Other Articles by Chris Walsh

No Paradigm

This article displays something about Chris Walsh's attitude to psychotherapy.

Therapeutic Alliance

The Therapeutic Alliance with Those Having Both Substance Abuse & Major Mental Illness.

Mindfulness In Individual Cognitive Therapy

Taking advantage of the recent acceptance of mindfulness meditation by cognitive therapists, Chris presented this paper to the 28th National Conference for the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy in April 2005.

Chris's Mindfulness Site

Carmen's Dream

A case study integrating contellation work with ongoing therapy.


Bert Hellinger

Constellations for Organisations

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Comic Teaching Tales of Mulla Nasrudin

Stories of Mulla Nasrudin or Juha have been swapped among family and friends for centuries throughout the world. In just about every part of the word, children and adults alike have relished his stories. But how would one describe Mulla Nasrudin? He has been compared to Simple Simon. His stories can be described as comic tales usually with a hidden meaning or moral lesson.

Mulla Nasrudin's stories have touched cultures around the world. Stories by the comic sage can be found in Arabic and Islamic literature. In different parts of the world he is either known as Mulla Nasrudin or Juha. Arabs known him as Juha; the Turks as Nasreddin Hoca; and elsewhere as Mulla Nasrudin. The big mystery about Mulla Nasrudin is that no one really knows where he originated but so many cultures are all too eager to claim him as their own.

Some of the ways cultures have honored him have been equally amusing and curious. Under the Soviet Union he was considered a "people's hero"; the Turks honor him in an annual festival; the Greeks and Sicilians include him in their folklore; and many other traditions can be found throughout the world. Mulla Nasrudin is loved throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Greece, Italy, Russia, France, China, Pakistan and many other parts of the world, even the United States.

The late Afghan writer Idries Shah captured his stories in three volumes -- The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin, The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin, and The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin - and compiled hundreds of his stories. Shah has described the stories as, "perfectly designed models for isolating and holding distortions of the mind which so often pass for reasonable behavior."

Sufis use the mulla's stories as teaching exercises. In his book The Sufis, Shah writes, "The Nasrudin stories, known throughout the Middle East, constitute one of the strangest achievements in the history of metaphysics. Superficially, most of the Nasrudin stories may be used as jokes. They are told and retold endlessly in the teahouses and caravanserais, in the homes and on the radio waves, of Asia. But it is inherent in the Nasrudin story that it may be understood at any of many depths. There is the joke, the moral - and the little extra which brings the consciousness of the potential mystic a little further on the way to realization."

From The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin:

Nasrudin was being interviewed for employment in a department store.
The personnel manager said: 'We like ambitious men here. What sort of a job are you after?' 'All right,' said Nasrudin, 'I'll have your job.' 'Are you mad?'
'I may well be,' said the Mulla, 'but is that a necessary qualification?'
Moral: Ambition is all right, providing that you don't get in the other fellow's way.

A guide was taking a party round the British Museum. 'This sarcophagus is five thousand years old.' A bearded figure with a turban stepped forward.
'You are mistaken,' said Nasrudin, 'for it is five thousand and three years old.'
Everyone was impressed, and the guide was not pleased. They passed into another room.
'This vase', said the guide, 'is two thousand five hundred years old.'
'Two thousand five hundred and three,' intoned Nasrudin. 'Now look here,' said the guide, 'how can you date things so precisely ? I don't care if you do come from the East, people just don't know things like that.'
'Simple,' said Nasrudin. 'I was last here three years ago. That time you said the vase was two thousand five hundred years old.'
Moral: It's later than you think.

Something frightened Mulla Nasrudin as he was walking down a road. He threw himself into a ditch and then began to think that he had been frightened to death.
After a time he became very cold and hungry. He walked home and told his wife the sad news, and went back to his ditch.
His wife, sobbing bitterly, went to the neighbours for comfort. 'My husband is dead, lying in a ditch.'
'How do you know?'
'There was nobody to see him, so he had to come and tell me himself, poor dear.'

Mulla Nasrudin was walking through the streets at midnight. The watchman asked:
'What are you doing out so late, Mulla?'
'My sleep has disappeared and I am looking for it.'


A certain man asked the famous Mulla Nasrudin, "What is the meaning of fate, Mulla?"
Mulla replied, "Assumptions."
"In what way?" the man asked again.
Mulla looked at him and said, "You assume things are going to go well, and they don't - that you call bad luck. You assume things are going to go badly and they don't - that you call good luck. You assume that certain things are going to happen or not happen - and you so lack intuition that you don't know what is going to happen. You assume that the future is unknown. When you are caught out - you call that Fate."