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Tag: Essential truth

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April 6, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Book of the Book VI

The Guarding and Theft of the Book


The king was so impressed by the stranger’s story that he ordered the story to be inscribed and bound in a large book. This was placed in a niche in his Treasury and guarded by armed men, day and night. The aged king died and a barbarian conqueror devastated his realm.
Breaking into the Treasury, this man saw the book in its place of honour and said to himself: “This must be the source of the country’s happiness, wisdom and prosperity.” He said aloud: “Let the book be taken down and read out to me in our own language.”
But this conqueror, for all his physical power, was an ignoramus; he could make no sense of the words in the book…


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April 5, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Book of the Book V

 The Interpretation of the Dervish


The dispirited students, going to rest in a caravanserai, came upon a dervish, and told him of their perplexity.
He said: “What did you learn from the scholars?”
The travellers said: “Nothing. They could tell us nothing.”
The dervish said:  “On the contrary, they told you everything. They showed that the book was not to be understood in the manner I assumed by you, or by them. You may think that they lacked depth. But you,  in your turn, lack sense. The book was teaching something through the incident itself, while you remained asleep.”
But the students found this explanation too subtle to their minds, and the only person who maintained the knowledge of the block was a casual visitor to the caravanserai, who overheard the interchange which I have just repeat to you, O King and Dervish!”
The stranger dressed in green then stood up and walked away…


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April 4, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Book of the Book IV

The Opinion of the Scholars


The successors to the sage took the book to the most famous scholars of their time, saying:
 “We have this book, and seek your interpretation. It belongs to such and such a sage, the wonder of  the age, now dead.
This is all he left behind, and we are unable to fathom its mystery.”
At first the scholars were delighted to see a work of such size, bearing the name of its former owner, whom they knew to have been revered by multitudes of people.
They said:
“We will of course give you the real interpretation.”
But when they found that the book was all but empty, and what words there were made no sense to them, they first sneered and then shouted at the students, driving them away in fury.
They believed that they had been victims of a hoax. That was a time when scholars were limited and literal-minded.
 They could not imagine a book which could do something, only a book which said something…


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April 3, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Book of the Book III

Contrary to Expectation


A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom.
He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome which was kept in a place of honour in his room.
This sage would allow nobody to open the volume.
When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as his heirs, ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained.
They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page.
They became even more bewildered and then annoyed when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase which met their eyes.
It was: “when you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.”…



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April 2, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Book of the Book II

The Stranger Who Dressed in Green


One day the aging king, out on a hunting expedition, sat down to rest when a stranger, dressed in green, approached.
  Saluting the king he told a story; this story, The Tale of the book.
The next section begins with the tale of the book.



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April 1, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Book of The Book I

The Dervish who Became a King


There was once a dervish who had seen truth.
He decided he would have to become powerful in the ordinary world before people would listen to him, so he applied all his concentration to the task of attaining visible authority.
In the course of time he became king.
When he had spent some time as a ruler, the dervish realised that people did not want his way of teaching.
They appeared to hear him, but acted only from hope of reward or fear of punishment.
This dervish King lacked an instrument with which to teach. None came to him until he was almost at the end of his days…



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March 31, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Content and Container

As the parent of two small children, I often find myself explaining to them the difference between content and container. We are all at times lured by the sizzle, so greatly that we forget it’s almost of no value at all.  And children  fall for it all more, perhaps because of the way society targets them, and because of their natural ingenuousness. This morning, Ariane was going on and on about her best friend’s school bag. She described it in intricate detail. She said it had pictures of Barbie all over the back, and pink fluffy felt on the sides, and a handle made from real pink leather. At first I tried to tell her that the bag was nothing more than that, a bag… but she didn’t want to hear. So I  said I would tell her story to explain what I meant. This is the story, The Book of the Book…



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March 30, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl IV

Then an old man appeared, in a rough woollen robe, and with a stick in his hand, upon which he leant heavily.

