Ultraconserved words

By David Brown, Washington Post

The traditional view is that words can’t survive for more than 8,000 to 9,000 years. Evolution, linguistic “weathering” and the adoption of replacements from other languages eventually drive ancient words to extinction, just like the dinosaurs of the Jurassic era.

A new study, however, suggests that’s not always true.

A team of researchers has come up with a list of two dozen “ultraconserved words” that have survived 150 centuries. It includes some predictable entries:
“mother,” “not,” “what,” “to hear” and “man.” It also contains surprises: “to flow,” “ashes” and “worm.”

The existence of the long-lived words suggests there was a “proto-Eurasiatic” language that was the common ancestor to about 700 contemporary languages that are the native tongues of more than half the world’s people.

“We’ve never heard this language, and it’s not written down anywhere,” said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary theorist at the University of Reading in England who headed the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “But this ancestral language was spoken and heard. People sitting around campfires used it to talk to each other.”

to read the full post, CLICK HERE

Keeping the Faith: The Wisdom of Simplicity

by Ronnie McBryer

In Paulo Coelho’s brilliant little book, The Alchemist, the author tells of a young lad sent by his father to a wise man to discover the secret of happiness. The wise man lived in a magnificent, faraway castle complete with sweet music, beautiful artwork, delicious food, and sprawling gardens. It was a wonder of the world.

After a long journey to the castle and waiting for hours to speak to the sage, the boy finally gained an audience. The wise man listened to the boy’s explanation for his visit, then answered, “I do not have time to reveal the secret of happiness to you.” Instead, he handed the boy a teaspoon with two tiny drops of oil in it, and instructed him to wander around the castle for two hours without spilling the oil.

The lad did as instructed, carefully climbing the high stairwells and creeping down the long hallways of the palace, his eyes always fixed on the teaspoon. When he returned to the wise man, he was asked, “Did you see my Persian tapestries, my extravagant gardens, my parchments in the library?” Embarrassed, the boy replied that he had not. He had been focused solely on the drops of oil in the spoon.

With this confession the boy was sent back to tour the castle, and this time he focused all his attention on the beauty that surrounded him. He returned to the wise man with excitement, thrilled at all he had seen. The wise man then asked, “And where are the two drops of oil I gave you?”

The boy realized that he had spilt them along the way. The wise man then revealed his “secret” to happiness: “Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”

This parabolic story calls for a much needed balance: Joy is the product of being in tune with the world around us, while caring for the few precious things we have been given to carry on our journey. We cannot ignore the realities of our surroundings, and we cannot ignore our personal responsibilities.

But the real brains of Coelho’s story is that the wise man gave the boy only two drops to carry in his spoon; not a quart of oil, not a five-gallon bucket full, and certainly not a heavy, back-breaking tank of the stuff. It was only a couple of drops, revealing that happiness is maintained by keeping our personal load as light as possible.

Do you want to be happy? Lighten your load and simplify your life. The most deeply spiritual thing that some of us could do is have a garage sale. Purge our calendars. Resign from a few of our many activities. Our unhappiness isn’t related to a poor prayer life, the lack of reading the Scriptures, or going to church too little.

We are carrying too much baggage. We are trying to manage too much stuff. We have too many possessions, too many obligations, and too many batons juggling in the air. This is an unqualified recipe for misery. Because all of these weights and concerns of life — most of which we have assumed (they haven’t been put upon us by anyone else) — are choking out any real chance at being happy, as we simply cannot carry our self-loaded burdens or lift our heads to see the beauty around us.

None of us can live our lives, worship our God, enjoy our world, or take care of those who have been given to us to love (these are the few, priceless drops in the spoon by the way), if we are constantly looking at our own shoelaces, burdened with ourselves and our many concerns.

Thus, when we simplify, we are doing much more than getting rid of physical possessions or conserving our precious time. We are sharpening our emotional focus; we are making spiritual space. We are choosing to be happy. Happiness, after all, is an intentional choice, and it is the wisest choice of all.

Insults

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The first story about the division between Good and Evil

The first story about the division between Good and Evil comes from ancient Persia. The God of Time, having created the universe, sees harmony all around him, but feels that there is still something very important missing, a companion with whom to share all this beauty.

For a thousand years, he prays for a son. The story does not say to whom he prays, given that he is omnipotent, the sole, supreme Lord; nevertheless, he prays and finally he becomes pregnant.

When he realizes he has achieved his heart’s desire, the god of time is filled with remorse, suddenly conscious of how fragile the balance of things is. But it is too late and the child is already on its way. All he achieves by his lamentations is to cause the son he is carrying in his belly to divide into two.

The legend recounts that just as Good (Ormuzd) is born out of the God of Time’s prayers, so Evil (Ahriman) is born out of his remorse – twin brothers.

The concerned father arranges everything so that Ormuzd will emerge first from his belly, to take charge of his brother and to prevent Ahriman from throwing the universe into confusion. However, Evil, being very intelligent and resourceful, manages to push Ormuzd aside at the moment of their birth, and thus is the first to be born.

Distraught, the god of time resolves to forge alliances on Ormuzd’s behalf; he brings into being the human race so that they can fight alongside Ormuzd and stop Ahriman from taking control of everything.

In the Persian legend, the human race is born to be the ally of Good and according to tradition, Good will triumph in the end.

The legend of Narcissus (read by Jeremy Irons)

Taken from the book THE ALCHEMIST

The Problem with Perfection

taken from a post by Mel Schwartz

I have often counseled people who were beleaguered by their need to be perfect. I have come to learn that their pursuit of perfection is really a disguise for their insecurity.
It becomes a statement that I’m not good enough just as I am. When we do that, we judge ourselves.

Usually we strive toward being perfect to compensate for a sense of inadequacy.

People who want to be perfect usually have an exaggerated sense of their own shortcomings.

They typically received messages earlier in life that they weren’t good enough. So they decided that only by being perfect would they be beyond reproach.
With such an affliction we might look at perfectionism as a compensation for earlier life experiences –wave collapses — that corrupted someone’s well-being and self-esteem.
As a compensatory response, the drive toward perfection is erroneously sought as a solution.

Perfectionists tend to think that other people are somehow better or superior to them, so they need to be without flaw just to catch up.
This is a terribly damaging myth.

Individuals who seek perfection are more sensitive to the judgments of others. In fact, these judgments are most often imagined.

Everyone has an opinion, but elevating someone else’s opinion to the status of being a judge is really silly. After all, someone else can’t really judge you unless you confer upon him or her, the power of being a judge.

Whom do we love?

Ever since we are children, we are asked: do you love daddy? Do you love auntie? Do you love your teacher?
Nobody asks: do you love yourself?

And we end up spending a good deal of our life and energy trying to please others. But what about ourselves? Anthony Mello has a fine story on this subject.

Mother and son are in a restaurant. After taking the mother’s order, the waitress turns to the boy:
“And what will you be wanting?”
“A hotdog.”
“Nothing of the sort,” says the mother. “He wants a steak and a salad.”

Ignoring the comment, the waitress asks the boy:
“Do you want that with mustard or ketchup?”
“Both,” answers the boy.
And then he turns to the mother in surprise:

“Mother! SHE THINKS THAT I EXIST!”

20 SEC READ: Bedouins (ENG, PORT, ESP )

The code of the desert

Two men were crossing the desert when they saw a Bedouin’s tent and asked him for shelter. Even though he did not know them, he welcomed them in the way that the conduct of nomads dictates: a camel was killed and its meat served in a sumptuous dinner.
The next day, the two strangers woke early and decided to continue on their journey. As the Bedouin was not at home, they gave his wife a hundred dinars, apologizing for not being able to wait, because if they spent any more time there, the sun would become too strong for them to travel.

They had traveled for four hours when they heard a voice calling out to them. They looked back and saw the Bedouin following them. As soon as he caught up with them, he threw the money to the ground.
“I gave you such a warm welcome! Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?”
In surprise, the strangers said that the camel were surely worth far more than that, but that they did not have much money.

“I am not talking about the amount,” was the answer. “The desert welcomes Bedouins wherever they go, and never asks anything in return. If we had to pay, how could we live? Welcoming you to my tent is like paying back a fraction of what life has given us.
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O código da hospedagem

Dois homens atravessavam o deserto, quando viram a tenda de um beduíno, e se aproximaram para pedir abrigo. Mesmo sem conhecê-los, foram recebidos como manda o código de conduta dos nômades: um camelo foi abatido, e sua carne servida em um lauto jantar.
No dia seguinte os dois estrangeiros acordaram cedo e resolveram continuar a viagem. Como o beduíno não estava em casa, deixaram cem dinares com sua esposa, ao mesmo tempo pedindo desculpas por não poderem esperar, já que se demorassem muito ali, o sol ia terminar ficando muito forte.

Já haviam andado por quatro horas, quando escutaram uma voz que os chamava. Olharam para trás: o beduíno os perseguia, e assim que os alcançou, jogou o dinheiro no chão.
- Eu os recebi tão bem! Vocês não têm vergonha?
Os estrangeiros, surpresos, disseram que com certeza o camelo valia muito mais que aquilo, mas não tinham muito dinheiro.

- Não estou falando da quantia – foi a resposta. – O deserto acolhe os beduínos aonde eles vão, e jamais nos pede nada em troca. Se tivéssemos que pagar, como poderíamos viver? Receber vocês em minha tenda é retornar uma fração daquilo que a vida nos tem dado.
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El código del hospedaje

Dos hombres estaban cruzando el desierto, cuando avistaron la tienda de un beduino, y se aproximaron para pedir abrigo. Aunque eran unos desconocidos, fueron recibidos según manda el código de conducta de los nómadas: se sacrificó un camello, y se sirvió su carne en una espléndida cena.
Al día siguiente, los dos extranjeros despertaron temprano y decidieron continuar su viaje. Como el beduino no estaba en casa, le dieron cien dinares a su mujer, sin dejar de pedir disculpas por no poder esperar, puesto que si se entretuviesen mucho allí, el sol terminaría quemando demasiado.

Ya llevaban caminando unas cuatro horas, cuando escucharon una voz que los llamaba a sus espaldas. Se dieron la vuelta, y vieron que el era el beduino que los venía siguiendo, y en cuanto los alcanzó, arrojó el dinero en el suelo frente a ellos.
-¡Con lo bien que yo os recibí! ¿Es que no tenéis vergüenza?
Los extranjeros, sorprendidos, dijeron que sin duda el camello debían valer mucho más que eso, pero que no tenían mucho dinero.

-No me refiero a la cantidad- respondió-. El desierto acoge a los beduinos allá donde vayan, y nunca nos pide nada a cambio. Si tuviéramos que pagar por ello, ¿cómo podríamos vivir? Recibiros en mi tienda es devolver apenas una pequeña parte de lo que la vida nos ha regalado.

Minha vida em 750 GB

Em 1996 realizei, junto com minha mulher Christina Oticica, um grande sonho. A criação do Instituto Paulo Coelho, uma instituição sem fins lucrativos, financiada exclusivamente por meuss direitos autoraisinst00
Em seguida, veio aquela pergunta de sempre: caso o meu trabalho ainda seja lembrado no futuro, o que fazer com todo o material que tenho, e que pode servir para pesquisas? Costuma-se ver o sucesso como um mar de rosas, e eu queria dar a todos a possibilidade de ver que não é bem assim. Desta maneira, as pessoas lutariam por seus sonhos com mais segurança, sabendo que existem muitas armadilhas no caminho.
A resposta para tal pergunta me pareceu simples:
a] criar uma Fundação com todo o material que tenho, da certidão de nascimento dos meus pais às críticas negativas,
das fotos de infância às fotos da carreira
dos originais digitalizados de todos os meus livros até os recibos de viagem que guardava em minhas prinmeiras andanças pelo mundo.
infancia1[1]Paulo-Coelho--008

b] permitir que pessoas do planeta inteiro tivessem acesso a ela, já que meus livros estão editados em 72 línguas e presentes em mais de 150 países.

