The meaning of the crowns

By Paulo Coelho

When Moses ascended into the heavens to write one particular part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to draw little crowns above certain letters of the Torah.
Moses said:
‘Creator of the Universe, why do you want me to add those crowns?’
‘Because in a hundred generations’ time, a man named Akiva will reveal the true meaning of those drawings.’
‘Show me this man’s interpretation,’ Moses asked.
The Lord carried Moses into the future and placed him in one of Rabbi Akiva’s classes. A student said:
‘Rabbi, why are there crowns drawn above some of the letters?’
‘I don’t know,’ replied Akiva. ‘And I do not think that Moses knew either. But since he was the greatest of all the prophets, he did this merely to teach us that, even though we may not understand everything that the Lord does, we must nevertheless do as he asks.’
And Moses begged the Lord’s forgiveness.

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  1. Zorana says:

    we all have a mission here…and god is the only one who knows what…so i guess the best think to going the way he shows us…but anyway…isn't everything an illusion?? nothing is important..but still everything matters

  2. agnieszka says:

    Looks like I have to be really carefull around you! :-)
    hi hi hi
    Sorry, my words are not as specific as Paulo’s!
    I still love you

  3. agnieszka says:


    This was just a matter of speach.
    Of course –
    God doesn’t need any defending per se,
    because we’re living in this material world, the image is also important, especially if God can be misunderstood by some of us.
    didn’t you ever “defended” your mother or somebody you LOVE when you felt that their image wasn’t correct?

  4. aditya says:

    Dec 20th, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    “I am just trying to defend God.”

    hmmmm…. agni ! god does not need any defending, probably it’s your ‘image’ of God u are trying to defend ??!!!


  5. Joanne says:

    God gives us what we have, God takes from us what we have…Nothing belongs to us…we are in the world because God decided so and we leave this world upon his decision.
    Thank you for sharing such great teachings

  6. agnieszka says:

    All those questions you’ve asked are bitter and I understand why, but
    let me tell you sth.:
    Do we have to blame God for everything that happens in our lives?
    I don’t think that He/She is responsible for those terrible things you wrote.
    When He/She created this world, there was no polution, the food was healthy – organic –
    etc.- therefore there was no diseases that occured because of that,
    our genes weren’t modified by it, causing cancers etc.- as it happens now.

    why do you blame God for this terrible behaviour of “sick” MEN?
    Don’t you think that we should blame these people?
    They sin, they do terrible things, unfortunatelly.
    Look around.
    Do you see God doing that?
    He/She cannot correct things for us – it would be too easy –
    these terrible things have to stay on those people conscious,
    because they do it – not God!

    Please do not think that I am attacking you,
    I am just trying to defend God.
    peace and love:-)

  7. Anlao says:

    Dear Ines,

    Like you, I have many questions and many doubts, especially when it comes to blind obedience.
    This story speaks to me about dealing with uncertainty, not necessarily from a religious perspective, but from a life perspective. Moses could not do a simple task that was presented to him in his life, because he could not see behind the foreseeable future.
    I find myself like that in so many times in my life… sometimes the need for certainty makes me stop or cease doing things, or look only for things that make me feel safer, or at least comfortable. But imagine embracing uncertainty completely, and being able to face whatever life throws at you without fearing that it makes sense or not right now… but trusting that it will make sense at some point.
    The Universe speaks to us in many ways… and we all wonder whether we should obey our intuition or seek to forecast its meaning first. Almost every single time I denied my intuition because it did not make any sense to my reason, or it did not have the planned benefits I ended up regretting it and begging for forgiveness, especially from myself.
    As always, Paulo, you manage to create magical messages on the challenge we seem to face these days as humanity: knowing when to think, when to listen, and when to act.


  8. Nancy says:

    For us I think we need to understand and believe God is there for us. Always caring for us and wanting us to reach our potential. For those whom have passed and able to communicate with God like a true friend like Moses, I think God would not mind if we had questions because we would have understood some important stuff. God may even find our questions humourous. I hope.

  9. Cody Shah says:

    Is there any possible way I can get Dcotor ideas on Tie in book Veronica decides to die on Internet?

    Btw your books are great!

  10. A.V.C. says:

    I must say that I do not understand the christian concept of God at all.

    Christians say that He is All and Love. At the same time they recognize that there is evil and that we have free will. What do they mean by “all”? Apparently it does not comprise evil or our free choices.

    How could we ever oppose a god that is all powerful? How could we ever do anything outside his control or plan for the universe? If evil is part of the plan, it cannot be bad to do evil, if you see what I mean. What would be the point in Him testing us?

    Based on some of the statements here, I wonder:

    Should be grateful to God for a diagnosis of late stage cancer?

    If I am subjected to torture by oppressors, it is really a gift from God?

    And what about the child that is being raped by its father?

    There is noting rethorical about the above questions, I am just curious.

    1. Love says:

      Dear A.V.C.,

      I´ve just read your entry. What can I say after reading these words?

      Yes, God must be also death and destruction. God must be probably Willing this thing that we call torture and evil. And God is not separate from us. We are God. That can appear as something awful given the horrible things that sometimes are going on, isn´t it?

      It could be awful to look at ourselves, don´t you think so?

      Come to my mind now a book that I read once (and later I stop re-reading it at all).

