Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Negative desires

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

A disciple said to his teacher:
‘I have spent a large part of my day thinking things I should not think, desiring things I should not desire, and making plans I should not make.’
The teacher invited his disciple to go for a walk with him in a forest near his house. On the way, he pointed to a plant and asked if the disciple knew what it was.
‘It’s deadly nightshade,’ said the disciple. ‘The leaves can kill you if you eat them.’
‘But they cannot kill you if you merely look at them. In exactly the same way, negative desires are entirely harmless unless you give in to them.’

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