Conversations with my master – The mystery

By Paulo Coelho Capture

(from my notebook, August 1982)

– What are we doing on Earth?

– Truly? I don’t know. I have looked in many corners, in light and dark places; today, I am convinced that no one knows – Only God.

– That is not a good answer, for a master.

– It is an honest answer. I know many people who will explain to you in great detail, the meaning of our existence. Don’t believe them, these people are tied to an ancient language, and only believe in things which have an explanation.

– Does that mean there is no reason to live?

– You do not understand what I am saying. I said I don’t know the reason. But of course there is a reason we are here, and God knows it.

– Why doesn’t he reveal it to us?

– He reveals it to each of us, but in a language we often do not accept, because it has no logic – and we are too accustomed to directions and formulas.

“Our heart knows why we are here. Whoever listens to his heart, follows the signs, and lives his Personal Legend, will understand that he is taking part in something, even if he doesn’t comprehend it rationally. There is a tradition which says that, the second before our death, we realize the true reason for our existence. And at that moment, Hell and Heaven are born.

– I don’t understand.

– During this split second, Hell is to look back and know that we wasted an opportunity to honor God and dignify the miracle of life. Heaven, at that moment, is to be able to say: “I made some mistakes, but I was not a coward: I lived my life, and did what I had to do.” Both Hell and Heaven will accompany us for a long time, but not forever.

– How can I know that I am living my life?

– Because, instead of bitterness, you feel enthusiasm. That is the only difference. Apart from that, one must respect the Mystery, and humbly accept that God has a plan for us. A generous plan, which leads us towards His presence, and which justifies these millions of stars, planets, black holes, etc. which we see tonight, here in Oslo (we were in Norway) .

– It is very difficult to live without an explanation.

– Can you explain why man needs to give and receive love? No. And you live with that, don’t you? Not only do you live with it, but it is the most important thing in your life: love. And there is no explanation.

“In the same way, there is no explanation of life. But there is a reason we are here, and you must be humble enough to accept that. Trust what I say; the life of each human being has a meaning, although he commits the error of spending the greater part of his time on earth seeking an answer, and meanwhile forgets to live.

“I can give you an example from a time when I came close to understanding all this. I had arrived at a party to commemorate 50 years since my graduation from high school. There, at the school where I studied as a teenager, I found many friends. We drank, told the same jokes as half a century ago.

“At a certain moment, I looked out onto the schoolyard. There, I saw myself as a child, playing, looking at life with amazement and intensity. Suddenly, the child that I saw began to take form and came over to me.

“He looked at me and smiled. Then I understood that I hadn’t betrayed my youthful dreams. That the child I had once been was still proud of me. That the reason to live that I had as a child, was still alive in my heart.

“Try to live with the same intensity as a child. He doesn’t ask for explanations; he dives into each day as if it were a new adventure and, at night, sleeps tired and happy.”

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Tales of Zen wisdom – The gift of insults

By Paulo Coelho

Near Tokyo lived a great Samurai warrior, now old, who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people. In spite of his age, the legend was that he could defeat any adversary.

One afternoon, a warrior – known for his complete lack of scruples – arrived there. He was famous for using techniques of provocation: he waited until his adversary made the first move and, being gifted with an enviable intelligence in order to repair any mistakes made, he counterattacked with fulminating speed.

The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight. Hearing of the Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him, and increase his fame.

All the students were against the idea, but the old man accepted the challenge.

All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult under the sun – he even insulted his ancestors. For hours, he did everything to provoke him, but the old man remained impassive. At the end of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and humiliated, the impetuous warrior left.

Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked:

– How could you bear such indignity? Why didn’t you use your sword, even knowing you might lose the fight, instead of displaying your cowardice in front of us all?

– If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, who does the gift belong to? – asked the Samurai.

– He who tried to deliver it – replied one of his disciples.

– The same goes for envy, anger and insults – said the master. – When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to the one who carried them.

