In search of signs

By Paulo Coelho

We may think at times that the only thing life offers us tomorrow, is to repeat everything we did today. But if we pay close attention, we will see that no two days are alike.
Each morning brings a hidden blessing; a blessing which is unique to that day, and which cannot be kept or re-used. If we do not use this miracle today, it will be lost.
This miracle is in the small things of daily life; we must live in the understanding that at every moment there is a way out of each problem, the way of finding that which is missing, the right clue to the decision which must be taken in order to change our entire future.
But how to find the courage for this? As I see it, God speaks to us through signs. It is an individual language which requires faith and discipline in order to be fully absorbed.
For example, Saint Augustine was converted in this way. For years he sought – in various philosophical schools – an answer to the meaning of life, until one afternoon, in the garden of his house in Milan, as he reflected on the failure of his search, he heard a child in the street: “Take up and read! Take up and read!”
Although he had always been governed by logic, he decided – in an impulse – to open the first book which came to hand. It was the Bible, and he read part of St. Paul which contained the answers he sought. From then on, Augustine’s logic made way for faith to take part in his life, and he went on to become one of the Church’s greatest theologians.
The monks of the desert used to say it was important to allow angels to act. Because of this, they occasionally did absurd things – such as talk to flowers or laugh without a reason. The alchemists followed the “signs of God”; clues which often made no sense, but which always lead somewhere.
“Modern man tried to eliminate life’s uncertainties and doubts. And in doing so he left his soul dying of hunger; the soul feeds off mysteries” – says the dean of Saint Francis Cathedral.
There is a meditation exercise which consists of adding – generally for ten minutes a day – the reasons for each of our actions. For example: “I now read the newspaper to keep myself informed. I now think of such-and-such a person, because the subject I read about lead me to do so. I walked to the door, because I am going out”. And so forth.
Buddha called this “conscious attention”. When we see ourselves repeating our ordinary routine, we realize how much wealth surrounds our life. We understand each step, each attitude. We discover important things, and useless thoughts.
At the end of a week – discipline is always fundamental – we are more conscious of our faults and distractions, but we also understand that, at times, there was no reason to act the way we did, that we followed our impulses, our intuition; and now we begin to understand this silent language which God uses in order to show us the true path. Call it intuition, signs, instinct, coincidence, any name will do – what matters is that through “conscious attention” we realize that we are often guided to the right decision.
And this makes us stronger and more confident.

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Comments

  1. Louise says:

    Patience…and the sign appears. You instinctively recognize it. You know you are not alone. The sign(s) come silently-without fanfare.

  2. Antara says:

    This is one of the areas that have always left me confused. I act on impulses sometimes as it is really hard for me to tame myself. And in the end, I realize, “Oh! my God,, why did I do so? What would others think of me?”
    There are certain societal stipulations which are more imposing than anything and there are many instances when by acting on intuition we start feeling guilty. And eventually repent thinking “What I thought was a direction by God, was nothing but just my madness”. Is there a way out of this dilemma?? How do I differentiate between my instincts and God’s signs? I would be really thankful if you discuss about this issue in your future posts.

  3. Nanci says:

    I agree. Use your intuition, instinct and be open to hearing the voice of the universe (God) in whatever form it takes, be it signs or synchronicity. You’ll know that invisible voice because it will speak directly to your heart.

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      YOU

      The “You” I refer to is:
      Your inner-self,
      The little voice that is inside of you to guide you.
      Your DNA – what you are made of –
      Your strengths, your weaknesses, your values,
      Your dreams, your hopes,
      Your imperfections.
      It is the way you write,
      It is your uniqueness,
      It is what makes you shine.
      The one that feeds your soul
      The “You” that finds and knows the language of the Universal Love and of Freedom.

      That “You” is inside all of us.

      TOI

      Le “Toi” dont je fais reference est :
      – Ton fort interieur,
      – Cette petite voix interieure qui est la pour te guider,
      – Ton ADN – ce dont tu es fait – tes qualites, tes defauts,
      – Tes valeurs, tes imperfections,
      – Tes reves, tes espoirs.
      C’est confronter tes peurs,
      C’est la facon dont tu ecris,
      C’est ton caractere exceptionnel
      C’est ce “Toi” si rayonnant,
      C’est ce “Toi” qui nourrit ton ame,
      C’est ce “Toi” qui cherche, trouve et connait la Langue de l’Amour Universel et de la Liberte.

      Ce “Toi” est en chacun de nous.

  4. En el momento justo cuando mis dudas aparecen, la respuesta llega como por arte de magia. Ahora empiezo a tener conciencia, que los simbolos son confusos por la simplicidad con la que aparecen en la cotidianidad y la rutina en las que vivimos y que solo depende de nosotros ver y entender lo bello en lo simple y los regalos de cada nuevo dia.

  5. Mosesfoo says:

    Hi Paulo

    Thanks for sharing this thought…

    I’m son’t I’m good at reading signs in my life, this is because I’m a little worn out by demands of living, such as paying for my housing mortgage, the need to take responsibility for taking care of my parents, also family, the burden of settling debts and the constant bad news that is coming out from the news.

    But I like what Paulo wrote about each day having its hidden blessing. It reminds me of the Israelite in their desert wandering where they were fed each morning and evening, the manna and quail. Each family is to collect enough for each day and nothing more for the next with the exception of for the Sabbath. I think this story is applicable to us as Paulo thought in the above.

    I think this enough for me today, that today bring with it its own blessing. It is enough for me for now.

    Cheers.
    Moses

  6. Tania says:

    silent language is the when the heart speaks -Love Tania

  7. Ileana Rodriguez says:

    All that you say is so true!

    What a coincidence, lately I had found some St. Paul phrases that make me understand what I’mdoing and why!

    Mr. Coelho, I can’t stop thank you for all that you gave us!

  8. Heart says:

    Oh, those impressionists…so beautiful. Water lilies.. like we used to pick when visiting my grandparents, cut them, and placed them in a flat crystal bowl…so beautiful.

    Yes, I often have wondered why God doesn’t speak out loud and clear. To look for that Divine plan every day, in everybody silently…so much more beautiful.

    Heart

  9. Preciosa la historia y una enseñanza para llevar a cabo, “la consciente atención”
    Tengo una pregunta, ¿Sólo Dios se comunica a través de los símbolos?
    Mucho amor.

  10. Monika says:

    I will try the meditation exercise…

  11. Agnieszka says:

    The signs of God are not easy to read, so misleading sometimes, a mystery..yes, yet… when you listen to your heart…when you really listen, the moment will come when..it’ll whisper you the way..

    thank you,

    love
    Agnieszka

  12. marcoandrea says:

    beautiful :)