The Warrior Of Light and Faith

Paulo Coelho

The warrior of light, once he has learned how to use a sword, discovers that his equipment is still incomplete – he needs armour.
He sets off in search of this armour and he listens to the advice of various salesmen.
‘Use the breastplate of solitude,’ says one.
‘Use the shield of cynicism’, says another.
‘The best armour is not to get involved in anything,’ says a third.
The warrior, however, ignores them. He calmly goes to his sacred place and puts on the indestructible cloak of faith.
Faith parries all blows. Faith transforms poison into crystalline water.

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Comments

  1. tassos says:

    There were two honest boys that were burning from true love for the same indecisive girl. Both boys read the same ‘follow-your-heart’ and ‘go-for-it’ stories. They finally killed eachother in the middle of the dirty street on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The birds were singing on the branches, and their mothers are still crying.

    @Dear Savita,
    Thank you for your kind reply. I do see value in faith. But. To me, all faith is blind faith, blind to reason, by definition of the word. And therefore, the difference between the true believer and the fundamentalist exists only in the circumstances. To have faith is to not have doubt. But doubt is the consideration of counterarguments. But then: ‘it is the devil that put these thoughts in your head’, and ‘close your heart to doubt’ – as they say. If there can be faith that respects doubt, the possibility that faith itself is mistaken I mean, then I will have to think about it.

    @aditya
    I leave aside all the why’s, and I am still not sure that i understand you correctly:
    So in your view faith is this abstract inner feeling of self-righteousness, which is not to be confused with specific faiths, but at the same time faith includes following specific traditions,*in letter* even?? Please help me navigate and see the sense in this.

    Besides, Which tradition? Whatever tradition? Your tradition? My tradition? The tradition of the pedophiles? The tradition of the cannibals? Are you praising for example faith in the tradition of the cannibals? Or do you perhaps believe that if all people would listen to their true inner voices then everything would be magically harmonious because these inner voices of everybody just fit? How can you say to people to switch off reason and just follow their heart [i add: to possible disasters]? Is this apparent view of yours, as i understand it, more than just a gamble?

    And how do you know that my internal feeling about what is right tells me that tradition is right? And what should happen about me if i do not have this feeling, and if i moreover go as far as to spread the word around, even?

    Please forgive me if i misunderstood you: I only apologize because i disregard my faith that i understood you correctly.
    ta_michal@gmail.com

  2. Dances With Crayons says:

    Even faith grows, I think! Thank you Paulo : )

  3. JessyK says:

    Right now I more faith than ever.I need to believe that I can be strong and become again the person I used to be.
    The battle against doubt, unsureness and fear is the most difficult one. Everyday I fight. But even when sometimes I want to give up…I go on and go on. That shows me that inside me , there is still the awareness that I move in the right direction, that faith is trying to come back to me.Faith in me.Faith in the world.Faith in the one I love. JK

  4. Tassos says:

    Faith, blind faith as i call it, uncritical belief in the validity of any inner voice, feeling, and intuition, is a very problematic and potentially seriously dangerous thing. This is because, and to the extent that, different people feel different voices, feelings, and intuitions -perhaps depending on what they experienced and what stories they were told at very receptive early ages.
    To tell people to rely on faith can be a good thing when the intuitions of the people are compatible. When they are not, then to tell people to stick to faith without rational consideration of the consequences of their actions, and whether negative consequences are somehow (how?) justified, is to send people to endless war: Dutifully but blindly fighting for what they happened to believe, without knowing why, and for what they have not thought through.
    This is a problem i have with faith.

    1. Savita Vega says:

      Tassos, you make a very good point. And I also think that there is another word that even more clearly encapsulates the essence of this problem that you are seeking to describe. That word is “fundamentalism,” which is “blind faith” in a particular religious tradition. But, even beyond that, fundamentalism is marked by the idea that only this one religion is “right” (or “good”) and all others are “wrong” (or “evil”). Fundamentalism is defined by the very inability to see the other’s side, the refusal to accept that others might be right also. When fundamentalism arises, there is no possibility for the acceptance of differences – there is no respect for those who hold opposing views – and this is what makes it so very dangerous. The rapid rise in fundamentalism is the root of the problems we face today in the world, the cause of “religious wars.” And, to make matters even worse, fundamentalism is not contained to any one religion. There are “fundamentalist Christians,” just as there are “fundamentalist Muslims,” or fundamentalists of just about any variety. When two fundamentalist groups meet head-on, therein lies the makings of a senseless and virtually inevitable war, one in which “blind faith” fuels the fires of fear and hatred.

    2. aditya says:

      faith does not mean faith in any doctrine as such, faith is an internal feeling that this isright, not because society tells me but because it appears so to me, my heart not mind.

      let’s not confuse faith with diffrent Faiths, which are mostly just teh shell, teh crux is missing.

      faith includes follwoing tradition in letter and evn more importantly in spirit.

      love
      aditya

    3. tassos says:

      please see my reply posted above.

  5. Luciano says:

    ADOREI O SEU LIVRO “O Alquimista”, E IDENTIFICO-ME COM O ABSTRATO.
    ACREDITO QUE TEMOS PODERES DE MUDAR MUITAS COISAS, COM FÉ E AMOR!
    UM GRANDE ABRAÇO!

  6. Mari Ann says:

    Very good talk with physisian and friends today. Walked up the 172 narrow, steep steps in the winding staircase to get to the top of the Nidaros Cathedral for the first time. Knee OK, and I will go on my pilgrimage. First a few days back at work. Back on my horse!

    :-)

  7. B*Sofie says:

    My faith is my
    roots & my wings

    And my love*

  8. Irina Black says:

    “We have to love all,but to have faith in the favorited few.”(Casia, 9th century).To have faith means to follow tradition.

    1. Savita Vega says:

      Depends. “To follow tradition” is to have “religion.” There are many who have religion, but no real faith at all. Similarly, there are many who have deep faith, but who do not subscribe to any particular religious tradition. As for “having faith in the favorited few” (believing that God favors only those of one certain religious tradition) – that is fundamentalism.

  9. Montega says:

    So there he was, standing proudly in the sunlight, adorned with shining steel, sharp weapons and so beautiful to the world: king of his kingdom! He imagined how others would see him, his advisors that gullibly offered their knowledge, his followers with shiny eyes and slightly opened lips. He knew how they talked about him, to their friends and families and how they prided themselves in knowing him, the warrior!
    He stood still and listened inside, deep inside himself, waiting for that special voice that had guided him to where he was now,. As long as he could remember he had felt he had been guided, as if the hand of god was lying on his shoulder.
    But now?
    Now there was silence.
    Where was that guide? Where had he gone? He almost looked over his shoulder in search for it> But of course it wasn’t a force from outside, it had always been this calling from within. What had happened to it?
    He felt unnerved, irritated with the silence and at the sudden feeling of threat. The urge to do something, just anything to not listen to the silence within became almost overwhelming.
    He sat down and forced himself to relax with the uneasiness, with the fear, the queasiness. His breath was the only sound he could hear, No, he also heard his heart pounding into the silence. His mind was racing, thoughts about how he had gotten to were he was now, – his struggles, – his achievements – past through his mind. ‘Why am I not happy at last?’ he wondered, ‘I have everything I ever wished for: i am strong, I am king of my kingdom! ‘ He heard himself whisper these words as if it were his mother soothing his uneasiness. The uneasiness that seemed to be growing despite of his attempts to affirm himself. ‘Nothing can happen to me now! I’ve come so far, I’ve struggled so much! Now is the time to harvest,’ he murmured to himself and brushed over his shiny adornment, ‘this will keep me save!’
    ‘Save from what?’
    ‘Where did that come from? Who said that? ‘ now he did look over his shoulder looking for the source of that voice. Nothing there.
    ‘Save from what?’ again he heard the question, it wasn´t a voice from outside, it was something in him asking.
    ‘ From what?’
    He listened in shock: of course he needed protection! There is so much one needs to protect oneself of! Hurt! Loss! Heartache! Whatever!
    Finally he had gotten to were he thought he’d be safe at last. Were he was right and the defender of the righteous! He was! Indeed he was! So why did he feel like something had gone quiet within him? Were was his inner guide, his teacher, were was he now? And were had this little voice of doubt come from? The voice that seemed to tell him that his struggles had been in vain, that now he was protected properly, he had assistants and guides, admirers and followers, he was successful and rich and respected by all, and what did it mean ? What was the value of all that? He looked at his fingers that were still fidgeting with the shiny armor. And he sensed that this shield was so shiny, so impenetrable that it shielded his soul from the very essence of life: doubt!

  10. anita grinde says:

    Wow..!!!!..This I LIKE…!!! :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  11. THELMA says:

    ….So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
    Saint Paul’s letter to Corinthians.
    LOVE,
    Thelma.

  12. Savita Vega says:

    Truly, faith is the best armor, because faith carries us through even when we DO come to harm. It may not always protect our physical body, but it shields our soul from doubt even in the darkest hour. It is what gives meaning, even in moments of great loss.

