2 min read: meeting Henry Miller’s widow


The Japanese journalist asks the usual question: “And what are your favorite writers?” I give my usual answer: “Jorge Amado, Jorge Luis Borges, William Blake and Henry Miller.”

The translator looks at me astonished: “Henry Miller?” But she soon realizes her role isn’t to digress and gets back to her work. At the end of the interview, I want to know why she was so surprised about my answer.

“I am not criticizing Henry Miller; I’m his fan too,” she answers. “Did you know he was married to a Japanese woman?”
Yes: I’m not ashamed to be fanatic about someone I admire and try to know everything about their life.

I went to a book fair just to get to know Jorge Amado, I travelled 48 hours in a bus to meet with Borges ( this ended up not happening due to my own fault: when I saw him I froze and said nothing), I rang the bell of John Lennon’s door in New York (the porter asked me to leave a letter explaining the reason of my visit and said Lennon would probably call, this never happened). I had plans of going to see Henry Miller in Big Sur, but he died before I was able to gather the money for the trip.

“The Japanese woman’s name is Hoki,” I answer proudly. “I know too that in Tokyo there is a museum devoted to Miller’s watercolors.”
“Would you like to meet her tonight?”
But what a question! Of course, I would like to be near someone that lived with one of my idols.
I imagine she must receive visitors from all over the world and several interview requests; after all, they stayed together for almost 10 years.

We stop at a street where the sun probably never shines, as a viaduct passes over it. The translator points to a second-rate bar on the second floor of an old building.

We go up the stairs, we enter the completely empty bar and there is Hoki Miller. In order to conceal my surprise, I try to exaggerate my enthusiasm about her ex-husband.
She takes me to a room in the back where she set up a small museum – a few pictures, two or three signed watercolors, a signed book and nothing else.

She tells me that she met him when she took a masters degree in Los Angeles and played piano in a restaurant to support herself, singing French songs (in Japanese). Miller went there for dinner, loved the songs (he had spent a great part of his life in Paris), they went out a couple of times and he asked her to marry him.

She tells me delightful things about their life in common, about the problems originated by the age difference between them (Miller was over 50, Hoki wasn’t 20), of the time they spent together. She explains that the heirs from the other marriages got everything, inclusively the copyrights of the books – but that didn’t matter to her, what she lived with him lies beyond financial compensation.

I ask her to play that music that caught Miller’s attention many years back. She does it with tears in her eyes and sings ‘Autumn Leaves’ (Feuilles Mortes).

The bar, the piano, the voice of the Japanese woman echoing in the empty walls, not caring about the ex-wives’ victories, about the rivers of money Miller’s books shall make, about the world fame she could enjoy today.

“It wasn’t worth it to fight for inheritance: his love was enough to me,” she says at the end, understanding what we felt.
Yes, for the complete absence of bitterness or rancor in her voice, I understand that love was enough.


According to the dictionary: from the Latin justitias: conformity with the law; act of giving to each what belongs to them; equity; group of magistrates and the people who work with them.

According to Jesus Christ: You have heard that they were told, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist injury, but if anyone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other to him too. (Matthew 5: 38-39)

According to Bankei: during one of Zen master Bankei’s classes, a pupil was caught stealing. All the disciples demanded he be expelled, but Bankei did nothing. The following week, the pupil stole again. The others, irritated, demanded that the thief be punished.

“How wise you all are,” said Bankei. “You know what is right and wrong, and you can study anywhere you like. But this poor brother – who does not know what is right or wrong – has only me to teach him. And I shall go on doing that.” A flood of tears purified the thief’s face; the desire to steal had disappeared.

According to a man condemned to death: Death row is the arena where the politics of Power, Retribution and Violence are applied to a man using concrete and steel. Until this man turns into steel and concrete. And yet, although steel can be hard, it is still capable of being flexible, and although the heart can turn to concrete, it is still capable of beating. (Justin Fuller, executed in Texas on 24/08/2006)

According to the Spanish Inquisition: In the 15th century the Inquisitor priests went from town to town gathering the inhabitants together in the main square. After a sermon was preached, they would choose at random six or seven people who were then interrogated about the life of their neighbors; in every case, these people always accused someone, for fear of being considered heretics.

