Sunday, June 26, 2005

Modern Mussar: Following your dream - The Alchemist

I have no idea how people cope without a Shabbos afternoon. The sheer relaxation, serenity and tranquility of a good book after a post-fressing shluff is unbeatable. Try it.

I was fortunate enough to finally get round to reading Paulo Coelho's quasi-Biblical little gem "The Alchemist". Highly reminiscent of Hesse's Siddharta, it forces me to peer deep down inside myself, to challenge my way of life and to ask "Am I living my Dream?". I do have a dream, one which I have hinted to in these (web) pages. I struggle to orient myself towards that dream, knowing that, as Eminem immortalized so profoundly - "you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo". I often get distracted by dollar signs, loose women and the high life, but I feel I am working towards my dream, more on which another time. Books like Coelho's help inspire me and challenge me to make the most of this wonderful gift of life, to do the best with the incredible tools that I have been granted.

The lessons from the above two books are deep and meaningful. The very end of The Alchemist resonates for me with much of Pirkey Avot, about finding equilibrium and harmony in oneself.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself," the alchemist replies. "And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity."

Follow your dream



At 6/27/2005 5:28 AM, Blogger Shoshana said...

The Alchemist (and Siddharta - good connection, by the way) was a beautiful book with a very inspiring message. A friend gave it to me to read when I was floundering about whether I should follow my dream or do the practical thing, even if it wouldn't be as fulfilling. I think we should all struggle and do everything in our power to follow our dreams, and in the end, they will come true.

At 6/27/2005 7:21 PM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

Great post- Thanks for the recommended books, I'm always looking for a good read.

At 6/28/2005 8:52 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Shoshana, it is inspiring, thanks for your comments.

Shopaholic, anytime. If you are ever stuck, let us know and we will be glad to help out.


Post a Comment

<< Home