Bhagavad Gita (Chapter II, 16-26)

:
“Man is not born, nor does he ever die. For ever he tries to exist, he will never stop doing this, because this is eternal and permanent.”

“Just as a man casts off his old clothes and starts to wear new ones, the soul casts off the old body and takes on a new one.”

“But the soul is indestructible; spades cannot cut it down, fire does not burn it, water does not wet it, and the wind never dries it. The soul is beyond the power of all such things.”

“As man is indestructible, he is always victorious (even in his defeats), and therefore should never have regrets.”

The right speed

 

A warrior of the light needs patience and speed at the same time. The two greatest faults of a strategy are: acting too soon, or allowing an opportunity to slip too far away.

In order to avoid this, the warrior deals with each situation as if it were unique, and does not apply formulas, paradigms or the opinions of others.

Caliph Moauiyat once asked Omr Ben Al-Aas what was the secret of his great political skills:

“I never became involved in anything, without first studying a retreat; conversely, I have never embarked on something and wanted to abandon it immediately,” was his reply.

 

(from “The Warrior of the Light: a manual” )

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

The art of retreat

By Paulo Coelho

A warrior of the light who trusts too much in his intelligence ends up under-estimating the power of the adversary.

One must not forget: there are moments when strength is more effective than sagacity. And when we find ourselves faced with a certain kind of violence, no brilliance, argument, intelligence or charm can prevent tragedy.

That is why the warrior never under-estimates brute force. When it is irrationally aggressive, he retreats from the battle field until the enemy has spent his energy.

However, let it be made quite clear: a warrior of the light is never cowardly. Flight can be an excellent art of defense but it cannot be used when there is great fear.

In the face of any doubt, the warrior prefers to accept defeat and take care of his wounds, because he knows that if he flees he will be giving the attacker a greater power than he deserves.

He can cure physical suffering but he will be eternally persecuted for his spiritual weakness. In some difficult and painful moments, the warrior faces a situation of disadvantage with heroism, resignation and courage.

To achieve the necessary state of mind (since he is entering the fight at a disadvantage and may suffer a lot), the warrior has to understand exactly what can cause him harm. Okakura Kakuso comments in his book on the Japanese tea ritual:

“We look at the evil of others because we know evil through our own behavior. We never forgive those who injure us because we believe that we would never be forgiven. We tell painful truth to our neighbor because we want to hide it from ourselves. We show our strength so that no-one can see our fragility.”

“That is why, whenever you are judging your brother, know that it you who are on trial.”

Sometimes this knowledge can prevent a fight that will only bring disadvantages. However, at other times there is no way out, only an unequal fight.

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

Question by Ruth

In your novels, you transmit a wonderful magical world, full of spirituality and goodness, and you insist that goodness is not limited to a place, religion or group. How did you reach this conclusion, especially with all that you went through earlier in your life?

The cost is always high but worth it. If I look back at my life – which in this moment I am “obliged” to look at since a biography about my lyricist days just came out in Brazil and soon another will come out by the end of the year – I see many occasions where society tried to make me conform to “normality”. This resulted in three hospitalizations in an asylum when I was a teenager (which I describe in my book Veronika decides to die), torture when I was a young adult by the hands of the paramilitaries, and many defeats. You could look at these experiences and say “Paulo’s life is tragic” but I don’t see it that way. What I do see is someone trying to remain true to oneself. Yes there is a price but I believe that life tends to be very generous to those that are brave enough to take these risks. In a word, I’ve always had faith in life.

Dieting already?

One of Brazil’s great philosophers, Tim Maia, once said: “I decided to go on a strict diet. I cut out alcohol, all fats and sugar. In two weeks I lost 14 days”.

The worst of it all is that at each and every moment there appears a new way to lose weight: eating calories, then not eating calories, compulsively consuming fats, then avoiding fats at any price. We step inside a pharmacy and are visually assaulted by all sorts of miraculous products that promise to do away with our desire to eat, with our fat tissue, with our belly, and so on.

We have survived all these millennia because we could eat. And nowadays this seems to have turned into a curse. Why is that? What makes us try at the age of 40 to keep the same body we had when we were young? Will it ever be at all possible to stop this dimension of time?

