The Alchemist.

I recently read an amazing book, The Alchemist. Thanks to my wife for suggesting it as she thought it reflected alot of what I have been reading and practicing in my daily life. And as usual, she was spot on.

It’s an extraordinary book about finding oneself, about surrendering to a higher power and discovering the real purpose of life. I loved it. Really one of the best books I have ever read.

The book’s main theme is about finding one’s destiny and the greatest quote from the book for me is this, “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true.”

One of the other aspects of the book I loved was the story of the author and how he persevered to get it published. And all of the doubters he found along the way. And then of course it has become one of the best selling books of all time! The Alchemist has sold over 150 million copies worldwide, won 115 international prizes and awards, has been translated into 80 languages, and is still on the New York Times bestseller list today, 25 years after its initial publication.

The author Paulo Coelho wrote the book in only two weeks in 1987. He explained he was able to write at this pace because the story was “already written in [his] soul.”

Here are some of my other favorite quotes from the book…

 “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
 “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”
“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”
“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”
“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life.”
“Don’t think about what you’ve left behind,” the alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. “If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.”
Amazing. I hope you will read the book, maybe even this summer. It’s beautifully written and has some incredibly powerful messages about life, love and destiny.

5 thoughts on “The Alchemist.

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