Friday, January 05, 2007

The Alchemist

About the best New Years Eve reading material a person could hope for... Tara gave me a copy of this deceptively simple book, a quick read which was thought-provoking, calming, and inspiring all at once. Even as a largely non-spiritual person following a story that speaks an awful lot about God and the Soul of the World, the key ideas here - namely that most adults tend to bury the voice of their innermost dreams and ambitions - resonated strongly; the core of the story can be appreciated by anyone as a kind of contemporary fable. Anyone facing a major junction in life should check this one out: It'll play out in your mind for much longer than the time it takes to read!

Some favorite quotes:

"Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him," his heart said. ... But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them - the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

So we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won't be heard: we don't want people to suffer because they don't follow their hearts.
(p. 131)

... and moving on from there:

They continued across the desert. With every day that passed, the boy's heart became more and more silent. It no longer wanted to know about things of the past or future; it was content simply to contemplate the desert, and to drink with the boy from the Soul of the World. The boy and his heart had become friends, and neither was capable now of betraying the other.
(p. 134)

1 comment:

shelby said...

One of my favorite books by far. And much shorter than Atlas Shrugged! Try The Passion By Jeanette Winterson. Also, Veronika Decides to Die by Coelho is pretty sweet too.