Archives for July 2007

Virtue that offends

By Paulo Coelho

Abbot Pastor was out walking with a monk from Sceta when they were invited to a meal. The owner of the house, honoured by the monks’ presence, ordered that only the very best of everything should be served.

However, the monk was in the middle of a period of fasting, and when the food arrived, he took a single pea and chewed it very slowly. He ate only that one pea during the whole of supper.

As they were leaving, the Abbot said to him:

‘Brother, when you go to visit someone, do not make of your sanctity an insult. The next time you are fasting simply decline any invitations to supper.’

The monk understood what the Abbot meant. From then on, whenever he was with other people, he did as they did.

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Book Review: The Alchemist by Betty Wong

The Alchemist is a wonderfully simple story of a young shepherd who follows his dreams of treasure and encounters many experiences and people, learning wisdom and life lessons along the way. Paulo Coelho has skillfully woven many bits of truth and wisdom about life into this masterpiece, and it is a true delight to read. Just like it teaches, it is not the destination, but the journey with this book, that counts.
It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for buried treasure, or for love, or for the secret of turning lead into gold. It doesn’t matter if you die trying, never reaching your goal. It doesn’t matter if you don’t find what you’re looking for, once you get there. What matters is what you’ve brought with you on the way, and what you’ve learned along the way. The people you meet, the hardships and heartaches you go through, the lessons your experiences has taught you.
The Alchemist tells you how to turn lead into gold. It tells you of the wonder and the uncertainty of change and evolution, the secret of enjoying the beauty of life without becoming hardened by the harshness of reality, the art of living in the moment without worrying about the past or the future, and most importantly, the ultimate secret of the universe, that we are all interconnected. We are all one.
It has been compared to Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince and Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. I have read both, and while they both have their own beauty and teach their own wisdom, The Alchemist touches people in its own quiet way.
What I like about the book is that …
Please visit Blogcritics Magazine or Betty’s Blog to read the rest of the article written by her.

Too much renunciation

By Paulo Coelho

I met the painter Miie Tamaki during a seminar on Female Energy. I asked what her religion was.

‘I don’t have a religion any more,’ she said.

Noticing my look of surprise, she added:

‘I was brought up as a Buddhist. The monks taught me that the spiritual road was one of constant renunciation: we must overcome our feelings of envy and hatred, any doubts about our faith and any desires. I managed to free myself from all of that until one day my heart was empty; my sins had all disappeared, but so had my human nature. At first, I was very pleased, but I came to realise that I no longer shared the joys and passions of the people around me. That was when I abandoned religion. Now I have my conflicts, my moments of rage and despair, but I know that I am once more close to other people and, therefore, close to God.’

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The Brazilian who established a library in Lebanon by Marina Sarruf*

Pharès Zoghbi, born in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, moved to the Arab country at the age of 12, to live with his uncle. A passion and mania of reading and keeping books made Zoghbi establish one of the largest libraries in the country, with over 65,000 books, including some Brazilian works.
Sí£o Paulo – At the age of 12, Pharès Zoghbi left his native Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil, to live with his uncle in Kornet Chehwan, in the Mount Lebanon region, in Lebanon. Not speaking Arabic and with just a primary school certificate in hands, the boy had to fight to adapt. Today, aged 81, Zoghbi is the founder of one of the largest libraries in the Arab country, Pharès Zoghbi Cultural Foundation, with over 65,000 books.
Most of them are legal, as Zoghbi graduated in law, but the library also has literature, art, science, politics, sociology, religion and philosophy books, as well as biographies and rare collections of magazines, like “Espirit”, a French magazine that has been published since 1932. “With his humanistic spirit, he always visited bookstores while travelling to Beirut, Iran, Iraq, Europe and Brazil. A true biographer,” stated Roberto Khatlab, a writer and friend of Zoghbi’s, who was also born in Brazil and lives in Lebanon.
According to him, the library has books in several languages, mostly French, but also in Arabic and English. The library also includes Portuguese books, over 100 about law, sociology, religion, art, geography, politics, language, anthropology, immigration and literature. Among the works are books by authors like Jorge Amado, Zélia Gattai, Gilberto Freyre, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Luis Fernando Verí­ssimo, Paulo Coelho, Celso Furtado, Darcy Ribeiro, Mansour Chalita, Jalusa Abaide and Khatlab himself.
According to him, apart from the books written in Portuguese about Brazil, the library also includes works about the country in French, English, Spanish and Arabic. “Through literature, the Lebanese learn about Brazil in its several aspects. I love receiving Brazilians in the library due to the nostalgia for my homeland,” stated Zoghbi.
The library is located in Zoghbi’s house itself. “It is an ancient house, very large and has three storeys,” stated Khatlab. From the beginning, Zoghbi lent his books to friends, and little by little the inhabitants of Kornet Chehwan started visiting his house to consult his books.
In the 1990s, the library also received some of his private books, and donations, further increasing the volume of works and becoming a reference in humanities and social sciences. In 2002, Zoghbi decided to donate his books to the Law and Political Science College at Saint-Joseph University, of French origin, one of the largest in Lebanon, where he graduated. The university’s headquarters are in Beirut, but one of the campuses is in the Monte Lebanon region.
According to Khatlab, who has also made donations to the library, it would be interesting for Brazilian authors to donate some of their works to further enrich the library, which is a reference of Brazil in Lebanon. Contacts may be made through the university:
In 2004, Zoghbi was granted the Choucri Cardahi Award by the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences of the French Institute due to his importance as a lawyer and intellectual. In the following year, he was also awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the president of France.
Due to reading so many books, Zoghbi also started publishing his own works. In 1998, he published his autobiography: “Livres Ouverts – Une Vie de Souvenirs” (Open Books – A Life of Memoirs) and “Liban: Líª Salut par la Culture” (Lebanon: Salvation through Culture). Zoghbi also published a series of articles in the French language Beirut newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour, between 1982 and 1987.
*Translated by Mark Ament
This article is written by Marina Sarruf @ ANBA : Brazil-Arab News Agency.

