Archives for September 2013

Life is like a great bicycle race

Life is like a great bicycle race, whose aim is to fulfill one’s Personal Legend – that which, according to the ancient alchemists, is our true mission on Earth.

At the start of the race, we’re all together – sharing the camaraderie and enthusiasm.
But as the race progresses, the initial joy gives way to the real challenges: tiredness, monotony, doubts about one’s own ability.

We notice that some friends have already given up, deep down in their hearts – they’re still in the race, but only because they can’t stop in the middle of the road.
This group keeps growing in number, all of them pedaling away near the support car – also known as Routine – where they chat among themselves, fulfill their obligations, but forget the beauty and challenges along the road.

We eventually distance ourselves from them; and then we are forced to confront loneliness, the surprises of unknown bends in the road, and problems with the bicycle.
After a time, when we have fallen off several times, without anyone nearby to help us, we end up asking ourselves whether such an effort is worthwhile.

Yes, of course it is.

30 sec reading: the four forces

Father Alan Jones says that, in order for our soul to be able to overcome the obstacles, we need Four Invisible Forces: love, death, power and time.

We must love, because we are loved by God.

We must be aware of death, in order to understand life.

We must fight to grow – but not be fooled by the power which comes with growth, for we know it is worthless.

Finally, we must accept that our soul – although it is eternal – is at this moment caught in the web of time, with all its opportunities and limitations; so, on our solitary bike race, we must act as if time existed, doing what we can to value each second, resting when necessary, but always continuing in the direction of the Divine light, without letting ourselves be bothered by the moments of anxiety.

These Four Forces cannot be dealt with as problems to be solved, since they are beyond our control.
We must accept them, and let them teach us what it is we must learn.

When I pay attention

We live in a Universe which is both vast enough to contain us, and small enough to hold in our hearts.
In every man’s soul, dwells the soul of the world, the silence of wisdom. As we pedal on towards our goal, we must ask: “what is lovely about today?” The sun may be shining, but if it is pouring with rain, it is important to remember that this also means that the black clouds will soon disperse. Clouds come and go, but the sun remains the same, and never fails – at times of loneliness, it is important to remember this.

So, when times are tough, we must not forget that the whole world has endured such moments, regardless of race, color, social standing, belief, or culture. A beautiful prayer by the Sufi Dhu ‘l – Nun (Egyptian, died 861 AD) perfectly sums up the positive attitude necessary at such times:

“Oh Lord, when I pay attention to the voices of animals, the sounds of the trees, the bubbling of the waters, the chirping of the birds, the howling wind or the crashing thunder, I perceive in them evidence of Your unity; I sense that You are the supreme power, almighty, the supreme wisdom, supreme justice.

“Oh Lord, I recognize You in the trials I am enduring. Allow, Lord, Your satisfaction to be my satisfaction. May I be Your joy, that joy which a Father sees in his son. And may I recall You with tranquility and determination, even when it is difficult to say that I love You.”

Faith

According to the dictionary: from the Latin word fide: confidence; religious belief; conviction with regard to someone or something; firmness in fulfilling a commitment; credit; intention; theological virtue.

According to Jesus Christ: The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith.” And the Lord said: “If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you could have said to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and planted in the sea,’ and it would have obeyed you!” (Luke, 17: 5-6)

According to Buddhism: “We are what we think. Through thought we build and destroy the world.

“We are what we think. Your imagination can do more harm than your worst enemy.

“But once you control your thoughts, no-one can help you so much, not even your father or your mother.” (Extract from Dhammapada, a collection of some of Buddha’s principal teachings)

For Islam: “How do we purify the world?” asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied: “There was a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone honored him for his wisdom, but no-one knew if he was a good man. One afternoon a flaw in construction caused the house where the sheik lived with his wife to fall down. In despair, the neighbors began to dig among the ruins. After a while they managed to locate the wife.

“She said: ‘Leave me. First save my husband, who was sitting more or less over there.’ The neighbors removed the debris from the place she had pointed to and found the sheik, who said: ‘Leave me. First save my wife, who was lying down more or less over there.’

“When someone acts like this couple, they are purifying the whole world through their faith in life and love.”

The faith of denying reality: “One year ago I gave a speech in an aircraft-carrier saying that we had succeeded in reaching an important objective, accomplishing a mission, which was to remove Saddam Hussein from power. As a result, there are no more torture chambers, no more mass graves.” (George W. Bush, 30 April 2004. In the same month, the world was to see the photos of torturing in the Abu Graib prison, and the collective executions of the civil war between Shiites and Sunites continue up to the moment I write this column).

