Paulo Coelho

Brazilian lyricist and novelist

Paulo Coelho de Souza (IPA: [ˈpau̯lu ˈko̯eʎu]) (born 24 August 1947) is a Brazilian poet and writer.

Warriors of the light are not perfect. Their beauty lies in accepting this fact and still desiring to grow and to learn.
The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people's opinions.

QuotesEdit

 
If you come here, you will find a hidden treasure.
 
It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them.
 
Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe...
  • When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.
    • Brida (1990).
  • The wise are wise only because they love.
    • As quoted in Elders on Love: Dialogues on the Consciousness, Cultivation, and Expression of Love (1999) by Kenneth R. Lakritz and Thomas M. Knoblauch.
    • Unsourced variant: The wise are wise only because they love. The fools are fools only because they think they can understand love.
  • When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
    • The Devil and Miss Prym‎ [O Demônio e a srta Prym] (2000), p. x; this has also been misquoted as "A moment is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny."
  • Terror, terror, terror. Life was a reign o terror in the shadow of the guillotine.
    • The Devil and Miss Prym‎ [O Demônio e a srta Prym] (2000), p. 86.
  • The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people's opinions.
    • As quoted in Quotes That Help You Survive (2006) by Harpreet Kaur Kapoor.
  • There is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for.
    • As quoted in Honor Your Gifts (2007) by Dona M. Deane, p. 199.
  • You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.
    • As quoted in Publishing Tips : Weekly Strategies for the Independent Writer‎ (2008) by Linda A. Lavid, p. 57.
  • A disciple asked Hejasi:

- I want to know what is the most funny thing about human beings.
Hejasi said:
- That they always think crooked: they’re in a hurry to grow, then lament their lost childhood, and soon lose the money they need to keep their health.
"They are so anxious about the future, that they neglect the present, and thus live in neither the present nor the future."
"They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived."

  • As an author, I should be defending ‘intellectual property’, but I’m not. Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written!

The Alchemist (1988)Edit

O Alquimista [Page numbers provided may vary slightly among different editions] ISBN 0-06-112241-6
 
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
 
Each thing has to transform itself into something better, and to acquire a new Personal Legend, until, someday, the Soul of the World becomes one thing only.
 
Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World.… It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse.
 
No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it.
 
What happens once will never happen again. But what happens twice will surely happen a third time.
  • We warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know the Universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how.
    • Introduction, p. xi.
  • I ask myself: are defeats necessary?
    Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for a dream, we have no experience and make mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
    • Introduction, p. xi.
  • If you come here, you will find a hidden treasure.
    • The child in the shepherd's dream, p. 14.
  • I told you that your dream was a difficult one. It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them.
    • This has sometimes been paraphrased: "The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them."
    • p. 15.
  • At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie.
    • p. 18.
  • There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.... The soul of the world is nourished by people's happiness.
    • The Old King, p. 22.
  • E quando você quer alguma coisa, todo o Universo conspira para que você realize seu desejo.
    • When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
    • p. 22; a variant of this has become attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen" — but no occurrence of this a statement has been located prior to in The Gift of Depression : Twenty-one Inspirational Stories Sharing Experience, Strength, and Hope (2001) by John F. Brown, p. 56
  • At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.
    • p. 22.
  • Life attracts life.
    • The alchemist uses this expression at p. 23, but it is one that does not originate with Coelho, though his work has popularized it.
  • As he mused about these things, he realised that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.
    • p. 44.
  • He had worked for an entire year to make a dream come true, and that dream, minute by minute, was becoming less important. Maybe cause that wasn't really his dream.
    • p. 65.
  • We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.
    • p. 93
  • If I am really a part of your dream, you'll come back one day.
    • Fatima, p. 101; has also been quoted in slight variant: "If I am really part of your dream, you will come back one day."
  • "If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise," said the seer. "If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur."
    • p. 102.
  • The desert takes our dreams away from us, and they don't always return. We know that, and we are used to it. Those who don't return become a part of the clouds, a part of the animals that hide in the ravines and of the water that comes from the earth. They become part of everything... They become the Soul of the World.
    • Fatima, p. 102.
  • One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
    • p. 128
  • Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.
    • p. 130
  • Don't think about what you've left behind, the alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. "Everything is written in the Soul of the World, and there it will stay forever."
    • p. 130.
  • If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.
    • p. 130.
  • There is only one way to learn … It's through action.
    • p. 131.
  • A grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it.
    • p. 131
  • It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.
    • p. 132.
  • There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.
    • The alchemist, p. 141.
  • The wise men understood that this natural world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom. That's what I mean by action.
    • p. 151.
  • Wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure.
    • p. 128
    • Compare to the Bible, Luke 12:34 (For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.)(NIV translation).
  • It's true that everything has its Personal Legend, but one day that Personal Legend will be realized. So each thing has to transform itself into something better, and to acquire a new Personal Legend, until, someday, the Soul of the World becomes one thing only.
    • p. 156.
  • Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World. … It is we who nourish the Soul of the World, and the world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that's where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.
    • p. 157.
  • No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it.
    • p. 158.
  • Your money saved us for three days. It's not often that money saves a person's life.
    • p. 167
  • Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.
    • p. 184; this also has been quoted as "What happens once will never happen again. But what happens twice will surely happen a third time."

