Beggar and the Monk

A monk was meditating in the desert when a beggar came up to him and said:

I need to eat.

The monk — who was almost reaching the point of perfect harmony with the spiritual world — did not answer.

I need to eat, insisted the beggar.

Go to the town and ask someone else. Can’t you see that you are bothering me? I am trying to communicate with the angels”.

God placed himself lower than men, washed their feet, gave His life, and no-one recognized Him, the beggar replied. He who says he loves God — who does not see — and forgets his brother – who does — is lying.

And the beggar turned into an angel.

What a pity, you almost made it, he remarked before leaving.

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author who has sold more than 100 million books, which include 14 short story collections and the novel “The Alchemist.” He has been a fan of the Internet since the early 1990s. He spends at least three hours a day online, writing e-mails back and forth with his readers and posting photos on Flickr, MySpace and a blog.

Coelho’s online activities also include promoting pirated copies of his own books. Since 2005 he’s been directing his readers to an online site where they can download his books, in languages from German to Japanese, for free. “I always thought that when, at the beginning of your career, you strive to be read, you can’t change your mind later and become greedy about it.”

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