Of course not. And so why do we need to be slim?

We don’t. We buy books, go to the gym, devote a great deal of our concentration trying to stop time, when we ought to be celebrating the miracle of living in this world. Instead of wondering how to live better, we are obsessed with how much we weigh.

Let’s forget all that; you can read all the books you want, do all the exercise you want, suffer all the punishment you decide to inflict on yourself, and you will have only two choices – you either stop living, or else you will get fat.

It is obvious that you have to eat moderately, but above all you have to take pleasure in eating. Jesus Christ said that: “evil is not what goes into man’s mouth, but rather what comes out of it”.

Remember that for thousands of years we fought to avoid being hungry. Who invented this story that we have to spend our whole life being slim?

Let me give you the answer: the vampires of the soul, who think that it is possible to stop the wheel of time. It is not possible. Use the energy and the effort of a diet to feed yourself with the bread of the spirit, and go on enjoying (moderately, let me repeat) the pleasures of good eating.

While millions of people the world over are hungry, we see people provoking this other obsession because at some moment or other somebody decides that being slim is the only option for regaining youth and beauty.

Instead of artificially burning those calories, we should try to turn them into the energy we need to fight for our dreams; no-one has ever stayed slim for long just by following a diet.

Gestalt: Four People & Middle column

A gestalt has two or more parts (like figure and ground) that are so integrated together that we perceive them as one object. Think of teaching “the whole child,” and you have the idea behind gestalt.

The perception of oneness from many is the basis of gestalt. It derived from the 1890 German philosophy of Gestaltqualität, meaning “form or shape,” which explored the idea of perception. For example, a picture might have several separate parts that work together to form one perceived image. The area of gestalt psychology developed in 1912, focusing on the various aspects of a person and how they combine into a whole that affects that person’s relationship with his or her environment.

A warrior does not rely on strength alone

A warrior of light does not rely on strength alone, he makes use of his opponent’s energy too.

When he enters the fight, all he has is his enthusiasm and the moves and strikes that he learned during his training. As the fight progresses, he discovers that enthusiasm and training are not enough to win: what counts is experience.
Then he opens his heart to the Universe and asks God to give him the inspiration he needs to turn every blow from his enemy into a lesson in self-defence.
His companions say: ‘He’s so superstitious. He stopped fighting in order to pray; he even shows respect for his opponent’s tricks.’
The warrior does not respond to these provocations.

He knows that without inspiration and experience, no amount of training will help him.

(from my book “Warrior of the Light, a Manual” )

The law as a metaphor

I am someone who believes in the judicial system despite all the drawbacks we see. The United States Supreme Court disqualifying torture as an interrogation method, for example, even when the president of the country and his VP have, through legal artifices, tried to justify it.

Nonetheless, my belief is not shared by many people. A lawyer friend said to me that, “the law is not made to solve problems, but to prolong them indefinitely.” Just to exercise my imagination, I decided to use his theory to analyze Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

If God were alive today, we would all still be in Paradise. He, however, would still be replying to pleas, appeals, letters, court injunctions or writs; He would be required to explain his decision to expel Adam and Eve from Paradise just for breaking the arbitrary law of refraining from the evil fruit, without any legal grounds at countless hearings.

If He hadn’t wanted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit, why did he put that tree in the middle of the Garden and not outside the walls of Paradise? If an experienced lawyer were called to defend the couple, he could allege the theory of “administrative omission.” Besides putting the tree in the wrong place, he didn’t surround it with notices and fences, failing to take the minimum safety measures and therefore exposing all who passed by to danger.

Another lawyer might accuse him of “inducement to crime”; He drew the attention of Adam and Eve to the exact place where the tree was growing. If He had not said anything, generations and generations would have passed through this Earth without anyone being interested in the forbidden fruit – considering that it should have been in a forest, full of similar trees, and, therefore lacking any specific merit.

