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I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho today. I have never read it before, i get these instinctive distastes for over-hype.

Well the book was good, but it didnt teach me anything i didnt know already. What it did was comfort me, its really strengthening to hear an external voice that echoes so well inside.

In an interview in the preface, he was asked, of course, what is the secret behind your huge success? And he has replied – the most honest answer to that question is i dont know.

this is all nice and modest but pure bull.

im sure he knows well enough, the secret of enormous inspiration, sometimes leading to enormous success, is pain. experience enormous quantities of it, live like an animal, survive it, and you’re all set! not a recipe to recommend to an ambitious audience.

for here is a secret near impossible hard to understand, unless it is shoved down your throat in a do or die situation, forward always at any cost.

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4 Responses

  1. Can I put a frowny face emoticon here. Ms Mist? I don’t think pain is a necessary requirement for success. Pain is inevitable in various degrees, it’s part of living but I don’t agree with the idea that suffering is essential to art. I think laughing and hugging are though.

    ~MM – Of course Mr.Squires, frowny faces are as important as smileys. Regarding pain and art, this is a distasteful conclusion no doubt. i can only speak from personal experience here, there is something about surviving the worst that tends to bring out the nature closest to our bones, the best or the worst. And I htink too many people have felt similarly for it to be completely wrong.

    However being it all perception and conjecture, let us agree to disagree here and end with a laugh and a hug, in the end that matters the most :)!

  2. It’s all a matter of perception; but I find when I’m doing something I truly enjoy, I sense little pain. I become engrossed in the activity – and enjoying what we do most times produce stellar results. As I get older, my adage has become, if it aint fun, I’m not up for it. Blessings, MM.

    ~MM – Exactly Cordie, i used to be an extraordinarily dutiful and sincere person, then life taught me survival means something else altogether, now me too, if i dont enjoy it, i quit without a second thought, thank you for sharing :)!

  3. I too read the alchemist and other of Coelho works… I must agree with certain aspects of your opinion… he is an observer of life… perhaps he understands the lessons better than most… he can help and influence people with the magic of the written words…

    I have been pondering a topic related to this as of late… the importance of pain and the meaning of its purpose… still haven’t quite got the answer, but I’m close. For now I leave my small opinion… to each his own… in five hundred different ways. Thank you for your candid essay.

    ~MM- Thanks Enreal, yeah, to each their own, do share if you figure this out!

  4. I’ve never read The Alchemist, or any of Coelho’s works to be honest, though I have had people tell me that they are thought-provoking reads…

    For me I find that all the life experiences I gather on my journey – the good, the bad, the terrible, the wonderful – all contribute in some way to the creative process and the creation of ‘art’.

    I feel that it is in experiencing all the textures and colours of life that I come to better understand myself. I find that I am then better able to articulate and interpret that understanding to others…

    ~MM – Hey Tracey, yeah, he is good, at least this book was, you should try it sometime… i agree, life is a wonderful journey of experience, for me art is more an attempt at sharing of this experience than a destination, often i am happy to experience and be still, i guess that makes me less of a dedicated artist, more a dabbler 🙂 …regarding understanding the self as key to understanding others, i agree absolutely. Thanks for being here, and sharing your thoughts!

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