On the road to our (broken) dreams

Turn my witch novel into a magical film, author tells fans by Thomas Catan

One of the world’s bestselling authors has turned to his readers for help in bringing his latest book to the silver screen.
On his internet blog, Paulo Coelho said that he had been impressed by the efforts of his fans to interpret his works and decided to harness their talents to make the film of The Witch of Portobello, a story set in London.
“I’ve been visiting the pages of readers this last year and I’ve seen excellent works by actresses & actors, musicians, directors,” Coelho wrote. “That’s why I thought: why not make a movie together?”
The Witch of Portobello is the story of a young Romanian orphan who is adopted by a Lebanese couple. She opens her heart, gains intoxicating powers and becomes a controversial spiritual leader in London. In the book Athena’s life story is told in the form of interviews with the other characters. So Coelho has asked aspiring film-makers to tell the tale from the point of view of one of the 13 characters in the book that interact with Athena “” or through the eyes of a narrator. The Brazilian-born writer told fans to post their entry for the collaborative screenplay on the internet site YouTube. A winner will be chosen for each category.
In addition to a €3,000 (£2,000) prize, each winner will have the film edited by professionals and screened at film festivals around the world.
Musicians are also being asked to use MySpace, the internet site popular with aspiring pop stars, to send ideas for the soundtrack. The winners will be given a prize of €1,500 and must sign away the rights for the film, though not the record rights. MySpace is owned by News Corp, the parent company of The Times.
“From my point of view, while retaining authorship rights, I’ll be diving into a new experience and seeing beforehand the plurality of views about my book,” wrote Coelho.
“From the contestant’s perspective, if we manage to close the deal with big festivals and/or distributors, they will acquire a wider visibility. Last but not least, we would be doing a bit of cinematographic history together: a film directed by its narrators!”
Those interested must sign up by March 19, 2008. The results will be announced by July 25, 2008.
Best known for The Alchemist, the prolific 60-year-old author has penned eight novels, two memoirs and several other volumes. He has sold nearly 100 million books, and his works have been translated into 64 languages. Coelho’s fans admire his easy prose style, complex characters and inspirational stories; his detractors dismiss his works as treacly New Age self-help manuals.
This article is written by Thomas Catan @ TimesOnline

Did you ever see me singing?

The Zahir : The emotions that I experienced by Ishita Bardhan

I just completed reading the book by Paulo Coelho “The Zahir”. It is a fantastic story of an individual’s journey of discovering himself. This book has created two very powerful reactions in me. One of complete agreement to what the author has to say. The other of disagreement because it raises in me several unanswered questions that I have come to know as valid questions in these 31 years of my life.
In this book the author explains how he had to loose his inhibitions, his past and all the boundaries set by society in order to find true love and discover himself. His theory is based on a constant, that the society and human history teaches us the norms of “good” or “bad” the “normal” or the “abnormal”. We use and follow rules blindly, The rules set by history of the civilization that we now call our own. His construct is based on his belief that in order to be able to enjoy life to the fullest and help others to enjoy life to the fullest, a human mind has to break away from the bounds of society and norms and feel the free wind of independence. Then and only then can one love unconditionally and passionately.
Reaction One: Just to give an example, I understand and agree to where the author is coming from and I understand the reality in his thoughts. For example, ‘the institution of marriage having originated from the need to make food available for all’ this is a radical idea that is so unique and possibly true.
Indiscriminate copulation in the ancient man’s tribe caused …
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Fragen & Antworten

Beschreibung des Buches

Die Lebensgeschichte von Sherine, die sich später Athena nannte, wird anhand von Interviews aufgezeichnet, die Menschen gegeben haben, die sie sie gut oder auch nur wenig kannten – von ihren Eltern, Kollegen, Lehrern, Freunden, Bekannten, ihrem Ex-Ehemann.

