Archives for September 2008

Chat: Barnes & Noble Book Club

I will be chatting with my readers (but not on real time) from Sept 15 to 19 on the Central Stage of Barnes & Noble Book Club.

a] if you want to participate, click in the link here

b] there is a green button at left of the screen, saying “reply”. You will be redirected to the registration site. You must register yourself in the Book Club

c] then, you will be asked a login and a password to participate on the virtual chat

d] be welcome to send yours questions!

Love
Paulo

Édition nº 181 – Troisième vertu cardinale : l’amour

Selon le dictionnaire : du latin amor, s. m., vive affection qui nous pousse vers l’objet de nos désirs ; inclination de l’í¢me et du cÅ“ur ; affection ; passion ; inclination exclusive ; grí¢ce théologale.

Dans le Nouveau Testament : Maintenant donc ces trois-lí  demeurent, la foi, l’espérance et l’amour, mais l’amour est le plus grand. (Cor, 13-13)

Selon l’étymologie : Les Grecs possédaient trois mots pour désigner l’amour : Éros, Philos et Agapè. Éros est l’amour sain entre deux personnes, qui donne une justification í  la vie et perpétue l’espèce humaine. Philos est le sentiment que nous consacrons í  nos amis. Enfin, Agapè, qui contient Éros et Philos, va beaucoup plus loin que le fait que quelqu’un nous « plaise ». Agapè est l’amour total, l’amour qui dévore celui qui l’éprouve. Pour les catholiques, c’est cet amour que Jésus a ressenti pour l’humanité, et il a été si grand qu’il a secoué les étoiles et modifié le cours de l’histoire humaine. Celui qui connaí®t et éprouve Agapè voit que rien d’autre en ce monde n’a d’importance, qu’aimer.

Pour Oscar Wilde : On détruit toujours ce que l’on aime / ouvertement, ou en embuscade / certains avec la légèreté de la tendresse / d’autres par la dureté de la parole ; / les lí¢ches détruisent d’un baiser, / les courageux détruisent par l’épée. (in Ballade de la geí´le de Reading, 1898)

Dans un sermon í  la fin du XIXe siècle : Répandez généreusement votre amour sur les pauvres, ce qui est facile ; et sur les riches, qui se méfient de tout le monde et ne parviennent pas í  entrevoir l’amour dont ils ont tant besoin. Et sur votre prochain, ce qui est très difficile, car c’est avec lui que nous sommes les plus égoí¯stes. Aimez. Ne perdez jamais une occasion de donner de la joie í  votre prochain, parce que vous serez le premier í  en profiter – míªme si personne ne sait ce que vous íªtes en train de faire. Le monde autour de vous sera plus content, et les choses seront beaucoup plus faciles pour vous.

Je suis dans ce monde í  vivre le présent. S’il est une bonne chose que je puisse faire, ou une joie que je puisse donner aux autres, s’il vous plaí®t, dites-le-moi. Ne me laissez pas reporter ou oublier, car jamais je ne revivrai ce moment. (in Le Don supríªme, Henry Drummond (1851-1897))

Dans un message électronique reí§u par l’auteur : « Tant que j’ai gardé mon cÅ“ur pour moi, je n’ai jamais eu une matinée d’angoisse ou une nuit d’insomnie. í€ partir du moment oí¹ j’ai été amoureuse, ma vie a été une succession d’angoisses, de pertes, de rencontres manquées. Je pense que, en se servant de l’amour, Dieu a réussi í  cacher l’enfer au milieu du paradis. » (C.A., 23/11/2006)

Pour la science : En l’an 2000,les chercheurs Andreas Bartels et Semir Zeki, de l’University College de Londres, ont localisé les zones du cerveau activées par l’amour romantique, se servant pour cela d’un groupe d’étudiants qui se disaient éperdument amoureux. En premier lieu, ils ont conclu que la zone affectée par le sentiment est beaucoup plus petite qu’ils ne l’imaginaient, et que ce sont les míªmes qui sont activées lors des accès d’euphorie, dans l’usage de la cocaí¯ne par exemple. Ce qui a conduit les auteurs í  conclure que l’amour ressemble í  la manifestation de dépendance physique provoquée par les drogues.

