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The Mulla Nasrudin is a popular folk figure from Central Asia and the Middle East. Though the stories are funny and can just be read as jokes, Sufis say there is hidden meaning in each one. Like Zen Koans they can illustrate patterns of thought or errors of reasoning. There is a tradition that a sage put a spell on Nasrudin when he was a child as follows:

" From now, however wise you become, people will always laugh at you. From now, whenever one Nasrudin tale is told, people will feel compelled to tell them until at least seven have been recited."

The tales can become very addictive. Here is a selection, taken from "The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin" by Idries Shah: