Respect for mystery – Part 2

Paulo Coelho

I had to live for many years before I realized that love is an act of faith in another person, and its face should continue to be wrapped in mystery. It should be lived and relished at each and every minute, but whenever we try to understand it, the magic vanishes.

When I accepted this I also began to let my life be guided by a strange language that I call “signs”. I know that the world is talking to me, I need to listen to it, and if I do so I shall always be guided towards what is most intense, passionate and beautiful. Of course, it is not easy and at times I feel like Psyche at the cliff, cold and terrified, but if I can pass through that night and deliver myself to the mystery and faith in life, I will always end up waking in a palace. All I need is to trust in Love, even though I run the risk of making a mistake.

To conclude the Greek myth: desperate to have her love back, Psyche submits to a series of tasks imposed by Aphrodite (or Venus), the mother of Cupid (or Eros), who is envious of her beauty. One of the tasks is to deliver some of her beauty to Aphrodite. Psyche grows curious about the box that was supposed to contain the Goddess’ beauty and once again is unable to cope with the Mystery, so she decides to open it. Inside she finds not beauty but rather an infernal sleep that leaves her inert and immobile.

Eros/Cupid is also in love, regretful for not having been more tolerant towards his wife. He manages to enter the castle and wake her from her deep sleep with the point of his arrow and once again tells her: “You almost died on account of your curiosity.” That is the great contradiction, Psyche sought for security in knowledge and found only insecurity.

The two of them go to Jupiter, the supreme god, and implore that their union will never be undone. Jupiter passionately pleads the cause of the lovers and succeeds in gaining the support of Venus. From that day onwards, Psyche (the essence of the human being) and Eros (love) are always together. Whoever does not accept this and tries to find an explanation for magical and mysterious human relations will miss the best part of life.

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  1. I remember when you first mentioned this story
    and how happy I felt because I’ve been and am intrigued
    with this story too.
    Being a constant curious knowledge-seeking person
    trying to submit myself to the mystery of love.
    If I’m ever even trying?…

    A story from life which intrigued me the later years
    is of Etty Hillesum, “the girl that learned to kneel”
    also a seeker who found unusual strength in extremely
    difficult times.

  2. They say… don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.

    Well, the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’ not so true, even if it were, hey the cat has 9 lives… :)

    What a truly LOVELY story! I’ve heard it before, but to read it on your blog Paulo, it just feels so much different.

    The greatest Mystery of life…. LOVE!!!!!!!

    I Love you!

  3. Precioso siempre me gustó esta historia, cuando la primera vez la lei en la revista del periódico escrita por Paulo Coelho fue una de las historias que me fascinó y busqué información y encontré que algunas partes de la historia que no se relatan aquí­ me recordaba a un cuento que me contaba mi madre, un cuento que se hizo realidad en parte.
    Un beso Paulo cuando se evoca la palabra AMOR todo se confabula y aparece el amor por todas partes que lo inunda todo.

  4. Mari Raphael says:

    Sim. O Amor existe pela Fé na crení§a dele. O maior magnetismo do Universo é o Amor. A magia é o íªxtase do beijo entre Eros e Psyche ou melhor a flechada de Cupido/Eros em Psyche : Amor e Fé caminham juntos.

  5. THELMA says:

    ‘.. to find an explanation for magical and mysterious human relations will miss the best part of life’!

    Mystery and magic bounds Psyche and Eros together eternally..
    Our Psyche [ Ψυχή ] desires Eros and without it we are nothing.. We need passion, enthusiasm, joy. Without our … Soul Mate we are nothing. We live in the darkness. We are ‘dead’ alive! We long for Paradise and to be ONE and complete again. LIFE is LOVE and LOVE is LIFE.


  6. Mariëlle says:

    Perfect ending.. really beautiful!


  7. Cleusa Maria de Souza Nunes Vieira says:

    É… o amor é a centelha, a chama divina que impulsiona os coraí§íµes e mentes da humanidade. Mas ní£o é só o amor que ní£o deve ser entendido. A vida, por si só, já é um enigma, e como tal, deve ser apenas vivida. Assim podemos aproveitá-la melhor, desfrutar de tudo que é bom e nos é enviado como presente pelo universo. Descobrir nossas falhas e receios sim, esses vale a pena. Assim aprimoramos nossa maneira de encarar o outro e a nós mesmos. Mas sem o amor, ah, sem o amor… “riremos, mas ní£o todos os risos, choraremos, mas ní£o todos os choros” e ai ní£o saberemos o que realmente é o amor e a vida.
    Fica com Deus e na paz!

