HER ONLY CRIME: TO BE A FREE WOMAN
No Brasil: Setembro
Worldwide release: 2nd semester 2016
Those who are paying attention to others, always give before being asked for. Often our selfishness apologize, saying, “if he was in need, he would have asked.”
And we forget that many people can not – simply can not – ask for help.
I’m not talking just about money: loneliness, often can be worse than hunger.
On the other side there are people who spend entire weeks locked up in themselves.
They will go from work to their TV and from their TV to work.
Their heart is so fragile that they begin to live unhealthy love. They are hungry for affection and ashamed to show it.
It costs you to realize that these people are on our side and try to help them.
Those who look with indifference to poverty, has misery in his soul.
“Tragedy depends on the way you see it.
If you chose to be a victim of the world, anything which happens to you will feed that dark side of your soul, where you consider yourself wronged, suffering, guilty and deserving punishment.
If you choose to be an adventurer, the changes - even the inevitable losses, since everything in this world changes - can cause some pain, but will soon thrust you forward, forcing you to react.”
― Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the Light
Avoid those who believe they are stronger than you, because they are actually concealing their own fragility.
Stay close to those who are not afraid to be vulnerable, because they have confidence in themselves and know that, at some point in our lives, we all stumble; they do not interpret this as a sign of weakness, but of humanity.
Avoid those who seek friends in order to maintain a certain social status or to open doors they would not otherwise be able to approach.
Stay close to those who are interested in opening only one important door: the door to your heart. They will never invade your soul without your consent or shoot a deadly arrow through that open door.
Friendship is like a river; it flows around rocks, adapts itself to valleys and mountains, occasionally turns into a pool until the hollow in the ground is full and it can continue on its way.
Just as the river never forgets that it’s goal is the sea, so friendship never forgets that its only reason for existing is to love other people
(taken from "Manuscript found in Accra")
Every day Nasrudin went to beg for alms in the market, and people used to make fun of him by playing the following trick: they would show him two coins, one worth ten times more than the other, and Nasrudin would always choose the smaller coin.
The story went round the whole province.
Day after day, groups of men and women would show him the two coins, and Nasrudin would always choose the smaller one.
Then one day, a generous man, tired of seeing Nasrudin ridiculed in this fashion, beckoned him over to a corner of the square and said:
‘When they offer you two coins, you should choose the larger one. That way you would earn more money and people wouldn’t consider you an idiot.’
‘That sounds like good advice,’ replied Nasrudin, ‘but if I chose the larger coin, people would stop offering me money, because they like to believe that I am even more stupid than they are. You’ve no idea how much money I’ve earned using this trick.
“There’s nothing wrong with looking like a fool if, in fact, you’re being really clever.’
MANUAL FOR CLIMBING MOUNTAINS
by Paulo Coelho
A] Choose the mountain you want to climb: don’t pay attention to what other people say, such as “that one’s more beautiful” or “this one’s easier”. You’ll be spending lots of energy and enthusiasm to reach your objective, so you’re the only one responsible and you should be sure of what you’re doing.
B] Know how to get close to it: mountains are often seen from far off – beautiful, interesting, full of challenges. But what happens when we try to draw closer? Roads run all around them, flowers grow between you and your objective, what seemed so clear on the map is tough in real life. So try all the paths and all the tracks until eventually one day you’re standing in front of the top that you yearn to reach.
C] Learn from someone who has already been up there: no matter how unique you feel, there is always someone who has had the same dream before you and ended up leaving marks that can make your journey easier; places to hang the rope, trails, broken branches to make the walking easier. The climb is yours, so is the responsibility, but don’t forget that the experience of others can help a lot.
D] When seen up close, dangers are controllable: when you begin to climb the mountain of your dreams, pay attention to the surroundings. There are cliffs, of course. There are almost imperceptible cracks in the mountain rock. There are stones so polished by storms that they have become as slippery as ice. But if you know where you are placing each footstep, you will notice the traps and how to get around them.
E] The landscape changes, so enjoy it: of course, you have to have an objective in mind – to reach the top. But as you are going up, more things can be seen, and it’s no bother to stop now and again and enjoy the panorama around you. At every meter conquered, you can see a little further, so use this to discover things that you still had not noticed.
F] Respect your body: you can only climb a mountain if you give your body the attention it deserves. You have all the time that life grants you, as long as you walk without demanding what can’t be granted. If you go too fast you will grow tired and give up half way there. If you go too slow, night will fall and you will be lost. Enjoy the scenery, take delight in the cool spring water and the fruit that nature generously offers you, but keep on walking.
