What I Think About “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho

AlephAleph by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I admit, I was baffled at first. I bought this book sometime in May 2013 and found the first three pages a jumble of words. So I let it sit on the shelf for over a year and decided to start reading it on my way to the office last Tuesday. Then I begun to understand Paulo Coelho’s intention to take the reader with him on his journey towards self-discovery. When he started talking about reincarnation, a topic that have always intrigued me, I fell in love.

In this book, the author talks about finding his passion in connecting with the persons and things around him, which he thinks got lost, in his journey via the Trans-Siberian railway. In this trip, he met Hilal, who he later found out is the same woman he loved five hundred years ago. Together, they discovered an Aleph, which helped Coelho explain why Hilal feels so attracted to him.

Like Coelho’s other works, this book is filled with uplifting words. Among my favorites is this one:

“Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you want to do. Seek out people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes and who, therefore, do make mistakes. Because of that, their work often isn’t recognized, but they are precisely the kind of people who change the world and, after many mistakes, do something that will transform their own community completely.”

Reading Aleph made me wonder again about the existence of reincarnation. This is a fascinating thing for me because I myself am amazed about how and why I feel so “at-home” just by looking at pictures of London. I feel this inner peace and bliss that makes me feel like I’ve had quite a lovely lifetime in there before when in fact, I’ve never been out of the country (in this lifetime, at least). Did I spend one of my past lives in London before, or is the lifetime I am living in now preparing (or promising) me that I am going to be in London in my next?

Maybe I should stop thinking about the past and future lives. One of the things that this book taught me is to live and believe in the present. Life is one rainy forest and we have to deal not only with the rain, but with the creatures that God has put in the jungle with us. This book taught me to never stop dreaming because in the end, only the dreamers can survive the never-ending chaos in the forest. I want to be a dreamer who fights until the end to realize my dreams because…

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