Archives for September 2008

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

When we renounce our dreams we find peace and enjoy a brief period of tranquility, but the dead dreams begin to rot inside us and infect the whole atmosphere in which we live.
What we hoped to avoid in the Good Fight -disappointment and defeat- become the sole legacy of our cowardice.
(The Pilgrimage)

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

In this story, we could feel many themes such as, what is love, the diversity of people’s interpretation, and the conflicts between conventional people and people who are willing to challenge to drive the changes. What was the message you wanted to convey most through this work?

I wanted to particularly explore the prejudices that we have when we embrace our compassionate side.

People that accept that God is more than rules and commandments and try to dwell into the adoration of beauty and passion, this feminine energy, are called “witches”. But in fact, Athena is someone who intuitively understands the soul of the world and tries to abide to its freedom.

Recently I was reading Karen Armstrong’s book on the Prophet ( Muhammad, Harper Collins), and there is a part that she mentions: ” each recitation began with the invocation: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate (al-Rahman), and the Merciful (al-Rahim)…the divine names Al-Rahman and al-Rahim are not only grammatically feminine, but related etymologically to the word for womb.”

I am not an expert in Arabic etymology, but I believe that Mrs. Armstrong is. My new book explores this Compassion and this Mercy, as I see from my perspective. I felt the need to question why society had tried to lock away the feminine side. The character of Athena, with her freedom and courage, was my way to tackle this subject and to unveil the shackles of dogma.

Madonna and us

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Today is late Sunday and I just returned from the show of Madonna. And what did I see? A young 50 year-old dancing like a child, a queen, a teenager.

It got me thinking about the fact that I believe we are aging differently from the previous generations. I remember for instance my parents at the age of 50 and they were already old, and more importantly they considered themselves as already old.

So what’s your opinion on aging? Did we change our perception of how to get old?

UPDATE 24 SEPT
I am very surprised on how many comments this post is having. Therefore, I am sharing here a poem by Jenny Joseph:

When I am an old woman,
I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go,
and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandles,
And say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
and gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
and run with my stick along public railings,
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other people’s gardens
and learn to spit!
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at ago,
or only bread and pickles for a week,
and hoard pens and pencils
and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
and pay our rent
and not swear in the street,
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner
and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old,
And start to wear purple!

Weekly Free Association : The Book

Dear Readers,

The symbol of the book is considered sacred when it transmits God’s revelations to men. Islam for instance places specially importance on the written word given that a Muslim is supposed not only to read but also to copy the Qu’ran. In Christianity, the apostles are currently depicted holding a book, which symbolizes the message of Christ. The king of the World, the Pancreator, is usually portrayed holding a book in which contains the lives of men as well as the Alpha and Omega of the Universe. In Ancient Egypt, the Book of the Dead, ridden of magic and sacred formulas, is said to guide the soul in the afterlife.

The book as we can see has mainly a positive connotation in written cultures. Yet, the book can be seen as an enemy of memory. Indeed, in certain oral traditions, the book is seen as an enemy since it destroys the effort of learning “by heart” the oral teachings.

Now you take the floor: what do you associate with the book?

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.
A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

It seems that in the first half of the story, Athena was searching for herself and seeking for self-realization, but after the incident at Portobello, her goal has changed to carry out her own mission. What is the change of the thoughts underlining such transition.

Athena is trying to reach a deeper understanding of herself, but in this process she also learns to live with the mystery, with the unanswered questions. This is how the transition begins. She is learning to live with her “empty spaces”, traits of her personality that defy a certain logic, that can’t be expressed in words. You see, 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 honor the mystery.

Once you start honoring that – that’s when your quest becomes your mission.

THANK YOU!

Dear Readers,

UP-DATE 1 (18.09.08) : I just received the news that since yesterday the show was downloaded more than 650 times. It is really a pity that the chat room could only hold 200 people.

The Alchemist Live Event with Laurence Fishburne and I was a great success.

According to the organizers of the online event it is #1 live show for books and is on the top 10 of all shows in all categories at BlogTalRadio.

For those who didn’t have the chance to hear it, you can hear it by pressing play in the widget below.

Love
Paulo

Chat El Paí­s 19 Septiembre (en español)

Favor pinchar aquí­

Warrior of the Light Newsletter no.181

Read the new issues from “Warrior of the Light Online” :

The third cardinal virtue: Love

Terceira virtude cardinal: Amor

Tercera virtud cardinal: Caridad

Troisième vertu cardinale : l’Amour

Terza virtí¹ cardinale: Amore

Image of the Day : Metropolis by Fritz Lang

Metropolis

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

God exists wherever He is Allowed to enter.
(The Alchemist)

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

The modern Japan is long been called as “Self-searching Era”. On the other hand, there are tendency that it is the reason for “Adults’ Regression Phenomena” such as adults’ growing tendency to put off marriage and declining birthrate. Mr. Coelho, what do you think of the influence toward society of the people’s search for one’s raison d’etre and purpose of life?

I think, that despite all the fanaticisms, we are seeing the beginning of an era where feminine values, such as generosity and tolerance, are surfacing again.

This so called “regression” is actually a more honest attitude towards ourselves and what truly motivates us – not what society expects of us.

