis transmit knowledge through direct intuition rather in the manner of the Zen masters, and one of the chief means of doing this is by means of brief stories and parables which work their way into the subconscious and activate its hidden forces.’

Noted psychiatrist Arthur Deikman, in his book The Observing Self, also mentions tales found in The Magic Monastery as examples of stories that can indirectly communicate important teachings, for instance by illustrating the difficulty in describing mystical perception to those who have never experienced it.