God and real life

selected by Paulo Coelho (feel free to share, by the way…)

Christian tradition
A protestant priest, having started a family, no longer had any peace for his prayers. One night, when he knelt down, he was disturbed by the children in the living room.
“Have the children keep quiet!” he shouted.
His startled wife obeyed. Thereafter, whenever the priest came home, they all maintained silence during prayers. But he realized that God was no longer listening.
One night, during his prayers, he asked the Lord: “what is going on? I have the necessary peace, and I cannot pray!”
An angel replied: “He hears words, but no longer hears the laughter. He notices the devotion, but can no longer see the joy.”
The priest stood and shouted once again to his wife: “Let the children play! They are part of praying!”
And his words were heard by God once again.

Muslim tradition
A blind man was begging on the road to Mecca, when a pious Moslem came over and asked whether the people were giving generously – as the Koran commands. The man showed him his little tin, which was almost empty. The traveler said:
– Let me write something on the card around your neck.
Hours later, the traveler returned. The beggar was surprised, for he had received a large amount of money.
– What did you write on the card? – he asked.
– All I wrote was: Today is a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining, and I am blind.

Jewish tradition
Dov Beer de Mezeritch was asked:
“Which example should one follow? That of pious men, who devote their lives to God? That of scholars, who seek to understand the will of the Almighty?
“The best example is that of the child,” he answered.
“A child knows nothing. It hasn’t yet learned what reality is,” people commented.
“You are all quite wrong, for a child possesses three qualities we should never forget,” said Dov Beer. “They are always joyful without reason. They are always busy. And when they want something, they know how to demand it firmly and with determination.”


  1. nasim says:

    i read three of your writings they are amazing ,why because these written lines interprate the comman man.
    i read alchemist four time. i amin search of MUKTUB BUT HERE IN PAKISTAN I CAN NOT FOUND IT.

  2. There is a Hindu ritual which is very famous in India, I heard it from some of my friends.
    On the way to the main temple on top of a hill, the worshipers have to go through a lot of medium sized stones. The worshipers carrying Keasari(Keasari is a saffron colored powder which is used by Hindus for puja), wipe the Kesari off their hands by rubbing it on these stones on their way back. Seeing that every worshiper does the same thing. Until the whole stone turns saffron and is mistaken for a symbol of a holy deity by the new worshipers visiting the temple. The next time the worshipers who rubbed their hands on the stone visits the temple, they find people putting flower garlands and bowing down and praying to that Stone assuming that it is holy but not understanding that it was there because some one had to get rid of the Kesari in his hand.

  3. Ginette says:

    Is religion a perception?

  4. Yogini says:

    Hindu Tradition

    Six blind men wanted to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body.

    The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar.
    The one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope.
    The one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch.
    The one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan.
    The one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall.
    And the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

    A wise man explains to them:
    “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.”
    (The story of the blind men and an elephant originated in India and is used to demonstrate either the relativity, or the inexpressible nature, of truth.)

  5. Camila says:

    nice, Really Really nice …
    you always know you tell me … just at times when I need to hear you there … thanks

  6. ynez says:

    we shall keep the child in ourselves…

  7. Parabéns caro Paulo Coelho!
    Que Deus te díª muita vida em sua vida e faí§a da sua jornada a jornada perfeita junto Dele.
    Den Rod Draham

  8. Yeray says:

    Esta es la historia de un joven que amaba el mar.Viví­a en una chabola,su único vecino era la costa, el oleaje contra las piedras.
    Trabajaba de ilusiones,siempre tení­a su mente viva pero no tení­a medios para conseguirlos.
    Un dí­a estaba encima de su tabla rompiendo y acariciando las olas.Le encanta el surf y sueña con luchar en la ola más grande con los grandes surferos de la época.Pero estaba condenado a vivir en aquella playa ya que no tení­a medios.
    Un dí­a de tormenta decidió tirarse al mar con su tabla y de repente apareció la ola más grande jamás vista de diez metros de altura. . .
    Y le dijo: Disfruta del comienzo porque esta ola te llevará a otra y a otra . . .

