Paulo Coelho: meet the teacher with soft words for hard lessons
I was in high school, my first year, when our literature teacher gave us a different assignment. Instead of having to read the usual titles in the curriculum, she showed us the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
Then the frenzy began. At that time, we had to rely on brick and mortar book shops. Ordering books online was not yet an option and the main public libraries only had one or two copies that were always already given. In total, everybody in our class had access to 3 or 4 copies. We created a network for sharing the book and within two weeks, almost everybody among the 30 people had read the book.
This was a phenomenon! Please understand that we were talking about 15 year olds that barely read what was mandatory and then, only 20 pages or so. Exception were the people who loved reading, but they were I guess 3 or 4 in our class. But this time, everybody was so interested, we had our special thing connecting us: have we had the “initiation” yet? Have you read it? Did you understand?
Fast forward 15 years, I believe our teacher made us one of the greatest gifts ever: introducing us early on to a sophisticated yet easy to understand work of art on spirituality. Not just another book that you read in a single night, but something that makes you wonder. Something that makes you ask your own questions and, perhaps, gives you some answers.
The Alchemist is one of those works that opens the door towards your own self discovery. Paulo Coelho is, for me, one of those master teachers that do an exceptional work at introducing us to the journey of self discovery. He is, and this is meant to be a praise, the best teacher for the “first grade” of self-development work. Why? Because he does an excellent job with the most important thing that we need in order to become our best selves: wondering what else is out there. Only that he successfully – and gently – shows that the answers are not “out there” but inside each and every one of us.
Since then, I believe I have read more than half of everything Paulo Coelho wrote, and I find it interesting every time. He has a gentle touch with words, making serious life questions seem… easy to tackle. Also, the way he writes is very “fluid”, you read with pleasure and fast. It is very easy to stop and reflect whenever you find something that speaks to your heart.
I will describe below, very shortly, my favourite titles from his work.
The Manuscript found in Accra (2012) – this is a jewel! You need to read this! It has so much wisdom and it manages so well to put complex soul issues into simple words. His stories heal hearts! It is one of the books I have gifted to many people, because I thought it is he most valuable present I could offer. So much wisdom in a 5 hour read and not to mention – for less than 10$!
Aleph (2010). You must, right now, go and search on Google Aleph and look carefully at the cover. I think it is the best cover I have ever seen on a book! It is so well connected to the messages that the author is trying to transmit. I was so impressed by this story and the links to so many questions I had in my life at the time.
It is a wonderful source of opportunities for self discovery. While reading it, you simply will feel the urge to understand more about particular things that are standing out FOR YOU. Depending on what stage you are in your development, different things will ring bells for you. For example, for me then, those questions rushed in: have we been here before? What is that, when you meet people for the first time and it feels like you have known them forever? Is there such a thing as soul mates? If you want to go in depth with other works that answer those questions, check out my post here.
The Alchemist (1988). Yes, this is famous and for good reason. This is one of the first viral sources of “soul food”. This is the book where the famous Paulo Coelho first quotes appeared, that traveled round the world and round the web on Instagram 🙂 “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” Those brought inspiration to millions. They opened the door towards the soul to countless people. They made us look towards the sky and then within, again. I will not spoil here the content, I only say this: you have to try The Alchemist by yourself!
Have you read any of Paulo Coelho’s books? What stood out for you?
I wish you a pleasant reading! I am sure you will fall in love with his work, so you can check his official website also, at http://paulocoelhoblog.com/.
All the best!