Friday Filosophy v.12.31.2021
Paulo Coelho de Souza; was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and attended a Jesuit school. At 17, Coelho’s parents committed him to a mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20. Coelho later remarked that “It wasn’t that they wanted to hurt me, but they didn’t know what to do… They did not do that to destroy me, they did that to save me.” At his parents’ wishes, Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and started using drugs in the 1960s.
Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a songwriter, composing lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. Composing with Raul led to Coelho being associated with magic and occultism, due to the content of some songs. He is often accused that these songs were rip-offs of foreign songs not well known in Brazil at the time. In 1974, by his account, he was arrested for “subversive” activities and tortured by the ruling military government, who had taken power ten years earlier and viewed his lyrics as left-wing and dangerous. Coelho also worked as an actor, journalist and theatre director before pursuing his writing career.
Coelho married artist Christina Oiticica in 1980. Together they had previously spent half the year in Rio de Janeiro and the other half in a country house in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, but now the couple reside permanently in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1986 Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. On the path, he had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in The Pilgrimage. In an interview, Coelho stated “In 1986, I was very happy in the things I was doing. I was doing something that gave me food and water – to use the metaphor in The Alchemist, I was working, I had a person whom I loved, I had money, but I was not fulfilling my dream. My dream was, and still is, to be a writer.” Coelho would leave his lucrative career as a songwriter and pursue writing full-time.
While trying to overcome his procrastination about launching his writing career, Coelho decided, “If I see a white feather today, that is a sign that God is giving me that I have to write a new book.” Seeing one in the window of a shop, he began writing that day. The following year, Coelho wrote The Alchemist and published it through a small Brazilian publishing house that made an initial print run of 900 copies and decided not to reprint it. He subsequently found a bigger publishing house, and with the publication of his next book Brida, The Alchemist took off. HarperCollins decided to publish the book in 1994. Later it became an international bestseller.
His work has been published in more than 170 countries and translated into eighty-three languages. Together, his books have sold 320 million copies. On 22 December 2016, Coelho was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 2 in the list of 200 most influential contemporary authors.
- When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.
- You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.
- Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.
- One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.
- I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfil our destiny, but our fate is sealed.
- The good old days, when each idea had an owner, are gone forever.
- The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are and the more faithful you are. Faith is not to disconnect you from reality – it connects you to reality.
- The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes.
- I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset – tears are words waiting to be written.
- People are very reluctant to talk about their private lives but then you go to the internet and they’re much more open.
- Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.
- The wise are wise only because they love. The fool are fools only because they think they can understand love.
- I always was a rich person because moneys not related to happiness.
- You’re always learning. The problem is, sometimes you stop and think you understand the world. This is not correct. The world is always moving. You never reach the point you can stop making an effort.
- I write from my soul. This is the reason that critics don’t hurt me, because it is me. If it was not me, if I was pretending to be someone else, then this could unbalance my world, but I know who I am.
- Things do not always happen the way I would like them to happen, and I had better get used to that.
- What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats.
The Time is Now.