Book Review: 11 Minutes


“Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path.

No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded.

Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything.

Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it-which of these two attitudes is the least destructive?

I don’t know.”

Having passion in life is important, but I like the fact that Paulo looks at it on both extremes. There needs to be a median and I also believe that people need to have passion in something, it has to drive the person to something.


“Profound desire, true desire is the desire to be close to someone. From that point onwards, things change, the man and the woman come into play, but what happens before-the attraction that brought them together-is impossible to explain. It is untouched desire in its purest state.

When desire is still in this pure state, the man and the woman fall in love with life, they live each moment reverently, consciously, always ready to celebrate the next blessing.

When people feel like this, the are not in a hurry, they do not precipitate in events with unthinking actions. They know that the inevitable will happen, that what is real always finds revealing in itself. When the moment comes, they do not hesitate, they do not miss an opportunity, they do not let slip a single magic moment, because they respect the importance of each second.”

What I get from these series of quotes is that when people love to do something they are not thinking about the time; just the enjoyment and excitement of the experience. Also, with society not thinking about the time we are living more in the moment. I think people take living in the moment for granted and that we or myself personally stay in my head way too often and lose the love of living. 


“One of his hands goes back to her breast; it feels so good, she wishes he would put his arms around her now. But, no, they are discovering the body, they have time, they need alot of time. They could make love now; it would be the most natural thing world, and it might be good, but all this is so new, she needs to control herself, she does not want to spoil everything. She remembers the wine they drank on that first night, how they sipped it slowly, savoring each mouthful, how she felt it warming her and how it made her see the world differently and left her more at ease and more in touch with life.”

Got to try this with my girlfriend…


“I don’t remember exactly when, but one Sunday recently, I decided to go to church to attend mass. After some time, I realized that I was in the wrong church-it was a Protestant church.

I was about to leave, but the preacher was just beginning his sermon, and I thought it would be rude to get up at that point, and it was a real blessing, because that day I heard things I very much needed to hear.

He said something like: In all the languages in the word, there is the same proverb: ‘What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.’ Well, I say that there isn’t an ounce of truth in it. The further off they are, the closer to the heart are all those feelings that we try to repress and forget. If we’re in exile, we want to store away every tiny memory of our roots. If we’re far from the person we love, everyone we pass in the street reminds us of them.

The gospels and all the sacred texts of all religions were written in exile, in search of God’s understanding, of the faith that moves whole peoples, of the pilgrimage of souls wandering the face of the Earth. Our ancestors did not know, as we do not know, what the Divinity expects from our lives-and it is out of that doubt that books are written, pictures painted because we don’t want to forget who we are-nor can we.”

Powerful quote! This quote to me is explaining the unconscious behavior of living life with a silent time clock directing our path. A clock that can stop ticking at any moment and once it stops our life is over. The motivation that we don’t notice to be motivation and that we don’t realize because we are trying our best and hardest to complete whatever we are doing. Every person is different in the way they become motivated and once or should I say if that light bulb goes off in their head it will carry them to the end of their days… 


“That men and women sell their time, but can never buy it back again?”

We can replace time. That is the first thing we usually give up and most of the time it is for money or for a superstitious falsehood. Time is the only thing we got and we have to be better with how we use it and have to be honest with ourselves about what we want out of our life.


“Yes, I love you very much, as I have never loved another man, and that is precisely why I am leaving, because, if I stayed, the dream would become reality, the desire to possess, to want your life to be mine…in short, all the things that transform love into slavery. It’s best left like this-a dream. We have to be careful what we take from a country, or from life.”

One of the realist quotes that I like from the book. It is talking about balance in life and not sucking the life out of other people. In life we go through people coming and going and we learn something from each and every person indirectly and directly. When a situation is going so well we tend to take it to the next step and continue to get more involved. We have to remember though that who ever we are with is a part (wether big or small) of our life, but not our life.


“What made you fall in love with a prostitute?

I didn’t understand it myself at the time. But I’ve thought about it since, and I think it was because, knowing that your body would never be mine alone, I had to concentrate on conquering your soul.

Weren’t you jealous?

You can’t say to the spring: ‘Come now and last as long as possible.’ You can only say: ‘Come and bless me with your hope, and stay as long as you can.’”

Another great quote that talks about controlling or keeping a person involve in one’s life by mind capturing and/or being generally interested in another person’s life. Many times we think that the only way to a person heart is through sex, we have to stretch our creativity to reach people on a different level.

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