Singer Ute Lemper in conversation with writer Paulo Coelho discussing 9 Secrets.
On Sunday, Paulo Coelho will be a guest of Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday, 11am ET/PT.
The Alchemist, his best-known book, originally did not sell in Brazil, and was dropped by the publisher.
He knocked on doors, and eventually found a publisher who was willing to take a risk, even though he was publishing a book, another publisher dropped.
Three years later when the book was already a half a million copies in Brazil, Paulo asked his publisher ‘Why did you accept a book that was already published and it was a flop?’ He replied ‘I don’t know.’
The Alchemist has gone on to sell 70 million copies.
Last week it was No2 in the New York Times best-seller list. It had recorded three-hundred and eighteen continuous weeks in the New York Times best seller list.
Adultery, his latest book published last week, entered the New York Times best-seller list at No2.
Nature teaches us more than philosophical books. — Paulo Coelho
What I know of the divine sciences and Holy Scripture, I learnt in the woods and fields. I have had no other masters than the beaches and the oaks. — Saint Bernard
Late lunch in The Barn. It had been raining but I seemed to have been lucky and missed it.
Very quiet, and had been all afternoon, but then not a lot of people about due to the bad weather.
Early evening, several people came in, including singer-songwriter Heather Golding. She had only intended to pop in for a couple of minutes, to say hi, until we got into conversation.
She told me she was planning a gig at Café Mila in Godalming with Geckko in early March.
She was quite suprised I knew of Geckko, or Café Mila.
I have never seen Gekko perform, but may have met them at The Barn.
Café Mila, it was I who suggested they have occasional live music, and was instrumental in their first gig, suggesting my lovely friend Annie, only it sadly fell through.
I said, hopefully, in June, they may have storyteller Steph Bradley, and told of her following her dreams, of being being inspired by Paulo Coelho, of sailing to Brazil, of reading The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage in Portuguese, of walking from village to town, town to village, in a pair of red flip flops from Brazil, of telling and collecting tales, all of which are writ in Tales of Our Times, a great volume of thirteen chapters and thirteen copies, because there are thirteen moons in a year, of an anthology of poetry, Searching for Love, to be published on leanpub on St Valentine’s day.
Heather was fascnated. I want to meet this storyteller, she said.
I then told her, contrary to popular misconception, The Alchemist was not the first book from Paulo Coelho, it was The Pilgrimage, an account of walking El Camino de Santiago, and that when you walk El Camino de Santiago, you have to give a gift, to give something back, and the gift from Paulo Coelho was The Alchemist.
Heather was fascinated, as only the day before, she had been discussing with her friend, walking El Camino de Santiago.
She could not believe it, when I then produced a copy of The Pilgrimage, which I gave to her as a gift.
You must know my story, she told me.
She was at a concert, with her daughter, then aged ten (she was on her way to see her daughter as we talked and had to keep calling her daughter to say she was late and on her way). A voice told her she had to get up on stage and sing. She had never sung in her life. Three times the voice told her, each time more powerful. She realised she had to obey, and much to her daughter’s embarrassment, walked up and on stage, and explained she had never sung, but could she sing with them.
She explained, she had literally come from picking up her latest album, and showed it to me. She said an internal image by mistake, had been printed upside down. And yet had worked out better.
I then told her of the cover art for Triptych II (Nine for a Kiss), was taken from a painting, but the painting, not the correct aspect ration for album cover art, until someone had the clever idea, of reflecting the painting.
I took her over to a cabinet, where there was some work on display by Chris Skillicorn-Aston. Oh yes, Chris, I know him, she said, I was only talking to him recently. I told her of how the cover art for The Way of the Bow, was take from the details of one of his paintings.
She said she would give me a copy of her latest album, but could not yet, as only a single copy on her, but I was welcome to her earlier album, Kutara, improvisation of voice and harp, recorded at St Andrew’s Church, the Parish Church of Farnham, I had passed earlier, but not gone in as I usually do. I thanked her, and asked, that she dropped off her latest album either at The Barn or Café Mila.
Her latest album, Elakoyah, I thinks she said came from the voice of dolphins, but maybe I misunderstood.