“Greetings my son,” said the old man. “What brings you to this place?”
“Some time ago I came here in rags,” said Hassan, and was fortunate  enough to be given the meat from its bowl by this dog here. When I left I took the bowl, sold it, and replenished my fortunes, and now I have come to repay the debt, and returned his bowl.”
“All those times are gone,” said the old man, “the vanity and pomp which was once my court has vanished.”
Hassan now saw that this was indeed the generous king whom he had seen feeding the poor and needy in the great palace long ago.
“Your Majesty,” said he, “please take this bowl which I have brought.”
“No,” said the old king, “I had no need for anything, except that which I have here. My hounds catch me game from my one daily meal, and my old gardener has remained with me and continues to grow some roses and vegetables for me. Together, he, I, and the hounds managed to enjoy our lives. After my enemies destroyed my city and my people were taken away in slavery, I have lived very simply here.”
“But, the bowl,”  said Hassan, “May I not leave it to your Majesty?
  “If a dog of mine thought it fit to give away his bowl,” said the King, “it is not for me to take it back. I am sure that he has no need of it now. Oh, return from whence you came, we are sufficiently provided for at the present time.”
So, bowing to the king, Hassan mounted his horse and rode away. He looked back, and saw the old man, leaning upon his stick, wavered last farewell, and then disappear back into the ruins, with his three hounds about him.
 And Hassan, in after days, often told the story, that men should not forget the tale of the King the Dog and the Golden bowl.



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March 29, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl III

By clever buying and selling, he soon had enough merchandise to take back to his native town, where his friends greeted him with much joy.

His luck soon changed, and Hassan became a successful trader once again, and before long he was once as rich as he had ever been. 
 Some years later, he felt the urge to return to the town where he had been shown such kindness by the dog. He made up his mind to replace the golden bowl which he taken away at the insistence of the dog.
Within a few days, a replica of the bowl was ready, and Hassan climbed onto his best horse with flowing robes and boots finest leather, set off
 At last he arrived and once more saw the old walls which were built around the city. But, upon writing inside the gates, he saw with amazement that the glory of the palace was no more. It lay wide open to the sky, roofless and ruined, its beautiful pillars broken as if destroyed by Mongol hordes.
The wrecked houses were silent and empty, the shops where rich and contented merchants had been, were sacked and smashed, their merchandise looted.
Sorrowfully, Hassan was mounting his horse to ride away, when a great hound darted out of the palace ruins and was followed by two others. Hassan recognized them as the dogs which had been brought by the attendant to feed from the golden bowls when he was a beggar in that very same place.


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March 28, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl, II

There was a great concourse of people, young and old, being given food and money by the generous monarch, who sat upon a great golden throne in the middle of the lofty hall.

Suddenly from his hiding place, Hassan saw three great hounds being brought to space a few feet away from him; and an attendant placed to three bowls of finest meat before each of the dogs. The man then went away, and Hassan found his eyes fixed upon the delicious meat which had been given to the dogs. As he was thinking that he could with joy feed from even the leftovers in the animals’ bowls, so great was his hunger, the dog nearest to him raised his eyes. Looking at him in an almost human fashion he pushed his jewelled  golden bowl towards Hassan. The famished man, unable to wait a second longer, helped himself to one of the pieces of succulent meat, and pushed the bowl back to the dog. But, with its paw, the animal again pushed it over to Hassan, until he had eaten to his heart’s content. Then the intelligent creature ate, and after it had licked the bowl clean, it pushed it back to Hassan. The man saw it was offering him the bowl, and so he took it in his hands and then hid the precious object under his tattered cloak. When he had done so, the animal seem to nod his head in agreement.
Hassan realised that if he sold the bowl, and bought himself new clothes, he would at least have a chance to approach a merchant to do some sort of work.
He patted the hound gratefully on the head, and slipped away from the crowd. Next day he sold the bowl, which, being studded with precious jewels, brought him in such a good price, but he was able to set himself up in business once again.


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