The Valkyries (1992)Edit

As Valkírias
 
Perhaps they needn't even believe — it was enough that they needed angels, and the angels would return gladly.
  • The parents always insisted on telling their child that their secret friends didn't exist — perhaps because they had forgotten that they too had spoken to their angel at one time. Or, who knows, perhaps they thought they lived in a world where there was no longer any place for angels. Disenchanted, the angels had returned to God's side, knowing that they could no longer impose their presence.
    • p.132.
  • Perhaps they needn't even believe — it was enough that they needed angels, and the angels would return gladly.
    • p. 133.

By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994)Edit

Na margem do rio Piedra eu sentei e chorei
 
We must never forget that spiritual experience is above all a practical experience of love. And with love, there are no rules.
 
That moment exists — a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.
 
The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us.
And to save us.
  • We must never forget that spiritual experience is above all a practical experience of love. And with love, there are no rules.
    • As translated by Alan R. Clarke (1996).
  • The gods throw the dice, and they don't ask whether we want to be in the game or not. They don't care if when you go, you leave behind a lover, a home, a career, or a dream. The gods don't care whether you have it all, whether it seems that your every desire can be met through hard work and persistence. The gods don't want to know about your plans and your hopes. Somewhere they're throwing the dice — and you are chosen. From then on, winning or losing is only a question of luck.
    The gods throw the dice, freeing love from its cage. And love can create or destroy — depending on the direction of the wind when it is set free.
  • Seek to live. Remembrance is for the old.
  • You have to take risks … We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. Every day, God gives us the sun — and also one moment in which we have the ability to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day, we try to pretend that we haven't perceived that moment, that it doesn't exist — that today is the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if people really pay attention to their everyday lives, they will discover that magic moment. It may arrive in the instant when we are doing something mundane, like putting our front-door key in the lock; it may lie hidden in the quiet that follows the lunch hour or in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. But that moment exists — a moment when all the power of the stars becomes a part of us and enables us to perform miracles.
  • Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks.
  • Lovers need to know how to lose themselves and then how to find themselves again.
  • Love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current. For when those walls come down, then love takes over, and it no longer matters what is possible or impossible; it doesn't even matter whether we can keep the loved one at our side. To love is to lose control.
  • There's nothing deeper than love. In fairy tales, the princesses kiss the frogs, and the frogs become princes. In real life, the princesses kiss princes, and the princes turn into frogs.
  • Life takes us by surprise and orders us to move toward the unknown — even when we don't want to and when we think we don't need to.
  • Love is always new. Regardless of whether we love once, twice, or a dozen times in our life, we always face a brand-new situation. Love can consign us to hell or to paradise, but it always takes us somewhere. We simply have to accept it, because it is what nourishes our existence. If we reject it, we die of hunger, because we lack the courage to reach out a hand and pluck the fruit from the branches of the tree of life. We have to take love where we find it, even if it means hours, days, weeks of disappointment and sadness.
    The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us.
    And to save us.
  • If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.
  • Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.
  • Even if loving meant leaving, or solitude, or sorrow, love was worth every penny of its price.
  • I am going to sit here with you by the river. If you go home to sleep, I will sleep in front of your house. And if you go away, I will follow you — until you tell me to go away. Then I'll leave. But I have to love you for the rest of my life.

