The Alchemist


Significant Quotations

“… At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” (10th Anniversary Edition, p. 18). Melchizedek describes this as the great lie that prevents people from realizing their Personal Legend. A Personal Legend is something everyone has from childhood, but very early on we start receiving the message that the thing we most want is impossible, and therefore we should give up on it. The negative voices drown out the heart’s desire and true destiny. According to Melchizedek, books are often guilty of perpetrating this lie.

“When you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” (10th Anniversary Edition, pp. 22-23). What is being described is the Personal Legend. The Personal Legend is one’s greatest dream and the thing one is meant to do in life. Although obstacles such as fear and competing responsibilities may present themselves, these are mere distractions from our mission. The universe’s wants people to pursue their Personal Legend, as it nourishes and purifies the “soul of the world.” Those who ignore their Personal Legend are not only letting themselves down, but also the entire universe. This type of statement can be gratifying to readers looking for permission to drop everything to pursue their dream.

“The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.” (10th Anniversary Edition, p. 34). This line is the moral of a parable Melchizedek tells Santiago. The spoon with the drops of oil that must not be spilled represents the essential task, or Personal Legend, that a person must never lose sight of. However, he must also remember to live in the moment and appreciate the journey he is on.

“If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a...

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Essays About The Alchemist