Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The Warrior of Light and his temperament

Author: Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of Light can afford to live each day different from the next. He is not afraid of crying over old regrets or feeling happy at new discoveries. When he feels that the hour has come, he casts everything aside and departs for the adventure he has dreamed so long about. When he understands that he is at the limit of his endurance, he leaves the fight, without feeling apologetic for having done one or two crazy and quite unexpected things.

The story below illustrates what I mean.

A man in quest of sanctity decided to climb a high mountain with just the clothes on his back and remain up there meditating for the rest of his life.

Soon he realized that one set of clothes was not enough, because it would get dirty very quick. He descended the mountain, went to the nearest village and asked for other clothes. Since everyone knew that the man was in quest of sanctity, they handed him a new pair of shoes and a shirt.

The man thanked them and climbed back up to the hermitage he was building on the top of the mountain. He spent the night putting up the walls and the days in meditation, eating the fruit of the trees and drinking the water of a nearby spring.

One month later he discovered that a mouse was chewing the extra clothes he had left to dry. Since he wanted to concentrate only on his spiritual duty, he went back down to the village and asked them to find him a cat.

The villagers, in respect for his mission, satisfied his request.

Another seven days and the cat was almost dying of starvation because it could not eat just fruit, and there were no more mice in the place. He went back down to the village for milk; as the villagers knew it was not for him – after all, he resisted without eating anything other than what nature offered him – once more they helped him.

The cat finished the milk quickly, so the man asked them to lend him a cow.

Since the cow gave more milk than was needed, he began to drink it too, so as not to waste it. In a short time – breathing the mountain air, eating fruit, meditating, drinking milk and doing exercises – he turned into a model of beauty. A lovely girl who climbed the mountain looking for her lamb fell in love with him and convinced him that he needed a wife to look after the house while he meditated in peace.

The man spent three days fasting, trying to know which was the best decision to make. Finally he understood that marriage is a blessing from above, and accepted the proposal.

Three years later, the man was married, with two sons, three cows, an orchard of fruit trees, and he ran a place for meditation, with a huge waiting line of people who wanted to know the miraculous “temple of eternal youth.”

When someone asked him how all that had started, he would say:

“Two weeks after I arrived up here, I had only two garments. A mouse began to chew one of them, and…”

But no-one was interested in the end of the story; they were sure that he was a wise businessman just trying to invent a legend to be able to raise even higher the price he charged the lodgers at the temple.

But like a good Warrior of Light, he did not bother about what others thought; he was happy because he was able to transform his dreams into reality.

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