The circle of joy

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: O circulo da alegria
EN ESPANOL AQUI : El circulo de alegria


Illustration by Ken Crane

And old story tells that one day, a countryman knocked hard on a monastery door. When the monk tending the gates opened up, he was given a magnificent bunch of grapes.

- Brother, these are the finest my vineyard has produced. I’ve come to bear them as a gift.

- Thank you! I will take them to the Abbot immediately, he’ll be delighted with this offering.

- No! I brought them for you. For whenever I knock on the door, it is you opens it. When I needed help because the crop was destroyed by drought, you gave me a piece of bread and a cup of wine every day.

The monk held the grapes and spent the entire morning admiring it. And decided to deliver the gift to the Abbot, who had always encouraged him with words of wisdom.

The Abbot was very pleased with the grapes, but he recalled that there was a sick brother in the monastery, and thought:

"I’ll give him the grapes. Who knows, they may bring some joy to his life."

And that is what he did. But the grapes didn’t stay in the sick monk’s room for long, for he reflected:

"The cook has looked after me for so long, feeding me only the best meals. I’m sure he will enjoy these."

The cook was amazed at the beauty of the grapes. So perfect that no one would appreciate them more than the sexton; many at the monastery considered him a holy man, he would be best qualified to value this marvel of nature.

The sexton, in turn, gave the grapes as a gift to the youngest novice, that he might understand that the work of God is in the smallest details of Creation. When the novice received them, he remembered the first time he came to the monastery, and of the person who had opened the gates for him; it was that gesture which allowed him to be among this community of people who knew how to value the wonders of life.

And so, just before nightfall, he took the grapes to the monk at the gates.

- Eat and enjoy them – he said. – For you spend most of your time alone here, and these grapes will make you very happy.

The monk understood that the gift had been truly destined for him, and relished each of the grapes, before falling into a pleasant sleep.

Thus the circle was closed; the circle of happiness and joy, which always shines brightly around generous people.
 
 

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Comments

  1. Shiv Prateek says:

    Nice article

  2. Vincentsylvan says:

    So many people have the wrong concept about being selfish that I am obliged to put this article here.

    The Analysis of Being Selfish

    This word has been distorted for generations to the point which all of you think it is bad to be selfish. Here is what Webster’s dictionary says about this word. “Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interest, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
    This must have been written by someone who thinks going against Nature is very smart and proper. The whole statement contradicts itself! But it sounds so proper and altruistic…that is why people believe it to be true. It has a lie mixed with truth and that is why it infiltrates our defenses.
    This is how I see this:
    This is how I see this:
    1. I was born alone and I will die alone; I am the one that has to
    protect myself to be healthy emotionally, physically, mentally,
    economically, spiritually, and sexually. Then it is ok to be selfish.
    2. If my goal in life is to be happy, and happiness comes from being
    with other people, then I have to be concerned about treating other
    people fair. That is the contradiction with the statement of Webster.
    We need people and we must treat the people of our choice fairly.
    3. It is selfish to give to others (to the ones who deserve my
    gifts) because their human nature will want to give back to me in
    return, and because it pleases me to contribute to the human race
    to which I belong.
    4. My goal in life is to do the best of my abilities for the glory of
    my Creator, and for my own pleasure; therefore, I have to protect
    myself. I have to interact with others in order to prosper. I have to
    be selfish!
    5. I believe in love, and love comes from being selfish. Nature is
    selfish and works constantly to obtain its own balance.
    Are you selfish when you breathe air without concern on your neighbor?
    You bit!
    Is it wrong to do this?
    I don’t think so…
    Yes, the world is not selfish enough!
    Our believes have been distorted because of it!
    Our integrity is weak because of it!
    Our vision has been compromised because of it!
    Our potential has been sabotaged because of it!
    Our happiness is not attainable because of it! On…and on….
    Here is an example;
    You have met a man and you are attracted to him. After a short time you realize there are some things in his personality which do not please you. Without evaluating properly, you decide to change his bad habits to please yourself. After sometime, his bad habits do not change and then you blame him for not changing.
    Can the sun stop from shinning?
    Can you change a dog from barking?
    Will you not get wet if you jump in water with bare skin?
    Can you change your man the way that he is?
    If your answer to these four questions is NO, then you are getting to the root of the problem.
    There is no sense fighting Nature!
    You will not win!
    You will get frustrated and unhappy in that battle.
    We fight Nature because we do not respect it enough.
    In doing so, we think we are more clever than our Creator and that
    is why you can’t obtain the happiness that belongs to you.
    Be selfish! Be selfish! Be selfish!…..
    Greed is bad. Selfish is good!
    Evaluate properly and get the results desired, every time and always! Here is a little story about selfishness:
    Jim and Joe where walking in the fields when all of a sudden they
    realized they were hungry. Joe spotted an apple tree and climbed on it
    to gather some apples. All Joe could find were two apples;
    one apple was bigger than the other, so Joe gave Jim the small apple and
    he kept the big one.
    Jim protested, calling Joe selfish and asking him why he kept the big apple and gave him the small one. Joe’s response was, “What would you have done in my place Jim?”
    Jim answered with altruistic conviction, “I would have given you the big one and I would have kept the small one.”
    Joe then replied, “That is what we have Jim. You have the small apple and I have the big one.”
    Joe added, “Your complaint does not make any sense Jim. Yes, I am selfish and I have shared with you my food. I did the work of climbing the tree and gave you my gift because you are a person who is my friend and I enjoy your company.”
    This explanation made Jim think and he, realizing the truth in Joe’s statement, replied, “I will climb the tree next time then, do the work, and keep the bigger apple for myself.”
    Joe answered, “I will not complain when you give me the smaller apple Jim, instead, I will be very happy with your generosity for giving me food without me doing the work.”
    Yes, it is a gift when we receive things from others without us having done work for it. Remember to share your materials things and your talents, but only with people of same kind, of people who deserve you, and not with drug addicts, losers, or people whom have no respect for life.
    Be selfish, Share!

