Archives for October 2008

Paulo Coelho on the Blaue Sofa at the book fair Frankfurt

Paulo Coelho on the Blaue Sofa at the book fair Frankfurt

Receiving the Cinema for Peace Special Award for the Experimental Witch Project

Dear readers,
here’s a little movie I did for you while receiving the Cinema for Peace Special Award for the Experimental Witch Project last week in Frankfurt.
I received this on behalf of the moviemakers that made this project possible.
Love
Paulo

P.S : if you speak German, you can watch the full laudatio by clicking here

Weekly Free Association : Diamonds

Diamonds are the most precious of all precious stones. Hence their name in Latin: regina gemmarum “the queen of the gems”. In virtual all societies, diamonds are associated with perfection and purity. Plato described the axis of the world as a diamond column rising to the skies. In popular traditions diamonds are supposed to make people invisible, cast away bad spirits and draw feminine favors.

In the traditional symbolism of the precious stones, diamonds are associated with the sun. Hildegarde de Bingen (1098 – 1179) stated that “the devil sees in this stone its enemy since it resists to all his endeavors: that’s why the devil hates it day and night”.

Lonicerus, a Renaissance botanist, thought that diamonds could even stop wars, strife and be able to protect us from any poison or temptations bad spirits could bring.

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

Conversations with the Master : The tragedy

Paulo Coelho

Here I continue to reproduce excerpts from conversations with my master, from 1982 to 1986)

– Why is there so much tragedy and misery in the world?

– Tragedy and misery are different things, and very lengthy subjects. Which would you like to talk about first?

– At the moment, about tragedy. Why does man suffer?

– Read the Bible and you will find the following: "that which is good, comes from You, my Lord. That which is evil, also comes from You, my Lord. Therefore what is there to fear?"

– Nevertheless, we do suffer.

– Certainly. But take this into consideration: of every ten problems we have, nine are created by our own selves – through guilt, self-punishment, self-pity. However, from time to time a great obstacle appears in our path, which was put there by God, and which is there for a reason. The reason is: to give us the opportunity to change everything, to move forwards.

"What is tragedy? A radical change in our lives, always linked to the same principle: loss. Suffering is always the result of a loss, either someone or something – such as health, beauty, or one’s financial conditions.

"When faced with a loss, it is no use trying to recover what has gone. On the other hand, a great space has been opened up in your life – there it lies, empty, waiting to be filled with something new. At the moment of one’s loss, contradictory as this might seem, one is being given a large slice of freedom.

"But most men, when faced with tragedy, fill this space with pain and bitterness. They never think there may be other ways of facing the inevitable."

– For example?

– Firstly, by learning the great lesson of wise men: patience, the certainty that everything – both good and bad – is provisional in this life. Secondly, using this sudden change of course to risk new things in daily life, to do things you always dreamed of.

– This is clear regarding material things. But what about someone’s death?

– We have spoken much about death, and you know that for the one who passes on, it does not exist – that person is enjoying the delights of a radical transformation. The sensation of death only exists for the one left here. Every dear person, upon departing, becomes our protector – after going through a period of longing, we should be joyful, since we are better protected. In the same way, one day we will be on the other side, protecting the people we love down here.

– And those we hate…

– Exactly as you imagine. They remain tied to us through the feeling of bitterness. That is why Jesus said: "before going to the temple, go back and forgive your brother." One must be forever washing one’s soul with the water of forgiveness.

– But going back to tragedy…

– There is something which is impossible to measure: the intensity of pain. We know a person is suffering because they tell us, but we cannot evaluate exactly how much. We often try to compare someone’s attitude upon being faced by a tragedy, and we end up judging them to be stronger or weaker than they really are. Do not compare random pain with nothing; only the one suffering can know what he or she is going through.

"Therefore, when inevitable tragedy appears, we must remember these three things: to make the most of the freedom of loss, not to judge the pain, and to learn the art of patience. It will destroy 9/10 of that which you are, but the 1/10 which remains will make you an infinitely stronger person. "

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Image of the Day : Signs

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

In the intervals between battles, the Warrior of Light rests.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)

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Today’s Question by the reader : Kathryn

Considering loves importance in our lives, do you find it interesting that in English we say "fall in love"?

