Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

Remember that the first direct route to God is prayer.
The second direct route is joy.
(Brida)

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Reflections of the Warrior of the Light – The right measure

By Paulo Coelho

The warrior of the light knows how to recognize an enemy who is stronger.

If he decides to confront him, he will immediately be destroyed. If he accepts his provocations, he will fall into the trap.

So he uses diplomacy to overcome the difficult situation in which he finds himself. When the enemy acts like a baby, he does the same. When he calls him to combat, he pretends not to understand.

His friends comment: “he is a coward.”

But the warrior pays no attention to the comment; he knows that all the anger and courage of a bird are of no use in a confrontation with a cat.

In situations such as this, the warrior is patient. He knows the enemy will soon depart and provoke others.

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He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died

Today going through Digg I came upon a true story that surpasses all fiction – the story of an american filmmaker and musician Jamie Livingston that took a polaroid every day for 18 years, until the very day of his death.

I read the article by Chris Higgins for Mental Floss, here are some passages:

Yesterday I came across a slightly mysterious website — a collection of Polaroids, one per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. There’s no author listed, no contact info, and no other indication as to where these came from. So, naturally, I started looking through the photos. I was stunned by what I found.

In 1979 the photos start casually, with pictures of friends, picnics, dinners, and so on. (…)

What started for me as an amusing collection of photos — who takes photos every day for eighteen years? — ended with a shock. Who was this man? How did his photos end up on the web? I went on a two-day hunt, examined the source code of the website, and tried various Google tricks.

(…)

To read the full article and see the polaroids, please go here.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

One of the questionings that keep on recurring in this book is Athena’s need to live with her “empty spaces”. Does Paulo Coelho have “empty spaces”?

Of course I do. Who doesn’t? The whole problem is not about having empty spaces, but about admitting that they exist. Today’s society is so preoccupied about coherence that many get trapped in the misconception that all is explainable. Society tries to convince us that we have to be completely transparent, not only to world but to ourselves. There is where the danger lies. It’s necessary to admit that some things can’t be grasped, that our empty spaces exist and that we have to respect and honour the mystery. I would say that Athena is my feminine side.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The Warrior knows that in all languages the most
important words are the small words.
YES. LOVE. GOD.
They are words that are easy enough to say,
yet vast empty spaces.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)

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Conversations with the my master – The mystery

By Paulo Coelho

(from my notebook, August 1982)

– What are we doing on Earth?

– Truly? I don’t know. I have looked in many corners, in light and dark places; today, I am convinced that no one knows – Only God.

– That is not a good answer, for a master.

– It is an honest answer. I know many people who will explain to you in great detail, the meaning of our existence. Don’t believe them, these people are tied to an ancient language, and only believe in things which have an explanation.

– Does that mean there is no reason to live?

– You do not understand what I am saying. I said I don’t know the reason. But of course there is a reason we are here, and God knows it.

– Why doesn’t he reveal it to us?

– He reveals it to each of us, but in a language we often do not accept, because it has no logic – and we are too accustomed to directions and formulas.

“Our heart knows why we are here. Whoever listens to his heart, follows the signs, and lives his Personal Legend, will understand that he is taking part in something, even if he doesn’t comprehend it rationally. There is a tradition which says that, the second before our death, we realize the true reason for our existence. And at that moment, Hell and Heaven are born.

– I don’t understand.

– During this split second, Hell is to look back and know that we wasted an opportunity to honor God and dignify the miracle of life. Heaven, at that moment, is to be able to say: “I made some mistakes, but I was not a coward: I lived my life, and did what I had to do.” Both Hell and Heaven will accompany us for a long time, but not forever.

– How can I know that I am living my life?

– Because, instead of bitterness, you feel enthusiasm. That is the only difference. Apart from that, one must respect the Mystery, and humbly accept that God has a plan for us. A generous plan, which leads us towards His presence, and which justifies these millions of stars, planets, black holes, etc. which we see tonight, here in Oslo (we were in Norway) .

– It is very difficult to live without an explanation.

– Can you explain why man needs to give and receive love? No. And you live with that, don’t you? Not only do you live with it, but it is the most important thing in your life: love. And there is no explanation.

“In the same way, there is no explanation of life. But there is a reason we are here, and you must be humble enough to accept that. Trust what I say; the life of each human being has a meaning, although he commits the error of spending the greater part of his time on earth seeking an answer, and meanwhile forgets to live.

“I can give you an example from a time when I came close to understanding all this. I had arrived at a party to commemorate 50 years since my graduation from high school. There, at the school where I studied as a teenager, I found many friends. We drank, told the same jokes as half a century ago.

