The Wheel of Time

Paulo Coelho

Carlos Castaneda was certainly the most important writer of the hippie generation, although he was never accepted in intellectual circles – not that this worried him very much. Just as I did last year, I am dedicating an issue of Warrior of the Light Online to his work, and transcribe a few excerpts from his books:

A warrior accepts the responsibility for his actions – even the most trivial ones. A common man never admits his mistakes, but claims any victory, even if it is that of another man. He is a winner or a loser, can become a persecutor or victim, but will never achieve the condition of warrior, for he does not deserve it.

Sometimes a warrior must be available, and at others he must remain hidden. It is useless for a warrior to be available all the time, just as it is useless hiding when all know where has hidden. By alternating availability and unavailability, he does not tire easily, and does not tire those around him.

For the common man, the world is strange because when he isn’t tired of living, he is suffering because of things he believes he doesn’t deserve. To a warrior, the world is strange because it is stupendous, frightening, mysterious, unfathomable. The art of the warrior consists of balancing the terror of being a man, with the wonder of being a man.

Acts have power. Especially when the warrior knows that each fight might be his last battle. There is a strange joy in acting fully in the knowledge that we might die at any moment.

The most difficult thing in this world is to adopt the posture of a warrior. Being sad and complaining is no use, nor is claiming someone does us wrong. No one is doing anything to anyone, and much less to a warrior.

The confidence of a warrior is not the confidence of a common man. A common man seeks approval in the eyes of the spectator, and calls this certainty. The warrior seeks to be impeccable in his own eyes, and calls this humility. The common man is tied to his neighbors, the warrior is in contact with infinity.

There are many things that a warrior can do at any given moment, and which he could not do some years ago. It is not that things have changed; what has changed is the idea the warrior has about himself.

Power always places the warrior within reach of a cubic centimeter of luck. The art of the warrior consists of being permanently fluid, in order to use it.

Everyone has at his disposal enough power to achieve things. The warrior’s secret consists of capturing the energy which was before dedicated to his weaknesses, and using it in his favor in this life.

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


  1. Dear Paulo, many thanks for sharing the most touching definition of the warrior that i have ever read: “The art of the warrior consists of balancing the terror of being a man, with the wonder of being a man.”. Love, Peter.

  2. Heart says:

    Thelma…you need to record a you tube clip playing piano for us!

    Yes Luce, warrior is a metaphor for human traits. Certainly, they are both masculine and feminine. Thank you for translating your Croatian saying to us! Covjek …in Norwegian; Kriger (or Viking hehe)

  3. Tania says:

    yes i think the warrior always captures everything and turns it around just like the wheel- goes full circle -the warrior always I think too uses his/her energy to keep fighting for life and knows how to pick his battles ..Blessings Tania

  4. luce says:

    Dear Heart,

    It is all about language, so to identify with “warrior” for someone like me (from Croatia) is easy but it can be easy to you too. Just accept it as fundamental idea that stay behind that word.
    Ona je čovjek, borac, ratnik – she is man,fighter, warrior
    On je čovjek, borac, ratnik – he is man,fighter, warrior
    as idea it is valid for man and woman.

    ÄŒovjek is meant as person who is valid, of substance, with integrity, good, honourable, human above all the rest….!


  5. THELMA says:

    Dear Heart I also liked ‘Copying Beethoven’ very much. Beethoven is my favourite composer. His music is divine. Every note at the.. right place, every pause at the .. right time, directly into our hearts. He has transformed his unhappy, unfortunate life to the ODE to JOY.
    My sister has given me as a present a book Beethoven’s NINE SYMPHONIES by Corinne Heline, correlated with the Nine Spiritual Mysteries. Very interesting and fascinating.
    We,the Warriors of Light, as said above, much be always alert and use our energy with ..Might for Right and not considering that our might gives us the right to become dictators.

  6. Heart says:

    As a female I find it hard to identify with the term; warrior or with the opposite; the common man. A Warrior is something very masculine. Goliath comes to mind. A Warrior of the light, or even Culture Warriors, identify some processes I find myself involved in, even being a woman.

    The conclusion of Coelho’s text here, how a warriors weaknesses is transferred into his strength, isn’t it a truth so very mysterious. I just watched the movie; ‘Copying Beethoven’, with Ed Harris as Beethoven, and again was reminded how; a close to deaf man, could become one of the worlds most beloved composers. He talked about how he found music when he listened to the silence, and tried to pass this gift on to his apprentice. Beethoven’s weakness became his greatest strength.

  7. rastasufi says:

    “Para mi solo recorrer los caminos que tienen corazon, cual-
    quier camino que tenga corazon.

    Por ahi yo recorro, y la unica prueba que vale es atra-
    vesar todo su largo. Y por ahi yo recorro mirando, mirando,
    sin alinto.”

    “Se chorei ou se sorri
    O importante
    É que emoí§íµes eu vivi…”

  8. aditya says:


    fantastic and fabulous !

    “The warrior’s secret consists of capturing the energy which was before dedicated to his weaknesses, and using it in his favor in this life.” wow ! so that is the secreat of being a able to remain a wol !!! hmmm. what are my weaknesses and how much of my energy am i wastig on them ???

    Could not fathom this though “nor is claiming someone does us wrong. No one is doing anything to anyone, and much less to a warrior” a wol is not a common man, but the common men want everyone to be common, they leave no stone unturned if someone tries to be diffrent, be a wol. much presecution is faced by such wols, their were times when they were crufied, even now crucifaction is attempeted, may not be litereaaly but otherwise. we are in fortunate times that at least now once in a while a wol can be uncommon and be respected for it in his /her lifetime. but such chaps need to have an icredible gift of gab, no !


  9. Daline says:

    hi paulo
    i like it and i am going to print it , it’s real and sometimes we live in that situation but in another way……..

    There is a strange joy in acting fully in the knowledge that we might die at any moment.
    i believe in this .

  10. […] Paulo Coelho, uit de blog post “The wheel of time“ […]

  11. Hi Paulo,

    I have been away for a week and was just catching up with your blog . I just wanted to comment it was great to read the Carlos Casteneda piece. It also struck me that I have only read the whole works of two writers one is yourself and the other Carlos Casteneda, so it was good to see the two together.

  12. luce says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Ever since I met through your work idea of warrior I recognized myself in it. I had doubts and was asking myself how can I be sure to be a warrior.

    Thank you, reading this made me understand I am on the good path.

    For me this is not story as Alexandra calls it, for me it is reality of my being.

    Thank you, you made me happy and content, with less doubts and more certainty to procede on.


  13. Olga says:

    One of the hardest thigs to do is to embrace that i’m not common.

  14. Bill Ectric says:

    This is great! I’m going to print it and maybe even frame it.

  15. Anlao says:

    30 seconds for the whole post, and minutes on the last sentence. Wow!

    “Energy before dedicated to weaknesses, and used in his favor in this life”

    A deep thank you for the much wanted mental fireworks!

  16. Alexandra says:

    Dear Paulo,I have to confess how much I envy you for your skill in archery.I would like also learn it,but had no ocasion up to now.Maybe in future,who knows.This story shows the importance of connecting body- mind.Only a strong body is not complete without a trained mind.We need both of them.