The Razor’s Edge, Sufi Wisdom, And The Lord Of The Flies

The following is a compilation of three brief book reviews.

The Razor’s Edge

ISBN: 1907590102

The Razor’s Edge is a Great Gatsy-esque story of high society characters and their path in life after the Great Depression. It focuses on Larry, who has returned from the First World War scarred by what he has seen. He has passed on the pursuit of wealth and career unlike his friends and chose to seek out enlightenment through reading and travel.

Most of the book features annoying rich people who care immensely about what others think of them. They place more stock in their social climbing than experiences, only to find out that their “friends” are temporary.

I think I could probably arrange a liaison for him with an older woman. It would form him. I always think there’s no better education for a young man than to become the lover of a woman of a certain age and of course if she is the sort of person I have in view, a femme du monde…


Marriage is a serious matter on which rest the security of the family and the stability of the state. But marriage can only maintain its authority if extraconjugal relations are not only tolerated but sanctioned.


it’s not the first time she goes to bed with him that counts, it’s the second. If she holds him then she holds him for good.”


Almost all the people who’ve had most effect on me I seem to have met by chance, yet looking back it seems as though I couldn’t but have met them. It’s as if they were waiting there to be called upon when I needed them.

Larry’s search takes him to India, where he studies Eastern philosophy (this may seem like a cliche today but the book was written in 1944, before the trend began). He commits to nothing and perplexes his friends about his true intentions while they face their own ups and downs.

At the end of the book, Larry shares everything he has learned in a long monologue about god and reincarnation. The payoff didn’t quite make it for me.

Read More: “The Razor’s Edge” on Amazon

The Way Of The Sufi

ISBN: 0140192522

The best way to describe Sufi is ancient Islamic wisdom. This little book contains anecdotes and quotes from Sufi masters. The bits are rather fragmented and difficult to read, with no all-encompassing set of rules like you would encounter in Buddhism or Stoicism. Here are the highlights:

None attains the degree of truth until a thousand honest people have testified that he is a heretic.


The honour of man is his learning. Wise people are torches lighting the path of truth. In knowledge lies man’s opportunity for immortality. While man may die, wisdom lives eternally.


Kings rule men, wise men rule kings.


Man, you enter the world reluctantly, crying, as a forlorn babe;
Man, you leave this life, deprived again, crying again, with regret.
Therefore live this life in such a way that none of it is really wasted.
You have to become accustomed to it after not having been accustomed to it.
When you have become accustomed to it, you will have to become used to being without it.
Meditate upon this contention.
Die, therefore, ‘before you die’, in the words of the Purified One. Complete the circle before it is completed for you.


A donkey stabled in a library does not become literate.


If he is your teacher, he will make you benefit from his luminescence, whether you know it at the time or not.
When you meet him, he will act upon you, whether you know it or not.
What he says or does may seem inconsistent or even incomprehensible to you. But it has its meaning. He does not live entirely in your world.
His intuition is that of the rightly guided, and he always works in accordance with the Right Way.
He may discomfort you. That will be intended and necessary.

Overall, the writing here was obtuse and difficult to grasp. For this style of ancient wisdom, I think zen would be a better starting point.

Read More: “The Way Of The Sufi” on Amazon

Lord Of The Flies

ISBN: 0399501487

A group of school children end up deserted on an island with no adults. They elect a leader named Ralph who directs construction of shelters and maintenance of a signal fire. Another boy, Jack, begins ignoring him to hunt with his pack of followers. Jack’s success in hunting causes Ralph to lose power. Tribalism takes hold.

It’s said that the book serves as a metaphor of civilization, with reason on one end represented by Ralph and primalism on the other represented by Jack. Ralph’s insistence on logic and doing the right thing was not serving the primal needs of the boys, so they gravitated towards Jack’s leadership as time went on. Modern society offers a balance between these two extremes, or at least it’s supposed to, but in the book we see a total degeneration of the boys into an animalism that leads to group murder despite the boys’ proper upbringing.

“I got this to say. You’re acting like a crowd of kids.”

The booing rose and died again as Piggy lifted the white, magic shell.

“Which is better— to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?”

A great clamor rose among the savages. Piggy shouted again.

“Which is better— to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?”

Again the clamor and again—“ Zup!”

Ralph shouted against the noise.

“Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?”

The writing can be choppy at times, but it was a quick and enjoyable read. I believe you can learn more about group psychology and leadership from this book than any academic text.

Read More: “Lord Of The Flies” on Amazon

41 thoughts on “The Razor’s Edge, Sufi Wisdom, And The Lord Of The Flies”

  1. “A donkey stabled in a library does not become literate”
    Applies well to RoK’s female visitors / commentators does it not?

