Archives for October 2016

What is happiness?

“After all, what is happiness?

Love, they tell me. But love doesn’t bring and never has brought happiness.
On the contrary, it’s a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; it’s sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we’re doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstasy and agony.”

? Paulo Coelho, The Witch Of Portobello

Character of the week: Teilhard de Chardin

Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed. The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one’s self to others.

He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend must have a long head or a very short creed.
Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.

In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened.

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist.

Love alone can unite living beings so as to complete and fulfill them… for it alone joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth.

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.
Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955) was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, a paleontologist and geologist

Making love

“Anyone who is in love is making love the whole time, even when they’re not. When two bodies meet, it is just the cup overflowing. They can stay together for hours, even days. They begin the dance one day and finish it the next, or–such is the pleasure they experience–they may never finish it. No eleven minutes for them.”

“Anyone who is observant, who discovers the person they have always dreamed of, knows that sexual energy comes into play before sex even takes place. The greatest pleasure isn’t sex, but the passion with which it is practiced. When the passion is intense, then sex joins in to complete the dance, but it is never the principal aim.”

? Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

Reader’s story: two choices in life

sent to me by Dr. Proja

There are always two choices in life, either put up with the conditions as they are, or take the responsibility to change them.

It happened one fine day when I was at my father’s clinic attending to his patients whilst he was out of town. A lady named Saraswati came with her one year old daughter. The baby was burning with fever, when I took her temperature I realized it was at 103. I scolded the lady for not bringing her baby in any earlier. The lady started crying, saying she did not have the money for the doctor’s fees and medication (I didn’t pay much attention to this since this is a very common occurrence at my father’s clinic).
Saraswati then told me her story. She had got married three years ago; her parents paid a dowry of 10,000 rupees. However, her husband ran away with the money and leaving her pregnant. Saraswati returned to her home and took on the job of a servant. Her husband’s family did not care about whether her daughter was sick or well since she was a girl.

After telling me her story, Saraswati left. I did not charge her, but I knew that this would not solve her problem. I thought about Saraswati all night and wondered what could be done to help these illiterate, cheated and downtrodden women.

Then the next day I received a call from my aunty who needed a housemaid for her daugher-in-law who had just had twins. I felt as if God had showed me a way to help Saraswati.
I recommended her to my aunty. My aunty gave Saraswati a good income and a good home to live in.

After a few days she came with her sister who was educated and was looking to become independent like her sister. I recommended her to one of my friends for a receptionist’s position. From this came the idea of NAARI, an organization for making women self-dependant.

Setting up NAARI was not an easy task, since there are so many legal formalities for female organizations. I was very young and all alone, so I dropped the idea. And then one sunny morning when I was having coffee a group of women came to my house (guided by the ever so dear Saraswati of course).

Everybody had a common story, cheated, exploited and dowry victims.
I recommended nine of these women to domestic maid jobs.
Now these ladies are independent and all eleven of them are working hard to live a respectable life. I may have not been successful in giving them an organization but when one day Saraswati came to my home with a box of sweets because she had got admission for her daughter at a nearby school, she fell to my feet and said : you have given my daughter and I a respectable living, may God give you much success.

I realized I had done nothing I just showed them a way – a way to self-respect and thereafter, all eleven of them continued this tough journey themselves.

UPDATE:
After this post was published, I found a photo of Dr. Proja . Here it is:

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Nobody believes

Legend has it that right after his Enlightenment, Buddha decided to go for a walk in the country. On the way he came upon a farmer, who was impressed at the light shining from the master.

“My friend, who are you?” asked the farmer. “Because I have the feeling that I am standing before an angel, or a God.”

“I am nothing of the sort,” answered Buddha.

“Maybe you’re a powerful sorcerer?”

“Not that either.”

“So, what makes you so different from the others that even a simple peasant like me notices it?”

“I am just someone who has awoken to life. That’s all. But I tell everyone that, and nobody believes me.”

A beleza segundo Coelho

“Sempre escutamos dizer: ‘O que importa não é a beleza exterior, mas a beleza interior.’
Pois não há nada mais falso do que essa frase.

Se assim fosse, por que as flores fariam tanto esforço para chamar a atenção das abelhas?
E por que as gotas de chuva se transformariam em um arco-íris quando encontram o sol?
Porque a natureza tem ânsia de beleza. E só fica satisfeita quando ela pode ser exaltada.