Der Roman enthüllt Athenas geheimnisvolle Herkunft, erzählt von ihrer Adoption in einem Waisenhaus in Rumänien und ihrer Kindheit in Beirut, wo sie bei ihren Adoptiveltern aufwächst, mit denen sie, als dort der Krieg ausbricht, ins Exil nach London geht, wo ihr Leben eine aufregende Wendung nimmt. Athena, die “žDie Hexe von Portobello” genannt wurde, weil sie die prophetische Gaben zu haben scheint, verschwindet auf dramatische Art und Weise und überlässt es denjenigen, die sie gekannt haben, das Geheimnis ihres Lebens und ihres unvermittelten Verschwindens zu enträtseln.

Fragen & Antworten

F: Wie würden Sie das zentrale Thema Ihres letzten Romans mit wenigen Worten zusammenfassen?

A.: Es ist schwierig ein Buch mit wenigen Worten zusammenfassen, aber ich würde sagen, es geht darin um das Erwachen der weiblichen Energie in Männern und Frauen.

F.: Was ist der Unterschied zwischen weiblicher Energie und männlicher Energie? Warum sollen wir unsere weibliche Seite entwickeln? Was ist schlecht an der männlichen Seite?

A: Beide Energien werden gebraucht. Wir müssen mitfühlend und unerbittlich sein. Christus hat beides geheiligt: die Energie des Brotes, das fest ist, und die Energie des Weins, der flüssig und daher anpassungsfähig ist. Häufig zerstört nicht das Schwert den Stein, sondern die Geduld des Wassers.

F: Was unterscheidet diesen Roman von ihren vorangegangenen?

A: Der Stil ist anders. Der Roman besteht aus Zeugnissen von Menschen, die die Hauptperson, Athena, kannten. In diesem Roman hat zudem meine Hauptfigur ein Kind. Es ist das erste Mal, dass in meinem Roman ein Kind vorkommt.

F.: Beruht die Idee zu diesem Roman auf einer realen Begebenheit in Ihrem Leben?

A.: Ja, im Oktober 2005 bin ich in Transsylvanien einer rumänischen Stewardess begegnet, die mich zur Geschichte von Athena inspiriert hat. Sie hat mir erzählt, dass sie von einer österreichischen Familie adoptiert wurde und davon, dass sie von Roma abstammt. Sie war natürlich nur der Ausgangspunkt für den Roman. Aber es fließen noch unzählige andere Situationen und Menschen mit ein, denen ich in meinem Leben begegnet bin. Auch von mir ist etwas in Athena enthalten.

F. Sie haben in diesem Buch heikle Themen behandelt wie die Frage von Vorurteilen, religiöser Intoleranz und Dogmen. Befürchten Sie nicht, wegen dieses Romans von der katholischen Kirche exkommuniziert zu werden? Schließlich vertreten Sie in diesem Buch die Vorstellung von Gott als Großer Mutter.

A. Das befürchte ich nicht. Ich ziehe mich einmal im Jahr in der Benediktinerabtei Stift Melk in í–sterreich zurück. Dort habe ich mich mit Abt Burkhard über katholische Traditionen unterhalten, und dabei kam das Gespräch auch auf die Tatsache, dass Frauen in der katholischen Kirche kaum eine Rolle spielen. Er sagte mir, die Benediktiner hätten durchaus Gebete, die der Gottmutter geweiht seien. Ich denke, in 200 Jahren wird diese weibliche Gottheit kein Tabu mehr sein.

F: Ein Thema, das immer wieder in diesem Buch auftaucht, ist das der “žleeren Stellen”, mit denen Athena leben muss. Hat Paulo Coehlo auch “žleere Stellen”?

A. Selbstverständlich. Wer hat sie nicht? Das Problem besteht nicht darin, “žleere Stellen” zu haben, sondern darin, sich dies zuzugestehen. Die heutige Gesellschaft ist so sehr um Kohärenz bemüht, dass sie in die Falle des Irrglaubens geht, alles sei erklärbar. Die Gesellschaft versucht uns davon zu überzeugen, dass wir vollkommen durchsichtig zu sein haben, nicht nur für die anderen, sondern auch für uns selber. Darin liegt die Gefahr. Wir müssen hinnehmen, dass es Dinge gibt, die wir nicht verstehen, dass wir unsere “žleeren Stellen” haben und wir das Geheimnis respektieren und ehren müssen. Ich würde sagen, Athena ist meine weibliche Seite.