A partir de 2001 o arquivo começou a ser digitalizado, e desde então é atualizado sistematicamente.
Tal material é colocado na “nuvem” (ainda com acesso restrito), e poderá no futuro ser visualizado em qualquer canto da Terra.

Mas com dezenas de milhares de documentos, fotos, certidões, etc., de 1947 até hoje, onde chegamos?
750
Até o momento, em 750 GB. O disco em questão cabe no bolso do meu paletó.

Começamos a procurar um lugar para a Fundação física. Mas honestamente, quem se interessaria por isso?
O meu ego. O ego da minha mulher.
E mais ninguém.
E as dores de cabeça resultantes de uma fundaçao física, com funcionários, exposição, programação cultural, etc. não compensam. Resolvemos, portanto, manter apenas a Fundação Virtual, e uma sala de 150 m2 onde todo o material será guardado em papel.
Desistimos da idéia.

Lembrei disso hoje por causa da conferência de Silvio Meira, Professor do Centro de Informação da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) e cientista-chefe do Centro de Estudos de Sistemas Avançados do Recife. Na excelente matéria de Raquel Cozer, na Folha de São Paulo, Silvio diz:
“Me perguntaram quando vai ter livraria em Taperoá, cidade de 12 mil habitantes onde nasci. Respondi: ‘Nunca. Nem vai precisar. Provavelmente nem de biblioteca vai precisar’.”

Fica o registro.

“Follow your destiny” byFernando Pessoa (1888 – 1935 Lisbon, PT)

Follow your destiny,
Water your plants,
Love your roses.
The rest is shadow
Of unknown trees.

Reality is always
More or less
Than what we want.
Only we are always
Equal to ourselves.

It’s good to live alone,
And noble and great
Always to live simply.
Leave pain on the altar
As an offering to the gods.

See life from a distance.
Never question it.
There’s nothing it can
Tell you. The answer
Lies beyond the Gods.

But quietly imitate
Olympus in your heart.
The gods are gods
Because they don’t think
About what they are.

Famous martini quotes

220px-Dry_Martini-2

Yesterday I went to have dinner in the Restaurant La Reserve (Geneve).I never liked the place (snobbish, expensive, pseudo-chic) but I decided to give a try.
I ordered a dry martini and they asked me: “red, white, or rosé?”
I was surprised. The waiter, considering me a total ignorant, told me: “they exist”. And then brought me two normal glasses with ice and some strange vermouth.220px-Dry_Martini-2
I paid for the mineral water and left the restaurant. If La Reserve eventually read this page, they will understand better what was I talking about, by reading the Wikipedia on Martini , or by browsing the quotes below

“Martinis are the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.”
H. L. Mencken

“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children, and his martini.”
Jackie Gleason

”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean.” “They made me feel civilized.”
Ernest Hemingway novel Farewell to Arms.

“I never go jogging, it makes me spill my martini.”
George Burns

“Shaken, not stirred.”
James Bond

“Happiness is…finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry.”
Johnny Carson

“I like to have a martini, two at the very most –After three I’m under the table, After four, I’m under my host.”
Dorothy Parker

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.”
James Thurber

“Zen martini: A martini with no vermouth at all. And no gin, either.”
P.J. O’Rourke

“He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.”
Homer Simpson

“If it wasn’t for the olives in his martinis he’d starve to death.”
Milton Berle

“I’m not talking a cup of cheap gin splashed over an ice cube. I’m talking satin, fire and ice; Fred Astaire in a glass; surgical cleanliness, insight.. comfort; redemption and absolution. I’m talking MARTINI.
Anonymous

Why I am not giving that many interviews

Paulo-Coelho--008

EN ESPANOL AQUI: ¿Por qué no doy entrevistas?
EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Por que não dou entrevistas?

