New Books, on Being-Time and Sufi Letters

• We are very happy to announce the publication of the first titles of our Words of Wisdom Series, two sister volumes of lectures by Martin Lings: Enduring Utterance: Collected Lectures (1993–2001) and To Take Upon Us the Mystery of Things: The Shakespeare Lectures. Follow the title links for downloadable excerpts. These books can be ordered from any bookshop around the corner and also from all major online bookshops.

• New to our shelves this week: a brief excerpt from Zen master Dogen on Being Time (uji), one of the most challenging sections from the Shobogenzo, the “Mount Everest of Japanese Buddhism”.

These passages ought not to be read as abstract metaphysic. Dogen is not speculating about the character of time and being, but is speaking out of his deepest experience of that reality. “You must cease concerning yourself with the dialectics of Buddhism and in­stead learn how to look into your own mind in seclusion.”

• And a selection of Letters by the Sufi Shaykh al-‘Arabi al-Darqawi (1760–1823), as translated by Titus Burckhardt.

What a sorry creature, this son of Adam, who effaces the Cosmos until not a trace of it remains and whom the Cosmos in its turn will obliterate until not a trace of him remains, save a faint odour which in a little while fades away altogether.

Forthcoming events: A final reminder for next Monday’s Temenos lecture at the Lincoln Centre, our Thursday Cambridge lecture for RE teachers, and our weekend of seminars with Harry Oldmeadow. Click here for details and to register.