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.

Jul 10, 2008

Climb "The Fifth Mountain" with Me

With The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho turns his talent for spiritual fiction to the story of the Biblical prophet Elijah. Like a blossoming flower, Coelho opens up the brief account of Elijah's flight from Gilead and his time in Zarephath. He deepens the prophet's character by revealing the thoughts, doubts, and discoveries that Elijah must have experienced as he struggled to find his course in life amidst the confusion of war and political turmoil. When being a prophet of the God of the Israelites is like a warrant for your death, concerns about your chosen path are sure to arise. Perhaps it is this believability in Coelho's retelling that makes it so evocative, or it may be the bit of Old Testament wisdom he brings to popular literature of the 20th century: "the words of the lord are written in the world around us. Merely be attentive to what happens in your life, and you will discover where."

- A review I carelessly cut and paste from (please pardon me from doing so)

This is one of my favorite novels. Actually, I love all Coelho's books. And I hope, with the four lessons I learned from this novel, you can at least pick out one for you to live by. I wrote these lines from the book itself because I was afraid to re-phrase them for fear of not capturing the dramatic lessons in its full context/essence. I find them very timely with my recent decision-making hubbub. And so, read on...


They continued on their way. The boy asked why the soldiers were training so much.

"It's not just the soldiers, but your mother too, and I, and those who follow their heart. Everything in life demands training."

"Even being a prophet?"

"Even to understand angels. We so want to talk with them that we don't listen to what they're saying. It's not easy to listen: in our prayers we always try to say where we have erred, and what we should like to happen to us. But the Lord already knows all of this, and sometimes asks us only to hear what the Universe is telling us. And to be patient."

The boy looked at him in surprise. He probably understood nothing, but even so Elijah felt the need to continue the conversation. Perhaps when he came to manhood, one of these words might assist him in a difficult situation.

"All life's battles teach us something, even those we lose. When you grow up, you'll discover that you have defended lies, deceived yourself, or suffered for foolishness. If you're a good warrior, you will not blame yourself for this, but neither will you allow mistakes to repeat themselves."


A child can always teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.


For in the final analysis, He had given His children the greatest of all gifts: the capacity to choose and determine their acts.


"How can a man cast from his heart the pain of a loss?" asked a woman.

"No. But he can find joy in something won."

Elijah turned, pointed to the top of the Fifth Mountain, forever covered with clouds. The destruction of the walls had made it visible from the middle of the square.

"I believe in One God, though you think that the gods dwell in those clouds on the Fifth Mountain. I don't want to argue whether my God is stronger or more powerful; I would speak not of our differences but of our similarities. Tragedy has united us in a single sentiment: despair. Why has that come to pass? Because we thought that everything was answered and decided in our souls, and we could accept no changes."

"Both you and I belong to trading nations, but we also know how to act as warriors," he continued. "And a warrior is always aware of what is worth fighting for. He does not go into combat over things that do not concern him, and he never wastes his time over provocations."

"A warrior accepts defeat. He does not treat it a s a matter of indifference, nor does he attempt to transform it into a victory. The pain of defeat is bitter to him; he suffers at indifference and becomes desperate with loneliness. After all this has passed, he licks his wounds and begins everything anew. A warrior knows that war is made of many battles; he goes on."

"Tragedies do happen. We can discover the reason, blame others, imagine how different our lives would be had they not occurred. But none of that is important; they did occur, and so be it. From there onward, we must put aside the fear that they awoke in us and begin to rebuild."

I think, the lines spilled them all. I need not say a word...


SandyCarlson said...

This sounds like a wonderful book.

aart hilal said...


I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!