    1. Ruslana says:

      Indeed!

  3. Keith says:

    A man who radiates joy is Canon Andrew White who although he spends much of his life living the tragedy of what is Iraq somehow manages to radiate joy and in doing so infects those around him with joy. It was a pleasure and a joy to spend yesterday evening with him at the Boiler Room in Guildford.

    - Canon Andrew White at the Boiler Room

  4. Daanish says:

    why it can’t be a square or a cube of joy,,circles make joy dizzy:)

    1. Keith says:

      Because you can’t square a circle and you would keep hitting the corners.

  5. Cristina says:

    Lindo.
    Que as uvas sejam partilhadas entre todos q espalham luz.
    Bjossss

  6. ritika says:

    im so glad theres someone in this world who writes stories that we can one day tell our grandchildren so we can instill good values in them :)
    Thank You Paulo Coelho.

  7. Karin says:

    I thought so. Each and every one was at a crossroad in their life, and I wanted to pass something on that will help them along their journey.

  8. Karin says:

    In 10 yrs teaching, 100 special student’s lives were enriched with the gift of your book, the Alchimist. Thanks.

  9. Cristina says:

    Great!!!

  10. Alla says:

    You know every time when I teach I see it as a great opportunity to express myself. It’s good when your work brings fruit. As I talked before I am working on a Reading guide for Aleph.Here is the next session.Maybe someone will use it to improve English.

  11. Pandora says:

    “Who has two coats, let them give to those who have none. Who has food, let them do likewise.”

    Luke 3:11

    Even if the grapes had gone bad (as someone has suggested below), what fun could be had into turning them into wine!!! Monks, love wine, mead… which reminds me… so do I. :)

    1. Keith says:

      Jesus was the Master of the Vineyard.

  12. Eman Ismail says:

    Thanks Paulo for sharing this lovely story . Thanks also for your wise words.

  13. Marie-Christine says:

    Who am I?

    I am a link
    I am a soul that connects
    I am a mixture of all the elements
    I am the fusion between the good and the bad.
    I am a movement – a tic-toc with a tactic -
    I am a tiny pod constantly changing and growing.
    I am naive, I am a fool, I am funny and also very deep.
    I am a speck of the truth
    I am an extension of Nature – the trees, the birds, the sea, and the wind -
    I am like a ball, bouncing back and forth.
    I am my own alchemist.

    I AM THE FLESH OF AN ENDANGERED SPECIE.
    Marie-Christine
    22.11.2008

    Qui Suis-je?

    Je suis un lien,.
    Je suis une ame qui connecte.
    Je suis un melange de tous les elements.
    Je suis la fusion entre le bien et le mal.
    Je suis un mouvement – un tic-tac avec une tactique -
    Je suis une petite nacelle qui change et grandit continuellement.
    Je suis naive, Je suis le Fou. Je suis drole et egalement tres profonde.
    Je suis un grain de verite.
    Je suis une extension de la Nature – les arbres, les oiseaux.la mer et le vent -
    Je suis un ballon qui rebondit.
    Je suis mon propre alchimiste.