Paulo-Coelho--008

As you may have noticed, it has been a while since I have given interviews regarding the release of any new book, including the newest one, MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA. And this is in no way due to arrogance or disrespect towards journalists.
Alongside booksellers and readers, they contribute substantially to my success.

So why have I decided to refrain from interviews – with the exception of certain friends, with whom I have ties of gratitude?
There are several reasons.

1- Nowadays social networks allow me to reach out directly to the reader, saying: “This is my new title, read and recommend it if you like”. Therefore, the idea of promoting a book by means of the media consequently becomes redundant. I am present on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and G+ (in Portuguese only)

2- I have always resisted the idea of having to explain what I have written. I believe the text should be sufficiently clear.

3- The cultural segments of the press that blossomed in my time have disappeared with the years.

4- In virtue of the above, questions arise that I do not have the least bit of patience to address, such as “Can you explain your success?” or “What do you do with your money?” Since these are in no way related with the creative process.

This certainly does not mean that I NEVER give interviews.
When I come across a subject I judge important then I always state my opinion on it- as for example, defending the open content on the web (I am pleased for you to pirate my work) – I am always available.

The same occurs when it comes to promoting authors I find relevant – as for example Khalil Gibran, that enlightened my youth.

I never refrain from making my opinion heard when I see certain atrocities in the political and cultural fields. My letter against the war in Iraq, ‘Thank you President Bush’ was read by half a billion people around the world.

Moreover, when Tony Blair was invited to be the “counselor” of the Rio Olympics, I immediately manifested myself, and managed to prevent his presence. (READ HERE)

I hope you understand me. I will not be silent when I need to speak loudly and in good tone.
Furthermore, what I feel I need to express nowadays is in the books or social networks that I personally administer.

Not an example

By Paulo Coelho

The Rabbi Elimelekh had delivered a wonderful sermon and now he was returning to his native land. To honour him and to show their gratitude, the faithful decided to follow Elimelekh’s carriage out of the city.

At one point, the Rabbi stopped the carriage and asked the driver to go ahead without him while he joined the people.

‘A fine example of humility,’ said one of the men beside him.

‘Humility has nothing to do with it, just a little intelligence,’ replied Elimelekh.

‘You’re all out here having a walk, singing, drinking wine, chatting with each other, making new friends, and all because of an old Rabbi who came to talk to you about the art of living. So let’s leave my theories in the carriage, I want to enjoy the party.’

¿Por qué no doy entrevistas?

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Por que não dou entrevistas?
_____________

Como ya deben haber notado, hace tiempo no doy entrevistas cuando publico un nuevo libro. Y esto no se debe, de ninguna manera, a una actitud arrogante o de irrespeto a los periodistas. Junto con las librerías y los lectores, ellos colaboraron mucho para mi éxito.

Entonces por qué decidí parar con las entrevistas -excepto para algunos amigos, con los que tengo lazos de gratitud.

Existen varias razones para esto:

1] Las comunidades sociales hoy me permiten llegar directamente a los lectores, y decirles: “aquí está mi nuevo título, léanlo y recomiéndenlo, si quieren”. Por lo tanto, la idea de promocionar un libro a través de los medios de comunicación termina siendo redundante.

2] Siempre luché contra la idea de tener que explicar lo que escribo. Creo que el texto es lo suficientemente claro.

3] Los cuadernos de cultura, que florecieron en mi época, terminaron acabando.

4] Por ello, surgen preguntas que no tengo paciencia para responder, como “Explique su éxito” o “qué hace con su dinero.” Nada que esté relacionado al proceso creativo en sí.

Esto de ninguna manera quiere decir que NUNCA dé entrevistas. Cuando veo un asunto del que juzgo importante opinar -como, por ejemplo, defender el contenido libre en Internet-, estoy siempre accesible (Paulo Coelho se auto-piratea)

Lo mismo ocurre cuando se trata de promover autores que juzgo relevantes -como Khalil Gibran o Malba Tahan, que iluminaron mi juventud.

