What I learnt from The Alchemist cont. pt 1

Maybe God created the desert so that man could appreciate the date trees.

People become fascinated with pictures and words, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World. As the boy got closer to the realization of his dream, the more difficult things became. It seemed as if what the old king had called beginner’s luck were no longer functioning. In his pursuit of his dream, he was 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.

When someone is in pursuit of his destiny, the entire universe made an effort to help him succeed.

Then, the boy met a beautiful girl by the name of Fatima. When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke- the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. 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. He knew that his love for her would enable him to discover every treasure in the world.

“The day after we met,” Fatima said, “you told me that you loved me. Then you taught me something of the universal language and the Soul of the World. Because of that, I have become a part of you.”

The Englishman wanted to become an Alchemist. He said it was his fear of failure that first kept him from beginning what he could have started ten years ago. But he was happy at least he didn’t have to wait twenty years.

The boy saw desert birds in the sky. He was going to have to leave Fatima to search for his treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt. He thought that maybe those birds could explain to him the meaning of love without ownership.  Always heed the omens, the old king had said. Whatever the thing observed, one could find a connection with his experience of the moment. Actually, it wasn’t that those things, in themselves, revealed anything at all; it was just that people, looking at what was occurring around them, could find a means of penetration to the Soul of the World.

The camel driver was asked why he was so interested in the future. He said so that he can change those things he doesn’t want to happen. The old seer told him “But then they wouldn’t be part of your future.”

The alchemist said “When people consult me, it’s not that I’m reading the future; I am guessing at the future. The future belongs to God, and it is only he who reveals it under extraordinary circumstances. How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present, what comes later will also better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.”

The camel driver asked under what circumstances God would allow him to see the future. The alchemist said “Only when he, himself, reveals it. And God only rarely reveals the future. When he does so, it is only for one reason: it’s a future that was written so as to be altered.”

The boy could see things the desert showed him because he was a stranger to the desert. “Because my eyes are not yet accustomed to the desert,” the boy said. “I can see things that eyes habituated to the desert might not see.”

The alchemist when he first met and tested the boy, said ” I had to test your courage. Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World.”

It’s not what enters men’s mouth that’s evil. 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.

Across the desert, the boy wanted to find life. He said to the alchemist, “I don’t know the language of the desert, but my horse knows the language of life.” The horse of the desert will lead the way.

The boy had a dilemma between Fatima, and his treasure and destiny. He has found Fatima, and as far as he was concerned, she was worth more than treasure. The alchemist said, ” Let me tell you what will happen if you stay. You’ll become the counselor of the oasis. You have enough gold to buy many sheep and many camels. You’ll marry Fatima, and you’ll both be happy for a year. You’ll learn to love the desert, and you’ll get to know every one of the fifty thousand palms. You’ll watch as they grow, demonstrating how the world is always changing. And you’ll get better and better understanding omens, because the desert is the best teacher there is.

Sometime during the second year, you’ll remember about the treasure. The omens will begin insistently to speak of it, and you’ll try to ignore them. You’ll use your knowledge for the welfare of the oasis and its inhabitants. The tribal chieftains will appreciate what you do. And your camels will bring you wealth and power.

During the third year, the omens will continue to speak of your treasure and your destiny. You’ll walk around night after night, at the oasis, and Fatima will be unhappy because she’ll feel it was she who interrupted your quest. But you will love her, and she’ll return your love. You’ll remember that she never asked you to stay, because a woman of the desert knows that she must await her man. So you won’t blame her. But many times you’ll walk the sands of the desert, thinking that maybe you could have left…that you could have trusted more in your love for Fatima. Because what kept you at the oasis was your own fear that you might never come back. At that point, the omens will tell you that your treasure is buried forever.

Then sometime during the fourth year, the omens will abandon you, because you have stopped listening to them. The tribal chieftains will see that, and you will be dismissed from your position as counselor. But by then, you’ll be a rich merchant, with many camels and a great deal of merchandise. You’ll spend the rest of your days knowing that you didn’t pursue your destiny, and that now it’s too late. You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny.”

“I’m going with you,” the boy said. And he immediately felt peace in his heart.

During the final journey, he asked the alchemist what went wrong when other alchemists tried to make gold and were unable to do so. The alchemist replied “They were looking only for gold. They were seeking the treasure of their destiny, without wanting actually to live out the destiny.”

The desert will give you an understanding of the world; in fact, anything on the face of the earth will do that. You don’t even have to understand the desert: all you have to do is contemplate a simple grain of sand, and you will see in it all the marvels of creation. How does one immerse himself in the desert? By listening to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there. Why do we have to listen to our hearts? Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.

But our hearts are traitors. It doesn’t want the boy to go on pursuing his dream and treasure. It makes sense, because one might lose everything he had won, and the heart becomes naturally afraid. But why still listen to it? 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 of you, repeating to you that you are thinking about life and the world.

People’s hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. Our hearts become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found, but were forever hidden in the sands. Because when these things happen, we suffer terribly. Our hearts are afraid that it will have to suffer.

But, tell your heart that fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. 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 & with eternity. When one truly searches for his or her treasure, he or she will discover things along the way that they never would have seen had they not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.

All people who are happy have God within them. Happiness can be found in a grain of sand. It is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it. We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

 

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About jnatomy

An anatomy of the soul, through the lenses of a camera.
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