But Genesis happened before the judicial system and, therefore, allowed God to have full freedom of action. He wrote a single law, and found a way of convincing someone to break it, just to be able to invent Punishment. He knew that Adam and Eve would end up bored with so many perfect things, and, sooner or later, would try His patience. He stayed there waiting, because He – Almighty God – was also bored with things working perfectly. If Eve had not eaten the apple, what interesting things would have happened in those billions of years?

Nothing.

When the law was broken, God – the All Powerful Judge – had even simulated a pursuit, as if he did not know all the possible hiding places. With the angels watching and amusing themselves with the prank (life for them also must have been very tedious, since Lucifer had left Heaven), He finds Adam.

“Where art thou?” God asked, already knowing the answer. He did not warn him about the consequences of the reply. He did not say the well-known words that we have heard so often in movies, “anything you say may be used against you”.

“I heard your steps in the garden, I was afraid and hid, because I am naked”, answered Adam, without knowing that, from then on, he would be the admitted culprit of a crime.

Well. Through a simple trick, where he seemed not to know where Adam was, nor the reason for his escape, God had managed to get what he wanted. He expelled the couple, and their children ended up paying for the crime as well (as happens until today with the children of criminals), and the judicial system had been invented; law, breaking the law, judgment and punishment.

The master and the combat

By Paulo Coelho

The aikidô master demanded intensive training but never allowed his pupils to compete with other martial-arts academies. They all complained among themselves but no-one ever had the nerve to bring up the subject in class.

And then one day one of the boys dared to ask:

– We have dedicated ourselves wholeheartedly to the study of aikidô, but we shall never know whether we are good or bad fighters because we cannot compete with anyone from outside here.

– And may you never need to know that – was the master’s answer. – He who wants to fight loses his bond with the Universe. Here we study the art of resolving conflicts, not starting them.

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

A tale by Khalil Gibran

I was walking on the gardens of an insane asylum when I met a young man reading a philosophy book.

For his manners and the health he portrayed, he didn’t quite match with the patients there. I sat beside him and asked: “What are you doing here?” He looked at me surprised. But as he saw that I wasn’t one of the doctors, he answered: “That’s very simple. My father, a brilliant lawyer, wanted me to be like him.

“My uncle, owner of a large commercial warehouse, wanted me to follow his example. My mother wanted me to become the image of her beloved father. My sister always cited her husband as the example of a well succeeded man. My brother tried to train me to become an excellent athlete like him.”

“And the same happened with my teachers at school, the piano teacher, the English tutor: all of them were convinced and resolute; they were the best examples to be followed. No one looked at me like someone should look to a man — but as if they looked into a mirror.”

“That way, I decided to admit myself in this asylum. Here at least, I can be myself.”

Choosing with confidence

By Paulo Coelho

The warrior of the light always manages to balance Rigor and Mercy. To attain his dream he needs to have a strong will – as well as an immense capacity of self-surrender.

Although he has an objective, the road to reach it is not always the one he imagines, so he has to use discipline and compassion. God never abandons his children – but the designs of Providence are unfathomable.

So, for the warrior of the light nothing is abstract. Everything is concrete and everything concerns him.

Some of his companions spend their lives criticizing the lack of options or commenting on the decisions of others. The warrior, however, turns his thoughts into action.

Sometimes he makes mistakes, and pays the price of his error. Other times he strays from the path and wastes a lot of time getting back to the original destination.

But a warrior does not become distracted, because he knows what he is looking for.

 

taken from my book “The Warrior of the Light: a Manual”

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

The right to choose

Dr. Victor Frankl, survivor of the concentration camp in Auschwitz, wrote in his diary:

“Those who lived in these places of death can still recall that at night, some of those who were there, would go from tent to tent, comforting the most desperate, many times offering a piece of leftover bread or potato.”

“Only a few were able to act like this, but these few gave everyone the greatest of the lessons: it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, you can take everything from a man except the freedom of choice.”

Warrior of the light necklace

sidebar

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT PAULO COELHO INSTITUTE, PLEASE CLICK HERE

By buying this necklace, you are helping to support 430 children in Brasil.

