The kingdom of this world

An old hermit was once invited to visit the court of the most powerful king of the day.

“I envy a holy man, who is content with so little,” commented the sovereign.

“I envy Your Majesty, who is content with less than I.
“I have the music of the celestial spheres,
“I have the rivers and mountains of the whole wide world,
“I have the moon and the sun, because I have God in my soul.

“Your Majesty, however, has only this kingdom.”


  1. Marie-Christine says:

    ‘I have the moon and the sun because I have God in my soul.’
    The dark and the light , the visible and the invisi ble.
    and the words to say it with faith
    Thank you for being
    With love

  2. raseenaa says:

    i read aleph yesterday and for the first time in my life i am at peace..
    it made me realise that the rest lessness i feel is not just a ridiculus feeling.
    the things i think i can see some times are real
    thank gave me peace..

  3. MARIA says:

    Κύριε Πάολο καταρχάς θα κάνω κάτι που ίσως σας δυσκολέψει λιγάκι αλλά γι’αυτό υπάρχουν οι μεταφραστές σελίδων ώστε να διαβάσετε τι γράφω.Γνωρίζω Αγγλικά αλλά δεν νομίζω καμία άλλη γλώσσα πέρα από την δική μου να μπορεί να περιγράψει τόσο εύγλωττα το τι ένιωσα διαβάζοντας το “Άλεφ”.Ειλικρινά παρόλο που διάβασα και τις “Βαλκυρίες” και τον “Αλχιμιστή” κανένα δεν το έζησα τόσο ζωντανά όσο αυτό το βιβλίο.Ίσως η στιγμή και η ανάγκη που είχα να ξεκινήσω ξανά μετά από μια απογοήτευση συναισθηματική αλλά ίσως και η κατάλληλη στιγμή να σκεφτώ οτι τίποτα δεν τελειώνει και όλα μπορούν να αρχίσουν ξανά, οτι η ζωή είναι ένα μέρος και απλά ένα κομμάτι…Ότι το τώρα ίσως να μην είναι τώρα αλλά και πρίν και μετά……Δεν ξέρω πως με ανακουφίσατε Κύριε Πάολο.Έχω διαβάσει για την ζωή σας απο την βιογραφία σας τον “Μάγο”….Έπαθα μεγάλο σοκ αλλά κατάλαβα οτι τίποτα δεν είναι πάντα σταθερό.Όλα εξελίσσονται..Όλα είναι ΜΑΓΕΙΑ!Γιατί τελικά αυτό να είναι μαγεία.ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΩ…..Και εύχομαι να μπορέσετε να το διαβάσετε……Καλή συνέχεια στο έργο σας και αν και δεν σας ξέρω σας εκτιμώ βαθύτατα…..Παρόλο που η πίστη μου ως Χριστιανή Ορθόδοξη δεν δέχετε την μετενσάρκωση..Παρόλο που περάσατε απο την Μαγεία….Και παρόλο που δηλώνετε ακόμα Μάγος…Καλή συνέχεια στο ταξίδι σας που είναι λιγάκι και δικό μου……..

  4. Panagiotis Regoukos says:

    Do you like to follow a Dialogue with Paulo Coelho’s ideas in English and Greek? Please search Facebook for “Dialogue with Paulo Coelho”.

  5. Akri says:

    I finished reading one of your books last night( The Aleph). It left me with a strange feeling. Something I cannot desribe in words. I sat still and silent, closed my eyes and just sat there for a long time. I was in a dreamy state knowing there is something there, yet I cannot grasp it. It feels rediculous to describe that feeling, but every single word in that book sneaked into the pores of my skin and found its way to my mind and my soul and put me an euphoric state, a delicious frame of mind that left me peaceful yet excited and anxious.

    1. Rachel says:

      That was beautifully described Akri. Thanks for sharing

  6. maria gil gala says:

    No es mas rico el que mas tiene sino el que menos necesita. Si nos conformaramos con lo que nos rodea sin buscar mas alla creo que seriamos mas felices!! Paulo me encantan sus historias, son geniales!! Me abren la mente y me ayudan a reflexionar y crecer como persona. Le doy las gracias !!

  7. Kristjaan says:

    Dear mister Coelho, this is really a wonderful parable. I think everyone on Mother Earth’s surface has his or her own Kingdom. My kingdom? My family, my work as an oncology nurse and of course my passion, writing haiku. All together it’s my Kingdom. I am not rich nor poor, I am average. Full of compassion and unconditional love.
    You’ve found your Kingdom in writing as I have found it in haiku.
    Aleph … was your journey and I am happy that I could accompany you on that journey. I think Aleph is your best novel ever. Thank you for letting us be part in your journey.


