Book Recommendation: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Hello there,

It’s been a while since I wrote a book recommendation. Reading wasn’t much of a priority the past months, but I’m excited to be reading again. You know, oftentimes we receive messages when we need them the most or when we are ready for them. These messages can come in so many forms – from conversations with strangers to song lyrics, dreams and visions to books.

I personally have a thing with books (and I love it)! Often when I read a book, it directly relates to something I’m going through or I need to know to handle what’s about to happen in my life with more ease. All books I read bring me something, but not until I’m ready to receive. So sometimes I have to reread some books to gain a better understanding of their contents. Most of the books I have read come to me in the most random ways, bringing refreshing content and sparking me with ideas and motivation – even if that’s for a few minutes or days. What I do with the wisdom I receive remains up to me. That’s why I enjoy sharing what I learn from books and recommend some of the books I read, because I feel like they might add value in another person’s life as well.

In the case of The Alchemist, I bought it since last summer. I even went to Portugal in August 2018 with the book with the intention to read. That didn’t happen. The book somehow ended up in the bookshelf until March 2019. After some time of not doing anything, I just wanted to read something. That’s when I looked at my shelf and opened the book. It was exactly what I needed.

The Book

The Alchemist has been a classic for some time now. It’s one of the most read, reviewed, and recommended pieces I’ve read. Published over 30 years ago, this piece feels timeless.

Paulo Coelho tells us the story of Santiago, a young shepherd that had a dream about a treasure. He decides to follow this dream, and embarks on a journey to his treasure located across the desert. On his way to finding this treasure, he meets several people that will challenge him, teach him and help him in his pursuit to his “Personal Legend.” At a certain point, the boy wonders whether he had made the right decision as things are not as easy as before anymore; the closer he got to his treasure, the more difficult it all seemed. Whereas in the beginning things felt so smooth and in alignment, as he was being guided by the universe, at a certain point it didn’t feel like that anymore.

The different events, people, circumstances and consequently experiences Santiago goes through to fulfil his “Personal Legend” somehow became relatable to me. The notion of a “Personal Legend” feels close to home. Trials and tribulations, people with bad intentions and who mean well, lacks and leaps of faith, insightful conversations with wise souls, reasons why to continue and reasons to give up… The whole narrative becomes personal. It is when things become relatable that we can come close to understanding what they mean. It is in the personal that we find ourselves.

The book has many subtle messages that may be in fictive form but containing hidden spiritual texts and truths. Interestingly, while reading The Alchemist, I mentioned to one of my best friends how amazing I found the content. My friend had read it a while ago and did not find it as amazing as I did. I feel that a younger version of me, prior to my spiritual awakening and ability to read between lines, prior to my (recent) experiences and understanding of “omens” and how the universe works, would have shared similar thoughts. I suggested my friend to reread The Alchemist again because I’m confident that her current understanding and wisdom will provide her with a different perspective. Indeed, this book is one of those kind of books that has many gifts, but only available when we are ready to receive and understand them.

Final Note

I read this book within a week. It was a beautiful, easy, and insightful read! My final note is more a recommendation: read beyond the words. The book has a very subtle energy open to the receptive reader. Try to tune into that. Don’t merely read the book as a classic inspirational fiction tale or a must-read best-seller; dig deeper by opening yourself to its spiritual dimension. There are many gems in the pages waiting to be understood. Perhaps it is the content beyond the words that made this simple inspiring story into a classic, and a magical book for me. After all, without its soul, I believe that The Alchemist may have just been a good read; I couldn’t have felt it the ways I did. It couldn’t have resonated the way it did.

Also, remember to take what works for you and leave the rest. Not every piece will resonate with everyone. Whenever you read, whatever you read, remind yourself to read, digest and cease to attach.

With love,
Jun 🙂

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