A beleza exterior é a parte visível da beleza interior. E ela se manifesta pela luz que sai dos olhos de cada um. Não importa se a pessoa está malvestida, ou não obedece aos padrões do que consideramos elegante, ou nem sequer está preocupada em impressionar quem está perto. Os olhos são o espelho da alma e refletem tudo o que parece estar oculto.

A beleza está presente em tudo o que foi criado. Mas o perigo reside no fato de que, como seres humanos muitas vezes afastados da Energia Divina, nos deixamos levar pelo julgamento alheio.
Negamos nossa própria beleza porque os outros não podem, ou não querem, reconhecê-la. Em vez de aceitar quem somos, procuramos imitar o que vemos ao nosso redor.

Buscamos ser como aqueles que todos dizem: ‘Que bonito!’ Aos poucos nossa alma vai definhando, nossa vontade diminui, e todo o potencial que tínhamos para enfeitar o mundo deixa de existir.
Esquecemos que o mundo é aquilo que imaginamos ser.
Deixamos de ter o brilho da lua e passamos a ser a poça d’água que a reflete. No dia seguinte, o sol vai evaporar essa água, e nada restará.
Tudo porque algum dia alguém disse: ‘Você é feio.’ Ou outro comentou: ‘Ela é bonita.’ Com apenas três palavras, foram capazes de roubar toda a confiança que tínhamos em nós mesmos.
E isso nos torna feios. E isso nos deixa amargos.

Nesse momento, encontramos conforto naquilo que chamam de ‘sabedoria’: um acumulado de ideias empacotadas por gente que procura definir o mundo, em vez de respeitar o mistério da vida. Ali estão as regras, os regulamentos, as medidas, e toda uma bagagem absolutamente desnecessária que procura estabelecer um padrão de comportamento.
A falsa sabedoria parece dizer: não se preocupe com a beleza, porque ela é superficial e efêmera.

Não é verdade. Todos os seres criados debaixo do sol, dos pássaros às montanhas, das flores aos rios, refletem a maravilha da criação.
Se resistirmos à tentação de aceitar que outros podem definir quem somos, então pouco a pouco seremos capazes de fazer luzir o sol que reside em nossa alma.
O Amor passa por perto e diz: ‘Nunca havia notado sua presença.’
E nossa alma responde: ‘Preste mais atenção porque estou aqui. Foi preciso que uma brisa tirasse a poeira de seus olhos, mas, agora que me reconheceu, não torne a me abandonar, já que todos cobiçam a beleza.’

O belo não reside na igualdade, mas na diferença. Não podemos imaginar um camelo sem corcovas ou um cacto sem espinhos.
A irregularidade dos picos das montanhas que nos cercam é o que as faz imponentes. Se a mão do homem tentasse dar a mesma forma a todas, já não inspirariam mais respeito.

Aquilo que parece imperfeito é justamente o que nos assombra e nos atrai.
Quando olhamos um cedro, não pensamos: os galhos deveriam ter todos a mesma medida. Pensamos: ‘Ele é forte.’

Quando vemos uma serpente, jamais dizemos: ‘Ela está rastejando no chão, enquanto eu caminho de cabeça erguida.’ Pensamos: ‘Embora seja pequena, sua pele é colorida, seu movimento elegante, e ela tem mais poder que eu.’
Quando o camelo cruza o deserto e nos leva até o lugar aonde queremos chegar, nunca dizemos: ‘Ele tem corcovas e seus dentes são feios.’ Pensamos: ‘Ele é digno do meu amor por sua lealdade e sua ajuda. Sem ele, eu jamais poderia conhecer o mundo.’

Um pôr do sol é sempre mais belo quando o céu está coberto de nuvens irregulares, porque só assim ele pode refletir as muitas cores das quais são feitos os sonhos e os versos do poeta.
Pobres daqueles que pensam: ‘Eu não sou belo, porque o Amor não bateu à minha porta.’ Na verdade, o Amor bateu – mas essas pessoas não abriram porque não estavam preparadas para recebê-lo.
Tentavam se enfeitar, quando na verdade já estavam prontas.
Tentavam imitar os outros, quando o Amor buscava algo original.
Procuravam refletir o que vinha de fora e esqueceram a Luz mais forte que vinha de dentro.”

tirado de “Manuscrito encontrado em Accra”

Beauty

People always say: ‘It’s inner beauty that matters, not outer beauty.’
Well, that’s not true.

If it were, why would flowers put so much energy into attracting bees? And why would raindrops transform themselves into a rainbow when they encounter the sun? Because nature longs for beauty, and is only satisfied when beauty can be exalted. outer beauty is inner beauty made visible, and it manifests itself in the light that flows from our eyes. It doesn’t matter if a person is badly dressed or doesn’t conform to our idea of elegance, or isn’t even concerned about impressing other people.

Beauty is present in all creation, but the danger lies in the fact that, because we human beings are often cut off from the Divine Energy, we allow ourselves to be influenced by what other people think. We deny our own beauty because others can’t or won’t recognise it. Instead of accepting ourselves as we are, we try to imitate what we see around us. We try to be what other people think of as ‘pretty’ and, little by little, our soul fades, our will weakens, and all the potential we had to make the world a more beautiful place withers away.
We forget that the world is what we imagine it to be.
We stop being the moonlight and become, instead, the pool of water reflecting it. Tomorrow, the water will evaporate in the sun. And all because, one day, someone said: ‘You are ugly.’ Or: ‘She is pretty.’ With those three simple words, they stole away all our self-confidence.
And we become ugly and embittered.

At that moment, we can draw comfort from so-called ‘wisdom’, an accumulation of ideas put together by people wishing to define the world, instead of respecting the mystery of life. This ‘wisdom’ consists of all the unnecessary rules, regulations and measurements intended to establish a standard of behaviour.
According to that false wisdom, we should not be concerned about beauty because it is superficial and ephemeral.

That isn’t true. All the beings created under the sun, from birds to mountains, from flowers to rivers, reflect the miracle of creation.
If we resist the temptation to allow other people to define who we are, then we will gradually be able to let the sun inside our own soul shine forth.
Love passes by and says: ‘I never noticed you before.’

And our soul responds: ‘Well, pay more attention, because here I am. It took a breeze to blow the dust from your eyes, but now that you have recognised me, don’t leave me again, because all of us desire beauty.’
Beauty exists not in sameness but in difference. Who could imagine a giraffe without its long neck or a cactus without its spines? The irregularity of the mountain peaks that surround us is what makes them so imposing. If we tried to make them all the same, they would no longer command our respect.
It is the imperfect that astonishes and attracts us.

When we look at a cedar tree, we don’t think: ‘The branches should be all the same length.’ We think: ‘How strong it is.’
When we see a snake, we never say: ‘He is crawling along the ground, while I am walking with head erect.’ We think: ‘He might be small, but his skin is colourful, his movements elegant, and he is more powerful than me.’

When the camel crosses the desert and takes us to the place we want to reach, we never say: ‘He’s humpbacked and has ugly teeth.’ We think: ‘He deserves my love for his loyalty and help. Without him, I would never be able to explore the world.’
A sunset is always more beautiful when it is covered with irregularly shaped clouds, because only then can it reflect the many colours out of which dreams and poetry are made.

Pity those who think: ‘I am not beautiful. That’s why Love has not knocked at my door.’ In fact, Love did knock, but when they opened the door, they weren’t prepared to welcome Love in.’
They were too busy trying to make themselves beautiful first, when, in fact, they were fine as they were.
They were trying to imitate others, when Love was looking for something original.
They were trying to reflect what came from outside, forgetting that the brightest light comes from within.

taken from “Manuscript found in Accra”

Character of the week: Frank Herbert

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. (Bene Gesserit Litany against fear )

The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty.

The real universe is always one step beyond logic.

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.

A person cries out against life because it’s lonely, and because life’s broken off from whatever created it. But no matter how much you hate life, you love it, too. It’s like a caldron boiling with everything you have to have “” but very painful to the lips.

The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.

The human question is not how many can possibly survive, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive.

Destroy the place and you will destroy the person.(The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood)

The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.

________________________________________
Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986)[ was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American author. “Dune” is his masterpiece.

20 sec reading – I was feeling very lonely

EM PORTUGUES AQUI > Diante da catedral
EN ESPANOL AQUI > Frente a la catedral

______

I was feeling very lonely when I left Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral right in the heart of New York.

Suddenly I was approached by a Brazilian:

“I very much need to talk to you,” he said.

I was so enthused by this meeting that I began to talk about everything that was important to me. I spoke of magic, God’s blessings, love.
He listened to everything in silence, thanked me and went away.

Instead of feeling happy, I felt lonelier than before. Later on I realized that in my enthusiasm I had not paid any attention to what that Brazilian wanted.

Talk to me.

I tossed my words to the wind, because that was not what the Universe was wanting at that moment: I would have been much more useful if I had listened to what he had to say.
 
 

Friendship is like a river

Avoid those who believe they are stronger than you, because they are actually concealing their own fragility.