F. Glauben Sie an Hexen?

A. Selbstverständlich tue ich das. Leider ist das Wort “žHexe” mit vielen Vorurteilen behaftet. Meiner Meinung nach ist eine Hexe eine Frau, die imstande ist, ihr Handeln von ihrer Intuition leiten zu lassen, die mit ihrer Umgebung kommuniziert, die keine Angst hat, sich Herausforderungen zu stellen. In meinem neuen Roman geht es um die Vorurteile, denen moderne Hexen in der modernen Gesellschaft ausgesetzt sind.

F. Was ist mit der Angst, anders zu sein?

A. Diese Frage spreche ich in all meinen Büchern an. Ich spreche immer wieder darüber, wie wichtig es ist, das Anderssein zu akzeptieren. Diese Frage beschäftigt mich seit meiner Kindheit. Es war sehr wichtig für mich, mein Anderssein zu akzeptieren.

F. Ist es nicht einfacher, das Anderssein der anderen zu akzeptieren?

A. Allerdings, es ist schwieriger, zu akzeptieren, das die anderen anders als man selber ist, aber es ist auch kompliziert, das eigene Anderssein zu akzeptieren. Der Grund dafür ist, dass es immer Vorurteile gibt. Dass es immer Missverständnisse gibt. Es gibt ein ganzes festes System, das keine Veränderungen will, das nicht will, dass Menschen sich verändern. Allerdings erleben wir jetzt, dass dieses System sich dank Menschen wie Athena verändert. Sie ist der Prototyp, eine Art Ikone dieser mutigen Menschen, die die Gesellschaft und ihre Werte in Frage stellen.

F. Warum haben die Menschen so große Angst vor Veränderung?

Wenn man die Welt nicht verändert, verändert sie einen. Nur Vampire verändern sich nicht. Veränderungen sind notwendig, aber selbst wenn man sie nicht zulässt, wird man ihnen am Ende unterliegen… Tragödien, Unglück werden kommen, und man wird gezwungen sein, sich der neuen Situation anzupassen.

F. Eines der Themen des Buches ist die Unzufriedenheit …

A. Unzufriedenheit bewegt die Welt. Man braucht nur die Kinder zu sehen, die dichter dran sind am Wesen des Lebens. Sind sie zufrieden? Niemals. Ich denke, dass wir alle dieses Kind in uns tragen, das immer neugierig auf die Außenwelt ist.

F. Sind Sie zufrieden?

A. Nein, selbstverständlich nicht. Ich bin ein typischer Vertreter eines nie zufriedenen Menschen.

F: Wissen Sie, worum es in Ihrem Buch gehen wird, bevor Sie es schreiben?

A. Ich mache mir nie Notizen und weiß nie, wohin mich das Buch führen wird. Es wäre schrecklich uninteressant, hätte ich die ganze Geschichte schon im Kopf. Bei der Hexe von Portobello kam mir die Idee für den Abschluss nachts im Schlaf. Ich wachte mir ihr im Kopf auf, schrieb sie sofort in meinen PC und arbeitete die darauf folgenden Tage daran.

F. Ihr Buch endet am 25. Februar 2006, genau um 19:47 Uhr. Britische Genauigkeit, was die Zeit angeht?

A. Nachdem ich das Buch abgeschlossen hatte, schaute ich auf die Uhr meines Computers. Ich war fasziniert, da ich 1947 geboren wurde. Deshalb habe ich es in mein Manuskript geschrieben.

Wie Sie sehen, lasse ich mich von Zeichen führen. Zeichen sind die Sprache Gottes und führen uns zu dem Ziel, das uns bestimmt ist.

Es ist eine persönliche Sprache, die man im Laufe des Lebens verstehen lernt.

F. Was ist wichtig?

A. Das weiß man nie. Das kann man erst während der Reise herausbekommen. Alles beginnt mit einem Zeichen, das dich von einem Punkt zum anderen führt. Oder dich über etwas zum Nachdenken bringen, das du gerade tun willst.

F. Woran glauben Sie?

A. Ich glaube an Träume, an den Menschen und an die Göttin.

Sie widmen Ihr Buch S.F.X.? Wer ist das?

A. Ein Mann, der in sehr jungen Jahren alles aufgegeben hat, um seinem Traum zu folgen. Ich selbst habe viel länger gebraucht, bis ich meinem Traum folgte. Ich war fast 40, als ich beschloss, mich von meinem Traum leiten zu lassen. Ich hatte den Mut dazu, nachdem ich den Jakobsweg gegangen war.

F. Wie war das Experiment, über das Weblog Literatur zu verbreiten?

A. Erstaunlich. Das Experiment, 1/3 meines Buches in spanischer und portugiesischer Sprache im Weblog zur Verfügung zu stellen, versetzte meine Leser in die Lage, selber über den Wert des Buches zu entscheiden. Es gibt meiner Meinung nach für die Literatur nichts Besseres als diesen direkten Kontakt!