The Manual of the Warrior of Light (1997)Edit

 
He identifies with the mountains and the streams, he sees something of his own soul in the plants and the animals and the birds of the field.
Then, accepting the help of God and of God's signs, he allows his personal legend to guide him toward the tasks that life has reserved for him.
  • Every Warrior of the Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons. Every Warrior of the Light has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of the Light.
    Every Warrior of the Light has failed in his spiritual duties.
    Every Warrior of the Light has said "yes" when he wanted to say "no."
    Every Warrior of the Light has hurt someone he loved.
    That is why he is a Warrior of the Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.
    Each stone, each bend cries welcome to him. He identifies with the mountains and the streams, he sees something of his own soul in the plants and the animals and the birds of the field.
    Then, accepting the help of God and of God's signs, he allows his personal legend to guide him toward the tasks that life has reserved for him.
    On some nights, he has nowhere to sleep, on others he suffers from insomnia. "That's just how it is," thinks the warrior. "I was the one who chose to walk this path."
    In these words lies all his power: He chose the path along which he is walking and so has no complaints.
  • Warriors of the light are not perfect. Their beauty lies in accepting this fact and still desiring to grow and to learn.
  • A warrior of the light never confuses tension with anxiety.

Veronika Decides to Die (1998)Edit

Veronika decide morrer
 
You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that in my view is a serious illness. God chose you to be different. Why are you disappointing God with this kind of attitude?
  • On 11 November 1997, Veronika decided that the moment to kill herself had — at last! — arrived.
  • She believed herself to be completely normal. Two very simple reasons lay behind her decision to die, and she was sure that, were she to leave a note explaining, many people would agree with her.
    The first reason: everything in her life was the same and, once her youth was gone, it would be downhill all the way, with old age beginning to leave irreversible marks, the onset of illness, the departure of friends. She would gain nothing by continuing to live; indeed, the likelihood of suffering only increased. The second reason was more philosophical: Veronika read the newspapers, watched TV, and she was aware of what was going on in the world. Everything was wrong, and she had no way of putting things right — that gave her a sense of complete powerlessness.
  • When she opened her eyes, Veronika did not think "this must be heaven". Heaven would never use a fluorescent tube to light a room, and the pain — which started a fraction of a second later — was typical of the Earth. Ah, that Earth pain — unique, unmistakable.
  • I'll tell everyone that the children are my reason for living, when in reality my life is their reason for living.
  • Veronika brought her interior monologue to a close and made a promise to herself: she would not leave Villete alive. It was best to put an end to everything now, while she was still brave and healthy enough to die.
  • Look me in the eye and never forget what I'm about to tell you. There are only two prohibitions, one according to man's law, the other according to God's. Never force a sexual relationship on anyone, because that is considered to be rape. And never have sexual relations with children, because that is the worst of all sins. Apart from that, you're free. There's always someone who wants exactly what you want.
    • Mari to Veronika.
  • The great problem with poisoning by Bitterness was that the passions — hatred, love, despair, enthusiasm, curiosity — also ceased to manifest themselves. After a while, the embittered person felt no desire at all. They lacked the will either to live or to die, that was the problem.
  • You are someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that in my view is a serious illness. God chose you to be different. Why are you disappointing God with this kind of attitude?
  • You have two choices: to control your mind or to let your mind control you.

Eleven Minutes (2003)Edit

 
I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It's all a question of how I view my life.
 
No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.
  • When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.
    • p. 9.
  • My aim is to understand love. I know how alive I felt when I was in love, and I know that everything I have now, however interesting it might seem, doesn't really excited me.
    But love is a terrible thing: I've seen my girlfriends suffer and I don't want the same thing to happen to me. … Although my aim is to understand love, and although I suffer to think of people to whom I gave my heart, I see that those who touched my heart failed to arouse my body, and that those who aroused my body failed to touch my heart.
    • Maria's diary entry at the age of 17, p. 16.
  • I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It's all a question of how I view my life.
    • p. 37.
  • Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.
    • p. 50.
  • In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. It hurt when I lost each of the various men I fell in love with. Now, though, I am convinced that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.
    • p. 97.
  • Anyone who is in love is making love the whole time, even when they're not. When two bodies meet, it is just the cup overflowing. They can stay together for hours, even days. They begin the dance one day and finish it the next, or — such is the pleasure they experience — they may never finish it. No eleven minutes for them.
    • p. 164.

The Zahir (2005)Edit

 
In my world, everything is possible and everything is relative
  • I learned something recently: our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives...
    • p. 65.
  • You want to know if the heart of a man or a woman can contain enough love for more than one person? … I think it's perfectly possible as long as one of those people doesn’t turn into … a Zahir.
    • p. 128.
  • In my world, everything is possible and everything is relative.
    • p. 167.
  • Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.
    • p. 205.
  • Stop being who you were and become who you are.
    • p. 215.
  • A brush with death always helps us to live our lives better.
    • p. 220.
  • That’s the problem, we do get used to things.
    • p. 226.
  • That is how I would have acted before my accident, but now my personal history had become unimportant. It had stopped being history and was once more becoming a legend, a search, an adventure, a journey into and away from myself. I was once more in a time which the things around me were changing and that is how I wanted it to be for the rest of my days.
    • p. 272.