    I think of those knights of old and the suits of armor they wore. Without faith, a warrior is just a walking tin can: as soon as someone punctures his armor, he falls, because he has nothing more enduring to rely on.

    But those who have faith, even when the battle turns in favor of the enemy, they know that all is as it should be and that, in the end, all will be righted. This is the basis of their strength, which is mightier than any weapon.

  13. Arm yourself with the force that is in God, of His Force, His strength. Put on God’s armor to be in a state of being able to face Satan’s tactics. It is not human kind that we are confronted, but autorities, powers, dominators of this world of darkness, spirits of harm. Take God’s armor, so that in bad day, you can resist et stay up, having done everything in action. Up now! At the waist, the truth as a belt, justice as “cuirasse” and for shoes, the “drive” to go and transmit. Do not forget the “bouclier” of faith which will permit you to extinguish all the projectiles of flames from the darkness. Receive the helmet of the love of God and the weapon of the Spirit, meaning God’s Word. May the Spirit of God transmit you prayer under all forms, your needings, in all circumstances. When in waiting mode, pray for all your sisters and brothers, for me too.” Éphésiens 6:10-18

    I translated as I could (some English words missing from my knowledge). So, faith, yes is essential, but also being true to myself and God, justice and passion. Faith permits me to hold in front of negative energy, of negative words, of doubt, of fears. And the certainty that I am on my path and that I am there by the will and love of God for me, and that I do to share this love with Him, to love myself in return. And the Spirit, the Commander, the strategic officer. That is the armor that is complete for me to be able to stay on my path and to go further in the will of God for me as of today and that permits me to visualize his will at long term.

  14. Catherine says:

    Yes, I would agree –
    faith gives greater armour than the other three could ever imagine/give.

    keep the faith… it is truely your best shield.

  15. candieb says:

    We read,we listen,we make mistakes and we learn.Faith is one of the thing we need to have all the time,as courage and love in what we are doing.But what is an armour?As quoted above,can we not use all of them,in time when we want?Why does it have to be only one all the time?We are “multiple”,we like many different things and we can excel in many fields(as long as we don’t disperse ourselves and finish one before starting another),but still we can do several things at the same time and we all do.It doesn’t mean we won’t succeed and most important,to go at our own pace.We are similar yet so different,we need to do things with the heart and in order to do that,we need not to be under pressure(well again depends on what’s our motto,some people like being under pressure,it gives them boost)but what is good for one isn’t for another.
    Labels,categories,under the authority of a movement or religion ect..isn’t for me,perhaps is it that I haven’t found what suits me more yet,but still I see beauty and truth in many things as well as lies and manipulations too.It’s dual,we are and everything is.Therefore,I like chatting with other people,see different points of views and all,learning many things but you would see me as happy when I’m alone.

    “Faith transforms poison into crystalline water” this is beautiful and true.

    WE PISCES(WE SERVED)WE ARE A PERPERTUAL CONTRADICTION!LOL
    NOT EASY!!!I CONFIRM!!:)

  16. Cristina says:

    I agree.
    But Faith is also a difficult cloak to wear.
    It needs proves, and will to wear it.
    Without the continuous intention to wear the cloak of Faith, we loose the habbit to put it on.
    This is,I think, the most important training of the Warrior of the Light.

    1. Betsy says:

      Faith is a difficult cloak to wear, but when going through the hardest time in your life, it is what keeps us alive. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us alive.

    2. aditya says:

      yes faith is a difficult cloak to wear, mind looks for things it can categorise, take it as understood, things which are logical and faith is not logical. hence allowing oneself to be surrendered to faith is the fisrt act of faith, first act putting mind in its place. but the battle remains, mind is cunning, it wants to rule – u, hence it’s a matter of habit to keep one’s faith green, it needs nutruring with meditaion and contemplation.

      and just as all armours must be worn, faith is also to be worn everyday afresh, every consious meoment afresh.

      paul, worry not about being silly ( although i did not see how ), actions of wols appear silly to others, and wols anyway don’t judge others, much less a fellow wol.

      love
      aditya

  17. aditya says:

    so faith is the only armour, hmmmm….

    is it faith if it is subject to scrutiny?

    love
    aditya

    1. THELMA says:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article6572022.ece

      Dearest Paul, I had to search for … Max Mosely… [agent 000] ;-] You keep our … minds alert. I had never heard the man and his ..Formula One Team. Reading the article I was smiling.. It seems that the ..older men become, the more ..’unwise’[a mild characterism] they become. The super class.
      It is nice to .. see you being .. silly and ..happy. After the agony of the Camino it seems that your heart is getting lighter and lighter.
      May we all Warriors of the Light have a happy Friday evening.
      LOVE,
      Thelma xxx

    2. Nancy says:

      Thelma- Thanks, you have a happy Friday evening as well. Reading comments between you and Paul is always fun!:) You answered my question of who is Max Mosely too.