  8. rollie de belen says:

    i always like to read your short stories. i hope that in the near future, you’ll have a book that has all of your short stories in it. sad to say that some of your books here in the Philippines is still out of stock. :(

    1. atnassirk says:

      In National Bookstore, they do have the copies of Paulo’s books. :) they still have, in Sta.Lucia even in Robinson’s!:) I saw them last week. and they’re quite expensive! aurghh!

  9. Happiness is not the byproduct of wealth,it’s something inside us. In today’s world because of so much consumerism ,contentedness is missing ,and everyone is trying to seek happiness in outside world whereas real treasure inside us.

  10. Mina Diala says:

    I just want to say that I really like all your books and have been inspired by most of yopur work. You are such a gifted author. Hope you continue to inspire millions with your books. Just finished reading Aleph.
    More adventures to take explore for you Mr. Paulo Coelho. Goodluck.
    Maraming Salamat (Thank you very much)

    1. dilbagh singh says:

      great…………….love u sir….

  11. Adrian says:

    Love you

  12. semreteab says:

    thank reminds me of a saying ” we have Nothing but we have Everything”.
    what truly matters.

  13. Arun Menon says:

    Dear Paulo,
    U have always inspired me…. And I love ur writing… Eventhough I have read all your books published in India, I love Alchemist the most and for me it is my Bible… I always see me as Santiago…. And it has helped me a lot… WIsh that I will be meeting you one day…

  14. Terry says:

    How ironic it is!

  15. Amit Sharma says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this piece of wisdom, love all your stories. Have so much to teach and the influence they’ve on my soul cannot be described in words.
    Have a nice time. :)

  16. Jean says:

    Thank you for this, your storys have a unique influence in my life. God Bless Us All.

  17. toñi says:

    Yo recuerdo algo de un libro que leí­, lo escribo como lo recuerdo ¿vale?.
    Estaba Alejandro Magno en una de sus expediciones con su ejército y quiso encontrar al hombre más sabio para que fuera su consejero real. Los habitantes de aquella región le indicaron el camino donde encontrarí­a a aquel hombre tan sabio y Alejandro Magno inició el camino para encontrarlo. Se encontró a un anciano desnudo con unas barbas muy largas y los pelos de la cabeza muy largos también (claro!) junto a un rí­o. El anciano daba apariencia de piojoso y sucio. Alejandro Magno se acercó a él y le preguntó si era el sabio y éste le contestó que “eso decí­an todos”. Entonces Alejandro le propuso ser su consejero real y le ofreció trajes lujosos y una vida de envidia. El anciano rechazó la oferta. Entonces Alejandro Magno le amenazó con matarlo. Y el anciano se rió de él y le dijo que no le importaba, pues si le mataba se sentirí­a feliz por depojarse de la última atadura que tení­a con el mundo fí­sico, que era su cuerpo y su vida. Alejandro Magno se acercó a él muy furioso, lo miró a los ojos, levantó su espada para cortarle la cabeza y…tras varios minutos… Alejandro bajó su espada, se dió la vuelta y se dirigió a sus soldados. Uno de sus soldados de confianza le preguntó:” ¿porqué no lo has matado? ese anciano se ha atrevido a ofenderte!”. Y Alejandro contestó: “no habí­a miedo en sus ojos, realmente es un hombre sabio ¿qué sentido tendrí­a matar a alguien que no tiene miedo a morir? Vámonos!”.
    Esta historia la leí­ y la recuerdo porque me llamó mucho la atención.
    Un saludo a todos,

    1. Jean says:

      Saludo Toñi,
      Muy interesante la historia que contaste. Gracias por compartir con migo esta valuosa leccion de la vida. Que dios bendiga a todos.

  18. David Clemente Martinez says:


  19. Qué bonito pensamiento. Tenemos todo y a veces no lo veemos.

  20. Homo conscius says:

    where there is envy
    there is no kingdom
    and that’s ok
    if you are aware of it
    it´s getting better

  21. margherita says:

    Che bellezza!
    Allora anch’io sono ricchissima e super-fortunata: anch’io posso godere della vista delle valli verdi, dei fiumi e dei mari, di deserti, montagne e praterie. Posso volare con gli occhi ed il cuore tra le stelle, farmi accarezzare dai raggi caldi del sole e tuffarmi nel blu infinito del Nord, nell’azzurro delicato del mezzogiorno. Nessuno mai mi potrí  vietare tutto questo perchè io l’ho sperimentato e quand’anche fossi rinchiusa nella pií¹ buia prigione io potrí² sempre volare col ricordo e la mia fantasia, e sarí² comunque libera perchè nessuno mai potrí  rubarmi questi magnifici ricordi. Se possedessi tutta la terra potrei perderla, ma la gioia di queste mie ricchezze, uniche e personalissime, verrí  sempre con me, fino alla fine dei miei giorni.
    Quanto sono ricca!
    Grazie per avermelo ricordato!