    El joven se agarró fuertemente a la tabla y se introdujo en la ola, en esos momentos no sabní­a que pensar. . . solo disfrutaba.
    Después de acariciar a las olas con su tabla llegón a la orilla y comenzo a dar saltos de alegrí­a
    Gritaba y decí­a: Gracias DIOS!!!!
    Por esta noche mágica . . .
    Al dí­a siguiente seguí­a en la playa y sólo pero Dios le habí­a hablado y mostrado el camino . . .

  9. suquest says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Reacted to message of 2 people and only realised after
    sending that their reactions were in dec. 2009 !
    They were to Keith and Gaurry.
    So, doubt if anyone will read them ? Not really important
    for ME, NO. However, others might possibly ‘benefit’ from
    ….on their personal ‘odyssey’ ?
    So could you put them where at the top ? After all I am
    reacting to your latest blog. THANK YOU, LOVE Suquest.


    One fine day the police arrived at another odd scene.
    A lunatic had comitted suicide.
    The captain shouted: Did anyone here witness the tragedy?
    A little child steps up and says: “I did”.
    What did you see, young man?
    As the little boy replies, eyes full of tears:
    I saw that man jump off the hospital building, screaming his lungs out FREEDOM. And added: “When he was about hitting the floor he smiled at me and waved. I think he was an angel”.
    An old lady: “If he were an angel he’d certainly have his wings spread so that he would be able to fly.
    And the boy: you don’t understand _ this corps is dead but his smile and his waving at me will always make me comprehend we have no time to waste. That comprehension and the mixed feeling of the freak and the divine are my wings to fly”.

    Den Rod Draham

    1. Isaaki says:

      I felt a tinge of smile n sadness,bt your tale touchd my heart

  11. Ciao Paulo, bello e vero! Senza gioia non c’è verití  e il Cielo questo lo sa ! Ciao Rosetta

  12. Alain says:

    I can only say that today’s blog is amazing! I loved it so much!
    Happy and Blessed Sunday night for everybody :)

  13. Joseph andrejchak galata says:

    As a Catholic Roma man I danced today to worship God, honor my ancestors and express gratitude for my blessings. In my dancing I did a dance to bless PC for writing The Alchemist ‘ cause this book brought into my life a very special friend who loves the book also!

  14. Olta Ana says:

    I don’t like repeating the some things more than once or retelling the same words but sometimes it is good to remember that we live in a “round” reality. All is in cycles which seem all the same but they’re not.
    I didn’t feel like rereading my last comment on this post, but I do want to say that this one it is one of the posts I love the most.
    The way we see God is very important. An open heart will always see God like for the very first time every time.
    God wakes up together with our hearts if we just let go of the exact image of how HE should be.
    Today I was in church after have been missing for a while.
    Sometimes it is good to abandon the reality you live in cause it helps you forget your bounds with it and when you are back you see it like a stranger like the first time noticing what you have missed before.
    Two weeks, 3 Sundays, where just enough to me…
    “Where are you my God?” I asked as always. Sure I know He/She is in everything but I want to find God with my heart. “Where does my heart beat more?”
    I m not going to dig into details. It is always a matter of an inner fight, my doubts about religion. I don’t have peace on them, but today I could see/feel/understand the power of the WORD and I saw “hear” once again his call to find Him.
    Many see God as a power which belongs to the church or other holy places way too far from us, because of fear, but the truth is that we can’t escape from his Love which is the air we breathe and all the rest.
    Don’t fear love, it is a blessing!

    Thank you Paulo!

    1. eventhorizon17 says:

      You posted your comment at the right time. I needed to “hear” this. Thank you so much.

  15. Great examples how simple is so big. happy Sunday to you All!!! laughing again.. remember my daughters..jejejeje

  16. muneeb ullah says:

    i must say here,humanity is the thing dat is most necessary in this world.whatever you are whatever u believe in, we are humans in the end.at the end of day everyone would be answerable to his/her deeds.so must act like humans.peace and blessing on all those who care about humans.
    spread smiles on every face,God will be happy for you.