Utilisant le míªme système de radiographie du cerveau, la scientifique Helen Fisher, de la Rutgers University, a conclu que trois caractéristiques de l’amour (sexe, romantisme, et dépendance mutuelle) stimulent des zones différentes dans le cortex ; concluant que nous pouvons íªtre amoureux d’une personne, vouloir faire l’amour avec une autre, et vivre avec une troisième.

Pour un poète : L’amour ne possède pas, et ne veut pas íªtre possédé, car l’amour suffit í  l’amour. Il vous fait croí®tre, et puis vous jette í  terre. Il vous bat pour que vous sentiez votre impuissance, il vous secoue pour que sortent toutes vos impuretés. Il vous pétrit jusqu’í  ce que vous soyez souples.

Et alors il vous livre í  son feu, pour que vous puissiez devenir le pain sacré du festin de Dieu. (in Le Prophète, de Khalil Gibran (1883-1931))

(prochain Guerrier de la Lumière Online : Sagesse)

Tercera virtud cardinal: caridad

Según el diccionario: del latí­n caritas, amor, cariño. Sustantivo femenino. Actitud solidaria con el sufrimiento de los demás; limosna o auxilio que se presta a los necesitados; en el cristianismo, virtud teologal.

En el Nuevo Testamento: Ahora subsisten la fe, la esperanza y la caridad, estas tres. Pero la mayor de todas ellas es la caridad (1 Co 13:13)

Según la etimologí­a: los griegos disponí­an de tres palabras para referirse al amor: Eros, Philos y ígape. Eros es el amor saludable entre dos personas, el que justifica la vida y perpetúa la raza humana. Philos, por su parte, es lo que se siente por los amigos. Por último, ígape, que contiene tanto a Eros como a Philos, va mucho más allá del hecho de que alguien concreto “nos resulte simpático”. ígape es el amor total, aquél que devora al que lo siente. Para los católicos, éste fue el amor que Jesús sintió por la humanidad, un amor tan grande que afectó a las estrellas y alteró el rumbo de la historia del hombre. Todo aquel que siente y conoce ígape, comprende que apenas hay una cosa importante en el mundo: amar.

Para Oscar Wilde: Todos matan lo que aman / Y todos deben saberlo / Con mirada amarga algunos / Otros con suaves palabras / Besando mata el cobarde / El valiente usa la espada. (En Balada de la cárcel de Reading, 1898).

En un sermón de finales del siglo XIX: Derrama generosamente tu amor sobre los pobres, no te resultará difí­cil. También sobre los ricos, que desconfí­an de todo el mundo, y no consiguen notar el amor que tanto necesitan. Y también sobre tu prójimo, lo más difí­cil, pues justo con los más cercanos somos más egoí­stas. Ama. No pierdas nunca una oportunidad de hacer feliz a tu prójimo, pues tú mismo serás el primero en beneficiarte (aunque nadie sepa lo que estás haciendo). El mundo que te rodea se tornará más alegre, y a ti todo te resultará mucho más fácil.

Me encuentro en este mundo viviendo el presente. Decidme, por favor, cualquier buena acción que pueda llevar a cabo, o cualquier alegrí­a que pueda darle a alguien. No me permitáis postergarla u olvidarla, pues nunca regresará este momento único. ( En El Don Supremo, de Henry Drummond [ 1851-1897])

En un mensaje de correo electrónico recibido por el autor: “mientras no le ofrecí­ a nadie mi corazón, nunca tuve ninguna mañana de angustia ni ninguna noche de insomnio. Pero desde que me enamoré, mi vida viene siendo una cadena de angustias, pérdidas y desencuentros. Pienso que, usando el amor, Dios consiguió esconder el infierno en medio del paraí­so” (C.A., 23/11/2006)

Para la ciencia: En el año 2000, los investigadores Andreas Bartles y Semir Zeki, del University College de Londres, localizaron las áreas del cerebro activadas por el amor romántico con la ayuda de una serie de estudiantes que se declaraban perdidamente enamorados. En primer lugar, concluyeron que la zona afectada por el sentimiento es mucho menor de lo que pensaban, y, además, es la misma que se activa en casos de euforia, como la provocada, por ejemplo, por el uso de cocaí­na, lo que llevó a los autores a la conclusión de que el amor es semejante a la manifestación de dependencia fí­sica provocada por drogas.

