Archives for February 2013

The pirated audiobook


Dear friends:

Close to one year ago I wrote a piece on SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act)

In that post, I said:
we should fight any control on Internet. Because all writers want what they write to be read, whether in a newspaper, blog, pamphlet, or on a wall.
The more often we hear a song on the radio, the keener we are to buy the CD. It’s the same with literature.
The more people ‘pirate’ a book, the better. If they like the beginning, they’ll buy the whole book the next day

Yesterday, Feb 27, I found a pirated audiobook of “The Alchemist”.

The only thing you have to do is to click the link at the top of this post, and there you have the full book, read by Jeremy Irons.
You can listen or download it, and nobody is controlling you – except your conscience.
But you calso tell the entertainment industry that “piracy” is not the danger they think it is.
Everybody is esssentially honest. I believe in this, and I am not naive.

Let’s make a deal:
If you listen to more than 5 minutes, please buy the book (or the audiobook ) so the industry will understand that “piracy” is not a threat to their business.

Nobody is watching you, as I said before.
It is your decision, and I am sure it will be the best decision.


Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE


We are the revolution

EN ESPANOL: La nueva revolución
EM PORTUGUES: Nós somos a revoluí§í£o


My literature is totally committed with a new political attitude – human beings in search of their own identity.

We are the revolution taking place. We are responsible for the world in every sense – political, social, moral.
We are responsible for the planet. We are responsible for the unemployed.
We are responsible for the tyrants currently in power.
We are responsible for the torturers, the opressors.

Of course, we can blame the banks, the disaster that irresponsible people created in the financial system, the political repression, the inability of the Govts. to hear what people has to say.

But this will not help the world to become a better place. We need to act, and we need to act now.

And we don’t need permission to act.

We are much more powerful than we think we are. Let’s use this power, use the strength that everyone has when he/she is following his/her real Bliss, Personal Legend, you name it.
We are the dreamers, but we are also the revolution.
Dreams are not negotiable. Dreamers can’t be tamed.

I outlined my declaration of principles in the links below. Do the same. And implement everything you think should be implemented.

Click below for
ENGLISH: Declaration of principles
ESPANOL: Declaracion de principios
PORTUGUES: Declaraí§í£o de princí­pios

The Book of Manuals

Kindle Edition


Nook Edition


iTunes Edition


Our village

We were born alone and we will die alone. But, while we are on this planet, we must accept and glorify our act of faith through other people.

Community is life: from it comes our capacity for survival. That is how it was when we lived in caves and so it is today.

Respect those who grew up and learned alongside you. Respect those who taught you.

When the day comes, tell your stories and teach, that way the community can continue to exist and our traditions remain unchanged.
Anyone who does not share his moments of joy and discouragement with others will never fully know his own qualities and his own defects.

Meanwhile, be alert to a danger that threatens all communities: people being drawn into a standard way of behaving, taking as their model their own limitations, fears and prejudices.

That is a very high price to pay, because in order for you to be accepted, you will have to please everyone.

And that is not proof of love for the community, but proof of a lack of love for oneself.

You will only be loved and respected if you love and respect yourself.
Never try to please everyone; if you do, you will be respected by no one.

Sex, relaxation and tension


Men and women whisper to each other because they have turned a sacred gesture into a sinful act.

This is the world in which we live. And while robbing the present moment of its reality can be dangerous, disobedience can also be a virtue, when we know how to use it.

If two bodies merely join together, that is not sex, it is merely pleasure.
Sex goes far beyond pleasure.

In sex, relaxation and tension go hand in hand, as do pain and pleasure, shyness and the courage to go beyond one’s limits.

How can such opposing states exist in harmony together? There is only one way: by surrendering yourself.
Because the act of surrender means: ‘I trust you.’

It isn’t enough to imagine everything that might happen if we allowed ourselves to join not just our bodies, but our souls as well.

Let us plunge together, then, down the dangerous path of surrender.
It may be dangerous, but it is the only path worth following.

Let us forget all that we are taught about how it is noble to give and humiliating to receive.
Because for most people, generosity consists only in giving, but receiving is also an act of love.

Allowing someone else to make us happy will make them happy too.

The three forms of love (Eros)

In 1986, while I walked the St. James Path with Petrus, my guide, we passed by the city of Logroño while a wedding was taking place. We asked for two cups of wine, I prepared a dish with canapés and Petrus found a table where we could sit with the other guests.

