A master and a disciple… On their way to mastery…
This book is all about the journey… And the relationship between the two…
Talking about every aspect in life, underlining always the same thing ” knowing is nothing.. Being the example of your knowledge makes you who your are…”
And yes.. I love the book.-)
* The true path to wisdom can be identified by three things.First ,it must evolve agape,second ;it has to have practical application in your life.Otherwise,wisdom becomes a useless thing and deteriorates,like a sword that is never used.And finally,it has to be a path that can be followed by anyone.
The Creator and the Created
* Great earthquakes and killer storms might make nature seem cruel,but I could see that these were just vicissitudes of being on the road.Nature itself journeyed,seeking illumination.
* When you are moving toward an objective,it is very important to pay attention to the road.It is the road that teaches us the best way to get there,and the road enriches us as we walk its lenght.You can compare it to sexual relationship;the caresses of foreplay determine the intensity of the orgasm.Everyone knows that.
And it is the same thing when you have an objective in your life.It will turn out to be better or worse depending on the route you choose to reach it and the way you negotiate that route.
* Wherever your treasure is ,there will be your heart.And wherever your heart is ,there will be the cradle of Second Coming of Christ;like these shells,the pilgrim is only an outer layer.When that layer,which is a stratum of life is broken,life appears,and that life is composed of agape.
* God is vengeance,God is love.His only form of punishment is to make someone who interrupts a work of love continue it.
* You are nourishing something that’s very important-your dreams.
We must never stop dreaming .Dreams provide nourishment for the soul,just as a meal does for the body.Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated,but we have to continue dreaming.If we don’t, our soul dies ,and agape cannot reach.
* The good fight is the one we fight because our heart asks it of us.
The good fight is the one that is fought in the name of our dreams.When we’re young ,and our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force,we are very courageus,but we haven’t yet learned how to fight.With great efford ,we learn how to fight,but then we no longer have the courage to go into combat.So we turn against ourselves and do the battle within.We become our own worst enemy.We say that our dreams were childish,or too difficult to realize,or the result of our not having known enough about life.We kill our dreams because we are afraid to fight the good fight.
The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time.The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything.Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do.They complain constantly that the day is too short.The truth is,they are afraid to do the good fight.
The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties.Becasue we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure,we begin to think ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life.We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existance ,and we hear the sound of lances breaking,we smell the dust and the sweat,and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors.But we never see the delight,the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle.For them,neither victory,nor defeat is important;What’s important is only that they are fighting the good fight.
And finally ,the third symptom of passing our dreams is peace.Life becomes Sunday Afternoon;we ask for nothing grand,and we cease to demand anthing more than we are willing to give.In that state,we think of ourselves as being mature;we put aside tha fantasies of our youth ,and we seek personal and professinal achivement.We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life.But really,deep in our hearts,we know what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams-we have refused to fight the good fight.
When we renounce our dreams and find peace,we go through a short period of tranquility.But the dead of our dreams begin to rot within us and infect our entire being.We become cruel to those around us,and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves.That’s when illness and psychoses arise.What we sought to avoid in combat-come upon us because of our cowardice.And one day,the dead ,spoiled dreams make it difficult to breath,and we actually seek death.It’s death that frees us from our certainties,from our work and the terrible peace of our Sunday Afternoons.
*You still want to deny anything that is extraordinary.
When you saw the angel appear on the church tower,you wanted to deny it,because it wasn’t something that you are used to.In your view of the world,churches are churches,and visions occur only during the ecstasy created by the rituals of the Tradition.
* I said that my vision must have been caused by the pressure he was appliying to my neck.–
That’s right ,but that doesn’t change anything .The fact is that you rejected the vision.Felicia of Aquitaine must have seen something similar,and she bet her entire life on what she saw.And the result of her having done that transformed her work into a work of love.The same thing happens to everyone everyday;we always know which is the best road to follow,but we follow only the road that we have became accustomed to.