The Witch of Portobello (2007)Edit

 
Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor. It will be difficult at first, but you'll gradually get used to it.
 
Love simply is. … Love and don't ask too many questions. Just love.
  • Athena's great problem was that she was a woman of the twenty-second century living in the twenty-first, and making no secret of the fact, either. Did she pay a price? She certainly did. But she would have paid a still higher price if she had repressed her natural exuberance. She would have been bitter, frustrated, always concerned about "what other people might think," always saying, "I'll just sort these things out, then I'll devote myself to my dream," always complaining "that the conditions are never quite right."
    • Deidre O'Neill, known as Edda, p. 11.
  • All my life I've learned to suffer in silence.
    • p. 41.
  • What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.
    • p. 78.
  • You are what you believe yourself to be.
    Don't be like those people who believe in "positive thinking" and tell themselves that they're loved and strong and capable. You don't need to do that because you know it already. And when you doubt it — which happens, I think, quite often at this stage of evolution — do as I suggested. Instead of trying to prove that you're better than you think, just laugh. Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor. It will be difficult at first, but you'll gradually get used to it. Now go back and meet all those people who think you know everything. Convince yourself that they're right, because we all know everything, it's merely a question of believing.
    Believe.
    • p. 152.
  • Love simply is. That is the testament of Athena or Sherine or Hagia Sofia — love is. No definitions. Love and don't ask too many questions. Just love.
    • p. 258.

