The Zahir, Paulo Coelho

People are slaves to life they had not chosen, but which they had decided to live because someone had managed to convince them that it was all for the best, and whenever a door opened, they would say; "I'm not interested, I'm not in the mood" How could they possibly know if they were in the mood or not if they had never ried? But the truth was they were afraid of any change that would upset the world they had grown used to

when someone leaves it's because someone else is about to arrive

Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the abililty to choose - and commit myself to - what is best for me

And suddenly, the miracle happens. I look across as the woman who has just made some coffee and is now reading the newspaper, whose eyes look tired and desperate, who is her usual silent self, who does not always show her affection in gestures, the woman who made me say "yes" when I want to say "no", who forced me to fight for what she, quite rightly, believed was my reason for living, who let me set off alone because her love for me was greater even than her love for herself, who made me go in search for my dreaml and, suddenly, seeing that small, quiet women, whose eyes said more than any words, who was often terrified inside, but always courageous in her actions, who could love someone without humbling herself and who never ever apologised for fighting fro her man

Fanaticism is the only way to put an end to the doubts that constantly trouble the human soul

I discovered that the universe spoke its own language of signs and that, in order to understand this language, we had only to look with an open mind at what was going on around us. All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step

We humans have two great problems: the first is knowing when to begin, the second is knowing when to stop

Sensationalism was only made to last fifteen minutes

It's not life that matters, but the journey

We are all growing and changing shape, we notice certain weaknesses that need to be corrected, we don't always choose the best solution, but we carry on regardless, trying to remain upright and decent

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 misarable lives

When I had nothing else to lose, I was given everything. When I ceased to be who I am, I found myself. When I experienced humiliation and yet kept on walking, I understood that I was free to choose my destiny

The day that man allows true love to appear, those things which are well made will fall into confusion and will overturn everything we believe to be right and true. 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.
This force is on earth to make us happy, to bring us closer to God and to our neighbour, and yet, given the way that we love now, we enjoy one hour of anxiety for every minute of peace

By talking about our lives, we come to realize that most people have experienced the same thing. If we're not alone, then we have more strength to find our were we went wrong and to change direction

Love is the only thing that activated out intelligence and our creativity, that purifies and liberates us

Our lives are meaningful when we are ready to give them up for a cause

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


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  7. Its somehow fascinating that in Paulo's book, the Zahir is his wife but to me he is the Zahir, an obsession. I alwayz read the quotes and summaries of one of his books after finishing the book.

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