“At a certain moment, I looked out onto the schoolyard. There, I saw myself as a child, playing, looking at life with amazement and intensity. Suddenly, the child that I saw began to take form and came over to me.

“He looked at me and smiled. Then I understood that I hadn’t betrayed my youthful dreams. That the child I had once been was still proud of me. That the reason to live that I had as a child, was still alive in my heart.

“Try to live with the same intensity as a child. He doesn’t ask for explanations; he dives into each day as if it were a new adventure and, at night, sleeps tired and happy.”

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Interview with Riz Khan : One on One – A modern day philosopher

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

You deal with very delicate issues in the Witch of Portobello, such as prejudice, religious intolerance and dogma. Aren’t you afraid of being excommunicated from the Catholic Church with this novel? After all you defend the idea that God is the Great Mother.

I’m not afraid of that. I go every year to a Benedictine retreat in Austria, called Melk. There I spoke to abbot Buckhard about catholic tradition and, during our talks, the issue of women’s exclusion came up. He told me that the Benedictine have prayers dedicated to the Goddess-Mother. In 200 years I believe that feminine divinity will no longer be a taboo.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The body is the manifestation of God in the visible world
(Brida)

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Memory: Forgetting Is the New Normal

Today in Digg, I found this interesting article by  Sue Halpern for the Time Magazine

Memory researcher Dr. Scott Small would like to reassure you that you’re not losing your wits. Visit him in his lab at Columbia University’s Medical Center, tell him how the last time you went to a party, you couldn’t put names to faces, how telephone numbers slip your mind, and he’ll walk to his blackboard, pick up a piece of chalk and draw two lines. One, he will tell you, represents age. The other is memory. “As age goes up, memory goes down,” he says. “Memory decline occurs in everyone.”

Anecdotally, that’s no surprise. Approach middle age, and it’s hard not to notice that your recall is flickering. This, we’re reassured, is perfectly normal–all your friends are complaining about the same thing, aren’t they?–and yet it doesn’t feel normal. You don’t just have your mind, after all; you are your mind, and nothing threatens your well-being so much as the feeling that it’s at risk. What’s more, while most memory loss is normal, at least some people must be part of the unlucky minority that develops Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Why not you?

(…)

To read the rest of the article, please go here.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

What is important?

You never know. You can only unravel it during the journey. It all starts with a sign that takes you from a point to the next. Or makes you think about an action you’re about to take.

To be believed to be seen

Recently I found this beautiful quote by the English poet – Ralph Hodgson

“Some things have to be believed to be seen”

Do you believe in this? Why?

It would be interesting to see your personal list of things that have to be believed to be seen.

Love,
Paulo

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

God reveals himself in everything,
but the word is one of his favorite ways of taking action,
because the word is thought transformed into vibration.
The word has greater power than many rituals.
(Brida)

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Reflections of the Warrior of the Light

By Paulo Coelho

A warrior of the light never acts in a cowardly fashion.

Flight may be an excellent art of defense, but it cannot be used when fear is great. When in doubt, the warrior prefers to risk defeat and then cure his wounds – because he knows that if he runs away, he is giving his aggressor more power than he deserves.

He can cure physical suffering, but will be persecuted forever for any spiritual weakness.

Faced with difficult and painful moments, the warrior faces unfavorable circumstances with heroism, resignation and courage.

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Does Power Corrupt? Absolutely Not

Today, while surfing the internet, I came upon this article written by KATE PICKERT for the Time Magazine. Indeed, contrary to the famous “Lucifer effect” and the popular saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, here’s an article that shows the bright side of power. I submitted it in Digg and now am publishing it here in my blog:

Power breeds competence, not corruption, according to a new study in the May issue of Psychological Science. The study, a collaboration between U.S. and Dutch researchers, finds that if people feel powerful in their roles, they may be less likely to make on-the-job errors — like administering the wrong medication to a patient. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the study suggests that people at the bottom of the workplace totem pole don’t end up there for lack of ability, but rather that being low and powerless in a hierarchy leads to more mistakes. It’s a finding that surprised even the study’s authors. “I’ll be totally honest. When we started this research,” says Adam Galinsky, a co-author and a social psychology professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, “we first had the hypothesis that maybe power might impair [cognitive] functioning.”

“This research has a lot of direct implications for such things as whether power corrupts,” says Galinsky, who collaborated with researchers from VU University Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegan.

(…)

To read the rest of the artcile go here.
To digg it, please go here.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

In what do you believe?

I believe in dreams, in man and in the goddess.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The best way to plunge into God is through love.
(Brida)

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