Alice and the queen

In Lewis Carroll’s famous masterpiece “Alice through the Looking Glass,” there is a dialogue between the main character and the Queen, who has just told something quite extraordinary.

– I can’t believe it – says Alice.

– Can’t believe it? – the Queen repeats with a sad look on her face. – Try again: take a deep breath, close your eyes, and believe.

Alice laughs:

– It’s no good trying. Only fools believe that impossible things can happen.

– I think what you need is a little training – answers the Queen. – When I was your age I would practice at least half an hour a day, right after breakfast, I tried very hard to imagine five or six unbelievable things that could cross my path, and today I see that most of the things I imagined have turned real, I even became a Queen because of that.

Life constantly asks us: “believe!” Believing that a miracle can happen at any moment is necessary not only for our happiness but also for our protection, or to justify our existence. In today’s world, many people think it is impossible to put an end to misery, to build a fair society, and to alleviate the religious tension that seems to grow worse every day.

Most people avoid the struggle for a whole variety of reasons: conformism, maturity, the sense of the ridiculous, the feeling of impotence. We see injustice being done to our neighbor and remain silent. “I’m not getting involved in fights for nothing” is the explanation.

This is a cowardly attitude. Whoever travels down a spiritual path carries an honor code to be fulfilled; the voice that is raised against what is wrong is always heard by God.

Comments

  1. meli says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Thank you for this! I’ve been struggling all day over an injustice that was done to a friend of mine. I needed these words of wisdom!
    Much love to you!

  2. Appu says:

    I believe: Whatever an individual dream will happen or happening or already happened maybe.

  3. Andras says:

    conformism …

  4. GRACIAS SEÑOR DIOS POR ESCUCHARNOS: TE PIDO AQUÍ LA PAZ, EL POGRESO Y LA DEMOCRACIA PARA EGIPTO Y TUNEZ Y TODOS AQUELLOS QUE ESTÉN PREPARADOS PARA RECIBIRLA Y PODERSE GUIR DE LA MANO DE LA FRATERNIDAD EN EL MUNDO.
    QUE ASÍ SEA Y ASÍ SERÁ

  5. Tina says:

    Thank you needed that

  6. Big Zen says:

    This story is a very nice metaphor. In the ‘dream of life’ what we believe is what becomes truth.

  7. DEAR Sir,
    I just have a question can I post my comments to this blog in writing and also as a small video link? because this is what I intend to do! Most of the time I will write to PAULO here I will create a short video and I will post it on my Youtube chanel. If it is ok for me to do so, please let me know. Kind regards, Gabriela Romaria

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      I saw your videos and I will post one of them this week

    2. Becci James says:

      Dear Paulo, your books continue to inspire me and provide reassurance that I am on my journey. Through belief in myself and the world. I’m stepping into my work nearly full time rather than my job. I don’t know if if will be this week or next when I will commit to the change full time but it will soon. Just wondered when will you be coming to the uk to visit. Love and best wishes Becci x x x

    3. WOOOW! Thank you so much!!! I feel like dreaming…. They say that “EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING” :) That must be true…. because just when you answered to me, I found out that a great man, I loved so much in my country, IPS BARTOLOMEU ANANIA, a Romanian Orthodox bishop, translator, writer and poet; he was the Metropolitan of Cluj, Alba, Crişana and Maramureş, he died at 19:25… He needed an operation on his heart, but his health was not strong and so, they brought him back from Vienna because he wanted to pass away at home… can you Imagine, dear PAULO and friends, his wish… and to tell you something more interesting… in 1958 he was sent to jail 25 years in prison at Aiud, one of the most horrific communist prison! He spent there only 6 years, but on a TV interview he gave once he said that it wasn’t the pain and the prison that made him so unhappy and sad, but the lost of his mother during that time and not being able to see her once more before she dies! can you imagine that? I have experienced something similar with not being to see my own father last year in December when he died… so, I know what kind of pain this is…
      Now, thank you so much for the great honor you gave me by writing to me, here.
      Always appreciating your words and books,
      Love you, Gabriela Romaria

  8. melanis says:

    gracias pablo. Por recordar algo que ya sabia pero que por circunstanciias se me olvida. Cuando la mente no quiere ver es necesaario que te den un poco de luz gracias porque hace un tiempo que no tengo ilusion por mi batalla aunque se que se hacerca el momento de la accion y ante esta soledaaad que siento antes de la lucha necesito esa amno de consuelo en. El hombro que son sus palabras muchas gracias. Seguire luchando por mi imposible

  9. Carla says:

    Si todos creemos en todos, este mundo puede salvarse

  10. Olta says:

    Oh this post brings me sweet memories. It makes me smile a lot. :DDDDDD
    But when I think about the message it brings I just want to laugh. Why? Just because faith is just like that. First you wish so much to believe in “impossible” things that for the sake of this desire(love) you take the risk to appear a fool, and than one day your faith rewards you with a great present, a miracle. Probably not always but in some cases it is those who’ve seen you as a fool that just will feel that way.
    There are so many things needed to be changed in this world.
    At least let’s not forget about (ME,I) in each of us, because with only believing and probably with so little many Me and I can make the difference.

    Thank you Paulo, for because of this post you just made me remember that me too have to believe some more in miracles, on so much things I had/ve lost hope once for all…

    Much Love
    Olta

    1. Yes, dear OLTA, more, more, more, miracles for our life!!! PLEASE!
      Thank you for being our friend, here,
      Love & light, Gabriela Romaria

    2. Olta says:

      :D Thank you for spreading joy everywhere with that joyful spirit that you have!

      Love

    3. Thank you so much, sweetheart! You are so kind to me! :)

  11. Maybe my Santa Clause was real?
    I`m right now not so sure if it was really the bottle of red wine.

    There are silent streamings glistening between earth and universe.

  12. Annie says:

    i ve read that specific part a few days ago and so seeing it now on the blog makes me smile from the bottom of my heart :D

    As Paulo says in his new book O Aleph that is awaited impatiently by many to be read (when when????) let’s reclaim our kingdom and be the king/queen of it!

    Love and GraDitude
    Annie

  13. […] Believing in the impossible – Part 1 (paulocoelhoblog.com) […]

  14. Pandora says:

    Dear TL

    Good wishes for you on your wonderful journey.

    With love
    Pandora

  15. TL says:

    Hi all,

    I bit late but in ‘Akice in Wonderland’ the queen of hearts is always saying “off with their heads”, it is follow your heart again. Paulo has lead us back to our hearts and to keep believing and I know that I have to keep believing with the current situation and love that I have found in my life. He is called Jason please send us positive thoughts.

    Thank you.

    Love
    TL

    1. Keith says:

      Ooops. I have just noticed. The illustration is for the wrong Queen!

  16. Jed Franco says:

    What is imposible is only in our mind, those things are imposible only because we don’t dare to take on a journey and achieve our dreams. If we look back, years ago someone thought it was impossible to fly or many thought it was impossible for women to one day be able to vote, but indeed i do believe that the word imposible in its finest meaning determines things that are unreacheble in nature. Like it is imposible to change our gender in its totality even if we had surgery we would be still males by nature, like it is imposible to get oranges from a pear tree. But the word imposible only limits what we can do by setting a line between what is possible and what is not, therefore within the context of ones life things are determined to be imposible when we as human beings don’t strive to achive what we really want. For example, if i don’t make an effort to learn a language, it will be imposible to understand the message that is being transfered in that specific language.
    Jed

  17. Dear Catherine M ,
    Appreciated from the bottom of my heart…

    Dear Marie-Christine,
    Nice question and it is really very nice that you made such questions. OK, as you said the reward will be given to the person with right answer.

    I can buy my new book in printed, paperback format “A very first poems:Hearbreak” for that reward. Please send me email at following address-
    santoshkalwar@gmail.com

    Thank you
    God bless you all !

  18. Ca says:

    Mestre,

    Muito linda esta msg, e muito lindo os comentarios.

    Agradeço muito pela luz.

    Deus o abençoe, Paulo, e a todos aqui.

    Com amor,

    Cassia

  19. luce says:

    Dear Paulo,

    …because of sense of the ridicolous and the feeling of impotence… that is it !

    Some are scared to be labelled as ridicolous, the others gave up struggle.

    Alice is part of me since childhood (in ex-Yugoslavia “Alice in Wonderland” was obligatory literature in elementary school) and it was real gift as it has KEY to imagination, to belief in miracles, to new paths.

    Both books of Alice, together with Peter Pan are my company from childhood regarded as best friends, I love them as much as almost 50 years ago.

    Love
    Luce

  20. THELMA says:

    Life is a miracle. There is nothing impossible. Impossible is the word from our minds and miracle the Light in our Hearts.
    LOVE,
    Thelma

  21. Marie-Christine says:

    Im possible n’est pas francais.

    1. Olta says:

      hahahah Oh Marie! Quelle humoriste!!!
      T’es sure?

      <3 <3 <3
      bisous

  22. Marie-Christine says:

    Santosh K –
    Are you moving into your own “castle”?

    I am proposing a quizz night whilst you are away.
    See who is right , who is wrong?

    First question
    Is Santosh K moving into a house?
    Second question
    Is Santosh K moving into an appartment?
    Third question
    Is Santosh K moving into a castle?
    Fourth question
    Is Santosh K going sailing?
    Fith question
    Is Santosh K going to live in a car?
    Sixth question
    Is Santosh K moving out of the country he is ln?
    Seventh one :
    Is Santosh K moving a few boxes?
    Eighth
    Is Santosh K moving under a bridge?
    Ninth
    Is Santosh K going on an aeroplane?
    10th
    Is Santosh K moving out with someone?

    Others : at your discretion.

    You have one week to reply.

    A reward will be given to the first person who find the right answer.

    Love to all,

  23. clinton b. says:

    To believe, to accept what is before and behind, to identify with the transparent as well as the hidden. Has doubt become a common defense mechanism to what one may not be able to comprehend? A blind man survives beyond his inability to see what is just before him, yet he must believe that the world is still about even though he no longer or ever did visually fathomed such. He must believe in the simplicity of the common elements without the miracle of sight. How glorious to see nothing, and believe in everything? How shameful to believe in nothing, yet see everything?

  24. Catherine M says:

    Dear Jessica,
    I guess you are tired about the situation. It seems too. I read another post you wrote about the situation at your work.
    Sometimes trying to react in another manner could change a thing. Just try to see how you wish the things were, and feel that new good feeling. You could make an image about. Thanking. Then go to work with that feeling. And each time, you feel you energies go down, you could call the image or the feeling. Everything’s gonna be alright.
    You could try this. If it does not work, then go back to see what what’s not going on. You’ll find something.

    Is that job your dream?

    I send you strength.
    With love.

    “Nobody can hurt me without my permission” Mahatma Gandhi.

    1. So beautiful you wrote this…. I needed this maybe at a time when i had a job that i did not enjoyed at all. But i wonder how many of us have a job that really, really like? of course, this can be changes and it is recommended to be changed.
      Love and light, Gabriela Romaria

  25. mari says:

    …..”Quem viaja em um caminho espiritual carrega um código de honra ser cumpridas, a voz que se levantou contra o que está errado é sempre ouvida por Deus”. ( muito bonito essa passagem do texto )
    Eu acredito na Fé que tenho dentro de mim, mesmo nos momentos das lutas. Acredito na Luz,
    Eu acredito em milagres.
    bjs,
    Mari Raphael.

  26. Catherine M says:

    Thank you Santosh. You make me smile. Thank you for your wisdom and your humour.

    Love.

  27. “Believe is to have faith on your own destiny.”

    “Weather you believe or do not believe it does not matter as long as you are going to make it possible in the end”.

    “Many of us do believe on our soul, destiny and dreams but very few of us believe the unbelievale.”

    “No body believes in some one’s else dream, they start believing only after they see the same dream becoming true in reality”.

    “Impossilbe means I M Possible, but it also means believing in making impossible possible.”

    Sorry guys for the delay, For a week from now, I am moving in into some different location. Anyways, I will read your post and will give my words of wisedom. ( I may sound like the administrator of this blog, but I am not- its Paulo the great !)

    God bless you all !

  28. Liina.L says:

    Alex M – thank You for this posting. I think it will give many of us here hope. Ant not only in the matter of meeting Paulo one day, but generally. Seeing the magic happening and the opportunities of our lives.

    I thank You in the name of everyone who wish for such ways.

    Love from Estonia,
    Liina L.