G] Respect your soul: don’t keep repeating “I’m going to make it”. Your soul already knows that, what it needs is to use the long journey to be able to grow, stretch along the horizon, touch the sky. An obsession does not help you at all to reach your objective, and even ends up taking the pleasure out of the climb. But pay attention: also, don’t keep saying “it’s harder than I thought”, because that will make you lose your inner strength.
H] Be prepared to climb one kilometer more: the way up to the top of the mountain is always longer than you think. Don’t fool yourself, the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still very far. But since you were prepared to go beyond, this is not really a problem.
I] Be happy when you reach the top: cry, clap your hands, shout to the four winds that you did it, let the wind – the wind is always blowing up there – purify your mind, refresh your tired and sweaty feet, open your eyes, clean the dust from your heart. It feels so good, what was just a dream before, a distant vision, is now part of your life, you did it!
J] Make a promise: now that you have discovered a force that you were not even aware of, tell yourself that from now on you will use this force for the rest of your days. Preferably, also promise to discover another mountain, and set off on another adventure.
K ] Tell your story: yes, tell your story! Give your example. Tell everyone that it’s possible, and other people will then have the courage to face their own mountains.
On Christmas Eve, my wife and I were reflecting on the year that was nearly ending, whilst dining at a restaurant.
I started to complain about something that hadn’t happened the way I wanted it to.
My wife focused her attention on a Christmas tree that embellished the place.
I thought that she wasn’t interested in the conversation, so I changed the subject:
“This tree has a beautiful illumination”, I said.
“Yes, but if you look carefully you can see one burnt light among dozens.
“ It seems to me that instead of thinking of this year as dozens of enlightened blessings, you chose to look at the one light that did not glow”
I stroll through the city, which is more than ten thousand kilometers from my own apartment, but whose only difference is the view of the sea. In everything else, both cities resemble one another and I wonder what I have been doing for nearly two months away from home. I decided to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with a 90-day trip, traveling in whatever direction the wind carried me, accepting some professional engagements because that would protect me from the temptation that at this very moment seizes me with tremendous power; to go home. Have I made the wrong decision, have I been too radical? I make my way back to the hotel, once more I will pack my bags, say goodbye again to my friends, go through all the security controls at the airport and move on to another big city where all the same things await me.
I go into my room, turn on the computer and visit the blog that I created for this trip. My readers send their comments, and one of them seems to have guessed what I have been feeling today, because he tells the following story:
“Once upon a time, there was a poor but very brave man called Ali. He worked for Ammar, a rich old merchant. One winter’s night Ammar said, “Nobody can spend a night like this on top of the mountain without a blanket or food. But you need money, and if you can manage to do that you will receive a great reward. If you don’t, you will work for thirty days without pay”. Ali answered,“Tomorrow I shall do this test.” But when he left the shop, he saw that a really icy wind was blowing and became scared, so he decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if it was crazy of him to accept that bet. After reflecting a while, Aydi answered, “I shall help you. Tomorrow, when you are at the top of the mountain, look ahead. I will be on the top of the mountain next to yours, where I will spend the whole night with a bonfire lit for you. You look at the fire and think about our friendship, that will keep you warm. You will manage, and later on I shall ask you something in return.” Ali won the test, got the money, and went to his friend’s house, “You told me you wanted some payment.” Aydi grabbed him by the shoulders, ”Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”
The reader ends his comment on the blog saying “wherever you may be at this moment, thanks for having paid us a visit. When you decide to come back to our country, the fire of friendship will always be lit for you”.
And although the loneliness of the journey is still here in my soul, now I have a better understanding of what I am doing here.
A wise Chinese has this to say about the strategies of the warrior of light:
'Convince your enemy that he will gain very little by attacking you; this will diminish his enthusiasm.'
'Do not be ashamed to make a temporary withdrawal from the field if you see that your enemy is stronger than you; it is not winning or losing a single battle that matters, but how the war ends.'
'Even if you are very strong, never be ashamed to feign weakness; this will make your enemy act imprudently and attack too soon.'
'In war, the key to victory is the ability to surprise one's opponent.'
(taken from my book "Warrior of the Light; a manual")
A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for.
He was helped in his struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each thing in its place, thus allowing him to give of his best.
His companions say: 'He's so lucky!' And the warrior does sometimes achieve things far beyond his capabilities.
That is why, at sunset, he kneels and gives thanks for the Protective Cloak surrounding him.