Paulo Coelho and Privacy Zero – 60 seconds for Peace

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The Lord only demands of us what is within our capabilities.
(The Fifth Mountain)

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Image of the Day : I Ching

I Ching

Join a live conversation on September 17, co-hosted by Laurence Fishburne

THE ALCHEMIST LIVE
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 17TH

12 NOON (PST) / 3:00 PM (EST)
PHONE NUMBER: 001 347 945-6141
WEBSITE: AuthorsOnAir.com
LOCATION: EVERYWHERE! (You can listen on your phone or listen live on the web!)

Dear Readers,

On Wednesday, September 17th, you can participate in this one-hour interactive phone-in and online chat for the 20th Anniversary of my book The Alchemist.

For 1h30 I will be giving an interview and answering reader calls with my friend Laurence Fishburne. In the page there is a link to check when it will take place in your time zone.

To listen to the show, you can go here.

In order to participate you must register here.

Edizione nº 181 – Terza virtí¹ cardinale: Amore

Secondo il dizionário: dal Lat.Amores, s. m., viva affezione che ci spinge verso l’oggetto dei nostri desideri; inclinazione dell’anima e del cuore; affezione; passione; inclinazione esclusiva; grazia teologale.

Nel Nuovo Testamento: Ora, dunque, permangono la Fede, la Speranza e l’Amore, questi tre, ma il maggiore di tutti è l’amore. (Cor 13:13)

Secondo l’etimologia: I greci disponevano di tre parole per designare l’amore: Eros, Philos e Agape. Eros è il sano amore tra due persone, che giustifica la vita e perpetua la razza umana. Philos è il sentimento che dedichiamo ai nostri amici. Infine, Agape, che contiene Eros e Philos, va ben oltre il semplice fatto del “piacere” di qualcuno. Agape è l’amore totale, l’amore che divora chi lo prova. Per i cattolici, questo fu l’amore che Gesí¹ sentí¬ per l’umanití , e fu talmente grande che scosse le stelle e cambií² il corso della storia dell’uomo. Chi conosce e prova Agape, vede che nient’altro a questo mondo ha importanza, soltanto amare.

Per Oscar Wilde: Si distrugge sempre quello che pií¹ si ama / in campo aperto, o in un’imboscata; /alcuni con la leggerezza dell’affettuosití  / altri con la durezza della parola; / i codardi distruggono con un bacio, /i valenti distruggono con la spada.(in Ballata del Carcere di Reading, 1898)

In un sermone della fine del XIX secolo: Spandi generosamente il tuo amore sui poveri, il che è facile; e sui ricchi, che diffidano di tutti e non riescono a scorgere l’amore di cui tanto hanno bisogno. E sul tuo prossimo – il che è molto difficile, perché è con lui che siamo pií¹ egoisti. Ama. Non perdere mai un’occasione di dare gioia al prossimo, perché sarai tu il primo a trarne beneficio – anche se nessuno sa quello che stai facendo. Il mondo intorno a te sarí  pií¹ contento, e le cose saranno molto pií¹ facili per te.

In questo mondo io vivo il presente. Qualsiasi cosa buona io possa fare, o qualsiasi gioia possa dare agli altri, vi prego, fatemelo sapere. Non lasciatemi rinviare o dimenticare, poiché non tornerí² mai pií¹ a rivivere di nuovo questo momento. ( in Il dono supremo, Henry Drummond [ 1851-1897])

In un messaggio elettronico ricevuto dall’autore: “Fintanto che ho serbato il mio cuore per me stessa, non ho mai avuto una mattina di angoscia o una notte d’insonnia. Dal momento in cui mi sono innamorata, la mia vita è stata una sequenza di angosce, di perdite, di discordanze. Penso che, usando l’amore, Dio sia riuscito a nascondere l’inferno in mezzo al paradiso” (C.A., 23/11/2006)

Per la scienza: Nel 2000, i ricercatori Andreas Bartels e Semir Zeki, dell’University College di Londra, hanno localizzato le aree del cervello attivate dall’amore romantico, servendosi a questo scopo di una serie di studenti che dicevano di essere perdutamente innamorati. In primo luogo, hanno concluso che le zone colpite dal sentimento sono molto minori di quanto loro immaginassero, e sono le stesse che vengono attivate da stimoli di euforia, come nell’uso della cocaina, per esempio. Il che ha condotto gli autori a concludere che l’amore è simile alla manifestazione di dipendenza fisica provocata da droghe.

Sempre usando lo stesso sistema di scannerizzare il cervello, la scienziata Helen Fisher, della Rutgers University, ha concluso che tre caratteristiche dell’amore (sesso, romanticismo e dipendenza reciproca) stimolano aree diverse nella corteccia; concludendone che possiamo essere innamorati di una persona, desiderare di fare l’amore con un’altra e vivere con una terza.

Per un poeta: L’amore non possiede nulla, e non vuole neppure essere posseduto, perché esso basta a se stesso. L’amore vi farí  crescere, e poi vi getterí  a terra. Vi castigherí  affinchè sentiate la vostra impotenza, vi agiterí  perché si allontanino tutte le vostre impurití . Vi amalgamerí  per rendervi flessibili.

E poi vi getterí  nel fuoco, perché possiate convertirvi nel pane benedetto, che sarí  servito alla festa sacra di Dio (in Il Profeta, di Khalil Gibran, [1883-1931] )

(prossimo Guerriero della Luce Online: Sapienza)