Persian Voices: The Tale of the Sands

My destiny is to cross the desert.

The Wind crosses the desert and so can you.

But whenever I try, I am absorbed into the sand; and even if I dash myself across, I can only go a little distance.

The Wind does not dash itself… Allow yourself to be absorbed by the Wind… Today you call yourself such and such a river only because you do not know which part of it is even now your essence.

Sufi poem


The Tale of the Sands, The Sufis Idries Shah. Introduction by Robert Graves. Page 292 and 293


Editor’s Note: Sufism is a branch of Islam which shares a relationship to the practice of alchemy or chemistry in the west. In Iran, the Sufis played a role in bringing about the first shia Islamic State in the form of the Safavid Dynasty in 1501 by Shah Ismail who was the head of a Sufi order, and later the revival of Sufism factored in the founding of the constitutional monarchy in 1906. Sufism also uses the discipline of dance as a form of spiritual conquest.