The undesirable visitors

By Paulo Coelho

‘We have no doors in our monastery,’ Shanti said to the visitor.
 
‘And what do you do about thieves?’
 
‘We have nothing of value inside. If we had, we would have given it to those in need.’
 
‘And what about troublesome people who come to disturb your peace?’
 
‘We ignore them, and eventually they go away,’ said Shanti.
 
‘Is that all? And does it work?’
 
Shanti did not reply. The visitor repeated his question a few times, but seeing that he got no response, he decided to leave.
 
‘You see how well it works,’ said Shanti to himself, smiling.

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Comments

  1. aditya says:

    me too ! I didnot even get it, why is Paulo sharing this story with us here ! who else but troubled people ( troubled people only create troubles for others right ! ) to visit monastries ! people who are alreday are peace, may visit monastries as a thankgsgiving, but the purpouse of monastries to shelter people who may be troubled no !
    anyway,

    suppose we treat this blog of Paulo as a modern version of a spiritual place, something like a virtual monastery ( or something in those lines ) ! who are the troublesome visitors !! just thinking aloud !!

  2. agnieszka says:

    Yajna – I think that from the beggining this visitor wasn’t looking for anything, he was just curious.
    Of course this is just guessing, but his questions were not exactly showing any interest besides – how this and that “works”.
    I don’t know but I think that our first responses often show if we are sincere or not.????
    (why for example didn’t he ask – can I stay here for a while and pray, or think ,or didn’t say anything like – I’m lonely -I want to stay here for a while…etc)
    P.S. Also I think that the visitor labelled himself by going away and not troubling himself to go any further with the conversation.??
    :-)

  3. Aquarius Viator (Wodnik) says:

    Well, i juest think that Shanti did the same think i would do…
    The question asked was ‘And what about troublesome people who come to disturb your peace?’. And the asking one, not getting the reply asked the same thing again. And again. He kept on making the same error. Thus disturbing the peace :-)
    When someone fails to accept the answer i just keep quiet on the topic.

    best regards all :-)

  4. Yajna says:

    Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum :)

  5. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo,

    When Shanti says that there are no doors, she basically implies that the its open to everyone at all times. As someone who lives there, she should have not judged the visitor so quickly, labelling him ‘troublesome.’ Some people ask questions, even not very relatively important ones to ease into someone’s company. Most people who go to these places would do so looking for an answer or some sort of spiritual guidance.. But what shanti did was she shut the door on it. She didn’t give him a chance, to allow him to show her properly who he is, she looked at him and after a few seconds decided he is undesirable. How can she do that? If she was so enlightened she’d be humble and she’d indulge him. Jesus never turned anyone anyway. She didn’t even give them time to realise that maybe their souls are clicking. For me this story shows that just because you maybe living in a Monastery doesn’t make you a saint just yet. On the upside, maybe someone was troubling the visitor in his own life, and Shanti response was the universe giving the visitor advice as to how to handle the situation. Who knows? But in my eyes, just because someone asks a silly question doesn’t make them troublesome, maybe if they asked a hundred silly questions or threw water balloons at the monastery i’d call them troublesome. We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!
    Aditya, a monastery, just like a temple or mosque or church, is a place of worship and we seek guidance during troublesome times in our lives, we go there, because we want the peace that people there claim to have and we go there to seek God. You don’t only go there once you found peace.. Most people in this work haven’t! And i don’t think anyone is troublesome here.. This place is to express who we are. We can not be judged as troublesome because no here should be judging others in the first place. However what we can do is agree or disagree with someone’s opinion, because in doing so, that itself is an expression of who we are and what we feel.

    Thank you for being
    Yajna

  6. Butterfly says:

    By ignoring troublesome people you
    devitalize their influence on you.They will find others to create problems on them , and so they will forget you and you will forget them.
    Butterfly

  7. Butterfly says:

    When we are going to answer ,it’s better to say the truth. It’s realy difficult to say to someone, that he is annoying.
    So, we don’t answer to all the questions…
    Butterfly

  8. Reez says:

    You? :)
    Just Kidding. (hehehe) (wink*)
    Somehow, one should draw the line between just asking questions or being a nuisance.

    Cheers!

  9. In response to Rainer: I think your point is very valid; however if one would consider your point, then there’d be no story at all. The beauty of literature isn’t reality but the way it portrays reality, no matter how impossible it is.

  10. aditya says:

    me too ! I didnot even get it, why is Paulo sharing this story with us here ! who else but troubled people ( troubled people only create troubles for others right ! ) to visit monastries ! people who are alreday are peace, may visit monastries as a thankgsgiving, but the purpouse of monastries to shelter people who may be troubled no !
    anyway,

    suppose we treat this blog of Paulo as a modern version of a spiritual place, something like a virtual monastery ( or something in those lines ) ! who are the troublesome visitors !! just thinking aloud !!

  11. agnieszka says:

    Dear Paulo,
    For me this Shanti by saying “we have no doors…”
    wanted to say we’re open to everybody who comes, but
    this visitor instead of being enthusiastic and say for example – how wonderful!! Show me around. Let’s talk.-
    he was just nosy.
    Their souls just didn’t click, and this Shanti knew that somehow.
    Sometimes you just know, right from the beggining.

  12. rainer says:

    I think I got the point. But why does Shanti speak at first to the visitor instead of ignoring him, because he is an undesirable visitor? As a reader, i need the first answers to understand the final part, but somehow it is inconsistent.