The bride and the groom cut a huge cake.

“They must love one another,” I thought out loud. “Of course they love each other,” said a man in a dark suit sitting at the table.Have you ever seen people marrying for another reason?”

But Petrus didn’t let the question pass: “Which kind of love do you mean: Eros, Philia or Agape?”

The gentleman looked at him without understanding.

“There are three Greek words to designate love,” he said. “Today you are seeing the manifestation of Eros, that feeling between two people.”

The couple smiled to the flashes and was being greeted.

“It seems that they love each other. Soon they will be fighting alone for life; they will build a house and will participate in the same adventure: that ennobles and dignifies love. He will follow his career, she probably knows how to cook and will be an excellent lady of the house, because she was brought up to know that. She will follow him, they will have children and if they are able to build anything together, they will really be happy forever.”
“Suddenly, however, this story may happen in the other way around. He will start feeling he isn’t free enough to manifest the whole Eros, all the love he feels for other women.

She may start to feel that she has sacrificed a career and a brilliant life to follow her husband. So, instead of a joint construction, each one will feel robbed in their way of loving.

Eros, the spirit that unites them, will start showing only its mean side. And what God had destined for Man as his noblest feeling, will be the source of hatred and destruction.”

I looked around. Eros was present in many couples. But I could sense the presence of Good Eros and Evil Eros, exactly as Petrus had described.

“Observe how curious it is,” my guide continued, “in spite of being good and bad, the face of Eros is never the same in each person.”

The band started to play a waltz. People went to a small cemented space in front of the bandstand to dance.

The alcohol started to rise and everyone was happier and sweating more. I noticed a girl dressed in blue who probably waited for this wedding only for the moment of the waltz because she wanted to dance with someone with whom she dreamed of embracing ever since her first adolescence years.

Her eyes followed the moves of a welldressed young man in a bright suit among a round of friends. They were talking happily, they hadn’t noticed that the waltz had started; they didn’t notice that at a few meters distance there was a girl in blue looking insistently to one of them.

It reminded me of the small cities, of the marriages with the chosen boys longed for since childhood. The girl in blue noticed my look and moved away.

And as if every move were concerted, it was the boy’s turn to look for her with his eyes. As he noticed her near other girls, he went back to talking happily to his friends.

I called Petrus’ attention to them. He followed their staring games for a while and then turned back to his cup of wine.

“They act as if it was a shame to show they love each other,” was his only commentary.

Another girl looked fixedly at both of us; she should be half our age. Petrus raised his cup of wine, cheered, the girl smiled bashfully, pointed to her parents, almost apologizing for not getting nearer. “That is the beautiful side of love,” he said.

“The love that defies, the love for two older strangers who came from afar and will already have left tomorrow for a path she would also like to walk. Love prefers adventure.”

in The Pilgrimage


The mystery of discovery

Tonight, before leaving, I’m going to spend time sorting through the pile of things I never had the patience to put in order.
And I will find that a little of my history is there.
All the letters, the notes, cuttings and receipts will take on their own life and have strange stories to tell me – about the past and about the future.
All the different things in the world, all the roads travelled, all the entrances and exits of my life.
prayer book
I am going to put on a shirt I often wear and, for the first time, I am going to notice how it was made.
I am going to imagine the hands that wove the cotton and the river where the fibres of the plant were born.
I will understand that all those now invisible things are a part of the history of my shirt.

And even the things I am accustomed to – like the sandals which, after long use, have become an extension of my feet – will be clothed in the mystery of discovery.

Since I am heading off into the future, I will be helped by the scuff marks left on my sandals from when I stumbled in the past.

May everything my hand touches and my eyes see and my mouth tastes be different, but the same.
That way, all those things will cease to be a still life and instead will explain to me why they have been with me for such a long time; and they will reveal to me the miracle of re-encountering emotions worn smooth by routine.

I will drink some tea that I have never tried before because others told me it tasted horrible.
I will walk down a street I have never walked down before because others told me it was totally without interest.

And I will find out whether or not I would like to go back there.

Everybody thinks only about safety. ADVENTURE, I WANT YOU BACK IN MY LIFE!

30 sec reading: We love because

Nature is a manifestation of the Love of God.
Regardless of what we do, Nature continues to love us.
Let us, therefore, respect and understand what Nature teaches us.