    3. Melyssab79 says:

      Aditya,

      Your faith, no matter what you believe in, will be scrutinized by many…but that’s to be expected, so I have to assume you’re pondering whether faith can still be faith if it is held up to your own scrutiny and feels a bit like doubt. I can speak to this from my own experience and perhaps explain how I answer that very question for myself.

      I was raised in a religious tradition full of grace and holiness, as well as contradiction and hypocrisy. The more I learned from the leaders of my religion, the more I was confused. The faith felt right, and yet the dogma felt like I was being sold false ideals by two-faced men with split tongues. I felt, for some time, a great deal of what I thought was doubt. I wondered if that made me “agnostic” or “athiest” and I struggled with that for a long time as I was trying very hard to define who I really am…and yet through that struggle, as I sifted through what I had been told to believe and what I actually had FAITH in, I realized something important. It is what I come back to after all of the questions have been asked and all of the inconsistencies and lies created by others, priests, clerics, etc. that constitutes what I truly believe…what I have FAITH in. So therefore, the FAITH I have is not what I blindly absorbed from those around me, but what I STILL believe after spiritual searching and long hours of deep thought.

      So what does that all mean? For me, that means I believe in one God, yet feel that God is neither gender, yet understanding of both and would never want women to be valued less than a man. I believe we were created with purpose and it is our life’s work to be of use and use our powers, gifts that they are, for good. I believe that Jesus was sent by God to teach us great lessons, but that many people distort his message and that is their cross to bear. I believe that we should treat others as we hope be treated and model this for children. And I believe that we have an obligation to do what we can for the betterment of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world…to bear witness to pain and feel neither empathy nor a call to action is a great evil and a choice that diminishes our humanity. As for all of the other trappings of religion, the rest are just details and I put little stock in them. That has been my discovery thus far, and yet I seek to further refine and evolve as life teaches me more. I look for signs, keep my mind and heart open, and try to live with the knowledge that I don’t have the answers to most of what I’m looking for, and yet I carry the FAITH and beliefs that I’ve concluded are absolute truths for me, and move forward. I commit to the quote attributed to Michelangelo as he lay dying, “ANCORA IMPARO” Latin for “I am still learning.”

      I don’t know if this helps you answer the question, “is it faith if it is subject to scrutiny?” but I wish that you find something you believe in your bones and that it be a start for determining what FAITH truly is for you.

      ~Melyssa

    4. aditya says:

      hi paul, u always bring a smile around. not bad at all ! and Thelma is so meticulous, she found out !

      melyssa, i must thank u from the bottom of my heart, such a beautiful ‘sharing’, there are so many gems visting this site of paulo, not bad at all.

      faith to me is subject not only to scrutiny, but also god is subject to scutiny, but not with a logical mind. u know there is a very beautiful story about child krishna, kkrishna as a child was quite miscivious, used to break the earthen pots of gopis, steal butter eetc from neighbours’ and used to have aprty with his freinds ( since childhood kirishna’s life is modelled on what is the joyous way of living here ), his mom often used to receive complaints and fed up she used to punish him too, god or no god, u must behave yourself, being the message. such a loving ‘scrutiny’ adds to the joy of living with faith.

      must thank you once again “i am still leraning” is a great attitude, it keeps teh ego in check and progress intact, in fact rabindranath Thakur, only noble laurete in litreture from india, too is attributed a similar qute whgile dying ” what god, u are telling me my time is up, when it is only now that i was abouyt to sing the song, preparing for which i have written all the other songs” these chaps must be amzing no, out of the world.

      love
      aditya

  18. Zachara says:

    Just to say that I seem to have found the same path as yourself alone and could experience as a child that our body was were our soul was emprisonned for a time only. I have many true magical stories to tell but only seldom find the right ear to listen end believe them.The world is, indeed, a magical place. This absolute certainty due to repeated private experiences ( trying to share these moments each time put a stop to them) is what has helped me to live through the last 15 years. Many years ago I met “by chance” an astrologer who told me all about my father(then dead) and myself including that I would keep on learning all my life but “NO TEACHER”.

    1. Betsy says:

      Life is our teacher.

  19. Betsy says:

    Yes, Faith all we need.
    It protects us as a mother will wrap her arms around a babe not letting any harm come to her child.
    And what is stronger then a mother’s love?