Borrowing eBooks from the New York Public Library have been a huge help in these trying times. Left to my own devices for too long, my mind wanders to the pandemic and everything that is lost in this time. It wanders to misery. So I do what I can to keep my mind busy, when my hands often will not follow.
The Alchemist was recommended to me by a friend some time last year. We were in a similar phase in our lives. We met in a coffee shop at the far reaches of Manhattan and just caught up. I don't know how we began to talk about the book anymore, but we came to a mutual conclusion that we were both sick of our own collective shit, and that we were taking similar strides to correct it.
The book was one of the ways she was digging herself out from her hole of self-loathing. I added it to my backlog, but only just got around to reading it. I still have my battles with self-loathing, especially now in a time rife with opportunity to contemplate one's own shortcomings, but I'm come a long way in being gentle with myself.
A lot of the messages I read in The Alchemist seem to be very common now. I wrote yesterday about manifestation and how I've seen it everywhere, and @cat alluded to this mindset of abundance. This is absolutely a core theme in The Alchemist:
The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
I've heard it called pronoia. If paranoia presumes the world is out to get us, then pronoia presumes it is out to bless us. Most cultures and faiths seems to have some notion to suggest the universe means well and that there are numerous mechanisms that right the chaos; that is, there is a suggestion of an eventual balance, even when the world is at its most chaotic. The Alchemist is no exception, suggesting that there is a purpose for all things, even suffering. I contemplated this on a Saturday morning as I laid sprawled in my bed reading the last of the book, bathing in a beam of sunlight with the cool breeze for a melody.
🎵: "Dear God 2.0" by The Roots Feat. Monsters of Folk