Marriage & Monotony

I read Zahir recently. I could not understand clearly though that what do u think should be done to avoid making this relationship so monotonous. What are your views on what is Marriage? (question by Shipra)

How to keep our relations out of monotony is a very personal thing.
In regards to the situation you mention in The Zahir, what enabled the main character to finally re-live his passion for his wife was her absence.
I will quote here one of my favorite writers, Khalil Gibran, on the subject of marriage since I think he expressed really beautifully what marriage is:

“You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other’s shadow.”


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The five regrets before dying

(One of my friends here sent me a link while commenting on “Insult the dead”. I checked it and I stumbled upon a very interesting text by Bonnie Ware. Below a resumée: )
For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.



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20 SEC READING: asking questions

Warriors of light always keep a certain gleam in their eyes.

They are of this world, they are part of the lives of other people and they set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals.

They are often cowardly.
They do not always make the right decisions.

They suffer over the most trivial things, they have mean thoughts and sometimes believe they are incapable of growing.

They frequently deem themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

They are not always quite sure what they are doing here.

They spend many sleepless nights, believing that their lives have no meaning.

That is why they are warriors of light.
Because they make mistakes.
Because they ask themselves questions.

Because they are looking for a reason – and are sure to find it.


20 SEC READING: The window and the mirror

A very rich young man went to see a Rabbi in order to ask his advice about what he should do with his life. The Rabbi led him over to the window and asked him:

‘What can you see through the glass?’

‘I can see men coming and going and a blind man begging for alms in the street.’

Then the Rabbi showed him a large mirror and said to him:

‘Look in this mirror and tell me what you see.’

‘I can see myself.’

‘And you can’t see the others. Notice that the window and the mirror are both made of the same basic material, glass.

‘You should compare yourself to these two kinds of glass. Poor, you saw other people and felt compassion for them.
‘Rich – covered in silver – you see yourself.

‘You will only be worth anything when you have the courage to tear away the coating of silver covering your eyes in order to be able to see again and love your fellow man.’

Conscious attention

There is a meditation exercise which consists of adding – generally for ten minutes a day – the reasons for each of our actions.

For example: “I now read this blog because I saw a link in Facebook or Twitter. I now think of such-and-such a person, because the subject I read about lead me to do so. I walked to the door, because I am going out”.
And so forth.

Buddha called this “conscious attention”. When we see ourselves repeating our ordinary routine, we realize how much wealth surrounds our life.
We understand each step, each attitude.
We discover important things, and useless thoughts.

At the end of a week – discipline is always fundamental – we are more conscious of our faults and distractions.
But we also understand that, at times, there was no reason to act the way we did, that we followed our impulses, our intuition; and now we begin to understand this silent language which God uses in order to show us the true path.

Call it intuition, signs, instinct, coincidence, any name will do – what matters is that through “conscious attention” we realize that we are often guided to the right decision.

And this makes us stronger.



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Taking the decision to follow the light

Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of the light had begun to believe that it is better to follow the light. He had already betrayed, told lies, strayed off his path, paid court to the darkness. And everything continued going well – as if nothing had happened. Now he wants to change his attitudes.

When taking this decision, he hears four comments: “You always acted wrongly. You are too old to change. You are not good. You don’t deserve it”.

He looks towards heaven, and a voice says: “well, my dear, everyone has made mistakes. You are forgiven, but I can’t force this pardon. Decide for yourself”.

The true warrior of the light accepts the pardon and then takes some precautions.

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30 SEC READ: Between faith and prayer

‘Is there anything more important than prayer?’ a disciple asked his teacher.

The teacher told the disciple to go to a nearby tree and cut off a branch. The disciple obeyed.

‘Is the tree still alive?’ asked the teacher.

‘As alive as it was before.’

‘Then go over there and slice through its roots.’

‘If I do that, the tree will die.’

‘Prayers are the branches of a tree whose roots are called Faith,’ said the teacher. ‘Faith can exist without prayer, but prayer cannot exist without faith.’

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Association of the Week: The Triangle

The triangle is one of the most elementary symbolic figures due to its geometric aspect: it’s basically the simplest way of linking three points in space with straight lines.

Yet not all triangles have the same meaning. In excavations made near to Lepenski Vir in the Danube, there was found many blocs of stones shaped like triangles and inscriptions in bones also with triangular shapes. These vestiges date from the Stone Age and are mainly composed of inverted triangles which most probably refer to the feminine sex.

In more recent times, including in Alchemic texts, the inverted triangle would symbolize water (reproducing in a geometric fashion the shape of a drop) whilst the triangle with its point up would refer to the masculine element of fire.

In the system drawn from Pythagoras (Born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC), the delta letter symbolized the cosmic birth, whilst for Hindus the same letter would represent the goddess Durga – source of life and incarnation of femininity.

In the Christian era, the triangle was increasingly used as a symbol of the Trinity and later on, during the Baroque period, God’s eye was incrusted at its center. Such a vision can also be found in the Zohar: “God’s eyes and foreheads form in the sky a triangle and they reflect mutually in water in the shape of a triangle.”

Now you take the floor: what do you associate with the triangle?



1. “Never explain. Your friends won’t need it. And haters will continue to hate (because they also hate themselves).” – Paulo Coelho

2. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

3. “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.” – Paulo Coelho

5. “The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes.” – Paulo Coelho

6. “Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.” – Paulo Coelho

7. “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho

8. “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

9. “Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

10. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

11. “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” – Paulo Coelho

12. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” – Paulo Coelho

13. “The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are and the more faithful you are. Faith is not to disconnect you from reality – it connects you to reality.” – Paulo Coelho

14. “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” – Paulo Coelho

15. “The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people’s opinions.” – Paulo Coelho

16. “You’re always learning. The problem is, sometimes you stop and think you understand the world. This is not correct. The world is always moving. You never reach the point you can stop making an effort.” – Paulo Coelho

17. “I’m not saying that love always takes you to heaven. Your life can become a nightmare. But that said, it is worth taking the risk.” – Paulo Coelho

18. “If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.” – Paulo Coelho

19. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

20. “Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.” – Paulo Coelho

21. “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho

22. “If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

23. “The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.” – Paulo Coelho

24. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho

25. “Don’t waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear.” – Paulo Coelho

26. “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” – Paulo Coelho

27. “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.” – Paulo Coelho

28. “People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” – Paulo Coelho

29. “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” – Paulo Coelho

30. “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” – Paulo Coelho

31. “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” – Paulo Coelho

32. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

33. “I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.” – Paulo Coelho

34. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” – Paulo Coelho

35. “We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” – Paulo Coelho

36. “Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” – Paulo Coelho

37. “People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” – Paulo Coelho

38. “You are what you believe yourself to be.” – Paulo Coelho

39. “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” – Paulo Coelho

40. “When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.” – Paulo Coelho

41. “Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.” – Paulo Coelho

42. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” – Paulo Coelho

43. “No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.” – Paulo Coelho

44. “I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” – Paulo Coelho

45. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho

46. “All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready.” – Paulo Coelho