We love because Love sets us free, and we say things that we once never even had the courage to whisper to ourselves.
We make a decision that we kept putting off.
We learn to say ‘No’ without thinking of that word as somehow cursed.
We learn to say ‘Yes’ without fearing the consequences.

We forget everything we were taught about Love, because each encounter is different and brings its own agonies and ecstasies.

We sing more loudly when the person we love is far away and whisper poems when he is near, even if he doesn’t listen and pays no attention to either our shouts or our whispers.

We don’t close our eyes to the Universe and then complain: ‘It’s dark.’
We keep our eyes wide open, knowing that the light could lead us to do undreamed-of things.
That is all part of love.

Our heart is open to love and we surrender to it without fear, because we have nothing more to lose.
Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.

2O SEC READING: What is written?

Illustration by Ken Crane

A blind man was begging on the road to Mecca, when a pious Moslem came over and asked whether the people were giving generously – as the Koran commands. The man showed him his little tin, which was almost empty. The traveler said:

– Let me write something on the card around your neck.

Hours later, the traveler returned. The beggar was surprised, for he had received a large amount of money.

– What did you write on the card? – he asked.

– All I wrote was:
“Today is a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining, and I am blind.”
based on a story by Khalil Gibran

The two drops of oil

EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI > O segredo da felicidade
EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > Las dos gotas de aceite


A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.

However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.

The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.

The Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.

He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time.

“However, I want to ask you a favor,” he added, handling the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill.”

The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls.
He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.

“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.

Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.

“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages.
“The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

from the book “The Alchemist”

Karine Martins – Barcelona

Karine Martins Barcelona

World Book Night US – 2013

TheAlchemist PartDeux



Tomorrow morning east coast time in the US, WORLD BOOK NIGHT will announce THE ALCHEMIST as a part of this years celebration. The actual WORLD BOOK NIGHT takes place on April 23rd.

Approximately 25,000 copies of the books (English and Spanish) will be given out all over the country. Some of the outlets where folks will be handing out the books include:
Parents, teachers, parking attendants, security guards, junior colleges, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, Native American reservations, food pantries, Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery meetings, fire departments, coffee shops, diners, movie theaters, grocery stress, laundromats, yoga studios, busses, and more.

Thank you.
Mark Tauber

(my publisher in Harper Collins USA)

For more information on the World Book Night 2013, please CLICK HERE

Live the life you always wanted to live

avatar (2)Even if you were to study your own life in detail and relive each moment that you suffered, sweated and smiled beneath the sun, you would still never know exactly when you had been useful to someone else.

A life is never useless. Each soul that came down to Earth is here for a reason.

The people who really help others are not trying to be useful, but are simply leading a useful life.
They rarely give advice, but serve as an example.
Do one thing: live the life you always wanted to live.

Avoid criticising others and concentrate on fulfilling your dreams.
This may not seem very important to you, but God, who sees all, knows that the example you give is helping Him to improve the world. And each day, He will bestow more blessings upon it.

And when the Unwanted Visitor arrives, you will hear it say:
‘It is fair to ask: “Father, Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”
‘But now, in this final second of your life on Earth, I am going to tell you what I saw: I found the house clean, the table laid, the fields ploughed, the flowers smiling. I found each thing in its proper place, precisely as it should be. You understood that small things are responsible for great changes.

‘And for that reason, I will carry you up to Paradise.’

Manual for killing trolls

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Como matar um troll
EN ESPANOL AQUI: Como matar un troll


” And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out” ( John, 2:15)

1] Bullying/trolling only happens to people who have made an impact on the world.
If you are being bullied, it is because you are someone who makes a difference.
If you are not convinced about this theory, please read the comment box or a Twitter search of any news on any celebrity – artist, politician, sportsperson, etc.

2]Bullying/trolling is a sign of pathological behavior of frustrated people. To help them, you have to kill the troll that lives inside them.

3] And the only way to kill a troll is by making him/her aware that there is no such thing as anonymity on the internet. Therefore, anything they do now will have consequences in the future.
Maybe not next month or next year, but one day they will need you.

4] So keep a list of these bullies/trolls and one day they will ask your help. And you will say without feeling guilty: “NO”.

5] Insults may hurt you now, but a warrior of the light is patient. Sooner or later you will have the last word!

It is not a matter of being vindictive, but of respecting yourself and what you do. Adversaries are there to test you and your will
Trolls do not deserve mercy, because they do not respect anyone, finding themselves “powerful” because they naively think they are acting anonymously.

