Sunday, March 29, 2009

Converting to Alchemy?

So I just finished reading The Alchemist again. Maybe not "just finished," but it was within the last couple weeks. This book may be my favorite book. (It's hard for me to pick a favorite of most things, but especially music, movies, and books...)

I like the idea he presents that everything in the world is connected, and the world will help you along the path to your personal legend--but you have to keep on that path, or the signs and omens that lead you along the way will become quieter until you can't hear them. I like the allusion to all kinds of religions. I like the references to the bible. I think Mr. Coelho has a great head on his shoulders. I especially like his reference to how important love is in each person's life journey. Admittedly, I probably wouldn't have appreciated it as much a year or so ago, but I certainly do now. (Jared, if this next part is too much for you, feel free to stop reading.)

I want to share a couple paragraphs from the book that illustrate this idea. This is the moment when the main character of the book meets the girl he loves.

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 all the world spoke--the language that everyone on earth 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 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.

Maktub, thought the boy.

Maktub, according to the book, is an Arabic word that means "it is writen." A kind of word to mean something is fated or destined.

It's really a good book. If you haven't, you should read it. Really, it's only about 170 pages, so it shouldn't take longer than a week to get through. If you do read it, let me know what you think!


Paul and Alli Watson said...

That book is also one of my favorites! I love how it teaches so many lessons in such an uncomplicated way.

Hayley said...

i'm su-per excited to read it! it's up next on my list!

Christy said...

I also love that book! I have it in Spanish if you wanna borrow. :)

Katey said...

Do you know that is one of my most favorite books ever? I don't know that we ever talked about it but maybe long enough now that I just don't remember. Glad Hayley's reading it next too. It really is so great. I should read it day! ;)