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Home arrow Psychology arrow The Life and Creative Works of Paulo Coelho : A Psychobiography from a Positive Psychology Perspective
Source

Childhood and Schooldays (1953-1961)

Findings indicate that, as a schoolchild, Coelho did experience some close relationships with his friends and extended family members in the security estate. With regard to the life task love, however, a) enduring, trusting, close relationships during

Table 7.23 Love in early childhood

Life span

Life task love with sub-categories

Periods in Paulo Coelho’s development

a) The ability to be

intimate,

trusting,

and

selfdisclosing

with

another

person

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with

significant

others

c) The capacity to experience or convey nonpossessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others

(f)

Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the

perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both

1. Year 1-6

x

Source: Researcher’s own construction

this life phase seemed to be mainly connected to Coelho’s parents and extended family members and friends with whom he built a “secret organisation” (Morais, 2009).

The available data do not reveal any love relationship of Coelho that goes beyond the relationship with his parents and extended family members from the “secret organisation”, which provided him with the opportunity to experience a) the ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with his parents and extended family members and selected friends in the estate. He also experienced d) the presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in his life through his parents’ care. Particularly the family relationship with his mother - as the main child carer (Morais, 2009) - was very stable, enduring and intimate during this period of his life. The relationship with his father was not as close because of his father’s work as an engineer (Morais, 2009), but it also seemed to be loving and protecting.

Coelho’s parents enrolled him in a Jesuit school when he was 6 years old. The main values at the primary school were hard work and respect for one’s fellows (Morais, 2009, p. 41), not the experience of love and care. In the educational institution Coelho did not experience the c) capacity to experience or convey nonpossessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another, but rather strict discipline in the name of God.

In this context, Coelho also experienced his developing sexual feelings as “perverse”, describing his actions as a “perverse side of his personality” rather than being more generous and gentle with himself (Morais, 2009, p. 52). He showed that he was not f.) satisfied with his sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both. However, Coelho experienced the c) capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another from his uncle and his aunt in Araruama where he spent time during his holidays.

Table 7.24 Love in childhood and schooldays

Life span

Life task love with sub-categories

Periods in Paulo Coelho’s development

a) The ability to be

intimate,

trusting,

and

selfdisclosing

with

another

person

(b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with

significant

others

c) The capacity to experience or convey nonpossessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others

(f)

Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the

perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both

2. Year 6-12

X fulfilled

-

X

unfulfilled

X fulfilled

-

X unfulfilled

Source: Researcher’s own construction

Only at the age of 12 did Coelho note in his diary his first romantic love, his first girlfriend. However, no findings are revealed in the data that refer to the depth of a) intimacy and trust in this relationship, b) the mutual expression of affection, c.) the caring aspect, d.) the presence of enduring, stable relationships, d.) concern for the nurturance and growth of others; and f.) the satisfaction with one’s sexual life or physical needs (Table 7.24).

The life forces affecting Coelho’s life during this period are the following:

Family Coelho experienced his most loving and enduring, stable relationships with his parents, extended family members and during the holidays with his uncle and his aunt in Araruama.

Education Coelho experienced school as hard work and a very disciplined environment in the Jesuit tradition. The Jesuits did not teach him compassionate love and care.

Community He also experienced stable and enduring relationships with his extended family members and friends from the secret organisation during his time in the estate. At the age of 12, he fell in love with his first girlfriend, but hardly any detailed information is revealed about this love and its intensity and how this relationship influenced him.

No significant information on any of the other life forces, such as religion, media, government and business and industry, regarding the life task of love is available. The data also do not reveal any kind of influence of global events during this period.

 
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