According to the tea ceremony: We see evil in others because we know evil through our own behavior. We never pardon those who wound us because we feel that we would never be pardoned. We tell others the painful truth because we want to hide it from ourselves. We take refuge in pride so that no-one can see how fragile we are. That is why, whenever you are judging your brother, bear in mind that it is you who are on trial. (Okakura Kakuso, The Book of Tea, 1904)

Looking for proof: Despite being inefficient as a means of proof and method of investigation, for centuries torture was the juridical method to discover the truth of facts. (Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Professor of Political Science)

Oprah Winfrey interview Part I

FULL EPISODE: Oprah and Paulo Coelho, Part 1 – VIDEO HERE

Part II: Next Sunday, Sept 14, Paris: 17:00
Worldwide simulcast at 11 a.m. NY; 11am LA; 7pm London; 11:30pm New Delia; 3am Tokyo; 4am Sydney;
Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires 12:00 hr ; Colombia 10:00 hr


Witches and rebellion

In today’s society (as it was the case in the past) there is a tremendous amount of energy spent on trying to make people conform to established behavior, to established religions, namely, to a certain type of thought.

This uniformity is very tricky because it comes through a certain «political correctness» that stifles people’s spontaneity.

Women who rebels against this sort of general “inertia” were called in the past witches and the stigma still strive nowadays.

Actually these rebellious women pay a price, doing things in a way that probably will not make a lot of sense to others but that are vital to them. Athena is very bold and she takes a risk – as anyone who stays true to oneself does.

I wanted to particularly explore the prejudices that we have when we embrace our compassionate side.

People that accept that God is more than rules and commandments and try to dwell into the adoration of beauty and passion, this feminine energy, are called “witches”.
But in fact, Athena is someone who intuitively understands the soul of the world and tries to abide to its freedom.

I felt the need to question why society had tried to lock away the feminine side. The character of Athena, with her freedom and courage, was my way to tackle this subject and to unveil the shackles of dogma.
In The Witch of Portobello

Fundaí§í£o Paulo Coelho (beta)


Se meu trabalho resistir ao tempo, sempre haverá curiosidade em saber como vivi meus dias.
Meus manuscritos. Meus diários. Os recortes de imprensa. As crí­ticas. As cartas dos leitores. E por aí­ vai.
Resolvi criar uma Fundaí§í£o Virtual onde todo este material poderá ser acessado – em qualquer lugar do mundo.

Um local fí­sico ní£o basta – a pesquisa seria limitada í queles que podem vir até Genebra, onde estamos instalando a Fundaí§í£o Paulo Coelho (abertura no final de 2014).
Assim, decidimos colocar todo o material na nuvem.
O portal que estí£o vendo é uma versí£o beta. Podem ocorrer muitos erros durante a navegaí§í£o.

Quem puder colaborar conosco, apontando melhoras, por favor enviar um email para Ertz Porfirio
Muito obrigado.



20 sec reading: The pilgrimage to Mecca

Abd Mubarak was on his way to Mecca when one night he dreamed that he was in heaven and heard two angels having a conversation.

“How many pilgrims came to the holy city this year?” one of them asked.

“Six hundred thousand”, answered the other.

“And how many of them had their pilgrimage accepted?”

“None of them. However, in Baghdad there is a shoemaker called Ali Mufiq who did not make the pilgrimage, but did have his pilgrimage accepted, and his graces benefited the 600,000 pilgrims”.

When he woke up, Abd Mubarak went to Mufiq’s shoe shop and told him his dream.

“At great cost and much sacrifice, I finally managed to get 350 coins together”, the shoemaker said in tears.

“But then, when I was ready to go to Mecca I discovered that my neighbors were hungry, so I distributed the money among them and gave up my pilgrimage”.

Duomo de Milano, 23 Oct 2013

20 sec reading: “Why did you punish me?”

When he was young, Cosroes (later on Cosroes I) had a master who managed to make him an outstanding student in all the subjects he learned.
One afternoon, for no apparent reason, the master punished him very severely.

Years later, Cosroes succeeded to the throne. One of the first measures he took was to send for his childhood master and demand an explanation for the injustice he had committed.