    1. sufi says:

      786…al hum do li la for this truth that is beuond religion…. thank u Paul….love and light—sufi

  17. Keith says:

    I am reminded of the tales told by Nasrudin. The underlying theme, if there is one, of these three tales is grace, or rather the lack of grace and humility.

    I see Christians (or to be exact, followers of the Church not of Jesus) attend Church on a Sunday, but a total disconnect from how they lead their everyday life. Even when they do attend church they turn up in their gas-guzzling 4x4s and people carriers, attired in what the world’s best sweatshops can provide.

    There is a remote part of India known as Little Tibet. Prior to the construction of a military road, and their infection with Western culture, they lived a simple if arduous existence. Religion was not something they did on a special day in a special building, it was an integral part of their existence, it pervaded everything they did. When they planted their crops, when they harvested their crops, when they crafted their products, their spiritual existence was part of their everyday existence, it infused everything they did, and everything they did was in celebration of their spiritual existence.

    I like to sit in an old country church, appreciate the tranquility and the beauty. The men, and sadly it was only the men, were communicating with God when they carried out their work. They were happy to remain anonymous. Even where no man could see, they still took a pride in their work, because they knew nowhere was invisible to the eyes of God.

    I was touched by grace when I walked along the coast in Cornwall and a stunning view unfolded before my feet. I would sit for hours taking in this breathtaking view. When I listen to music by Hildegard von Bingen, who described herself as ‘a feather on the breath of God’, whose music and paintings were inspired by visions from God. Or when I listen to the Eric Levi Era trilogy, introduced to me by my lovely South African friend Estie, inspired by the Cathars who died in the Inquisition, a Catholic Crusade against heretics in France. When I sat and experienced tranquility and peace of mind under the shade of the trees in a square outside a Catholic church. When I watched a sparrow bathe in a fountain. It seemed an appropriate place to sit and read By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

    There is a strong connection between shame and guilt and lack of grace.

    Lewis Smedes, professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, has identified three common sources of crippling shame (see Shame and Grace): secular culture, unaccepting parents, and graceless religion.

    Secular culture, or pop culture, fashion fascists, skinny supermodels, and contrary, junk food, and moronic music; parents who never approve or praise but are quick to criticise their failures; and for graceless religion we only have to look at much of the Church today, arbitrary rules but no love and forgiveness for those who fall by the wayside.

    Paolo Veronese found himself in trouble with the Inquisition for a painting of Jesus at a banquet (now hanging in the Academy of Fine Art in Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia). Jesus is with his disciples, in one corner a man with a bloody nose, Roman solders in another, a few stray dogs roaming around, a few drunks, midgets and blackamoors. Paolo Veronese had to explain his irreverence to the Inquisition, he defended his work by explaining these were the people Jesus dined and associated with. He escaped with his life by changing the title of his painting to a secular rather than religious title Feast in the House of Levi. As now, the Church had somehow lost its way and somehow lost the message.

    Children have a natural delight and curiosity in the world. What do we do to drive it out of them?


    1. suquest says:

      Hello Keith,
      Good and comforting to ‘read you’. I recognise my personal feelings, thoughts and experience totally in what you have written. Children learn more from example, behaviour, etc. than from words, i.e. a child
      ‘becomes’ what it ‘lives’. If a child lives with criticism it learns to condemn, if a child lives with
      shame it learns to feel guilty, if it lives with dishonesty it learns to lie, if with ridicule it becomes insecure, if with insincerity it learns to
      manipulate, etc.
      If a child lives with encouragement it learns to be
      confident, if with trust it learns to be trustworthy,
      if with fairness it learns justice, if with tolerance
      it learns to accept, if with gratitude it learns to
      be generous, etc.
      If a child lives with truth, gracefulness and soulfulness it learns to find love, friendship, joy
      and beauty in the world…..
      Shall access your site now and am SURE I shall encounter what touches my heart and soul. I am a psycho-/spiritual therapist and try to give my clients the TOOLS to help them re-mind themselves of
      who theY REALLY ARE and to de-condition-/programme themselves from who/how/what they have BECOME (a lie)
      Would love to meet people like you in ‘real life’, i.e.personally.
      Salut Keith, Gracefully and lovingly, Susan

      selves from who they have BECOME

    2. suquest says:

