Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review Wednesday: The Sun at Midnight

Title: The Sun at Midnight
Author: Laurence Galian
Content: Over 700 pages of Sufi Goodness!

"The Sun at Midnight" is by far my favorite Sufi book. Keep in mind, it is not really a book about Sufism. It is a Sufi Book. If a book could be a Dervish, you can bet your tasbih that this one would be whirling and wandering.

There are equal parts Sufi history (from what seems a Shiite perspective), Sufi practices at the end of every chapter, and Sufi philosophy. The history gets a bit much at times for me, but it is always engaging and passionate. Which says a lot for history.

The seeds of Sufi thought were planted in America at the turn of the last century. The Sun at Midnight is one of the most lovely flowers of that plant to grow on this soil. Not overtly magical, it is highly mystical and gives exercises at the end of just about every chapter. We have Theory, History, and Practice which form a decent enough tripod, but even better than a tripod is a throne. To get that you need a communication of essence.

There is a running narrative piece through the whole book in little storylets about a man severely down on his luck who gets visited by Al Khidir and taken on a strange and very trippy adventure. They even go to Starwood! This is the final part, this is an example of the essence of Sufism. This turns the tripod into a throne.

Many books can teach you about Sufism. This is the only book that I have ever read to give you a real experience of Sufism. It's a subtle experience. It's the smell of roses that leads you to the garden.

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