After reading the novel “The Alchemist” of Paulo Coehlo, I thought I was the character Santiago, the youthful Andalusian shepherd in the novel!I had this unusual bond of familiarity with the writer himself.It was as if the story came from my mind and that I have met the author to persuade him to write about mysticism.After his first novel, I began to read all his works and I would find myself constantly as a character in all his stories.I would even presume that all his readers would feel the same too.
Well, it is not enough to meet a well-known author like Paulo Coehlo, a famous Brazilian lyricist and novelist, one of the most widely read authors in the world.Adulation is a better term than mere encounter. His works were translated in various languages.His book The Alchemist has gone to sell more than 65 million copies worldwide, becoming one the best-selling book in history.Once you read just one of his many books, you must have met him literally although not in the physical sense.But meeting is certainly a metaphysical occurrence, to submit respect is to reckon my imaginative conference with the brilliant writer.His thoughts and ideas were a reflection of that time which molded a generation of which I was a part.
First off. Coehlo is senior by a few summers than mine. But we belong to one generation that understands eastern and western philosophies. We were once a member of the flower people phenom in the late 60s although in his case, he lived through it. In my case, I just coasted along. He was in a way the counter part of Steve Jobs than me.
Secondly, Coehlo believes in the universe more than the generation that followed. Those who would hear him explain this to the youth today would find it perplexing at first but would accept it as a profound explanation for a simple matter. In my lectures, I find the same line worth discussing to the appreciation of a youthful audience.
Thirdly, my generation, this of course is virtually ruled by a precocious writer like Coehlo, fathoms the past and understand the future in terms of its raw beauty rather than in terms of crucial technology. We are more than at ease with how we would eventually think than how subsequently would look like. Ageing for us is more of an icing than substance. The youth today would rather appreciate this on the basis of our composure.
Now, let us listen to our generation as Coehlo* would put it:
“And, when you want something, ALL the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.”
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. DO IT NOW.”
“Be brave. Take risks.”
“If you want to be successful, respect one rule. DO NOT LIE TO YOURSELF.”
“The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.”
“The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
“Don’t waste your time with explanations; people want to hear what they want to hear.”
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
“At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore. It is a decision.”
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
“It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“You are not defeated when you lose. You are defeated when you quit.”
So you see, Coehlo’s thoughts reflect what we all along knew but could not capture in essence unless expressed properly. It is there in ourminds, it is there everywhere.It is our brand of wisdom. Ask those that belonged to a previous peer group and they will also tell you the same thing. I met this brilliant author through the same period that we have trodden on; on the street during the 60s; along with a generation that loved life to the fullest and not afraid to fail, lose and die.