Paulo Coelho

Leo40

Jedi Master
This week I am reading Paulo Coelho, "The Winner stands alone."
This is quite a remarkable work and without giving the story away
I just want to quote two parts to whet your curiosity.

One charakter wants to find out what is "normal" and collects observations
in a notebook. Here are some:

1. normal is anything that makes us forget who we are and what we want;
that way we can work in order to produce, reproduce and earn money.
3. spending years studying at university only to find out that you are
unemployable.
15. believing absolutely everything that appears in print.
45. being equally convinced that aggression and rudeness are synonymous
with having a "powerful personality".

Another charakter is irritated by the incessant propaganda about climate change
and "saving the planet" activists and remarks:

"How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was and always will be stronger than us.
We can't destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface
and carry on existing. Why don't they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?
 

kannas

Padawan Learner
Hello Leo,

I've read most of Paulo Coelho's books, and they still grace my bookshelves. Each Coelho book envelops an unique perspective, I think. I haven't read "The Winner Stands Alone" and it sounds interesting from what you've shared.

I like this that you shared from the book:
"normal is anything that makes us forget who we are and what we want"

Good writers collect observations all the time. I'll put this on my list to read for 2010. And I have quite the long list!

By the way, one of my favorites of Coelho is "The Alchemist."

Here is a quote from the Introduction of The Alchemist:

I ask myself: are defeats necessary?

Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
 

Gaby

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I nearly forgot about Paulo Coelho! I remember that I read most of his books up until Eleven Minutes , published in 2003. Unfortunately, I had to give them away when I moved. Now I don't even remember some of the plots, I only remember that it used to be a lot of food for thought.
 

Aya

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
kannas said:
By the way, one of my favorites of Coelho is "The Alchemist."

Here is a quote from the Introduction of The Alchemist:
I ask myself: are defeats necessary?

Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

"The Alchemist" is my favorite, too.
Here is one of my favorites quote.

The secret is in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about future, and live each day according to the teachings, each day, in itself brings, with it an eternity.

I have Paulo Coelho's two books, "Eleven Minutes" and "The Witch of Portobello" at home. They are on my reading list. I have a long reading list, too and I hope I can get to "The Winner stands alone" near future.
 

Zadius Sky

The Living Force
Just wanted to mention that Coelho published his latest book, entitled Aleph, which is another one of those journeys about self-discovery and dealing with the "traps" of routines and the disconnection from the Divine. It is one of his autobiographical novels (the others were The Pilgrimage and The Valkyries). This book is a consideration on the questions when one faces a crisis of faith: "Are we where we want to be, doing what we want to do?"
 
,,The Winner stands alone'' would be useful thing to read.

My first was The Alchemist and it probably arrived within my slightly awakening at teenage days.
I liked this citation:

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
 

Aya

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Zadius Sky said:
Just wanted to mention that Coelho published his latest book, entitled Aleph, which is another one of those journeys about self-discovery and dealing with the "traps" of routines and the disconnection from the Divine. It is one of his autobiographical novels (the others were The Pilgrimage and The Valkyries). This book is a consideration on the questions when one faces a crisis of faith: "Are we where we want to be, doing what we want to do?"

I read “Aleph” in beginning of the year. Honestly, it was one of the weirdest autobiographical novels I have ever read.

In the beginning of the story, he describes Aleph as “the point at which everything is in the same place at the same time.” Then, he experiences entering to Aleph with this young girl for couple of times in a train on Siberia Railway. He also experienced doing “the ring of light exercise” with the girl where both happened to return experiencing a past life, which he warns in the end of the book that the use of this exercise can lead to dramatic and disastrous consequences... Overall, the book left me wondering if the author was experiencing the past life for real or if he was imagining. I also did not understand what “Aleph” was throughout the entire book. Moreover, flirtatious/energy draining encounter for time to time between the author and the girl left me a big question mark. Although there are some great sentences by the author - which made me think about life deeply - in this book, however, there were too many things the author did that left me confused.

Personally, it turned out one of the least favorite books from the author because I found it little too strange. I wonder if somebody else read it what they thought of his experiences.
 

Biomiast

Jedi Master
I have read Alchemist some time ago, and after that I went back to the book because it was such a beautiful story. The original outline was from Rumi's story, but he filled in between remarkebly well. It was my first encounter with alchemy and I was very interested.

