Coelho’s Alchimist journey in midst of global pandemics

Philosophical essay on Coelho’s master piece’The Alchemist’ depicting a lonely shepherd, a devout dreamer who, despite all the challenges and obstacles…much like Pandemic situation today, never relinquished or gave in, even when hope were slim and dream started to fade away….

mountain journey in Balkans credit photo; the Author

Santiago instead….went marching forward, found courage within himself to continue the journey and realize his dream, as we ought to do these days …

Search of a hidden treasure!…during the journey he got to know himself, and the meaning of life…to quote the author, the dialogue between Santiago and Alchimist in midst of desert chasing the dream…….. ‘Don’t think about what you’ve left behind,” the alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. “Everything is written in the Soul of the World, and there it will stay forever”

Just as we had the chance to dig deep, within our thoughts while quarantined indoors, facing a new reality…that we only could have experienced it in our wildest dreams or, while watching a Hollywood’s sci-fi movies….

eflective journey, intertwined with philosophy of life, hope and stoic attitude on the road to redemption, the masterpiece of world literature, which inspires us to follow dreams and listen to our heart, because no dream is bigger than our will, in pursuit of life and happiness, to put it another perspective the ‘Alchimist’ , is a ‘spiritual vessel’ of the author, depicting a lonely shepherd to introduce us with struggles, hopes and fear one goes through following his dreams as well as many unknowns, obstacles life may threw upon us. The ‘Alchimist’ hijacks our attention from the beginning, and takes us on a thoughtful journey through a lonely shepherd, who followed his intuition and listened to his heart and acknowledged, that dreams are not only his journey, but the very destiny of his life…

All things are interconnected as, Santiago along the way meets interesting characters in the form of repeated dreams of a mystical treasure, hidden miles away underneath pyramids in Egypt….

‘The Alchemist’book cover by Paolo Coelho:credit amazon.com
The Alchemist: cover credit amazon.com

On his epic journey, shepherd Santiago, paths ways with old sage Melchizedek, who claims to be the King of Salem, while Santiago sees him as a weird old man, living in the small Spanish city of Tarifa…

Although he appears only briefly in the novel, Merchidizek has an inspiring role, setting the path of Santiago’s journey, guiding him through vital concepts of life, importance of consistency and compassion upon the path ahead, by encouraging him to overcome any challenges he may face, and under no circumstance give up hope or motivation to move on, no matter what!…

Every time he spoke excitedly, a golden amulet sparked from his chest, mesmerizing Santiago, thinking in silence, that the ‘King of Salem’ is not just an old man, otherwise how the golden amulet and wisdom lectures on meaning of life can come up with such an insights…this only made the whole role and enigma of Melchidezek even more intriguing…

Despite the conversations and instructions, the Santiago’s journey continues on discovering the treasured dream …another turning point of his journey is, when he meets the Englishman, who himself is in the road to the discovery of the lost treasure, (which he called his mission to become an alchemist), their journey aligns perfectly towards final destination….Egypt!

During the long journey….the Englishman tells him stories from his past, as well as conclusions from the literature on the force of magic that possess the philosophical stone and the elixir of Life….(as he listens, he has the magic stones urim and thummim on his bag….given to him by king of ‘Salem’)…as the Englishman was a chemist on his way to meet the magician, who allegedly was in Egypt, on his quest to learn the craft of Alchemist, from the magician himself…..this great story inspires even more Santiago to seek the Spirit of the Universe, preached by both the Melchizedek and the Englishman.…

subconscious art; credit;heal.com

the last chapter he meets and falls in love with Fatima, like the personal legend intertwined with the stars ‘amor fati’ …a ‘miracle’ unique gift from the Universe, but not before a turn of fate, sets him on a wrong turn that will cost him losing his purse, as a consequence Santiago ends up working for a crystal merchant, his thoughts and mission got dazzled into despair of the everlasting dream……

Moreover, as time passes by, so does his hopes, slowly started to fade away, the whole journey all of a sudden seemed like an illusion, despair slowly crawled under his skin, as with nowhere to go, no personal income, in a far away land Santiago, felt lost until….the chance of redemption came when he found out that the local Crystal merchant was hiring a store seller.

Santiago and the crystal merchant represents the different paths a person may choose in life, with fear, hesitation and complacency acting as the dividing factors between the courses of life.

Whereas, on the other end, Santiago feels eager to pursue his personal legend and get to Egypt, the crystal merchant fears and doubts pursuing his own dream to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, due to personal fears of the big unknown, of what comes next!? as he may have, nothing to live for afterwards!

He also feels comfortable with what he has, and does not seek out more, unlike Santiago who has already faced several setbacks in his own quest, but they have all been due to outside forces. The crystal merchant faces none of these difficulties. He is content with what he has, and unlike Santiago, he is willing to protect and seek no other path, other the one that life& Gods set him upon

With consistency and determination along the way, Santiago is the very epitome of enthusiasm, dreamer and believer who finally descended into his longing journey, towards the secret of his hart under the Pyramids…that in the end proved in vain, as the hidden treasure, was not there after all!?

The visionary alchemist credit;pinterest.com

Some of us claim to have found the ‘Dream’...some of us are on the journey of realizing the ‘Dream’ the question is…how much have we learned during our journey…

To that end, as a silver lining from the current pandemic outbreak, how did each one of us do, during this time…and did we reflected on core life fundamentals;

· Character

· Compassion

· Care…

· and love as human virtue…

To give and receive at the same time….so that we can wholeheartedly seek the magic of the Universe as a reward after!.….to quote the ending lines;

“You are almost at the end of your journey,” said the alchemist. “I congratulate you for having pursued your destiny.”

Did we really dig deep, as Santiago did looking under the tree of dreams and opportunities to find the hidden treasure….but instead found the secret of life…hence we need to fully commit, act and cultivate hope, gratitude & compassion, that better days will come, and we all are, on a journey of our life…towards the awakening!