  22. Maybe this a man talking with his heart in a mirror, wondering about some things, such as what is his treasure?
    Inside, and outside.
    A very lovely story, imagining (can see better imagining pictures).

    ‘ There was a star danced, and under that was I born. ‘ – William Shakespeare

    Enjoyed reading the comments shared, and Glauber’s dream.

    Love and Gratitude, a cheery greeting for the day,

  23. Lindo e profundo! Suas mensagens tocam e revigoram a alma!
    Tenho lido um pouco todos os dias!

  24. Kealan says:

    & the King threw the holy man into a pond of ill tempered, mutated sea bass, with laser beams attached to their heads, for insulting him!

    1. Heart says:

      now, now hahaha

  25. Glauber says:

    Olá Paulo Coelho,

    Escrevo pra contar sobre o sonho que tive com vocíª. Sabe aqueles sonhos que deixam em vocíª um sensaí§í£o durante grande parte do dia, achei que ele deixou em mim um sentimento relevante, por isso decidi compartilha-lo com voce.

    Em um deserto de areias fofas sob a luz do dia , caminhavamos conversando sobre a essencia das coisas.
    A medida que a noite caia, continuavamos a conversar.
    Antes que a noite chegasse escurencendo , o dia voce pergunta:
    E a noite, Qual a essíªncia da noite?
    A Essíªncia da noite é a ESCURIDíƒO respondi .
    Ní£o. A Essíªncia da noite sí£o as estrelas.
    E naquela hora o brilho das estrelas iluminavam a vastidí£o do céu.

    Ní£o sei se esta frase existe ou ní£o, ní£o sei se vi isto em outro lugar, porem procurei na interent e ní£o vi esta passagem em nenhum lugar.
    De qualquer maneira, original ou ní£o, foi algo que me tocou e que pra mim, de alguma forma trouxe consigo muito da perspectiva pela qual devemos olhar o mundo.


  26. Michelle says:

    I love everything you share.

  27. LoveM says:

    You are not a king
    And you are not a hermit
    So what are you then

    You’re not a concept
    You are the Presence in which
    All concepts arise..

    Without you present
    Nothing exists.. Everything
    Seen in your presence

    For who is this whole
    Magnificent world dancing
    Who..if not for you.. (sees all this)
    Enjoy LoveM

    1. Rachel says:

      Lovely :)

  28. The most valuable lesson I learned from the indigenous people in South America is that richness and happiness comes when it comes from within and not from the things we own.

    We are pressured from so many angles from our society to consume and consume even more. There are so many expectations set on us that we are at a very high risk to fall in a burnout when these expectations are not met.

    These people live through what nature gives them, they are happy with the “little” they have!

  29. Marie-Christine Grimard says:

    Each of us is the king of a kingdom that we strive to make prosper
    But sometimes it feels good to stop and to watch
    The Round of the stars advancing silently in the night
    And understand that nothing will stop them
    Neither our cries
    Neither our fears
    Neither our tears
    Neither our delights
    Not even our demise
    Because we’re only star dust

    1. Arto Hutto says:

      and star dust never fades away…

  30. Gonzalo says:

    Hermoso…..le sacaria la envidia y la sobervia del ermitaño.
    Paz y Amor

  31. ngl68 says:

    ..Se uno desse tutte le ricchezze della sua casa in cambio dell’amore , non ne avrebbe che dispregio. (Cantico dei Cantici).

  32. Annie says:

    The Music of the spheres
    my kingdom
    forget all your fears
    and your ego

    then you ‘ll finely tune
    to a rhythm
    your heart was always beating
    and beating

    “Are you ill?
    what’s the matter?
    You re not yourself anymore
    You ‘ve gone madder”

    Truth is,
    I was always mad,
    as a little monster
    but love is the disease
    and that’s your answer

    Love and Gratitude

    1. Varah Katims says:

      It’s nice. Thanks Annie for sharing…

    2. Annie says:

      thank YOU, Varah Katims :)

    3. Rachel says:


  33. Cynthia Pugh says:

    Money and wealth can be but not necessarily a burden to the soul. In this day and age simplicity is not recognised in the same way. Cannot explain very well what I am trying to say. I suppose that is it. Words cannot always describe -its the feeling that reading the above invoke . That knowing?

