The Alchemist


I read the last part of the book on the subway, and I came back to my room again in about three hours– now that I’ve finished the book, and I feel like I’ve come back home with such a wonderful adventure with a lot of memorable stories.

The name of the book The Alchemist is poetic and magical. Alchemy seeks the emergence of something with distinctive new qualities.

I think the whole point of the book is that the emergence of the new thing and its new qualities does not arrive out of nowhere or from nothing. It says that dreams are transformed into reality, through courage, efforts, and love. I think these are the main points. The courage, to follow your dreams; the efforts, to shape out your imaginations; and love, because of its power to transform you and everything around you better, and that things collaborate in your success because things are all connected.

I’ve come to realize that sometimes it is important to be able to separate me from “myself” (my heart), and be able to observe “myself” from some distance, so that I can listen to what I really want and learn to be the best friend of myself. I think that’s what it means by “knowing yourself.”

Life does not turn out to be as planned– but if there is a big direction in life, as things continue to accumulate and as they reach a certain critical mass, maybe spontaneously I can arrange all the components in my life in a purposeful, non-random manner, and will be able to do things what my heart really desires. I feel very glad to think about that I can design a certain big purpose in my life.

Nevertheless, where life goes is going to be a mystery to me– just as the author of the book said, “… when I decided to seek out my treasure, I never imagined that I’d wind up working in a crystal shop. And joining this caravan may have been my decision, but where it goes is going to be a mystery to me.”

And yes, as the author of the book said, our lives may be “Maktub” (which means “it’s written” in Arabic). But, we don’t know what they are, and to us, it is yet in the mysterious fog and in the magic of what might be. Full of unexpected things and so many unknowns. Nevertheless, in that case too, I should use courage and enthusiasm to face whatever may be written down there. The book teaches me that courage and the pioneering spirit are really important for discovering those unknowns.

It says that many things are written in the language of “luck” and “coincidence,” but, as one continues to move on with courage and enthusiasm, things are bound to become clearer, and at some point when one looks back, one can see those things in the form of “Maktub” and serendipity. I think this is really beautiful. I think life is a sequence of changes on a continuum and that’s why it is also challenging– it is a process of meeting new “universes” continousely and we need to build up necessary knowledge and wisdom to deal with them, while making our own pieces of music and paintings in it– I think that is called “life.” In each one’s own universe, there are rich magical works. Relationships and people that we have gotten to know throughout are also precious– even if they were not precious to some, the fact that each of us stays at least for a while, in each one’s picture, I think that is beautiful. It is beautiful scenery.

Another central theme of the book was that all things are connected. “The boy knew what he was about to describe, though: the mysterious chain that links one thing to another, the same chain that had caused him to become a shepherd, that had caused his recurring dream, that had brought him to a city near Africa, to find a king, and to be robbed in order to meet a crystal merchant, and …”

And the book taught me many other things. For example, love without ownership. And support without ownership. The fact that there is a “language” that doesn’t depend on words. Also I rediscovered about myself that I love to travel– and that is because it teaches me about moving on.

I also want to learn and understand how things are written– that’s a long way, but I know that this each moment is a present for me. And as the author said, “If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve upon the present, what comes later will also be better.”

I hope I too will also be able to contemplate on the silence of the desert and a simple grain of sand as the boy in the book did.

As I was reading, at some point, I wanted to magically enter into the story and appear as yet another character of the book, maybe somewhere in the desert or in the hills (and say to the boy, that I came from the future and am as free as the wind that shapes the dunes). What role should I take and what kind of things can I say to the boy? That’s something I can design throughout my life. Or alternatively, I can simply embed a recursion at the end of the story, by saying that ‘ “What a beautify story”– I said.’