Mediante el mismo sistema de escanear el cerebro, la cientí­fica Helen Fisher, de la Rutgers University, averiguó que tres caracterí­sticas del amor (sexo, romanticismo y dependencia mutua) estimulan áreas diferentes de la corteza cerebral, de lo que se deduce que se puede estar enamorado de una persona, querer hacer el amor con otra, y vivir con una tercera.

Para un poeta: El amor no posee nada, ni quiere ser poseí­do, pues se basta a sí­ mismo. Él os hará crecer, y a continuación os arrojará por los suelos. Os azotará para que sintáis vuestra impotencia, os agitará para que salgan todas vuestras impurezas. Os estrujará para haceros flexibles.

Y por fin os tirará al fuego, para que podáis convertiros en el pan bendito que se servirá en la fiesta sagrada de Dios (En El profeta, de Khalil Gibran, [1883-1931])

(Próximo Guerrero de la Luz Online : Prudencia)

Terceira virtude cardinal: amor

Segundo o dicionário: do Lat. Amores, s. m., viva afeií§í£o que nos impele para o objeto dos nossos desejos; inclinaí§í£o da alma e do coraí§í£o; afeií§í£o; paixí£o; inclinaí§í£o exclusiva; graí§a teologal.

No Novo Testamento: Agora, pois, permanecem a Fé, a Esperaní§a e o Amor, estes tríªs, mas o maior destes é o amor. (Cor 13:13)

Segundo a etimologia: os gregos possuí­am tríªs palavras para designar o amor: Eros, Philos e ígape. Eros é o amor saudável entre duas pessoas, que justifica a vida e perpetua a raí§a humana. Philos é o sentimento que dedicamos aos nossos amigos. Finalmente, ígape, que contem Eros e Philos, vai muito mais longe do fato de “gostar” de alguém. ígape é o amor total, o amor que devora quem o experimenta. Para os católicos, este foi o amor que Jesus sentiu pela humanidade, e foi tí£o grande que sacudiu as estrelas e mudou o curso da história do homem. Quem conhece e experimenta ígape, víª que nada mais neste mundo tem importí¢ncia, apenas amar.

Para Oscar Wilde: A gente sempre destrói aquilo que mais ama / em campo aberto, ou numa emboscada; /alguns com a leveza do carinho / outros com a dureza da palavra; / os covardes destroem com um beijo, /os valentes, destroem com a espada.(in Balada do Carcere de Reading, 1898)

Em um sermí£o no final do século XIX: Derrame generosamente seu amor sobre os pobres, o que é fácil; e sobre os ricos, que desconfiam de todos, e ní£o conseguem enxergar o amor de que tanto necessitam. E sobre seu próximo – o que é muito difí­cil, porque é com ele que somos mais egoí­stas. Ame. Jamais perca uma oportunidade de dar alegria ao próximo, porque vocíª será o primeiro e se beneficiar disto – mesmo que ninguém saiba o que vocíª está fazendo. O mundo í  sua volta ficará mais contente, e as coisas serí£o muito mais fáceis para vocíª.

Eu estou neste mundo vivendo o presente. Qualquer coisa boa que eu possa fazer, ou qualquer alegria que puder dar aos outros, por favor, digam-me. Ní£o me deixem adiar ou esquecer, pois jamais tornarei a viver este momento novamente. ( in O Dom Supremo, Henry Drummond [ 1851-1897])

Em uma mensagem eletrí´nica recebida pelo autor : “enquanto guardei meu coraí§í£o para mim mesma, jamais tive qualquer manhí£ de angústia ou noite de insí´nia. A partir do momento em que me apaixonei, minha vida tem sido uma seqüíªncia de angústias, de perdas, de desencontros. Penso que, usando o amor, Deus conseguiu esconder o inferno no meio do paraí­so” (C.A., 23/11/2006)

Para a ciíªncia: no ano 2000, os pesquisadores Andreas Bartels e Semir Zeki, do University College de Londres, localizaram as áreas do cérebro ativadas pelo amor romí¢ntico, usando para isso uma série de estudantes que diziam estar perdidamente apaixonados. Em primeiro lugar, concluí­ram que a zona afetada pelo sentimento é muito menor que imaginavam, e sí£o as mesmas que sí£o ativadas por estí­mulos de euforia, como no uso da cocaí­na, por exemplo. O que levou os autores a concluí­rem que o amor é semelhante í  manifestaí§í£o de dependíªncia fí­sica provocada por drogas.

