Saturday, December 19, 2009

Books: "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho

The theme of the book is centered on personal legend which is the calling by the “writer” of the universe for everyone that upon following the true happiness of life can be experienced without regard for difficulties and temporary gratitude on the way. One hears this calling through his heart which knows the “language” of the universe and which is part of everything representing the oneness of everything. To ignore this calling is to deny yourself the very purpose of your existence on this earth which unfortunately is the fate of most people. However, to heed this calling makes everything in the universe to conspire together through signs and omens as to guide the person on his way toward accomplishing his personal legend.


The personal legend – the purpose and ultimate calling of everyone

Heart – Entity which connects us with the rest of the universe through which the writer of the universe communicates with an individual.

Alchemy (The Art of Transformation) – Paul Coelho tells that alchemy is a pursuit of spiritual quest in the physical world. Wikipedia defines alchemy as both philosophy and practice with the aim of achieving ultimate wisdom as well as immortality, involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making of several substances with unusual properties.

Love – The greatest and eternal alchemy of all

Beginner’s luck – Everyone experiences signs and omens as one chooses to follow his personal legend. It is as if the whole world conspires together to make his journey easy for him only if he chooses to follow his personal legend.

Soul of the Universe – The essence of the oneness of the universe revealed through the connection between everyone and everything including the nature and all natural phenomena.

Universal Language – Language that everyone and everything understands. One can communicate with the desert, with the flying falcons, with the sun, and with the strangers through this language. This is the language that is manifestation of the oneness of the universe.

Urim and Thummim – White and black stones signifying No and Yes respectively. They were given to the boy by the king of Salem to help him on his journey.


The crystal merchant – A man who prefers to dream rather than to pursue his dream, because of the fear of failure or of disappointment.

Englishman – Passionate for knowledge of the alchemy he is ready to sacrifice anything to reach his goal, another character in the book who is following his personal legend. However, instead of listening to his heart and following the signs and omens, and connecting with the soul of the universe he chooses to do it alone. Result is very hard and painful journey that at the end results in success.

Fatima – A woman with whom Santiago met along the journey and falls in love instantly. She encourages Santiago to pursue his personal legend and promises to wait for him.

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