Encounter in Posto Seis

By Paulo Coelho

Father José Roberto from the Church of the Resurrection in Rio de Janeiro, was setting off early one morning when his car was stopped by three adolescents.
‘We’ve been up all night, Father,’ said one of them defiantly. ‘Guess where we’ve been.’
Like any other normal human being, José Roberto chose to say nothing. He could imagine what being up all night at their age was likely to involve and he shuddered at the risks the boys must have taken and thought how worried their parents would be.
The boy who had initiated the conversation finally answered his own question.
‘We were at the Church of Our Lady in Copacabana, praying to the Virgin. We left there on such a high that we walked all the way here [about 3 kilometres], singing, laughing and talking to everyone we met. At least one person said to us: “Aren’t you ashamed, boys of your age being drunk at this hour in the morning?”.’
Father José Roberto started his car and set off for his appointment. On the way, he said to himself over and over: ‘I let myself be taken in by appearances and I committed an injustice in my heart. When will we ever fully understand Jesus’ words: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured unto you”.’

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  1. Well..i guess lot of us commit this mistake a lot of times….me included:…..i guess it comes from our ego….
    btw…someone fell in love with me after reading your novel “11 minutes” …I had gifted him the novel….

  2. aditya says:

    are we being judgemental of actions of the boys ? the father ? or am i being judemental of actions of the wols here.

    one cacn’t escape taking decisions, frequently. life forces us to choose, even not choosing is a choice, choices can be made only basis our judgement; but as leaf and others said here, no need to brand the subject, the other person, no use ! if we feel like branding, those feelings are refelections of our own being in the mirror called existance.


  3. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo,

    i enjoyed this story. Its so often that we judge a book by its cover. Living in the world to day, and the manner in which we think, always trying to determine right from wrong, we have a tendency to judge others even if we try not to. Its true that we are not in their shoes, and we have not lived their lives and so we should not be the one to judge them. As people of faith we are so often quick to judge even though we might not mean to. We’ve discussed this concept for a bit on the last edition of warrior of light mag. I must say, that i’ve learnt to be more cautious as to what i say now, and think about things right through.

    Thank you for being.

  4. Carmen Larisa says:

    Dear Paulo,

    A touching story about the bliss offered by being faithful, enjoying life as much as possible without judging.
    It is true, as the “shooting star” said, judging the others comes from our Egos. When doing this, we think that we are somehow superior to the ones we judge, as if a higher power authorized us to do that. Our swollen Ego gives us the permission to feel greater than the others… when judging and accusing, we don’t seek those people’s benefit, but only the need to feel as being better people than those who are “under our severe microscope.” There is a wise Romanian proverb which says: “By blackening the others, you simply cannot become whiter.”
    The others are a reflection of who we are also. When criticizing their flaws, taking into consideration that we aren’t flawless either, we shift our attention on other people to forget about our burdens.
    And concerning the night spent in the church praying, I am very grateful to have had this wonderful experience in my life.
    When I was 14, I went with my parents on a summer holiday and we stayed at a beautiful monastery, Agpia, in Moldavia, in the North East of Romania, a region which is well-known for its beautiful, traditional monasteries.
    I believe that at the monasteries, even the air is more pure and has a special glow… There we can see and feel the rain of the Holy Spirit, which is everywhere but it can be percieved when we have a profound connection with our true selves, with Universal Energy, Power of God’s Love.
    I remember those great times in minute detail, the scene of praying in a quiet, saint-like atmosphere, humble, thankful, on my knees, having peace and Virgin Mary’s protection! It was really great, words are not capable of expressing the simple, pure feelings we had… It was like coming Home, being secure, joyful and in such a blessed harmony with everything…
    Then, while saying the prayer of “Our Father,” Jesus seemed to be the best friend and Protector, the Bigger Brother, the nectar of being so alive in such a discreet and remote monastery. There were no worries,no wars, no diseases, no me, no you, no separation, just existing now and forever in all its splendour.
    I still feel like that, but now I don’t have to be isolated like before to be able to let my thoughts flow. Meditation at Sahaja Yoga offers the pleasant and free surprise of teaching myself how to be myself without explanations and enjoy the fulfilment of the Spirit.
    It needs real work, even to feel good indeed and content, as it is quite difficult to be effortless.
    Then, the next phase is to become effortless just like that: spontaneously, naturally, easily. I haven’t reached that phase but I’m sure that those moments are sweet like honey and one day it will be possible; anything is possible as long as you believe in it because it transforms you into a better person.
    In fact, this phase of existing as a human being, of being born, live and die, then be born again and so on, when evolving as much as it is necessary, all these can be overcome and just become the Light fully. The next frontier is the complete identification with the eternal Spirit.

