Dervish Diary

Two Weeks in a Sufi Monastery in Istanbul


Carl Vett


Testimony of an almost forgotten time

The rediscovery of this book in which the author, the Danish publicist and anthroposophist Carl Vett, is telling of a forgotten time is a lucky coincidence.

“In 1925 I was in Constantinople, and was, so it was generally said, the first non-Mohammedan to be allowed to live for a time as a dervish in a Sufi monastery … Many years of study had made me familiar with the phenomena of psychic research, and I wanted to observe at first hand the ecstatic states attained by the dervishes in their way of initiation — for the dervish orders of Islam are schools of initiation.

Before and during my stay with the dervishes I kept a diary. It was not intended for special publication, but in view of the execution of twenty-nine men, most of whom were sheiks or members of the Naqshbandi order … it has seemed that these experiences might be of more general interest; and so I have decided to offer them to the public.”  (From the author’s foreword)

Even now, more than 70 years after its initial publication, this book is a valuable read for anybody interested in the Islamic aspect of the mystical heritage of mankind.

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