Paulo Coelho

The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
 The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.
 But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
 He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
 ”Why do you weep?” the goddesses asked.
 ”I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.
 ”Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”
 ”But… was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.
 ”Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses asked in wonder. “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”
 The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
 ”I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”
 ”What a lovely story,” the alchemist thought.

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2 Responses to Paulo Coelho

  1. shinichi says:

    The Alchemist

    by Paulo Coelho

    Prologue

    trabslated by Clifford E. Landers

  2. shinichi says:

    The Alchemist (novel)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alchemist_(novel)

    The Alchemist (Portuguese: O Alquimista) is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho that was first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it became a widely translated international bestseller. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there.

    **

    The Alchemist follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, he asks a Romani fortune teller in a nearby town about its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids.

    Early into his journey, he meets an old king named Melchizedek or the king of Salem, who tells him to sell his sheep so as to travel to Egypt and introduces the idea of a Personal Legend. Your Personal Legend “is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.”

    Early in his arrival to Africa a man who claims to be able to take Santiago to the pyramids instead robs him of what money he had made from selling his sheep. Santiago then embarks on a long path of working for a crystal merchant so as to make enough money to fulfil his personal legend and go to the pyramids.

    Along the way, the boy meets an Englishman who has come in search of an alchemist and continues his travels in his new companion’s company. When they reach an oasis, Santiago meets and falls in love with an Arabian girl named Fatima, to whom he proposes marriage. She promises to do so only after he completes his journey. Frustrated at first, he later learns that true love will not stop nor must one sacrifice to it one’s personal destiny, since to do so robs it of truth.

    The boy then encounters a wise alchemist who also teaches him to realize his true self. Together they risk a journey through the territory of warring tribes, where the boy is forced to demonstrate his oneness with “the soul of the world” by turning himself into a simoom before he is allowed to proceed. When he begins digging within sight of the pyramids, he is robbed yet again but learns accidentally from the leader of the thieves that the treasure he seeks was all the time in the ruined church where he had his original dream.

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