Archives for December 2007

Foreign artists dominate top 20-16

I received this google alert about my lyricist days, when I composed with Raul Seixas…
Please visit The Daily Texan to read.

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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Paulo Coelho Interview by Marika Schaertl @ Focus Munich

The Boy from Ipanema
We seem to have come to the highpoint of our house visit with Paulo Coelho around 6 pm. The author abruptly races out the door mumbling something like “I have to pray to Mother Mary.” The Brazilian bestseller supplier is a Catholic – and always good for a brief show number. The man, who has sold 95 million books around the world and who is disparaged by the book reviewers as a writer of esoteric schmaltz while being idolized by his readers as a spiritual guru, also loves to let interviewers take part in his inclination for rituals, alchemy signs and superstitions. Therefore, prayer to Maria daily at 6 pm. At 6:05 pm he once again sits at the dining table in his feudal flat in a wonderful old building in Paris. Stucco, wood paneled walls, white leather sofas, fantastic view of the Seine. Yet another cup of coffee, a Philip Morris for the man of the house. At 6:30 pm, Coelho suddenly announces cheerfully: “And now we are going to practice archery.” He grabs his mighty wooden bow and eleven arrows, takes the precaution of locking the door to the servants’ quarters, and stands erect at the end of the hall. In rapid succession, he fires the eleven arrows towards the target eight meters away – all bull’s eyes. “And now you,” says Coelho, his rosy cheeks revealing a sense of pride. The guest complies out of politeness. “To your mouth,” shouts Coelho, which means: pull the arrow back towards your mouth. The reporter lets the arrow fly and hits the dining room wall a half meter to the left of the target. It bores a deep, round hole into the fine wooden paneling. Mr. Coelho is dumbfounded. After two minutes he moans, “How did you manage to do that?” The harmonious evening mood has flown. Good thing our talk took place beforehand.
Focus: Mr. Coelho, in your younger years your parents placed you in an insane asylum three times because you were a non-conformist and wanted to become an artist. After one stretch of therapy, you said that you had internally come to terms with the fact that everyone must live out his or her bit of madness. How much madness is still left in you today?
Coelho: If madness means being other than “normal” that is fine with me. If it is threatening for oneself and society, there is a problem. My motto is: A little bit of madness is quite healthful.
Focus: You believe in alchemy, angels, and omens. Is it not just more for show when you say that you can remember your own birthing?
Coelho: That is true. I came into this world, saw an old woman and knew that she was my grandmother. Doctors say that such things are possible.
Focus: You also believe that you should write a new book when a white feather floats down before your feet. Are you serious?
Coelho: Naturally. But I am not obsessed with these things. I also play around with the universe, and it plays around with me.
Focus: Your books are torn to pieces by the critics but loved by esoteric readers as well as by capitalists and statesmen. Why?
Coelho: I have no idea. I personally don’t think of my books as esoteric. I write about sex, prostitution, and craziness. The common denominator: The essence of life. We live in a time when we do not just focus on fulfilling our obligations, retiring and dying – but rather, we look for more. I only provoke people to think about things: For the superrich as well as a small-time taxi driver.
Focus: You are a guest at the World Economic Forum in Davos each January – for critics, a summit meeting of the sweat-talkers. What do you do there?
Coelho: I am a fan of the WEF at Davos. Davos is the fantastic idea of bringing the powerbrokers together on neutral territory where they can have a dialog. This is where the magic of Davos lies. There I have learned that decision makers have the same issues as you and I.
Focus: People are also coddled and pampered at Davos, as was recently the case with Pakistan’s President Musharraf, who is exceptionally unpopular today.