People who spread hatred and darkness should be treated as they deserve. You can also choose to ignore them, in the name of “forgiveness”, but they will continue to spread anger and pain.
Therefore, first forgive, and then hit hard.

When I was young I was very vulnerable and people used to take advantage of putting me down so they could shine. I was hurt, desperate and alone, but I could do nothing except to wait.
I decided to create two lists: one of people that I would thank and help in the future (in my book The Zahir I write about the Favour Bank ) and a list of those who hurt me.

The day arrived when both groups needed me. And I could repay my debts and ignore the pleas of those who were always putting me down.
And I can assure you, more than 150 in the second list asked me for help in the past 10 years. Of course I was very polite, but I told them why I was not going to help.

I have had my Favour Bank List and my Blacklist for the past 30 years. I don’t update my list anymore, but my office does this diligently.

The Law of Jante
11 Facts about Bullying
A few real life cases young kids committing suicide as a consequence of cyberbullying

(translated by Priya Sher )

Cómo matar un troll

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Como matar um troll


“Y haciendo un látigo de cuerdas, echó a todos fuera” (Juan, 2:15)

1] El Bullying/trolleo sólo le sucede a quienes tienen alguna relevancia. Si estás siendo trolleado, es que estás por encima de la media. ¿No estás de acuerdo? Sólo tienes que ir a cualquier sitio web, abrir una noticia sobre celebridades y leer los comentarios sobre cualquier celebridad – ya sea artista, polí­tico, deportista.

2] El anonimato en Internet es de cobardes. Los trolls son personas con una conducta enfermiza, pero pueden hacer daño a los más débiles.

3] Sólo hay una manera de reaccionar: dejando bien claro que cualquier cosa que escriban sobre ti tendrá consecuencias en el futuro. Tal vez no el mes que viene ni el próximo año, pero algún dí­a van a necesitar tu ayuda.

4] Y, por supuesto, no los vas a ayudar. Porque tienes una lista con los nombres de todos los que pertenecen a la oscuridad.

5] Crea esa lista ahora. Mantenla actualizada. Y de esta manera siempre tendrás la última palabra.

Los trolls no merecen respeto porque ellos no respetan a nadie, y se creen lo máximo porque ingenuamente piensan que están actuando de forma anónima.


Mucha gente podrí­a decir: “eso es venganza!” Nada más equivocado. Tú mereces respeto – y el respeto se gana, no es algo que debes dar por sentado.

Depende de ti luchar contra aquellos que quieren cubrir el mundo de negatividad y oscuridad.

Cuando era joven fui muy trolleado en la escuela. Me atacaban para poder brillar. No tení­a como defenderme, y todo lo que pude hacer fue esperar el momento del contraataque, que siempre llega.

También pude haberme dado por vencido, creer que no valí­a nada. Pero siempre he pensado como “Guerrero de la Luz”, que siempre está siendo puesto a prueba y acepta desafí­os.
En ese momento (debí­a tener unos 16 años) decidí­ crear dos listas. La de personas que me apoyaban y ayudaban (Lista de Luz) y los que insistí­an en humillarme (Lista Negra).

Hoy en dí­a ya no me ocupo de eso, pero en mi oficina exploran sistemáticamente Internet, y anotan los nombres de la lista negra.
En estos últimos diez años, por ejemplo, por lo menos 150 personas que me atacaron han venido a mí­ pidiendo favores. Ellos pensaban que yo habí­a olvidado.
Uno de ellos incluso vino a mí­ por un voto para un puesto en la Academia Brasileña de Letras, de la que soy miembro.

Otros aspirantes a escritores y a músicos, me han pedido apoyo para su trabajo, pero no dudan en hablar mal de mí­ en las comunidades sociales.

Por supuesto, nunca recuerdo quien habla mal, y rara vez leo lo que escriben. Pero antes de hacer cualquier favor consulto a mi oficina. Si el nombre está ahí­, seré muy amable pero le mostraré a la persona lo que dijo, y por lo tanto, que no me considero “a la altura” para hacerle cualquier favor.

Un ejemplo de las entradas más recientes a mi lista negra:

La Ley de Jante (ESPANOL)
11 Facts about Bullying
A few real life cases young kids committing suicide as a consequence of cyberbullying
(trad: Karem Molina Escobar )

Afraid to change

We are afraid to change because we think that, after much effort and sacrifice, we know our present world.