According to Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlava: A disciple sought out the rabbi and said: “I can’t manage to talk to God.” “That often happens,” replied Nachman. “We feel that our mouth is sealed, or that the words just don’t come out. However, the mere fact of making an effort to overcome this situation is in itself a beneficial attitude.”

“But it isn’t enough.”

“You’re right. At such times, what you should do is look up at the sky and say: ‘Lord Almighty, I am so far from You that I can’t even believe my own voice.’ Because the truth is that the Lord always hears and answers. It is we who do not manage to talk, for fear that He will pay no attention to us.”

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A foto e seu autor

André Barcinski sumiu do Twitter ( WTF??? ) mas continua com seu blog na Folha de Sí£o Paulo
Sou leitor do mesmo.

Hoje, vendo um lindissimo post sobre a emoí§í£o causada pelo Boss cantando Sociedade Alternativa
(Bruce toca Raul e a gente chora )
resolvi fazer uma coisa que raramente faí§o: colocar um comentário ali.

Jamais posto comentários aní´nimos, por sinal.

E eis que descubro o autor da foto abaixo!
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Nas palavras do próprio André:

Andre Barcinski comentou em 21/09/13 at 11:48 Responder

Muito legal te ver por aqui, Paulo, e muito obrigado pelos esclarecimentos. Também tenho um esclarecimento a fazer: sabe aquela foto famosa sua com o Raul, nesse show do Canecí£o? Acho que é a última foto de vocíªs dois juntos, certo? Pois é, fui eu que fiz. Eu trabalhava pro Jornal do Brasil e fotografei o show. Essa foto circula muito, mas nunca com o crédito. Tenho um orgulho danado de ter registrado esse momento. Grande abraí§o pra vocíª e apareí§a mais vezes aqui no blog, por favor.

Como André ní£o tem Twitter, se algum amigo dele ler este post, favor avisa-lo

Bruce Springsteen, R. Seixas, Paulo Coelho

19 SETEMBRO 2013

MAIO 1989

21 SETEMBRO 2013

Aikido

aikido1

By Morihei Ueshiba

Constant growth

Life is development. To achieve this, climb high mountains and descend into the deepest valleys of your soul. Breathe in and feel that you are sucking in everything that exists in heaven and earth. Breathe out and feel that the air leaving your body carries the seed of fertility, and will make humanity more true, better, and more beautiful.

Infinite breathing

All that exists above and below, also exists within you. And everything breathes; when you realize this, you will also understand the Art of Peace. Those who practice it know they are warriors protecting Mother Nature, and with each breath are putting inside themselves the sun and the moon, heaven and earth, the high and low tides, spring and winter, summer and fall.

Man’s entire apprenticeship can be summed up in how one breathes consciously. Each time you do so, you share the powerful energy which sustains Creation.

Conscious attention

Make each day a truly new one, by wearing the blessings of Heaven, bathing in wisdom and love, and placing yourself under Mother Nature’s protection. Learn from the wise men, holy books, but never forget that each mountain, river, plant or tree, also has something to teach you.

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The donkey dies of exhaustion

Nasrudin decided to go in search of some new meditation techniques. He saddled his donkey, went to India, China and Mongolia, talked to the great masters, but found nothing.

He heard tell of a wise man in Nepal: he journeyed there, but as he was climbing the mountain to meet him, his donkey died of exhaustion. Nasrudin buried him there and then, and wept sadly. Someone passed by and commented:

– You came in search of a saint, this must be his tomb and you are lamenting his death.

– No, this is the place where I buried my donkey, who died of exhaustion.

– I don’t believe it – said the new arrival. – No one weeps over a dead donkey. This must be a place where miracles occur, and you want to keep them for yourself.

Although Nasrudin explained again and again, it was no use. The man went to the next village and spread the story of a great master who cured people at his tomb, and soon the pilgrims began to arrive.

Gradually, news of the discovery of the Wise Man of Silent Mourning spread throughout Nepal – and crowds rushed to the place. A wealthy man came, thought his prayers had been answered, and built an imposing monument where Nasrudin had buried his “master”.

In view of everything, Nasrudin decided to leave things as they were. But he learned once and for all, that when someone wants to believe a lie, no one can convince him otherwise.

