Re: virus: Belief and Knowledge

Peter Charlot (
Mon, 7 Jul 1997 16:48:48 -1000

Wade Wrote:
>But, saying that mysticism is in any way an approach that memetics should
be taking... well, I ain't convinced.

Hey, have a micro-surgery on me...

"Ajmal Hussein and The Scholars"

Sufi Ajmal Hussein was constantly being criticised by scholars, who feared
that his repute might outshine their own. They spared no efforts to cast
doubts upon his knowledge, to accuse him of taking refuge from their
criticisms in mysticism, and even to imply that he had been guilty of
discreditable practices.
At length he said:
'If I answer my critics, they make it the opportunity to bring fresh
accusation against me, which people believe because it amuses them to
believe such things. If I do not answer them they crow and preen themselves,
and people believe that they are real scholars. They imagine that we Sufis
oppose scholarship. We do not. But our very existence is a threat to the
pretended scholarship of tiny noisy ones. Scholarship long since
disappeared. What we have to face now is sham scholarship.'
The scholars shrilled more loudly than ever. At last Ajmal said:
'Argument is not as effective as demonstration. I shall give you an insight
into what these people are like.'
He invited 'qustion papers' from the scholars, to allow them to test his
knowledge and ideas. Fifty different professors and academicians sent
quesitionnaires to him. Ajmal answered them all differently. When the
scholars met to discuss these papers, at a conference, there were so many
versions of what he believed, that each one thought that he had exposed
Ajmal, and refused to give up his thesis in favour of any other. The result
was the celbrated 'brawling of the scholars'. For five days they attacked
each other bitterly.
'This,' said Ajmal, 'is a demonstration. What matters to each one most is
his own opinion and his own interpretation.' They care nothig for truth.
This is what they do with everyone's teachings. When he is alive, they
torment him. When he dies they become experts on his works. The real
motive of the activity, however, is to vie with one another and to opose
anyone outside their own ranks. Do you want to become one of them? Make a
choice soon.

>From 'Wisdom of The Idiots
by Idries Shah


Peter Charlot <> Volcano Village, Hawaii