As for Aleph, I haven't read it, but to give some context, Aleph is the first letter of Arabic language and is considered as symbol of beginning and everything in the Eastern traditions. Yunus Emre has a poem about knowledge where he says:

The meaning of Four Holy Books
Is appearent in an Aleph,
You cite the Aleph, mullah
What is the meaning of It?

Probably it is considered as a divine attribute of God being the First and Everything.

My two cents, fwiw.
 

Zadius Sky

The Living Force
Aya said:
I read “Aleph” in beginning of the year. Honestly, it was one of the weirdest autobiographical novels I have ever read.

Thanks for your review, Aya. I'm just about done with this book, and while reading first few chapters, the authors gave great insightful sentences (a few touched me personally), like you said, but as I read along, it was getting way too awkward.

It's just basically a experience about being cooped up on the train on the Trans-Siberian railway for 2 weeks, and some "experiences" of being in a state of Aleph and there were "tensions" between the passengers and the girl, and so forth. It's supposed to be a "journey" of spiritual awakening and "claiming your kingdom" (meaning the soul). From the first impression, it have to do with the author's unresolved past-life issues with the little girl, and about forgiving and love, but really it showed the author's strong lust for the girl. It's also adultery, wouldn't it? I am wondering how his wife would react to this book. He could be having a mid-life crisis.

I was surprised to see the author's nature: obvious character flaws and how "willingness" he shared about that, and he even comes off as a bit of a narcissist and an egoist. And, here I am, thinking how I admired his works over the years...

Aya said:
He also experienced doing “the ring of light exercise” with the girl where both happened to return experiencing a past life, which he warns in the end of the book that the use of this exercise can lead to dramatic and disastrous consequences...

I felt skeptical about that "exercise" but he was right about one thing. Anything with "imagining" a light of some form does bring "dramatic and disastrous consequences." It kinda like being a "beacon" for those nasty critters.

Aya said:
Moreover, flirtatious/energy draining encounter for time to time between the author and the girl left me a big question mark. Although there are some great sentences by the author - which made me think about life deeply - in this book, however, there were too many things the author did that left me confused.

I am more inclined to agree with you. The first few chapters were interesting because his "insightful sentences" and foods for thoughts," but the rest was just awkward to read.

As for Aleph, reading his experiences actually reminded me of some of T. C. Lethbridge's observations in his The Power of the Pendulum where walking through certain places that had certain "vibes."
 

Iron

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Although when I read The Alchemist it brought tears to my eyes many years ago, for being such a beautifull story, this is the same person that on a TV show claimed that he could end the drought here in Brazil, he just did not do it because it would be against free will, or something to this effect.
 

Aya

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Zadius Sky said:
From the first impression, it have to do with the author's unresolved past-life issues with the little girl, and about forgiving and love, but really it showed the author's strong lust for the girl. It's also adultery, wouldn't it? I am wondering how his wife would react to this book. He could be having a mid-life crisis.

I was also wondering what his wife’s first impression for this book was. He probably wrote the experiences open with his best honestly, but he was not successful conveying the importance of this journey as he claims it to be.

He says that this Siberian journey was special in a sense, because it was the point of his “transition” for finding some answers about life, although he didn’t explain well how the experience changed him. It really makes readers think that he was unhappy despite he was successful publishing books, and he became happy/got in touch with self again after he met this young girl because she was in love with him and followed him exclusively to the point they created a special bond between each other; even though he was quite annoyed by the girl’s behaviour at the beginning.

Zadius Sky said:
I was surprised to see the author's nature: obvious character flaws and how "willingness" he shared about that, and he even comes off as a bit of a narcissist and an egoist. And, here I am, thinking how I admired his works over the years...

I was also admired his work, too but with “Aleph” I was disappointed to read on his experiences where he was utterly unaware about his actions and behaviours.
At the same time, I was surprised that it took four years to write this book..

Zadius Sky said:
I felt skeptical about that "exercise" but he was right about one thing. Anything with "imagining" a light of some form does bring "dramatic and disastrous consequences." It kinda like being a "beacon" for those nasty critters.

Yes, And this is exactly what it seems like it happened.
 