    JE SUIS LA CHAIR D”UNE ESPECE EN VOIE D’EXTINCTION.

    With thanks gratitude and love always.
    Marie-Christine

    1. peter says:

      namaste, i love the contrasts within yourself which completes the circle of joy.
      i honour the place in you where the whole universe resides

  14. Kanika says:

    Circle of Life. What is meant for you comes back to you. There is never a”Never” in anybodies life.

    Be patient, the divine is grateful.

    Thanks for sharing this story Paulo.

  15. Nancy says:

    I like this line in the story:
    “No! I brought them for you. For whenever I knock on the door, it is you opens it. When I needed help because the crop was destroyed by drought, you gave me a piece of bread and a cup of wine every day.”

    These are the actions of two people that the world is always wanting more of, and it is possible. I need to listen and understand like at the end of the story when the monk at the door accepted the grapes.

  16. yves de la grace says:

    le coeur de l homme est une machine a raisons.pour chaque circonstance il en invente une comme rester quand il faut partir,aimer quand il faut hair…

  17. Vincentsylvan says:

    Human nature is as a rule lacy, by making a point of helping others you are interfering with their development. We were born to develop ourselves. and so much kindness is stoping the natural process of life.
    Did you think about that?
    The kindergarden religions forget to take Nature as a point ofreference. Most inventions were created studiying Nature but our spiritual leaders are oblivious to its importance.
    Vincentsylvan

    1. katie says:

      “forgetting nature as a point of reference ….”

      it looks to me that you solely use Darwinian selection often interpreted in that way to support the concept of selfishness.

      However, please, do not forget, that
      (1) part of Darwin’s idea to describe the evolution of species via natural selection was also influenced by the times he lived, i.e. the industrial revolution. as well known, science interpretation and research are influenced by their times & the cultural environments.
      The industrial revolution had at this time all the features that you now describe that they come from nature: people working in the industry did not have any welfare, worked more than 8/5 (actually 7 days a week) for minimal wages and under inhumane conditions. tuberculosis was one of the infectious diseases that were epidemic among the working class at this time. how, e.g., to overcome the disease …. your concept of selfishness was practiced by the society.

      2. Since Darwin’s description of evolution, evolutionary biology as well as other branches including ethology have found examples deviating from Darwin’s “harsh” concept.
      the concept of altruism and providing support can be found in nature. examples are: inter-species relationships, and behaviors observed in non-human primates.
      Populationgenetics provide evidence including in modelling that altruism is an evolutionary stable concept, i.e., this concept does not contradict the evolutionary forces (natural selection, genetic drift, migration, mutation, and founder effect).

    2. Anon says:

      I think I understand what you are saying and there is some wisdom in it, but rest assured that part of being human is to be social. We rely on each other. All animals interact in their own ways. Ants work together for example, Monkeys are social, some animals work alone to survive. There are always going to be plenty of people in the world who will teach us the lessons that you are referring to. Kindness IS part of nature because it is part of being human. Without it we would not maintain our social aspect which we use to survive just as much as any other aspect. Developing ways to make each other happy is a powerful lesson in survival.

  18. its a beautiful tale,reflects spirituality but sometime life becomes so bitter,May GOD bless us all.

  19. Marie-Christine says:

    The circle of joy contains the four elements – fire water earth and air – as per Ken’s illustrations.
    I was also looking at the ‘Inspirations” book that is available on Amazon.com the Kindle Edition that you wrote I could not help thinking how much you can see in the cover of a book.
    I spend a bit of time on the four elements.
    That one is really top for me. I can see the four elements as well, clearly defined.
    Thank you.
    With love and gratitude.
    Marie-Christine

  20. Yan says:

    Chinese translation
    快乐的轮回

    传说有这样一个故事:一天,一位村民敲响了修道院的大门。当看门的僧侣拉开大门时,这位村民塞给了他一大串饱满剔透的葡萄。

    — 修士兄弟,这些是我葡萄园里长得最好的葡萄,我想把它们作为礼物给您。

    — 谢谢您!我会立即把它们献给院长,他一定会为这份贡品感到高兴的。

    — 不!这是我给您本人的礼物。每一次我来敲门,都是您为我开的。每次我因旱灾谷物被毁,来求助的时候,都是您每天送我面包红酒。

    村民走后,守门僧整整一上午都在赞叹这葡萄的美丽。最后他决定,还是将这礼物献给修道院院长,因为是院长总用睿智的言语在鼓励他。

    院长非常喜欢这些葡萄,可是他想起了修道院里那位生病的修士:

