The source

Illustration by Ken Crane

How can we be able to retain good values in ourselves? (Ankit, Twitter)

I don’t see this from this perspective – I don’t think we “retain” good values.
This would mean that we would be trying to keep inside ourselves things that ultimately do not belong to us.
In a way your question is quite revealing of what society tries to instill in us: to be able to retain the rules of “dos” and “don’ts” of others.

I see good values in a different way; I see them in the sense of a greater understanding and joy.
This can only be found within our souls – not outside from us. We have then to “tap” into this source that is available in virtually all of us.

This is the moment when we identify, in the silence of ourselves, the greater light, the greater path.

Once we recognize this inner fountain, we stop “retaining” and actually become instruments of a higher purpose: to allow it flow without questions, without the seeking of a reward.
This is the only value, in my eyes, that truly matters.

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  1. Jane Stewart (Dances With Crayons) says:

    Fresh as dew, on it’s way to the sea.

    Still, can see peacock feathers, like eyes, a window of the soul.

    All is well with my soul,

    For all to enjoy:
    Inspired by the book “By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept” by Paulo Coelho, composer Yasuhiko Fukuoka

    Love and Gratitude, to every drop,

  2. Bettina says:

    I am fascinated by the book Brida. Does anybody know if there is an association in Austria, where I can learn more about moon tradition??

  3. Because says:

    The leaf edge builds dew from the sun in the distance, everything exists as one beautiful drop gathering within the corners of my eye sight, flowing along the curve of my cheak to the curl of my mouth. I drink and then speak…

  4. Yash Gupta says:

    I have always thought that life is meant to be lived by a code, rather it should follow the heart. I think that the heart knows best and it will take us to a life of joy. This is how i have lived my life so far. I lived for my dream. But now i am faced by a wall in this path, a dead end. I must change course and take another route, in fact my very destination must be new. My heart led me here and now it has abandoned me, it does not speak to me anymore. The one thing that held my life together is no more and my one guide and friend has left me. So how can i believe that what you write in your books is true? Is it all nothing but fairy tales and that in the real world there are no happy endings? I am sorry, but i am disillusioned.

    1. aimee says:

      There are always going to be things that appear to be walls along our path no matter how closely we follow what our hearts say, but that is no reason to stop listening. Sometime what we think of as silence is nothing more then time to reflect. I know I have often led with my heart and dreams and they have brought me down different paths then what I thought I should be on but in the end it was the right path for me ,but my judgement did not allow me to see it that way at first. In all of Paulo’s books there is always a point when there is something to overcome and with honest reflection and heartfelt listening you will find yourself moving in the right direction again. Life is ever moving and changing. Who we were yesterday is not who we are today. We have the blessing of growth and even though you may feel alone or abandoned now you are not. Continue to listen to yourself but also learn to appreciate the silence. Even in silence we are not alone.



    1. Anolan says:

      Las cosas en castellanos tienen mas sabor!! Y no por que yo no sepa Inlges por que lo se perfecto y es por eso que lo digo!!

  6. Kidoris says:

    Beingness is naked and beautiful always. Words and names are like clothes, sometimes practical.

  7. Minik says:

    ” Sometimes our power resides not in what we do, but in what we don’t do.” …??…
    and if I don’t tell him enough how much I love him where is the power…?
    for many years I thought that silence was the answer… and then a few months ago I learn that “talk” and “say” is the right way. I am lost….

    1. jen says:

      Read it says “Sometimes”… :)

    2. Natsu says:

      I think it’s more about the power to not do the wrong thing.
      For example it takes more strenght to NOT seek evenge, NOT choose to hate etc
      It’s easier to just let urself go with the flow and do the wrong thing.
      Or for example when not doing something for someone is actually better for them even tho u would want to do it for them, and choosing not to do for their own good requires more strenght from you(it’s often in case of upbringing a child)

  8. eleonora says:

    mi piace quanto leggo..non dobbiamo mai scordarci di attingere alla fonte che è in noi..amore e gioia.Belle le illustrazioni di Ken Crane***

  9. Josephine in Brussels says:

    Ken – I really love this illustration!
    Is it possible to buy a reproduktion/small poster of it from you?

  10. James Stygles says:

    An inner source, a soul, choosing the greater path and the greater light and becoming an instrument of a greater good, by choice. Transcending, receiving the second coming personally within one’s own heart.

  11. tina says:

    love and peace ..will move us and believe ..the best is yet to come..positiva era..

  12. JOSE. says:


  13. Daniel says:

    I love this post and it inspired this poem. I posted it the other day but my post seens to have disappeared, so here it is again, my thoughts on “moral ground”..

    Bring forth your armies,
    And I’ll raise my arms to you,
    You may rain down upon me,
    With arrows barbed with hate,
    And dripping with judgment,
    Swords tempered in fury,
    Gilt in righteousness and gold,
    You think your armour will save you?
    I’ll raise but one hand in my defence,
    My fingers at your throat,
    With the ferocity of a lion,
    And the tenderness of a lovers caress,
    Your fear is no match for my resolve,
    As I draw you near,
    Surrender my conqueror,
    There is no defeat,
    When hate is met with love.

    With love, Daniel

  14. Han says:

    Fantastic. Paulo Coelho you rule!

    This reminds me of when I got deep into meditation (while walking around and functioning)… those experiences taught me that anyone who is spiritually in tune with the universe, fellow humans and God doesn’t need the Ten Commandments… the Ten Commandments are a description of what comes naturally to people when they have reached their spiritual state. It would be better for religions to teach people how to enter this state and then they would no longer need any rules. People following these religions wouldn’t end up feeling guilty for ‘sinning’ because they would be unable to sin unless forced to against their will. Guilting people into following rules can achieve plenty of good for the world… but imagine a world where no one wanted to sin… that would be a lawless and peaceful society and humanity. I can only pray for my fellow humans and for myself that one day we can all find such inner joy and peace and live together in a way that honours the blessing that life truly is once we let go of our desire or expectation of suffering, heal and are reborn as happy. That will be the day when we re-enter the garden or eden.