Brida by Paulo Coelho

Posted: May 6, 2010 in Book Notes
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Magic & Mystery

  • Magic is a bridge between the visible world and the invisible world – to learn lessons of both those worlds.
    • Everyone has their own way – discover your own way of crossing it.
  • Magic speaks all the languages of the human heart.
  • Look at the world around you and try to see and understand as much as you can. The Tradition of the Sun is constantly revealing eternal knowledge to each individual.
    • The Tradition of the Sun was the path of all men, and it was there so that it could be deciphered by anyone who knew how to pray and be patient and who wanted to learn what it had to teach.
  • The Tradition of the Sun kept its knowledge alive through the impulse of Creation.
  • That’s the great problem with anyone wanting to study magic – When we set out on the path, we always have a fairly clear idea of what we hope to find. Women are generally seeking their Soulmate, and men are looking for Power. Neither party is really interested in learning. They simply want to reach the thing they have set as their goal.
    • But the path of magic – like path of life – is and always will be the path of Mystery.
    • Learning something means coming into contact with a world a world of which you know nothing. In order to learn, you must be humble.
    • When you were spreading the cards, you always has a preconceived idea of what might happen. You never let the cards tell their own story; you were trying to make them confirm what you imagined you know.
  • Magical places are always beautiful and deserve to be contemplated. Waterfalls, mountains and forests are all places where the spirits of Earth tend to play and laugh and speak to us.
    • Always stay on the bridge between the visible and invisible.
  • People are afraid to discover that life was magical.
    • They are used to their houses, their jobs, their expectations, and if someone turned up saying that it was possible to travel in time, that it was possible to see castles adrift in the Universe, tarot cards that told stories, men who walked through the dark night, people who had never experienced such things would feel that life had cheated them.
    • Life, as far as they were concerned, was the same every day, every night, every weekend.
  • In magic, living is more important than understanding.
    • Trying to explain your emotions is the best way to destroy the bridge between visible and the invisible.
    • Emotions are like wild horses, and reason could never entirely master them – only wisdom can control them.
  • We have extraordinary experiences, but we try to convince ourselves that it was the mere product of our imagination.
  • Women could learn witchcraft more quickly than men, because each month, they experienced in their own bodies the complete cycle of nature: birth, life and death, ‘the Cycle of the Moon’.
  • When you set off along the path of magic, the first thing you do is surrender yourself to a greater power, for you will encounter things that you will never understand.
    • Nothing will behave in the logical way you have come to expect.
    • You will understand things only with your heart, and that can be a little frightening.
    • For a long time, the journey will seem like a Dark Night, but then any search is an act of faith.
    • God appreciates our act of faith, and takes our hand and guides us through the Mystery.


  • Every moment in life is an act of faith.
    • For us each day is a dark night. None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, and yet still we go forwards. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.
    • We just don’t see the mystery contained in the next second.
    • Miracles couldn’t be explained either, but they existed for those who believed in them.
    • Faith cannot be explained – only choose to accept it or not.
  • Having the courage to take the steps we always wanted to take is the only way of showing that we trust in God.
    • The greatest thing a human being can do is to accept the Mystery.
    • We don’t look for an answer, we accept, and then life becomes much more intense, much more brilliant, because we understand that each minute, each step that we take, has a meaning that goes far beyond us as individuals.
    • We realize that somewhere in time and space this question does have an answer. We realize that there is a reason for us being here, and for us, that is enough.
    • We plunge into the Dark Night with faith, we fulfill what the ancient alchemist used to call our Personal Legend and we surrender ourselves fully to each moment, knowing that there is always a hand to guide us, and whether we accept or not is entirely up to us.


  • In certain reincarnations, we divide into two. Our souls divide as do crystals and stars, cells and plants.
  • As well as dividing into two, we also find ourselves. And that process of finding ourselves is called Love. Because when a soul divides, it always divides into a male part and a female part.
    • Book of Genesis: The soul of Adam was split in two, and Eve was born out of him.
    • Human beings are all interlinked, like the cards in this deck.
    • In each life, we feel a mysterious obligation to find at least one of those Soulmates. The Greater Love that separated them feels please with the Love that brings them together again.
    • You could tell your Soulmate by the light in their eyes.
    • Above all, we are responsible for reencountering, at least once in every incarnation, the Soulmate who is sure to cross our path. Even if it is only for a matter of moments, because those moments bring with them a Love so intense that it justifies the rest of our days.
  • The essence of Creation is one and one alone. And that essence is called Love. Love is the force that brings us back together, in order to condense the experience dispersed in many lives and many parts of the world.
  • The whole of man’s life on the face of Earth can be summed up by that search for his Soulmate.
  • With the exception of a few creatures who are descended from the angels – and who need solitude in order to encounter God – the rest of humanity will only achieve Union with God if, at some point, at some moment in their life, they manage to commune with their Soulmate.
  • The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand the world. And the closer your will be to your Soulmate.
  • At some point in our lives, we all meet our Soulmate and recognize him or her.
  • True love allow each person to follow their own path, knowing that they would never lose touch with their Soulmate.
  • Anything you do can lead you to the Supreme Wisdom, as long as you work with love in your heart.