Coelho: Well, he is not my type. Of course you meet people like that at Davos. He is certainly one of those who talks more than he listens.
Focus: Fans of The Alchemist include Bill Clinton, Schröder, and Putin. Do you really believe in the power of the author?
Coelho: No. For ten years, I have been a member of the Shimon Perez Center for Peace, which concerns itself with the struggle for peace in the Middle East. Has anything changed? Nothing! Before the invasion of Iraq, I wrote an essay titled “Thank you Mr. President”. Five hundred million people read it. Did that prevent Mr. Bush from bombing Iraq for one second? No. But it hit a nerve. By the way, the two countries where my books are read most are Israel and Iran. This tells me that all is not lost.
Focus: Do you chat with US political figures, such as Condoleezza Rice, about topics like Iran at afternoon coffee parties such as Davos?
Coelho: Yes. And they don’t listen. None of them. I look upon America as a corporation in which I would not buy any shares.
Focus: You invest your millions conservatively anyway, as you once revealed . . . .
Coelho: True. In something like a fixed money account. I used to have a lot of apartments. This only led to problems with the tenants. Today I only have five in Brazil, Paris, Geneva and a house near Lourdes. The stock market is like a casino. And bankers only pass on their tips after everything has collapsed. I recently called up three of them. All of them warned me not to sell my dollars. I did it anyway. The dollar was at 1.34 and went to 1.46.
Focus: You used to be a fan of Che Guevara, Marx and Engels before. How much Marxism still resides in you?
Coelho: I believe in equal opportunity. This interview is provocative, however.
Focus: We could talk about books.
Coelho: For heaven’s sake no. Don’t destroy this wonderful moment. I am constantly asked about my success. Horrible.
Focus: Why not tell me why you wrote about God’s feminine side in your new book about the “Great Mother”?
Coelho: Because we men are feminine. Our society is moving in the direction of intuition, emotion and empathy. Away from a manly, strict and powerful God with His Ten Commandments and towards His feminine side. You as a woman do not need that so much. But we men do.
Focus: Do you need this God for your spiritual happiness? You were once an atheist and Buddhist – and returned to Catholicism.
Coelho: Because it is in my blood and not because I think it is the ultimate religion. I also do not like Pope Benedict. I have tried everything that there is. All religions have the same objective. I see Christian fundamentalists, who wreak a great deal of havoc. One can still be spiritual as an atheist.
Focus: You rediscovered your faith while on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela 20 years ago. Today, that path is trendy and there have been numerous TV shows. Does that bother you?
Coelho: I think it is tremendous. Even if people set out on a pilgrimage because it is chic or they want to lose weight, they will still change their consciousness or their values while doing so.
Focus: A “Mr. J” haunts your books as some sort of guru. Does he exist in reality?
Coelho: Of course. He is a Jewish businessman, simply someone from whom I learn. He is not the guru of a sect but rather part of a group, which believes in the language of symbols. Symbols, such as the flowers in the vase behind you. There! I speak about flowers and you gently tug at the neckline of your dress. This hand movement that I follow – the language of symbols! A sign.
Focus: A very earthly sign for a spiritual master.
Coelho: I do not perceive a contradiction.
Focus: Let’s talk about excesses. You have tried out many: sex of every form of play, drugs, black magic. In order to impress women, you said. What are you doing in this direction today?
Coelho: Nothing. We grow up. Even if men remain overgrown children.
Focus: You write about the dramatic events of your youth such as psychiatry in your books . . . .
Coelho: Oh! Freud! There are two utopias which have damaged society a great deal: Communism and Freud. I consider it useless to seek the blame for one’s own failings in one’s parents. My books are not catharsis. But I do place my soul on display. There are no open wounds. But there are some pretty scars.

