When people ask me to define love, I say, "Love is like handing someone a gun, having them point it at your heart, and trusting them to never pull the trigger." (Sponge Bob)

When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)

When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)

And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)

And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)

My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.

Oct 24, 2007

The Pilgrimage: A Review

At last, after almost a month, yesterday, I was able to turn the last page of the book “The Pilgrimage”. And I can’t help but sigh in relief and in awe how beautiful and poetic Coelho has conveyed his message of fighting the good fight with its mysterious, seemingly magical approach.

The novel, despite my knowledge that it is an account of Paulo Coelho’s real experience to his way to the Road of San Tiago made wonder, actually ask myself and some friends, whether everything that happened, every detail he has related were really true. Or did he just talk in mysterious ways so as to drive at his point with impact and greater influence to his readers.

“Ah!”, I told myself, “Now I’m acting like the common folks who only believe after a miracle has been performed. What else is there to look for, when my very own existence is already a mystery in itself. Life thriving in every corner of this universe and beyond it is enough proof that there is someone far greater than us.”

And the secret of Paulo’s sword so he will gain possession of it is so simple. So simple that we can say, Paulo is indeed one of us for he too, was not able to realize that in time for the ritual the Tradition has performed in the castle of the Order of the Templars in Ponferrada. He was almost at the end of his journey through the mysterious road when he was able to realize the reason for all his struggles.

We are often like Paulo too, we exist, we are present, but we don’t know why. We struggle to achieve something without knowing the right way to attain our dreams, fight the good fight and why we have set such goals. Lucky are those who do struggle and know why they do, but pity to those who don’t and die without realizing the meaning of their existence and why they have to dream and achieve their dreams.

Let me quote:

“And the secret of my sword, like the secret of any conquest we make in our lives, was the simplest thing in the world: it was what I should do with the sword.

I had never thought in these terms. Throughout our time on the Strange Road to Santiago, the only thing I had wanted to know was where it was hidden. I had never asked myself why I wanted to find it or what I needed it for. All of my efforts had been bent on reward; I had not understood that when we want something, we have to have a clear purpose in mind for the thing that we want. The only reason for seeking a reward is to know what to do with the reward. And this was the secret of my sword.”

If only all of us know this, too, we are more able to muster all of our strength and enthusiasm, our faith, hope and love – the kind of love that consumes, agape and live better lives. Then world will be a better place to live in to. Indeed, we don’t need to walk that Road to Santiago and find our sword too like Paulo, we are pilgrims in our own lives. The way we live this life and clarity of our goals are, are the things that mattered. All rivers lead to the same sea. In God’s house, there are many mansions. In life, we have a numerous paths. The path is not important. What is important is how we stride the path and we let the path walk us through.

As for the RAM exercises in the book I promise to include in my entries, I find it difficult to post. Not because I lack the time, but I want to pave respect to the Tradition and to the sacredness of the rituals. I feel incapable and unworthy to do so. Hope you understand.

To Mr. Paulo Coelho, I admire your enthusiasm, the fire of agape burning within you which you share in every word you write, ignites the same fire within us, your readers. Thank you for the inspiration. Accept too my apologies for always including in my blogs your writings. For having copied the text as it appeared on your books; this is because I am afraid that my words might not be enough to express what you mean. But there are times like this that I try to explain what I thought of about what you have said and may have explained it too simple or my insights might sometime be wrong, this is because I struggle too in my search for meaning. Either way, thank you for your understanding.

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