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Lessons from Yabut

Apprentice Asia’s Jonathan Yabut made a list of issues that he considers relevant to win any contest.
Although I am far from being a fan of this type of TV program, I liked some points of Yabut’s list. See below

1. It pays to be prepared
2. Honesty is truly the best policy
3. Think big picture
4. Find “” and firm up “” your strengths
5. Appreciate the beauty of strategy
6. Choose
7. Look ahead
8. Value your beginnings, all the way to the end
9. The universe can be your ally
10. Become your favorite movie, in a good way

to read the full post, click here

Poor vampire

What is a vampire?

It is someone who at a certain moment in their existence becomes immortal.

In other words, after that moment their body will no longer follow the normal course of nature; they will become forever young, and they can live as long as they like without having to deal with problems caused by growing old.

The vampire’s only diet is a little blood every day, and their only care with their skin is to avoid sunlight – but after all, this is a very small price to pay to enjoy all the possibilities of eternal life.

Except for one thing: vampires stop in time, while the world carries on changing.

Let us imagine a human being who becomes a vampire right at the finals of the 1986 World Cup.

He could smoke on airplanes, did not need to puzzle over picking what channel to watch on the television – the choice was so limited.

He had an actress for a sex symbol, understood all about carburetors and fought for his socialist ideal, convinced that the Soviet Union would soon have more capable governors, and the yearnings of the people (called the proletariat) would at last be respected.

One fine day he falls in love with a 22-year-old sociology student.

He admires her beauty, her enthusiasm, her idealism.

He suggests transforming her into a vampire, but she refuses – she has seen too many horror films.

She is in love too and does not want to lose him, but she sets one single condition for going ahead with their relationship: he must never suck her blood.

The vampire has no choice but to keep his word.

They get married in the registry office to avoid mortal crucifixes.

Twenty years roll by – in fact fly by, because another four World Cups have taken place. The former university student is now 42 years old, working in a bank (unemployment problems) or else writing useless Master’s and Ph.D. theses and dissertations merely to justify her life as a professional student.

Carburetors have disappeared from the face of the earth.

In horror he leafs through a magazine and sees his old sex-symbol actress transformed into a hybrid product made of plastic, Botox and silicone, her face coated with tons of makeup.

He feels guilty for having 200 TV channels and only watches the same ones as long ago.

The Soviet Union has collapsed.

He was obliged to abandon his beloved cigarettes (although it did not affect his health, don’t forget that vampires are immortal), because smoking became impossible, either because of laws or because of the way people looked at him in restaurants.

And worst of all: everyone is talking about chat, Internet, iPod, rave and so on.

The vampire tries to keep up to date, but everything seems absolutely complicated, irritating and senseless.

He looks at the computer as if he were looking at a clove of garlic – with a mixture of horror and impotence.

He will never be able to manage one of those, although he has tried several times.

His friends are retired, spend their days playing cards – they also do not know how to deal with computers, but they do not mind, the group has grown old together, they all have the same interests and can share experiences. The vampire stays young.

Immortal.

Now he is faced with eternal depression.

He attempts suicide, going out in the sunlight or looking at crucifixes, only to discover that these were myths created by the Church and cause him no harm at all.

He is left with one consolation: there is still one political figure that he knows all about (because all the other governors across the world have changed).

But Fidel Castro will also pass.

And then nothing, absolutely nothing, will remain of the world that the vampire once loved so much.

Accepting the fight

If someone confronts you over ideas or ideals, step up and accept the fight, because conflict is present in every moment of our lives and sometimes it needs to show itself in the broad light of day.

But do not fight in order to prove that you are right or to impose your ideas or ideals on someone else.
Only accept the fight as a way of keeping your spirit clean and your will spotless. When the fight is over, both sides will emerge as winners, because they tested their limitations and their abilities.

Since both respect the courage and determination of the other, the time will come when they will once again walk along hand-in-hand, even if they have to wait a thousand years for that to happen.

Meanwhile, if someone merely wishes to provoke you, shake the dust from your feet and carry on. Only fight with a worthy opponent, and not with someone who uses trickery to prolong a war that is already over, as happens with all wars.

Such cruelty does not come from the warriors who meet on the battlefield and know what they are doing there, but from those who manipulate victory and defeat for their own ends.

The enemy is not the person standing before you, sword in hand. It is the person standing next to you with a dagger concealed behind his back.

The most important of wars is not waged with a lofty spirit and with your soul accepting its fate.

