Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Dreams, The Universe and Paulo Coelho

One of the books that I read whilst in Austria was Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections by Paulo Coelho. Over the years I’ve read several books by Paulo Coelho. And I have mixed views on the things that he says.

I think that my main hang-ups are associated with statements that may have an element of truth in certain circumstances, but are patently not universal truths.

In his book, The Alchemist there are these words:

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

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

In my heart and mind I feel and think that these statements are not true.

Maybe some people find that it works for them.

But I need only to watch the news on TV on almost any evening to know … to be certain … that for many people the universe seems to be disinterested … and unfulfilled dreams have nothing at all to do with the fear of failure.

I know, The Alchemist is a story. It isn’t a work of non-fiction. But it seems to also be written as a parable … a philosophy … a theology.

But the words … well … ultimately they seem to be empty because they seem to be not true.


UIO said...

I found your blog by search for an explanation of the whole "universe conspires to help you" quote. I feel like on some level it's true, because all the tools to help you achieve your dreams are there for you in the world and if you really want to do something you will stop making excuses and make it happen. So, I think what is left out of that quote is the element of the work that the individual must put into it. I dunno... but that's why I'm looking for an explanation of the quote. lol

Andrea said...

Thanks for your thoughts. And I do agree that on some level there is truth in it. I guess that it's just that I see conditions attached to it. Many years ago I was a schoolteacher. A boy named Alan ... he was 12 ... had his heart set on becoming an airline pilot. He was hard working ... and yet, honestly, he didn't have the academic skills that were needed. Of course, I didn't say anythimg to destroy his dream. And yet ... the univers did not conspire in his favour.

The Universe seems to be quite picky about who it conspires with.