  • Love was the only bridge between the visible and the invisible known to everyone. It was the only effective language for translating the lessons of the Universe taught to human beings every day.
    • People worked hard and honestly, they feared God, and they tried to help their fellow man. They did all these things because they had known love. Their lives had a reason, they could understand without ever having heard of things like the Tradition of the Sun and the Tradition of the Moon.
    • People had been trying to understand the universe through love ever since the beginning of time.
  • When you are in love, you are capable of learning everything and of knowing things you had never dared event to think, because love was the key to understanding of all the mysteries.
  • Love is a feeling completely bound up with color, life thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other.
  • Problems of the heart always bruised the soul…
  • …in the days when she was still hoping to meet someone and be swept up in some whirlwind romance that would put a stop to the endless identical days.
  • Because suddenly the whole world fitted into my village. Love became my explanation for life.
  • Love does not grow old with the body.
    • Feelings from part of a world I don’t know, but it’s world where there’s no time, no space, no frontiers.
  • She needed love and understanding, because she, too, knew stories she could tell no one.
  • I am afraid of love, because it involves things that are beyond our understanding; it sheds such a brilliant light, but the shadow it casts frightens me.
  • When two men are in love with the same woman, it’s better that they hate each other than that they become friends. Because, if that happened, she would end up losing them both.
  • The best way to immerse oneself in God is through love.
  • People give flowers as presents because flowers contain the true meaning of Love. Anyone who tries to possess a flower will have to watch its beauty fading. But if you simply look at a flower in a field, you will keep it forever, because the flower is part of the evening, and the sunset and the smell of damp earth and the clouds on the horizon.
  • That is what the forest taught me. That you will never be mine, and that is why I will never lose you. You were my hope during my days of loneliness, my anxiety during moments of doubt, my certainty during moments of faith.
    • I will always remember you, and you will remember me, just as we will remember the evening, the rain on the windows, and all the things we’ll always have because we cannot possess them.
  • Love is liberty.

Have the Courage to Follow Your Path

  • You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes.
    • Disappointment, defeat and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.
  • By always giving up when she had only just started, she had exhausted all possible paths without even taking a single step.
  • Sometimes we set off down a path simply because we don’t believe in it.
    • People spend their whole life destroying paths they didn’t even want to follow, instead of following the one path that would lead them somewhere.
  • It isn’t explanations that carry us forward, it’s our desire to go on.
    • Immigrant workers believe that their efforts will be rewarded and that one day they’ll understand what happened along the way which, at the time, seemed so very frightening.
  • She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none.
  • You have to take risks, follow some paths and abandon others.
  • The search is as interesting as actually finding what you are looking for.
  • Never stop having doubts.
    • If you ever do, it will be because you’ve stopped moving forward.
    • One the other hand, you must be careful never to allow doubt to paralyze you.
    • Always take the decisions you need to take, even if you are not sure you are doing the right thing.
  • Play your part and don’t worry about what others do.
    • Believe that God also speaks to them, and that they are as engaged as you are in discovering the meaning of life.
  • Being human means having doubts and yet still continuing on your path.
  • Life is about making mistakes – Cells went on reproducing themselves in exactly the same way for millions of years, until one of them made a mistake, and introduced change into that endless cycle of repetition.
  • It was a mistake that set the Universe in motion – Never be afraid of making a mistake.
    • God knew what he was doing when he drew Adam and Eve’s attention to the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If he hadn’t wanted them to eat it, he would never have mentioned it.


