The problem and its cause

By Paulo Coelho

One of the monks of Sceta said to Abbot Mateus:
 
‘My tongue is always causing me problems. When I am amongst the faithful, I just can’t control myself and I end up condemning their wrong actions.’
 
The old abbot said to the distraught monk:
 
‘If you really don’t think you are capable of controlling yourself, then leave teaching and go back to the desert. But don’t delude yourself: choosing solitude as an escape from a problem is always a proof of weakness.’
 
‘What should I do then?’
 
‘Admit that you have some faults in order to avoid any pernicious feelings of superiority. And do your best to get things right when you can.’

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Comments

  1. My tounge causes me problems too. When I feel love and am alone I feel strong and brave but when I try to tell my love my tounge makes it weak and begging and how much I try I can´t say it clear enough.

    Saying it has become a need for me. It is as if it carries a cure in itself, it doesn't have to be answered, just tolerated.

    I return to the silence where solitude is a healer. Yes, the solitude can be an escape from noise and distraction and the noise can be an escape from silence and solitude.

    Trying to get things right when I can, is that not what I am working on?
    yes, but not diligently enough.

    The controlling of the self is hard, the hardest part I believe
    when will I ever learn, when will I ever learn

  2. Margie says:

    “choosing solitude as an escape from a problem is always a proof of weakness.”

    It never really dawned on me that by immensing myself in my solitude, which I did every now and then for a while, is a sign of weakness.

    I always tought that as long as I do no harm, then it’s OK. But then again, I was wrong. Many times, I’ve put myself in solitary confinement just because I was too scared to open up to the world.

    That line slapped me hard.

    Thanks, I needed that.

    Margie

  3. Yajna says:

    Dear paulo

    Yet again you’ve written a beautiful, simple story with incredible meaning. The truth is, i have many questions, to ask you, for i feel the need for a little guidance in this world. I know that you are a busy man who is widely loved, but i thought by some miracle, you’d possibly email me. Besides the fact that it would mean the world to me, i think that i really do need someone of your stature for an opinion. I do love you tons :) so please do, contact me at the disclosed address (the one not published.)

    do take care,
    yaj

  4. Luv_ says:

    Dearest paulo,

    Today’s story has truely put the situation i am in, into words. The boy i love, has gone into solitude, due to many reasons, mainly because the world has been really harsh on him, and no matter how much we believed, his dream seems nothing but a dream. Truthfully, as much as going into solitude is weak, sometimes the world’s too tough on people, and many run away, run to their own worlds, because they do not have the strength to stand up again and risk the chance of failing to get things right.. To just try. In my situation, i can only pray that my boy finds his way, that somehow in his solitude, he finds some courage again.. To Try to get things right when he can.. To go for his dream, but i don’t know. My boy is happy with solitude, detached from everything, even his dreams, and i fear he’l never come back to me..The way that we were..Because you see, i love this boy.. And i know who he is and what he is capable of.. And i hope that you and anyone else that reads this will pray with me too. That my boy will remember his dream, he remembers me, and will have some courage to try, even if it means that he does it in solitude. Because one day, he may wake up, and regret having been so weak.

    Thank you for being.
    *Luv_

  5. Luz Toledo says:

    Es indudable cómo el ser no puede contra su naturaleza de buscar la perfección y aún así nunca la alcanza.
    Es maravillosa la mente humana, cómo juega a engañar al alma. Serán pocos aquellos que consigan el balance entre ellas, la colaboración que permita abrir las compuertas de la fuerza mental/espiritual para hacernos alcanzar la punta del manto sagrado, algo de divinidad. Erramos camino? No lo creo. Es solo nuestra naturaleza semi divina lo que no nos permite ir más allá del “semi”.

  6. Ellinor Aspeflo says:

    The truth lies within us. We all have an inner voice, a voice that tells us what is right and what is wrong. But sometimes, this voice is hard for us to hear, and to listen to. That is the times we choose to see other things, in this story the monk blame his tongue. Have the courage to listen to your inner voice, it will help you make the right decision.

  7. My tounge causes me problems too. When I feel love and am alone I feel strong and brave but when I try to tell my love my tounge makes it weak and begging and how much I try I can´t say it clear enough.

    Saying it has become a need for me. It is as if it carries a cure in itself, it doesn’t have to be answered, just tolerated.

    I return to the silence where solitude is a healer. Yes, the solitude can be an escape from noise and distraction and the noise can be an escape from silence and solitude.

    Trying to get things right when I can, is that not what I am working on?
    yes, but not diligently enough.

    The controlling of the self is hard, the hardest part I believe
    when will I ever learn, when will I ever learn

  8. fLUXman says:

    wise were the abbots words,
    wise are our paulos words,
    to err is human,
    is it time to shrug away?
    our robotic coats that we carry,
    a time to feel , mother oh mother,
    you’ve carried us in your bosom ,
    have we reached mental maturity ?
    time to dwell, time to blossom,
    find our true part in this organism,
    before itz too late , forever ,
    bo0om
    fLUXman

  9. I think it is funny how the easier it is for one to accept the faults and weaknesses they hold within themselves. The easier it is for them to accept the faults and weaknesses within those around them. As I always say. A little sin keeps you pure and a lot of sin will eventually make you a Saint; somewhere down the road.

    B.B Mystic