The Commanding Self, in Sufic terminology, is that mixture of the primitive and conditioned responses, common to everyone, which inhibits and distorts human progress and understanding.
This book was described by Shah as the key to understanding his entire corpus of work. While complete in itself as an anthology of hitherto unpublished work, it serves to illustrate and amplify Idries Shah’s preceding books on the Sufi Way.
In its introduction, he writes, ‘Thousands of books and monographs have been written on Sufism and the Sufis, almost all of them from the point of view of other ways of thinking.
The result has been chaos in the literature, and confusion in the reader. Over the centuries, some of the world’s most eminent scholars have fallen into the trap of trying to examine, access or consider the Sufi phenomenon through a set of culture-bound preconceptions.’