47. “Live truly and forgive quickly.” – Paulo Coelho

48. “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say.” – Paulo Coelho

49. “Happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided.” – Paulo Coelho

50. “Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” – Paulo Coelho

51. “Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.” – Paulo Coelho

52. “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily.” – Paulo Coelho

53. “Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.” – Paulo Coelho

54. “Fortunate are those who take the first steps.” – Paulo Coelho

55. “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.” – Paulo Coelho

56. “A life without cause is a life without effect.” – Paulo Coelho

57. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

58. “Close some doors today, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.” – Paulo Coelho

59. “Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment help us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.” – Paulo Coelho

60. “Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don’t be afraid to be the best.” – Paulo Coelho

61. “Never give up. When your heart becomes tired, just walk with your legs – but move on.” – Paulo Coelho

62. “You must always know what it is that you want.” – Paulo Coelho

63. “It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experiencing it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.” – Paulo Coelho

64. “You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.” – Paulo Coelho

65. “The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.” – Paulo Coelho

66. “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” – Paulo Coelho

67. “People are never satisfied. If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.” – Paulo Coelho

68. “Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.” – Paulo Coelho

69. “There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” – Paulo Coelho

70. “What hurts us is what heals us.” – Paulo Coelho

71. “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho

72. “Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.” – Paulo Coelho

73. “Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down wonderful opportunities simply because don’t know what to do with it.” – Paulo Coelho

74. “Be crazy! But learn how to be crazy without being the center of attention. Be brave enough to live different.” – Paulo Coelho

75. “People learn twenty-five percent from their teacher, twenty-five percent from listening to themselves, twenty-five percent from their friends, and twenty-five percent from time.” – Paulo Coelho

76. “Haters are confused admirers who can’t understand why everybody else likes you.” – Paulo Coelho

77. “Go for the impossible. I always tried to find my own limits. So far I did not find them, so my universe is in constant expansion.” – Paulo Coelho

78. “Timidity puts obstacles in your path, boldness eliminates them.” – Paulo Coelho

79. “‘Someday’, ‘maybe’ and ‘if’ are very dangerous words that must be avoided.” – Paulo Coelho

80. “Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.” – Paulo Coelho

81. “All battles in life serve to teach us something, even the battles we lose.” – Paulo Coelho

82. “Stop thinking all the time that you’re in the way, that you’re bothering the person next to you. If people don’t like it, they can complain. And if they don’t have courage to complain, that’s their problem.” – Paulo Coelho

83. “Those who never take risks can only see other people’s failures.” – Paulo Coelho

84. “The most important experiences we can have are those that take us to the very limit. That is the only way we learn, because it requires all our courage.” – Paulo Coelho

85. “The world lies in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams – each according to his or her own talent.” – Paulo Coelho

86. “It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” – Paulo Coelho

87. “Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.” – Paulo Coelho

88. “It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.” – Paulo Coelho

89. “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho


En septembre 1970, deux places se disputaient le privilège d’être considérées comme le centre du monde : celle de Piccadilly Circus, à Londres, et celle du Dam, à Amsterdam. Mais tout le monde ne le savait pas : la plupart des gens, si on leur avait posé la question, auraient répondu : « La Maison Blanche, aux États-Unis, et le Kremlin, en URSS. » Parce que ces gens tiraient leurs informations des journaux, de la télévision, de la radio – des moyens de communication déjà complètement dépassés, qui ne retrouveraient jamais la pertinence de leurs débuts.


En septembre 1970, les billets d’avion étaient hors de prix, et seule une élite pouvait se permettre de voyager.Bon, pas tout à fait. Une multitude de jeunes aussi, dont les vieux médias ne retenaient que l’apparence : ils avaient les cheveux longs, des vêtements bariolés, ne se lavaient pas – ce qui était faux, mais les plus jeunes ne lisaient pas les journaux, et les adultes croyaient en n’importe quelle nouvelle à même d’insulter ceux qu’on considérait comme une « menace pour laavec leurs mauvais exemples de libertinage et d’« amour libre », comme on le disait avec mépris, ils représentaient un risque pour toute une génération studieuse et désireuse de réussir dans la vie. Eh bien cette multitude de jeunes chaque jour plus nombreuse se faisait passer des informations par un système que personne, absolument personne, n’arrivait à détecter.

Mais attention, le « Courrier Invisible » se souciait peu de discourir sur la dernière Volkswagen sortie ou sur les lessives en poudre à la mode dans le monde entier. Les nouvelles qu’il véhiculait se résumaient à la prochaine grande route qu’allaient parcourir ces jeunes insolents, sales, qui pratiquaient l’« amour libre » et s’habillaient d’une façon choquante pour les gens de bon goût. Les filles couvraient de fleurs leurs cheveux tressés et portaient des jupes longues, des blouses colorées sans soutien-gorge, des colliers aux perles et aux couleurs les plus diverses ; les garçons avaient la barbe et les cheveux longs, des jeans délavés usés jusqu’à la corde, car les jeans étaient chers partout dans le monde, sauf aux États-Unis – où ils avaient quitté les ghettos ouvriers pour se répandre dans les gigantesques concerts de San Francisco et ses alentours.

Si le « Courrier Invisible » existait, c’était parce que ces jeunes étaient toujours fourrés dans les concerts, à échanger sur les lieux où il fallait aller et sur les façons de découvrir le monde sans devoir monter dans un car de tourisme, où un guide décrivait les paysages pendant que les plus jeunes s’ennuyaient et que les plus vieux s’endormaient. Et société et les bonnes moeurs ». Et ainsi, par le bouche-à-oreille, ils savaient tous où se tiendrait le prochain concert ou quelle serait la prochaine grande route à parcourir. L’argent n’était une limite pour personne, parce que l’auteur préféré de cette communauté n’était ni Platon ni Aristote, ni les bandes dessinées des rares dessinateurs à avoir accédé au statut de célébrité.

Non, le livre qui accompagnait presque chacun sur le Vieux Continent s’intitulait L’Europe à cinq dollars par jour d’Arthur Frommer.

