Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inspiration: The Alchemist


[Image:andreasenka.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/the-alchemist.jpg]

I know I might be preaching to the choir with this post, but I have to say that reading The Alchemist was a transformative experience for me.

I first read the book back in college, at a time when getting laid, drinking with friends, and “finding myself” were very much priorities. Looking back, I have a feeling that the real message of the book was probably muddled by a good deal of post-adolecent angst and a perverse (naïve?) confusion only a classical liberal arts education can generate.

Some years later I reread the Alchemist at a time when getting laid, drinking with friends, and “finding myself” reemerged as priorities. The experience was completely different. Coelho's narrative was now crisper, mode defined, and less allegorical. I no longer saw a boy tending to his flock and traveling the world in search of a treasure he has only seen in his dreams.

Suddenly, I understood what I had to do. Where I had to be. And, more importantly, who I didn't want to be.

7 comments:

MK said...

I found this book really useful. There are so many nuanaces that spoke to my life at the time I read it. I still revisit the introduction when I need reassurance that blazing my own path is the right thing to do.

Do you have any other books you recommend that you found inspirational?

I can recommend to you: The Prophet, Letters to a Young Poet, and The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

Best,
Mo

Sara Jean said...

I thought that book was the dumbest waste of time aka: common sense.

Why does everyone like that book so much?!

Anonymous said...

What college did you go to?

Anonymous said...

Damned Boring! such a Cliché

Ms Hen said...

Hi Jack.. I have to catch up on your blog..

Betty Ann from NYC.

Jack said...

@Mk,

Sorry for the late response. Yeah, I love this book. Well, Coelho has plenty of other interesting books but Life of Pi is another that I would put in the same category. And thanks for the recomm. The Way..is already on my radar.

@Sara,

I guess to each his own. I found so much in its pages that I can't even part with it. I'm sure other people can find meaning in something else.

@Anonymous,

Sorry, not about to reveal that on an anonymous blog.

Jack said...

@Anonymous,

Everyone has an opinion. No worries.

@Ms Hen,

I hope you did by now. Been a while.