“Why did you punish me? You know I did not deserve it”

“When I saw your intelligence, I realized right away that you would inherit your father’s throne,” answered the master.

“And so I decided to show you how injustice is capable of marking a man for the rest of his life.
I hope that you will never chastise anyone without reason.”

Iris, upon arriving

Iris, upon arriving at Santiago de Compostela, says:

When I reached Obradoiro Square, I wondered: why did I have to face so many difficulties?

I joined the endless line to kiss the statue of the saint and it all struck me as absurd, except for catching up with some pilgrims that I had met on the way.

Yes, it was all absurd, except the joy of having surmounted my limits and feeling a better person.

Just as well that I did not walk like the others.

Just as well that I decided to stop whenever the sun set, avoiding thinking about whether I was near a shelter or whether there was food available.

Just as well that I ate a plate of lentils that upset me and obliged me to sleep at the foot of a mountain, in a place that I would never have known had it not been for that problem.

Just as well that I overslept and ending up having to spend the night under a star-filled sky.

Just as well that I began walking when I felt like it and stopped when I wanted to, without anyone telling me is that was right or wrong.

Just as well that I was alone, and so the moon treated me in a very special way.

Just as well that I took the wrong turn four hundred times and ended up knowing places that nobody knew.

On one of these detours I spent the whole day sitting in front of the door of a convent thinking about my vocation It was because of so many absurd things and so many “just as well’s” that the whole thing was fun.

Because before this my life had a goal, and from now on I will go on walking just for the pleasure of walking

10 sec reading: I am also outside

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the brother who always obeys his father is furious at seeing the rebel son received with celebrations and joy.
In the same way, many people who are obedient to the Lord’s word, end up becoming the merciless hangmen of all those who one day strayed from the Law.

In a small village in the interior, a well-known sinner was barred from entering the church.

He was angry and prayed:

“Jesus, hear me. They will not let me into your house, for they think I am not worthy.”

“Do not worry, my son,” answered Jesus. “I am also outside, together with those I have always stood alongside – sinners like yourself.”

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet

“Por que recusou o convite do Ministério da Cultura?”




logo_die_welt>Martin Scholz_Interview with Paulo Coelho for Welt am Sonntag, Sunday 06 October 2013

WELT AM SONNTAG: Na próxima semana, a maior feira literária do mundo abre suas portas em Frankfurt. O Brasil é o paí­s de honra, mas vocíª que é o autor brasileiro de maior sucesso ní£o participará. Por que recusou o convite do Ministério da Cultura?

PAULO COELHO: Estou em constante contato com jovens escritores do meu paí­s. Mas quando o governo chega para apresentar oficialmente a cultura brasileira em outros lugares, infelizmente esses sí£o ignorados e a polí­ticagem interna acaba predominando. O Ministério da Cultura do Brasil convidou 70 pessoas para irem í  Frankfurt…

WaS: 70 escritores.
PC: Eu duvido que sejam todos escritores profissionais. Dos 70 escritores convidados (LISTA AQUI) , eu conheí§o apenas 20, entí£o os outros 50 nunca ouvi falar. Presumo que sejam amigos de amigos de amigos. Nepotismo. O que me incomoda mais: EXISTE uma nova e excitante cena literária brasileira. Mas a maioria desses jovens autores ní£o está nessa lista.

WaS: Por que vocíª ní£o exerceu sua influíªncia como membro da Academia?
PC: Falei publicamente e conversei com muitos colegas escritores que ní£o foram convidados para Frankfurt como Eduardo Spohr, Carolina Munhóz, André Vianco, Felipe Neto e Raphael Draccon, só para mencionar alguns nomes. Eu tentei ao máximo levá-los para a feira, mas sem sucesso. Entí£o, por protesto, eu DECIDI ní£o ir mais para Frankfurt, o que foi uma decisí£o difí­cil por diversos motivos. Primeiro porque eu sempre quis ser convidado para um evento como este pelo meu governo, mas também porque tenho fortes laí§os com a Feira de Frankfurt, especialmente com seu diretor Jürgen Boos, que ní£o só reconheceu o processo de transformaí§í£o do impresso para o digital, como colocou o tópico até na programaí§í£o da feira. Ele iniciou vários fóruns e painéis com o assunto. Outras feiras do mesmo molde, como a de Genebra e Paris estí£o deteriorando porque se prendem a antigos conceitos. Eu NíƒO vou para Frankfurt mesmo com a alta estima que tenho por essa feira porque simplesmente ní£o aprovo o modo que está sendo representada a literatura brasileira. Ní£o quero posar de um Robin Hood brasileiro. Nem de Zorro ou Cavaleiro Solitário. Mas ní£o pareceria certo ser parte da delegaí§í£o oficial brasileira, do qual ní£o conheí§o a maioria dos escritores e que exclui tantos outros.

