A Sufi Story

Once upon a time, there was a young boy who liked nothing better than to bang on a drum. He would joyfully bang it all day long, no matter how much the noise irritated those around him. No matter what his parents tried, he would not stop, and in desperation they turned to learned men who called themselves Sufis.

The First alleged Sufi tried reasoning with the boy, arguing that so much drumming would damage his eardrums. The second professed that drums were sacred instruments and should only be beaten on special occassions. The third distributed earplugs. The fourth tried to distract the boy with books. The fifth offered to teach the boy’s parents and neighbors how to live with the noise. The sixth introduced the boy to meditation and claimed that the drum was merely a figment of his imagination. But none of these men were true Sufis and none of the remedies worked.

Finally, a real Sufi arrived. He took stock of the situation, sat next to the boy and handed him a hammer and chisel. i wonder what is inside the drum, the Sufi said. — Nick Sagan, Edenborn

The principle of humorous play

‘There is no joy in my life,’ said the pilgrim. ‘Show me how I may find happiness.’ The master smiled, and laughed and laughed and laughed, and then he laughed some more. — Zen Therapy


The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General at the Expense of the Particular, quoth FRATER PERDURABO, and laughed.
But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the Universal Sorrow.
Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.
Below these certain laughed.
Others next wept.
Others next laughed.
Next others wept.
Next others laughed.
Last came those that wept because they could not see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought it safe to act like FRATER PERDURABO.
But though FRATER PERDURABO laughed openly, He also at the same time wept secretly; and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept.
Nor did He mean what He said. — Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies