Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by the reader : Paola

Author: Paulo Coelho

I wanted to ask you your opinion on two subjects: In Brida you mention San Juan de la Cruz – John of the Cross – and one of his teachings. San Juan de la Cruz wrote about the Dark Night of the Soul, and there are many interpretations of what he was actually referring to. I believe the darkest moment of the soul is when you loose your faith, that moment when you don’t hear God’s voice anymore. You can still remember the peace you once felt, but you can’t find the way to get to that “place” anymore. The night is darker than ever. Some people recover their faith eventually, others never do. What happens in those hours of struggle? Why do we go through that?

My second question is about your opinion on life’s cycles. Many people go through a very distressing cycle: they believe they have found something meaningful to do/to take care of in their life – be it a job, a relationship, a hobby, any form of dream – which keeps them happy. But with time, they find no meaning in what they do. Does this mean that the person is not really pursuing their true dream, is not really fulfilling the task they are meant to do in this lifetime?

In regards to your first question (let’s be very virgo about this) :there’s a progression in San Juan de la Cruz poems. The darkest hour can of course represent the total solitude and abandon of the soul, yet, it is also the beating heart of the mystery of God.

Your second question is about the difference between contentment and enthusiasm – in the first case, people make the choice of living a life according to outward rules, whilst in the second they follow their inner truth. Those that choose society’s dream – convince themselves that this is what they want – but this is a short term illusion. Those that face the risks of following their dreams, brake away from the collective illusion. They pay a price but they find their reward in their own hearts.

This is the good fight in my eyes.

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