  2. The much maligned Bill Murray movie version of The Razor’s Edge is likely to appeal more to most people than the book and its highly stylized literary form. It quite rightly skips most of the end monologue, given the difference of the medium, and elicits an emotional response, rather than delivering a lecture, also showing for the first time that Murray could be taken seriously as a real actor.
    It’s actually one of my personal favorite movie scenes. Give it a try.
    ” . . .no all-encompassing set of rules like you would encounter in Buddhism . . .”
    It stands on the foundation of the Koran and thus presupposes it. That’s where the rules are.
    In Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, a collection of koans, you will find no rules either.
    And, of course, the Buddhist precepts are called precepts because they are not intended to be an all encompassing set of rules. They are a set of behavioural guidelines undertaken voluntarily by students who have yet to develop sufficient personal wisdom to understand the limitations of rules.
    There is no damnation for violating them.

    1. ya makes it seem like the dharmic religons are about doing whatever you feel like it without guilt. hence why alot if liberal western wimmin are drawn to it.the abrahamic ones tend to involve structure irder an discipline and rules to livin life..which should speak out to conservative men to be successful.
      dharmic makes u lazy but content
      abrahamic makes u achieve but tired

      1. “ya makes it seem like the dharmic religons are about doing whatever you feel like it without guilt.”
        By acknowledging that those without wisdom require the guidance of behavioural strictures?

        1. @DHarma
          true dat…west ruins alot of things they get a hold of. they take it make it theirs and run with it.
          I know what youre getting at. But going against the grain can ruin gendar roles,values and culture. It can promote going against the norm. Such as feminsim,eat pray love,promotion of gender neutrality or being gay and individualism(being the best you instead of being the best).
          We are no longer hunters and gathers, now a set of values have to bind us together in order for us to exist..Now women choose to satisfy their egos by working in an office or partying and being slutty instead of producing kids like back in the day. Now we are going through population aging. Women have been given choice for 60yrs and already have done irreversible damage to demographics.Soon there will be more nursing homes then daycares( like japan)..Responsilbilty and duty have higher proerity then feelings(like a masculine man) not the other way around(like woman).
          comparing western abramic religion vs eastern dharmic religion seems like the stereotypical conservative father and liberal mother. Moms love, you will always have cause youre special no matter what you do(dharmaic). But the abramic religion is basically earning dads respect which expects you to achieve and punishes you when you fail(major self improvements)

        2. A rather superficial view of Dharmic religions. I would suggest reading the Mahabharat, particularly Krishna’s discourse on the battlefield of Kurukshetra which forms the Bhagavad Gita. It is about taking responsibility and just war. Of overcoming th fear of death and other negative consequences in order to do the right thing. Krishna also criticises the diet and lifestyle that can make a man soft.
          The Mahabharat contains more bloodshed than the Bible and Quran combined and the themes of duty and honour are explored in detail.
          As someone who grew up with Dharmic cultural views, the New Testament always seemed more gentle and compassionate. Phrases like “God loves you” and “Jesus loves you” always made me uncomfortable. However, I assume that Christianity has been just as distorted by some in modern times (in PC blue-pill kind of way) as Dharmic religions have been. The desire of some gurus to earn foreign currency and have young western women in their thrall can lead to that.

        3. “But going against the grain can ruin gendar roles,values and culture. It
          can promote going against the norm. Such as feminsim,eat pray
          love,promotion of gender neutrality or being gay and individualism(being
          the best you instead of being the best).”
          Eat Pray Love exposed mainstream American audiences to superficial presentation of Dharma and a Dharmic culture (India) but it boosted tourism to India thereby presenting that same audience with an oppurtunity to go beyond Hollywood’s superficiality and learn amongst genuine Dharmis and practice real Dharma.
          This idea that hordes of women were filing out of theatres plotting their next divorce after seeing the film is wrong. They filed out with an interest sparked in yoga, meditation, dharmic culture and India.
          There was not a spike in divorce rates following the release, but there was a spike in yoga class attendance and India tourism.
          Here’s the website of a Western woman who went to India, lived there for some time, and then married, settled down and is very happily assimilating to India’s conservative culture and family values.

        4. “Moms love, you will always have cause youre special no matter what you do(dharmaic). But the abramic religion is basically earning dads respect which expects
          you to achieve and punishes you when you fail(major self improvements)”
          And yet people from dharmic cultures far surpass abrahamics in scholastic accomplishments, career achievements, wealth accumulation and family values.

        5. No, not only after they go west. India has some of the world’s wealthiest people and the fastest growing middle class. That’s why so many MNCs are based there and why Americans are flying there to work almost everyday and why many are ex patting;

      2. Don’t worry. While the West tends to water down and Disneyify the Dharmic religions (is there any sphere of life the West does not do this to?) I’ve found that these superficial introductions do Dharma often lead people to deeper research and genuine practices.

    1. Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and
      the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy
      One of fairly few literary quotations which has stuck with me. Lord of the Flies has some really incredible writing. Poetry in disguise.

      1. Nice one. The book can also be read as a psychological study in which the three main characters represent the three parts of the psyche (Jack representing the id, Ralph the ego, and Piggy the superego).

      2. Read it when I was about that age… got the darkness of man’s heart and Piggy’s death, but not the third (‘end of innocence”)– the little bastards were just acting normally for my money then.