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The desert priests

During the early part of the Christian era, the monastery at Scete became a center where many people gathered. After renouncing everything they had, they went to live in the desert surrounding the monastery. Many of the teachings of these men have been collected and published in numerous books.The stories of the desert priests

Judging my neighbor

One of the monks of Scete committed a grave error, and the wisest hermit was called upon to judge him.

The hermit refused, but they insisted so much that in the end he agreed to go. He arrived carrying on his back a bucket with holes in it, out of which poured sand.

– I have come to judge my neighbor – said the hermit to the head of the convent. – My sins are pouring out behind me, like the sand running from this bucket. But since I don’t look back, and pay no attention to my own sins, I was called upon to judge my neighbor!

The monks called a halt to the punishment immediately.

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A question by Anne-Sophie

In your books you are proving, that you have great feeling for contemporary human and his distresses. What do you think in what direction is going the future man? Will he be capable to survive and save his integrity, creativeness and intellect, and above all mental health?

It’s always very tricky to talk about “mental health”: I’ve been committed as a teenager to a clinic institution.
I felt in my own skin the burden of being cataloged as “mentally disturbed” just because i didn’t fit into the social norms.

In my wanderings I came to believe that a person has a personal legend to fulfill. What is a personal legend? It is the reason why we are alive.
In my case this legend was to share my ideas with others through writing.

We have dreams, that are not necessarily the dreams that our parents or society had for us.
So, we must get rid of the idea of fulfilling what people expect us to do, and start to do what we expect from our lives. The message in my book “Veronika decides to die” is that: dare to be different. You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns.

Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person.

Something out of the ordinary

By Paulo Coelho

A warrior of the light always does something out of the ordinary. He may dance in the street as he walks to work. Or look into the eyes of a stranger and speak of love at first sight. From time to time, a warrior puts forward an idea which may sound ridiculous, but which he believes in.

The warriors of the light allow themselves such days.

He is not afraid to weep over old grievances, or to marvel at new discoveries. When he feels the time is right, he leaves everything behind and goes after the dream he has longed for. When he understands that he is at the limits of his resistance, he withdraws from the combat, without blaming himself for having committed one or two unexpected reckless acts.

A warrior does not spend his days trying to act out the part that others have chosen for him.

(taken from “Warrior of the Light: A Manual” )

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” )

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15 SEC READING: Insult the dead


A novice went to Abbot Macarius seeking advice about the best way to please the Lord.

– Go to the cemetery and insult the dead – said Macarius.

The brother did as he was told. The following day, he returned to Macarius.

– Did they respond? – asked the abbot.

The novice said no, they didn’t.

– Then go to them and praise them.

The novice obeyed. That same afternoon, he returned to the abbot, who again wished to know whether the dead had responded.

– No – said the novice.

– In order to please the Lord, behave as they do – said Macarius.

“Pay no heed to the insults of men, nor to their praise; in this way, you shall forge your own path.”
 
 
 

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Fundaí§í£o Paulo Coelho (beta)

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Se meu trabalho resistir ao tempo, sempre haverá curiosidade em saber como vivi meus dias.
Meus manuscritos. Meus diários. Os recortes de imprensa. As crí­ticas. As cartas dos leitores. E por aí­ vai.
Resolvi criar uma Fundaí§í£o Virtual onde todo este material poderá ser acessado – em qualquer lugar do mundo.

Um local fí­sico ní£o basta – a pesquisa seria limitada í queles que podem vir até Genebra, onde estamos instalando a Fundaí§í£o Paulo Coelho (abertura no final de 2014).
Assim, decidimos colocar todo o material na nuvem.
O portal que estí£o vendo é uma versí£o beta. Podem ocorrer muitos erros durante a navegaí§í£o.

Quem puder colaborar conosco, apontando melhoras, por favor enviar um email para Ertz Porfirio
Muito obrigado.

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10 SEC READING: The right tolerance


 
The warriors of light always keeps their hearts clean of feelings of hatred.