On pouvait y trouver où se loger, où manger, ce qu’il y avait à voir, où se retrouver et où écouter de la musique live sans presque rien dépenser. La seule erreur de Frommer était d’avoir limité son guide à l’Europe. N’y avait-il pas d’autres endroits intéressants ? Les gens n’étaient-ils pas plus enclins à aller en Inde qu’à Paris ? Frommer allait combler cette lacune quelques années plus tard. En attendant, c’était le « Courrier Invisible » qui se chargeait de promouvoir un parcours à travers l’Amérique du Sud jusqu’à l’ancienne cité perdue de Machu Picchu. Tout en recommandant de ne pas trop en parler aux noninitiés, sous peine de voir le lieu rapidement envahi par des barbares munis d’appareils photo et par des guides débitant d’interminables discours (vite oubliés), qui expliquaient comment un groupe d’Indiens avait créé une cité cachée, indétectable hormis du ciel – ce qu’ils pensaient impossible, puisque les hommes ne volaient pas.

Soyons précis : il existait en fait un second grand best-seller, pas aussi populaire que le livre de Frommer, mais que dévoraient tous ceux qui avaient déjà eu leur période socialiste, marxiste, anarchiste – des périodes débouchant toujours sur une profonde désillusion de ces courants inventés par des individus qui proclamaient : « La prise de pouvoir des travailleurs du monde entier est inévitable », ou : « La religion est l’opium du peuple », une phrase absurde prouvant que son auteur ne comprenait rien au peuple et encore moins à l’opium.

Parce que ces jeunes mal habillés, entre autres choses, croyaient en Dieu, aux dieux, aux déesses, aux anges et aux choses de ce genre. Le seul problème était que ce livre-là, Le Matin des magiciens, écrit par le Français Louis Pauwels et le Russe Jacques Bergier – scientifique de renom, ancien espion, chercheur infatigable en occultisme –, disait exactement le contraire des ouvrages politiques : le monde comportait des mystères passionnants, des alchimistes, des mages, des Cathares, des Templiers. Le contenu de cet ouvrage et les énigmes qu’il mentionnait l’empêchaient de devenir un grand succès de librairie, d’autant qu’un seul exemplaire était lu par au moins dix personnes d’affilée, vu son coût exorbitant. Enfin, comme il parlait aussi de Machu Picchu, tout le monde voulait aller au Pérou.


Mais revenons à nos moutons : des jeunes du monde entier, qui avaient au moins pu obtenir ce bien inestimable appelé « passeport », se rencontraient sur les fameuses « routes hippies ». Personne ne savait exactement ce que le mot hippie signifiait, et ça n’avait aucune forme d’importance. Peut-être « grande tribu sans chef » ou « marginaux pacifiques », ou encore toutes les descriptions faites en ouverture de ce chapitre.

Les passeports, ces petits carnets fournis par le gouvernement et soigneusement gardés, avec plus ou moins d’argent (peu importait) dans une pochette accrochée par un élastique à la ceinture, avaient deux finalités. La première, comme nous le savons tous, était de permettre le passage des frontières, du moment que les douaniers ne se laissaient pas embobiner par les journaux et ne refoulaient pas le porteur à cause de ces vêtements, ces cheveux, ces fleurs, ces colliers, ces perles et ces sourires qui semblaient dus à un état d’extase constant – communément, mais injustement, attribué aux drogues démoniaques que ces hurluberlus consommaient, selon la presse, en quantités exponentielles.

La seconde fonction du passeport était de venir au secours de son détenteur en cas de situations extrêmes, quand il n’avait plus un sou et personne à qui demander de l’aide. Le fameux « Courrier Invisible» était toujours là pour indiquer les lieux où le petit carnet pouvait être vendu. Le prix variait selon le pays : un passeport de Suède, où tout le monde était grand et blond aux yeux clairs, ne coûtait pas bien cher : il ne pouvait être revendu qu’à des grands blonds aux yeux clairs, qui en général n’étaient pas légion. Mais un passeport brésilien valait une fortune au marché noir – puisque au Brésil, en plus de grands et blonds aux yeux clairs, il y avait aussi des Noirs de toute taille aux yeux marron, des Asiatiques aux yeux bridés, des Métis, des Indiens, des Arabes, des Juifs… Bref, cet immense bouillon de culture expliquait que ce document d’identité soit l’un des plus convoités de la planète.

Une fois le passeport vendu, son propriétaire initial se rendait au consulat de son pays et, feignant la terreur et l’abattement, racontait qu’on l’avait agressé et qu’on lui avait tout volé : il se retrouvait sans argent et sans papiers. Les consulats des pays les plus riches offraient alors un passeport et un billet de retour gratuit, billet que le plaignant refusait aussitôt sous prétexte que « quelqu’un me doit pas mal  d’argent, je dois le récupérer avant ». Quant à ceux des pays pauvres, en général soumis à des  gouvernements plus sévères, aux mains des militaires, ils menaient une véritable enquête pour savoir si le demandeur ne figurait pas sur la liste des « terroristes » recherchés pour subversion. Après avoir constaté que la jeune femme ou le jeune homme avait un casier judiciaire vierge, ils étaient obligés, bien malgré eux, de lui fournir le sésame. En  revanche, ces consulats n’offraient aucun billet de retour, ne voyant pas l’intérêt de renvoyer dans leur propre pays ces aberrations vivantes qui risquaient d’influencer toute une génération éduquée dans le respect de Dieu, de la famille et de la propriété.


Pour en revenir aux destinations : après Machu Picchu, ce fut le tour de Tiahuanaco, en Bolivie. Puis de Lhassa, au Tibet, où il était très difficile d’entrer, toujours selon le « Courrier Invisible », à cause d’une révolte des moines contre les gardes rouges chinois. L’existence de ces heurts paraissait peu probable, néanmoins personne n’allait risquer un si long voyage pour se retrouver prisonnier d’un camp ou d’un autre. Mais les philosophes de l’époque, les Beatles, qui s’étaient justement séparés en avril de cette année-là, avaient annoncé peu avant que la grande sagesse de la planète se trouvait en Inde. Il n’en fallut pas plus pour attirer là-bas des jeunes du monde entier, en quête de sagesse, connaissance, gourous, voeux de pauvreté, illumination, rencontre avec My Sweet Lord.

Le « Courrier Invisible », toutefois, annonça que le grand gourou des Beatles, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, avait fait des avances à Mia Farrow, une actrice qui avait connu des déceptions amoureuses. Elle s’était rendue en Inde sur l’invitation du groupe, peut-être pour se guérir des traumatismes liés à ces histoires qui semblaient la poursuivre comme un mauvais karma.

Mais tout indiquait que le karma de Mia Farrow avait lui aussi voyagé jusqu’à cet endroit, avec John, Paul, George et Ringo. D’après ses dires, elle était en train de méditer dans la grotte du grand gourou  quand il l’avait attrapée et avait voulu la forcer à coucher avec lui. À cette époque, Ringo était déjà rentré en Angleterre, sa femme détestant la nourriture indienne, et Paul aussi avait quitté les lieux, convaincu que cela ne le mènerait nulle part.