His gratitude, however, is not limited to the spiritual world; he never forgets his friends, for their blood mingled with his on the battlefield.
A warrior does not need to be reminded of the help given him by others; he is the first to remember and makes sure to share with them any rewards he receives.
(taken from my book "Warrior of the Light; a manual"
Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold?
The tree says to the leaf: ‘That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap, we are one thing.’
Does a man who spent years preparing to climb the highest mountain in the world feel defeated on reaching that mountain and discovering that nature has cloaked the summit in storm clouds? The man says to the mountain: ‘You don’t want me this time, but the weather will change and, one day, I will make it to the top. Meanwhile, you’ll still be here waiting for me.’
Does a young man, rejected by his first love, declare that love does not exist? The young man says to himself: ‘I’ll find someone better able to understand what I feel. And then I will be happy for the rest of my days.’
The winter struggles to reign supreme, but, in the end, is obliged to accept spring’s victory, which brings with it flowers and happiness.
The summer would like to make its warm days last for ever, because it believes that warmth is good for the earth, but, finally, it has to accept the arrival of autumn, which will allow the earth to rest.
The gazelle eats the grass and is devoured by the lion. It isn’t a matter of who is the strongest, but God’s way of showing us the cycle of death and resurrection.
And within that cycle there are neither winners nor losers, there are only stages that must be gone through. When the human heart understands this, it is free, able to accept difficult times and not be deceived by moments of glory.
In the cycle of nature there is no such thing as victory or defeat: there is only movement.
(from “Manuscript found in Accra”)
The great Rabbi Israel Shem Tov, when he saw that the people in his village were being mistreated, went into the forest, lit a holy fire, and said a special prayer, asking God to protect his people.
And God sent him a miracle.
Later, his disciple Maggid de Mezritch, following in his master’s footsteps, would go to the same part of the forest and say:
“Master of the Universe, I do not know how to light the holy fire, but I do know the special prayer; hear me, please!”
The miracle always came about.
A generation passed, and Rabbi Moshe-leib of Sasov, when he saw the war approaching, went to the forest, saying:
“I don’t know how to light the holy fire, nor do I know the special prayer, but I still remember the place. Help us, Lord!”
And the Lord helped.
Fifty years later, Rabbi Israel de Rizhin, in his wheelchair, spoke to God:
“I don’t know how to light the holy fire, nor the prayer, and I can’t even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell this story, and hope God hears me.”
And telling the story was enough for the danger to pass.
And I will add:
Tell your stories. Your neighbors may not understand you, but they will understand your soul. Stories are the last bridge left to allow different cultures to communicate among each other.
My blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com
GOOD AND EVIL FIGHT EACH OTHER
Persia: Man as the Ally of Good
The first story about the division between Good and Evil comes from ancient Persia. The God of Time, having created the universe, sees harmony all around him, but feels that there is still something very important missing, a companion with whom to share all this beauty.
For a thousand years, he prays for a son. The story does not say to whom he prays, given that he is omnipotent, the sole, supreme Lord; nevertheless, he prays and finally he becomes pregnant.
When he realizes he has achieved his heart’s desire, the god of time is filled with remorse, suddenly conscious of how fragile the balance of things is. But it is too late and the child is already on its way. All he achieves by his lamentations is to cause the son he is carrying in his belly to divide into two.
The legend recounts that just as Good (Ormuzd) is born out of the God of Time’s prayers, so Evil (Ahriman) is born out of his remorse - twin brothers.
The concerned father arranges everything so that Ormuzd will emerge first from his belly, to take charge of his brother and to prevent Ahriman from throwing the universe into confusion. However, Evil, being very intelligent and resourceful, manages to push Ormuzd aside at the moment of their birth, and thus is the first to be born.
Distraught, the god of time resolves to forge alliances on Ormuzd’s behalf; he brings into being the human race so that they can fight alongside Ormuzd and stop Ahriman from taking control of everything.
In the Persian legend, the human race is born to be the ally of Good and according to tradition, Good will triumph in the end. However, many centuries later, another story about Division emerges, this time presenting the opposite view; man as the instrument of Evil.
The Bible: Division Brings Pain and Suffering
I imagine that most people will know this story. A man and a woman are in the Garden of Eden, enjoying every imaginable delight. But one thing is forbidden; the couple must never know the meaning of Good and Evil. The Lord God says, ‘But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it (Genesis 2:17)’ .