WaS: Isso te deixa claramente chateado.

PC: Porque isso é apenas um dos diversos pontos crí­ticos do atual cenário governamental brasileiro. Eu apoiei esse governo e estou muito decepcionado com isso. Existe uma lei que permite grandes empresas como a Volkswagen investirem parte de seus impostos em projetos culturais. Essa lei foi modificada de tal forma que a alta costura brasileira é sustentada por essas taxas – uma indústria que ní£o precisava desse tipo de apoio de forma alguma. Esse é apenas um detalhe, mas é um exemplo do que acontece em larga escala. Para mim, o atual governo brasileiro é um desastre. Onde quer que eu vá, as pessoas sempre me perguntam o que está acontecendo de errado em meu paí­s. O governo fez grandes promessas e ní£o as manteve. Isso é o que está acontecendo de errado.

WaS: Recentemente centenas de milhares de pessoas em mais de 140 cidades protestaram contra a corrupí§í£o, má gestí£o e desigualdade social. O que passa pela sua mente quando víª todas essas imagens de tumultos nos noticiários?
PC: Estou muito preocupado, sobretudo porque ní£o parece ter um fim breve. Tudo comeí§ou quando aumentaram as tarifas de í´nibus. E quando, após a Copa das Confederaí§íµes, um paí­s louco por futebol como o Brasil admitiu publicamente que temos problemas mais urgentes que modernizar nossos estádios para o Campeonato Mundial – isso já foi uma grande declaraí§í£o. No entanto, todo mundo foi pego de surpresa pelo escopo de raiva pública. Porque o Brasil tinha sido cotado como o novo paí­s do momento. O problema é que uma grande parte da populaí§í£o ní£o tem sido capaz de lucrar com esse momento. A violíªncia no Rio de Janeiro é um grande problema. O governador prometeu encontrar uma soluí§í£o, mas ele ní£o manteve sua promessa. Sí£o Paulo ní£o tem uma situaí§í£o melhor. Ní£o importa onde vocíª olha, o demí´nio da corrupí§í£o está olhando de volta pra vocíª. Em uma situaí§í£o tí£o tensa, elevar as tarifas de í´nibus parece ter sido a gota d’água para quebrar as costas do camelo. Pessoas respondem coisas desse tipo. Com a minha fundaí§í£o apoio crianí§as carentes de favelas durante anos, sem nunca ter recebido apoio financeiro ou até mesmo uma palavra de reconhecimento por parte do governo. Eu me encontro em uma situaí§í£o semelhante í  de muitos colegas brasileiros. Eu votei no governo de esquerda, pelo qual tinha grandes esperaní§as. Estive cego por muito tempo, ní£o querendo ver o que acontecia de errado. E eu me mantenho pela minha crí­tica.

WaS: Nestas circunstí¢ncias, o que vocíª espera do campeonato mundial no próximo ano? O ex-craque Ronaldinho mostrou pouca simpatia pelos manifestantes. Ele disse que campeonatos ní£o eram sobre construí§íµes de hospitais ou ruas, mas sim de estádios.

PC: Essa foi uma observaí§í£o muito estúpida. Ronaldinho deveria ter mantido sua boca fechada. Claro que hospitais, escolas e acima de tudo um bom sistema de transporte público sí£o mais importantes para um paí­s como o Brasil que estádios de futebol. O transporte público ainda é um grande problema no Brasil. A infraestrutura ní£o é apenas ruim, mas uma decadíªncia total. No entanto, ní£o perdi por completo a esperaní§a que antes da Copa vamos chegar aos nossos sentidos e usar os investimentos para o campeonato de uma forma que os brasileiros possam lucrar, mesmo após os jogos. Estou em dúvida, no entanto. Mas agora estou falando há um tempo sobre o Brasil e percebi que ní£o pintei um quadro muito positivo do meu paí­s.

WaS: Isso é ruim?
PC: Ní£o, vocíª pode manter isso. Especialmente porque já expresso parte dessa crí­tica no Facebook e no Twitter, embora em pequenos pedaí§os e ní£o em um grande bloco como está sendo agora em nossa conversa. Essa é a grande coisa sobre redes sociais. Se eu tenho algo a dizer, digo. Ní£o preciso dar longas entrevistas a jornalistas que predominantemente ví£o procurar fraquezas e argumentos falhos e focar neles diversas vezes. Hoje em dia, eu prefiro dividir os meus comentários imediatamente com os meus 8,5 milhíµes de seguidores no twitter, ou com meus 12 milhíµes de amigos no Facebook. Instantaneamente. Globalmente.

WaS: A revista Forbes declarou que vocíª é a segunda personalidade mais influente no twitter depois de Justin Bieber. No Facebook vocíª agora tem mais seguidores do que Madonna. Ní£o se torna assustador ter este número crescente de devotos on-line esperando que vocíª díª um significado a suas vidas?
PC: Nem um pouco. Eu gosto de participar de redes sociais porque é divertido e acho gratificante. Agora estou ligado aos meus leitores de todo o mundo de uma maneira que antes das redes sociais emergirem ní£o era possí­vel. Deixe-me dar-lhe um exemplo: sessíµes de autógrafos costumavam ser frustrante. 200 ou 300 pessoas ficavam muito felizes, porque conseguiam um autógrafo meu. Muitos outros ficavam irritados porque tinham esperado na fila e foram mandados para casa de mí£os vazias, já que ní£o posso assinar livros por oito horas a fio.

WaS: Mas para enviar mensagens no Twitter e no Facebook para seus fí£s em todos os cantos do mundo, todos os dias, pode ser cansativo também, certo?

PC: Eu ní£o preciso estar on-line todos os dias e ní£o estou. Vocíª ní£o tem que escrever um livro a cada dia a fim de se considerar um escritor, ní£o é? Eu uso o twitter e posto no Facebook quando quero.

WaS: Vocíª tem vontade de salvar o mundo através das redes sociais?

PC: Eu ní£o quero salvar o mundo, eu meramente construo algumas pontes. E atualmente ní£o sou o único. O novo presidente iraniano abriu sua conta própria no Twitter (ou teve alguém para fazer isso por ele) e escreveu: “Feliz ano novo, meus amigos judeus”. Uma pequena mudaní§a paradigmática, que ní£o deve passar despercebida.

WaS: O que vocíª diz a seus colegas escritores que consideram Blogs e Twitter uma perda de tempo?
PC: Francamente, eu ní£o entendo a recusa. As redes sociais permitem que vocíª experimente novas formas de escrita. Eu escrevo de uma forma diferente para um blog, um romance, tweet ou em um post no Facebook. Nas redes sociais, posso discutir temas que meus leitores ou eu consideramos importantes. Isso ní£o significa que todos esses posts tenha que transformar em um livro. Mas através dessas redes posso chegar a uma comunidade gigantesca. Pessoas que ní£o ví£o mais a muitas livrarias e sí£o pouco interessadas em livros. Eles pensam que livros sí£o chatos. Minha experiíªncia é a seguinte: se eu publicar textos na internet, posso interessa-los em os meus livros. Ní£o devemos demonizar essas novas formas de comunicaí§í£o.
Também acho desconcertante quando os meus colegas escrevem: “a internet mata literatura” e em seguida publicam esses textos online. Eles escrevem na internet para reclamar da internet. Isso é como ser casado e só falar com sua esposa a fim de reclamar dela. Isso ní£o funciona.

WaS: Vocíª recentemente chocou o mundo editorial com um experimento altamente incomum. Em seu site incentiva usuários a baixar vários formatos e traduí§íµes de seus próprios livros. Gratuitamente. No entanto, as vendas de seus livros impressos continuam a aumentar apesar disso ou por causa desses downloads gratuitos, o que causa curiosidade entre a indústria editorial que está convenientemente ignorada. Por que ninguém lhe imitou ainda?