* The only way we can rescue our dreams is by being generous with ourselves.In order to know when we are being cruel to ourselves,we have to transform any attempt at causing spritual pain-such as guilt,remorse,indecision,and cowardice-into physical pain.By transforming a spritual pain into physical one ,we can learn what harm it cause us.
* Of all the ways we have found to hurt ourselves,the worst has been through love.We are always suffering because of someone who does’t love us ,or someone who has left us,or someone who won’t leave us.If we are alone ,it’s because noone wants us;if we are married ,we transform the marriage into slavery.What a terrible thing!
* Since people identified love only with suffering and sacrifice,they felt they had to crucify Jesus.
* When you do not know personal devil,he usually manifests himself in the nearest person.
* Your personal devil tried three classical approaches;a threat,a promise,and an attact on your weak side.Congratulations;you resisted bravely.
* A devil never makes false promises.
* Once a poet said that no man is an island.In order to fight the good fight ,we need help.We need friends,and when the friends aren’t nearby ,we have to turn solitude into our main weapon.We need the help of everything around us to take the necessery steps toward our goal.Everything has to be a personal manifestation of our will to win the good fignt.If we don’t understand that ,the we don’t recognize that we need everything and everybody,and we become arrogant warriors.And our arrogance will defeat us in the end,because we will be so sure of ourselves that we won’t see pitfalls there on the field of battle.
* Over and above the physical forces that surround us and help us,there are basically two spritual forces on our side;and angel and a devil.The angel always protects us and is a divine gift-you do not have to invoke him.Your angel’s face is always visible when you look at the world with eyes that are receptive.
The devil is an angel ,too,but he ‘s a free,rebellious force.I prefer to call him the messenger since he is the main link between you and the world.His arena is only the metarial plane.He is present in our work and in our ways of dealing with money.When we let him loose,his tendency is to desperse himself .When we exorcise him,we lose all of the good things that he has to teach us;he knows a great deal about the world and about human beings.When we become fascinated by his power ,he owns us and keeps us from fighting the good fight.
So the only way to deal with our messenger is to accept him as a friend-by listening to his advice and asking for his help when necessery,but never allowing him to dictate the rules of the game.To keep the messenger from dictating the rules of the game ,it is necessary first that you know what you want and then that you know his face and his name.
This name is secret and should never be told to anyone.Whoever knows the name of your messenger can destroy you.
If I had to use a metaphor,I would say that your angel is your armor,and your messenger is your sword.Armor protects you under any set or circumstances,but a sword can fall to the ground in the midst of a battle,or it can kill a friend or can be turned against its owner.A sword can be used for almost anything..except as something to sit on.-))
* The area we walked was like a dessert ,the meals were seldom very good,and the long days on the road were exhausting ,but I was living my dream.
* We are always trying to convert people to a belief in our own explanation of the universe.We think that the more people there are who believe as we do,the more certain it will be that what we believe is the truth.But it doesn’t work that way at all.
* There is no religion that is capable of bringing all of the stars together,because if this were to happen ,the universe would become a gigantic,empty space and would lose its reason for existance.Every star -and every person-has their own space and their own special characteristics.There are green stars,yellow stars,blue stars,and white stars,and there are comets,meteors ad meteorites,nebulas and rings.What appear from down here to be a huge number of bodies that are similar to each other are really a millon different things,spread over a space that is beyond human comprehension.
* That’s what gives me satisfaction ,helping the fans believe in victory.Fans who lack the faith can make a team lose a game it is already winning.
* Which kind of love are you talking about??eros?philos?or agape??
Let’s talk of true love,which grows and grows,and makes the world go round and makes people wise.
There is frustrated love with its own kind of unhappiness..You are in complete disorder and you want somebody for that..
There is Social love,without a vestige of passion.You have a role in the society as a couple,you play that,but no passion inside.
* What is philos??
Philos is love in the form of friendship.When the flame of eros stops burning,it is philos that keeps the couple together.
* Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels..and though I have the gift of prophecy..and have all the faith so that I can remove mountains..and have not love…I am nothing..
* It’s a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.
* The things of this life don’t last very long.
* All of us seek eros,and then when eros wants to turn himself into philos,we think that love is worthless.We don’t see that it is philos that leads us to the highest form of love,agape.
Agape cannot really be discussed ,it has to be lived.
* The messenger helps you,but there is one thing that is beyond messenger’s control,beyond his desires,and beyond you as well..That’s what we call luck.
* Nothing in this life endures.
* Agape is total love.It is the love that consumes the person who experiences it.Whoever knows and experieces agape learns that nothing else in the world is important-just love.
Martin Luther King once said that when Christ spoke of loving one’s enemies,he was referring to agape.Because according to him,it was ”impossible to like our enemies,those who were cruel to us,those who tried to make our day-to-day suffering even worse.”But agape is much more than liking.It is a feeling that suffuses ,that fills every space in us,and turns our aggression to dust.
* Everthing you do and every good result that you take will make sence only when you have experienced the love that consumes-agape.
* When we love and believe from the bottom of ourselves,we fell ourselves to be stronger than anyone in the world,and we feel serenity that is based on the certainty that nothing can shake our faith.This unusual strength allows us always to make the right decision at the right time,and when we achieve our goal,we are involved in the good fight,nothing else is important,enthusiasm carries us toward our goal.
* Your fear has hurt you much more than the dog did.
* Your confidence and your sence of mastery depend a great deal on how you react to threats made by others.
* A threat leads to nothing if it is not accepted.In fighting the good fight,you should never forget that.Just as you should never forget that both attacking and fleeing are part of the fight.What is’t a part of the fight is becoming paralyzed by fear.
* Human beings are the only ones in nature who are aware that they will die.Even knowing that their days are numbered and that everything will end when they least expect it,people make of their lives a battle that is worthy of a being with eternal life.
* Still being fragile creatures,humans always try to hide themselves the certainty that they will die.They so not see that it is death itself that motivates them to do the best things in their lives.They are afraid to step into the dark,afraid of the unknown,and their only way of conquerig that fear is to ignore the fact that their days are numbered.They so not see that with an awareness of death,they would be able to be even more daring,to go much further in their daily conquests,because then they would have nothing to lose-for death is inevitable.
* Death is our constant companion,and it is death that gives each person’s life its true meaning.
* You are at a spot that is absolutely safe,with one exception;the danger created by your own fear.
* When we both experienced the love that consumes,we shared in the Absolute.The Absolute shows each of us who we really are;it is an enormous web of cause and effect,where every small gesture made by one person affects the life of someone else.This morning that slice of the Absolute was still very much alive in my soul.I was seeing not only you but everything there is in the world,unlimited by space or time.
* When night falls ,it arouses the hidden fears that have been in our souls since we were children.
* Why be fearful of saying no to someone or of leaving something undone when the most important thing of all was to enjoy life fully.
* I should leave behind the greatest sin of all;regret.
In your infinite pity ,help us never to turn our knowledge against ourselves.
Have pity on those who pity themselves and who see themselves as good people treated unfairly by life-who feel that they do deserve what has befallen them.Such people will never be able to fight the good fight.And pity those are cruel to themselves who see only the evil in their own actions,feeling that they are to blame for the injustace in the world.Because neither of these kinds of people know thy law that says,”But the very hair of your head are numbered.”
Have pity on those who commend and those who serve during long hours of work ,and who sacrifice themselves inexchange merely for a Sunday off,only to find that there is nowhere to go,and everything is closed.But also have pity on those who sanctify their effords ,and who are able to go beyond the bounds of their own madness ,winding up indebted,or nailed to the cross by their very brothers.Because neither of these kinds of people know thy law says,”Be you therefore as wise as the serpents and as harmless as the doves.”