    “我要把这些葡萄给他。也许,它们会为他的生活带来些许快乐。”

    于是,院长把葡萄给了那位病人。但是这串葡萄在生病的修士房中也未待多久,因为他回想起:

    “厨师照顾我那么久了,每次都为我做最好的饭菜。我敢肯定他会更喜欢这串葡萄。”

    厨师为这葡萄的美丽惊叹。他认为,没有人能比教堂司事更值得拥有它们了!修道院中许多人都视司事为圣人,他才是最有资格欣赏这大自然的杰作的。

    教堂司事呢,却把这串葡萄送给了最年轻的徒弟,希望他能从中理解,即使是最微小的事物都饱含着上帝的创造力。当这位小徒弟拿到葡萄时,他又想起了,当他第一次来到修道院时,为他打开大门的那个人。正是这个举动,让他有机会成为了这个群体的一员,接触到这些懂得珍惜和欣赏生活的人。

    就这样,在夜幕降临前,小徒弟带着这串葡萄来到了守门僧面前。

    — 请您享用这些葡萄吧。 他说, — 您总是独自一人守在这里,这些葡萄一定会让您非常高兴的。

    守门僧明白了,这份礼物是上天注定属于他的,于是就痛快地吃完了每一颗葡萄,然后心满意足地入睡了。

    于是,这个故事圆满地结束了。

    快乐和幸福的轮回,总会惠顾那些慷慨的人。

  21. Thankyou Paulo and Ken,
    Balance, Sharing, Joy, Eternity,
    Self-discovery, language without words;
    Love is like a fruit, always in season.

    Love,
    Jane xo

  22. Moreno says:

    We’ve learned from life that what ever good things, deed, we offer it to others, it will get back to us one day as a grace in deferent means, it could be money, health, or security. We do and we don’t wait till we get.

  23. Beautiful story, and what makes it really powerful is that every reader can apply the idea in their life immediately after reading it. This is the true magic: beautifully presented short story, where every word is carefully chosen and in its place, that is changing the world around us.

  24. Florence says:

    I Love it ! :) such a generius and happy stroy :)

  25. Christwier says:

    Abriram se tres portas que levava ao Ceu.
    A primeira,era a das pessoas q/tinham entrada livre,e a fila era pequena e andava rapido.
    A segunda,era a das pessoas q/tinham muita bagagem,se puseram na fila c/tudo q/podiam carregar materialmente,e a cada uma delas era dada uma explicacao muito demorada.
    A terceira,era de pessoas bem vestidas mas que nao tinham bagagem nenhuma,mas esta era a que mais de…morava p/ser atendida.Ate q/um se revoltou e chamou o sentinela:
    -Venha ca q/exijo uma explicacao!na fila da primeira porta todos entram sem nenhuma espera,e la so vejo mendingos,nessa segunda,esses idiotas c/toda essa bagagem,sao atendidos,e eu e todo esse pessoal q/aqui estao,ja estamos aqui ha horas e ninguem nos da atencao,explique se ja!
    o sentinela entao suavemente disse,nao esta me autorizado explicar,mas mediante a sua inquietacao explicarei.
    -A primeira porta,daqueles q/ves como mendigos,sao os servidores de Deus aqui na Terra,trabalharam tanto q/nao amelharam bens materiais,pois tudo q/lhes vinha,por eles era distribuido,dando conforto aos mais necessitados.
    -A segunda porta,como ves sao daqueles que muitos bens materiais ainda carregam ,e a cada um tem q/ser explicado q/por esta porta nao se passa c/nada material,e q/essa porta nao leva ao Ceu,mas ao mundo q/precede ao Ceu.
    Entao!?logo retrucou.Ca nada levamos de material,nao e justo q/estejamos na fila da terceira porta q/decerto nao e nem aque precede a entrada no Ceu,explique se ja!
    e calmamente continuo o sentinela.
    -Tens toda razao,esta fila nem a entrada do caminho q/precede ao Ceu alcanca,esta e a fila q/leva ao mais inferior reformatorio,para que possam ter mais uma oportunidade de recomecar e fazer diferente.
    O que fizemos para tao pesado castigo merecer,nao temos bens materiais.!?!
    Sim,nao tens bens materiais,no entanto desprezaste o pobre q/estava a servico de Deus,e invejaste o rico,cegando o c/essa energia pesada e mortifera.Aceite voltar p/o reformatorio,e tenha dentro de seu coracao a lembranca do andar da fila da porta primeira.
    Christwier.01-12-2011Ver mais
    GostoNão gosto · · Partilhar ·