Jamás me afano por hacer que mi palabra sea oída cuando veo alguna barbaridad en el terreno político o cultural. Sólo para que tengan una idea, medio billón de personas en todo el mundo leyeron mi texto contra la guerra en Irak y el presidente Bush. (aqui: Mil gracias, Presidente Bush )

Otro ejemplo: cuando Tony Blair fue invitado a ser “consultor” para los Juegos Olímpicos en Río de Janeiro, de inmediato me manifesté, y conseguí impedir su presencia. (Lea aquí)

Espero que me entiendan. No voy a callarme cuando tenga que hablar alto y en buen tono.
Por lo demás, lo que tengo que decir hoy en día está en mis libros o en las comunidades sociales, que administro personalmente.

10 SEC READ: the warrior decides

The warrior decides

The Warrior of Light holds the sword in his hands. He is the one who decides what he is going to do, and what he will not do in any circumstances. There are moments when life leads him to a crisis: he is forced to divorce himself from things he has always loved.
Then the Warrior reflects. He assesses whether he is fulfilling God’s will or if he is acting through egoism. If separation is really the path he must follow, he accepts it without complaining.
However, if this separation is provoked by the perversity of others, then he is implacable in his answer.
The Warrior knows when to hit and when to forgive. He knows how to use both with equal skill.

in “Warrior of Light: a manual”

___________________________________________

O guerreiro decide

O guerreiro da luz tem a espada em suas mãos. É ele quem decide o que vai fazer, e o que não fará em circunstância nenhuma. Há momentos em que a vida o conduz para uma crise: ele é forçado a separar-se de coisas que sempre amou.
Então o guerreiro reflete. Verifica se está cumprindo a vontade de Deus, ou se age por egoísmo. Caso a separação esteja mesmo no seu caminho, ele aceita sem reclamações.
Se, entretanto, tal separação for provocada pela perversidade alheia, ele é implacável em sua resposta.
O guerreiro possui a arte do golpe, e a arte do perdão. Sabe usar as duas com a mesma habilidade.

de “O manual do guerreiro da luz”

___________________________________________

El guerrero decide

El guerrero de la luz tiene la espada en sus manos. Él es el que decide lo que va a hacer, y lo que no haría bajo ningún concepto. Hay momentos en los que la vida lo pone frente a una situación crítica: los casos en los que se ve forzado a separarse de algo que siempre ha amado.
Entonces el guerrero reflexiona. Verifica si está cumpliendo la voluntad de Dios, o si es el egoísmo lo que lo mueve. Si la separación efectivamente forma parte de su camino, la acepta sin ninguna queja.
Pero si esa separación se debe a la perversidad ajena, su respuesta es implacable.
El guerrero domina el arte del golpe, y el arte del perdón. Sabe cómo aplicar cualquiera de las dos con la misma habilidad.

en “Manual del guerrero de la luz”

Entretien avec Femme Actuelle

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Par Marc Gadmer, le 04 juin 2013

Avec « Le manuscrit retrouvé », son dernier opus, l’auteur livre un ouvrage de réflexion sur la spiritualité et pose cette question : quel sens donner à sa vie ? Réponse en compagnie de cet alchimiste de la pensée.

Sage, philosophe, penseur… comment vous définiriez-vous ?

Si je devais me définir comme auteur, je dirais que je suis de la tradition de l’écrivain pèlerin, qui voyage, voit des choses et essaye de partager son expérience. Dans le sens où ce voyage doit être aussi bien un voyage extérieur qu’intérieur. Après, la sagesse, la philosophie de pensée, ce sont des conséquences que tout le monde expérimente lorsqu’on fait les choses avec amour.

Dans votre roman, à l’approche d’une terrible bataille, un sage (un Copte) délivre des messages empreints de spiritualité à une communauté composée de membres des trois religions. Pourquoi ?