It is the war that is going on now as we are speaking and whose battlefield is the Spirit, where Good and Evil, Courage and Cowardice, Love and Fear face each other.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Frankfurt I

Neste final de semana, um colunista, uma revista e um jornal entraram em contato comigo para saber se ní£o vou í  Feira do Livro de Frankfurt por causa da “desorganizaí§í£o.” Talvez esse interesse tenha ocorrido por causa dos frequentes tuites que postei sobre o Ministério da Costura (antes conhecido por Ministério da Cultura, mas que no momento se dedica a justificar os subsí­dios da Lei Rouanet í  alta costura: Marta Suplicy libera verba para desfiles de luxo )

Preciso esclarecer alguns pontos:

ORGANIZAçíƒO
Embora eu seja convidado da delegaí§í£o oficial, quem organizou minha ida foi minha editora alemí£.
Portanto, tenho hotel (com banheiro no quarto!), carro, etc.
“Banheiro no quarto, o que é isso? ” alguém perguntará.
O fato é que o Brasil, embora já saiba há anos que seria o convidado de honra em 2013, reservou quartos sem banheiro para escritores. Leio na coluna de Ancelmo Gois nesta sexta: A ministra Marta Suplicy reconhece que ainda ní£o foi escolhido o lugar onde ví£o ficar hospedados os 70 escritores da delegaí§í£o brasileira na Feira Internacional do Livro de Frankfurt, dia 8 de outubro:”” Mandei fazer uma nova licitaí§í£o depois que descobri que o hotel dos nossos escritores ní£o tinha banheiro nos quartos.
Vamos torcer para que consigam hotéis na cidade. Ou os escritores terí£o banheiro no quarto, mas precisarí£o viajar todos os dias no mí­nimo por 1:30 hr (40 min para ida + volta) , já que os hotéis – no momento – estí£o completamente lotados.

A ENTREVISTA
Nesta quinta feira, dia 5, resolvi dar uma única entrevista, para o maior jornal alemí£o, Die Welt. A entrevista será publicada no domingo, dia 6 de outubro.
O jornalista disse que ní£o conhecia absolutamente ninguém da lista.
Minha editora alemí£, Ruth Geiger, presente na entrevista, disse que o comentário em Frankfurt é o seguinte: “ao invés de trazer escritores consagrados, o Brasil optou por trazer desconhecidos e assim mostrar a nova face da literatura brasileira”.

QUEM É QUEM?
Vejam aqui: Lista de escritores brasileiros convidados para a Feira de Frankfurt 2013
Dos 70 nomes, conheí§o 22, e já li 17 autores – que realmente merecem estar ali. O resto simplesmente ní£o tenho idéia de quem seja.
Mas checando um por um dos 48 que nunca ouvi falar, descobri que estí£o longe de ser “a nova face da literatura brasileira”.
Pedi a algumas pessoas que me dissessem quais autores conheciam. A contagem variou entre quatro e cinco. E vocíª, quantos conhece?

BIENAL DO LIVRO RIO DE JANEIRO
Encerrada ontem, e merecidamente homenageando o Ziraldo, podemos ler em qualquer jornal os autores nacionais que fizeram sucesso junto ao público: a verdadeira nova literatura brasileira.
Veja o que escreve Raquel Cozer na Folha de Sí£o Paulo: A hora dos nacionais
Alguns exemplos: Andre Vianco, Felipe Neto, Carolina Munhoz, Eduardo Sphor, Raphael Draccon, e muitos mais. Além destes, temos Deive Passos e Alexandre Ottoni, autores do Protocolo Bluehand – que ní£o estiveram na Bienal mas escreveram um livro fantástico.
Nenhum deles está na lista.

O MINISTÉRIO DA CULTURA/COSTURA E MEU TRABALHO
EU nunca tive nenhuma traduí§í£o subsidiada pelo governo (agora apareceu um chiníªs que pediu, mas sem minha permissí£o ou conhecimento). Meus livros estí£o em 72 linguas, detenho o recorde de autor vivo mais traduzido do mundo. Sou publicado em 155 paí­ses.
O Ministério da Cultura nunca me ajudou. Ní£o entrei na lista oficial de Frankfurt 1994 (ainda bem, foi um desastre).
Em 1998, fui vetado pela Biblioteca Nacional para participar do Salon du Livre de Paris, embora tivesse 3 livros na lista dos mais vendidos na Franí§a (participei a convite de minha editora francesa, e foi fantástico).
Em 2008, o patético ex-ministro Juca Ferreira desmarcou em cima da hora sua presení§a na festa organizada por meus editores, celebrando í quela altura 100 milhíµes de livros vendidos ( por sinal, nunca devolveu o convite).