  29. Tommy B says:

    To often in our lives we try to realize our dreams, only to have them diminished by other “brain people.” People do not trust in there hearts as they once did. The most important of decisions are made for appearances rather than following ones’ dreams and/or helping others. It become apparent that people are trying to do the right things for the wrong reasons and this is when the heart becomes lost in the process. What I’m trying to say is do not let others actions heed what you are meant to do. Some people are just not dreamers and what they do in life is to fulfill there social lives. I think Matthew quotes it best

    Mathew 6:3
    1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

    1. Keith says:

      We do the right thing, not to show off to others, but because it is the right thing to do.

      Tackling poverty together

  30. Alex M Uk says:

    When I came to Paris two years ago to meet you at your Saint Joseph’s party, I was met with miracle after miracle. It was a magical experience and taught me that whatever you believe in, whatever you want to happen in your life, will happen. You just need to believe it enough. Strange and wonderful things happened to me that week and things that I thought not possible, became possible. I now know that when we want magic to happen – it will enfold right before our eyes. Thank you for teaching me that.

  31. Kealan says:

    “- It’s no good trying. Only fools believe that impossible things can happen.”

    If somebody says, something is impossible, we are always drawn to the conclusion that they are just unable to communicate because they are so wrapped up in themselves, much like the people in The Winner Stands Alone. One who pulls the strings for their own gain of momentary power.In my business the impossible is always possible, and the true heart always shines through.

  32. Irina Black says:

    ..Tomorrow starts today.We imagine different things.We have different beliefs.When our imaginations coincide-we call it Reality.Yesterdays beliefs became todays reality.If we are not content today,perhaps,it’s time to think,that..

  33. Anca says:

    Yes, they DO.

    Impossible is a word like any other, and we are the ones that give it power over us. Now some words deserve complete power, like Love, but not …impossible.

    It was somewhere on this site that I understood for the first time how dreams come true. Somewhere, dearest Paulo, you said that dreams do come true, if we are not afraid to accept that it may be in the most unexpected manner, if we are not afraid to pursue them, and … (loved this part) if we are not to be dissapointed on what we may find once we do.

    With this lines I realized my expectations of how my impossible dreams come true may limit more than achieve, and I’ve started to open up to possibilities never knew existed.

    ———–

    I don’t know if people wish a lot of miracles and don’t see them happen. I know until today almost everything I thought/wished (and acted upon, even the slightest), happened, or I could see clearly how it would realistically happen, if i continued on that path.

    I don’t find that hard, acting the dreaded impossible is very doable. What I find hard and painful is forming a though, a wish, possible or impossible. It takes so long, months, years sometimes between the thought of a miracle, spent in some sort of paralysis of pain, guilt that it may hurt someone or that it may be wrong by whatever rules, that I feel I wasting my life just on forming a thought, a wish.

    after it exists, mountains move so quickly!

    but in await of one… I don’t understand why they’re so rare, I feel I fail life somehow.

  34. Catherine says:

    By the way – Alice (in wonderland) – through the looking glass was written by a grandfather who, taking the day to enjoy the sunshine with grandchildren in tow, rowed down the river – London I think it was, perhaps.
    He started to tell them this story of imagination. then it became the book.

    you have to consider the time it was written – the war time era in Europe. the unimaginable was occuring to humanity,.. realities were changing… yet in order to come through, it would require a leap of extra-ordinary … the unimaginable (maybe?).. to see a good ending.
    the story was in part to give that future to his grandchildren.. give the faith.
    but its a time in history where people in power turned out to be not what they were and I am sure the world was trying to grapple with this character, this force, this mask.

    It is indeed a strange story, but also beloved by many…
    and one can only presume because of the strange message conveyed in its interpretation – that it took on that capacity to reach out to a wider audience.

    1. Keith says:

      Sorry Catherine, but you have got this entirely wrong.

      It was not written by a grandfather with two grandchildren in tow or during wartime in Europe. The original Alice story was told by a young Victorian gentleman who was also a mathematician and clergyman (though he had no church and rarely preached). It was told to the young Alice and her sisters on a river trip. The story was then presented to Alice as a book as a Christmas present.

      Lewis Carroll – archive
      Lewis Carroll – biography

  35. Catherine says:

    hmm. that’s two articles this week on cowardness :o/

  36. Catherine M says:

    You’re welcome Sido. :)

    “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” – Thoreau -

  37. toni j says:

    Miracles happen.. Some may not yet realize they have. ” Dreams, if they were easy”, they would be called something else…*

  38. sido66 says:

    Catherine , catherine ,

    Thank you

    i think every day “Make everything with love , and carpediem”

    Love, humility, dream, life, sharing

  39. Savita Vega says:

    “The voice that is raised against what is wrong is always heard by God.” (?)