Seuls George et John étaient encore au temple de Maharishi quand Mia les rejoignit, en larmes, et leur raconta sa mésaventure. Ils firent leurs valises sur-lechamp et quand l’Illuminé vint leur demander ce qui se passait, Lennon lui répondit sèchement :

« Si tu es si illuminé que ça, tu le sais très bien, abruti ! »


Mais en septembre 1970, les femmes dominaient le monde – ou plus exactement, les jeunes femmes hippies dominaient le monde. Les hommes leur mangeaient dans la main et savaient très bien que ce n’était pas la mode qui les séduisait – elles étaient bien meilleures qu’eux en la matière –, alors ils prirent le parti d’accepter une fois pour toutes qu’ils dépendaient d’elles et adoptèrent un air d’abandon et de supplique implicite : « Protège-moi, je suis seul et je n’arrive à rencontrer personne, je crois que le monde m’a oublié et que l’amour m’a quitté pour toujours. » Elles choisissaient leurs mâles sans penser une seule seconde au mariage, juste à passer un bon moment grâce à une partie de jambes en l’air   intense et créative. Et elles avaient toujours le dernier mot, aussi bien pour des sujets importants que pour des choses accessoires et superficielles. Alors quand le « Courrier Invisible » répandit la nouvelle de l’agression sexuelle qu’avait subie Mia Farrow et de la phrase lancée par Lennon, tout le monde changea aussitôt de destination.

Une autre route hippie fut créée : Amsterdam (Pays-Bas) – Katmandou (Népal), dans un bus dont le billet coûtait moins de 100 dollars et qui traversait des pays certainement très intéressants : la Turquie, le Liban, l’Iran, l’Irak, l’Afghanistan, le Pakistan et une partie de l’Inde (très loin du temple de Maharishi, soit dit au passage). Le voyage durait de longues semaines et parcourait une quantité incroyable de kilomètres.



Karla était assise place du Dam et se demandait quand l’individu qui l’accompagnerait dans cette aventure magique (à ses yeux, bien sûr) allait bien pouvoir apparaître. Elle avait quitté son emploi à Rotterdam, qui n’était qu’à une heure de train, mais désireuse d’économiser le moindre centime elle était venue en stop, ce qui lui avait pris presque une journée. Elle avait découvert l’existence d’un bus pour le Népal dans un des nombreux journaux alternatifs
que des gens convaincus d’avoir quelque chose à dire au monde fabriquaient avec beaucoup de sueur, d’amour et de travail, pour les vendre ensuite à un prix dérisoire.

Au bout d’une semaine d’attente, ses nerfs commencèrent à s’échauffer. Elle avait abordé une dizaine de garçons venus du monde entier, qui n’avaient d’autre ambition que de rester ici, sur cette place sans le moindre attrait, mis à part un monument en forme de phallus qui aurait au moins dû stimuler leur virilité et leur courage. Mais non : aucun d’entre eux n’était prêt à aller dans des endroits aussi inconnus.

Ce n’était pas une question de distance : la plupart venaient des États-Unis, d’Amérique latine, d’Australie ou d’autres pays lointains, ils avaient donc dépensé une somme d’argent considérable pour leurs billets d’avion et dû passer de nombreux postes-frontières,  où ils pouvaient se faire refouler et renvoyer dans leurs pays d’origine sans même avoir connu l’une des deux capitales du monde. Ils débarquaient là, s’asseyaient sur cette place sans charme, fumaient de la marijuana, se réjouissaient de pouvoir le faire au nez et à la barbe des policiers, et se faisaient littéralement séquestrer par des sectes et des religions qui abondaient en ville. Ils oubliaient, pour un temps du moins, ce dont on leur rebattait les oreilles : « Fiston, tu dois aller à l’université, couper ces cheveux ; ne fais pas honte à tes parents sinon les autres (mais quels autres ?) vont raconter que nous t’avons mal élevé ; ce que tu écoutes ce n’est pas de la musique ; il est temps que tu trouves un travail, regarde ton frère (ou ta soeur) qui est plus jeune et qui peut se faire plaisir avec son argent sans rien nous demander. »
Loin de la sempiternelle litanie familiale, ils étaient devenus libres. Et ils étaient heureux, parce que les voyages forment la jeunesse  – mais l’expliquer à ses parents était une autre paire de manches.
« Papa, je sais que tu veux que j’aie un diplôme, mais je pourrai en avoir un n’importe quand, maintenant j’ai besoin d’expérience. »

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

EM PORTUGUES: Quando você achou que eu não estava olhando

by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan
When you thought I wasn’t looking
You hung my first painting on the refrigerator
And I wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You fed a stray cat
And I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You baked a birthday cake just for me
And I knew that little things were special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You said a prayer
And I believed there was a God that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You kissed me good-night
And I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw tears come from your eyes
And I learned that sometimes things hurt””
But that it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You smiled
And it made me want to look that pretty too.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
You cared
And I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking””
I looked . . .
And wanted to say thanks
For all those things you did
When you thought I wasn’t looking.

The hidden face of love


For a good part of my life, one of those stories left me very intrigued: the myth of Psyche.

Once upon a time … a beautiful princess was admired by all but nobody dared to ask for her hand in marriage. In despair, the king consulted the god Apollo, who told him that Psyche should be left alone, dressed in mourning, on top of a mountain. Before day broke a serpent would come to meet and marry her. The king obeyed, and all night the princess waited, in terror and dying of cold, for her husband to appear.

She finally fell asleep. When she awoke she was in a beautiful palace, transformed into a queen. Every night her husband came to her and they made love, but he had imposed a sole condition: Psyche could have all she desired but she had to show utter trust and could never see his face.

The young woman lived happily for a long time; she had comfort, affection, happiness, she was in love with the man who came to her every night. However, now and again she was afraid she was married to a horrid serpent. Early one morning, while her husband was sleeping, she shone a lamp on the bed, and saw lying there by her side Eros (or Cupid), a man of exceptional beauty. The light woke him up; he discovered that the woman he loved was incapable of respecting his only desire, and disappeared.

Whenever I read this text, I used to wonder: can we never discover the face of love?


10 SEC READ: Offending you (Engl, Port, Espa, Fran)


You only understand the power and importance of forgiveness if you had been forgiven. The short story below illlustrates this:

During a pilgrimage to a sacred place, a holy man began to feel the presence of God. In the midst of a trance he knelt down, hid his face and prayed:
“Lord, I ask for only one thing in life: that I be given the grace of never offending you.”

“I cannot grant you that grace,” answered the Almighty. ‘If you don’t offend me I shall have no reason to pardon you. If I have no need to pardon you, soon you will also forget the importance of mercy towards others.

“So go on your way with Love and let me grant pardon now and again so that you don’t forget that virtue as well.”



Durante uma peregrinação a um lugar sagrado, o homem santo comçou a sentir a presení§a de Deus ao seu lado. Ajoelhou-se, escondeu a face e rezou
“Senhor, peço apenas uma coisa nesta vida; que me seja concedida a graça de jamais ofende-Lo.