Das erste Kapitel von Die Hexe von Portobello wird am 20.8.07 online sein.

Botschaften zu jedem der Kapitel können im “ºReader’s Corner”¹ hinterlassen werden.

íœbersetzung: Maralde Meyer-Minnemann

Edií§í£o nº 152 : A árvore e seus frutos

A árvore e seus frutos

O guerreiro lembra-se do passado. Conhece a Busca Espiritual do homem, sabe que ela já escreveu algumas das melhores páginas da História.

E alguns de seus piores capí­tulos; massacres, sacrifí­cios, obscurantismo. Foi usada para fins particulares, e viu seus ideais servirem de escudo para manipulaí§íµes terrí­veis.

O guerreiro já ouviu comentários do tipo: “como vou  saber se este caminho é sério?” Viu muita gente abandonar a busca por ní£o saber responder a esta pergunta.

O  guerreiro, porém, ní£o tem dúvidas; segue uma fórmula infalí­vel. “Pelos frutos, conhecereis a árvore”, disse Jesus.

Ele segue esta regra, e ní£o erra nunca.

Os frutos de quem ní£o quer ouvir

Um profeta chegou em uma grande cidade da Pérsia, e multidíµes se reuniam í  sua volta todas as manhí£s. Mas o tempo foi passando, e sua presení§a deixou de ser novidade.

– Já sabemos tudo que nos tinha para dizer – comentavam, indo em busca de um novo profeta para ensinar-lhes o caminho.

Mesmo sem ninguém para escutá-lo, o profeta continuava indo até a praí§a, fazer seu sermí£o.

– Por que insiste em continuar aqui? – perguntou um menino. – ní£o víª que fala sozinho?

– Todo aquele que tem coragem de dizer o que sente na alma, está em contato com Deus. Eu procuro escutá-lo quando estou falando.

“O fato de ter uma platéia de vez em quando, ní£o muda nada”.

 Os frutos de quem ní£o quer receber

Durante um jantar no mosteiro de Sceta, o padre mais idoso levantou-se para servir água aos outros. Foi de mesa em mesa com muito esforí§o, mas nenhum dos padres aceitou.

” Somos indignos do servií§o deste santo”, pensavam.

Quando o velho chegou na mesa do abade Joí£o Pequeno, este pediu que enchesse seu copo até a borda.Os outros monges olharam horrorizados. No final do jantar,  cercaram Joí£o Pequeno:

– Como pode julgar-se digno de aceitar aquela água? Ní£o percebeu o sacrifí­cio que ele estava fazendo para servi-lo?

– Como posso impedir que o bem se manifeste? Vocíªs, que se acham santos, ní£o tiveram humildade para receber,  e o pobre homem ní£o teve a alegria de dar.

Os frutos do coraí§í£o humano

A tradií§í£o sufi conta a história de um rei que procurava bons pintores para decorar o seu palácio. Duas equipes – uma grega e uma chinesa – compareceram com seus melhores artistas, tentando conseguir um trabalho que renderia milhares de moedas de ouro.

Como teste, o rei pediu que cada uma decorasse uma parede de uma das salas. Para que um grupo ní£o visse o trabalho do outro, escolheu paredes opostas e colocou uma cortina no meio.

Os chineses pintaram a sua com o maior cuidado, enquanto os gregos apenas poliam sem parar a superfí­cie da outra. Chegou finalmente o dia em que o rei resolveu remover a cortina, e comparar os resultados.

De um lado viu a bela pintura chinesa. Na outra parede, que havia sido polida até transformar-se num espelho, o rei também viu a bela pintura chinesa – mas com sua própria imagem no meio.

– Este é melhor – disse o rei. E os gregos ganharam o emprego, porque souberam lidar com os frutos escondidos no coraí§í£o humano.

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Edición nº 152 : El árbol y sus frutos

El árbol y sus frutos

El guerrero recuerda el pasado. Conoce la Búsqueda

Espiritual del hombre, sabe que ella ya escribió algunas de las mejores páginas de la Historia.

Y algunos de sus peores capí­tulos; masacres, sacrificios, obscurantismo. Fue usada para fines particulares y vió sus ideales servir de escudo para manipulaciones terribles.

El guerrero ya oyó comentarios del tipo: “cómo voy a saber si este camino es serio?”. Vió mucha gente abandonar la búsqueda por no saber responder esta pregunta.

El guerrero, no obstante, no tiene dudas; sigue una fórmula infalible. “Por los frutos conoceréis el árbol, dijo Jesús.

Él sigue esta regla, y no se equivoca nunca.

Los frutos de quien no quiere oí­r

Un profeta llegó a una gran ciudad de Persia, y multitudes se reuní­an a su alrededor todas las mañanas. Pero el tiempo fue pasando y su presencia dejó de ser una novedad.