Please CLICK HERE

sidebarPlease CLICK HERE

The hole in the sidewalk

Adapted from a text by Portia Nelson (in Stories for the Heart): 

■ I walk along the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I am distracted, thinking about myself, and fall inside. I feel lost, unhappy and incapable of asking for help. It wasn’t my fault, but the ones who dug that hole there. I feel disgusted, I am a victim of the irresponsibility of others, and I spend a great amount of time in there.

■ I walk along the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it, that’s not my problem. I fall in there again. I can’t believe that happened once again, I should have learnt the lesson and sent someone to close the hole. It takes a long time for me to get out of there.

■ I walk along the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I see it. I know it is there because I fell in there twice. However, I am someone used to always take the same path. Due to that, I fall into the hole for the third time; it’s the habit.

■ I walk along the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it. Soon after I pass the hole, I hear someone yelling — he must have fallen into the hole. The street is closed and I can’t go on.

■ I walk along the street. There is a hole in the sidewalk. I put a fence around it. I can go on my way and no one will fall in there again.

10 sec reading: Forgiveness

One of Napoleon’s soldiers committed a crime — the story doesn’t tell which crime — and he was sentenced to death.

On the eve of his execution, the soldier’s mother implored that the life of her son be spared.

“Dear lady, what your son did doesn’t deserve clemency.”

“I know,” said the mother, “If it deserved, it wouldn’t really mean forgiveness. Forgiving is the capacity of going beyond vengeance and justice.”

As he heard these words, Napoleon reduced the soldier’s death sentence to exile.

How orgasms can affect you and your health

|(the post below is the edited version of an article  written by a dear friend of mine, Alex Sandra Miles. If you want to read it fully, please CLICK HERE )

 

The feeling of an orgasm is one of the greatest sensations our bodies can experience.

Women are thought to have up to 11 different types of orgasm, which can differ in intensity from a mild and subtle feeling to an intense and explosive rush of sensations, depending on how our bodies and minds are feeling at the time and also how we feel about the person we are engaged with.
Achieving an orgasm can have an array of health benefits that affect us physically and emotionally—due to the chemical changes that take place within our bodies.

 Keeps you looking younger.

As we age, testosterone level decrease, however, regular sex releases a plethora of chemicals, which contain testosterone. The hormones that are released include DHEA (Dehyrdoepiandrosterone) which restores skin, repairs damaged tissues keeping skin looking plump and youthful.

. Relieves pain.

As we orgasm, chemicals known as endorphins are released which are natural pain relievers, alleviating headaches, stomach pains and even arthritis. Orgasms are thought to reduce pain up to 70%. Inflammation and swelling are also known to decrease.

Increases your memory.

During climax blood circulation is increased which transports nutrients and oxygen to the hypothalamus, which is the centre of the brain for memory and learning, keeping the brain alert.

Assists sleep.

Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone and endorphins are released during sex causing a sedative effect, allowing the body to relax and let go of tension by lowering blood pressure. This promotes restful and deeper sleep.

Protects us from colds and flu. 

Due to the release of antibodies, in particular immunoglobulin A, that naturally boost and increase our immune system, we are less susceptible to colds and flus as our body’s defences strengthen to fight illness.

Burns calories.

As the heart rate increases more calories are burned. While an orgasm itself only burns around three calories, leading up to burns the most. Half an hour of active sex can burn around 150 calories. Plus, muscles all over the body are toned in the process.

Boosts our sense of smell.

After climax our bodies release a hormone known as prolactin which causes stem cells in the brain to grow new neurons in the olfactory bulb, where smell is formed. This in turn increases our sense of smell.

The dragon killer

Zhuangzi, a renowned Chinese author, tells the story of Zhu Pingman, who went after a master in order to learn the best way to kill dragons.

The master taught Pingman for 10 years uninterrupted, until his pupil was able to develop — to perfection — the most sophisticated technique to kill dragons.

From then on, Pingman spent the rest of his life searching for dragons, so he could show everyone his ability; but for his disappointment, he never found a dragon.

The story’s author says: “All of us prepare ourselves to kill dragons and end up devoured by the ants of details, to which we never pay attention.”

The advantages of growing old

Chipotle

ChipotleA legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using two large pitchers tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders.

One of the pitchers was older than the other and was full of small cracks; every time the man came back along the path to his house, half of the water was lost.