One day the serpent appears, swearing that this knowledge is more important than paradise itself and that they should possess that knowledge. The woman refuses, saying that God has threatened her with death, but the serpent assures her that nothing of the kind will happen. He assures her that quite the contrary will occur; for on the day they learn what Good and Evil are, they will become God’s equals.
Convinced, Eve eats of the forbidden fruit and gives some of it to Adam. From this moment on, the original balance of paradise is destroyed, and the pair is driven out of paradise and cursed.
In Biblical tradition, the human race is an accomplice of the evil that spreads over the planet.
You cannot sell your next book by underrating your book that was just published. Be proud of what you have.
Trust your reader, don’t try to describe things. Give a hint and they will fulfill this hint with their own imagination.
You cannot take something out of nothing. When you write a book, use your experience.
Some writers want to please their peers, they want to be “recognized”. This shows insecurity and nothing else, please forget about this. You should care to share your soul and not to please other writers.
If you want to capture ideas, you are lost. You are going to be detached from emotions and forget to live your life. You will be an observer and not a human being living his or her life. Forget taking notes. What is important remains, what is not important goes away.
If you overload your book with a lot of research, you are going to be very boring to yourself and to your reader. Books are not there to show how intelligent you are. Books are there to show your soul.
I write the book that wants to be written. Behind the first sentence is a thread that takes you to the last.
Don’t try to innovate storytelling, tell a good story and it is magical. I see people trying to work so much in style, finding different ways to tell the same thing. It’s like fashion. Style is the dress, but the dress does not dictate what is inside the dress.
Crowns on the Torah
When Moses ascended to Heaven to write a certain part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to place small crowns on some letters of the Torah. Moses said: "Master of the Universe, why draw these crowns?" God answered: "Because one hundred generations from now a man called Akiva will interpret them."
"Show me this man's interpretation," asked Moses.
The Lord took him to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva's classes. One pupil asked: "Rabbi, why are these crowns drawn on top of some letters?"
"I don't know." Replied Akiva. "And I am sure that not even Moses knew. He did this only to teach us that even without understanding everything the Lord does, we can trust in his wisdom."
A master asked his disciples:
‘Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?’
the disciples thought for a while, and one of them said
‘Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.’
‘But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you? ‘Isn’t it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you’re angry?’
The disciples gave him some other answers but none satisfied the master.
Finally he explained:
‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.’
Then the master asked:
‘What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small…’
And he finally said:
‘When they love each other even more, what happens?
‘They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love.
‘Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’
MY DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
1] All human beings are different. And should do everything possible to continue to be so.
2] Each human being has been granted two courses of action: that of deed and that of contemplation. Both lead to the same place.
3] Each human being has been granted two qualities: power and gift. Power drives a person to meet his/her destiny, his gift obliges that person to share with others which is good in him/her. A human being must know when to use power, and when to use compassion.
4] Each human being has been granted a virtue: the capacity to choose. For he/she who does not use this virtue, it becomes a curse – and others will always choose for him/her.
5] Each human being has the right to two blessings, which are: the blessing to do right, and the blessing to err. In the latter case, there is always a path of learning leading to the right way.
6] Each human being has his own sexual profile, and should exercise it without guilt – provided he does not oblige others to exercise it with him/her.
7] Each human being has his own Personal Legend to be fulfilled, and this is the reason he is in the world. The Personal Legend is manifest in his enthusiasm for what she/he does.
Single paragraph – the Personal Legend may be abandoned for a certain time, provided one does not forget it and returns as soon as possible.
8] Each man has a feminine side, and each woman has a masculine side. It is necessary to use discipline with intuition, and to use intuition objectively.
9] Each human being must know two languages: the language of society and the language of the omens. The first serves for communication with others. The second serves to interpret messages from God.
10] Each human being has the right to seek out joy, joy being understood as something which makes one content – not necessarily that which makes others content.
11] Each human being must keep alight within him the sacred flame of madness. And must behave like a normal person.
12] The only faults considered grave are the following: not respecting the rights of one’s neighbor, letting oneself be paralyzed by fear, feeling guilty, thinking one does not deserve the good and bad which occurs in life, and being a coward.
Paragraph 1 – we shall love our adversaries, but not make alliances with them. They are placed in our way to test our sword, and deserve the respect of our fight.
Paragraph 2 – we shall choose our adversaries, not the other way around.
12A] We hereby declare the end to the wall dividing the sacred from the profane: from now on, all is sacred.
14] Everything which is done in the present, affects the future by consequence, and the past by redemption.
15] The impossible is possible