Stay In The Desert

“Why do you live in the desert?”

“Because I can’t be what I want to be. When I begin to be myself, people treat me with a reverence that’s false. When I am true to my faith, then they begin to doubt. They all believe they are holier than I, but they pretend they are sinners, afraid to insult my solitude. They try all the time to show that they consider me a saint, and in this way they become emissaries of the devil, tempting me with Pride.”

“Your problem isn’t trying to be who you are, but accepting others the way they are. And acting in this way, it’s better to stay in the desert,” said the gentleman, walking off.

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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