Interviewer: In Aleph, you also say that instead of fighting for God, we should fight against God.
Paolo Coelho: Sometimes yes.
Interviewer: Can you elaborate?
Fighting for God we see now: Christian fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism… They give their lives because the message is a powerful one: you are martyr. I’m a Catholic so I know what I’m talking about, because my Church was founded on the blood of the martyrs.
People start justifying their lives because they need raison d’etre – they need a reason to live. They are trying to convince themselves about their faith.
Fighting against God: it is everywhere in the Bible. Even Jesus – fought against God. When He says, ‘God, why did you forsake me?’ on the cross, or when He asks “Take this cup away from me”.
Then you have this intense relationship with God that is not a relationship of submission.
However, if you accept everything, if you do not ask why or how, you are not living, just obeying a set of rules. Like a lamb.
Images: Jacob Wrestling With An Angel, by Eugene DeLaCroix (1861), Gustave Doré, James J. Tissot, and scultpture by Jacob Epstein. For more depictions, see google images: wrestled with angel