1O SEC READING: choosing the path

“I am willing to give up everything”, said the prince to the master. “Please accept me as your disciple.”

“How does a man choose his path?” asked the master.

“Through sacrifice,” answered the prince. “A path which demands sacrifice, is a true path.”

The master bumped into some shelves. A precious vase fell, and the prince threw himself down in order to grab hold of it. He fell badly and broke his arm, but managed to save the vase.

“What is the greater sacrifice: to watch the vase smash, or break one’s arm in order to save it?” asked the master.

“I do not know,” said the prince.

“Then how can you guide your choice for sacrifice? The true path is chosen by our ability to love it, not to suffer for it.”

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De la utilidad


Illustration by Ken Crane

Jean paseaba con su abuelo por una plaza de París.
A determinada altura, vieron a un zapatero siendo maltratado por un cliente, cuyo calzado presentaba un defecto.
El zapatero escuchó calmadamente el reclamo, pidió disculpas y prometió arreglar el error.

Pararon a tomar un café en un bistró.
En la mesa de al lado, el mozo le pidió a un hombre, con apariencia de importante, moviese un poco la silla, para abrir espacio.
El hombre irrumpió con un torrente de quejas, y se negó.

“¡Nunca olvides lo que viste!”, dijo el abuelo. “El zapatero aceptó un reclamo, mientras que este hombre a nuestro lado no quiso moverse. Los hombres útiles, se preocupan con criticas.

“Pero los inútiles siempre se juzgan importantes, y esconden toda su incompetencia detrás de la autoridad”.

A verdadeira importância


Illustration by Ken Crane

Jean passeava com seu avô por uma praça de Paris.
A determinada altura viu um sapateiro sendo destratado por um cliente, cujo calçado apresentava um defeito.
O sapateiro escutou calmamente a reclamação, pediu desculpas, e prometeu refazer o erro.

Pararam para tomar um café num bistrô.
Na mesa ao lado, o garçom pediu a um homem que movesse um pouco a cadeira, para abrir espaço.
O homem irrompeu numa torrente de reclamações, e negou-se.

“Nunca esqueça o que viu”, disse o avô para Jean.
“O sapateiro aceitou uma reclamação, enquanto este homem a nosso lado não quis mover-se.

“Os homens úteis, quando recebem críticas, não se incomodam. Mas os inúteis sempre se julgam importantes, e escondem toda a sua incompetência atrás da autoridade.”

10 SEC READ:True importance (ENG, ESPA, PORT)


Illustration by Ken Crane

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EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > De la utilidad
EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI > A verdadeira importância
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Jean was out walking with his grandfather in Paris.
At one point, they saw a shoemaker being insulted by a customer who claimed that there was something wrong with his shoes.
The shoemaker calmly listened to his complaints, apologised and promised to make good the mistake.

 
Jean and his grandfather stopped to have a coffee.
At the next table, the waiter asked a man if he would mind moving his chair slightly so that he could get by.
The man erupted in a torrent of abuse and refused to move.

 
‘Never forget what you have seen,’ said Jean’s grandfather.
‘The shoemaker accepted the customer’s complaint, while this man next to us did not want to move.

‘People who perform some useful task are not bothered if they hear some critics to their work, but people who do no useful work at all always think themselves very important and hide their incompetence behind their authority.’

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Wikileaks WikiRebels

taken from Keithpp’s Blog

From summer 2010 until now, Swedish Television has been following the secretive media network WikiLeaks and its enigmatic Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange.

Reporters Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist have traveled to key countries where WikiLeaks operates, interviewing top members, such as Assange, new Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, as well as people like Daniel Domscheit-Berg who now is starting his own version – Openleaks.org!

Where is the secretive organization heading? Stronger than ever, or broken by the US? Who is Assange: champion of freedom, spy or rapist? What are his objectives? What are the consequences for the internet?

Click here to watch Exclusive rough-cut of first in-depth documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind it

From an interview in 2003

Google Alerts is great. Sometimes I found things about myself that I did not expect. Today I found an old interview for an Indian newspaper – and here are some Q&A

Could you recall from your life where you felt the feminine face of God?

It was in 1992, when I was sitting inside of a grotto, in Lourdes. Since then, I try to accept my feminine side. When I write, I am a woman. I got pregnant from life, and I don’t know how the baby looks like. My pregnancy cycle lasts for two years, and I don’t take notes, I don’t make plans. The only thing that I know is that life put inside me a seed that will grow when time comes. Then, when time comes, I sit and write. Every creative act demands a respect for mystery, and I respect the mystery, without trying to understand it.

What do you feel when readers hug you and confess in public how the book had changed their lives?

First and foremost, I am a writer – and a writer is always facing the challenge of a new book. This is, for me, what makes life interesting: there is always a new book to be written, which involves pain, joy, suffering, relief, feelings of a person who is alive. I don’t think why this or that happened, and I became a worldwide celebrity. I think: “Am I honest in which I am doing? Can I still talk to my soul?
The secret of the success of my books, if there is one; it is the absence of secrets.

