The perfuming of a scorpion, referred to by the great Sufi teacher Bahaudin, symbolizes hypocrisy and self deception both in the individual and in institutions.In A Perfumed Scorpion, Idries Shah directs attention to both the perfume and the scorpion the overlay and the reality in psychology, human behavior and the learning process.Crammed with illustrative anecdotes from contemporary life, the book is nevertheless rooted in the teaching patterns of Rumi, Hafiz, Jami, and many other great Oriental sages It deals with the need for and the path to knowledge and information....
|Title||:||A Perfumed Scorpion|
|Publisher||:||ISF Publishing June 1, 2017|
|Number of Pages||:||226 pages|
|File Size||:||568 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Perfumed Scorpion Reviews
Shah has a habit of directing attention to the practical, perhaps analogical, value of psychological experiments. In this publication, in detailing an (unreferenced) experiment as to how people reacted to either a cat’s purr or to the sound of human snoring, he makes the point that their reactions were determined (largely) by the information they were given. If told that the sound of a purr was a snore they disliked what they heard; that a snore was a purr – they liked it. One example, I suppose, of perfume and scorpion. What is striking about Shah is not only that he urges people to acquaint themselves with the findings of modern psychology – on cults, motivation etc. – but how he uses those findings (and other incidents and stories). He is clearly saying something beyond what those findings would indicate to the ordinary student (or teacher) of psychology. This is suggested by the title of the book itself. It is stated explicitly where, for example, he refers to “Finding Further Ranges In Jokes” noting that those attuned only to moralism, jokes or dogma are “not learners at all”. So, a great book in terms of the psychology of those interested in this type of material, and yet, absent the means of unlocking it, somewhat impenetrable. That, of course, is a reason to read it.
If you want comfort, coddling, or a warm fuzzy feeling- look elsewhere. However, if you want a frank, honest, and reflective account of the mistaken assumptions, misplaced motivations, and thought patterns that stand in the way of fulfilling our human potential, then this book is a welcome antidote. It is an invitation to honestly examine one's own motivations and expectations- with the aim of setting those aside - and positioning oneself to connect with a traditional form of knowledge that has guided humans throughout history. Consider a few quotes from the book:
I can only recommend this book. It has to be read. I don’t know what to say about it. If I select a quote what about all the quotes I haven’t selected. If I attempt a paraphrase of an idea, what clumsy misinterpretation has been written down. I suppose it to be possible to learn from clumsy mistakes but only after the book has been read. Headings on page 28: THE AIM...... FLEXIBILITY.... ASSUMPTIONS AND POINTS OF VIEW. Better expositions found here, than in any run ‘off the mill’ Philosophy course. In addition there is an element of what I will call an expanding universe in the text.
This book is filled with surprises for thoughtful, adventurous readers who value questioning their assumptions about people and society. It helped me begin to see the perfume and the scorpion: the overlay and reality; the hypocrisy and self-deception in ourselves and our institutions. Compelling arguments, imagery and illustrative anecdotes from contemporary life appear to be scattered about haphazardly. But it's deliberate. It switches our attention and helps foster flexibility. The modern content set in a non-linear traditional structure also gives us a glimpse of the atmosphere and methods of the classic books by the Asian greats like Rumi, Jami and Hafiz. At the same time, it provides a clear direct exposition of the Sufi way.