Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The bow, the arrow and the target

Author: Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

We are all archers of divine Will. And so it is absolutely essential that we know what instruments we have at our disposal.

The bow

The bow is life: all energy emanates from it.

The arrow will be shot one day.

The target is far away.

But your life will always be with you, and you have to know how to take proper care of it.

It needs periods of inactivity – a bow that is always ready, in a state of tension, loses its potency. So, accept rest to recover your firmness: in this way, when you stretch the string, your strength will be intact.

The bow has no conscience: it is a prolongation of the archer’s hand and desire. It serves to kill or to meditate. So, always be clear about your intentions.

A bow is flexible, but it also has its limits. Any effort beyond its capacity will break it, or else tire out the hand that holds it fast. By the same token, do not ask of your body more than it can do. And understand that one day old age will arrive – and that this is a blessing, not a curse.

To keep the bow elegantly open, have each part do only what is necessary, and do not waste your energy. This will enable you to shoot lots of arrows without growing tired.

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