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Sufism And The Way Of Blame

Hidden Sources of a Sacred Psychology
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Paperback Book
April, 2011
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This is a definitive book on the Sufi “way of blame” that addresses the cultural life of Sufism in its entirety. Originating in 9th century Persia, the “way of blame” (Arab. malamatiyya) is a little-known tradition within larger Sufism that focused on the psychology of egoism and engaged in self-critique. Later, the term referred to those Sufis who shunned Islamic literalism and formalism, thus being worthy of “blame.” Yannis Toussulis may be the first to explore the relation between this controversial movement and the larger tradition of Sufism, as well as between Sufism and Islam generally, throughout history to the present. Both a Western professor of the psychology of religion and a Sufi practitioner, Toussulis has studied malamatiyya for over a decade.

Explaining Sufism as a lifelong practice to become a “perfect mirror in which God contemplates Himself,” he draws on and critiques contemporary interpretations by G.I. Gurdjieff, J.G. Bennett, and Idries Shah, as well as Frithjof Schuon, Martin Lings, and Seyyed Hossein Nasr. He also contributes personal research conducted with one of the last living representatives of the way of blame in Turkey today, Mehmet Selim Ozic.

Closing chapters present the stages of spiritual development unique to this little-known path that has been largely inaccessible until now.

“…in-depth scholarly research… highly insightful and critical… priceless information… a must-read.” —Robert Frager, co-author of Essential Sufism

 “Cuts through many of the myths… a previously inaccessible understanding… you will benefit from reading this book." —Jay Kinney, co-author of Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions

“A critical assessment of the history, context, and spiritual significance of one of the most important yet hidden traditions within Islamic mysticism… (the “way of blame”) cuts to the bone, and points to what a mature spirituality could be.” —Kabir Helminski, author of Living Presence


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