📚 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


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This short read ended up opening my mind to reading more fiction again. The story is about the journey of a young Andalusian shepherd, Santiago, and the search for his dream. He became a shepherd because of a desire to travel and see the wonders of the world - something his father never did. You follow him on a pilgrimage from his homeland in the region of Andalusia (southern Spain) to the pyramids in Africa. Santiago is incredibly observant from the start. He recognizes that there is a way of understanding things beyond language, “the language of the universe” as its referred to. At first this comes with his sheep. He knows when they are ill, thirsty, tired, full, and pregnant through their changes in mood and subtle behaviors.

You learn more about Santiago’s attention to detail of the sheep he herds. This trait stays with him throughout his journey. His yearn to observe the land in all its glory in order to find a great treasure, but as the story goes on he learns of all of its deceit as well. Omens serve as a critical guide to the boy throughout the story, which I enjoyed his continual reasoning for. He looks at fate as the universe’s greatest lie, saying that all men believe in fate at some point in life, and most of the time is too early in their lives where they no longer pursue a dream. However, he does believe in one universal truth. Somewhat of a contradiction to his beliefs about fate, but more in line with the pursuit of one’s dream.

There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, whatever it is that you want to do, when you really want something it is because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission here on earth.

He later learns of the word Maktab meaning, “it was already written.” Once again testing his beliefs about fate. He had never applied the ability to recognize understanding beyond language to his own dreams until one character showed him the way. It was the King of Salem who introduced him to this notion of oneness. The King of Salem was second to the Alchemist in terms of my favorite characters in the book.

With that said, it was the seemingly natural wisdom that came from each page making the book something I recommend. Typically I prefer historical books written through a critical/detailed lens, but this book made me consider other genres of literature. Thanks Paulo.

#books #fiction #inspiration