An Introduction to Sufi Doctrine - Titus Burckhardt
Sufism - the esoteric or inward aspect of Islam - is capable of giving access to direct knowledge of the eternal. This book is an introduction to a study of the doctrines of Sufism, not from the viewpoint of pure scholarship, but with the purpose of contributing to the efforts of those who seek to understand those universal truths of which every sacred doctrine is an expression.
Possibly the only aspect of Sufism known to most westerners is the famous dance of the whirling dervishes. This book reveals that the dance is based on a saying of the prophet Muhammed, 'he who does not vibrate at remembrance of The Friend has no friend.' The first Sufis founded their dancing on the dances of Arab warriors. Later, Sufi orders in the East adapted certain techniques of hatha-yoga. Other Sufis derived inspiration from the popular dances and music of Asia Minor.
In Part One Titus Burckhardt defines the nature of Sufism and discussed it in relation to Christian mysticism (as exemplified by the Greek Fathers of the early Christian Church), and Hinduism. Part Two consists of an examination of the doctrinal foundations of Sufism, while in Part Three the author deals with spiritual realisation. This section commences with a dissertation on the three elements of 'operative' Sufism, and includes perceptive commentaries on rites, meditation and contemplation.
Readers previously unacquainted with the subject will find that Sufism embraces doctrine, initiation and spiritual method. Titus Burckhardt attempts to show the intellectual perspective of Sufism by making use of Sufism's own way of expressing things, but where necessary there are included whatever explanations that may be needed for the understanding by a European reader. The result is an eminently successful presentation of ancient Sufi mysteries to the western world.
Publisher: The Aquarian Press
Publication Date: 1981
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