Once I read a book…This book of all I read changed something in me. It felt that it was speaking to me. As if I needed that story for a story I would live myself. It opened my eyes to the things I felt when I was younger. Things I couldn’t explain. Things that served no apparent reason. Things I was taught to ignore. But this book…this book brought it all back to surface. My mom was the one who thought I should read it, she insisted a lot for me read it. I believe I had fourteen at the time. This story talks about magic, awakening, finding the way back to ourselves, about love, about the journey of a soul. In a subtle way. It is actually about things we all struggle with in life and the way I see it, the book shows us that we have two options in life. The option to take a step towards the path our soul designed for us in the first place or choose the path where we remain shepherds of sheep for the rest of our lives, like the boy Santiago was before he went in pursuit of his treasure. Because of a dream he had, a dream which was interpreted by this lady as a prophetic dream about a treasure he was meant to find. In my opinion, this is similar to the choice Neo (an anagram, it actually represents One), from the movie Matrix, had to make. The moment he had to choose between the red and the blue pill. The red pill being the pill that would wake up his body from the Matrix to see the truth or the blue one, which would lead him to stay unawakened living the meaningless life he was living, a preprogrammed life with no purpose, only to keep feeding the machines that kept humans imprisioned. Also the story of Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha. It also brings a very similar message here.
It may seem difficult to relate to these stories at first because the whole plot seems complete fiction, but if you think about it, it is the perfect reflection of our lives. It is portrayed in these extreme scenarios because that’s the beauty of it, it is our reality in form of art, but if we consider only the message behind it we might be able to understand these stories as our own as well. For me, it is purely about following our heart, it is about going in the direction that brings meaning to our lives. It is about leaving behind a life filled with conditionings, conditions that don’t let us pursue our visions. Conditions that prevent the authentic to be born. We lose ourselves in the illusionary world, in the matrix. There are too many distractions to keep us from paying attention to certain signs. Some of us can see the bugs in the matrix program. The only problem is that it is also denifitely easier to take the blue pill. Santiago could have remained as a shepherd ignoring the prophetic dream he had, married the girl he intended to impress, he could have chosen that “fake” life instead of going miles away from the place he intended to stay, to embark on this crazy but wonderful journey. To then find a whole new world of possibilities and a love like no other, Fatima who would love and see his soul. Letting his spirit be free so he could go find his “destiny”(or also called personal legend in the book). It wasn’t an easy choice for him, it wasn’t easy for Neo, nor for Gautama, but the choice to find their own truth also meant finding exaclty the “reward” they were seeking. A whole journey to just understand that the treasure and everything lies within. Making it all return to oneness. A journey leading to a truly happy and authentic life.
“Maktub,” the merchant said, finally.
“What does that mean?”
“You would have to have been born an Arab to understand,” he answered. “But in your language it
would be something like ‘It is written.’ “
“I’m the king of Salem,” the old man had said.
“Why would a king be talking with a shepherd?” the boy asked, awed and embarrassed.
“For several reasons. But let’s say that the most important is that you have succeeded in discovering your destiny.“
The boy didn’t know what a person’s “destiny” was.
“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.“
None of what the old man was saying made much sense to the boy. But he wanted to know what the”mysterious force” was; The merchant’s daughter would be impressed when he told her about that!
“It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares
your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is
that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the
universe. It’s your mission on earth.”
“Even when all you want to do is travel? Or marry the daughter of a textile merchant?”
“Yes, or even search for treasure. The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also
by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. All things
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“Maktub,” she said. “If I am really a part of your dream, you’ll come back one day.“
It’s true; life really is generous to those who pursue their destiny, the boy thought. Then he remembered
that he had to get to Tarifa so he could give one-tenth of his treasure to the Gypsy woman, as he had
promised. Those Gypsies are really smart, he thought. Maybe it was because they moved around so
The wind began to blow again. It was the levanter, the wind that came fromAfrica . It didn’t bring with it
the smell of the desert, nor the threat of Moorish invasion. Instead, it brought the scent of a perfume he
knew well, and the touch of a kiss—a kiss that came from far away, slowly, slowly, until it rested on his
The boy smiled. It was the first time she had done that.
“I’m coming, Fatima ,” he said.
The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho.