The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Excerpt from the introduction;

Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget about all of the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far…

…But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here.

Paulo Coelho
Rio de Janeiro
November 2002
Translated by Margaret Jull Costa

…”and you understand why you are here.”



  1. I know exactly what you're talking about, and I read this book a long time ago, this quote by Oscar Wilde NEVER left my mind. It's sadly strong and it makes miserable to have to agree with him. I've been trying hard to prove him wrong, but I've been shattered more than once. I really want to believe I am an instrument of God, you know, I want to know why I am here....

    Kisses on the tip of your nose!

  2. I have always found Oscar Wilde to be profoundly clever. I like that Paulo is reminding us to accept life's gifts gracefully; after the hard work, this life is to be enjoyed.

  3. What you just wrote, Janet, /accepting gifts gracefully/ is hard for lots of people; not the accepting, but doing it gracefully..;>

    p.s. Your blog has a calming effect on me.


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