Aleph (2011)Edit

  • You feel that nothing you have learned has put down roots, that while you’re capable of entering the magical universe, you cannot remain submerged in it. You feel that all of this may be nothing but a fantasy dreamed up by people to fend off their fear of death.
  • I have only one certainty: there exists a parallel spiritual universe that impinges on the world in which we live. Apart from that, everything else seems absurd to me—sacred books, revelations, guides, manuals, ceremonies … and, what is worse, they appear to have no lasting effects.
  • That’s because, like everyone else on the planet, you believed that time would teach you to grow closer to God. But time doesn’t teach; it merely brings us a sense of weariness and of growing older.
  • In magic—and in life—there is only the present moment, the now. You can’t measure time the way you measure the distance between two points. “Time” doesn’t pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.
  • Past and future exist only in our memory. The present moment, though, is outside of time, it’s Eternity. In India, they use the word ‘karma,’ for lack of any better term. It isn’t what you did in the past that will affect the present. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.
  • You think that you exist because you’re unhappy. Other people exist merely as a function of their problems and spend all their time talking compulsively about their children, their wives and husbands, school, work, friends. They never stop to think: I’m here. I am the result of everything that happened and will happen, but I’m here. If I did something wrong, I can put it right or at least ask forgiveness. If I did something right, that leaves me happier and more connected with the now”.
  • you discover that your old “I,” along with everything you ever learned, is absolutely no use at all in the face of those new challenges, and you begin to realize that buried deep in your unconscious mind there is someone much more interesting and adventurous and more open to the world and to new experiences.
  • Our life is a constant journey, from birth to death. The landscape changes, the people change, our needs change, but the train keeps moving. Life is the train, not the station. And what you’re doing now isn’t traveling, it’s just changing countries, which is completely different Understand what is going on inside you and you will understand what is going on inside everyone else.
  • Whenever I refused to follow my fate, something very hard to bear would happen in my life. Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.
  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • Lord, preserve me from tragedy and I will follow your desires.
  • Here I am, trying to persuade myself that I always give the best of myself, and nature is telling me exactly the opposite: anyone truly committed to life never stops walking.
  • Hell is when we look back during that fraction of a second and know that we wasted an opportunity to dignify the miracle of life. Paradise is being able to say at that moment: “I made some mistakes, but I wasn’t a coward. I lived my life and did what I had to do.” However, there’s no need to anticipate my particular hell and keep going over and over the fact that I can make no further progress in what I understand to be my “Spiritual Quest.” It’s enough that I keep trying. Even those who didn’t do all they could have done have already been forgiven; they had their punishment while they were alive by being unhappy when they could have been living in peace and harmony. We are all redeemed and free to follow the path that has no beginning and will have no end.
  • Routine has nothing to do with repetition. To become really good at anything, you have to practice and repeat, practice and repeat, until the technique becomes intuitive.
  • What can’t be cured must be endured.
  • Every note leaves in each of us a memory, but it is the melody as a whole that tells a story, the story of someone wanting to get closer to another person and who keeps on trying, despite repeated rejections.
  • I can’t tell someone that their dreams are impossible.
  • If I were to persuade just one person to stop fighting for something they were convinced was worthwhile, I would end up persuading myself, and my whole life would be diminished.
  • So, in my relationships with men, I’ve always sought suffering, conflict, and despair.
  • Don’t let yourself be destroyed by a force that was placed in our hearts in order to make everything better.
  • The light of love flows out of my soul, but it can go nowhere because it’s blocked by pain. I could inhale and exhale every morning for the rest of my life, but that wouldn’t solve anything.
  • What hurts us is what heals us.
  • Life has been very hard on me, but, at the same time, it has taught me a great deal.
  • To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering the meaning of life.
  • What we aim to do is calm the spirit and get in touch with the source from which everything comes, removing any trace of malice or egotism. If you spend too much time trying to find out what is good or bad about someone else, you’ll forget your own soul and end up exhausted and defeated by the energy you have wasted in judging others.
  • Lao-tzu’s words, was: place all your feelings outside of yourself and you will be renewed.
  • I don’t believe in God as you imagine Him to be, but I believe in many things that you could never even dream of.
  • I think to myself that this really isn’t something I should concern myself with.
  • “No one can learn to love by following a manual, and no one can learn to write by following a course. I’m not telling you to seek out other writers but to find people with different skills from yourself, because writing is no different from any other activity done with joy and enthusiasm”.
  • If I had to give you one piece of advice, it would be this: don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions.
  • Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks, and do what you really want to do.
  • Seek out people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes and who, therefore, do make mistakes. Because of that, their work often isn’t recognized, but they are precisely the kind of people who change the world and, after many mistakes, do something that will transform their own community completely”.
  • If someone is giving us something, that’s because we’re incapable of getting it for ourselves.
  • Love is the only thing that will save us, independent of any mistakes we may make. Love is always stronger.
  • Time neither moves nor is stationary. Time changes.
  • We learn in the past, but we are not the result of that. We suffered in the past, loved in the past, cried and laughed in the past, but that’s of no use to the present. The present has its challenges, its good and bad side. We can neither blame nor be grateful to the past for what is happening now. Each new experience of love has nothing whatsoever to do with past experiences. It’s always new.
  • People aren’t used to that way of thinking. They want everything to stay the same—and the consequence of that is pain,”.
  • We are not the person other people wish we were. We are who we decide to be.
  • It’s always easy to blame others. You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own responsibility. You can try to stop time, but it’s a complete waste of energy.
  • If you rely only on experience, you’ll simply keep applying old solutions to new problems. I know a lot of people who feel they have an identity only when they’re talking about their problems. That way, they exist, because their problems are linked to what they judge to be their history.
  • It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory, but when you succeed, you start to realize that you’re capable of far more than you imagined. You live in this vast body called the Universe, which contains all the solutions and all the problems. Visit your soul; don’t visit your past. The Universe goes through many mutations and carries the past with it. We call each of those mutations a ‘life,’ but just as the cells in your body change and yet you remain the same, so time does not pass, it merely changes.
  • Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms. For example, I can’t see who is in the next carriage, but it contains people traveling in the same time as me, as you, as everyone. The fact that we can’t speak to them or know what’s going on in that other carriage is completely irrelevant. They are there. So what we call ‘life’ is a train with many carriages. Sometimes we’re in one, sometimes we’re in another, and sometimes we cross between them, when we dream or allow ourselves to be swept away by the extraordinary.
  • Love always triumphs over what we call death. That’s why there’s no need to grieve for our loved ones, because they continue to be loved and remain by our side.
  • Life is one long training session in preparation for what will come. Life and death lose their meaning; there are only challenges to be met with joy and overcome with tranquility.
  • First develop a strategy that utilizes everything around you. The best way to prepare for a challenge is to cultivate the ability to call on an infinite variety of responses.
  • I forgive the tears I was made to shed,
  • I forgive the pain and the disappointments,
  • I forgive the betrayals and the lies,
  • I forgive the slanders and intrigues,
  • I forgive the hatred and the persecution,
  • I forgive the blows that hurt me,
  • I forgive the wrecked dreams,
  • I forgive the stillborn hopes,
  • I forgive the hostility and jealousy,
  • I forgive the indifference and ill will,
  • I forgive the injustice carried out in the name of justice,
  • I forgive the anger and the cruelty,
  • I forgive the neglect and the contempt,
  • I forgive the world and all its evils.”
  • I will be capable of loving, regardless of whether I am loved in return,
  • *Of giving, even when I have nothing,
  • Of working happily, even in the midst of difficulties,
  • Of holding out my hand, even when utterly alone and abandoned,
  • Of drying my tears, even while I weep,
  • Of believing, even when no one believes in me.
  • The world is divided into those who understand me and those who don’t. In the case of the latter, I simply leave them to torment themselves trying to gain my sympathy.
  • I love you like a river that creates the right conditions for trees and bushes and flowers to flourish along its banks. I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go.
  • I love you like a river that understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, and the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.
  • I love you like a river that begins as a solitary trickle in the mountains and gradually grows and joins other rivers until, after a certain point, it can flow around any obstacle in order to get where it wants.
  • I receive your love, and I give you mine. Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures, but a love with no name and no explanation, like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course but simply flows onward. A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there. I will never be yours, and you will never be mine; nevertheless, I can honestly say: I love you, I love you, I love you.
  • I am not a foreigner, because I haven’t been praying to return safely home. I haven’t wasted my time imagining my house, my desk, my side of the bed. I am not a foreigner, because we are all traveling, we are all full of the same questions, the same tiredness, the same fears, the same selfishness, and the same generosity. I am not a foreigner, because, when I asked, I received.
  • When I knocked, the door opened. When I looked, I found.
  • Life is a dream from which we wake only when we meet death.


