Sunday, August 5, 2018

‘Book club: The Sufis’

Idries Shah
“Freemasonry has been upheld by distinguished people in many countries, reviled and persecuted, linked with politics, reduced to the relative informality of staid businessmen’s frolics, penetrated by Rosicrucianism, attacked as a Jewish imposture by the Nazis. It would not be seemly for a Freemason to engage upon a public portrayal of any part of the craft’s symbolism or beliefs—indeed it is more than probable that a member would be under an oath of secrecy whereby he must preserve every part of the brotherhood’s workings from all who are not initiated. The source of material purporting to be Masonic for the nonmember, therefore, is bound to be fairly one-sided-the inner workings of Masonry provided by renegades and probably by opponents of the craft.

“When a study is made of all available literature purporting to contain Masonic secrets, certain definite outlines appear, which might justifiably be considered to form a reasonable amount of true information, on the no-smoke-without-fire principle. Be that as it may, what interests the Sufi is the fact that, out of the material which claims to be partially or wholly Masonic, a very great deal is at once seen to concur with matters of everyday Sufi initiatory practice. Either Freemasonry is, as Burton claimed, derived from the Sufis, or else the substance of the frequent and plentiful exposes, which may not be of Freemasonry at all, are in fact exposures of a Sufic cult other than Freemasonry. For the purposes of this study we shall approach this exciting part of the inquiry from the only perspective open to us. Parallels will be sought between what the exposers claim to be Freemasonry, and what we know of Sufic schools.”

Idries Shah
The Sufis
pp. 205-6

Having failed to arouse much interest in a book club for my lodge, I’m delighted to share news of the Fourth Manhattan District’s Book Club.

Next meeting: Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 1615 of Masonic Hall. (Photo ID required to enter the building.)

The group selected The Sufis by Idries Shah for this meeting. Buy your copy, read, and bring to the meeting.

RSVP here.

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