PC: Eu ní£o tenho resposta para isso. Eu fico me repetindo: se vocíª é um verdadeiro artista, entí£o o seu principal objetivo é ser notado.

WaS: Na verdade, vocíª já era um autor best-seller antes mesmo da chegada de downloads – que acabou sendo uma ferramenta de marketing interessante para impulsionar ainda mais suas vendas.
PC: Isso é o que eu continuo ouvindo: Paulo Coelho pode se dar ao luxo de permitir downloads gratuitos de seus livros, porque ele já é famoso. Eu sempre discordo: “eu sou quem eu sou hoje porque sempre tomo riscos e porque estou aberto a novas ideias”. Muitos colegas dizem: “eu ní£o dou os meus livros gratuitamente na internet”. O que já mostra que eles ní£o entendem o núcleo do mundo digital – que compartilhar termina somando ao invés de dividir.  Ní£o consigo explicar por que meus livros impressos vendem melhor hoje do que antes dos meus compartilhamentos, mas o que parece ser o caso é que a maioria dos leitores que baixa o primeiro livro de graí§a, depois sentem certa obrigaí§í£o de comprar o livro impresso. Pelo menos os jovens escritores ní£o parecem pessimistas com as redes sociais. Muitos jovens escritores brasileiros abraí§am essas oportunidades. Para eles sou um pouco de modelo. Eles até inventaram um bom apelido para mim: me chamam de Mago dos Nerds.

WaS : Isso é um elogio?
PC: Eu acredito realmente que sim.

15 sec reading: does the master suffer with bad disciples?

A disciple asked Firoz:

– The mere presence of a master causes all sorts of curious people to gather round, to discover something beneficial. Can’t this be a hindrance and negative? Can’t this divert the master from his path, or cause him to suffer because he could not teach that which he wished?

Firoz, the Sufi master, replied:

– The sight of an avocado tree laden with fruit whets the appetite of all those who pass by. If someone wishes to satisfy his hunger beyond his needs, he will eat more avocados than necessary, and will be sick. However, this causes no indigestion to the man who owns the avocado tree.

"It is the same with our Search. The path must be open to all; but it is for God to set the limits of each individual."

Life is like a great bicycle race

Life is like a great bicycle race, whose aim is to fulfill one’s Personal Legend – that which, according to the ancient alchemists, is our true mission on Earth.

At the start of the race, we’re all together – sharing the camaraderie and enthusiasm.
But as the race progresses, the initial joy gives way to the real challenges: tiredness, monotony, doubts about one’s own ability.

We notice that some friends have already given up, deep down in their hearts – they’re still in the race, but only because they can’t stop in the middle of the road.
This group keeps growing in number, all of them pedaling away near the support car – also known as Routine – where they chat among themselves, fulfill their obligations, but forget the beauty and challenges along the road.

We eventually distance ourselves from them; and then we are forced to confront loneliness, the surprises of unknown bends in the road, and problems with the bicycle.
After a time, when we have fallen off several times, without anyone nearby to help us, we end up asking ourselves whether such an effort is worthwhile.

Yes, of course it is.

30 sec reading: the four forces

Father Alan Jones says that, in order for our soul to be able to overcome the obstacles, we need Four Invisible Forces: love, death, power and time.

We must love, because we are loved by God.

We must be aware of death, in order to understand life.

We must fight to grow – but not be fooled by the power which comes with growth, for we know it is worthless.

Finally, we must accept that our soul – although it is eternal – is at this moment caught in the web of time, with all its opportunities and limitations; so, on our solitary bike race, we must act as if time existed, doing what we can to value each second, resting when necessary, but always continuing in the direction of the Divine light, without letting ourselves be bothered by the moments of anxiety.

These Four Forces cannot be dealt with as problems to be solved, since they are beyond our control.
We must accept them, and let them teach us what it is we must learn.

When I pay attention

We live in a Universe which is both vast enough to contain us, and small enough to hold in our hearts.
In every man’s soul, dwells the soul of the world, the silence of wisdom. As we pedal on towards our goal, we must ask: “what is lovely about today?” The sun may be shining, but if it is pouring with rain, it is important to remember that this also means that the black clouds will soon disperse. Clouds come and go, but the sun remains the same, and never fails – at times of loneliness, it is important to remember this.