Did you expect this world wide success?
When I wrote “The Alchemist”, I was trying to understand my own life, and the only way that I could do it was through a metaphor. Then, the book – with no support of the press, because the media normally refuses to publish anything about an unknown writer – made its way to the readers, and the readers start to discover that we share the same questions. Little by little, the book started to travel abroad, and today is one of the best seller books of all times. But this success came slowly, based on a word-of-mouth promotion, and this gives me the sensation, the wonderful sensation that I am not alone.


In an Interview with Juan Arias of El País you confessed that, “Happiness to me is very abstract, To tell you the truth, I am never happy”.

The fact that I don’t search for happiness, does not mean that unhappiness is the choice. The right choice is “joy”. Challenges, defeats, victories, excitement, never being bored by this peaceful Sunday afternoon “happiness”.

As a best-selling author how far has consumerism affected you. You have to go through a corporate capitalist structure.

As Buddha said, first you have to have, then you can renounce everything. It is easy to make a chastity vow if you are impotent. Easier to make a poverty vow if you are incapable of earning money with your choice, your dream. I could buy a castle, but I bought a watermill, not because I feel guilty – I work hard – but because a watermill is close to my way of seeing life, and easier to maintain. As for my work, no publisher dares to ask me anything – I don’t see the point of “corporate capitalist structure”.

In The Alchemist you have said that you have to pay a price for the perusal of ones dream. What’s the price you paid in the journey with your dream?

A very high one. But I am glad that I paid this price for my dream, instead of paying the price of living someone else’s dreams.

You have been into an asylum twice. People like Michael Foucault have written about the power discourses that create madness. How do you see you days in the asylum?

I cannot summarize that. I wrote a whole book on my experience, “Veronica Decides to Die”. But one thing I can say: it was not a traumatic experience, to begin with. It was in my path, I had to see it as something that I must overcome, not as something I was victimized by.

If you meet a person who has a deep sense of worthlessness, who is broken, and has decided to end her life, what would you tell her?

Dare to be different. You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns. Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person.

Character of the week: Saint-Exupéry


A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.

A chief is a man who assumes responsibility. He says “I was beaten,” he does not say “My men were beaten”.
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

A civilization is built on what is required of men, not on that which is provided for them.

Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.

‘Men have forgotten this truth,’ said the fox. ‘But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.’
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.

Once men are caught up in an event, they cease to be afraid. Only the unknown frightens men.

The notion of looking on at life has always been hateful to me. What am I if I am not a participant? In order to be, I must participate.

For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.

Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry(29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944) was a French writer and aviator. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) and for his books about aviation adventures, including Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars.

Cobwebs

When I was travelling the road to Rome, one of the four sacred roads in my magical tradition, I realised, after almost twenty days spent entirely alone, that I was in a much worse state than when I had started.
In my solitude, I began to have mean, nasty, ignoble feelings.

I sought out my guide to the road and told her about this. I said that when I had set out on that pilgrimage, I had thought I would grow closer to God, but that, after three weeks, I was feeling a great deal worse.

‘You are getting better, don’t worry,’ she said.
‘The fact is that when we turn on our inner light, the first thing we see are the cobwebs and the dust, our weak points.

“They were there already, it’s just that you couldn’t see them in the darkness. Now it will be much easier for you to clean out your soul.’

Flash Mob 13/Nov/2010

This is OUR WORLD. People from different ages, bringing joy to other people.
May this be an example to all of us – the day will come that we can do the same in a larger scale.
Let’s keep our hope alive, let’s be able to work together
Season Greetings
_________________________

Esse é o NOSSO MUNDO. Pessoas de todas as idades se juntam, apenas pelo prazer de levar alegria a outros.
Que sirvam de exemplo a todos nós – um dia poderemos fazer isso em grande escala.
Vamos manter nossa esperança viva, vamos trabalhar juntos
Boas Festas a todos

Palavras ao vento

Eu estava me sentindo muito só quando saí de uma missa na Catedral de Saint Patrick, em plena New York.

De repente, fui abordado por uma americana:

- Preciso muito falar com você – disse.

Fiquei tão entusiasmado com o encontro, que comecei a contar tudo que achava importante para mim. Falei de magia, falei de bênçãos de Deus, falei de amor.
Ela escutou tudo em silêncio, me agradeceu, e foi embora.

Ao invés de alegria, eu me senti mais só do que antes. Mais tarde fui me dar conta; no meu entusiasmo, não tinha dado atenção ao pedido daquela mulher:

Falar comigo.

Atirei minhas palavras ao vento, porque não era isto que o Universo estava querendo naquela hora: eu teria sido muito mais útil se escutasse o que ela queria dizer.