Também usando o mesmo sistema de escanear o cérebro, a cientista Helen Fisher, da Rutgers University, conclui que tríªs caracterí­sticas do amor (sexo, romantismo, e dependíªncia mútua) estimulam áreas diferentes no córtex; concluindo que podemos estar apaixonados por uma pessoa, querer fazer amor com outra, e viver com uma terceira.

Para um poeta: O amor ní£o possui nada, e nem quer ser possuí­do, porque ele se basta a si mesmo. Ele irá vos fazer crescer, e depois os atirará por terra. Vos aí§oitará para que sintais vossa impotíªncia, vos agitará para que saiam todas as vossas impurezas. Vos amassará para deixar-vos flexí­veis.

E logo vos atirará ao fogo, para que possais vos converter no pí£o bendito, que será servido na festa sagrada de Deus (in O Profeta, de Khalil Gibran, [1883-1931] )

(próximo Guerreiro da Luz Online: Sabedoria)

The third cardinal virtue: Love

According to the dictionary: from the Latin amor: strong affection that drives us towards the object of our desires; inclination of the soul and heart; affection; passion; exclusive inclination; theological grace.

In the New Testament: So faith, hope and love endure. These are the great three, and the greatest of them is love. (Corinthians 13:13)

According to etymology: the Greeks had three words to designate love: Eros, Philos and Agape. Eros is the healthy love between two persons that justifies life and perpetuates the human race. Philos is the sentiment that we dedicate to our friends. Finally, Agape, which contains both Eros and Philos, goes far beyond “liking” someone. Agape is total love, the love that devours those who feel it. For Catholics, this was the love that Jesus felt for humanity, and it was so great that it shook the stars and changed the course of the history of men. Those who know and feel Agape realize that nothing else in this world has any importance, only loving.

For Oscar Wilde:

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
(Ballad of Reading Jail, 1898)

In a late 19th century sermon: Pour your love generously on the poor, which is easy; and on the rich, who distrust everybody and cannot see the love that they so need. And on your neighbor – which is very difficult, because it is towards him that we are most selfish. Love. Never lose a chance to give joy to your neighbor, because you will be the first to benefit from this – even if nobody knows what you are doing. The world around you will become happier, and things will become easier for you.

I am in this world living the present. Any good thing that I can do, or any happiness that I can bring to others, please tell me. Don’t let me put things off or forget, because I shall never live this moment again. (Henry Drummond The Supreme Gift, [1851-1897])

In an e-mail received by the author: “While I kept my heart to myself, I never had a single morning of anguish or a single night of insomnia. Since I fell in love, my life has been a sequence of anguish, losses, confusion. I think that God, by using love, managed to hide hell in the middle of Paradise” (C.A., 23/11/2006)

For science: In the year 2000, researchers Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki, of University College in London, located the areas of the brain activated by romantic love by using a series of students who claimed to be madly in love. In the first place, they concluded that the zones affected by the sentiment are far smaller than they had imagined, and are the same as those activated by stimuli of euphoria, such as in using cocaine, for example. Which led the authors to conclude that love is similar to the manifestation of physical dependence provoked by drugs.

Also using the same system of scanning the brain, scientist Helen Fisher, of Rutgers University, concludes that three characteristics of love (sex, romanticism and mutual dependence) stimulate different areas of the cortex, and further conclude that we can be in love with one person, want to make love to another, and live with a third.

For a poet: Love possesses nothing and does not want to be possessed, because it is enough in itself. It will make you grow, and then throw you on the ground. It will whip you so that you feel your impotence, it will shake you to rid you of all your impurities. It will crush you to leave you flexible.

