Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BC Consensus: The Alchemist

Would you like to crème de la crème from our book club dicussions this month? You are in luck! In November, we read Coelho's The Alchemist. Here are some of the comments our members made about the book:

“Essentially, I think that Coelho tries to explicate how spirituality is essential in our personal journey of life. Through it, we discover who we are, run past our limitations or fears, and can be led spiritually to wonderful discoveries.”

“I identify very strongly with the idea of a personal legend, because I'm in the middle of pursuing mine and can correlate much of what's happening to Santiago to what's happened/happening to me. I see my ultimate test, the thing that will work against me in the saga of the personal legend, looming in the next six months, and this book has reinforced very deeply in me my commitment to making it happen...no matter what.”

“I liked the book and how it encouraged all of us to take risks and set goals and to not let obstacles get in the way of those goals. It made him [Santiago] stronger. He learned lessons from all the people he met and also taught people he came in contact with. That's what life seems to be. Constantly learning and sharing.” +/-

“It seems like you should be gleaning wisdom from everything that happens. The reason I think this is one of the best "following your dream" books I've read is because it doesn't come easy, and he knows close to the end that he hasn't even met the worst yet. I think that was interesting. Just as all the universe helps you to achieve your Personal Legend in the beginning, the universe also works against you in the end. Interesting...”

"I found the spiritual theme slightly conflicting. In spots the book talks about God's hand eternally laying out your path (predestination), but in others about people who never achieved their personal legends due to their own choice and folly (free will). In this, do you think Coelho is suggesting the answer to the ubiquitous question of the nature of our destinies?"

"I loved that it was a process, almost a growing and developing process. He started with the sand, then went to the wind, then the sun, until finally he realized he needed God. I kind of saw it as an allegory (is that the correct term) of what almost everyone does in life. Sometimes it’s easier to turn to something/someone that is there, solid, right in front of your eyes. Realizing how much you need God is a process, sometimes you have to go through the sand, wind, and sun before you get there."

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