Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Author: Paulo Coelho

It seems that in the first half of the story, Athena was searching for herself and seeking for self-realization, but after the incident at Portobello, her goal has changed to carry out her own mission. What is the change of the thoughts underlining such transition.

Athena is trying to reach a deeper understanding of herself, but in this process she also learns to live with the mystery, with the unanswered questions. This is how the transition begins. She is learning to live with her “empty spaces”, traits of her personality that defy a certain logic, that can’t be expressed in words. You see, the whole problem is not about having empty spaces, but about admitting that they exist.

Today’s society is so preoccupied about coherence that many get trapped in the misconception that all is explainable. Society tries to convince us that we have to be completely transparent, not only to world but to ourselves. There is where the danger lies. It’s necessary to admit that some things can’t be grasped, that our empty spaces exist and that we have to respect and honor the mystery.

Once you start honoring that – that’s when your quest becomes your mission.

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