  26. Irina Black says:

    И птица первая последнюю любила,
    И круг замкнулся-
    В круге том любовь царила,
    Полета направляя крылья.(VIP)

  27. Well says:

    “There is a story of a young monk who arrives at a monastery and he’s assigned to help the other monks copying the canons and the laws of the church by hand. He notices that the monks are copying from copies. He goes to the old abbot and he questions this. He points out that if there were even a small error earlier on, that it would never be picked up. In fact, it would be continued in all subsequent copies. The abbot says, “We’ve been copying from copies for centuries, but you have a good point.” So he goes down to the vaults, way down deep in the caves under the monastery where the original manuscripts have been sitting for ages, for hundreds of years. Hours go by. Nobody sees the old abbot. Finally, the young, new monk gets really worried so he goes downstairs. He finds the old abbot, who is banging his head against the wall and crying uncontrollably. Concerned he asks him, “Father, father, what’s wrong?” And in a choking voice, the old abbot replies, “The word was ‘celebrate!’ (not celibate)””

  28. marilina says:

    comme on dit dans le proverbequi fais le bien n’attend que du bien,, ça prouve quele monde est petit et que la jois ne viens seule de rien du tout!!

  29. Estan sublime como lo descrive Paulo qu eun o siente cosas indescriptibles en el imaginario de la lectura. Es por eso que este escritor es tan famoso a nivel mundial.

  30. lorena says:

    what i ‘ve understood,it’s about share and the meenining of the human bounds.thanksgiving it’a a moment out of time.it’s god out of time.it’s our immortality

  31. maayem says:

    some words of this story removes my confusion
    “I’ll give him the grapes. Who knows, they may bring some joy to his life.”
    specially these thanks paulo

  32. The Analysis of Being Selfish

    This word has been distorted for generations to the point which all of you think it is bad to be selfish. Here is what Webster’s dictionary says about this word. “Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interest, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.”
    This must have been written by someone who thinks going against Nature is very smart and proper. The whole statement contradicts itself! But it sounds so proper and altruistic…that is why people believe it to be true. It has a lie mixed with truth and that is why it infiltrates our defenses.
    This is how I see this:
    This is how I see this:
    1. I was born alone and I will die alone; I am the one that has to
    protect myself to be healthy emotionally, physically, mentally,
    economically, spiritually, and sexually. Then it is ok to be selfish.
    2. If my goal in life is to be happy, and happiness comes from being
    with other people, then I have to be concerned about treating other
    people fair. That is the contradiction with the statement of Webster.
    We need people and we must treat the people of our choice fairly.
    3. It is selfish to give to others (to the ones who deserve my
    gifts) because their human nature will want to give back to me in
    return, and because it pleases me to contribute to the human race
    to which I belong.
    4. My goal in life is to do the best of my abilities for the glory of
    my Creator, and for my own pleasure; therefore, I have to protect
    myself. I have to interact with others in order to prosper. I have to
    be selfish!
    5. I believe in love, and love comes from being selfish. Nature is
    selfish and works constantly to obtain its own balance.
    Are you selfish when you breathe air without concern on your neighbor?
    You bit!
    Is it wrong to do this?
    I don’t think so…
    Yes, the world is not selfish enough!
    Our believes have been distorted because of it!
    Our integrity is weak because of it!
    Our vision has been compromised because of it!
    Our potential has been sabotaged because of it!
    Our happiness is not attainable because of it! On…and on….
    Here is an example;
    You have met a man and you are attracted to him. After a short time you realize there are some things in his personality which do not please you. Without evaluating properly, you decide to change his bad habits to please yourself. After sometime, his bad habits do not change and then you blame him for not changing.
    Can the sun stop from shinning?
    Can you change a dog from barking?
    Will you not get wet if you jump in water with bare skin?
    Can you change your man the way that he is?
    If your answer to these four questions is NO, then you are getting to the root of the problem.
    There is no sense fighting Nature!
    You will not win!
    You will get frustrated and unhappy in that battle.
    We fight Nature because we do not respect it enough.
    In doing so, we think we are more clever than our Creator and that
    is why you can’t obtain the happiness that belongs to you.
    Be selfish! Be selfish! Be selfish!…..
    Greed is bad. Selfish is good!
    Evaluate properly and get the results desired, every time and always! Here is a little story about selfishness:
    Jim and Joe where walking in the fields when all of a sudden they
    realized they were hungry. Joe spotted an apple tree and climbed on it
    to gather some apples. All Joe could find were two apples;
    one apple was bigger than the other, so Joe gave Jim the small apple and
    he kept the big one.
    Jim protested, calling Joe selfish and asking him why he kept the big apple and gave him the small one. Joe’s response was, “What would you have done in my place Jim?”
    Jim answered with altruistic conviction, “I would have given you the big one and I would have kept the small one.”
    Joe then replied, “That is what we have Jim. You have the small apple and I have the big one.”
    Joe added, “Your complaint does not make any sense Jim. Yes, I am selfish and I have shared with you my food. I did the work of climbing the tree and gave you my gift because you are a person who is my friend and I enjoy your company.”
    This explanation made Jim think and he, realizing the truth in Joe’s statement, replied, “I will climb the tree next time then, do the work, and keep the bigger apple for myself.”
    Joe answered, “I will not complain when you give me the smaller apple Jim, instead, I will be very happy with your generosity for giving me food without me doing the work.”
    Yes, it is a gift when we receive things from others without us having done work for it. Remember to share your materials things and your talents, but only with people of same kind, of people who deserve you, and not with drug addicts, losers, or people whom have no respect for life.
    Be Sociable, Share!