– Ya sabemos todo lo que tenia para decirnos – comentaban yendo en búsqueda de un nuevo profeta para que les enseñase el camino.

Pero aún sin nadie para que lo escuchase, el profeta continuaba yendo a la Plaza para hacer su sermón.

– Por qué insiste en continuar aquí­? – le preguntó un niño. – no ve que habla solo?

– Todo aquel que tiene el coraje de decir lo que su alma siente, está en contacto con Dios. Yo trato de escucharlo cuando estoy hablando. “El hecho de tener una platea de vez en cuando no cambia nada”
Los frutos de quien no quiere recibir

Durante una cena en el monasterio de Sceta, el padre de mayor edad se levantó para servir agua a los otros. Fue de mesa en mesa con mucho esfuerzo, pero ninguno de los padres aceptó.

“Somos indignos del servicio de este santo”, pensaban.

Cuando el anciano llegó a la mesa del abate Juan Pequeño, este pidió que le llenase su copa hasta el borde. Los otros monjes le miraron horrorizados. Al final de la cena, cercaron a Juan Pequeño:

– Cómo pudo juzgarse digno de aceptar aquella agua? No percibió el sacrificio que él estaba haciendo para servirlo?

– Cómo puedo impedir que el bien se manifieste? Ustedes que se creen santos, no tuvieron la humildad para recibir y el pobre hombre no tuvo la alegrí­a de quien da.

Los frutos del corazón humano

La tradición sufí­ cuenta la historia de um rey que buscaba buenos pintores para decorar su palacio. Dos equipos – uno griego y otro chino – comparecieron con sus mejores artistas, tratando de conseguir un trabajo que rendirí­a millares de monedas de oro.

Como test, el rey pidió que cada uno decorase una de las paredes de una de las salas. Para que un grupo no viese el trabajo del otro, eligió paredes opuestas y puso una cortina en el medio.

Los chinos pintaron la suya con el mayor cuidado, mientras que los griegos apenas pulí­an sin parar la superficie de la otra. Llegó finalmente el dí­a en que el rey resolvió sacar la cortina y comparar los resultados.

De un lado vió uma hermosa pintura china. En la otra pared, que habí­a sido pulida hasta transformarse en un espejo, el rey también vió la hermosa pintura china – pero con su propia imagen al medio.

– Este es el mejor – dijo el rey. Y los griegos ganaron el empleo, porque supieron lidiar con la vanidad ajena.

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The tree and its fruits

The tree and its fruits

A warrior remembers the past. He knows man’s Spiritual Quest, knows that this has accounted for some of the best pages in History.

And also some of its worst chapters; massacres, sacrifices, obscurantism. The Quest has been used for private ends and its ideals have served as a shield for terrible scheming.

The warrior has already heard comments of the type: “how am I to know if this is the right path?” He has seen many people give up the Quest because they did not know how to answer that question.

The warrior, however, has no doubts; he follows an infallible formula. “By its fruits you shall know the tree,” said Jesus.

He follows this rule, and it never fails.

The fruits of those who refuse to listen

A prophet arrived at a large city in Persia and crowds gathered around him every morning. But time passed and his presence was no longer a novelty.

“We already know all that you had to teach us,” they said, going to look for a new prophet to show them the way.

Even without anyone to listen to him, the prophet continued to go to the square to deliver his sermon.

“Why do you insist on continuing here?” asked a boy. “Don’t you see you’re talking to yourself?”

“Those who have the courage to say what they feel in their soul are in touch with God. I try to listen to Him when I am talking.

“The fact that now and again I have an audience does not change a thing.”

The fruits of those who refuse to receive

During a dinner at the Sceta monastery, the oldest priest rose to serve the others water. He moved from table to table with considerable effort, but none of the priests accepted.

“We are unworthy of the service of this saint,” they thought.

When the old man reached Abbot Little John’s table, he was asked to fill his glass to the very brim. The other monks looked on in horror. At the end of dinner, they surrounded Little John:

“How can you deem yourself worthy of accepting that water? Didn’t you notice the sacrifice he was making to serve you?”

“How can I stop good from manifesting itself? You who take yourselves for saints did not have the humility to receive, and deprived the poor man of the joy of giving.”

The fruits of the human heart

Sufi tradition tells the story of a king who looked for good painters to decorate his palace. Two teams – one Greek and one Chinese – appeared with their best artists, trying to obtain some work that would earn them thousands of gold pieces.

As a test, the king asked each of them to decorate a wall of one of the rooms. To prevent one group from seeing the work of the other, he chose opposite walls and hung a curtain in the middle.

The Chinese painted their wall with the utmost care, whereas the Greeks spent the whole time polishing the surface of the other wall over and over again. Finally the day arrived when the king decided to remove the curtain and compare the results.

