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An Insight into the Meanings of Life with Paulo Coelho!

Passing twice through sessions of electroconvulsive ‘therapy’ at the age of seventeen, taking an active part in deviant movement against the oppressive regime, playing a role in flipping the music scene of the era and experiencing the pain of torture and terror of getting kidnapped; what turned out was not a disheveled eccentric person. He turned out to be what world today knows as ‘Paulo Coelho’.His parents considered him mad, but it was just that he was a bit weird. 

He was called as a jaywalker, but he just wanted to discover a new border. His family thought he would never do anything; they didn't know he was after the most amazing. People ended up saying he would never be successful; they didn’t know, success had to follow him! 

Before giving the world his literary delights,  Paulo Coelho, the writer of bestselling novels like The Alchemist, Veronika Decides to Die, and many others, enrolled in law school, dropped out to travel the world, got involved with a theater group, worked as a journalist, and also wrote lyrics for rock songs and collaborated on a political comic strip. All these experiences laid their part in carving out Paulo Coelho which we experience in his twenty-six well-acknowledged books. 

He nurtured life's every experience and re-designed it on paper under different titles – in the form of books. He learned the art of living through his life's journey, and this art is depicted in each and every word of his writing. He has talked about every aspect of human life whether it is a way of living, thinking, feeling, and believing. His plots and characters are what Paulo Coelho himself is, and definitely worth digging out to explore the new meanings of life from his perspective. The meanings which we all want to know, yet fail to explore! 

He has understood the core of the life i.e. everything exists because everything is worth existing. From blazing sun to soothing moon, creepy lizard to striking butterfly, magnificent mountains to the tiny grasshoppers, grubby beggar to a dainty gentleman, a slimy damsel to a chubby little girl, rotten leaves to blooming flower, pinching pain to pacifying peace – the significance entrenched in the existence of everything is irreplaceable. That’s the key which Coelho has undertaken and speaks out in his book ‘The Alchemist’, where he says: “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them”. 

For him, looking on these things is not the end, even acknowledging them is not enough but the beginning of change which blazes into your soul and gives you the courage to face the life and things happening in it. Even in ‘Brida’, he lays emphasis on the significance of everything as he says: “Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” Isn’t this the theory we all need in our life to live happily? 

Coelho also has a unique take on the universe as he doesn’t visualize universe merely as a space where earthly and heavenly objects are residing, but a place where all the objects are formulated to guide humans to achieve their destination. Where other humans say that everything is going worse because nature has designed them to refrain us from attaining our goal; Coelho thinks differently. He says: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” (The Alchemist). 

However, to achieve this destination, we choose the wrong path, full of thrones of negativity and pessimism. Coelho asks us that what you expect from a pessimist conviction, cherished by hopelessness and glumness? The answer is simple: A desire for victory, vanquished by the trajectory of defeat! Paulo Coelho lives in a world where he doesn’t have to put efforts to unite his powers to achieve his destination; positivity, fortified in his soul leads him!

This overwhelming positivism is reflected in his words as he writes in his bestseller book ‘The Alchemist’: “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” He dares to fall and rise up every time not because he is meant to but because he has to…

 “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times,” that is how his characters speak out in his novels and gleam our life’s paths.

When we head towards a new destination, our mind starts calculating those things which we might put on the stake while discovering the new world. Isn’t this what happen to all of us? That dilemma of wishing to move forward and desire to keep previous things ends us up on the stray end where neither can we hold on nor we can leave. Coelho thinks that to move forward, we must learn the art of losing, without which we are caged in unseen prison. As he says (Eleven Minutes): “When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself”.

He believes it is alright to be a dreamer as he is a staunch believer of the power of dreaming. He doesn’t consider dreams as a mere time pass which we do while sleeping or in our leisure hours; in fact, he regards them as intriguers of our soul which pacify our soul to work in the direction of achieving our goals. As he pens (The Pilgrimage): “We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment to the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don't, our soul dies, and agape cannot reach it”. He sees clouds and wish of rain, he sees sun and desire of sunshine, he considers pen and desire to carve a damsel who can dance and who’s every step creates a new symphony for life. That’s what he thinks dreaming is, that’s what he thinks dreams can do! 

Thought, while pursuing our dreams we encounter many people in life who try to drag us from the path of our dreams to a hell they created for us. They don’t have to practically push us into the hell, they inculcate fear of losing in us, they make us shilly-shally on our decisions, and they are the people who themselves don't dare to achieve their dreams. About them, Coelho says (Eleven Minutes): “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn't have the courage to say "yes" to life?” So, in such situations he believes in saying ‘yes’ to life and have courage to say ‘no’ to people. 

God has created this world, and after creating it, He left spiritual vibes embedded in its every nook and corner. Coelho not only believes in these vibes but also look up to experience the energy of these vibes to muster the courage to face the world and achieve his dreams. He finds these vibes in anything like gestures, words, feelings or…love! 

He believes in the endless power of love, and regards it as a power where all other ‘powers’ lose their ‘powers.’ He reflects in ‘The Alchemist’: “…the energy of love will begin to transform the universe about us. Whenever this energy appears, it always achieves its end”. 

Love not only brings transformation in the emotional state of a person, but love induces changes in the entire personality of the person in love. And the good thing is that his definition of love is not constrained in some worldly fringes and particular meanings.

Power of love can never be expressed in words; it can only be felt. Once you have felt its power, you no longer stay in a position to speak. Its overwhelming symphony drives you into another world – a world showered by stupefying colors of the rainbow, a world where there is no boundary of dreams, and a world which promises a flight ‘sky high’ and a world where words have a hundred meanings, and each meaning is equally enthralling. And he, Paulo Coelho, is the believer of this enchanted world!

He is not even fearful of death as he believes that death embraces us with an open heart and gives relief from sufferings, as he says (The Devil and Miss Prym): “I think that, with age, people come to realize that death is inevitable. And we need to learn to face it with serenity, wisdom, and resignation. Death often frees us from a lot of senseless sufferings”. He believes death as our companion who follows us from our birth till it holds us and takes us to another world.

The entry of Coelho in the writer’s world was not a mere unintended incidence. As he himself believes: “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it”. Similarly, despite of all the different paths that Coelho tried to pursue, he ended up being a writer as he had to enlighten the naive people strutting in the darkness of life; looking for little fireflies which can show them the right path. Coelho’s words definitely did it!!

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