To me fall implies an involuntary action done without true intention…

I think it’s possible to "fall" in love given that love is a force that can take us from heaven to hell in matter of minutes.

This tremendous energy overflows us in a sense – the ego sometimes has no saying in it.

Conversations with the Master : The language of the signs

Paulo Coelho

– What is the language of the signs?

– Every man has his own personal way of communicating with God and with his own soul.

– So man doesn’t need religion?

– The religions are very important, because they allow us to adore collectively, and to share the same mysteries. But the spiritual search is the responsibility of each of us: if you stray from your path, it is no use blaming the priest, the minister, the rabbi, the pastor – the responsibility is yours alone. That is why an alphabet exists which your soul understands, and which will show you the better decisions along your path.

– How to learn this language?

– Like you would any other. First, with the discipline to educate oneself to notice the signs. Then, with the courage to practice the language. Thirdly, never be afraid to make mistakes while practicing.

– What is it makes us so often follow the wrong sign?

– But of course, how else to learn the right signs?

– Could you give me an example of a sign?

– No. As I said, the language is individual. If we begin to generalize the signs, they turn into superstition.

"Many masters have made the mistake of using their signs in order to guide their disciples. What happens is that when people begin the spiritual search, they enter unknown waters, and feel insecure. So they try grabbing hold of the first thing held out to them – and in doing this, they abandon the aspect of adventure, only to become slaves to the hand guiding them. "

– How can I be sure of recognizing a sign as a true one?

– You never can. But, generally, if you begin seeing this world beyond convictions, you will see that your intuition will start to lead you towards the better choice – however absurd it may seem. Gradually, this language becomes incorporated within you, and although you will continue to make the odd mistake, you are already at peace with your soul, and make the right decisions.

"Often the sign is more practical than we imagined, and I’ll tell you a story about this.

"A man once dreamt about an angel, who said to him: tomorrow it will start to rain, your village will be flooded, but you will be saved.

"And sure enough, the next day it started to rain. An emergency team went from house to house, evacuating the inhabitants, since there was a danger of flooding. All left, except that man, who said: "I had a dream about an angel, who said I’d be saved."

"The next day, the water rose to the first floor of the houses. A second emergency team came to try and save the man, who again refused to leave, claiming to have received a sign from an angel, and that he had to show the world his faith.

"By the third day, the situation had become critical, and the man was alone, perched on the roof of his house – as the waters continued to rise nonstop. Making an enormous effort, a rescue team again tried to remove him, but again he refused, calling them the devil, shouting that they were trying to force him to deny the angel’s sign.

"A short while later, the water covered the house and the man was drowned. Since he was a good Christian, he went to heaven and met St. Peter, who invited him to enter. The man refused, saying that God had tricked him; He had sent an angel who told him he would be saved, when in fact he was the only villager who had died.

"St. Peter told him that God never lied, and promised to return with an explanation. He entered Paradise and returned half an hour later, saying:

"It is true, God did indeed send you an angel to tell you that you would be saved. But He said you refused, three times, the salvation He sent you in the form of rescue teams!""

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Gil and Paulo singing at the party

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of Light knows that no man is an island.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)

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

The readers were present

In Publishers Weekly article, you can read a comment about the Virtual Exibhition being seen during the party. Please click here to read the full article

Today’s Question by the reader : Yajna

Earlier someone asked how to start a book, and you responded by saying you just start… I can understand this, but it seems to that I start, and start over again, but it never feels completely right just yet. I was just wondering if you’ve experience that, knowing a specific story has to be told by you, but can’t get it out just yet. What did u do about it? Another thing is that, I’ve often heard writers say, when they start writing they didn’t know where the story would end, sort of going with the story until the ending fits. Generally when you write, do you know how things end? Do you plan books, like what you want to say in a chapter?

Concerning your first question – how to keep on writing and finishing a book – I think you should look it from another angle. What is happening in your life that prevents you from finishing a project?

