Friday, September 21, 2007

The Alchemist

I just finished reading the book, yes, I know, I'm ancient. I found it to be a very inspiring read and after reading The Lord of the Rings for the last 6 months, I found it conveniently short too. Interestingly, I loved the introduction and the 'topics for discussion' at the end of the book more than the book itself. Being an ultimate nerd, I love discussing books and since I'm not in any of the kool book clubs (they keep rejecting my application), I decided to discuss a very interesting discussion topic here. Here goes:

4. When he talked about the pilgrimage to Mecca, the crystal merchant argued that having a dream is more important than fulfilling it, which is what Santiago was trying to do. Do you agree with Santiago's rationale or the crystal merchant's?

The book wants you to walk away with 'Santiago's rational' as the answer. I would love to say that too but isn't what the crystal merchant doing what the majority of us do? Have a 'dream' to live for? Who from us doesn't have his/her 'Mecca'? But I would argue that very few of us are the ones who are actually working against this and trying to find their 'treasure'. The book actually reinforces that fulfilling your dream and realizing your Personal Legend is no easy task. I guess my point is: Isn't Santiago's rationale too 'ideal'? Can we live in a world were everyone has either realized their Personal Legend or are working against it? Too Utopian? And if you agree that it is too Utopian, wouldn't the crystal merchant's rational totally make sense?


embee said...

I can't help but wonder what it would be like if it were Homer with his infinite Dao rather than Paulo Coelho who wrote The Alchemist..

Dude, it would sell 650 million copies rather than the measly 65 mill ! :)

Jade said...

Bos ya Fesh...
I believe in the merchant's approach to life.. & I wrote about how fear stops us sometimes from going for our dreams in my very first entry - so I guess in this case the Merchant was "afraid" of loosing the purpose in life he lived for...

& I can see why you are feeling if we all realized or tried to achieve our dreams it would be an absolute Utopia.. but here is where I argue - do dreams die once they are realized?

That's the thing - people think that once they have realized this or that - or achieved this or that - life will not be worth living anymore.. when in fact, the more you achieve the more you feel you are able to dream - with higher stars to reach for... & you keep developing & growing... not necessarily with materialistic treasures or careers - but even in our own self & characters... the more you reach - the larger capacity you will have to dream.

The book is actually quite inspirational & there were many parts of it that trully touched me... but did you notice the coolest thing about the book???

If you are a good observer you would have noticed... so let me see how good you are!

Feshfesh said...

hehehehehe, yeah 'The Alchemist' Simpsonized :)

I fully agree with you that ONCE you achieve your dream, you'll have bigger dreams. What I don't agree on is IF people would opt out to throw away all what they have now (sell their sheep, leave their home) to pursue their dream. So from my POV I think the bigger fear is not ONCE you realize your dream you would have nothing more to live for, it's what IF you didn't achieve it! So it's fear of failure. I think this is what's stopping the majority of us actually.

The coolest part for me....and don't call a girl... is this one line in the whole book 'The alchemist smiled'... this was when the boy started to talk to the wind and was beginning to transform himself . I really liked this part, I wished I had a life mentor like the alchemist who would 'smile' the moment I am on the right track to my dream...... life would be SO much easier....but hey that's me, what's the coolest part for you?

Jade said...

Actually - I meant the coolest part of the book - which many people fail to notice... which is that through out the whole book - Santiago's name is only MENTIONED ONCE! Which is a writing phenomenon cause how Paulo managed to say "The boy" "The boy" without seeming repetitive & without anyone noticing in the first place.

As for my favorite part besides the last paragraph... was speaking of el Maktub.

Feshfesh said...

Edda, very interesting, indeed I didn't notice he used the name only once?! very kool!