      Yes Keith…your last sentence: what do we do…..
      SO MUCH TOO MUCH! Because it has been driven out of us
      from an early age. However,with the right insight,tools, determination,willingness and courage we can ‘repair’ a great deal. By spending less time, energy on mainting, caring for our posessions and more on re-finding, developping our spiritual/original integrity and all
      that is innate in all of us: curiosity, spontaneity,
      trust, love, creativity, courage, etc. we can regain
      a lot. We become ‘pioneers’ versus ‘followers/robots’
      Ciao, Susan

  18. Nick Bridwell says:

    This is my first post on Paulo’s blog….I have just started reading his work, and I find it endlessly inspiring. Why did it take me so long to get into such a great writer? God Bless Mr. Coelho!

  19. AllaSobirova says:

    Whatever you do- pray first…

  20. Monika says:

    They are always joyful without a reason? The man has no children. Yes, they can be joyful without a reason, but they can be as well very moody and they already know a lot.

  21. salam ammar says:

    religions are divine,we have plenty of them,but why do we have all this killing around the world?with all my awe and respect to all religions,problems are not solved.

    1. Samet says:

      yeah i think the religions must be shown as they are…there is no religion that do not predicate peace…so we must show that to all the world…we must be one ;) to have a better world…

  22. breda says:

    I Like this short readings ..Sunday reflections -‘nice one’ Paulo .I liked the Christian one about joy and prayer..it feels wholesome to develope a spirituality /of my undrrstanding in my life and your stories are g8 .Thank you.Love Breda

    1. breda says:

      Actuall I have gained from reading all 3 little stories..about ‘Joy’ ..and being grateful that I can see the beauty of thhis world and develope my childlike qualities daily : )

  23. Linda says:

    So inspirational…Just love it. Thanks Paulo!

  24. gaurry says:

    even if we aren’t children any more ,we still can have the same gifts :joyful without reason ,busy and enjoy in busy—presumed anything is our interests,for something you have to do ,this is the only way not make you feel distressed.let us forget the distress !GOd ,because actually there is no distressed thing.all the thing fallen upon on us is the god’s idea and want us study something by it .let us always remember this .I got the experience before!
    the last one :we should known more than children about demanding the things firmly and with deterstation .
    anyway we all have a child in our inward!let’s pray for it .
    wish all the people around the world find their child inside!

    1. suquest says:

      Hello Gaurry,
      See my reactions to Keith’s message.
      Yes, I wish too that all the people around the
      world find their child indide !
      And when FOUND, ACT CONSEQUENTLY, because life is (meta)-physical. LOOK at the natural world! Every leaf on every tree CHANGES FROM MINUTE TO MINUTE NATURALLY. What PREVENTS us from changing naturally, spontaneously is our CONDITIONING, PROGRAMMED minds. Without ACTION nothing will change, transform. Changing our way of thinking, our
      per-/conceptions, etc. is also action…..the power
      of thought, intention, etc.has enormous value that has
      meanwhile been proven scientifically !
      All the best, good luck, LOVE Susan

  25. Olta Ana says:

    What a coincidence! Yesterday I was thinking about the same thing too. God in the real life.
    We keep some rules in our mind and obey to them, thinking that we are in the right way, letting our life become senseless because we become like robots and forget about the feelings. We forget that faith needs joy, needs love to be alive. It shouldn’t be just a monotonic ritual to follow.
    when I was younger I couldn’t understand how could it be possible that all of those pious men or priests or whatever else , had decided to waist their life in total monotony? Why did they THINK that by acting like that they would be better at the eyes of God?
    I didn’t knew about their love and joy. The love and joy it is given to them.
    After all God is Love and Joy and we should work with love and joy to be with him. Monotony it is not part of it.