For two years, the man made the same journey. The younger pitcher was always very proud of the way it did its work and was sure that it was up to the task for which it had been created, while the other pitcher was mortally ashamed that it could carry out only half its task, even though it knew that the cracks were the result of long years of work.

So ashamed was the old pitcher that, one day, while the man was preparing to fill it up with water from the well, it decided to speak to him.

“I wish to apologize because, due to my age, you only manage to take home half the water you fill me with, and thus quench only half the thirst awaiting you in your house.”

The man smiled and said:
“When we go back, be sure to take a careful look at the path.”
The pitcher did as the man asked and noticed many flowers and plants growing along one side of the path.

“Do you see how much more beautiful nature is on your side of the road?” the man remarked.

“I knew you had cracks, but I decided to take advantage of them. I sowed vegetables and flowers there, and you always watered them. I’ve picked dozens of roses to decorate my house, and my children have had lettuce, cabbage and onions to eat. If you were not the way you are, I could never have done this. We all, at some point, grow old and acquire other qualities, and these can always be turned to good advantage.”

5 Writing Themes – Paulo Coelho

Posted by in E-Books India

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho is the proud recipient of many international awards and the author of works like The Alchemist, The Devil and Miss Prym, 11 Minutes, and The Zahir. His most famous novel The Alchemist has sold 165 million copies globally and has been translated into 80 languages. Such is the power his writing holds! Not many would know that he follows an uncommon planning ritual for his writing. He initiates his writing process for a new book only after he has found a white feather in the January of an odd year. Now that is something, right?

 

1. Love

The novel By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept is a tale of forgiveness and love. Pilar and her old friend and lover rediscover each other and realize that God is actually love or the quintessential force. Coelho seems to tell readers that when people are single, they are on their path. When they find a soul mate or a companion, then they need to decide how to merge their paths and find a common ground. Love triumphs in the novel. Coelho describes love as something that is “always new… It can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere.” He seems to equate love to a positive journey. In the novel, the characters learn that “the moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us.” This supports the theme that love is something that we need to seek and our quest through experiences brings us closer to what we yearn for.

2. Battle between good and evil

Another theme that Coelho explores in his writing is the battle between good and evil. Writers can take a leaf out of this and perhaps incorporate the theme in their writing. In The Devil and Miss Prym, Coelho depicts the temptation of evil that a small community has to deal with. The character Chantal Prym manages to overcome her evil tendencies and lets the good in her to triumph. There is a similar situation in his novel By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept also, where the character Pilar must relieve herself from the influence of “the Other” or temptation and evil. All this demonstrates Coelho’s faith in humanity’s triumph over evil.

3. Presence of a supreme power

Coelho’s writings have a vein of reference to the Supreme Power, Allah, God and other divine names. In The Alchemist, there is a frequent reference to the universe; it influences everybody’s journey and works in tandem with them. In The Devil and Miss Prym, the priest plays a great role and so do saints in the lives of the villagers.

4. Foreshadowing

The technique of foreshadowing is often used by Coelho. Readers get to know that the characters are going to do something that helps them in their future. His characters often embark on a journey and then they evolve stronger and live a more fruitful life.

5. Magic realism

He also uses the technique of magic realism in his writings. Magic realism is a narrative technique in which the realistic and fantastic elements seamlessly blend. In The Alchemist, Santiago, a common shepherd, sets off on a journey to pursue his “Personal Legend.” The first few pages sound realistic, and then the narrative slowly progresses to the realm of fantasy.

 

 

 

20 sec reading: Matisse and Renoir meet

 

Ever since he was young, the painter Henri Matisse used to visit the great Renoir at his atelier every week. When Renoir was crippled with arthritis, Matisse began to visit him daily, taking food, paintbrushes and paint, always trying to convince the master that he worked to hard. He needed to rest a little.

One day, noting that each brush stroke made Renoir groan of pain, Matisse couldn’t stay silent: “Great master, your work is  already vast and important. Why continue to torture yourself that way?”

“Very simple,” Renoir answered. “Beauty remains; pain ends up passing.”