And then it will toss you in the fire so that you can become the blessed bread to be served at God’s sacred feast (The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran [1883-1931])

(next Warrior of Light Online Wisdom)

My Keynote Message for the Meeting on [email protected] Crossroads – a future without violent radicalization

Dear readers,
Below you may find a text that I wrote recently for the Unesco about the radicalization of Youth.

When I was invited by the Director-General of UNESCO (…) I felt a great deal of responsibility and, I will not hide it, grief.

(…)

Even before sitting at my desk to write this text, sad images started to crowd my mind. I could see an army of children, bare foot, walking down a dusty path that would lead them to their certain death. I could see some of them actually smiling, holding carelessly their light AK-47s, and heading towards war.

(…)

I keep on seeing these images and the feeling of powerlessness grips me. What can one do against a rising number of children soldiers? Of children slaves?

(…)

To read the integrality of this discourse : please go here

Image of the Day : Orpheus by Cocteau

Orpheus by Cocteau

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

Fine words are meaningless when we come face to face with suffering.
(The Fifth Mountain)

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your definition of the modern witches is “To me, a witch is a woman who is capable of letting her intuition guide her actions, one who communes with her environment, who isn’t afraid of facing challenges.” Please explain us about the prejudice that modern witches face in modern society and your opinion toward them.

In today’s society (as was the case in the past) there is a tremendous amount of energy spent on trying to make people conform: to established behavior, to established religions, namely, to a certain type of thought. This uniformity is very tricky because it comes through a certain «political correctness» that stifles people’s spontaneity.

Women who rebels against this sort of general “inertia” were called in the past witches and the stigma still strive nowadays. Actually these rebellious women pay a price, doing things in a way that probably will not make a lot of sense to others but that are vital to them. Athena is very bold and she takes a risk – as anyone who stays true to oneself does.

The Dream of God

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Dear readers, rather than asking you a question I would like to ask your opinion on the following subject.

The Toltec, a pre-Colombian culture, stated that we are a dream of God. We can also be his nightmare and what distinguishes the good dream from the nightmare is our presence in this world. In a way, fulfilling our personal legend brings us closer to the good dream of God.

Yet many don’t do that and they blame others for this frustration: they put the blame on their family, on their boss, etc… Of course, all these excuses prevent us from doing what can truly fulfill us.

So, share here your opinion on this issue: where is society heading to? Are people fulfilling their personal legend or do you think that – on the whole – people are still paralyzed by the fear society infuse in them?

Weekly Free Association : The Abyss

The abyss comes from the Greek word abismos which means something that has no end. In practically all the mythologies there exists a primordial abyss where all undifferentiated things appear, but in a chaotic manner. All cosmologies have then the aim of infusing logos, i.e order into this primordial state of things.

This confused, primordial state very quickly was perceived as a negative manifestation in many cultures. For instance, for the ancient arkadiens, the vengeful mother Tiamat had to be beaten by her sons Marduk that put some order in the universe with his triumph. In psychoanalysis the abyss is also seen and a state of regression where the alienated may disappear into psychosis.

Yet, in the same way that the abyss can be seen as a bottomless pit, it can also be reversed. The up-ward abyss of the skies can also point towards the great mystery of the divine. Master Eckhart speaks of the “ungrund”, the abyss inside each of our hearts where dwells the divine.

Now you take the floor, what do you associate with the abyss?

A week in my life

An ordinary week

Of course this is only in the realm of the so-called “reality”. There is a lot more in my imagination!

SUNDAY

A] Driving to Geneve alone. Six hours and no important conclusion, decision. A couple of phone calls using the Bluetooth device in the car; people cannot hear me, although I can hear them. I asked a friend where the car micro is. He gave me the wrong instructions, as his model is different from mine. I stopped making phone calls. Controlling myself to not think about work, as I am a workaholic, and I made a promise of never thinking about work on Sundays.

B] Gas Station. A fantastic collection of handmade metal models – cars, boats, etc. I always stop in this gas station, and I always check who made these models. Finally, during the week, I managed to send them an email. Hope they will send the catalog. If they do, I will buy 100 pieces and put in my empty shelves.

C] Shower. Nap. Dinner with a friend. She tells me that a man she was dating only wants to make love to her, nothing else. I don’t know what to say.