Manuscript Found in Accra (2012)Edit

See also: Manuscript Found in Accra (Larger collection from this book)
Full text online (multiple formats)

  • The papyruses are Greek translations of texts written between the end of the First century BC and AD 180, and they constitute a body of work also known as the Apocryphal Gospels because they are not included in the Bible as we know it today. Now, why is that? In AD 170, a group of bishops decided which texts would form part of the New Testament... other books.. were omitted either because they were written by women (for example, the Gospel according to Mary Magdalene) or because they depicted a Jesus who was aware of his divine mission and whose passage through death would, therefore, be less drawn out and painful.
  • In 1974, the English archaeologist Sir Walter Wilkinson discovered another manuscript, this time written in three languages: Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin...On 30 November 2011, I received a copy of the text that he had mentioned at that first meeting. I transcribe it here.
  • Now that I am at the end of my life, I leave for those who come after me everything that I learned while I walked the face of this Earth. May they make good use of it.
  • A week ago, our commanders held a meeting. The French soldiers are infinitely superior and far better equipped than ours. We were given a choice: to abandon the city or fight to the death, because we will certainly be defeated. Most of us decided to stay. The Muslims are, at this moment, gathered at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the Jews chose to assemble their soldiers in Mihrab Dawud, and the Christians... were charged with defending the southern part of the city... Judging from the enemy’s movements, we assume that they will attack tomorrow morning, spilling our blood in the name of the Pope, the ‘liberation’ of the city and the ‘divine will’.
  • This evening, in the same square where, a millennium ago, the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, handed Jesus over to the mob to be crucified, a group of men and women of all ages went to see the Greek, whom we all know as the Copt... He did not seek to join any particular religion, and no one tried to persuade him otherwise. The Copt believes only in the present moment and what he calls Moira - the unknown god, the Divine Energy...
  • Many centuries ago, a man was judged and condemned in this square.. On the road to the right, while he was walking towards his death, he passed a group of women. When he saw them weeping, he said: “Weep not for me, weep for Jerusalem.” He prophesied what is happening now. As from tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to a war that will last into an unimaginably distant future... They can destroy the city, but they cannot destroy everything the city has taught us, which is why it is vital that this knowledge does not suffer the same fate as our walls, houses and streets. But what is knowledge?’
  • It isn’t the absolute truth about life and death, but the thing that helps us to live and confront the challenges of day-to-day life. It isn’t what we learn from books, which serves only to fuel futile arguments about what happened or will happen; it is the knowledge that lives in the hearts of men and women of good will.... I am a learned man and yet...still don’t know quite what to say to you. But I will ask the Divine Energy to purify my heart.
  • You will ask me questions and I will answer them. That is what the teachers of Ancient Greece did; their disciples would ask them questions about problems they had not considered before and the teachers would answer them... We will speak, therefore, about our daily lives, about the difficulties we have had to face. That is all the future will be interested in, because I do not believe very much will change in the next thousand years.’
  • Does a man who spent years preparing to climb the highest mountain in the world feel defeated when, on reaching that mountain, he discovers that nature has cloaked the summit in storm clouds? The man says... "...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."
  • In the cycle of nature there is no such thing as victory or defeat; there is only movement. The winter struggles to reign supreme, but in the end is obliged to accept spring’s victory, which brings with it flowers and happiness.
  • Others, even though they were defeated and feel humiliated by the things the winners are saying about them, will allow themselves to shed a few tears but will never succumb to self-pity. They know that this is a merely a pause in the fighting and that, for the moment, they are at a disadvantage. They try to work out what they did wrong and what they did right. They take advantage of this moment of defeat to rest, heal their wounds, devise new strategies and equip themselves better. Then the day dawns when a new battle knocks on their door. They are still afraid, but they have to act, either that or remain for ever lying on the ground. They get up and face their opponent, remembering the suffering they have endured and which they no longer wish to endure...
  • If victory is not theirs this time, it will be the next time. And if not the next time, then the time after that... The important thing is to get back on your feet. Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious.
  • The defeated are those who never fail. Defeat means that we lose a particular battle or war. Failure does not allow us to go on fighting.
  • Defeat is for those who, despite their fears, live with enthusiasm and faith. Defeat is for the valiant. Only they will know the honour of losing and the joy of winning.
  • Those who were never defeated seem happy and superior, masters of a truth they never had to lift a finger to achieve. They are always on the side of the strong. They’re like hyenas, who only eat the leavings of lions.
  • Without solitude, Love will not stay long by your side... Without solitude, no plant or animal can survive, no soil can remain productive for any length of time, no child can learn about life, no artist can create, no work can grow and be transformed.
  • Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement...Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.
  • Therefore, blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge... If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself... And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.
  • That feeling of uselessness is no respecter of age and never asks permission, but corrodes people’s souls, repeating over and over: ‘No one is interested in you, you’re nothing, the world doesn’t need your presence.’
  • In a desperate attempt to give meaning to life, many turn to religion, because a struggle in the name of a faith is always a justification for some grand action, which could transform the world. ‘We are doing God’s work,’ they tell themselves. And they become devout followers, then evangelists, and finally, fanatics. They don’t understand that religion was created in order to share the mystery and to worship, not to oppress or convert others.
  • Nothing in this world is useless in the eyes of God. Not a leaf from a tree falls, not a hair from your head, not even an insect dies because it was of no use. Everything has a reason to exist... Don’t try to be useful. Try to be yourself: that is enough, and that makes all the difference. A life is never useless. Each soul that came down to Earth is here for a reason.
  • We are afraid to change because we think that, after much effort and sacrifice, we know our present world. And even though that world might not be the best of all worlds and even though we may not be entirely satisfied with it, at least it won’t give us any nasty surprises. We won’t go wrong. When necessary, we will make a few minor adjustments so that everything continues the same.
