Dr. Yannis Toussulis’ book is the first to detail the relationship between Sufism and the "Way of Blame" in all of its historical phases up to, and including, the present era. Dr. Toussoulis lays out the gradual development of both, western and eastern Sufism, as well as pinpointing the discrepancies between the two. If ever there were a definitive book on the cultural life of Sufism and its controversial relation to Islam this is it. The "Way of Blame" originally designated a group within larger Sufism that focused on the psychology of egoism and engaged in self-critique (Arabic malam, or "blame"). Later, the term most often referred to those Sufis who incurred blame by shunning Islamic literalism and formalism, thus becoming worthy of "blame." The spiritual path of Sufism itself, as explained, is a lifelong practice of study and mysticism in order to become "perfect mirror(s) in which God contemplates Himself." Sufism and the Way of Blame incorporates the work of preceding scholars and attempts to surpass them by bringing the study of Sufism up to date. Toussoulis makes extensive references to current interpretations of Sufism by G. I Gurdjieff, J.G. Bennett, and Idries Shah, as well as by scholars such as Frithjof Schuon, Martin Lings, and Seyyed Hossein Nasr (among others). The book incorporates earlier findings and Dr. Toussoulis’ personal research in tandem with a living representative of the Way of Blame in Turkey today, Mehmet Selim Ozich. This interdisciplinary work critically examines popular and scholarly conceptions about Sufism as a whole; then proceeds to examine the role that the "Way of Blame" played in the development of Sufism. And in its closing chapters, the book presents an up-to-date paradigm of psycho-spiritual development that is still being used today by classically oriented Sufis who practice a human-centered approach to spiritual transformation. Sufism and the Way of Blame is for anyone who seeks to become more culturally aware of Islam or its esoteric aspects.
Sufism and the Way of Blame: Hidden Sources of a Sacred Psychology
- Yannis Toussulis, Ph.D.