MONDAY

A] The alarm clock rings at 10:15 – and as a Plan B (Virgos always have a Plan B) the wake up service calls my room. New cowboy boots, bought in Paris – and I am going to a meeting as a Board Member of the Schwab Foundation. Shall I go with these boots, red, white and black? Yes.

B ] Meeting a friend who works in finance for a late breakfast. What is going to happen to the financial markets? He has many answers. I pretend that I believe in what he is telling me, but it seems that everybody is lost in this field. He asks me to sign two books – one being my biography (which I did not write). Nice person. But the financial market is a casino. I don’t have a single cent in any of these funds, bonds, etc. Advantages of being a Virgo: you don’t take financial risks.

C ] Lunch before the Board Meeting. I ask: what is the situation in Georgia? Nobody wants to talk about Georgia. They love my cowboy boots.

D] Board meeting. Very professional, and no stress at all. I love participating, and I learn a lot. This is one of the two Boards that I attend on a regular basis.

E] I forget the documents at the roof of the car, so when I leave the place and turn left, all papers fell in the road. I stop and start collecting the papers. Another board member is leaving, and asks me if I need help. No, it is too dangerous to collect all these sheets in a road full of cars up and down. I will take this risk alone.

F ] Driving back – it took me 30 minutes to fulfill the task on “E”, therefore I will arrive in Paris after 10:00 PM. Calling Monica (please cancel Berlin and Praha, because of the Frankfurt Book Fair – I just learned that I will open the Fair). Calling Alexander (What do you think about the event in St. Moritz?). Calling Paula, welcoming her back to work, and asking her to check why don’t I have comments on myspace (later she tells me that there is another button to approve comments, and there were over 100 to be approved – it is not in the “In” box anymore). Calling Monica: shall we meet in Paris or Barcelona? Paris, she says.

G] Lots of things to think: how to promote The Experimental Witch. How to publish unpublished texts for internet users only (it will take another week to see the first copies online). The postcards in my blog. The meaning of life. The rest is silence, as Hamlet says.

H] Arriving in Paris around 11:00 PM. Expecting to have tons of things waiting for me, because I travelled! To another country! But there is only a few letters and two boxes. I realized that I travelled for a little more than 24 hs.

I] Dinner, computer, downloading “American History X”. Answering emails. In bed around 2:00 AM, reading “McMafia”, on parallel governments.

TUESDAY

A] Breakfast at 10:00. Coffee, milk, orange juice, bread, olive oil. It is always like this, even when I am in hotels.

B] Internet: checking some clippings on my work. Emails to be answered: after many filters, some land in my private mailbox – normally from friends. There are a couple of permission to quote me in books, etc (all of them granted). Interview (by email) to Finland, where a newspaper is going to publish my columns. Reading the news – they are the same, but I still read them.

C] Walking for one hour with Paula – she just returned from vacations. She is going to get married in October.

D] Back to edit books that I plan to put in my blog for free download or to be published on demand. I have so far three titles. We are still testing. Recording a video for a portal. Deciding which day I will record another video on Peace ( next week). Reading an interview of an stupid actor, David Thewlis, in a free metro newspaper, saying that his work in “Veronika decides to die”(to be released next year), where he plays a secondary role, was just “a two week work”. I take it personal. Then I read the rest of the interview, and he is complaining about nearly everything he did in life. I am not taking it personally anymore.

E] Archery. Shower. Internet.

E] I forgot where I had dinner. Watch “Welcome to Sarajevo”. Reading “Herald Tribune” while eating toasts.

WEDNESDAY

A] Same as A, B, C above – except that this time I walked with Maarit, a friend from Myspace that happens to be in Paris. First time that we meet, great person.

B] Monica, my agent, arrives. We talk from 3:00 PM to 2:00 AM in the morning: publication schedule of “Winner stands alone”, Frankfurt, her 40th birthday (I hope I convinced her that it would be more fun to have a party at her apt, instead of hiring a place). The talk takes place at my apt, a café, a bench in the street, back to the apt (Monica hates walking), dinner. I tell her that I am tired – she looks fresh at 2:15 AM, and it was her who had to face this new torture chamber called “airport”.