I said it was a must, she upload her music to bandcamp, in order that it could be shared and reach a much wider audience.
I explained to her the Gift Economy, as explained by Charles Eisenstein in Sacred Economics. People freely give gifts, with no expectation of return. A book I was introduced to by Steph Bradley.
After we bade our farewell, I settled in the corner with my Kobo Touch.
I wanted to try what I had thought of last night. Downloading e-books, from Kobo Store, is somewhat kack-handed, download into Kobo Library, then download from Library. Accessing Kobo Store from Kobo Touch using wifi in Harris + Hoole Friday evening, I found was not easy. I then thought, access using laptop, add to Kobo Library, then download to Kobo Touch using wifi in The Barn. This is what I wished to try.
I found the Kobo Touch was not very responsive. Maybe my inept fingers, though could also be because it was cold. I could not find Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Maybe I had done something wrong last night, or as I was accessing now. I started again, found the book in the Kobo Store, added to Library and downloaded. It was so fast, literally a matter of seconds, I thought nothing had happened. But yes, it had downloaded, it was now on the Kobo Touch, available to read.
Time to take my leave of The Barn. Luckily bus on time, and my next bus, only a few minutes wait.
Saturday night, yet another storm hits.
Synchronicity: The coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.
Heather Golding: Singer-songrwiter, Kutura, improvisation voice and harp recorded in Farnham Parish Church.
Kutura is a wonderful album, beautiful, haunting music, makes good use of the acoustics of the church. Talking to Heather Golding, one would never expect this beautiful singing voice. I cannot wait for her to upload to bandcamp, in order that Kutura reaches a much wider audience.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” — Luke 7:44-47, New International Version (NIV)
THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not LOVE I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing. — Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World
The Supreme Gift, a rewrite by Paulo Coelho of The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond, a book that was to greatly influence the life of Paulo Coelho.
The Supreme Gift, is currently only available as an e-book, only available on Amazon and iTunes (it may become available on Kobo).
Writers get a far better deal on leanpub, as do readers.
Leanpub pays 90% royalty to authors, less a 50 cent flat fee.
For the reader, multiple download formats, open source formats, not propriety formats.
Amazon is a propriety format, restricted to an Amazon Kindle. iTunes I do not know.
Kindle spies on what the reader is reading, Amazon can and do arbitrarily delete contents of a Kindle.
Kobo readers are better than Kindle. Open source format for e-books.
Kobo Touch is currently in WHSmith in UK at £30 (approx 45 euros), it was £90. The equivalent six inch e-reader from Amazon, Kindle Touch, is double the price.
For those who do not have an e-reader, download and install Calibre.
Calibre can also be used to manage books on an e-reader.
A few ball park figures (for writer can substitute publisher):
The Supreme Gift on Amazon — $3
Assuming writer gets 40% — $1-20
The Supreme Gift on leanpub — $2
The writers receives 90% less 50 cents — $1-30
Thus reader and writer get a better deal on leanpub.
But let us go a step further, a book about a gift, let us incorporate the principles of the Gift Economy that Charles Eisenstein describes in Sacred Economics.
Charles Eisenstein, in keeping with his idea of a Gift Economy, gift to others with no expectation of return, you can purchase Sacred Economics from a bookshop (if you can find), download as an e-book (pay what you wish), or download for free.
Leanpub lets us do something clever. We can set a low minimum price, say $1, a suggested selling price of say $2. A slider lets us pay what we choose, we can pay more than the suggested price, and we see how much of the price we choose to pay, goes to the author.
If we choose less than the suggested price, the author has granted us a gift. It is then for us to decide what we do with our gift. We may, for example, tell others, we have then passed the gift on, if they choose to download and pay, then we have also repaid the author.
It is what bass player Steve Lawson calls a zero cost transaction. No one has actually lost anything, you do not know where it may lead.
Bandcamp in part, operates in this way. You can listen as often as you wish, you are encouraged to share, sometimes download for free or pay a low minimum price, pay what you wish. And surprisingly it works, people are willing to pay, and if they share, more people discover the music. A complete contrast to the greedy Big Record Labels, who rip off everyone and criminalise those who dare to share.