The Zahir

I just finished reading “The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho. The first book I read by him was “The Alchemist”, which I found to be a very inspiring book that I really enjoyed; after that I’ve been going back to read one of his books every now and then.
The Zahir feels a bit different from his other books, maybe because it feels closer to reality, takes place in a modern day setting and all, but it still has the same inspiring style that …
This article is written by Mohamed Marwen Meddah. Please visit the blog Subzero Blue to read her answer.

By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept

By the River Piedra I sat down and wept. There is a legend that everything that falls into the waters of this river — leaves, insects, the feathers of birds –is transformed into the rocks that make the riverbed. If only I could tear out my heart and hurl it into the current, then my pain and longing would be over, and I could finally forget.
This article is written by rjean. Please visit the blog eternity to read her answer.

The Fifth Mountain

“The best way to know and destroy an enemy is to pretend to become his friend.”
This article is written by mortals. Please visit the blog tongue-tied and twisted emo prince to read her answer.

How to do what I want

By Paulo Coelho

When he died, Juan found himself in an exquisite place, surrounded by all the comfort and beauty he had always dreamed of. A man dressed in white spoke to him:
‘You can have anything you want, any food, any pleasure, any diversion,’ he said.
Delighted, Juan did everything he had dreamed of doing while alive. Then, after many years of pleasure, he again searched out the man in white.
‘I’ve done everything I wanted to do. Now I need a job, so that I can feel useful,’ he said.
‘I’m sorry,’ replied the man in white. ‘But that is the one thing I can’t give you; there is no work here.’
‘How awful!’ said Juan angrily. ‘That means I’ll spend all eternity bored to death! I wish I was in Hell!’
The man in white came over to him and said softly:
‘And where exactly do you think you are, sir?’

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Some may try to control their emotions & develop strategies for their behavior; others may turn to reading books of advice from “experts” on relationships – but this is all folly. The heart decides, and what it decides is all that really matters.
All of us …
This article is written by debbriones. Please visit the blog debbie’s Site to read her answer.

A Quote from: Warrior of the Light

“Every Warrior of the Light has felt afraid of going into battle.
Every Warrior of the Light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone.
Every Warrior …
This article is written by trizzie. Please visit the blog ChaRmS for the VoYaGe to read her answer.

Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist

The gist of the plot could be summarised in a half page anecdote, but that’s not the main thing… the essence of the road is less about occurrences and more about the messages transmitted by the environment. It is …
This article is written by Tobzoska. Please visit the blog Bookmoth to read her answer.

Blaming others

By Paulo Coelho

We have all at one time or another heard our mother say of us: ‘My child did this or that on some impulse, but, deep down, he’s a very good person.’
It is one thing to live one’s life blaming ourselves for thoughtless actions that led us astray; guilt doesn’t get us anywhere and it can even remove any stimulus to improve. It is quite another thing, however, to forgive ourselves for everything; that way we will never be able to set ourselves on the right path again.
There is also common sense, and we should judge the results of our actions and not the intentions behind them. Deep down, everyone is good, but that’s irrelevant.
Jesus said: ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’
An old Arab proverb says: ‘God judges a tree by its fruits, not by its roots.’

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Why I do what I do!

I have been reading “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho (2007) and I came across this perfect quote, which sums up why I feel so strongly about the work I do as Ceremonialist …
This article is written by Carrie Rathwell. Please visit the blog Carrie Rathwell, Ceremonialist to read the rest.

What Am I Missing In Life?

I have a fear that I am missing things in life. Do you ever have that feeling?
This article is written by ronit. Please visit the blog Be Special, Be Yourself to read her answer.

Feature : Paulo Coelho

If a person exists who is better at articulating Life than Paulo Coelho, I’ve never encountered him or her. Einstein said if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Well, Paulo Coelho understands Life perfectly then, because …
This article is written by Eric Patrick Marr. Please visit his blog to read the rest.

The four forces

By Paulo Coelho

Father Alan Jones says that in order to build our soul we need the Four Invisible Forces: love, death, power and time.
We must love because we are loved by God. We must have an awareness of death in order to understand life fully.
We must struggle in order to grow, but without becoming entrapped by the power that is gained through that struggle, because we know that power is worthless.
Finally, we must accept that our soul, although eternal, is at this moment caught in the web of time, with all its opportunities and limitations. We must therefore behave as if time existed and do everything we can to value each second.
These Four Forces cannot be treated as problems to be solved because they are beyond our control. We must accept them and let them teach us what we need to learn.

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How do you interpret Adam’s experience?

In the Genesis it is told that once Adam ate the forbidden fruit God said: “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever “. How do you interpret this passage?

Stars raise $3m for Aids research

Michelle Yeoh, Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Paulo Coelho, Gloria Estefan, Dana Fuchs, Christian Louboutin and Dita Von Teese were among the international celebrities who attended the inaugural event held alongside the ongoing Dubai International Film Festival.

This article is written by Zoe Sinclair. Please visit the online newsletter Khaleej Times to read the rest.