“Though books were potentially harmful, novels were all the moredangerous. The path of fiction could easily mislead you into the cosmos ofstories where everything was fluid, quixotic, and as open to surprises as amoonless night in the desert. Before you knew it you could be so carried awaythat you could lose touch with reality—that stringent and stolid truth fromwhich no minority should ever veer too far from in order not to end upunguarded when the winds shifted and bad times arrived. It didn’t help to be sonaïve to think things wouldn’t get bad, for they always did. Imagination was adangerously captivating magic for those compelled to be realistic in life, andwords could be poisonous for those destined always to be silenced.”

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“On the Sufi path, first you discover the art of being alone amid the crowd. Next you discover the crowd within your solitude – the voices inside you.”