“Ní£o posso lhe conceder esta graça” – respondeu o Altí­ssimo. ” Se vo nao me ofender, eu não terei necessidade de perdoa-lo. Se eu não precisar perdoa-lo, voce em breve esquecerá a importância da compaixão pelos outros”.

“Portanto, continue seu caminho com amor, e permita-me perdoa-lo de vez em quando, para manter lembra-lo sempre desta virtude”


NO QUIERO OFENDERTE (trad. José Ureña)

Solo entiendes el poder y la importancia del perdón si has sido perdonado. La corta historia a continuación lo ilustra:
Durante un peregrinaje a un lugar sagrado, un hombre santo comenzó a sentir la presencia de Dios. En medio del trance, se arrodilló, escondió su cara y rezó:
“Señor, te pido solo una cosa en mi vida, que se me dé la gracia de nunca ofenderte.”
“No puedo concederte esa gracia”, responde el Todopoderoso. “Si no me ofendes no tendré motivos para perdonarte. Si no necesito perdonarte, pronto se te olvidará la importancia de la misericordia hacia los demás”
“Así­ que sigue tu camino con amor y déjame concederte perdón una y otra vez para que no olvides la importancia de esta virtud.”


“JE NE VEUX PAS T’OFFENSER” (trad. Marie-Christine)

Tu comprends seulement le pouvoir et l’importance du pardon si tu as ete pardonne. La courte histoire ci-dessous illustre ceci:

Pendant un pelerinage dans un endroit religieux, un saint homme commenca a sentir la presence de Dieu. Au milieu d’une transe il se mit a genoux, cacha son visage et se mit a prier.
“Seigneur, je te demande seulement une chose dans la vie que me soit donne la grace de ne jamais t’offenser”.
“Je ne peux pas t’accorder cette grace” repondit le tout-puissant. Si tu ne m’offusques pas je n’aurais aucune raison de te pardonner. Si je n’ai aucun besoin de te pardonner, bientot tu oublieras agalement l’importance de la pitie envers les autres.”

“Alors, vas vers ton chemin avec Amour et laisses-moi accorder le pardon de temps en temps pour que tu n’oublies pas cette vertu aussi.”

Character of the week: Henry Miller

Example moves the world more than doctrine. Every man has his own destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.

Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself. In becoming an end it defeats itself.

Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself. In the attempt to defeat death man has been inevitably obliged to defeat life, for the two are inextricably related. Life moves on to death, and to deny one is to deny the other.

Moralities, ethics, laws, customs, beliefs, doctrines – these are of trifling import. One of the reasons why so few of us ever act, instead of react, is because we are continually stifling our deepest impulses. All that matters is that the miraculous become the norm.
Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything. The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.

Henry Valentine Miller (26 December 1891 – 7 June 1980) was an American novelist and painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of ‘novel’ that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism. For the author of this blog, he is one of the best writers of the XX Century



6 Mistakes That Smart People Never Make Twice

by Piyush Sharma


Everybody makes mistakes, as it is only human. But there are a very few among us who actually learn from our mistakes. The first step is to accept your mistake and make peace with it, and only then can you expect yourself to make a change.

This is what celebrated author Paulo Coelho has to say on repeating your mistakes,  “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.”

Here are few mistakes that smart people never make twice, something that the rest of us can learn from:

1. Repeating The Same Mistake Again & Again And Expecting Different Results

Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice That You Can Learn From© The Quote

As the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has said, “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you are going to double your inventiveness.”

You cannot get a different result if you put the same constants in the same equation. If you know smoking or drinking is making your health worse, then you need to quit it and not keep dreaming about quitting someday. If you want to change the end result, you need to change the input as well.

2. Spending Over The Budget

Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice That You Can Learn From© AZ Quote`

Your friends might be planning a trip, but if you join them even though it is out of your budget, then you are in trouble. You might be having a serious problem of always being in debt. In simple words, you need to learn how to live under your means. Smart people never make that mistake twice. If they know skipping a latte can help them save Rs. 6,000 a year, then they will save it and will take the advantage of an opportunity of investing when it knocks on their door.

3. Losing Sight Of The Ultimate Goal

It is easy to lose sight of the big picture when you get busy in the daily schedule of your work life. You may skip working hard once in a while, come late to office or take a leave without informing on time. These could be some of the factors that may be taken into account at the time of your appraisals. Now, maybe getting a 50 percent raise this year was your particular goal but you lost the motivation to chase down the dream somewhere in between.

4. Playing The Victim

Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice That You Can Learn From© Thinkstock

Take this particular relationship for instance. A partner in a relationship always acts as a victim and another one acts as the one who is given the responsibility to solve his partners’ problem. Do you think this relationship can thrive? Can someone solve your problems for you? No. The person who is trying to solve the problem in such situations often fails, as he is doing it for the sake of being acceptable or liked in favor of solving that problem.

After learning a lesson the hard way, smart people do not indulge in such a relationship or consider using such metrics to measure their happiness.

5. Trying To Be Someone Else Or Being A People Pleaser

Everyone knows that it is practically impossible to make everyone happy, also that it is a toxic practice. However, smart people know the importance of authenticity and very rarely change their behavior for the sake of pleasing the ones before them. The more authentic your behavior is, you’ll find yourself in a better circle of people who respect you.

For example, in Russia, people often speak out what they have in mind and not what they are expected to say, as per the culture followed in western countries. They prefer keeping it straight and honest, even if it sounds rude at first. They believe in speaking their mind and not what others want to hear. Now, you might be thinking how does that help them? Shouldn’t one be always polite? Well, such a level of honesty helps them in developing trust. They don’t tend to fake it just to be liked.

6. Trying To Change Someone Else

Smart people are fully aware that no one can change them besides themselves, nor do they possess the ability to bring about a major change in someone else.



We and the critics

I am convinced that most of you also feel hurt when someone criticizes your work. Don’t take critics too seriously. They don’t have the power to make (or to avoid) someone buying a book, a CD, or to go to an exhibition. Don’t give them the importance they don’t have. They are trying to make a living, and that’s all.

