With over 65 million copies sold and translated into 56 languages, the novel “The Alchemist” has become the world’s second-best-selling book after the Bible. The story follows a shepherd boy from Andalusia, Spain on a journey to find a treasure at the Pyramids of Egypt.
Through the enigmatic sayings of the characters and the events that unfold during the journey, Paulo Coelho, the author of the book, skillfully incorporates many philosophical and humanistic messages. These messages help readers better understand the true meaning of love, happiness, the language of the universe, and a more positive perspective on life.
Let’s take a moment with LotusBuddhas to reflect on some of the meaningful quotes from “The Alchemist”. Who knows, we may recognize signs from the universe and continue to pursue our unfinished dreams. Destiny is a choice, not a foreordain. Stay steadfast and follow the path you have chosen… Who are you and what are you doing in this life?
What is the Alchemist?
The Alchemist, penned by Brazilian wordsmith Paulo Coelho, this literary gem is a delightful journey of self-discovery, adventure and the pursuit of one’s dreams.
Our protagonist, Santiago, is a humble shepherd boy who, through a series of dreams and encounters, sets off on a grand quest to unearth a treasure buried near the Egyptian pyramids. Along the way, he meets a colorful cast of characters, including an old king, an alchemist and a desert-dwelling love interest. Each of these encounters is a stepping stone on his journey to self-realization and enlightenment.
The beauty of “The Alchemist” lies not just in the sweeping, exotic landscapes that it conjures up, but also in its timeless, universal themes. You see, this narrative isn’t merely about chasing after a pot of gold; it’s an allegorical tale that explores the deepest human desires, the quest for meaning and power of following one’s dreams. It’s a tale as old as time, yet as fresh as a daisy!
Coelho’s writing also is a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration. He weaves in proverbs, spiritual insights and the notion of the “Personal Legend” – the idea that each of us is born with a unique path to follow, a destiny to fulfill. And the sweet satisfaction when Santiago learns to read the “Language of the World” and discovers the treasure he’s been seeking was within him all along!
So, “The Alchemist” is more than just a book; it’s a passport to a world of introspection, growth and wonder. A reminder that the greatest journey of all is the one that leads us within. Give it a read and let your own personal legend unfold!
50 best quotes from the Alchemist
1. “If your determination is strong enough, the universe will conspire to help make your dream a reality.”
2. “Never give up on your dreams, follow the omens. Everything in life is a sign. The universe is a language that everyone can understand, but we have forgotten.”
3. “Courage is a necessary requirement to understand the language of the universe.”
4. “People talk too much about omens, signs, but they don’t understand what they’re saying. It’s like how I didn’t realize that I had been communicating with the sheep in a language that goes beyond words.”
5. “Perhaps God created the desert so that people would appreciate the value of the date palm. Humans are easily seduced by images and books, and we neglect the language of the universe.”
6. “Objects express themselves in many languages. For example, at one point the sound of a camel’s bell was nothing more than just that, but then it became a sign of danger, and later it was just a sound again.”
7. “When one thing evolves, everything around it also evolves.”
8. “The desert feeds prey to feed the eagles, which in turn feed humans. And one day, humans will feed the sand of the desert to make the prey grow again. That’s the movement of the universe.”
9. “Everything on earth is constantly changing, so the world is alive and has a spirit. We are a part of this spirit and rarely realize how positively it affects what we do. And you should know that even each crystal glass in that shop has contributed to your success.”
10. “I can see the spiritual side of the universe. We work together to make the grass grow, to teach the sheep where to find shade. From up here – far from the ground, mind you – I learned how to love. I know that just by getting a little closer to the ground, I could destroy everything around me, and the spiritual side of the universe would cease to exist. So the two of us gaze at each other lovingly: I give off light and warmth, while it gives me a reason to live.”
11. “Never forget that everything is interconnected. Don’t forget the language of signs. And most importantly, don’t abandon the path you have chosen.”
12. “Before sleeping, I remind myself to find thicker books that I can read for a long time and use as a better pillow.”
13. “Animals never make decisions for themselves. They blindly trust me, rather than their own instincts. It’s only because I lead them to green pastures and cool water. They don’t realize that every day they walk a new path. They don’t know about the different pastures and the changing seasons, because all they care about is eating and drinking. But who knows, maybe humans are just like that too!”
14. “I can only guess at dreams, but I don’t know how to turn them into reality. That’s why I have to rely on the rewards paid by clients.”
15. “People don’t have the ability to choose their own destiny, which is the most absurd thing in the world.”
16. “Destiny is something that you always want to achieve. When you’re young, everyone knows what their destiny is. Everything is simple at this stage of life, and people dare to dream about what they want to do in life. But as time passes, a mysterious force will try to persuade you that the path you dreamt of in life cannot be achieved.”
17. “In the end, people care more about how others perceive them, what job they do, than they do about what they truly want to do in their hearts.”
18. “If you promise to repay me with something that you do not yet possess, there will come a time when you lose the will to attain it.”
19. “The treasure is at the Pyramids, you already know that. But it’s thanks to me that you made the decision, so you have to pay for six sheep.”
20. “What people say is not harmful or bad when it goes into their mouths. It’s only when it comes out of their mouths that it becomes harmful and bad.”
21. “Everyone in the world has a treasure waiting for them. We, the human heart, rarely speak of these treasures because people no longer want to seek them.”
22. “If you understand your heart well, nothing unpredictable will happen because you know what it desires and how to behave accordingly.”
23. “You can never silence your heart anymore. Even if you pretend not to listen to it, it is still inside you, reminding you of what you think about life and the world.”
24. “Remember that where your heart is, there is your treasure; and you must also seek for the treasure so that what you have learned on the journey becomes significant.”
25. “The secret to happiness is to appreciate all the beauty in the world without forgetting about the two drops of oil on your spoon.”
26. “I am just like everyone else: I see the world as I want it to be, not as it is.”
27. “Those cups and jars are just dusty and dirty. Both you and I have to wash away the bad thoughts in our heads.”
28. “The Pyramids are just piles of rocks. You can even stack some in your garden!”
29. “When I set out to find the treasure, did I ever imagine working in a crystal shop? Or when I decided to join this caravan, did I know where it would take me? It’s all a mystery.”
30. “When you set out to find the treasure wholeheartedly, every day is filled with joy because every passing hour brings you closer to the treasure. When you seek the treasure with your heart, you discover things on the way that you would never have seen otherwise, and have the courage to try things that you thought only a shepherd could not do.”
31. “You are on a journey to find a treasure and so am I, if you take it in a certain sense.”
32. “Everyone has their own way of learning. Their way may not be my way, and my way may not be theirs, but we are both searching for our own purpose in life.”
33. “No matter how many detours the caravan takes, it never loses sight of the destination. Once all obstacles are overcome, the stars in the sky will guide them to the oasis.”
34. “When there’s no turning back, we must find the best way to move forward.”
35. “The sand dunes may change with the wind, but the desert never changes. Our love will be the same. If you are a part of my destiny, then one day I will return.”
36. “If what we find is real and precious, it will never be lost and will always be there when we return. But if it’s only fleeting like a shooting star, then we’ll find nothing when we come back.”
37. “When I eat, I only eat. When I run, I only run. And if I have to fight, the day I die will be just as beautiful as any other day. I don’t live in the past or the future. I only have the present and I only care about the present. If we can always be in the present, then we will be happy. We will see that the desert is still alive, the sky is full of stars, and people fight because that’s what human beings do. Life will be a big celebration, a great festival, because life is just the moment we are living now.”
38. “How do I predict the future? By observing the signs of the present. The mystery lies in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve the future.”
39. “To be successful, I cannot be afraid of failure anymore. This fear has prevented me from achieving the ‘Great Work’. Now I’m just starting a task that I could have done ten years ago. But at least, I’m glad I didn’t wait another twenty years.”
40. “Imagine if everyone could turn lead into gold, then gold would have no value. Only those who are persevering and study hard will achieve the ‘Great Work’ in a complete way.”
41. “Those who live their full life journey know everything they need to know. The only thing that keeps them from achieving their dreams is the fear of failure.”
42. “If it’s something good, you’ll be pleasantly surprised,” the fortune teller replied. “But if it’s something bad, you’ll suffer for a long time before it happens.”
43. “Why does the desert reveal these omens to a stranger like you and not to us, who have lived here for generations? Because my eyes are still unfamiliar with the desert, I can see things that familiar eyes cannot.”
44. “Weapons should not be taken out of storage and not be used. They are as the desert. If you take them out and don’t use them, next time they may not be willing to let you use them again.”
45. “Sell the camel and buy a horse. Camels are unpredictable: they can go thousands of steps without showing any signs of fatigue, but suddenly they bend over and die. Horses get tired gradually, so we can always anticipate how far we can push them and when they will die.”
46. “Many people die of thirst just as the oasis appears on the horizon.”
47. “The treasure you are looking for may be right in front of you, but you don’t know it. Why? Because people don’t believe that there is really a treasure.”
48. “Your money will give us three more days to live. However, money cannot always save a person’s life.”
49. “What happened to you once may never happen again, but what happened twice will definitely happen a third time.”
50. “Regardless of whether one is rich or poor, noble or humble, everyone has a significant role to play in the history of the world. The problem is that many people don’t know it.”
“You can’t die. You still have to live to remember not to be foolish like this. Two years ago, right here, I also dreamed many times that I had to go to Spain, find an old village church where shepherds often brought their sheep to rest. In the dressing room, there was a tree with a hidden treasure of gold buried under its roots. But I’m not foolish enough to cross the desert just for a dream.”
Then they left. He stood up unsteadily, looking towards the Pyramids. The Pyramids smiled at him, and he smiled back. His heart was overflowing with joy. Now he had found the treasure.
If you haven’t read this amazing novel yet, please do so! The meaningful and inspiring quotes listed above will be easier to understand when placed in the specific context of the story! The Alchemist truly awakened LotusBuddhas’ buried “dreams”.