THURSDAY

A] Same as A, B, above – except that I have breakfast with Monica. Nothing better than a good night sleep to realize some things that were not clear.

B] Monica leaves, back to Barcelona. And I am back to emails, clippings, decisions, permissions, etc.

C] Juliette comes to get the sound system that Monty Shadow gave me as a gift while I was in St. Moritz. It is called Meridian, looks like a toaster, but it is very powerful – they made a demonstration during a dinner for 250 people, and everybody could hear loud and clear. Juliette needs to borrow it for her husband 40th birthday (it seems that everybody around me is turning 40 this year).

D] Walk for one hour. Sandwich. Nap. Archery. Internet again.

E] Writing my weekly column. Reading that The Experimental Witch got an important prize, even before the film is edited. (the prize is about the concept of working with the readers). I want to put in my social communities. But they say I cannot talk about the prize till the final week of September – it is secret.

F] Dinner with Chris. Watching “The Hunting Party”. Reading “McMafia” and “Herald Tribune”. Eating toasts while reading.

FRIDAY

A] Same as A, B, D above. Deciding that I am going to cancel nearly all professional trips and spend more time in Rio, Geneve and Paris. I told Monica I want to give less interviews. She said Madonna gave an interview to Charles de Gaulle airport magazine, so why should I be different? Still, I will be much more selective in accepting interviews (I am already, Monica says, there is no way to convince her).

B] Going to Champ de Mars and reading Herald Tribune there. Spending the rest of the afternoon watching people. It seems that everybody is talking in his/her mobile, or taking pictures.

C] Dinner in Akasaka, a Japanese restaurant, with Paula and Chris. Eating the same – every time I go to a restaurant, I eat the same thing I eat before. Not very creative.

D] Watching “American History X”. Normally, when Paula likes a movie, Chris and I hate. In this case, for he first time, our opinions coincide.

E] McMafia. When will I go to finish this book?

SATURDAY

A] Same as A, B, D above. Paula said during the dinner in the previous night: “you should be more personal in your posts”. I decided to write the what happens in the “real” world, although my world goes beyond this reality.

B] Going to a museum for the first time in four months. Museum Branly: features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Oceania, and Americas. Thinking that there is something wrong with contemporary art, these people can do much better than the icons of today. But then Monica and Chris said that I am too critical, and I should stop this.

C] Following Paula’s advice: nearly one hour to write this post. If I had to talk about what is going on in my mind during this week, it would take the whole day.

D] Posting and going to watch “Blow”(2007), with Johnny Deep. Good night.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

It is important to take from what we see every day
the secrets that routine otherwise prevents us from perceiving.
(The Pilgrimage)

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

We learned that the life of flight attendant you met at Transylvania was the trigger for writing The Witch of Portobello. From the impression you received from her, which part was deeply reflected to Athena?

In October 2005, I met in Transylvania a roman stewardess that told me how she had been adopted by an Austrian family and about her gypsy roots. She was merely the starting point of the novel. From this meeting I started to wave the threads of a story that for a long time I wanted to tell: the feminine side of God. The character of Athena was the Ariadne’s thread in my novel’s labyrinth.

BRIDA (DEUTSCH)

Knowing how to listen to insults

By Paulo Coelho

In a kingdom of Arabia lived a queen called Layla. Her wisdom illuminated the land like the sun, her beauty blinded men, and her wealth was greater than any of her subjects.

One morning, her chief advisor asked to see her, and said:

– Great queen Layla! You are the wisest, most beautiful and wealthiest women in the world. But I have heard unpleasant things; some people laugh at or complain about your decisions. Why, in spite of all you have done for your subjects, are they still not content?

The queen laughed and replied:

– Loyal advisor, you know how much I have done for my kingdom. Seven regions are under my control, and all of them have enjoyed peace and prosperity. In all the towns, the decisions of my court are just and inspired.

"I can do almost everything I wish. I can order the frontiers to be closed, the gates of the palace to be locked, the treasury coffers sealed indefinitely.

"But there is one thing I cannot do: make the people shut their mouths. It matters not what false things people say; the important thing is to continue to do that which I consider to be true."

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Image of the Day : Geishas

Geishas