If I did not manage to convince you, please read the comments below:

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. ~ Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her. ~ David Brinkley

A painting in a museum probably hears more foolish remarks than anything else in the world. ~ Edmond and Jules De Goncourt

To escape criticism — do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper. ~ Errol Flynn

If criticism had any power to harm, the skunk would be extinct by now. ~ Fred Allen

Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind. ~ Hamilton Mabie

Before you criticize people, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away. And you have their shoes. ~ JK Lambert

A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy. ~ Jean Baudrillard

I have always been very fond of them (drama critics) . . . I think it is so frightfully clever of them to go night after night to the theatre and know so little about it. ~ Noel Coward

Sticks and stones are hard on bones, aimed with angry art,
Words can sting like anything but silence breaks the heart.
~ Phyllis McGinley

A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. ~ Samuel Johnson

If any human being earnestly desire to push on to new discoveries instead of just retaining and using the old; to win victories over Nature as a worker rather than over hostile critics as a disputant; to attain , in fact, clear and demonstrative knowlegde instead of attractive and probable theory; we invite him as a true son of Science to join our ranks. ~Sir Francis Bacon

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves. ~ Brendan Francis Behan

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

HIPPIE – primeiro capítulo


Em setembro de 1970, dois locais disputavam o privilégio de ser considerados o centro do mundo: Picadilly Circus, na Inglaterra, e o Dam, em Amsterdã. Mas nem todo mundo sabia disso: se perguntassem à maior parte das pessoas, elas teriam respondido: “a Casa Branca, nos EUA, e o Kremlin na URSS”. Porque essas pessoas se informavam por jornais, televisão, rádio, meios de comunicação já completamente ultrapassados e que jamais voltariam a ter a relevância que tiveram quando foram inventados.

Em setembro de 1970, as passagens de avião eram caríssimas, o que permitia apenas a uma elite viajar. Bem, não é exatamente assim: uma multidão imensa de jovens, que os antigos meios de comunicação se concentravam apenas no aspecto externo: cabelos longos, roupas coloridas, que não tomavam banho (o que era uma mentira, mas os jovens não liam jornais, e os adultos acreditavam em qualquer notícia capaz de insultar aqueles que consideravam uma “ameaça para a sociedade e os bons costumes”), que ameaçavam uma geração inteira de moços e moças estudiosos procurando vencer na vida com seus péssimos exemplos de libertinagem e “amor livre” como gostavam de dizer com desprezo. Pois bem, essa multidão cada vez mais numerosa de jovens tinha um sistema de divulgar noticias que ninguém, absolutamente ninguém, conseguia detectar.

Entretanto, o “Correio Invisível” estava pouco ligando para divulgar e comentar o novo modelo da Volkswagen ou os novos tipos de sabão em pó que acabara de ler lançado no mundo inteiro. Suas notícias resumiam-se a qual seria a próxima grande trilha a ser percorrida por aqueles jovens insolentes, sujos, praticantes de “amor livre” e usando roupas que nenhuma pessoa de bom gosto seria capaz de vestir. As meninas com seus cabelos em trança coberto de flores e suas saias longas, blusas coloridas sem nenhum sutiã para esconder os seios, colares de todo tipo de cores e contas; os rapazes com cabelos e barba sem cortar a meses, usando jeans desbotados e rasgados de tanto uso, porque jeans eram caros em toda parte do mundo, exceto nos EUA – onde tinham deixado o gueto dos trabalhadores de fábrica e agora eram vistos nos gigantescos concertos em San Francisco e arredores.
O “Correio Invisível” existia porque as pessoas estavam sempre nesses concertos, trocando ideia sobre onde deveriam se encontrar, como podiam descobrir o mundo sem entrar em um ônibus de turismo onde um guia ia descrevendo as paisagens enquanto as pessoas mais jovens se entediavam e os velhos dormiam. E assim, através do chamado boca-a-boca, todos no mundo sabiam onde seria o próximo concerto ou a próxima grande trilha a ser percorrida. E não existiam limites financeiros para ninguém, porque o autor preferido de todos desta comunidade não era nem Platão nem Aristóteles, nem os comics de alguns desenhistas que haviam ganhado o status de celebridade. O grande livro, que praticamente ninguém viajava para o velho continente sem ele, chamava-se Europa a 5 dólares por dia. Nele todos podiam saber onde se hospedar, o que ver, onde comer e onde eram os pontos de encontro e os lugares onde se podia assistir música ao vivo sem gastar praticamente nada.

O único erro do Frommer foi ter, na época, limitado seu guia à Europa. Não existiam outros lugares interessantes, por acaso? As pessoas não estavam mais dispostas a ir para a Índia do que para Paris? Frommer corrigiria tal falha alguns anos depois, mas enquanto isso o “Correio Invisível” se encarregou de promover uma rota na América do Sul, em direção à ex-cidade perdida de Machu Picchu, alertando a todos que não comentassem muito com quem não conhecia a cultura hippie, ou em breve o lugar seria invadido por bárbaros com suas máquinas fotográficas e as extensas explicações (rapidamente esquecidas) de como um bando de índios haviam criado uma cidade tão bem escondida que só poderia ser descoberta do alto – algo que eles julgavam incapaz de acontecer, porque homens não voam.
Sejamos justos: existia um segundo e imenso best-seller, não tão popular como o livro do Frommer, mas que era consumido por gente que já tinha vivido sua fase socialista, marxista, anarquista, todas terminando em uma profunda desilusão com o sistema inventado por aqueles que diziam que era “inevitável a tomada do poder pelos trabalhadores no mundo inteiro.” Ou que “a religião é o ópio do povo”, provando que quem dissera frase tão estúpida não entendia de povo e muito menos de ópio. Porque entre as coisas que os jovens malvestidos, roupas diferentes, sem tomar banho etc. acreditavam era em Deus, deuses, deusas, anjos e coisas do tipo. O único problema é que tal livro, chamado O despertar dos mágicos de autoria de dois autores, o francês Louis Pawels e russo Jacques Bergier – matemático, ex-espião, pesquisador incansável de ocultismo, que dizia exatamente o contrário: o mundo está composto de coisas interessantíssimas, existem alquimistas, magos, cátaros, templários, e outras palavras que faziam com que nunca fosse um grande sucesso de livraria, porque um exemplar era lido por – no mínimo – dez pessoas, dado a seu custo exorbitante. Enfim, Machu Picchu estava no livro, e todos queriam ir até lá, no Peru, e ali estavam jovens do mundo inteiro (bem, do mundo inteiro é um pouco de exagero, porque os que viviam na URSS não tinham assim tanta facilidade em sair dos seus países).

Mas enfim, voltando ao assunto: jovens de todos os lugares do mundo, que conseguiam pelo menos um bem inestimável chamado “passaporte”, encontravam-se nas chamadas “trilhas hippie”. Ninguém sabia exatamente o que a palavra “hippie” queria dizer, e isso não tinha a menor importância. Talvez seu significado fosse “uma grande tribo sem líder” ou “marginais que não assaltam”, ou todas as descrições já feitas logo na abertura deste capítulo.
Os passaportes, estas pequenas cadernetas fornecidas pelo governo, colocados em uma bolsa presa na cintura junto com o dinheiro (pouco ou muito era irrelevante) tinham duas finalidades. A primeira, como todos sabemos, era poder atravessar fronteiras – desde que os guardas não se deixassem levar pelas notícias que liam, e resolvessem mandar a pessoa de volta porque não estavam acostumados com aquelas roupas e aqueles cabelos e aquelas flores e aqueles colares e aquelas miçangas e aqueles sorrisos de quem parecia estar em um constante estado de êxtase – normalmente, mas injustamente, atribuídos às drogas demoníacas que, dizia a imprensa, os jovens consumiam em quantidades cada vez maiores.