    1. Gonzalo says:

      Sr. Vincentsylvan, permítame con todo respeto, decirle que no comparto con usted, en los siguientes puntos:

      Esta historia no trata del egoísmo ni de la codicia, solo emite un concepto de que muchas veces recibimos cosas que consideramos que no las merecemos o que pueden ser para otras personas que consideramos que nos han dado cuando mas lo necesitamos, y nos gustaría devolverles algo que consideramos valioso. Pero como termina la narración, siempre lo que esta destinado hacia nosotros, siempre vuelve. Aun cuando lo hacemos de forma voluntaria, también vuelve con la misma o mayor intensidad.

      La naturaleza no es egoísta por que toma solo lo que necesita, no toma en exceso lo que también le pertenece a los demás integrantes de la naturaleza, una planta no se bebe toda el agua de las demás plantas y fabrica barriles para seguir juntándola para mas adelante dejando a las demás sin agua, un pájaro no se come todas las semillas y se queda todo el día juntándolas para guardarlas para mas adelante dejando así con menor posibilidades a los demás pájaros, pero si lo hacemos nosotros los humanos, y eso, si es ser egoísta.

      Por ultimo no coincido con usted de que el amor viene de ser egoísta, creo que es todo lo contrario, no puede haber amor si hay egoísmo, por que se transforma en sentido de pertenencia y esto, esta muy alejado del amor, el amor es aceptar lo que se ama, tal cual es, con sus virtudes y sus defectos y no con la actitud de poseer para amar o amar lo que se posee.

      Le saludo con todo el gran debido respeto que merece su opinión

      Gonzalo

    2. katie says:

      I am very interested in your opinion of bodhichitta.

    3. Heart says:

      Hello Vincent,

      Welcome to Paulo’s blog. I haven’t noticed you before yesterday. Thank you for calling me “more realistic”. I do think you present wonderful viewpoints on an old topic discussed in theology, philosophy and psychology. Understand, when Thelma speaks, she does so supported by the old Greek Mythology. You should not be too critical to my BFF! I will come back to this. First, I want to make one point about Selfish or Altruistic.

      I am an expert on human development, developmental psychology, which pretty much support what you are saying. Children are indeed born very selfish, and have to be selfish to develop healthy. And we should let them, and even use children as models for how to be selfish with good conscience. This is necessary to grow into our own person. I believe most psychology agrees with this. It is guilt and shame from these first years that adults wrongly impose on us, that is so deadly for feeling fully alive.