MUDA BRASIL
Em junho deste ano, assistimos as manifestaí§íµes que pediam mudaní§as estruturais. Pelo visto, a mudaní§a até agora foi permitir que a Lei Rouanet apoie desfile de moda.
Na época, postei um tuite dizendo que estou seriamente repensando minha presení§a em Frankfurt. Ainda ní£o decidi nada, mas se deixar de ir ní£o será por falta de organizaí§í£o.
Será por ní£o compactuar com o que o governo brasileiro quer mostrar ali.

Como diz Reinaldo Azevedo, de quem discordo em genero, número e grau de tudo que posta sobre polí­tica, mas concordo com tudo que posta sobre cultura: volto ao assunto mais adiante.

Everything is permitted, if everything is accepted

When we are too generous in the sexual act and our main preoccupation is with our partner’s pleasure, our own pleasure can be diminished or even destroyed.

When we are capable of giving and receiving with the same intensity, our body becomes as tense as the string on a bow, but our mind relaxes like the arrow about to be fired. Our brain is no longer in charge; instinct is our only guide.

Body and soul meet and the Divine Energy fills not only those parts that most people consider to be erotic, but every hair, every inch of skin, and they give off a light of a different colour. Two rivers meet to become a more beautiful, more powerful river.

Everything that is spiritual manifests itself in visible form and everything that is visible is transformed into spiritual energy.

Everything is permitted, if everything is accepted.
Sometimes love grows tired of speaking softly. Therefore, let it reveal itself in all its splendour, burning like the sun and destroying whole forests with its winds.

If one of the lovers surrenders completely, then the other will do the same, because embarrassment will have become curiosity, and curiosity leads us to explore all the things we did not know about ourselves.

 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

And the monk said:

photo

Renouncing or working hard

On one hand we know that it is important to seek God. On the other hand, life distances us from Him – because we feel ignored by the Divine, or else because we are busy with our daily life.

This makes us feel very guilty: either we feel that we are renouncing life too much because of God, or else we feel that we are renouncing God too much because of life.
This apparent double law is a fantasy: God is in life, and life is in God.

If we manage to penetrate the sacred harmony of our daily existence, we shall always be on the right road, because our daily tasks are also our divine tasks.

Relax. When we start our spiritual journey, we want so very hard to speak to God-and we end up not hearing what He has to tell us

That is why it is always advisable to relax a little. It is not easy: we have the natural tendency always to do the right thing, and we feel that we are going to improve our spirit is we work at it non-stop.

Relax, I insist. If you want some things to happen, step aside

Paying the right price

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Illustration by Ken Crane

Nixivan had invited his friends to supper and was cooking a succulent piece of meat for them. Suddenly, he realised that he had run out of salt. So Nixivan called to his son.

‘Go to the village and buy some salt, but pay a fair price for it: neither too much nor too little.’

His son was surprised.

‘I can understand why I shouldn’t pay too much for it, Father, but if I can bargain them down, why not save a bit of money?’

‘That would be the sensible thing to do in a big city, but it could destroy a small village like ours.’
When Nixivan’s guests, who had overheard their conversation, wanted to know why they should not buy salt more cheaply if they could, Nixivan replied:

‘The only reason a man would sell salt more cheaply than usual would be because he was desperate for money. And anyone who took advantage of that situation would be showing a lack of respect for the sweat and struggle of the man who laboured to produce it.’

‘But such a small thing couldn’t possibly destroy a village.’

‘In the beginning, there was only a small amount of injustice abroad in the world, but everyone who came afterwards added their portion, always thinking that it was only very small and unimportant, and look where we have ended up today.’
 
in The Devil and Miss Prym

Malala and The Alchemist

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(I was very moved when reading today the BBC post below)

A teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for championing women’s rights has been given the honour of opening the new £188m Library of Birmingham.

Malala Yousafzai will unveil a commemorative plaque during a ceremony in Centenary Square on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old was attacked by Taliban gunmen on a school bus near her former home in Pakistan in October.

She was treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and now lives in the city.

She said she was “honoured” to be part of the opening ceremony.
‘Opportunity to succeed’

She added: “The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives.

“There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word.

“It is my dream that one day, great buildings like this one will exist in every corner of the world so every child can grow up with the opportunity to succeed.”

Malala will place her copy of The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho in the library – the last book to go on the shelves. She will then receive membership to access the archive.

Councillor Ian Ward told visitors: “The great day is upon us.”

Addressing the public, Malala said she was feeling very proud that the building had been designed by a woman and that the city was now her second home after her “beloved Pakistan”.