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"The Alchemist"

by Dr. D ~

By Paulo Coelho  (San Francisco: Harper Collins Pub., 1988, 174 pgs.)


A delightful story with all sorts of good lessons.  A young man pursues his dreams and finds all sorts of detours in the process.  His understanding and goals change somewhat along the way, as he comes in contact with many other interesting characters.  He finally meets up with ‘the alchemist’ who does ultimately help him to a greater understanding of himself and provides the encouragement needed to complete his personal vision.  An interesting, and fascinating story that you just can’t put down once it is started.  Also it is short enough to actually be read in one relaxing weekend.

There are many religious themes and self-help/PMA messages imbedded throughout.  First of all, theologically it is presenting a ‘pantheistic’ view of God and creation.  The major lesson throughout is that one should continue to pursue ones ‘Personal Legend or Myth’.  That everyone is presented with a personal vision or purpose, that one is obligated to seek after.  That all creation will conspire to help one along the way, in the form of ‘omens’ that one must learn to discern and follow.  The story also decries those who have given up on their vision, and accepted a lesser outcome.

From a Christian view, this book has many themes and religious ideas that cannot be supported.  Nevertheless, a Christian can enjoy the ride and come away with encouragement to follow your own God given vision, and continue along the way to seek the advise of the Holy Spirit.  It is Biblical not to give up, but to continue in faithfulness to the end; and it is Biblical, that God will help you in the process.


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2 Responses to "The Alchemist"

  1. Rachel

    Thanks for this. I’m reading and feeling weird about some verbiage. (omens,Personal Legend…)

  2. olivia

    perfect perfect perfect. i fell in love with the book immediately but then couldn’t sleep last night wondering if it’s wrong… (same verbiage debate as rachel…)


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