The trick of self-deception…
If we really have an enemy, that is nothing more than our own ignorance.
Tales of the Dervishes
by Idries Shah
A MAN who was troubled in mind once swore that if his problems were solved he would sell his house and give all the money gained from it to the poor.
The time came when he realized that he must redeem his oath. But he did not want to give away so much money.
So he thought of a way out.
He put the house for sale at one silver piece. Included with the house, however, was a cat. The price asked for this animal was ten thousand pieces of silver.
Another man bought the house and the cat. The first man gave the single piece of silver to the poor, and pocketed the ten thousand for himself.
Many people’s minds work like this. They resolve to follow a teaching; but they interpret their relationship with it to their own advantage. Until they overcome this tendency by special training, they cannot learn at all.
The trick described in this story, according to its dervish teller (Sheikh Nasir el-Din Shah) may be deliberate- or it may describe the warped mind which unconsciously performs tricks of this kind.
This version attributed to him, is from an oral tradition of Chishiti Order.
It is used to introduce the psychological technique designed to stabilize the mind, making it incapable of tricks of self-deception.
from Tales of the Dervishes
by Idries Shah
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