Zadius Sky

The Living Force
Just wanted to mention that Coelho published his latest book, entitled Manuscript Found in Accra. Yesterday, while I was browsing Barnes and Noble, I noticed this book on the newly-arrived table and thought to myself, "Already?" I read it right there and then (but didn't buy it, too pricy). It was "supposed" to come out on the 2nd of April.

It is fairly a short read.

From the Amazon's "Book Description:"

There is nothing wrong with anxiety.
Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.
Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear. . . .
Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.


***

July 14, 1099. Jerusalem awaits the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the city’s gates. There, inside the ancient city’s walls, men and women of every age and every faith have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. He has summoned the townspeople to address their fears with truth:

“Tomorrow, harmony will become discord. Joy will be replaced by grief. Peace will give way to war. . . . None of us can know what tomorrow will hold, because each day has its good and its bad moments. So, when you ask your questions, forget about the troops outside and the fear inside. Our task is not to leave a record of what happened on this date for those who will inherit the Earth; history will take care of that. Therefore, we will speak about our daily lives, about the difficulties we have had to face.”

The people begin with questions about defeat, struggle, and the nature of their enemies; they contemplate the will to change and the virtues of loyalty and solitude; and they ultimately turn to questions of beauty, love, wisdom, sex, elegance, and what the future holds. “What is success?” poses the Copt. “It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.”

***

Now, these many centuries later, the wise man’s answers are a record of the human values that have endured throughout time. And, in Paulo Coelho’s hands, The Manuscript Found in Accra reveals that who we are, what we fear, and what we hope for the future come from the knowledge and belief that can be found within us, and not from the adversity that surrounds us.

It's a pretty quick reading; the spacing within makes it so that one can read up to five pages before another chapter reveals itself. It doesn't really have anything to do with it being a "novel" (hardly a "story" involved) but more like a philosophic/spiritual teachings and lectures about how to live life, obviously from the mouth of a spiritual man called "The Copt" in 1099 at the city of Jerusalem on the eve before the Crusades. It's basically a question-answer platform - the various townspeople (mixed of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim living peacefully together) gather around Copt while he shares his "wisdom" about everything: love, anxiety, loyalty, nature, sex, etc. It almost as if the author is "preaching."

Personally, it has that similar flavor to Khalil Gibran's works - not only that, it follows the similar pattern of one of author's previous books, A Manual for the Warrior of Light (which is basically a collection of wisdom sayings and advices about several life topics).

Some of the "sayings" in this book can be interesting while others give one a risen eye-brow. Overall, it didn't have much in a way of new insights - it's felt like a re-telling of old wisdom and what have you. I was hoping for another book much like his The Alchemist, but not this time.

fwiw.
 
@Jones, thank for the link to this thread. I will continue here my critical suggestion I made on the subject of Castanheda. What I am going to criticize may seem crazy, but this understanding is due to mega-energy processes in which humanity is involved. I write this here because I'm sure people here will understand, and I apologize a lot if I'm wrong about that. Actually, I would very much like to be mistaken about that (suspicious).

I agree and understand, Paulo Coelho books are very well writen to be readables, but let me tell a story .. occult ..
In 1982, Coelho published his first book, Hell Archives, which failed to make a substantial impact.[8] In 1986 he contributed to the Practical Manual of Vampirism, although he later tried to take it off the shelves since he considered it "of bad quality."[8] After making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in 1986, Coelho wrote "The Pilgrimage", published in 1987. The following year, Coelho wrote "The Alchemist" and published it through a small Brazilian publishing ..

Another thing that Paulo Coelho said about The Practical Manual of Vampirism, was that Vampires Exist. This is very interesting, that through a secret society ritualist model, this man is invited to be at Home of millions of people, around the word.

Paulo Coelho books are well writen because they follow a kind of (occult) script, to fill with a story. The elements of that author's stories are usually obtained in the coletive mind, so its very easy for people create rapport, or resonate with most parts of his books.

These kind of elements are used to marketing campaings, Only those who have a lot of money or influence have access to this level of info. The script model is similar to the Bible. I think this models came from Egypt-Greece.

Carlos Castanheda use same tech to promote sex&drugs, but the experience of this author was legitm and deep esoteric. On the other side I'm criticing, the experience are even not personal. The aim is make money and psychically enter in the house (psychosphere) of much much people.

The whole process leads to highly suspect there are Big energetic parasites behind it. This is my worrisome point of view!
 
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