  • It’s nice to dream that we will have plenty of time in the future to do our travelling and that, one day, we will. It cheers us up because we know that we are capable of doing more than we do. Dreaming carries no risks. The dangerous thing is trying to transform your dreams into reality.
  • Joy. That is one of the main blessings of the All-Powerful. If we are happy, we are on the right road.
  • When they are lying in their tents, unable to sleep and overwhelmed by sadness and regret, they say to themselves: Tomorrow, and only tomorrow, will I take another step. Besides, I can always turn back, because I know the road, but one more step won’t make much difference.’ Until one day, without warning, the road stops testing the traveller and begins to treat him generously. The traveller’s troubled spirit takes pleasure in the beauties and the challenges of the new landscape.
  • What continues to trouble him is not what happens, but a fear that he won’t know how to deal with it. Once he has decided to follow his path and has no alternative, he discovers that he has great will power and that events bend to his decisions.
  • People always say: ‘It’s inner beauty that matters, not outer beauty.’ Well, that’s not true. If it were, why would flowers put so much energy into attracting bees? And why would raindrops transform themselves into a rainbow when they encounter the sun? Because nature longs for beauty, and is only satisfied when beauty can be exalted.
  • Outer beauty is inner beauty made visible, and it manifests itself in the light that flows from our eyes. It doesn’t matter if a person is badly dressed or doesn’t conform to our idea of elegance, or isn’t even concerned about impressing other people. The eyes are the mirror of the soul and reflect everything that seems to be hidden; and, like a mirror, they also reflect the person looking into them. So if the person looking into someone’s eyes has a dark soul, he will see only his own ugliness.
  • In order to hear Love’s words, you must allow Love to approach. However, when it does draw near, we fear what it might say to us, because Love is free and is not ruled by our will or by what we do...True Love, however, is the love that seduces and will never allow itself to be seduced... Love transforms, love heals. But sometimes it lays deadly traps and ends up destroying the person who decided to surrender himself completely. How can the force that moves the world and keeps the stars in their places be, at once, so creative and so devastating?
  • We are used to thinking that what we give is the same as what we receive, but people who love, expecting to be loved in return, are wasting their time. Love is an act of faith, not an exchange... Life is too short for us to keep important words, for example, ‘I love you’, locked in our hearts. But do not always expect to hear the same words back. We love because we need to love. Otherwise, love loses all meaning and the sun ceases to shine.
  • Sometimes, when loneliness seems about to crush everything, the only way to resist is to keep on loving.
  • Our great goal in life is to love. The rest is silence.
  • We need to love. Even when it leads us to the land where the lakes are made of tears, to that secret, mysterious place, the land of tears!
  • It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
  • We love because Love sets us free, and we say things that we once never even had the courage to whisper to ourselves.
  • No one can go back, but everyone can go forward. And tomorrow, when the sun rises, all you have to say to yourselves is: I am going to think of this day as the first day of my life.
  • My smile is my way of saying: ‘You can destroy my body, but not my soul.’
  • For the first time, I will smile without feeling guilty, because joy is not a sin... For the first time, I will avoid anything that makes me suffer, because suffering is not a virtue.
  • Love rules, but no one knows where it has its throne; in order to know that secret place, you must first submit to Love.
  • And if I’m alone in bed, I will go over to window, look up at the sky and feel certain that loneliness is a lie, because the Universe is there to keep me company.
  • Men and women whisper to each other because they have turned a sacred gesture into a sinful act. If two bodies merely join together, that is not sex, it is merely pleasure. Sex goes far beyond pleasure. In sex, relaxation and tension go hand in hand, as do pain and pleasure, shyness and the courage to go beyond one’s limits... It isn’t enough to imagine everything that might happen if we allowed ourselves to join not just our bodies, but our souls as well.
  • Let us plunge together, then, down the dangerous path of surrender. It may be dangerous, but it is the only path worth following.
  • Let us forget all that we are taught about how it is noble to give and humiliating to receive. Because for most people, generosity consists only in giving, but receiving is also an act of love. Allowing someone else to make us happy will make them happy too.
  • We were born alone and we will die alone. But, while we are on this planet, we must accept and glorify our act of faith through other people.
  • Elegance tends to be mistaken for superficiality and mere appearance. Nothing could be further from the truth: some words are elegant, others can wound and destroy, but all are written with the same letters. Flowers are elegant, even when hidden among the grasses in a meadow. The gazelle when it runs is elegant, even when it is fleeing from a lion. Elegance is not an outer quality, but a part of the soul that is visible to others... Elegance lies not in the clothes we wear, but in the way we wear them... It isn’t in the way we wield a sword, but in the dialogue we hold that could avoid a war. But every tribe, every people, has values that they associate with elegance: hospitality, respect, good manners.
  • Arrogance attracts hatred and envy. Elegance arouses respect and Love. Arrogance causes us to humiliate our fellow man or woman. Elegance teaches us to walk in the light. Arrogance complicates words, because it believes that intelligence is only for the chosen few. Elegance transforms complex thoughts into something that everyone can understand.
  • When we are walking our chosen path, we walk elegantly, emanating light.

My 25 most important points (3 September 2014)Edit

Full text

  1. When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen...
  2. Detach from all things and you will be free...
  3. We are all here for a purpose...
  4. The only thing standing between you and your dream are your fears...
  5. Mistakes are part of life...
  6. Really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies meet...
  7. Every experience, either good or bad, comes with a lesson...
  8. Do not seek for love outside of you...
  9. When you change, the whole world changes with you...
  10. No reason is needed for loving...
  11. Mind your own business...
  12. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive...

TwitterEdit

  • The weak are wicked. Goodness can only be expected from the strong.


MisattributedEdit

  • God is where you let Him in.
    • This expression originates with a statement of Kotzker Rebbe, who, when he was five years old asked his father "Where is God?" to which his father answered: "God is everywhere!" Rebbe then responded "No, I think God is only where you let Him in." As quoted in Innerspace : Introduction to Kabbalah, Meditation and Prophecy‎ (1990), by Aryeh Kaplan, p. 160.
  • May love be your guide in every moment of your life.
    • Though widely attributed to Coelho on the internet, and originally added here within the section for The Alchemist, this specific form has not been located in any editions available in online searches. The directive "Let love be your guide" is a very old one, and did not originate with Coelho.

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