    Remember Jesus has said that all the services we do to him he wants them to be with love.

    Yesterday evening I was reading over a pilgrim who started his pilgrimage only because he wanted to find out what was this continuous prayer that apostle Paul talked about in the Gospel.
    He meet priests and scholars during the way but for a long time he didn’t have any clear answer. After a year he found a monk who helped him to find out.
    He of course had his difficulties on his mission but in every step he made he was felt with joy. It was his love and the Joy given to him to make him careless about those difficulties. The simple life he was doing to us it may seem a sacrifice but to him it was a blessing.

    It is a beautiful story I liked it very much and I want so much to share it with the others because he describes very well about all what happened to him, to his heart and soul in every step he made but it is a 20pages material all in Albanian. And since my English is not that good I know I can’t make it. I could make it in Italian…Or since it is too long post here some parts of in Italian. If you want me to of course.

    Dear Paulo, thank you for sharing these little stories !

  26. Cristina says:

    Well done Paulo!
    I like them all, especially the tale of the jewish tradition.
    I have a son and I’ve learned, in accordance to a sort of my personal “Tradition of the Sun”, to look in my son’s eyes.
    I often loose myself in his eyes, or watching him playing. And it’s not a waste of time.
    On the contrary it’s one of the best “school” I’ve ever attended.
    I found out you can discover inside chieldren’s eyes Energy, Truth,Love in its real essence.
    So yes, I agree with the Priest: children are really the best part of the prayer to God.
    Merry Christmas everyone.

    1. Pandora says:

      Dear Christine,

      Merry Christmas to you, too. When my daughter was born, it was then that the realisation that we had been born before became an absolute reality for me.

      She looked around, with these perfect, shiny mirrors for eyes, and it was as if she was saying, “where am I now”, there was so much fascination and intelligence there from the minute she was born, it was the most incredible and unforgetable moment for me.


      Best wishes

  27. Dear Paulo,
    Thank you!! Children are amazing blessings.
    Tonight I watched a video of this little 4 year old girl, singing. At the end, the judges expressed concern and were deciding whether or not to allow her to move ahead with the other competitors.

    Well, this little one really loves to sing, more than anything! And she made it to the finals. Children are love and love makes the world go around.

    Love and more Love to All, Jane : ) xo

  28. fusae says:

    thank you paulo!
    i just came back from a bunch of youths.
    you reminded me of myself that I used to have all these qualities some time ago. :)

  29. Srijit Mishra says:

    This is a story from Hindu mythology. Narada is considered to be the greatest devotee of Narayan (The Lord) uttering his name every other moment. Narada once asked The Lord who is his greatest devotee. The Lord pointed to a farmer. Who remembers god only a countable number of times – while getting up, before sleeping, before food… Narada was taken aback and asked for a reason. The Lord told him to do a task. Carry a pitcher full of oil around the world without spilling even a drop. Narada did the task successfully. After completing, The Lord asked how many times did you remember me. Narada told that you had given me a task which was difficult and required concentration and how could I remember you. That is exactly the reason why the farmer is my greatest devotee. He carries on his household chores and yet has time to remember me, even if it is a few countable number of times. But you forgot about me when given a simple task.

  30. blanca says:

    Always have the perfect words to explain something =)

  31. Hanan Diab says:

    I love it … Thank u …

  32. Flora says:

    Can you write something about letting go and fighting for your dreams? I’m in a dilemma between those 2 issues
    Thanks, love,

    1. Nick Bridwell says:

      try reading The Alchemist

  33. Flora says:

    Dear Angel PAolo ¨Coelho, Thanks for reminding me of the joy and the naturale way of children(one in each of us. I need it.

  34. Jananie Audimulam says:

    Beautiful stories. It illustrates how the various faiths are connected.. One thing I wonder though.. if as children we knew how to be close to GOd..when or rather HOW did we become distant?
    Any ideas, my friends?

  35. Heart says:

    You lifted my Sunday with your winged words and story, to the spheres of the angels. Happy Sunday night to you too.