Nous vivons dans une période un peu compliquée, où les tensions sont essentiellement religieuses. Au Brésil, par exemple, qui était un pays traditionnellement tolérant, on commence à voir des tensions entre catholiques et néopentecôtistes (ndlr : église évangélique) qui n’existaient pas avant. Et aujourd’hui, ça se passe partout. Les gens sont très concernés par la quête d’une spiritualité, mais cette quête devrait aller vers l’ouverture aux autres et bien souvent ça se traduit par une fermeture, l’intégrisme. Quand j’ai choisi de réunir les trois religions parmi l’assemblée regroupée autour du copte, c’est parce que je suis persuadé que ces trois religions se dirigent toutes vers la même lumière : l’amour, la tolérance, la compréhension de son rôle dans ce monde.

Aujourd’hui, en Egypte, les Coptes sont pourchassés par les islamistes. Là, c’est un copte qui délivre la bonne parole. Une parabole ?

J’ai choisi un copte car il symbolise celui qui n’a pas de religion mais qui possède des valeurs. Des valeurs importantes. Ça n’est pas un croyant, il parle en général de l’énergie divine. Il a une vision qui n’est pas religieuse, mais spirituelle, ce qui n’est pas la même chose. La spiritualité c’est quelque chose que nous avons tous en nous-mêmes.

On pense au livre de Khalil Gibran, « Le prophète », en vous lisant, qu’en est-il ?

C’est très bien vu. Au Liban, j’étais en effet à deux heures de route de la maison de Khalil Gibran. Et avec mes amis nous avons parlé du Prophète. Je leur ai dit : « Khalil Gibran a écrit un livre extraordinaire qui va directement au but qui est de discuter les idées. » En écrivant mon livre, vingt ans plus tard, je m’en suis souvenu.

On prête à tort à Malraux cette phrase : « Le XXIe siècle sera religieux ou ne sera pas (ndlr : il aurait dit mystique) ». Qu’est-ce que vous inspire ce message ?

Moi je dirais que le XXIe siècle sera féminin ou ne sera pas. Il faut réveiller notre côté féminin. Etre plus ouvert aux mystères, à des sens qu’on ne connaît pas. Mais on a du mal car on essaye toujours d’être trop logique tandis que la vie va au-delà de cette logique. La logique c’est important mais c’est aussi important d’être ouvert, de regarder la beauté, de regarder le monde. Voir cela non pas dans un cadre que l’on peut expliquer, car on ne peut pas expliquer l’amour par exemple, mais plutôt comme une expérience de la vie.

Quel livre emporteriez-vous sur une île déserte ?

Le livre que j’aimerais emporter sur une île déserte est un manuel pour apprendre à construire un bateau car j’ai horreur des îles désertes !

* « Le manuscrit retrouvé », Paulo Coelho, éd. Flammarion, 178 p., 17 €.
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Two sufi prayers


Sufi and rabbi in harmony

Inspirer of my mind

Inspirer of my mind, consoler of my heart,
healer of my spirit,
Thy presence lifteth me from earth to heaven,
Thy words flow as the sacred river,
Thy thought riseth as a divine spring,
Thy tender feelings waken sympathy in my heart.
Beloved Teacher, Thy very being is forgiveness.
The clouds of doubt and fear
are scattered by Thy piercing glance.
All ignorance vanishes in Thy illuminating presence.
A new hope is born in my heart
by breathing Thy peaceful atmosphere.
O inspiring Guide through life’s puzzling ways,
in Thee I feel abundance of blessing.
Amen.

Prayer for Peace

Send Thy peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting,
that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may think, act,
and speak harmoniously.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may be contented
and thankful for Thy bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife
we may enjoy thy bliss.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may endure all,
tolerate all in the thought of thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that our lives may become a
divine vision, and in Thy light all darkness may vanish. Send Thy peace, O Lord, our Father and Mother, that we
Thy children on earth may all unite in one family.
Amen.