A segunda função do passaporte era livrar seu portador de situações extremas – quando o dinheiro acabava por completo e ele não tinha a quem recorrer. O tal “Correio Invisível” sempre fornecia a informação necessária dos locais onde ele poderia ser vendido. O preço variava de acordo com o país: um passaporte da Suécia, onde todos eram louros, altos e de olhos claros, valia muito pouco – já que só poderia ser revendido a louros, altos, de olhos claros, e esses geralmente não estavam na lista dos mais requisitados. Mas um passaporte do Brasil valia uma fortuna no mercado paralelo – já que o Brasil, além de louros, altos e de olhos claros, também tem negros altos e baixos de olhos escuros, orientais de olhos rasgados, mulatos, índios, árabes, judeus, enfim, um imenso caldo de cultura que terminava resultando em um dos mais cobiçados documentos do planeta.
Uma vez vendido o passaporte, o portador original ia até o consulado do seu país e, fingindo terror e depressão, dizia que tinha sido assaltado e que roubaram tudo – estava sem dinheiro e sem passaporte. Os consulados de países mais ricos ofereciam passaporte e passagem grátis de volta ao país, o que era imediatamente rejeitado, sob a alegação de que “alguém está me devendo uma boa quantia, preciso antes receber o que é meu”. Os países pobres, normalmente baixo a severos sistemas de governo, nas mãos de militares, faziam uma verdadeira enquete para ver se o requerente não estava na lista de “terroristas” procurados por subversão. Uma vez que constatavam que a moça (ou o rapaz) tinha ficha limpa, eram obrigados, contra a vontade, a fornecer o documento. Nem sequer ofereciam passagem de volta, porque não havia interesse em ter aquelas aberrações influenciando uma geração que estava sendo educada respeitando Deus, a família e a propriedade.


Voltando às trilhas: depois de Machu Picchu foi a vez de Tiahuanaco, na Bolívia. Em seguida, Lhasa, no Tibete, onde era muito difícil de entrar porque havia, segundo o “Correio Invisível”, uma guerra entre os monges e os soldados chineses. Claro que era difícil imaginar esta guerra, mas todo mundo acreditava e não iria arriscar uma longuíssima viagem apenas para terminar prisioneiro dos monges ou dos soldados.

Finalmente os grandes filósofos da época – Lennon, McCartney, Harrison e Starr –  que justamente haviam se separado em abril daquele ano – anunciaram que a grande sabedoria do planeta estava na Índia. Foi o bastante para que jovens do mundo inteiro se dirigissem ao país em busca de sabedoria, conhecimento, gurus, votos de pobreza, iluminação, encontro com o My Sweet Lord.
O “Correio Invisível”, porém, avisou que o grande guru dos Beatles, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, havia tentado seduzir e ter relações sexuais com Mia Farrow, uma atriz que no decorrer dos anos tivera sempre experiências amorosas infelizes, e tinha ido para a Índia a convite dos Beatles, possivelmente para curar-se dos traumas relacionado à sexualidade que parecia persegui-la como um carma ruim.
Mas tudo indica que o carma de Mia Farrow iria também viajar para o mesmo lugar, junto com John, Paul, George e Ringo. Segundo ela, estava meditando na caverna do grande guru quando ele a agarrou e tentou forçá-la a ter relações sexuais. A essa altura, Ringo já tinha voltado para a Inglaterra porque a mulher detestava comida indiana, e Paul também resolveu abandonar o retiro, convencido que aquilo não o estava levando a lugar nenhum.
Apenas George e John permaneciam no templo de Maharishi quando Mia chegou até eles, em lágrimas, e contou o que tinha acontecido. Imediatamente os dois arrumaram suas malas e, quando o Iluminado veio perguntar o que estava acontecendo, a resposta de Lennon foi contundente:
“Se você é tão f*** iluminado, você sabe muito bem”

Ora, em setembro de 1970 as mulheres dominavam o mundo – melhor dizendo, as jovens hippies dominavam o mundo. Os homens andavam de lá para cá sabendo que o que as seduzia não era a moda – elas eram muito melhores que eles no assunto -, de modo que resolveram aceitar de uma vez por todas que eram dependentes, viviam com o ar de abandono e o pedido implícito de “proteja-me, estou sozinho e não consigo encontrar ninguém, acho que o mundo me esqueceu e o amor me abandonou para sempre” . Elas escolhiam seus machos e nunca pensavam em casar, apenas em passar um bom e divertido tempo com um intenso e criativo sexo. E, tanto em coisas importantes como superficiais e irrelevantes, a última voz era mesmo delas. Portanto, quando o “Correio Invisível” espalhou a notícia do assédio sexual de Mia Farrow e da frase de Lennon, imediatamente decidiram mudar de rota.
Outra trilha hippie foi criada: de Amsterdã (Holanda) até Kathmandu (Nepal), em um ônibus que custava aproximadamente 100 dólares, e atravessava países que deviam ser muito interessantes: Turquia, Líbano, Iran, Iraque, Afeganistão, Paquistão e parte da Índia (bem longe do templo de Maharishi, diga-se de passagem). A viagem demorava três semanas e percorria um número infinito de quilômetros.


Karla estava sentada no Dam perguntando quando o sujeito que deveria acompanhá-la nesta mágica aventura (segundo ela, claro) ia chegar. Abandonara seu emprego em Rotterdam, que estava a apenas à uma hora de trem, mas como precisava economizar cada centavo, viera de carona e a viagem demorara quase um dia. Descobrira a viagem de ônibus para o Nepal em uma das dezenas de jornais alternativos que eram feitos com muito suor, amor e trabalho por gente que achava ter algo a dizer para o mundo, e em seguida vendidos por uma quantia insignificante.
Depois de uma semana esperando, começou a ficar nervosa. Tinha abordado uma dezena de rapazes vindos do mundo inteiro, interessados apenas em ficar ali, naquela praça sem o menor atrativo além de um monumento em forma de falo, o que pelo menos deveria estimular a virilidade e a coragem. Mas não; nenhum deles estava disposto a ir para lugares tão desconhecidos.
Não se tratava de distância: a maioria era dos EUA, América Latina, Austrália e outros países que exigiam dinheiro para as passagens caríssimas de avião e muitos postos de fronteira onde poderiam ser barrados e ter que voltar para seus países de origem sem conhecer uma das duas capitais do mundo. Chegavam ali, sentavam-se na praça sem graça, fumavam marijuana, alegravam-se porque podiam fazer isso sob a vista de policiais, e começavam a ser literalmente sequestrados por seitas a cultos que abundavam na cidade. Esqueciam pelo menos por algum tempo o que viviam escutando: meu filho você tem que ir para a universidade, cortar esse cabelo, não envergonhe seus pais porque os outros (os outros?) vão dizer que lhe demos uma péssima educação, isso que você escuta NÃO é música, já é hora de arranjar um trabalho, ou veja o exemplo do seu irmão (ou irmã) que mesmo mais jovem que você já tem dinheiro suficiente para sustentar seus prazeres e não precisam pedir nada para nós.
Longe da eterna ladainha da família, eram agora pessoas livres, e a Europa era um lugar seguro (desde que não se aventurassem a atravessar a famosa Cortina de Ferro, “invadindo” um país comunista), e eles estavam contentes, porque em viagem se aprende tudo que irá ser necessário para o resto da vida, desde que não precisem explicar isso aos pais.
“Meu pai, eu sei que você quer que eu tenha um diploma, mas isso eu posso ter a qualquer momento da vida, o que preciso agora é experiência”.
Não havia pai que entendesse esta lógica, e só restava mesmo juntar algum dinheiro, vender alguma coisa, e sair de casa quando eles estavam dormindo.
Tudo bem, Karla estava cercada de pessoas livres e determinadas a viver coisas que a maioria não estava tendo coragem de viver. Mas por que não ir de ônibus para Kathmandu? Porque, respondiam, não é Europa. É completamente desconhecida para nós. Se acontecer alguma coisa, sempre podemos ir até o consulado e pedir para sermos repatriados (Karla não conhecia um só caso onde isso tinha ocorrido, mas era a lenda e a lenda vira verdade quando é muito repetida).

No quinto dia esperando aquele que ela iria designar como seu “acompanhante”, começou a ficar desesperada – estava gastando dinheiro em um dormitório, quando podia facilmente dormir no Magic Bus (esse era o nome oficial do ônibus de 100 dólares e milhares de quilômetros). Resolveu entrar no consultório de uma vidente onde passava sempre antes de ir para o Dam. A vidente, como sempre, estava vazia – em setembro de 1970 todo mundo tinha poderes paranormais, ou os estavam desenvolvendo. Mas Karla era uma mulher prática e, embora também meditasse todos os dias e estivesse convencida que havia começado a desenvolver sua terceira visão – um ponto invisível que fica entre os olhos -, até o momento só tinha encontrado rapazes errados, mesmo que sua intuição garantisse que eram certos.
Portanto, resolveu apelar para a vidente, sobretudo porque aquela espera sem fim (já se haviam passado quase uma semana, uma eternidade!) a estava levando a considerar seguir adiante com uma companhia feminina, o que podia ser um suicídio, sobretudo porque atravessariam muitos países onde duas mulheres sozinhas seriam no mínimo mal vistas e, na pior das hipóteses, segundo sua avó, terminariam sendo vendidas como “escravas brancas”.


Parents and children

When I was young, my parents sent me to a mental institution three times ( 1966, 1967, 1968). The reasons in my medical files are banal. It was said that I was isolated, hostile and miserable at school. I was not crazy but I was rather just a 17-year-old who really wanted to become a writer. Because no one understood this, I was locked up for months and fed with tranquilizers. The therapy merely consisted of giving me electroshocks. I promised to myself that one day I would write about this experience, so young people will understand that we have to fight for our own dreams from a very early stage of our lives.

When I realeased “Veronika decides to die”, a book that was a metaphor of my experience in a lunatic asylum, the press started asking me if I forgave my parents. In fact, I did not need to forgive them, because I never blamed them for what happened. From their own point-of-view, they were trying to help me to get the discipline necessary to accomplish my deeds as an adult, and to forget the “dreams of a teenager” .

Khalil Gibran has an excellent text about parents and children:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Lessons I learned

By Ozzy Etomi

One of the stunning books that changed my life is “Manuscript Found In Accra” by Paul Coehlo. It was recommended to me by an awesome friend, and every now and again, I read my highlighted excerpts to refresh my mind on these amazing life lessons. I, like many others, fell in love with ‘The Alchemist’ many moons ago, but it was this book that truly took my breath away. It felt like I was having a conversation with my soul.

I decided to take a breather today and share them with you:

Seek friends and allies among people who believe in what they are doing and in who they are. Because friendship is one of the many faces of love and love is not swayed by opinions; Love accepts its companion unconditionally and allows each to grow in their own way.”

“People who seek only success rarely find it: for it is not an end, but a consequence. It is the fruit of a seed you have lovingly planted.”

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

“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.”

“Avoid those who talk a great deal before acting, those who never take a step without being quite sure what it will bring them.”

“Stay close to those who, when you make a mistake, never said : “I would have done it differently”. They did not make that particular mistake, and are in no position to judge”

“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.”

“Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.

If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.
And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.”

“We are used to thinking that what we give is the same as what we receive, but people who love, expecting to be loved in return, are wasting their time.
Love is an act of faith, not an exchange.”

“We forget everything we are taught about love, because each new encounter brings its own agonies and its own ecstasies”

“In a desperate attempt to give meaning to life, many turn to religion, because a struggle in the name of faith is always a justification for some grand action that could transform the world. “We are doing God’s work”, they tell themselves. And they become devout followers, then evangelists, then finally fanatics. But they don’t understand that religion was created in order to share the mystery and to worship, not to oppress or convert others”

“Don’t allow your wounds transform you into someone you’re not”

I hope these words leave you feeling inspired, encouraged & reassured.

21 inspiring Paulo Coelho Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Posted by P. Charitha

Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian lyricist and novelist is best known for his widely translated novel The Alchemist. A successful writer with the highest number of social media followers reaching over 29.5 million fans through his Facebook page and 12.2 million followers on Twitter, he uploaded his personal papers online to create a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation.
Check out these inspiring quotes from his Blog which will motivate and keep you going steady in your entrepreneurial journey! We start with this quote.
“Fortunate are those who take the first Steps.”
So pat yourself on the back and move forward with your new idea and start the journey!

Believe in your Dreams
 “People are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of.”
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now.”
“You are what you believe yourself to be.”
“When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.”
When you Fail
“Never give up.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”
“Don’t give in to your fears, if you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
Keep the positivity Flowing
“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.”
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: never lie to yourself.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
It’s not an easy Journey
“Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.”
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
Take that Risk
“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”
“A life without cause is a life without Effect.”
In those many moments of ups and downs where you have been told that it’s too risky or it’s not worth all the trouble & money keep fighting for your dream  because if you :
“Fight for your dreams and your dreams will fight for you.”
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it is lethal.”