  8. unnamed says:

    OH the best story I’ve Ever heard!!

    Love! Let it live!

    Much Love,

  9. This is one of the most beautiful stories :)


  10. Irina Black says:

    Once the right definition was found for the item and the item(palace)-disappered-Borges described that;may be we should just say:”Love is..”

  11. Monika says:

    Sigh! What a beautiful happy end!

  12. Mari Ann says:

    This part of the history I liked. Thank you. :-) You made my day!

  13. sido66 says:


    The greek myth: Psyche (the essence of the human being) and Eros (love) are always together,

    Moslem tradition (Koran): suras invite the man to perfect through his dedication to God;

    Jewish tradition:The Zohar contains all the spiritual states that people experience as their souls evolve

    Christian tradition: apocalypse according to Saint Jean (7 spirits, 7 levels of progress)

    Buddhist tradition: the supreme way of the spiritual rise (where The buddha becomes aware that nothing, even his soul, has an unchanging essence) and moderation in any thing

    The soul, the cement of the stages ” of the brilliance ” of the soul, for all: THE LOVE.
    The love for the other one, the love towards the other one, towards the divine love, enlightens the soul, and then the man found the sense of his life and tries since to fill a “space” in his soul: love and come out love = fill his(her) soul and feed him of love.

    And this love is the front door which allows to reach the first, second stage of the soul which opens as a rose in the life.
    ( Where the triangle teaches and allows)

  14. Alexandra says:

    I love the happy end. I forgot details of that story. Thank you for reminding it.

  15. Ca says:

    Querido Mestre,

    Foi uma das coisas mais lindas que ja li na minha vida. Muito obrigada!! Confesso que ontém ní£o aguentei de ansiedade e procurei saber o fim da historia, fiquei feliz de saber que eles terminaram juntos e que o amor venceu. Em todo caso, hoje mesmo sabendo ja o fim me surpreendi mais uma vez, como a forma maravilhosa que vc expressou a historia, o amor. Muito obrigada por tudo Paulo, pois com vc eu aprendo muito, e quero cada vez me amelhorar mais e mais. Apesar de ja ter arriscado e me machucado, pra mim o risco de amar ainda é o mais valido de todos, pois o pior dos riscos é viver sem amor. Hoje me sinto pronta pra amar com total confianí§a e fé, e isto me deixa muito feliz.

    Meu amor, meu respeito e minha gratidí£o sempre.


  16. Irina S. says:

    It is said that people will always be in search of perfection because they knew it once (the Eden). In this search, they will primarily use knowledge because it is the one which keeps them alive but as a writer said once, in order to achieve true happiness one should know everything or nothing at all. As neither of the two situations is possible, then, indeed, knowledge can bring insecurity. The more you know the less happy you are even only for the fact that you realize perfection is even further away than first.

    Yet, knowledge without love is not in the essence of the human beings, you want to know something because you are passionate about it. Otherwise we would have been all called Google ::))))

    In what love is concerned, as I said yesterday, it should be only lived and felt without trying to explain it or find justifications in why we love something or somebody. It only needs trust and a heart where to dwell.

  17. sido66 says:

    In my soul live the love, and the love feeds the essence of the human being

  18. aditya says:

    Hia paulo & friends !

    and mary Ann, it seems we were on the right track while contemplating part 1 of this.

    life is a mystry to be lived not a puzzle to be solved, and as we know love is life. somewhere that line from rumi seems connected here “abandon cleverness ( which wants to be sure, wants to understand, wants to be in control ) and gain bewilderment”

    these mythologies are damn confusing, see it says jupiter is the supreme god and in the same breath adds that jupiter pleads to get venus’s support, so what kind of suprimacy is that, us humans know that wheen one is superior one needs to just ask why plead, but then in divine circles use of force is considred a stament of weakness, use of persuation divine, jupiter is supreme because he pleads not forces !