On one side he saw the beautiful Chinese painting. On the other wall, which had been polished until it turned into a mirror, the king also saw the beautiful Chinese painting – but with his own image in the middle.

“This is the better,” said the king. And the Greeks won the contract, because they knew how to deal with the fruits hidden in the human heart.

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Edizione nº 152 : L’albero e i suoi frutti

L’albero e i suoi frutti

Il guerriero si ricorda del passato. Conosce la Ricerca Spirituale dell’uomo, sa che essa ha gií  scritto alcune tra le migliori pagine della Storia.

E alcuni tra i suoi peggiori capitoli: massacri, sacrifici, oscurantismo. íˆ stata usata per scopi privati, e ha visto i suoi ideali servire da scudo per terribili manipolazioni.

Il guerriero ha gií  udito commenti sul tipo: “come posso sapere se questo cammino è serio?”  Ha visto molta gente abbandonare la ricerca perché non sapeva rispondere a questa domanda.

Il guerriero, perí², non ha dubbi. Segue una formula infallibile: “Dai frutti, conoscerai l’albero”, disse Gesí¹.

Egli segue questa regola e non sbaglia mai.

I frutti di chi non vuole udire

Un profeta arriví² in una grande cittí  della Persia, dove le folle si riunivano intorno a lui tutte le mattine. Ma il tempo passava e la sua presenza cessí² di essere una novití .

– Ormai sappiamo tutto quello che aveva da dirci – commentavano, andando in cerca di un nuovo profeta che insegnasse loro il cammino.

Anche se non c’era nessuno ad ascoltarlo, il profeta continuava a recarsi in piazza a pronunciare il suo sermone.

– Perché insisti a rimanere qui? – gli domandí² un bambino. – Non vedi che parli da solo?

– Tutti coloro che hanno il coraggio di dire cií² che sentono nell’anima, sono in contatto con Dio. Io cerco di ascoltarli quando sto parlando.

“Il fatto di avere un pubblico di tanto in tanto, non cambia nulla”.

I frutti di chi non vuole ricevere

Durante una cena nel monastero di Sceta, il padre pií¹ anziano si alzí² per servire l’acqua agli altri. Andí² di tavolo in tavolo con grande fatica, ma nessuno dei padri accettí².

” Siamo indegni del servizio di questo santo”, pensavano.

Quando il vecchio arriví² al tavolo dell’abate Joí£o Pequeno, questi lo pregí² di riempirgli il bicchiere fino all’orlo. Gli altri monaci lo guardarono scandalizzati. Alla fine della cena, circondarono Joí£o Pequeno:

– Come potete giudicarvi degno di accettare quell’acqua? Non comprendete il sacrificio che egli stava facendo per servirvi?

– Come posso impedire che il bene si manifesti? Voi, che vi ritenete santi, non avete avuto l’umilta per ricevere, e il pover’uomo non ha avuto la gioia di dare.

I frutti del cuore umano

La tradizione sufi racconta la storia di un re che cercava dei bravi pittori per decorare il suo palazzo.  Due squadre – una greca e una cinese – si presentarono con i loro migliori artisti, tentando di acquisire un lavoro che avrebbe reso migliaia di monete d’oro.

Come prova, il re chiese a ciascuna di decorare la parete di una delle sale.  Affinché un gruppo non vedesse il lavoro dell’altro, scelse due pareti opposte e collocí² nel mezzo una tenda.

I cinesi dipinsero la loro con la massima cura, mentre i greci si limitavano a lustrare senza sosta la superficie dell’altra. Giunse finalmente il giorno in cui il re decise di rimuovere la tenda e confrontare i risultati.

Da un lato vide la bella pittura cinese. Sull’altra parete, che era stata lucidata fino a divenire uno specchio, il re vide ancora la bella pittura cinese, ma con la propria immagine nel mezzo.

– Questo è migliore – disse il re. E i greci ottennero il lavoro, perché seppero gestire i frutti nascosti nel cuore umano.

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Édition nº 152 : L’arbre et ses fruits

L’arbre et ses fruits

Le guerrier se souvient du passé. Il connaí®t la Quíªte Spirituelle de l’homme, il sait qu’elle a déjí  écrit quelques-unes des plus belles pages de l’Histoire.

Et certains de ses pires chapitres : massacres, sacrifices, obscurantisme. Utilisée í  des fins particulières, elle a vu ses idéaux servir de bouclier í  des manipulations terribles.

Le guerrier a déjí  entendu des commentaires du genre : « Comment saurais-je si ce chemin est sérieux ? » Il a vu beaucoup de gens renoncer í  la quíªte parce qu’ils ne savaient pas répondre í  cette question.

Le guerrier, lui, n’a pas de doutes ; il applique une formule infaillible. « Par les fruits, tu connaí®tras l’arbre », a dit Jésus.