Stay close to those who are not afraid to be vulnerable, because they have confidence in themselves and know that, at some point in our lives, we all stumble; they do not interpret this as a sign of weakness, but of humanity.

Avoid those who seek friends in order to maintain a certain social status or to open doors they would not otherwise be able to approach.

Stay close to those who are interested in opening only one important door: the door to your heart. They will never invade your soul without your consent or shoot a deadly arrow through that open door.

Friendship is like a river; it flows around rocks, adapts itself to valleys and mountains, occasionally turns into a pool until the hollow in the ground is full and it can continue on its way.

Just as the river never forgets that it’s goal is the sea, so friendship never forgets that its only reason for existing is to love other people

(taken from “Manuscript found in Accra”)

12/10 Viva N. Sra. Aparecida!

Our Lady of Aparecida (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora Aparecida or Nossa Senhora da Conceií§í£o Aparecida) is a celebrated 18th-century clay statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the traditional form of the Immaculate Conception. The image is widely venerated by Brazilian Roman Catholics, who consider her as the principal patroness of Brazil.[1] Pious accounts claim that the statue was originally found by fishermen, who miraculously caught many fishes after invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The dark statue is currently housed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Aparecida, Sí£o Paulo. The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil celebrates her feast day every October 12. Since the basilica’s consecration 1980 by Pope John Paul II, it has also been a public holiday in Brazil. The Basilica is the fourth most popular Marian shrine in the world,[3] being able to hold up to 45,000 worshippers.[2]

The image has merited the Papal sanction of Pope Pius XI in 1929 by declaring her shrine as a minor Basilica, and by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1980, who reiterated the patronage of Brazil under the title of the Immaculate Conception.

The statue has also merited worldwide controversy in May 1978, when a Protestant intruder stole the clay statue from its shrine and broke it into pieces, and another in 1995, when a Protestant minister slandered and vandalized a copy of the statue in national Brazilian television.

To read the full story, please CLICK HERE

Crowns on the Torah

When Moses ascended to Heaven to write a certain part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to place small crowns on some letters of the Torah. Moses said: “Master of the Universe, why draw these crowns?” God answered: “Because one hundred generations from now a man called Akiva will interpret them.”

“Show me this man’s interpretation,” asked Moses.

The Lord took him to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva’s classes. One pupil asked: “Rabbi, why are these crowns drawn on top of some letters?”

“I don’t know.” Replied Akiva. “And I am sure that not even Moses knew. He did this only to teach us that even without understanding everything the Lord does, we can trust in his wisdom.”

Gratitude

A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for.
He was helped in his struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each thing in its place, thus allowing him to give of his best.
His companions say: ‘He’s so lucky!’ And the warrior does sometimes achieve things far beyond his capabilities.
That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak surrounding him.
His gratitude, however, is not limited to the spiritual world; he never forgets his friends, for their blood mingled with his on the battlefield.
A warrior does not need to be reminded of the help given him by others; he is the first to remember and makes sure to share with them any rewards he receives.

(taken from my book “Warrior of the Light; a manual”)

Nothing wrong with looking like a fool

Every day Nasrudin went to beg for alms in the market, and people used to make fun of him by playing the following trick: they would show him two coins, one worth ten times more than the other, and Nasrudin would always choose the smaller coin.

The story went round the whole province.
Day after day, groups of men and women would show him the two coins, and Nasrudin would always choose the smaller one.

Then one day, a generous man, tired of seeing Nasrudin ridiculed in this fashion, beckoned him over to a corner of the square and said:

‘When they offer you two coins, you should choose the larger one. That way you would earn more money and people wouldn’t consider you an idiot.’

‘That sounds like good advice,’ replied Nasrudin, ‘but if I chose the larger coin, people would stop offering me money, because they like to believe that I am even more stupid than they are. You’ve no idea how much money I’ve earned using this trick.

“There’s nothing wrong with looking like a fool if, in fact, you’re being really clever.’

La Espia: hoy en todas las librerias

Loneliness can be worse than hunger

Those who are paying attention to others, always give before being asked for. Often our selfishness apologize, saying, “if he was in need, he would have asked.”

And we forget that many people can not – simply can not – ask for help.

I’m not talking just about money: loneliness, often can be worse than hunger.

On the other side there are people who spend entire weeks locked up in themselves.
They will go from work to their TV and from their TV to work.
Their heart is so fragile that they begin to live unhealthy love. They are hungry for affection and ashamed to show it.
It costs you to realize that these people are on our side and try to help them.

Those who look with indifference to poverty, has misery in his soul.