      1. These children were socialized by adults. They were ultimately rescued from the island by a cruiser, indicating that the adults were embroiled in the same conflict they were- only on a much larger scale. Yet the adults had the temerity to be shocked their children were behaving…just like they were 🙂

  3. Lord of the Flies should be compulsory reading for everyone and put in the bedside draw of every hotel room… it’s better than the bible because it shows raw human nature…

      1. “It’s better than the current book put in the bedside drawer of every hotel room…”
        Fixed it for you.

    1. I like the bible as well especially the Old Testament because it shows the utter inhumanity and savagery that man can do to his fellow man in the name of a war god or simply out of lust, hatred and stupidity.

    2. If you like “Lord of the Flies” you should check out “The Tempest” by Shakespeare. That’s where the whole savage island idea came from.

    3. Lord of the Flies should be compulsory reading for anyone considering a career in public school education.

    4. @Ray Wolfson & criolle: It was compulsory reading in my English class in high school. I think that was in Grade 11.

  4. “Marriage is a serious matter on which rest the security of the family
    and the stability of the state. But marriage can only maintain its
    authority if extraconjugal relations are not only tolerated but
    And we are only now beginning to fully realize the breadth and scope of open marriage as a way to keep families intact. This couple is doing the lord’s work in spreading this wisdom to the ignorant monogamous masses;

  5. Idries Shah is fantastic. You have to read a lot of his stuff to really see what he’s getting at.
    And one can easily set aside the Islamic element of it – he’s dealing more with psychological and cognitive insights (as I read it anyway) than selling religion. Islam is merely a convenient host for what Sufism (per Shah) is actually about.

      1. If you’re not religious, or if you follow a religion other than Islam.
        My meaning is that it’s associated with Islam, but neither inextricably nor even very heavily. It’s akin to reading classical Greek or Roman literature or philosophy, in that you don’t have to accept the tenets of the writer’s own faith to gain useful insights.

        1. The assumption that a non-Muslim or non-religious person would not want to learn about Islam or any other religion is a ridiculous assumption. The more knowledge, the better.

  6. About the author of The Razor’s Edge:
    “But Maugham’s homosexuality or bisexuality is believed to have shaped
    his fiction in two ways. Since he tended to see attractive women as
    sexual rivals, he often gave his women characters sexual needs and
    appetites, in a way quite unusual for authors of his time.[citation needed] Liza of Lambeth, Cakes and Ale, Neil MacAdam and The Razor’s Edge,
    all featured women determined to feed their strong sexual appetites,
    heedless of the result. As Maugham’s sexual appetites were then
    officially disapproved of, or criminal, in nearly all of the countries
    in which he traveled, the author was unusually tolerant of the vices of
    others.[citation needed] Some readers and critics[who?]
    complained that Maugham did not condemn what was bad in the villains of
    his fiction and plays. Maugham replied: “It must be a fault in me that I
    am not gravely shocked at the sins of others unless they personally
    affect me.”[34]

  7. I’m glad Roosh took the trouble to read Indries Shah’s book. I understand and sympathize with his comments on the book here.
    It’s true that Shah, unfortunately, does not exactly put his best foot forward in presenting Sufism to a Western audience. He fails to put flesh on the bones of the quotations he presents, gives an inadequate description of Sufi communities, and has almost no background information on Islamic theology or Neoplatonism, an understanding of which is absolutely crucial for putting Sufism in context within the history of thought. These lapses are regrettable. And they detract from his book’s impact.
    But he may be forgiven in that the scope of the subject matter he was trying to deal with is immense. There is no one “Sufism”; there are, rather, the varied systems of different Sufi masters and philosophers. They do have a body of ideas in common, but in training their novices, they had to rely on parables and anecdotes as much as formal training in theology and eschatology.
    Despite its shortcomings, Shah’s book is still worth reading, as an enjoyable collection of aphorisms, epigrams, and anecdotes. It’s a good starting point for the ambitious reader who may want to explore Islamic mysticism further.

  8. Reform Judaism and the Christian Reformation shook both faiths to the core and forced radical rethinking and reshaping that allowed the two faiths to enter new eras of technology, economics and politics.
    The Way of the Sufi convinced me that Islam is 500-1000 years overdue for its own reformation movement. Opposition to such reformation could be the reason (one of many) for the incredible tension between the two value systems today.

    1. Islam cannot do it on its own.
      Islam is predicated on the belief that a man named Mohammed had God’s new holy text dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel.
      Any attempt to interpret the Koran, the Hadiths, or the Suras in any sense other than literal must therefor be heresy to Islam. And the Koran only has one penalty for heresy or apostasy, after the Medina period.
      The Sunnis and Shiites have been slaughtering each other for centuries over a post Mohammed dynastic dispute, but neither faith abandons the literal Koran. Sufism only survives by being deliberately obscure.
      Another error is that the notion that Christian Enlightenment was evolved by Christian religious believers. It wasn’t. It was forced on the clergy by secular rulers who had had enough of religious wars and violence.

  9. The Razors Edge is an excellent MGTOW movie. Both the old version with Tyrone Power and the new will Bill Murray are just as good as the other. In the end the message is Bro’s Before Ho’s.

  10. Question — Can Roosh set up an RSS feed for comments? It’d be very helpful for those of us who like to read when offline! Thanks!

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