Steph Bradley spent six moons walking around the country, sharing and collecting tales of what is possible, what people are trying, and collecting together in Tales of Our Times. She was inspired by Paulo Coelho to follow her dreams. On St Valentine’s Day, she will publish on leanpub, Searching for Love, an anthology of love poetry.
The Greatest Thing in the World (1874), a meditation Henry Drummond wrote in 1874 that illuminates the importance of 1 Corinthians 13. Widely read and quoted during his lifetime, it went on to sell over 12 million copies and it continues today to influence people to follow God’s two great commandments: to love God and to love each other.
Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year.
Stonehenge is an astronomical observatory.
A brief snippet of the film being made of the life of Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho.
It is due for release in Brazil in January 2014, then the rest of the world.
Carlos Castaneda tells of how his master’s master, Julian Osório, became a Nagual – a type of sorcerer according to certain Mexican traditions.
Julian worked as a actor in a traveling theater in the interior of Mexico. But his artistic life was only a pretext to flee the conventions imposed by his tribe: in fact, what Julian liked most was to drink and seduce the women – any type of woman, those he encountered during his theatrical performances. He overdid things and demanded so much of his health, that in the end he contracted tuberculosis.
Elias, a very well-known sorcerer among Iaque indians, was taking his evening walk when he found Julian lying in a field: his mouth was bleeding so much that Elias – who could see the spiritual world, could see that the young actor’s death was near.
Using some herbs he had in his pocket, he managed to stop the bleeding. Then he turned to Julian:
– I cannot save you – he said. – I have done everything I can. Your death is very close now.
– I don’t want to die, I’m too young – replied Julian.
Elias, like all Nagual men, was more interested in behaving like a warrior – concentrating his energy on the battle of life – than helping someone who had never respected the miracle of our existence. However, without being able to explain why, he resolved to answer the request.
– At five in the morning I shall depart for the mountains – he said – Wait for me on the edge of the village, without fail. If you do not come, you shall die sooner than you think: your only chance is to accept my invitation. I will never be able to repair the damage you have inflicted on your body, but I can deviate your approach to the cliffs of death. All human beings fall into this abyss, sooner or later; you are a few steps from it, and I cannot bring you back from it.
– So what can you do?
– I can make you walk along the edge of the abyss. I shall mark your paces so that you follow the enormous length of the margin between life and death; you may go to the right or to the left, but as long as you don’t fall down, you shall remain alive.
The Nagual Elias didn’t expect much from the actor, a lazy, libertine and cowardly man. He was surprised when, at five o’clock the next morning, he found him waiting at one end of the village. He took him to the mountains, taught him the secrets of the ancient Mexican Naguas, and with time Julian Osório became one of the most respected iaque sorcerers. He was never cured of his tuberculosis, but lived to the age of 107, always walking along the edge of the abyss.
When the right time came, he started taking disciples, and was responsible for the training of Don Juan Matus, who in turn taught Carlos Castaneda the ancient traditions. Castaneda, with his series of books, ended up making these traditions popular the world over.
One afternoon, talking to another of D. Juan’s disciples, Florinda, she commented:
– It is important for all of us to examine the path of Nagual Julian along the edge of the abyss. It makes us understand that we all have a second chance, even if we are very close to giving up.
Castaneda agreed: to examine Julian’s path meant understanding his extraordinary fight to stay alive. He understood that this battle was fought by the second, tireless one against bad habits and self-pity. It wasn’t a sporadic battle, but a constant, disciplined effort to keep his balance; any distraction or momentary debility might cast him into the abyss of death.
There was only one way of overcoming the temptations of his past life: to focus all his attention on the edge of the abyss, concentrate on every step, keep calm, and not become attached to anything but the present moment.
In my opinion, these lessons apply to each and every one of us.
— Paulo Coelho
Introduced by a friend, I read in the 1970s books by Carlos Castaneda.
Then another friend, suggested I read the books by a Hermann Hesse, which I did
A few years ago, I met an attractive young woman sat outside a pub by the River Wey in Guildford. I was curious what was the book that had her so absorbed. She told me by Paulo Coelho. She suggested I read his books, which I did.