When they go to fight, they always remember Christ’s words: “love your enemies”.

And the warriors obey.

But they know that the act of forgiving foes does not force them to accept everything.

Warrior cannot lower their heads – otherwise they lose sight of the horizon of their dreams.

The warrior notes that the adversaries are there to test our persistence, our ability to make decisions.
Adversaries are a blessing – because they force the warriors of light to fight for their dreams.

Love your enemy. But never forget: he is not your friend.

 
_____________________________________________
in WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT: A MANUAL
 
 

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

We learned that the life of flight attendant you met at Transylvania was the trigger for writing The Witch of Portobello. From the impression you received from her, which part was deeply reflected to Athena?

In October 2005, I met in Transylvania a roman stewardess that told me how she had been adopted by an Austrian family and about her gypsy roots. She was merely the starting point of the novel. From this meeting I started to wave the threads of a story that for a long time I wanted to tell: the feminine side of God. The character of Athena was the Ariadne’s thread in my novel’s labyrinth.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Your books usually are on similar subjects of alchemy, spirituality, witchcraft, magic, sexuality, still what is it that differentiates them?

When I start a new book, I try to approach myself from a different angle. In The Alchemist, for example, I was trying to explain to myself what writing meant to me. The way I found to do this was through a metaphor.

In Eleven Minutes, I started with the question of why sexuality is considered one of the major issues in life. But I had my doubts. And that’s why the hero asks if it’s true that the world could revolve around 11 minutes. I talked a lot about sexual relations in the novel, but in the end I doubt if the world really revolves around sex.

In The Zahir, on the other hand, there is a kind of a snapshot of my present moment as a famous writer. The novel is full of comments on what it means to be rich and famous, on the nature of marriage and the responsibilities of the writer.

In The Witch of Portobello I wanted to explore the feminine side of divinity, I wanted to plunge into the heart of the Great Mother.

In Brida, a book that I wrote in 1990, I plunge into the life of a woman that is trying to understand love and that has to go through many traditions, many paths of knowledge before finding her own.

All these stories, characters bare the seal of my personality, but each has its own path, its own identity.

Virtual Exhibition for 100 Million copies

Hirata from Japan

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

In ‘The Alchemist’ there are words such as Philosopher’s stone, Soul of the world, Elixir of life, Emerald Tablet, Language of the world. Do you think these words will be able to communicate with the new generations who have mobile phones stuck in their ears all the time?
 
There is nothing wrong with mobile phones or Internet – they make people get in touch, and this is wonderful. Having said that, the symbolic language is the only one capable of crossing the barriers of cultures and prejudices. Dance or music, for example, is purely symbolic, and that’s why, when you go to a foreing country, the first thing that someone gives to you is a CD with local songs. Maturity, for me, it is the moment before decadence begins. We should not try to be mature, but to keep the sacred flame of youthful folly into our hearts.

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Is your Philosopher’s stone and J.K. Rowling’s (author of Harry Potter) Philosopher’s stone the same stone?

They are the same stone, based in the classic alchemy books.

Paulo Coelho ser como el rio que fluye

Dear Readers,
a blogger last friday – Ivan – sent me the link of this video inspired on one of my texts from the collection : Like a Flowing River.

Thank you
Paulo

Reflections of the Warrior of the Light – Through and beyond

By Paulo Coelho

A warrior of the light notices that certain moments repeat themselves.

He often finds himself faced with the same problems and situations as before.

He becomes depressed. He begins to think he is incapable of making progress in life, the difficult moments having returned.

“I’ve already been through this”, he complains to his heart.

“It is true, you have been through it”, replies the heart. “But you never went beyond it.”

The warrior then understands that the repetition of experiences have one single purpose: to teach him that he has not yet learned.

He begins to seek out a new solution for each repeated struggle – until he finds a way of conquering.

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Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

A Warrior of Light cannot always choose his battlefield.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)

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