      In my opinion, and I believe most psychology also agrees, to develop a full human potential as adults, the last step is to become altruistic. We see this highly developed in admirable personalities like Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Saints to mention a few. To tell you the truth, when I was around 21 years old, a Catholic priest showed me what this means. He corrected me, because I was constantly thinking about myself, talking about myself, and in fact I was feeling rather miserable, depressed. Somehow, this Spiritual Director stopped me when I was selfish, and showed me the way to focus on The Other, God and other Human beings. My life got a new meaning. Hard to explain. But now, when I feel self-pity, I really don’t pay too much attention, I just keep going, and I know other people appreciate that I am around.

      Yes, I do believe I have a foot in reality and this is another thing the Catholic world gave me, the Aristotelian position, hands-on, sharing experiences and experimenting till we have so much fun we cannot stop laughing. The truth about me though is; I’m quite an idealist! I have scored very high on IQ tests, and scored top of my class at the University, in spite of growing up, almost in a working class home, competing with all those academics, born into it. I do love metaphors and poetry and Thelma’s ancient sayings and referrals. Often I do find them much more relevant than trivial life experiences. We need Plato too. Today, I believe we need Reflection-in-Action and Action-in-Reflection. We need Contemplation-in-Charity and Charity-in-Contemplation.

      So, I oppose taking a position of being against Altruism. To me Altruism is a necessary indigence to developing fully. I do not see it as higher than Selfishness, I just see it as a potential, I wouldn’t be without. I think we should say “I would give the life for myself” and “I would give my life for you”, because being brave to the point of being willing to give our life, give us a whole new motivation and courage..

      Thanks for all your comments and sharing your thoughts with us..You must be a Warrior of Light!

      Heart

  33. those grapes traveled so long, they provably were rotten by the time the door man got them back.

    Esas uvas viajaron tanto de manos a manos que creo que se marchitarian en el proceso de su viaje.

    1. Heimo Kruschinski says:

      Well certainly not in this story. But even if they do, they are in the cycle of life and death. Your score is difficult to understand for me. Selfish love? Altruistic love? What is this? Where does selfish love starts? Where does it end? Nationalism and racism are one aspect of it. True love has no rating. She stands in the middle. It is supported by heart, mind and character. There is no shortage of selfishness in the world. The love of money is very pronounced. It’s selfishness or? I do not see any statement in your analysis. No one can change people. No one can prevent the sun on shine. And? The sun will not shine forever. The nature is not selfish. It is a system. The whole universe is a system, because it is nature. And since we do not understand the universe, it is brave to say it is selfish. I could also say that God is selfish. It is a very capitalistic approach to say what benefits me, that’s good for others. As you can see, this is not true. If it does not work for money, as it should then work with love?

      I wish you a wonderful day

  34. Daizy Biwott says:

    Such an amazing story.i luv your words of wisdom

  35. Marie-Christine says:

    la branche du vin et du pain sont une des connections entre nous tous,.
    Nous sommes tous issus de la meme branche, On s’est simplement divise et perdu de vue.

    1. Very well said but I think we need more selfish love rather than altruistic love. Isn’t the necesity of love in our present life an indication that we are doing something wrong?

    2. Marie-Christine says:

      Thanks Vincent for your comment.
      I have read your analysis of being selfish,
      I am wondering what is altruistic in finding something we have in common with each other such as bread and wine – All cultures have it. For me it is an opening for more understanding on how we can function and that we can share..
      And yes thinking more about myself therefore is going to help because in doing so I am trying to understand myself and I believe I cannot go forward until I understand my own make-up anyway.
      Is that what you mean. I am not into metaphysics- am only a simple mind –
      There is no sense in fighting Nature .The laws of Nature will always presides – No use arguing with the wind it will carry on regardless – Breathing properly is one of the best thing we can do to get in balance with nature.
      You talk about love and soulmate – I believe it is something that goes beyond – as you said that involves some magic – in fact I don’t believe there is a need for verbal or written communication – It operates at a different level, -

      But maybe I am wrong – I have been wrong many times before -.
      and yes… I am sociable and I am sharing too. :)
      Have a nice evening.
      Marie-Christine

  36. LoveM says:

    What One gives… One receives…

    When I love
    Then I am love
    Getting what I am
    Giving what I’ve got
    LoveM

    1. Yes I agree that giving is a seed to grow beautiful results but please take care of yourselves also. Altruism is the tree of sin; you eat its fruit and paradice will be out of your reach, that is a proven fact.

    2. LoveM says:

      The only sin is the sin of separation…
      Thinking you are separate from everybody else…
      Hell is separation from the One Life… Our Oneness is Paradise…
      Blessings LoveM