Have pity on those who may conquer the world but never join the good fight within themselves.But pity also those who have won the good fight within themselves ,and now find themselves in the streets and the bars of life because they were unable to conquer the world.Because neither of these kinds of people know thy law that says ”He who heeds my words I will liken to a wisen man who built his house on rock.”
Have pity on those who are fearful of taking up a pen,or a paintbrush ,or an instrument ,or a tool because they are afraid that someone has already done so better than they could,and who feel themselves to be unworthy to enter the marvelous mansion of art.But have even more pity on those who,having taken up the pen,or the paintbrush,or the instrument,or the tool,have turned inspiration into a paltry thing,and yet feel themselves to be better than others.Neither of these kinds of people know that thy law that says,”For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed,nor hidden that will not be known.
Pity those who eat and drink and sate themselves ,but are unhappy and alone in their satiety.But pity even more those who fast,and censure and prohibit,and who thereby see themselves as saints ,preaching your name in the streets.For neither of these types of people know thy law that says,”If I bear witness of myself,my witness is not true.”
Pity those who fear death,and are unaware of the many kingdoms through which they have already passed ,and the many deaths they have already suffered,and who are unhappy because they think that one day their world will end.But have even more pity for those who already know their many deaths ,and today think of themselves as immortal.Neither of these kinds of people know thy law that says,”Except that one is born again,he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Have pity on those who bind themselves with the silken ties of love,and think of themselves as masters of others,and who feel envy,and poison themselves ,and who torture themselves because they cannot see that love and all things change like the wind.But pity even more those who die of their fear of loving and who reject love in the name of a greater love that they know not.Neither of these kinds of people know thy law that says,”Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst”
Pity those who reduce the cosmos to an explanation,God to a magic potion,and humanity to beings with basic needs that must be satisfied ,because they never hear the music of the spheres .But have even more pity on those who have blind faith,and who in their laboratories transform mercury into gold,and who are surrounded by their books about the secrets of the trot and the power of the pyramids.Neither of these kinds of people know thy law that says,”Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Pity those who see no one but themselves,and for whom others are blurred and distant scenario as they pass through the streets in their limousines and lock themselves in their air-conditioned penthouse offices,as they suffer in silence the solitude of power.But pity even more those who will do anything for anybody,and are charitable,and seek to win out over evil only through love .For neither of these kinds of people know the law that says,”Let me who has no sword sell his garment and by one.”
Have pity Lord,on we who seek out and dare to take up the sword that you have promised and who are saintly and sinful lot scattered throughout the world.Because we do not recognize even ourselves ,and often think that we are dressed ,but we are nude;we believe that we have committed a crime ,when in reality we have saved someone’s life.And do not forget in your pity for all of us that we hold the sword with the hand of an angel and the hand of a devil,and that they are both the same hand.Because we are of the world,and we continue to be of the world ,and we need of thee.We will always be in need of thy law that says ,”When I send you without money bag,knapsack,and sandals,you lacked nothing.”
* Everthing you have learned up to now makes sense only if it is applied in real life.In life itself ,wisdom has value only if it helps us to overcome some obstacle.
* A hammer would make no sense in the world if there were not nails to be driven.And even give the existance of nails,the hammer would be useless if it only thought.The hammer has to act .To put itself into the hands of the carpenter and to be used in its proper function.
* In the same way,a disciple such as you can never imitate his guide’s steps.You have your own way of living your life,of dealing with problems,and of winning.Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible.Learning is making it possible for yourself.
* In order for agape to flourish,I must not be afraid to change my life.If I liked what I was doing,very well.But if I didn’t there was always the time for a change.If I allowed change to occur ,I would be transforming myself into a fertile and allowing the Creative Imagination to sow its seeds in me.
* If you do not want all these exercises to work against you,you have to allow change to happen.
This is the most difficult moment in a person’s life -when the person witnesses the good fight and is unable to change and join the battle.When this happens ,knowledge turns against the person who holds it.
* On the Road of our lives ,we always run into problems that are hard to solve,there are problems in our lives that require us to choose between one way and another like the breakup of a relationship,a social obligation.Each of these small decitions we have to make ,throughout our lives ,might represent a choice between life and the death.But a simple decition may affect us for the rest of our lives.
The only way to make the right decition is to know what the wrong decition is.You have to examine the other path,without fear and without being morbid,and then decide.
* I was paying too much respect to the strength of my enemy ,and this was a trap.
* I could confront a dog only by transforming myself into a dog..So..I attacked him with my teeth and my nails,trying to bite the dog in the throat,exactly as I had feared he would do to me.
Command and Obedience
* Our enemy joins the battle only because he knows that he can hurt us-and hurt us exactly the spot where our pride tells that we are most invincible.During the fight,we always try to protect our weak spot,so the enemy strikes at the unguarded side-the side in which we have the most confidence.And we wind up defeated because we allow what should never be allowed;we let the enemy choose how the battle will be waged.
* Our enemy is a part of agape,there to test our grip,our will,and our handling of the sword.He was placed in our lives-and we in his-with a purpose.And that purpose has to be met.So to flee from the battle is the worst thing that could happen.It is worst than losing the fight,because we can always learn something from defeat;if we flee,all we do is declare that our enemy has won.
* We have to use the trust of what we are doing right now to defeat the enemy.
* We are not smart enough to listen to the silence!We are just human beings,and we don’t even know how to listen to our own ramblings.Everything is contained in sounds-the past,the present,and the future.The person who does not know how to listen will never hear the advice that life offers us all the time.And only the person who listens to the sounds of the moment is able to make the right decisions.
* Agape speaks to you through your sight,your sence of touch,through scents,and your heart,and your hearing.A week from now,at the most,you will begin to hear voices.At first,they will be timid,but before long they are going to begin to tell you things that are important.Be careful,though,with your messenger.he is going to try to confuse you.However,you already know the sound of his voice,so he will no longer be a threat.
* People who consider themselves to be wise are often indecisive when command is called for and rebellious when they are called upon to obey.They are ashamed to give orders and consider it dishonorable to receive them.Don ‘t ever be that way.
* You said that the path to wisdom leads to sacrifice.That’s wrong.
* You will be able to experience the great secret of the journey-a secret that I am going to reveal to you now,but only through words.It is a secret that has to be experienced to be understood.
The secret is the following;You can learn only through teaching.In teaching you ,I truly learned.By taking on the role of guide,I was able to find my own true path.
When you accept your role as a Master-you will learn all the answers you have in your heart.Each of us knows the answers ,even before someone tells us what they are.Life teaches us lessons every minute and the secret is to accept that only in our daily lives can we show ourselves to be as wise as Solomon and as powerful as Alexander the Great.But we become aware of this only when we are forced to teach others and to practice in adventures as extravagant as this one has been.
* It is not a sin to be happy.Half a dozen exercises and an attantive ear are enough to allow us to realize our most impossible dreams.Because of my pride in wisdom,you made me walk the Road that every person can walk,and discover what everone else already knows if they have paid the slightest attention to life.You made me see that the search for happiness is a personal search and not a modal we can pass on to others.Before finding my sword,I had to discover its secret-and the secret was so simple;it was to know what to do with it.With it and with the happiness that would represent me.
I have walked so many miles to discover things I already knew,things that all of us know but that are so hard to accept.Is there anything harder for us , my Lord,than discovering that we can achieve the power?This pain that I feel now in my breast ,that makes me sob and that frightens that poor lamb,has been felt since human beings first existed.Few can accept the burden of their victory;most give up their dreams when they see that they can be realized.They refuse to fight the good fight because they do not know what to do with their own happiness;they are imprisoned by the things of the world.
* The secret of my sword is mine and I will never reveal it to anyone.
* It’s true that people always arrive at the right moment at the place where someone awaits them…
Paulo Coelho-The Pilgrimage