Updated: Jul 2
The Alchemist’s philosophy is founded on courage to pursue your dreams no matter how hard and tortuous the path you must take may be. Its themes will make you crawl out of bed and set off to start living life like how it’s meant to be lived.
The Alchemist is one of those "esoteric" feeling books that makes you feel like life is vivid again.
It plays on the feeling that "there is something more" that you've forgotten and the thought that you are part of a bigger plan.
As you follow Santiago, the shepherd boy on his adventure, you will automatically question your own adventure in life; are you living up to your higher purpose? Why have you forgotten your way? What else is out there that you should be doing? Have you betrayed what you were meant to do with your life?
Asking questions like these... feeling the feelings that go along with such questions... really is a wonderful way to live. For the short time that you read this book, you will feel more alive. You will feel more in tune with "the universe". You will feel that wonderful one-in-the-morning-stare-out-the-window-and-listen-to-the-wind feeling... that is... unless you don't know what that feels like.
Santiago follows his dreams, which take him from Spain to Morocco and then Egypt, all in search of a special treasure. During his travels he learns lessons from messengers that seem placed in his path at the right moment, just when he needs them.
From the idyllic settings, a timeless tale of courage and dreams to a real spiritual awakening, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist offers the best lessons one can ever learn in life.
Reasons Why The Alchemist Makes You Turn Its Pages One after Another
It Makes You Go after Your Dreams
The Alchemist’s philosophy is founded on courage to pursue your dreams no matter how hard and tortuous the path you must take. Its themes will make you crawl out of bed and set off to start living life like how it’s meant to be lived:
“Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth--Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.”
This passage from Santiago’s first ever encounter with Melchizedek (the king Santiago met during his journey) makes Santiago realized how dreams are the very thing which fuels a person to achieve his personal legend (what one person always wanted to accomplish). A vision of one’s Personal Legend is particularly very clear when one is still young.
But life’s complication along the way fogs this once clear vision of one's Personal Legend. While the king’s words were confusing to Santiago at that time, a different motivation that is impressing the merchant’s daughter made him interested of what the mysterious force was all about.
And so, the old man explains: “It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your Personal Legend. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”
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The Soul of the World is that which is nourished by people’s happiness, unhappiness, envy and jealousy. How come these usually negative emotions such as unhappiness, envy and jealousy be things that nourish the soul of the universe the way happiness does? As the king explained, “all things are one.”
Live in the Moment
Where is your happiness? Is it in the past, present, or future?
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of--Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.”
Achieving a level of personal happiness previously unknown is closer than you think. Much closer. But first, it's important to stay in touch with the present.
"Stay in touch with the present? But you’re already in the present!"
Well, certainly we all are in the present, since there is nowhere else to be, but that doesn't mean our thoughts are in the present. And therein lay the challenges to our own personal happiness.
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As human being, you are capable of self-thoughts to help you achieve contentment. It's important for you to challenge what you see and believe. This ensures that your view of the world matches reality. So often what we believe is the truth, is nothing more than glimpses of the past, present, and future.
We often take only the bad from the past, quickly breeze through the present, and falsely make up the future. The result is frequently guilt about your imperfect past, anxiety about a future that doesn't exist, and impatience with the ‘now’.
But it is the ‘now’ which can help us to live our lives today, fully alive, happy and content.
Take a few minutes and reconnect with the world as you experience it in the now. If you are like most people, what you experienced is a wonderful feeling of being alive.
Rarely do we allow ourselves the opportunity to enjoy the moment. But the moment is the only reality we know. It is exactly the way it should be and it cannot be anything more than that.
But we repeatedly make it out to be different. And by doing so, we have lost the opportunity to fully experience beautiful things such as the rain, the children playing, the learning to be achieved by listening to the world seen through a grandparent's eyes, or a friend sharing one of his or her own moments.
Too often we are too caught up in what will happen, or what has happened, to experience what is happening.
This is not to say that planning for the future is unimportant, or that reminiscing is not useful and enjoyable in itself. But unfortunately, too often we become entangled in a future that has not happened and become stifled by our predictions.
We run from the saber tooth tiger that no longer exists in our modern-day world. The tiger has been replaced with confronting a friend, giving a speech, driving over a bridge, or feeling discomfort from changing a habit. We create absolute horror from an uncertain future that we make real in the moment.
Staying in the moment awards you the opportunity to see the world as it is, not as you believe it should be. It allows you to observe the truth, to look at real data, not information couched in fears and anxiety.
And it is this truth, which will allow you to enjoy yourself, others, and the world around you. Because, it is exactly as it should be. You can manage any life event that presents itself. Why? Because everyone does. You can choose to do it with pain or without pain. The evidence for these statements is present in the moment.
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Paulo Coelho Forum Talks About The Magic Moment
Video/Paulo Coelho Forum/YouTube
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it--Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.”
As the king explained, the universe itself is the originator of your desire to fulfill your personal legend. So the forces it has will be with you along the course of your journey to fulfill your Personal Legend. It is why your happiness and unhappiness alike are said to be forces that nourishes the universe.
Both pain and pleasure, both losses and victory, then are contributory to what makes up the fulfillment of your Personal Legend.
You must have read other books by Paulo Coelho, and The Alchemist is surely one the finest.