  34. Querido Paulo:
    Ultimamente tenho refletido muito sobre isso: bens materiais…
    Percebo a alegria estampada nos rostos das pessoas nos comerciais de TV quando alguém ganha um príªmio em dinheiro, um carro, enfim..
    Ní£o quero dizer que ní£o é bom ter dinheiro. Apenas penso que outros “bens” que nos sí£o dados de graí§a pela forí§a divina estí£o perdendo seu valor.
    Coisas simples como sentir o ar puro, a brisa do mar batendo no rosto, acordar com os cantos dos pássaros para mim sí£o bení§í£os divinas e possuem mais valor do que qualquer bem material.
    Fique na paz :)

  35. Sujata says:

    Who on earth can be deprived from the abundance present all around him. The earth, the vast ocean and vaster sky, the glazing sun, the peaceful moon.

  36. marie-christine says:

    “I have the music of the celestial spheres *****~~~~~*****
    I have the rivers and mountains of the whole wide WORLD ~~~~~ n the M M M
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~II have the moon and the sun because I have God in my soul.’
    and the Alphabet.
    Thank you for being.

  37. mita says:

    Sir. I have got a message in my Facebook from some Arion……that he became surprise about your widely spread reader.Yes Sir, and today from your website I came to know that you are now MOST WIDELY READ AUTHOR. This is your kingdom.Now whole world is your kingdom. In ALEPH YOU want to achieve your kingdom. i think you told about this kingdom. CONGRATULATION ………

  38. Pilar says:

    Es grande y hermoso.

  39. jnana says:

    Beautiful :)

  40. ngl68 says:

    Oggi caro Paulo ,il giorno è iniziato speciale per me. Appena mi sono alzato,mentre facevo colazione ho acceso il televisore. Un’ emittente privata mostrava Lourdes, dei pellegrini che si affollano giornalmente in questo luogo santo.
    Ascoltavo e percepivo nelle testimonianze dei pellegrini quando sia speciale questo luogo (premetto che non sono mai stato in questo luogo), e quanta gioia indescrivibile emanava ognuno di loro.
    Osservando le immagini che scorrevano di questo luogo speciale, la mia attenzione si è soffermata sulle acque del fiume che scorrevano, in quel momento ho rammentato un tuo libro (Sulla sponda del fiume Piedra mi sono seduta è ho pianto) sono andato a prenderlo, lo riaperto e in quel momento un emozione grandissima e sopraggiunta forte. Stavo leggendo dell’apparizione della Vergine Immacolta a una umile fragile creatura Bernadette, e quel passo ricordava che il 16 luglio è stato l’ultimo giorno della sua apparizione.
    Oggi è il 16 di luglio ho pensato subito di scriverti per questa gioia indescrivibile, in quel momento qualcosa di speciale è accaduto, un miracolo non sí² , ma non avrei potuto immagginare che oggi era la ricorrenza dell’ultima apparizione della madonna a Lourders.
    Tutto questo mi ha rafforzato l’ idea di fare al pií¹ presto questo speciale Pellegrinaggio.

    Saluto te Paulo e tutti le persone sensibili di questo Blog.
    Buana giornata a tutti.

  41. LexoKat says:

    I loved this and I love everything you write! :)

  42. Brave_soul says:

    Did he survive after this statement? LOL

  43. Cristina B says:

    The More or The Less are subjective concepts.
    I can feel I have more or less, according to what I expect.
    The only “right dimension”, is have what is right for us.
    But this is impossible to know, because we should know our future.
    That’s why Faith is important.
    It allows us to enter the right perspective of the world.
    Yesterday I went with my family to Portovenere, a lovely seaside in northern Italy.
    There is an old church, built ove a pagan temple to Venus, in front of the sea (now saint Peter’s Church).
    Iin the yard of the Churc I found a sheet of paper in wich an unknown hand of a woman ( or a girl) asked the Universe to give her faith, and help her to reach what she needs.
    I said a prayer for the woman who wrote those words.
    I also realized this is Faith, and, according to the subject of this blog today, I realized this is a sign for me too.

  44. pedro says:

    Paulo, sao 02.02 da madrugada e SP- Brasil, me da uma luz ou me diz aonde possa encontrala e que se encontra-la que ela ilumine minha vida pra sempre…….

  45. Shine says:

    How true dearest Paulo :). Love Avantika

  46. me says:

    I have a question…why now?