    Love and appreciation,
    Carmen Larisa

  5. Tarek says:

    We tend always to project our shadow on others..
    I really believe that the others are our self mirror where we can see our true face reflected on it.

  6. Marmara says:

    Gostei do teu comentário Isabel. só ní£o podemos é perder a esperaní§a :)

  7. Esteban says:

    No big deal is my reaction to this one. The Father didn’t say anything and let them explain themselve before doing anything or having a reaction. That’s doing the right thing. Having thoughts pop in your head is being human. It’s the actions that count. His actions were good and not judgemental.

  8. Juhi says:

    Blessed are they who live most moments of their life in awareness. For most of us life just passes us by. At intervals we do realise where we have flawed but otherwise we live so unconciously, an almost zombie like existence.

    Wishing us all a little more awareness.

  9. Well..i guess lot of us commit this mistake a lto of times….me included:…..i guess it comes from our ego….
    btw…someone fell in love with me after reading your novel “11 minutes” …I had gifted him the novel….

  10. Well..i guess lot of us commit this mistake a lot of times….me included:…..i guess it comes from our ego….
    btw…someone fell in love with me after reading your novel “11 minutes” …I had gifted him the novel….

  11. ISABEL says:


    Qual vida escolhida
    Que um dia tem fim
    Qual morte escolhida
    Que ní£o podemos escolher
    Que ironia a da vida
    Ní£o nos dar opí§í£o
    Nascer para viver
    Viver para morrer

    Na Vida as injustií§as sí£o crucias para que possamos aprender com elas.
    O nascimento de um ser humano pode ser uma injustií§a futura ou uma bení§í£o para muitos, no entanto é uma injustií§a ní£o termos opí§í£o, mas mesmo assim tentamos viver ou sobreviver num mundo em que todos lutam para que durante a sua permanencia na terra os seus actos sejam os mais dignos que consigam entender.
    No entanto pergunto o que é a dignidade e a justií§a?-Sí£o palavras que usamos muitas vezes para criticar o que outros fazem esquecendo-nos que todos somos injustos, no Mundo existe sempre alguem que está pior que nós, e por muito que queiramos ser dignos e justos nem sempre podemos atender í  destruií§aíµ humana que existe e que foi criada pelo proprio ser humano.

  12. Leaf says:

    This is always one of the most difficult of Jesus’ teachings….and this story further complicated, yet still valid and truthful, because the Priest was Pre-judging…by what he assumed, or thought the boys had been doing….not based on what they had actually been doing/staying.
    Even if they had been drunk….it is no-one’s place to decide whether that is right or wrong, good or bad….that is what Jesus taught us….they, being drunk, may have even stolen a car and accidentally injured or killed someone – still, we are not the judge.
    I think this is difficult to perform an act of total non-judging….we all seem to be born with the natural mechanism of making comparisons…between what we like/dislike…how we wish to be/not be…and most of the time, we cannot help but to observe life and people in this way.
    ie, learning from other’s confessed ‘mistakes’ involves making such judgement.
    The key is, as ever, to Love and respect all, treat everyone as one’s own family, with acceptance…no matter where and what they have been/are…we can observe and make our personal decisions in a non-opinionated way of Love.
    Because the Path is narrow….a single person walkway – we have not had the shoes of that other person ever…and if we had….we would find ourselves doing that which we have harshly judged, because it is only our difference in our Path which makes us different from our Brother.
    ie, Why look down on someone as lower than oneself?
    Had they had exactly our good/bad fortune, they would Be ourself exactly, leaving us…?? where?? who is looking down on whom??
    ie, we are one and the same.