As soon as possible this teacher [should dismiss] the disciple, who becomes his own man of wisdom, and then he continues his self-work.

False masters in Sufism, as everywhere else, have not been few. So the Sufis are left with the strange situation that whereas the false teacher may appear to be genuine (because he takes pains to appear what the disciple wants him to be), the true Sufi is often not like what the undiscriminating and untrained Seeker thinks a Sufi should be like.

... The false teacher will pay great attention to appearance, and will know how to make the Seeker think that he is a great man, that he understands him, that he has great secrets to reveal.

... Sufism is something that happens to a person, not something which is given to him. The false teacher will keep his followers around him all the time, will not tell them that they are being given a training which must end as soon as possible, [and will not give them the opportunity to] taste their development themselves and carry on as fulfilled people.

Idries Shah, The Sufis

page 138

Enter site...