Il suit cette règle, et il ne se trompe jamais.

Les fruits de ceux qui ne veulent pas entendre

Un prophète était arrivé dans une grande ville de Perse, et tous les matins, des foules se rassemblaient autour de lui. Mais le temps passa et sa présence cessa d’íªtre une nouveauté.

« Nous savons déjí  tout ce qu’il avait í  nous dire – commentaient les gens, partant í  la recherche d’un nouveau prophète pour leur enseigner le chemin. »

Míªme sans personne pour l’écouter, le prophète continuait í  se rendre sur la place, et faire son sermon.

« Pourquoi persistez-vous í  rester ici ? demanda un jeune garí§on. Ne voyez-vous pas que vous parlez tout seul ?

– Celui qui a le courage de dire ce qu’il sent dans son í¢me est en contact avec Dieu. Je tí¢che de l’écouter quand je parle.

« Le fait d’avoir un auditoire de temps en temps ne change rien. »

Les fruits de ceux qui ne veulent pas recevoir

Au cours d’un dí®ner au monastère de Sceta, le doyen des religieux se leva pour servir de l’eau aux autres. Il alla péniblement d’une table í  l’autre, mais aucun des pères n’accepta.

« Nous sommes indignes du service de ce saint », pensaient-ils.

Quand le vieux parvint í  la table de l’abbé Petit Jean, celui-ci lui demanda de remplir son verre jusqu’au bord. Les autres moines regardèrent, horrifiés. í€ la fin du dí®ner, ils entourèrent Petit Jean :

« Comment pouvez-vous vous juger digne d’accepter cette eau ? N’avez-vous pas compris le sacrifice qu’il faisait pour vous servir ?

– Comment pourrais-je empíªcher que le bien se manifeste ? Vous, qui vous croyez saints, vous n’avez pas eu l’humilité d’accepter, et le pauvre homme n’a pas eu la joie de donner. »

Les fruits du cœur humain

La tradition soufie raconte l’histoire d’un roi qui cherchait de bons peintres pour décorer son palais. Deux équipes – une grecque et une chinoise – se présentèrent avec leurs meilleurs artistes, pour tenter d’obtenir un travail qui rapporterait des milliers de pièces d’or.

Comme épreuve, le roi demanda que chaque équipe décore un mur de l’une des salles. Pour qu’un groupe ne voie pas le travail de l’autre, il choisit des murs opposés et plaí§a un rideau au milieu.

Les Chinois peignirent leur mur avec le plus grand soin, tandis que les Grecs polissaient simplement sans arríªt la surface de l’autre. Arriva enfin le jour oí¹ le roi décida de retirer le rideau et de comparer les résultats.

D’un cí´té il vit la belle peinture chinoise. Sur l’autre mur, qui avait été poli au point de se transformer en miroir, le roi vit aussi la belle peinture chinoise – mais avec sa propre image au milieu.

« Celui-ci est plus beau », dit le roi. Et les Grecs obtinrent l’emploi, car ils avaient su s’y prendre avec les fruits cachés dans le cÅ“ur humain.

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The duck and the cat

By Paulo Coelho

‘How did you enter the spiritual life?’ asked a disciple of the Sufi master Shams Tabrizi.

‘My mother said that I wasn’t mad enough for the madhouse or holy enough for the monastery,’ replied Tabrizi. ‘So I decided to devote myself to Sufism, in which we learn through free meditation.’

‘And how did you explain that to your mother?’

‘By telling her the following fable: someone placed a duckling in the care of a female cat. He followed his adoptive mother everywhere; then, one day, they came to the edge of a lake. The duck immediately plunged into the water, while the cat called out from the shore:

‘Come out of there at once, you’ll drown!’

And the duckling replied:

‘No, I won’t, Mama, I’ve discovered what is good for me and I know that I’m in my element. And I’m going to stay here even though you don’t understand what a lake is for.’

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Paulo Coelho on “God’s Signs” by Aaminah

Isabelita told me the following story.

An old illiterate Arab used to pray with such fervour each night that the wealthy owner of the great caravan decided to summon him so as to talk to him.

“Why do you pray with such devotion? How do you know God exists when you don’t even know how to read?”

“I do know, sir. I can read everything that the Great Celestial Father writes.”

“But how?”

The humble servant explained:

“When you receive a letter from someone far away, how do you recognise the writer?”

“By the handwriting.”

“When you receive a jewel, how do you know who made it?”

“By the goldsmith’s mark.”

“When you hear animals moving about near the tent, how do you know if it was a sheep or a horse or an ox?”

“By its footprints,” replied the owner, surprised at all these questions.

The old man invited him to come outside with him and showed him the sky.

“Neither the things written up there nor the desert down below could have been made or written by the hand of man.”

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