The Alchemist: Excerpts

“The Alchemist” is brilliantly written. Why it resonates with me is hard to put into words. So until I find those words, I’ll leave you with a few of the excerpts that really made me think, ponder, reflect… It’s rare for a book to provoke so much that I write in its margins.

“If you start out by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work toward getting it.”


“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”


“In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left for you.”


“…he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.”


“But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”


“People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want. We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”


“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I am interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”


“Because people become fascinated with pictures and works, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World.”


“In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty, nor impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path. God placed them along my path. He had surprised himself with the thought. Until then, he had considered the omens to be things of the world. Like eating or sleeping, or like seeking love or finding a job. He had never thought of them in terms of a language used by God to indicate what he should do.”


“There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”


“Maktub (It is written.),” she said. “If I am really a part of your dream, you’ll come back one day.”


“If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise,” said the seer. “If bad things are, and you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur.”


“Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children.”


“To die tomorrow was no worse than dying on any other day. Every day was there to be lived or to mark one’s departure from this world. Everything depended on one word: Maktub.”


“It’s not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil,” said the alchemist. “It’s what comes out of their mouths that is.”


“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.”


“You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love … the love that speaks the Language of the World.”


“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”


“If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.”


“The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and the marvels of his wisdom.”


“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?” … “Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and the world.”


“You will never be able to escape from your  heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow.”


“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”


“When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve..”


“It said that all people who are happy have God within them. And that happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said. Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it..”


“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we move toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.'”


“Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.”


“When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”


“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”


“The world we live in will be either better or worse, depending on whether we become better or worse. And that’s where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”


“Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I am, and that’s where your treasure is.”


“‘But the path was written in the omens, and there was no way I could go wrong,’ He said to himself.”


“It’s true; life really is generous to those who pursue their Personal Legend, the boy thought.”

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