My dilema was always with the beginning of a book. Yet I think that in the same way that I had to solve some issues in my life before I embarked in my first book (I was 40 when I wrote The Pilgrimage), probably there are other issues in life that you need to face before being able to finish a book. You’re the only judge of that.

Concerning the second item : Concerning the second item : I don’t plan my books – when I set to write I have a general idea of the theme I want to tackle but I like being surprised whilst writing.It’s a process of self-discovery creating a story.

The 100 Million Books Party

Dear Readers,

Here are a few photos of the party organized yesterday for the mark reached of a 100 Million Books Sold. During this party I had the chance to meet friends, publishers as well as receive the Guiness Award for most translated living author.

As you know, the photos of those that sent their pictures to the virtual exhibition were being shown – and I seize this opportunity to thank you once more for all the support in these 20 years.

Here’s my way of sharing this magical moment with all of you. The picture above was taken with my friend Gilberto Gil.

If you want to see other photos of the party, click here

Love
Paulo

Statutes for the present moment

Paulo Coelho

1] All men are different. And should do everything possible to continue to be so.

2] Each human being has been granted two courses of action: that of deed and that of contemplation. Both lead to the same place.

3] Each human being has been granted two qualities: power and gift. Power drives man to meet his destiny, his gift obliges him to share with others that which is good in him. A man must know when to use his power, and when to use his gift.

4] Each human being has been granted a virtue: the capacity to choose. For he who does not use this virtue, it becomes a curse – and others will always choose for him.

5] Each human being has the right to two blessings, which are: the blessing to do right, and the blessing to err. In the latter case, there is always a path of learning leading to the right way.

6] Each human being has his own sexual profile, and should exercise it without guilt – provided he does not oblige others to exercise it with him.

7] Each human being has his own Personal Legend to be fulfilled, and this is the reason he is in the world. The Personal Legend is manifest in his enthusiasm for what he does.
Single paragraph – the Personal Legend may be abandoned for a certain time, provided one does not forget it and returns as soon as possible.

8] Each man has a feminine side, and each woman has a masculine side. It is necessary to use discipline with intuition, and to use intuition objectively.

9] Each human being must know two languages: the language of society and the language of the omens. The first serves for communication with others. The second serves to interpret messages from God.

10] Each human being has the right to seek out joy, joy being understood as something which makes one content – not necessarily that which makes others content.

11] Each human being must keep alight within him the sacred flame of madness. And must behave like a normal person.

12] The only faults considered grave are the following: not respecting the rights of one’s neighbor, letting oneself be paralyzed by fear, feeling guilty, thinking one does not deserve the good and bad which occurs in life, and being a coward.
Paragraph 1 – we shall love our adversaries, but not make alliances with them. They are placed in our way to test our sword, and deserve the respect of our fight.
Paragraph 2 – we shall choose our adversaries, not the other way around.

13] All religions lead to the same God, and all deserve the same respect.
Single paragraph – A man who chooses a religion is also choosing a collective manner of adoration and of sharing the mysteries. Nevertheless, he alone is responsible for his actions along the Way, and he has no right to transfer to religion the responsibility for his steps and his decisions.

14] We hereby declare the end to the wall dividing the sacred from the profane: from now on, all is sacred.

15] Everything which is done in the present, affects the future by consequence, and the past by redemption.

16] Dispensations to the contrary are herewith revoked.

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Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of Light does not always have faith.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)

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

Today’s Question by the reader : Kristen

As one who has searched for years and years for ‘heart and home’ how do you think one’s struggles can be resolved when even the fiercest longings and hard work have not produced that?

It is a vast topic. You must not forget though that without the journey, Santiago would never be able to return home. His eyes would not see the real treasure had he not confronted his fears and risked everything.

Warrior of the Light Online Issue nº 183 is out!

The fifth cardinal virtue: Justice

Quinta virtude cardinal: Justií§a

Quinta virtud cardinal: Justicia

Cinquième vertu cardinale: Justice

Quinta virtí¹ cardinale: Giustizia