“To Realize One’s Destiny is a Person’s Only Obligation.”

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Dartmoor, England

This line is on the back cover of my favourite book- The Alchemist

The author Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian who originally wrote the book in Portuguese. It has been translated into many different languages and sold over 65 million copies. It is claimed that The Alchemist was written in only two weeks in 1987. He explained he was able to write at this pace because the story was “already written in [his] soul.”

As this book works on a soul level, every time it is read, the story has different impact.

I first read the Alchemist when I was in my early twenties and was leaving New Zealand to explore the world. At this time the focus of the book for me was the shepherd boy named Santiago following his dreams, selling his flock and searching for his treasure.

During his adventure Santiago meets The Alchemist at an oasis in the Sahara Desert. Until I read this book I had never heard of an alchemist or alchemy. As the years have passed by and the pages have been re-read, Alchemy has become an interest. Not the idea of turning lead into gold, the search for the Elixir of Life or the Philosophers Stone but the purification of one’s self. Surely nothing could be more valuable.

When I was looking for a name for this blog, I remembered The Alchemist and the profound effect it had on me. One of my other passions is travel. It is often said that life is about the journey not the destination. This is how the title of the blog came about – The Alchemist’s Journey. In essence the journey towards one’s true self.

Mark- The Alchemist’s Journey

 

Footnote

Whilst writing this blog I re-read The Alchemist after a couple of years. This following exert jumped out at me and would have been perfect for the blog entitled KISS.

The Alchemist is telling Santiago about alchemy. “I learned the science from my grandfather, who learned from his father and so on, back to the creation of the world. In those times, the Master Work could be written simply on an emerald. But men began to reject simple things and write tracts, interpretations and philosophical studies.”