Wisdom across the centuries travels across the pages.

Wisdom across the centuries travels across the pages.

If you like books that challenge you to think deeply, then you will find Paul Coelho’s “Maktub” fascinating. This collection of very short essays focuses on how to live wisely. Settings range from the Arabian desert to an African village to a mountain monastery.

“Maktub” can be translated as “it is written.” (p. 9), and Coelho explores the power of words to enrich lives. For example, in one parable about a shepherd in the mountains, we are told, “God acts as the echo of our actions.”

Prepare to be offended as many theologies are represented. But if you can explore with objectivity, you will have an opportunity to delve into why you believe as you do. One journeying with a mind open to truth will discover many gems.

Originally published in Portuguese in 1994, this English version of the literary fiction was translated in 2024 by Margaret Jull Costa. The cultural diversity adds richness. In one story about a Spanish missionary visiting Aztecs, we learn to ask for “God’s forgiveness for having failed to understand that He speaks all languages.” (p.131)

Each parable will have you thinking throughout the day. Here are a few of the treasures:

“The fear of making mistakes is the door that keeps us imprisoned inside the castle of mediocrity.” (p. 160)

“Don’t be afraid of being called crazy. Do something today that goes against all the logic you were taught.” (p.175)

“Because only in having the courage to follow a path will the path reveal itself.” (p. 193)


Horse image credit to Pixabay and BLACK17BG