“When we release our dark side, it will completely overshadow the best in us.”
This book is very different from Paulo’s other books. This book was on my reading list for a long time but I didn’t read. Maybe its because I read some negative reviews about this book. However now I think people hate this book for its main character Linda, who has a perfect life, perfect husband, good career yet commits adultery to bring some excitement in her life.
It talks about life of married couples, how every day of their life is same, how sex which was once passionate becomes a duty. It states reasons why couples engage in extramarital affairs. It was interesting the way author Paulo Coelho dives in the soul of the characters of this book, strips them naked of emotions and presents you the very core of their existence.
This is a book which need the reader to do some hard thinking of their own lives and to be aware that restlessness and boredom can lead to constructive change or it can lead to destruction. Everyone has their own agenda and if you are using them, they may equally be using you. Thoughtful and thought provoking. This book may well repay a second or third reading.
“We are the ones who create messes in our heads. It does not come from outside.”
“If evil exists, it’s to be found in our fears.”
Why do they make it so hard for people to better themselves. So, growing up I never had a permanent house. As I grow older I’m learning to find stability in instabilities. I have moved around so much in my life I really do not have a place I can call home. Thus I have also learned to never attach to anything. I realized that home can be found in the people you surround yourself with and the memories and traditions that develop. Home is happiness and my happiness most times is with the people I love even if it is just myself at times. My own house. And I can’t wait to be there.
This poem by Ronald Chapman sums it up:
In the darkness of the night,
Away from all street lights,
Some drifters walk past.
A cold wind is blowing
Where are you going?
Please look at me.
Hopeless and desperate,
Hiding in the shadows,
Forgetting who I am.
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good”.
Excerpt from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired I am, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip one hour more of sleep and live.
Excerpt from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Most people think of themselves as individuals, that there’s no one on the planet like them. This thought motivates them to get out of bed, eat food and walk around like nothing’s wrong.
Excerpt from Submarine by Joe Dunthorne
A cat has absolute emotional honesty: Human Beings for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.
― Ernest Hemingway―
Most people cannot think beyond tomorrow – that is how they are made. Very few people can think, “Okay this will happen, and then this is what will happen to my life. What can I do about that now?” It is very easy to go and pray to God. Whether something happens with your prayer or not, at least there is solace. There is a comfort zone that somebody is taking care of you. Please see, that is all you get from your devotion because your devotion has not crossed a certain level of intensity. All that you got is a little comfort in your mind that somebody is taking care of you. Beyond that there is nothing else. But people settle for this rather than seeking ultimate liberation because most people do not have the vision to do anything beyond a certain limitation of time. They cannot think of their ultimate liberation.
For example, Gautama Buddha, when he was a young man, he saw an old man, a sick man and a corpse. He observed these sights and these observations affected him deeply. The moment he saw this, he knew that this was what would happen to him too. This made him realize the sufferings of all beings and compelled him to begin his spiritual journey as a wandering ascetic, which eventually led to his enlightenment. He started working towards what he can do about it right now. This is an intelligent man. But most people do not have this kind of vision or intelligence to see life. For them, it has to fall on their head. Till then they don’t know. These kinds of people are just seeking solace for today. For such people, there is no depth to their prayer either; there is no depth to their devotion. It is just about solace – “God is taking care of me”. They are not looking to live in such a way that they are beyond all limitations. They are not seeking a life which is of transcendence. They are not seeking a life which is a power to decide their own destiny.
We are what we love to read, and when we admit to loving a book, we admit that the book represents some aspects of ourselves truly, whether it is that we are suckers for romance or pining for adventure or secretly fascinated by crime.
— Nina Sankovitch, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading—