Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Between Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk

Author: Paulo Coelho

My book “Aleph” describes my spiritual journey during my crossing of Asia in 2006. To write it, I had to consult the notes I had taken throughout my journey. Below there are two of them:


I arrived at the wagon that will carry me to the Siberian with my arms full of books, thinking I would have plenty of time over the 9228 km of rail travel to read them all. I soon discovered, however, that reading on a wagon is virtually impossible due to the swaying and lack of shock absorbers. The only thing I could do was think, and quickly write down my thoughts once we stopped at the stations.


One of the people on the train shows me a prayer that she said was found among the personal belongings of a Jew who died in a concentration camp. It read:

“Lord, when you come in Your glory, do not remember only the men of goodwill; also remember the men of ill will. And, on Judgment Day, do not remember only the cruelty, abuse and violence that they carried out, but the fruit produced because of what they did to us. Remember the patience, courage, brotherhood, humility, generosity of spirit and faithfulness that our executioners awoke in our souls. And then, Lord, pray that the fruits that we have produced may serve to save the souls of men of evil.”

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