  • Both men and women are extremely vulnerable to the force of sex, because, during sex, pleasure and fear are present in equal measure.
    • Because anyone who comes into contact with sex knows that they’re dealing with something which only happens in all its intensity when they lose control. When we are in bed with someone, we are giving permission to that person not only to commune with our body, but with our whole being. The pure forces of life are in communication with each other, independently of us, and then we cannot hide who we are.
  • Our relationships with the world come through our five senses. Plunging into the world of magic means discovering other unknown senses, and sex propels us towards one of those doors.
    • At the moment of orgasm, the five senses vanish, and you enter the world of magic; you can no longer see, hear, taste, touch or smell. During those long seconds everything disappears, to be replaced by ecstasy.
  • When male knowledge joins with female transformation, then the great magical union is created, and its name is Wisdom – both to know and to transform.

Other Topics

  • All roads lead to Rome.
    • Gift could be awoken anywhere.
  • To build or to plant?
    • The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they’re doing. Then they find they’re hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops.
    • The gardeners endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But, unlike the builders, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure.
  • …even if she was still very young and fascinated by the things and the people of this world.
  • There is a big different between danger and fear.
    • The night is just a part of the day.
  • Tarot Card – its author, knowing that humanity learned more easily from vice than from virtue, had arranged for this sacred book to be transmitted across the generations in the form of a game. The deck was an invention of the gods.
  • We study what we can see, but what we see is not always what exists.
    • Many of those stars have already died, and yet their light still fills the Universe. Other stars were born far away, and their light has not yet reached us.
  • Everything in the Universe has life, and you must always try to stay in contact with that life. It understands your language. And the world will begin to take on a different meaning for you.
  • This is how the Tradition survives, because people are willing to die for an idea.
  • The soldiers know they could die at any moment, and that’s why, for them, life is one long celebration.
    • Only warriors choose how they will die.
  • God manifests himself in everything, but the word is one of his most favored methods of doing so, because the word is thought transformed into vibration; you are projecting into the air around you something which, before, was only energy. Take great care with everything you say.
  • Some doctors study their patiently very coolly and objectively, more interested in nothing down the symptoms than in understanding the pain and suffering caused by those symptoms.
  • Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
  • You concern too much with other people – they are mirrors of yourself.
  • The Force of God is always diffused, like Light. When you give off positive vibrations, you benefit all humankind, but when you concentrate the force of the messenger, you are only benefiting – or harming – yourself.
  • Ordinary people carry millennia of disappointment with them, and they can no longer learn certain things though the simple things of life.
  • The candle, according to the Tradition of the Moon, was the symbol of the four elements, and contained within itself the earth of the wick, the water of the paraffin, the fire that burned and the air that allowed the fire to burn.
  • We are responsible for the Universe, because we are the Universe.
  • God placed his pharmacy in the woods and fields, so that everyone could enjoy good health.
  • May she bless us because we are women and live in a world in which men love and understand us more and more. Yet still we bear our bodies the marks of past lives, and those marks still hurt.
  • In order not to suffer, you have to renounce life. It is like putting out your own eyes in order not to see the bad things in life.
  • What is outside is harder to change than what is inside.
    • Only now, when she was considering changing on the outside, could she realize how much she had changed inside.
  • God has a special fondness for shepherds. They are people accustomed to nature, silence, patience. They possess all the necessary virtue to commune with the Universe.
  • Solitary people lose track of time, the hours are long and the days interminable.
  • I felt necessary, and that’s the best feeling a human being can have.
  • It is not his reason that is working now, it is his intuition.
  • We will never ever know the ultimate reason for our existence…the main objective of the great Architect of the Universe is known to Him along, and to no one else.
  • What is now proved was once only imagined. – William Blake
  • Birds existed and fish existed. Theirs were universes that occasionally collided, but they could not answer each other’s questions. And yet both had questions, and the questions had answers.
  • Never interfere with another person’s free will.
  • At one point, men may have decided to make themselves God’s representatives and subsequently made mistakes, but God had nothing to do with that.
  • She didn’t need to neglect her beauty in order to prove that she was also intelligent and capable.
  • This is a ceremony but it is also a celebration. And no celebration can begin without everyone filling their glasses.
  • Those peasants were eager for happiness, and no one who has experienced happiness can ever again feel at ease with sadness. The peasants might then expect to be happy all year round, and that would threaten the whole political and religious system.
  • The first road to God is prayer, the second is joy.
  • For God placed in the hands of each and every person a Gift, the instrument He used to reveal Himself to the world and to help humanity. God chose human beings to be His helpers on Earth.
  • Never be ashamed. Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.
  • No one can possess a sunset like one we saw that evening. Just as no one can possess an afternoon of rain beating against the window, or the serenity of a sleeping child, or the magical moment when the waves break on the rocks. No one can possess the beautiful things of this Earth, but we can know them and love them. It is through such moments that God reveals himself to mankind.

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