NO. TO SPOILERS.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Also I really loved this magical little thing, and I want you to encounter it with your own eyes before even doing an occult revisit yeah? Done reading ? You may proceed:
1 the plot
From the beginning of the book, you have shepherd boy main character, Santiago sleeping on the very thing he sets out looking for. A pile of gold, buried treasure in the ruins of an old pastoral church. It comes to him in a dream and it’s the kind of possibility way beyond any of his imagination. He sets out sacrificing everything he has repeatedly, looking for this , and came home from his journey completely transformed.
concept 1: you already have what you’re looking for.
Below is a rumi poem translated by Coleman Barks that reiterates this PERFECTLY.
If you want to learn theory,
talk with theoreticians. That way is oral.
When you learn a craft, practice it.
That learning comes through the hands.
If you want dervishhood, spiritual poverty
and emptiness, you must be friends with a teacher.
Talking about it, reading books, and doing practices
don’t help. Soul receives from soul that knowing.
The mystery of absence
may be living in your pilgrim heart,
and yet the knowing of it may not yet be yours.
Wait for the illuminated openness,
as though your chest were filling with light,
as when God said,
Did we not expand you? (Qu’ran 57:4)
Don’t look for it outside yourself.
You are the source of milk. Don’t milk others!
There is a fountain inside you.
Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.
You have a channel into the ocean,
yet you ask for water from a little pool.
Beg for the love expansion. Meditate only
on THAT. The Qur’an says,
And he is with you. (57:4)
There is a basket of fresh bread on your head,
yet you go door to door asking for crusts.
Knock on the inner door, no other.
Sloshing knee-deep in fresh riverwater,
yet you keep asking for other people’s waterbags.
Water is everywhere around you, but you see
only barriers that keep you from water.
The horse is beneath the rider’s thighs,
and still you ask, “Where’s my horse?”
“Yes, this is a horse, but where’s the horse?”
Can’t you see it?
“Yes, I can see, but whoever saw
such a horse?”
Mad with thirst, you can’t drink from the stream
running close by your face. You are like a pearl
on the deep bottom wondering inside the shell,
Where’s the ocean?
Those mental questionings
form the barrier.
Stay bewildered inside God,
and only that.
When you are with everyone but me,
you’re with no one.
When you are with no one but me,
you’re with everyone.
Instead of being so bound up with everyone
When you become that many, you’re nothing.
Whatever you’re running after, it’s closer than you think.
All that you ask, already exists, you just need to be available to it.
Dig beneath the service and find your own pot of gold.
2 oracle stones urim and thummim
Given by a mysterious king named Milchizedek (an ascended master), the two stones will give a yes, no maybe to Santiago’s questions. He uses this to ask wether such decisions is a good idea or no . The same concept with other oracle tools in real life cultures such as wood blocks in taoist temples, and tossed sticks. This operates under the concept that throwing these things isn’t just random.
concept 2 (restated): your divine knowing can talk to you thru “chance events”
Your thoughts, feelings, dreams aren’t just in your head. They’re in the air, they’re in the firmament, what other texts would call the “monad” or your expanded self. This higher self of yours talks to you through the language of signs and santiago uses oracle stones to talk to his.
3 the girl by the well , fatima
concept 3: you’re never really apart from your lover
concept 3: love sets you free and doesn’t bind you.
Santiago meets fatima, a girl by the well in the dessert oasis. He falls in love with her and is conflicted about leaving. Chase his dreams, the signs, the pyramids – or stay with her, having found a different treasure ?
Fatima however insists that he leave. That him giving up his ‘personal legend’ would make him untrue with himself and taint their love. That if they were meant to be, they’ll meet again. Love in the intuitive arts, isn’t just a seeking or a desire – but a witnessing and allowing of another person to become their truest selves. This is why the concept of twin flames, a highly valued relationship, is often likened to be a perfect mirror. Love allows the other to see more of themself, or with how rumi put it, there is no bringing grain to a grain house – so what you bring is a mirror to create infinities.
4 the glass merchant who wants to go to mecca
concept 4: we’re our own obstacle when it comes to our dreams
note: Both Rumi and Sadghuru have similarly explained that the point of pilgrimages in older times was of a different context. It was to commit to an almost impossible task to a point of risking your life upto that point and almost certain DEATH. There were no airplanes, GPS and going to mecca was akin to us going to the moon with the alien cultures you’d have to brave, not to mention the money. However- people succeeded in these pilgrimages! In the book, we have Santiago offering up business ideas to the merchant so that he could finally raise money for his dream to go to mecca. And even at the moment when he did have enough money, he still doubted himself wether he should leave or not. Santiago’s gall however to stick to his own dreams and personal legend eventually convinces the merchant to go on the trip.
5 “because the pyramids are beautiful”
Okay so the pyramids is popular amongst all the new age conspiracy theories how they were made etc etc, but that’s not what I’m gunning for here. Why the hell did spirit/universe/divine bother for Santiago to go so far to the pyramids if his treasure was home ? – because the pyramids are beautiful.
concept 5: the journey > destination
If you subscribe that which you all need is right under your finger tips, anything else you bother doing , the delay, the process is basically just bonus points to see things and learn more of yourself. Extra training weights for you to go an adventure beyond your comfort zone and the perfect lens for you to have sudden realizations of what you do/ did have back home.
6 summoning a sandstorm
In faith, one must die. They term this as flinging yourself into that devotion. Or when you commit yourself to living on an island, you cut all the ties of your boats. 1000% commitment, no plan B can your soul just fling itself and in it grow wings. rumi reference:
The way of love is not
a subtle argument.
The door there
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling,
they are given wings.
Santiago successfully performs miracles, talks to the spirit a sandstorm, and saves himself by exactly this kind of flinging. Spiritually seeking requires exactly this kind of state – absolute abandon, complete annihilation. This is the scary ego-death some meditations allude to, and personally one of the most fascinating momentary experiences I’ve had.
7 reading falcon signs, the
Similiar to number 2, the universe speaks in signs,
concept 7: everything is connected.
In the book oneness is called, the Soul of the World. And it speaks in omens, like all the thievery that Santiago experiences and animal signs like the appearance and death of a horse. All of these conspire to communicate to Santiago on how to align himself with his Personal Legend, and consequently the rest of the connected universe.
In modern day, what are popularly read as ‘good’ omens are spotting 11:11 or random feathers considered as ‘angel signs’. Personally I find that a lot of ‘signs’ from the universe are made to tailor fit to you , and what you find meaning in. Spirit adapts when you can’t look up in the city sky and find falcons, sometimes they come to you with an eerily matching thought from a friend – or even spotify.
8 talking to your heart
This has to be the best, HAHA OKAY FINE this is my favorite. This is the kind of thing you’ll hear being touted around as listening to your heart but if you’re into metaphysics and what not. You’ll know the etheric field around your heart is 8 times greater than your brain. also check out these body structure references from different traditions ::
SO. when Santiago was talking to his heart, he was accessing deeper guidance within himself realzing/ remembering things he’s already known.
This book is a goldmine for occult and mystical practices and if I would have to give a follow up book rec from papa Coelho it’d be like the flowing river and by the river piedera. THE CLOUD AND THE SAND DUNE BEST. GOOD SHIT. BREAK MY HEART in the best way kind of short story.
Give me some mystical story recs below or books you think I should review:
til next time lovelies,