Today, I am going to talk about the Alchemist,
my most favorite book from Paulo Coelho.
The story that Paulo Coelho tells us in this
book is simple in style, yet contains powerful
The alchemist tells the story of a young shepherd
named Santiago who is able to find treasure
beyond his wildest dreams.
Along the way, he learns to listen to his
own heart instead of blindly following people.
He realizes the power of dreaming and that
his dreams are not just his own but part of
the soul of the universe.
He starts to follow his dreams and learns
that it's in pursing these dreams to the best
of one's ability, that one is most truly alive.
The story starts in a small village in Spain.
A shepherd boy named Santiago is headed to
a town where he met a girl the year before,
hoping he can marry her.
While camping out in a in an abandoned church
with his sheep, Santiago has a recurring dream
of a great treasure.
Then he explains it to a gypsy woman.
She interprets it, saying that he must go
to the pyramids in Egypt to find a hidden
Santiago is uncertain.
His parents want him to become a priest.
He is hesitant about following his dream and
leaving his life because he kinda likes the
life of a shepherd.
Next, Santiago meets a mysterious old man
who seems able to read his mind.
He is a strange wise man who claims he is
a king from far-off land.
He tells Santiago that everyone has a dream
when they are young.
It's what you have always wanted to accomplish.
He tells him that he must follow his dreams
and listen to omens in order to find his treasure.
He also gives him two magic stones that will
help him decide what to do when he can't seem
to find answers.
The next day, Santiago sells his sheep and
heads to Africa to follow his dream.
Shortly after he arrives there, a thief steals
all of his money by telling him that he could
take him to pyramids.
Unable to speak a single word of Arabic, at
first, Santiago thinks about giving up and
But then he remembers what the wise man told
him about following his dreams.
He decides to get a job at a local crystal
While working there, the crystal merchant
tells him that he also used to have a personal
dream himself, making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
But he gave up on it.
After working there for a year, he now has
enough money to buy a new flock of sheep.
He doesn't know what should he do?
Should he return home and buy more sheep?
Or should he cross the vast Sahara in pursuit
of the hidden treasure of his dream?
At the last moment, Santiago decides to risk
it all and join a caravan to Egypt.
Once in Caravan, Santiago meets an Englishman
who has come all the way to Africa to meet
a famous alchemist.
He hopes to learn the secret of alchemy, how
to turn any metal to gold.
As they travel through the desert, the Englishman
tells Santiago about his own personal dream.
They both talk of a soul of the world to which
we are all connected and of the necessity
of following our heart’s true desires.
Santiago, however, prefers to learn these
from observing the world, While the Englishman
prefers to learn it from books.
Almost to Pyramids, they hear the news of
tribal wars and the caravan decides to stay
in a nearby town until the wars are over.
This means anywhere from weeks to years.
Santiago is so close to the pyramids and unhappy
about the news.
In the town, Santiago meets a beautiful Arab
girl named Fatima and immediately falls in
love with her.
He discovers that love, like the personal
dream, comes directly from the soul of the
One day, Santiago has a vision of upcoming
attack to the town.
He rushes to warn the elders of the town.
Then his vision is confirmed.
They offer him a position as a consular.
Santiago considers staying there with Fatima,
but the Alchemist finds Santiago and tells
him that he will help Santiago to find his
They head toward Pyramids and almost there,
Santiago and the Alchemist are taken prisoners
by a warning tribe.
The alchemist has a solution.
He tells tribesmen that Santiago is a powerful
magician who can turns himself into the wind.
Tribesmen are impressed and will let them
go, If Santiago can do it.
The only problem is that Santiago has no idea
what he is doing.
But being more and more acquainted with the
soul of the world, and after three days of
meditation, Santiago uses his knowledge of
the soul of the world to ask the elements
to help him.
First he asks the dessert.
Then he asks the wind.
Then he asks the sun.
And, finally, he asks the soul of the world.
Immediately the wind whips up and Santiago
disappears and reappears on the other side
of the camp.
This scares the Warriors, and they let Santiago
and the Alchemist go on their way.
They finally arrive at a monastery where the
Alchemist turns some leads into gold and divides
Santiago takes a large amount of the gold
and continues on to the Pyramids.
Once there, he begins to dig where he is sure
he will find the treasure.
But he finds nothing there.
He is ambushed by robbers.
They beat him hard and take all his gold.
While leaving, one of them asks Santiago,
what he was doing there?
Santiago replies that he had a dream of a
treasure buried at the base of the Pyramids.
He laughs at Santiago and says that he has
had the exact same dream except that in his
dream, the treasure was buried in an abandoned
church in Spain and that he was not stupid
enough to go and pursue it.
Santiago has his answer.
He realizes that the treasure was back where
the whole story started.
The book ends with Santiago digging up the
treasure in the church where he had his first
Sure enough, he finds a trunk full of gold,
enough for him and Fatima to live happily
for a long time.
The story of Santiago is a representation
of the transforming power of our dreams and
importance of listening to our hearts.
What starts out to find a worldly treasure,
turns into the discovery of the treasure found within.