I recently read Paulo Coelho's Warrior of the Light: A Manual. I don't know how to make a book review on this one seeing that it's not exactly a single, coherent narrative. In fact, there's no story. Hence, I just decided to list down my favorite excerpts, which offer very powerful philosophical thoughts.
So, what is this book all about? like the cover says, it's "a manual" or short notes on accepting failure, embracing life, and rising to your destiny. It is very thought- provoking though some are just confusing. All I know is that there are lots of "patama" moments when I was reading this book; in other words, there are lots of excerpts in this book that seem like answers to one's current dilemmas. Below are some of the notes that I find most useful and/or important.
"It's odd," the Warrior of the Light says to himself. "I have met so many people who, at the first opportunity, try to show their worst qualities. They hide their inner strength behind their aggression and hide their fear of loneliness behind an air of independence. They do not believe in their own abilities, but are constantly trumpeting their virtues."
A warrior reads these messages in many of the men and women he meets. He is never taken in by appearances and makes a point of remaining silent when people try to impress him. He uses these occasions to correct his own faults, for other people make an excellent mirror.
A warrior takes every opportunity to teach himself.
Page 12 (and page 84) almost the same:
Warriors of the Light have a certain gleam in their eyes.
They are of this world. They are part of the lives of other people and they set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals. They are often cowardly. They do not always make the right decisions.
They suffer over the most trivial things; they have mean thoughts and sometimes believe they are incapable of growing. They frequently deem themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle.
They are not always quite sure of what they are doing here. They spend many sleepless nights, believing that their lives have no meaning.
That is why they are Warriors of the Light. Because they make mistakes, because they ask themselves questions, because they are looking for a reason they are sure to find it.
A Warrior does not keep company with those who wish to harm him. Nor is he seen in the company of those who want to 'console' him.
He avoids anyone who is only by his side in the event of a defeat: these false friends want to prove that weakness is rewarded. They always bring him bad news. They always try to destroy the Warrior's confidence, all under the cloak of 'solidarity.'
When they see him wounded, they dissolve in tears, but in their heart, they are happy because the Warrior has lost a battle. They do not understand that this is part of the fight.
The true companions of a Warrior are beside him always, during the difficult times and easy times.
The Warrior of the Light is now waking from his dream.
He thinks: "I do not know how to deal with this light that is making me grow." The light, however, does not disappear.
The Warrior thinks: "Changes must be made that I do not feel like making."
The light remains, because 'feel' is a word full of traps.
Then the eyes and heart of the Warrior begin to grow accustomed to the light. It no longer frightens him and he finally accepts his own Legend, even if this means running risks.
The Warrior has been asleep for a long time. It is only natural that he should wake up very gradually.
Sometimes, the Warrior feels as if he were living two lives at ones.
In one of them he is obliged to do all the things he does not want to do and to fight for ideas in which he does not believe. But there is another lief, and he discovers it in his dreams, in his reading, and in his encounters with people who share his ideas.
The Warrior allows his two lives to draw near. "There is a bridge that links what I do with what I would like to do," he thinks. Slowly, his dreams take over his everyday life, and then he realizes that he is ready for the thing he always wanted.
Then all that is needed is a little daring, and his two lives become one.
When somebody wants something, the whole Universe conspires in their favor. The Warrior of the Light knows this.
For this reason, he takes great care with his thoughts. Hidden beneath a whole series of good intentions lie feelings that no one dares confess to himself: vengeance, self- destruction, guilt, fear of wining, a macabre joy at other people's tragedies.
The Universe does not judge; it conspires in favor of what we want. That is why the Warrior has the courage to look into dark places of his soul in order to ensure that he is not asking for the wrong things.
And he is always very careful about what he thinks.
The Warrior of the Light has learned that God uses solitude to teach us how to live with other people.
He uses rage to show us the infinite value of peace. He uses boredom to underline the importance of adventure and spontaneity.
God uses silence to teach us to use words responsibly. He uses tiredness so that we can understand the value of waking up. He uses illness to underline the blessing of good health.
God uses fire to teach us about water. He uses earth to explain the value of air. He uses death to show us the importance of life.
The Warrior knows an old saying: "If regrets could kill..."
And he knows that regrets can kill; they slowly eat away at the soul of someone who has done something wrong and they lead eventually to self-destruction.
The Warrio does not want to die like that. When he acts perversely or maliciously--because he is a man of many faults-- he is never too ashamed to ask forgiveness.
If possible, he does his best to repair the wrong he has done. If the injured party is dead, he does some good turn to a stranger and offers up that deed to the soul that he wounded.
A Warrior of the Light has no regrets, because regrets can kill. He humbles himself and undoes the wrong he has done.
The Warrior of the Light pays close attention to a text that Soul of the World transmitted to Chico Xavier:
"When you have managed to overcome grave problems in a relationship, do not spend time remembering the difficult times, concentrate on the joy of having passed yet another of life's tests. When you emerge from a long period of medical treatment, do not brood on the suffering you endured, think instead of God's blessing that allowed you to be cured.
"Carry in your memory for the rest of your life, the good things that came out of those difficulties. They will serve as a proof of your abilities and will give you confidence when you are faced by other obstacles."