I started reading Paulo Coelho’s book Aleph again this week after a friend sent it to me. This is one of my best Paulo Coelho books. It’s an autobiography about the author’s life, his struggle with spirituality, personal growth and his quest to find meaning by going on a pilgrimage on the trans- Siberian rail line.
The center theme of “Aleph” can easily be related to by many. Routines wear us down. Great losses in life too may dip us into an emotional abyss. We may find faith and then lose it along the way. Or regrets in our past and worries in our future too can weigh us down. How then can we get out of this? A pilgrimage, as suggested by the author, may have the answer we need.
There are quite a few quotes that are memorable, that I can relate to and would like to share with you.
1. It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.
2. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been, it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.
3. People never leave, we are always here in our past and future lives.
I think the first quote is self-explanatory. What we do at present matters the most. The next two are to help us coping with losses.
4. Although sometimes, we need to be strangers to ourselves. Then the hidden light in our soul will illuminate what we need to see.
What it means, I suppose, is that in order to rediscover ourselves, we need to look pass what has become so familiar. Examine our lives in the eyes of a stranger in a detached manner.
5. Now each morning, when your mind is still empty, devote a little time to the Divine … Inhale deeply and ask for all the blessings in the air to enter your body and fill every cell. Then exhale slowly, projecting happiness and peace around you. Repeat this ten times. You’ll be helping to heal yourself and contributing to healing the world as well.
6. Walking is doing wonders for body and soul. I’m completely focused on the present moment, for that is where all signs, parallel worlds and miracles are to be found. Time really doesn’t exist.
7. Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do.
8. Anyone who knows God cannot describe Him. Anyone who can describe God does not know Him.
9. Love is beyond time, or, rather, love is both time and space, but all focused on one single constantly evolving point – the Aleph.
That, is the Aleph. You may need to read the book in order to understand what he says.
10. We can never wound the soul, just as we can never wound God, but we become imprisoned by our memories, and that makes our lives wretched, even when we have everything we need in order to be happy.
11. Is it possible to deviate from the path God has made? Yes, but it’s always a mistake. Is it possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experienced it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.
This is probably one of my favorite quotes. We shall always seek to experience, accept the pain as it comes, and follow God’s will.
Last but not the least, there is one quote to share. I agree wholeheartedly.
12. Like the children we will never ever cease to be.