Words to the wind

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EM PORTUGUES: Palavras ao vento
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I was feeling very lonely when I left Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral right in the heart of New York.

Suddenly I was approached by an American:

“You are Mr. Coelho. I very much need to talk to you,” she said.

I was so enthused by this meeting that I began to talk about everything that was important to me. I spoke of magic, God’s blessings, love.
She listened to everything in silence, thanked me and went away.

Instead of feeling happy, I felt lonelier than before. Later on I realized that in my enthusiasm I had not paid any attention to what that Brazilian wanted.

Talk to me.

I tossed my words to the wind, because that was not what the Universe was wanting at that moment: I would have been much more useful if I had listened to what she had to say.

Natal digital/ Digital Christmas

ENGLISH

======================================

PORTUGUES

There is only one thing lacking: a blog!!!

The most dangerous man in America

Great interview, great man, great example that must be followed by everyone who is concerned with our world today

20 SEC READ: The porcupines and solidarity (ENG, ESPA)


Illustration by Ken Crane
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EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI: Puercoespines
EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI: Os Porcos-Espinhos
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During the Ice Age many animals died because of the cold. Seeing this situation, the porcupines decided to group together, so they wrapped up well and protected one another.

But they hurt one another with their thorns, and so then they decided to stay apart from one another.

They started to freeze to death again.
So they had to make a choice: either they vanished from the face of the earth or they accepted their neighbor’s thorns.

They wisely decided to stay together again. They learned to live with the small wounds that a very close relationship could cause, because the most important thing was the warmth given by the other.

And in the end they survived.

20 SEC READ: Barbers don’t exist

A man went to trim his hair and beard. As always happens, he and the barber chatted about this and that, until – commenting on a newspaper article about street kids – the barber stated:

- As you can see, this tragedy shows that God doesn’t exist. Don’t you read the papers? So many people suffer, abandoned children, there’s so much crime. If God existed, there wouldn’t be so much suffering.

- You know something? Barbers don’t exist.

- What do you mean, don’t exist? I’m here, and I’m a barber.

- They don’t exist! – insisted the man. – Because if they did, there wouldn’t be people with such longs beards and such tangled hair.

- I can guarantee that barbers do exist. But these people never come in here.

- Exactly! So, in answer to your question, God exists, too. It just so happens that people don’t go to Him. If they did, they would be more giving, and there wouldn’t be so much misery in the world.

Organizando o campo de batalha


 

Vai ser a minha participação mais importante no Festival de Escritores em Melbourne, Austrália. São dez da manhã, a plateia está lotada. Serei entrevistado por um escritor local, John Felton.

Piso no palco com a apreensão de sempre. Felton me apresenta, e começa a me fazer perguntas. Antes que eu possa terminar um raciocínio, ele me interrompe e faz uma nova pergunta. Quando respondo, comenta algo como “esta resposta não foi bem clara”.

Cinco minutos depois, nota-se um mal-estar na plateia – todos estão percebendo que há algo errado.

Lembro-me de Confúcio, e faço a única coisa possível: “Você gosta do que escrevo?”, pergunto.

“Isso não vem ao caso”, responde. “Sou eu a entrevistá-lo, e não o contrário”.

“Vem ao caso, sim. Você não me deixa concluir uma ideia. Confúcio disse: ‘sempre que possível, seja claro’.Vamos seguir este conselho, e deixar as coisas claras: você gosta do que escrevo?”

“Não, não gosto. Só li dois livros, e detestei”.

“OK, então podemos continuar”.

Os campos agora estavam definidos. A plateia relaxa, o ambiente enche-se de eletricidade, a entrevista vira um verdadeiro debate, e todos – inclusive Felton – ficam, satisfeitos com o resultado.

Organizing the battlefield


 
This is to be my main appearance at the Writers’ Festival in Melbourne, Australia. It is ten o’clock in the morning and there is a packed audience. I am to be interviewed by a local writer, J. F.
 
I step onto the platform with my usual feelings of apprehension. F. introduces me and starts asking me questions.
Before I can finish what I’m saying, he interrupts me and asks me another question.
When I reply, he says something like ‘that wasn’t a very clear answer’.
Five minutes later, there is a feeling of unease amongst the audience; everyone can sense that something is wrong. I remember Confucius and take the only possible action.
 
‘Do you like what I write?’ I ask.
 
‘That’s irrelevant,’ F. replies. ‘I’m here to interview you, not the other way round.’
 
‘But it is relevant. You won’t let me finish my thought. Confucius says: “Whenever possible, be clear.” Let’s follow that advice and make things absolutely clear: Do you like what I write?’
 
‘No, I don’t. I’ve read two of your books and I hated both of them.’
 
‘Fine, now we can continue.’
 
The lines of battle have been drawn. The audience relaxes and the atmosphere becomes electric, the interview becomes a real debate, and everyone – including F. – is pleased with the result.

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