    We shall see about that!

    (Sorry – I am such a cynic today. I am Alice. Maybe what I need is a little more training.)

    “I should see the garden far better,” said Alice to herself, “if I could get to the top of that hill: and here’s a path that leads straight to it – at least, no, it doesn’t do that —” (after going a few yards along the path, and turning several sharp corners), “but I suppose it will at last.” – from “Through the Looking Glass”

  40. Liina.L says:

    Alexandra: for some reason, it had the same effect on me. Never liked it… it felt wrong even when I tried to read it. I had a bad feeling about it. That’s all I can remember from childhood, about it.

  41. Alexandra says:

    I never liked that story,nor Alice.The text you presented now,is really good.Maybe I was not mature enough when I read it,during childhood.I agree with you on that idea,still,I really cant stand Alice and her story.Cant explain why.

  42. Ilva Aleksejeva says:

    Like in that song “I believe I can fly” (by R&B singer R. Kelly):

    (…)I believe I can fly
    I believe I can touch the sky
    I think about it every night and day
    Spread my wings and fly away (…)
    There are miracles in life I must achieve
    But first I know IT STARTS INSIDE OF ME(…)

  43. Viv says:

    As someone who resembled Alice physically all her life(and even now, a little creased around the edges, am an adult Alice) I identify with Alice a lot.
    I think the original word was impossible, though.

  44. Liina.L says:

    I feel like this is adressed to me, partly – yesterday I started to ponder yet again how believing in something can change the whole course of the journey.

    “I can’t/don’t believe it… I’m starting to believe… I believe!”
    Three different stages, stages of change. In most aspects in life, I am actually in the final stage.

    But in some aspects/situations, which are (in a way) more important, I am still somewhere between the ‘I’m starting to believe’ and ‘I believe!’

    True, we have to believe:
    1. In ourselves
    2. In the miracles of life / the help we get during our journey.

    Love,
    Liina L.

  45. Catherine M says:

    Dear Sido66,

    I went and read a little of your blog yeasterday. I admire you. You make me realise how my life could me more resourceful. I was totally “aghast” to discover all the things you did. And sometimes dangerous! Even you seem to consider, nothing’s really is… :)

    Thank you.
    Love.

  46. Pandora says:

    Thank God – I believe this with my heart and soul, that voice does not go unheard.

    The Eyes of Truth are watching too.

  47. sido66 says:

    “Whoever travels down a spiritual path carries an honor code to be fulfilled; the voice that is raised against what is wrong is always heard by God.”

    Really, really and extremely true :

    I believe that I shall not have lived what I lived last months and the “mystic” events of my St’s road jacques if I had not left with in the heart the Others. My desire to make for the others and to make the road of st jacques to take in a message for somebody else than me, and to go to any humility there and filled with love for the Other one.
    I believe that we cannot be in front of ” I believe that we can be in front of ” the door ” only if our desire to make is pure, that if our heart is filled with love for the other one, in the oversight of ourself

    It was allowed me to live certaines things because I appeared in front of God “girl”, humble, and for the others

    honor code , humility , love and Faith

  48. Kasia May says:

    I believe that we can change this world just through the power of our imagination and the reason for that is the fact that this world is not fixed. Things change continuously and it depends on us how will they change. From the beautiful mind beautiful world will come. So the work begins with our own mind or soul. I think we should look inside and check what is our internal world like and take responsibility for that. It is unreasonable to expect others to behave in certain ways when our own mind is not pure. I am confident that when we do that we can expect our external world to change in a drastic way – the positive one. Of course if this is what we wish for.

    1. “It is unreasonable to expect others to behave in certain ways when our own mind is not pure.” this is so true… I hope that we will always try our best and will not be defeated because the temptations are many but the ways we can fight against them are infinite! :)
      Peace be with you, love & light, Gabriela Romaria

  49. Catherine M says:

    Oh thank you Paulo: I was searching for that quote since a long time! Great.
    What you wrote there is right. I guess it is difficult first to consider anything could be believed. But then we’ve got the point, it’s easy to apply in everyday’s life. Little by little.
    Nothing is impossible, even self-importance, as that Queen shows off, needed belief to take form…

    Thank you and happy day.