In one of the previous posts I reflected on Carlos Castaneda’s four enemies of knowledge: fear, clarity, power and old age. In contrast, Paulo Coelho offers his own perspective on the matter in his inspirational book “The Pilgrimage” (“Diary of a Mage”). Although the author talks on the importance of dreaming, there are clear parallels that can be drawn between the teachings of Don Juan and Petrus in both books.
In his book Paulo Coelho in the words of Master Petrus makes a strong motivational clam that goes as follows:
We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies, and agape cannot reach it.
The author goes on to reveal the three sings indicating that one has given up on his dreams. The first one is lack of time. Most busy people will always find time for everything. In contrast, those who do nothing will always feel tired and keep on complaining the day is too short. The second sign that a dream is dying is acquisition of experience. We stop perceiving life as a bright adventure and begin thinking it will be fair, wise and right not to demand too much from life. In other words, we stop venturing out of our comfort zone. The last sign of a lost dream is serenity. This is when life starts to resemble a peaceful Sunday evening with little or no ambitions and sacrifice.
There are certain similarities if we compare Castaneda’s four enemies of knowledge and Coelho’s three signs of lost dreams. Both of them – directly or indirectly – point to fear as the main obstacle towards growing as a human being – either in the way of pursuing knowledge or dreams. Both teachings indicate that we must never stop learning – consider the “power and clarity enemies” vs. experience and serenity. Finally, both approaches suggest there is a path for everyone on Earth. Again, this path can be followed either via quest for knowledge or pursuit of your dreams.
In fact, the biggest connection between the knowledge and dream approaches is that we acquire knowledge while pursuing our dreams, and vice versa: by becoming more knowledgeable we are able to make more and more dreams come true. So there is a dialectical relationship between the teachings of Carlos Castaneda and Paulo Coelho, even though expressed in completely different forms.
How can this all be applied in practice? Well, for now there appear to be at least two strategies for self-development and personal growth – the strategy of “Knowledge is power” and that of “Make your dreams come true”. I’d dare to say that combination of both can bring the best results. The combination of these two is perhaps the best strategy to move towards our life maximums.
Of course, this will only work for individuals concerned with such things as “personal development, life maximum, energy boosting” and such. Otherwise it’s nothing but intellectual rubbish and the sort of spiritual “bla-bla-bla” so abundant these days.