      In that book, seem to me they were denying the terrible part of the manifested universe. They were talking the whole book about smiles, and that we only had to have and force us to have good thoughts and be happy all the time.

      That is antinatural. However, as I was going throug a very unpleasant period of my Life, I wanted to force me to believe what the book was saying: that I could change the torture that was being my Life with small exercises like close my eyes and smile for one minute.

      I remember to see me trying that.

      I remember that instead of relief, this book so antinatural was actually causing me more anxiousness and stress because I wanted to quickly overcome that awfull period and I was watching all of them so happy, always smiling, always saying how happy and rich and healthy they were.

      But I would like to tell them:”Ok, … just wait a few years and you will see”.

      I didn´t like that book because it sounds to me as if they were trying to deny the dark side of manifestation. And whether it may be pleasant or not, as you said, the dark side of manifestation exist.

      Why should I deny it instead of accepting it and let it take hold of me until it itself dissapear naturally?

      If, for example, I have a depression, what is the point in trying to deny that and try to smile for a fucking minute if what my soul is doing is to mourn?

      I saw a movie once and I remember I liked so much precisaly because it was the story of a woman who was not denying her temporary sorrow and she went entiraly through it and gave herself up to her natural depression and sadness.

      She didn´t try to make herself believe that she shouldn´t be feeling what she was feeling; she just invited her depressioin and sorrow to be One with Her. She was her sorrow.

      For a few months. And then, slowly, her sorrow was starting to pass.

      And, I remember, that even in her deep sorrow and thanks to the fact that she was not scared of entering into such dark abyss Willingly, she was maybe not happy, but at least she was at Peace.

      And peace is what I didn´t have for quite a few years.

      Always straining. Always kicking. Always complaining and screaming. Always thinking that what I wanted to happen was better than what was happening. Always trying to escape and deny the dark side of manifestation. But it was actually there. What was the point in me trying to escape?

      Of course the point was that the darkness that I had to go through was terrorific to me and I simply didn´t want to go there. I thought that by kicking and screaming I was going to change what was already there instead of accepting it and go through it Knowing that That was the Will of my Guardian Angel, or of God or whatever we name it.

      I don´t know the reason but if things are like that (no matter how awful and terrible the surface may appear) is because that is the Will of the Unseen. And if they have to change, they Will change even if we think that “we” should be doing something else. Even if we think we are wrong or we are not doing enough or our best, these are nonsenses. We are Always doing exactly what we have to do even if a part of ourselves think we are wrong or moving in a wrong direction.

      Thank you A.V.C., for bringing so much Light to our Lives.

      Be well be at Peace,


  11. Chris says:

    Indeed, one of the greatest gift man received from God is the ability to use logic and ask questions to make sense of things. It is what distinguishes us from the rest of the members of the Animal Kingdom. Thus giving us a false sense of superiority in the world we live in.

    At times with this false belief, we fail to realize that there is One who is above us in wisdom, understanding and just about everything else; and that all we need is to simply trust this superior being and to submit to His will, whether we may understand it or not.

  12. Liany says:

    If I can listen God’s voice the way Moses did, if I can speak to God the way Moses did,
    i would have been more dedicated and be more obidience, i would have not mumble and be disacceptance, and i might have been more prepared to go through everything i would have to go through..
    pity that I am not like Moses, that i am not so obidience, that i mumble that i got angry even to God, to my situation, to my life, to so many things.
    Even though i did what i said before, still, God did not leave me – but He loves me.
    i guess , these are the way He wanted me to be close to Him.
    So,…. i’ll be a better person that yesterday. I’ll try.


  13. ines kamoun says:

    Dear paulo
    i m sorry my english is so bad, anyway. this story is beautiful but i think that the message is a little bit dangerous. total obidience? if god gave us the intelligence the ability to reason to think, why shall we accept every thing even if it seems to us unfair or ridiculous?
    i m very curious i keep having doubts. and it s not my fault there are so many religions so many stories that makes me confused. i hope that one day i find my way and stop torturing my mind. ines

  14. agnieszka says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Again, great story,
    I have never enough of them.
    Thank You.
    Obedience – how difficult, even if it comes from God.
    But why?
    If we really believe, if we really have faith in Him/Her – we should be certain that, whatever we are asked for – it’s only for our good.

    We receive life from God,
    we receive love from God,
    we receive so many unforgettable, precious moments,
    we receive this beautiful world, that is around us with every color of the rainbow,
    we receive so many loving people,…………………………………………………………….




    Given that we should be at least greatfull for the rest of our lives!!!
    and ..
    NEVER question anything – that He/She asks for,
    and the way He/She guides us!

    We should trust Him/Her with our eyes closed.!!!

    It’s my opinion,
    sorry if anybody feels different.
    love to all

  15. Tania Chilby says:

    It is Trust ,that when we are in Gods hands he will guide us ,and even though we may not know where are hearts will lead us ,if God speaks to you ,you listen and follow .When God recently gave me to books to write I just did it without question …My pen is my sword now …blessings Tania

  16. Zorana says:

    we all have a mission here…and god is the only one who knows what…so i guess the best think to going the way he shows us…but anyway…isn’t everything an illusion?? nothing is important..but still everything matters

  17. Cristina says:

    I’ll give you 2 kudos