And even though that world might not be the best of all worlds and even though we may not be entirely satisfied with it, at least it won’t give us any nasty surprises.
We won’t go wrong.
When necessary, we will make a few minor adjustments so that everything continues the same.

We see that the mountains always stay in the same place. We see that fully-grown trees, when transplanted, usually die.
And we say: ‘We want to be like the mountains and the trees. Solid and respectable.’

Even though, during the night, we wake up thinking:
‘I wish I was like the birds, who can visit Damascus and Baghdad and come back whenever they want to.’

Or: ‘I wish I was like the wind, for no one knows where it comes from nor where it goes, and it can change direction without ever having to explain why.’

The next day, however, we remember that the birds are always fleeing from hunters and other larger birds, and that the wind sometimes gets caught up in a whirlwind and destroys everything around it.

It’s nice to dream that we will have plenty of time in the future to do our travelling and that, one day, we will. It cheers us up because we know that we are capable of doing more than we do.
Dreaming carries no risks. The dangerous thing is trying to transform your dreams into reality.


Manual de matar trolls

“E tendo feito um azorrague de cordéis, laní§ou todos fora”(Joí£o, 2:15)

1] Bullying (trolagem) só ocorre com quem tem alguma releví¢ncia. Se voce está sendo trolado, é porque está acima da média.
Ní£o concorda? Basta ir para algum portal, abrir uma noticia de celebridade, e olhar os comentários. Qualquer celebridade – seja ela artista, polí­tica, esportista.
2] A anonimidade na internet é covarde. Os trolls sí£o pessoas com um comportamento doentio, mas que podem causar mal aos mais fracos.
3] Só existe uma maneira de reagir: deixando bem claro que qualquer coisa que escreverem sobre vocíª terá consequíªncias no futuro. Talvez ní£o no próximo míªs, nem no próximo ano, mas um dia eles ví£o precisar de sua ajuda.
4] E vocíª, claro, ní£o vai ajudar. Porque tem um a lista com o nome de todos os que pertencem í s trevas.
5] crie esta lista agora. Mantenha-a atualizada. E desta maneira voce sempre terá a última palavra.
Os trolls ní£o merecem respeito, porque ní£o respeitam ninguem, e se acham o máximo porque ingenuamente pensam que estí£o atuando de maneira aní´nima.

Muita gente pode dizer: “isso é vinganí§a!”. Nada mais errado. Vocíª merece respeito – e respeito é uma conquista, ní£o uma coisa que deve tomar como garantida.
Cabe a vocíª lutar contra aqueles que querem cobrir o mundo de negatividade e de trevas.
Quando eu era jovem fui muito trolado na escola. Os outros me atacavam para poder brilhar. Eu ní£o tinha como me defender, e tudo que pude fazer foi esperar o momento do contra-ataque, qeu sempre surge.
Podia também me dar por vencido, acreditar que ní£o valia nada. Mas desde sempre tive essa idéia do “guerreiro da luz”, aquele que está sempre sendo testado, e precisa aceitar desafios.
Nesta altura (devia ter uns 16 anos) resolvi criar duas listas. A de pessoas que me apoiavam e me ajudavam (Lista da Luz) e a dos que insistiam em me colocar para baixo ( Lista Negra)

Hoje em dia já ní£o me ocupo mais disso, mas meu escritório varre sistematicamente a internet, e anota os nomes da lista negra.
Nestes dez anos passados, por exemplo, pelo menos umas 150 pessoas que me atacaram vieram me pedir favores.
Achavam que eu tinha esquecido. Um deles inclusive veio me pedir voto para uma cadeira na Academia Brasileira de Letras, da qual sou membro.
Outros, escritores e musicos aspirantes, que pediam um apoio para seus trabalhos mas que ní£o hesitavam em falar mal em comunidades sociais.
Claro que nunca me lembro de quem fala mal, e raramente leio o que escrevem. Mas antes de fazer qualquer favor eu consulto meu escritório.
ee o nome estiver ali, serei muito gentil mas farei questí£o de lembrar í  pessoa o que ela disse, e por essa razí£o ní£o me julgo “í  altura” de fazer qualquer coisa.

A Lei de Jante (Portugues)
11 Facts about Bullying
A few real life cases young kids committing suicide as a consequence of cyberbullying