A Book Review.
“At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her dark eyes and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that the world spoke – the language that everyone was capable of understanding in their heart.
It was love; something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs, here at the well. She smiled and that was certainly an omen – the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.
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 anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and his grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed.
Maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal 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, 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.”
Excerpt from ‘The Alchemist’, by Paulo Coelho.
Paulo Coelho must rank among the great contemporary writers of our day. The Alchemist must feature as his very best. As it has sold in excess of 30 million copies, translated into 63+ Languages; it would surely be a candidate for the title of a classic.
The story is pregnant with deep philosophical and mystical input, which could suggest that the author is himself a mystic and has certainly experienced much of what he presents as fiction.
The reader is drawn in from the very first page with an unspoken lure to ‘come discover’ what the primary character, Santiago, is on route to discovering, not only about himself, but life itself.
Santiago is a young shepherd, who, although diligently caring for his small flock, has a dream that he longs to accomplish.
Santiago is frustrated by an ongoing night dream from which he always awakes before any reasonable conclusion is arrived at. He is driven to find someone who can interpret his dream and thereby releasing his frustration. The interpretation comes about in a strange way and the outcome is even more weird and wonderful.
From this point Santiago is forced to make life changing decisions and ends up on the most extraordinary journey of a lifetime. It’s a journey that each of us needs to embark upon in our lifetimes.
The Alchemist will present you an exciting challenge in terms of your dreams; in addition it will offer philosophical tips that could lead you to seeing you life and the world around you, with new eyes.
“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves His children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity”.
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream,” said the Alchemist, echoing the words of the old king.
“You already know about alchemy. It is about penetrating to the Soul of the World, and discovering the treasure that has been reserved for you”.
Well, you now have more than enough to challenge you to rush out and buy this wonderful piece of literature, and into the bargain, bring about some meaningful changes in your life.
Outside of direct quotes (in inverted commas) from The Alchemist:
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