So, when times are tough, we must not forget that the whole world has endured such moments, regardless of race, color, social standing, belief, or culture. A beautiful prayer by the Sufi Dhu ‘l – Nun (Egyptian, died 861 AD) perfectly sums up the positive attitude necessary at such times:

“Oh Lord, when I pay attention to the voices of animals, the sounds of the trees, the bubbling of the waters, the chirping of the birds, the howling wind or the crashing thunder, I perceive in them evidence of Your unity; I sense that You are the supreme power, almighty, the supreme wisdom, supreme justice.

“Oh Lord, I recognize You in the trials I am enduring. Allow, Lord, Your satisfaction to be my satisfaction. May I be Your joy, that joy which a Father sees in his son. And may I recall You with tranquility and determination, even when it is difficult to say that I love You.”


According to the dictionary: from the Latin word fide: confidence; religious belief; conviction with regard to someone or something; firmness in fulfilling a commitment; credit; intention; theological virtue.

According to Jesus Christ: The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith.” And the Lord said: “If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you could have said to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and planted in the sea,’ and it would have obeyed you!” (Luke, 17: 5-6)

According to Buddhism: “We are what we think. Through thought we build and destroy the world.

“We are what we think. Your imagination can do more harm than your worst enemy.

“But once you control your thoughts, no-one can help you so much, not even your father or your mother.” (Extract from Dhammapada, a collection of some of Buddha’s principal teachings)

For Islam: “How do we purify the world?” asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied: “There was a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone honored him for his wisdom, but no-one knew if he was a good man. One afternoon a flaw in construction caused the house where the sheik lived with his wife to fall down. In despair, the neighbors began to dig among the ruins. After a while they managed to locate the wife.

“She said: ‘Leave me. First save my husband, who was sitting more or less over there.’ The neighbors removed the debris from the place she had pointed to and found the sheik, who said: ‘Leave me. First save my wife, who was lying down more or less over there.’

“When someone acts like this couple, they are purifying the whole world through their faith in life and love.”

The faith of denying reality: “One year ago I gave a speech in an aircraft-carrier saying that we had succeeded in reaching an important objective, accomplishing a mission, which was to remove Saddam Hussein from power. As a result, there are no more torture chambers, no more mass graves.” (George W. Bush, 30 April 2004. In the same month, the world was to see the photos of torturing in the Abu Graib prison, and the collective executions of the civil war between Shiites and Sunites continue up to the moment I write this column).

According to Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlava: A disciple sought out the rabbi and said: “I can’t manage to talk to God.” “That often happens,” replied Nachman. “We feel that our mouth is sealed, or that the words just don’t come out. However, the mere fact of making an effort to overcome this situation is in itself a beneficial attitude.”

“But it isn’t enough.”

“You’re right. At such times, what you should do is look up at the sky and say: ‘Lord Almighty, I am so far from You that I can’t even believe my own voice.’ Because the truth is that the Lord always hears and answers. It is we who do not manage to talk, for fear that He will pay no attention to us.”

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet



By Morihei Ueshiba

Constant growth

Life is development. To achieve this, climb high mountains and descend into the deepest valleys of your soul. Breathe in and feel that you are sucking in everything that exists in heaven and earth. Breathe out and feel that the air leaving your body carries the seed of fertility, and will make humanity more true, better, and more beautiful.

Infinite breathing

All that exists above and below, also exists within you. And everything breathes; when you realize this, you will also understand the Art of Peace. Those who practice it know they are warriors protecting Mother Nature, and with each breath are putting inside themselves the sun and the moon, heaven and earth, the high and low tides, spring and winter, summer and fall.

Man’s entire apprenticeship can be summed up in how one breathes consciously. Each time you do so, you share the powerful energy which sustains Creation.

Conscious attention

Make each day a truly new one, by wearing the blessings of Heaven, bathing in wisdom and love, and placing yourself under Mother Nature’s protection. Learn from the wise men, holy books, but never forget that each mountain, river, plant or tree, also has something to teach you.

Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet