Paulo Coelho Binge

I mentioned last week that I had been drowning myself in the savoury words of one Mr Paulo Coelho.  The first book I had ever read of his was The Zahir, which I loved, and you can find my review here. I have read 3 more books by him since last week which I really need to blog about because they basically spoke to my soul and literally gave me life. It’s like Paulo has the answers to life itself, I wonder what life must be like when you practically know everything.

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I just finished this book like an hour ago and my heart is still smiling at the beautiful ending. The book is about a gorgeous Brazilian woman named Maria. She had her own ideals about what love should be from a young age, and her little experience with it had solidified those ideals. She dreamt of fame, wealth and love, which she went to great lengths to achieve. She moved to Geneva in pursuit of these things, and albeit her plans went awry, she still found a non conventional way to survive alone in a foreign country. She got a job that exposed her to different men, and learnt a lot about the different ways to tend to their needs. Through her diary we get an indepth look at her thoughts, how she copes with being alone in a foreign country, and how her current situation affects her dreams and ambitions of finding love, fame and fortune. She gets to explore how pain, pleasure and religion are related, and learns the right way to seek them all.

I really loved the ending of the book. I think as a girl, all these movies, and tv shows really get into your head, and you end up wishing and hoping that some man somewhere will do something incredibly romantic for you. Deep down we all want that man who will go to great lengths to prove that he loves us, and we do stupid things to test them to see if they will actually do those over the top romantic things we saw in our favourite movies. This habit needs to die ladies, and for any man reading this, do not waste an opportunity to do something romantic for that special woman, for even though she is trying hard to banish those thoughts, she still hopes you will do something amazing for her.

Here are a few quotes which I loved from this book.

“Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?”

“When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.”

“Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything.

Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it – which of these two attitudes is the least destructive? ”

“Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.”

“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.”

“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.”

“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”

“All my life, I thought of love as some kind of voluntary enslavement. Well, that’s a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly.”

“you only know yourself when you go beyond your limits”

This means ‘It is written’ and this book is a collection of short stories and quotes. It is a really short book, filled with a wealth of wisdom.

“If you accept such love with purity and humility, you will understand that Love is neither giving nor receiving -it is participating.”

“Negative desires can cause no evil if you do not allow yourself to be seduced by them.”

“Advice is a theory about life, and the practice of life is generally quite different.”

“Profound commitment to a dream does not confine or constrain: it liberates. Even a difficult, winding path can lead to your goal if you follow to the end.”

God’s decisions are always mysterious, but they are always in our favour.”

“There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and no matter how we try to deceive ourselves, we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capacity, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way we live with honour.”

“To follow one’s dream carries a price. It may demand that we give up old habits, it may create problems for us, and it may bring disappointment. But, no matter how high the price, it is never so high as at we pay for not having lived out our personal destiny. Because one day we will look back and see everything we have done, and hear our own heart say ‘I wasted my life.’ Believe me, that is the worst phrase you can ever hear.”

An alchemist is someone who can turn metal into solid gold. This book is about a shepherd, who meets an old man who claims to be a king. The man tells him that he needs to go to the pyramids of Eqypt to find his personal treasure. He sells his flock and embarks on this journey, in search of this personal treasure.  The king told him to look out for omens, signs which would guide his path.  During this journey, the shepherd looses everything, gains new skills, meets new people, and discovers things about himself that he never knew he was capable off.  One of the things that stood out about this book, was how the shepherd fell in love, and was torn between continuing his journey and staying with the woman he loved.  I know so many men right now who are sort of struggling to maintain the balance between the hustle and love. Read this book, and you will find your answer there.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

“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.”

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”

“God only rarely reveals the future. When he does so, it is for one reason: it’s a future that was written so as to be altered.”

“But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.”

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer.”

“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.”

“When you possess great treasures within you and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”

“Because true love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny”

“God has a prepared path for us to follow. We just have to read the omens he has left for us.”

If this post has not convinced you to get yourself copies of this man’s books, then there is really no hope for the human race…



The Zahir

I had heard about The Zahir from Coloured In Sepia, but I thought it was a poem so I never bothered with it because I am not a poetry fan unless it is written to me 🙂 She gave it to me when she was flying out, and I began reading it.

The Zahir by Paulo Coelho

The Zahir by Paulo Coelho is a book about a renowned author whose wife suddenly disappears mysteriously without a trace. She was last spotted with a young Khazakstanian who goes by the name of Mikhail. The author embarks on a journey to figure out what made his wife leave, what role he played in making her leave, where he is going to find her, and basically he examines his relationship with his wife in his quest to figure out what went wrong.

Mikhail helps him discover the divine energy of love and how to relinquish his personal history in order to come one step closer to the woman he loves.

The Zahir is something which once touched or seen, can never be forgotten, and which so gradually fills our thoughts that we are driven to madness. The author’s wife Esther became his zahir.

What I liked about the book was that it was not only entertaining, but enlightening as well. Here are a few excerpts that really stood out for me from the book.

‘Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose—and commit myself to—what is best for me.’

‘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.’

‘The energy of hatred won’t get you anywhere; but the energy of forgiveness, which reveals itself through love, will transform your life in a positive way.’

‘That is the Mongolian creation myth: out of two different natures love is born. In contradiction, love grows in strength. In confrontation and transformation, love is preserved.’

‘The world will become real when man learns how to love; until then we will live in the belief that we know what love is, but we will always lack the courage to confront it as it truly is.’

‘Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.’

‘We can harness the energy of the winds, the seas, the sun. But the day man learns to harness the energy of love, that will be as important as the discovery of fire.’

‘If someone is capable of loving his partner without restrictions, unconditionally, then he is manifesting the love of God. If the love of God becomes manifest, he will love his neighbor. If he loves his neighbor, he will love himself. If he loves himself, then everything returns to its proper place. History changes.’

‘God does not play dice with the universe; everything is interconnected and has a meaning.’

‘When we are on the right path, we follow the signs, and if we occasionally stumble, the Divine comes to our aid, preventing us from making a mistake.’

‘If just one person changes, the whole human race is changed.’

‘People are sad because they are the prisoners of their personal history.’

‘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.’

‘In order for the true energy of love to penetrate your soul, your soul must be as if you had just been born. Why are people unhappy? Because they want to imprison that energy, which is impossible. Forgetting your personal history means leaving that channel clear, allowing that energy to manifest itself each day in whatever way it chooses, allowing yourself to be guided by it.’

‘That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability, or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.’

What I really loved about this book was that it made me take a look at myself, gave me a great deal of things to think about as compared to most of the other books I read which do nothing but fuel my fantasies and entertain me momentarily.

Thanks to The Zahir, I am definitely going to search for more Paulo Coelho books.