The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (5/5 Stars)
Before beginning this book, I read the many reviews posted online. It was astonishingly odd that this “must read classic” had so many people that claimed to have absolutely hated it. But, inquiring minds must experience things for themselves and I delved into the purposefully tattered pages of my 25th anniversary copy.
I fell in love.
The book is easy to follow and speaks of adventure and love and God. The only reason I think so many people failed to enjoy the book is because they don’t yet see that they are God, and God is them. The whole theme of the book is that we are one with everything and in turn hold the power of our lives.
Also, for an eternity, my favorite phrase in life has been that “Everything happens for a reason according to some divine plan.” The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly: all of it holds a specific purpose. Reading the Alchemist just reiterated this point for me. It made me realize that even though this is a story of fiction, someone thousands of miles away in Brazil that speaks a different language, who grew up in a different generation and published the book before I was even born understands life fundamentals on the same levels that I do.
I understand why so many people hate it. And I also understand why others are absolutely in love.
This is one of those books I would recommend to someone who wants to truly find themselves and find God and find meaning. It’s a good starting point. I will probably pick this book up again and read it multiple times. If I ever have children, this will be a bedtime story that will battle the conventional establishment of religion in kids. Love is all we need. And when we are made of it, anything is possible.
There are so many highlighted parts of this book that resonated with me, but I will just pick out a few passages to share.
“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That is the world’s biggest lie.”
The main character of the story was just beginning his journey at this point when he came across an old man. I had also come to a point where I thought that fate was controlling my life, until I sat back and got a complete understanding of what fate truly is. Fate is supernatural in a sense, something that Is out of one’s hands despite the decisions you make. For example, If I decide to pack my bags and leave or stay and fight it out, the same outcome would occur.
I just feel that this is unlikely, because the decisions that I make determine the lessons that I learn, and if I still end up being broke and holes weather deciding to move away or not, I am a different person based on the decisions I made. So it’s not exactly the same outcome. That may have been a little too deep and philosophical for some, but this is my take on things.
Fate does not exist. We create our destinies. God is within all of us, and thus, we hold the power.
“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil in the spoon.”
The old man previously mentioned told the main character of a wise man. A boy had visited the wise man to find the secret of happiness. The wise man then directed the boy to walk around his home with a spoon of oil and come back later in the day. When he came back, the wise man asked what the boy had observed. He had been so focused on the oil, he missed the wise man’s collected possessions. So the wise man sent him back to look through the house. When the boy returned this time, he had seen beautiful things and learned a lot. The wise man pointed out the empty spoon and delivered the above quote.
What does this mean to me? That life is about balance. Happiness is of course also a balancing act of going out there into the world but never forgetting where you come from or the lessons you learned. It’s about seeking knowledge and using it on your journey.
“I’m like everyone else— I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.”
I am not sure why it is so hard as people to see the “bigger picture”. With the hustle and bustle of city life and the fast pace money equals happiness lifestyles that are spoon fed to us by the media, we often get depressed and upset about things that could actually be blessings in disguise. We may see an event as the world conspiring against us when in all actuality it’s the universe guiding us to our true selves.
This is why I try to take everything that happens and analyze it before making a decision and reacting rashly. Everything in due time…
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey. “
I started this off thinking that the more I read the more I would know, but I too am starting to see that the only things I truly understand are the things that I have done, been though, felt, and experienced. I am not saying reading is not important. I think this helps to build a solid foundation for growth. But without action, what is the point of all that book knowledge?
I want to know the universe with the same sense of knowing myself.
This is also one of the issues with the conscious community. There are so many scholars out there that know of the power of melanin and no one building communities, schools, or re-establishing a black wall street. There are not enough actions because everyone is just content on learning so that they can have something to talk about.
Anywho, before I get on a rant that I truly did not plan on going on— I would recommend this book to anyone that needs a nudge in a the right direction.