From the Bookshelf: The Zahir by Paolo Coehlo

"The zahir can be a person, a job, an objective, but the attempt to possess or achieve it never brings us happiness; instead, it becomes an unhealthy obsession."

The Story:

Paulo Coelho’s book The Zahir is the story of an unnamed, internationally famous author who is suddenly abandoned by his wife. Since she leaves him with no explanation for her departure, the author is mystified as well as hurt. The Zahir tracks his journey as he searches, sometimes obsessively, for answers to his questions. As the author’s wife, ‘searches for the truth, he reconsiders his life.’ The unnamed author character isn’t totally unlike Coelho, but neither is he the same person. The book does introduce some of Paulo Coelho’s own spiritual opinions and views as the answers to the unnamed author’s search for answers.

Quotes to Remember:

“All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.”

“We humans have two great problems: the first is knowing when to begin, the second is knowing when to stop.”

“I learned something recently: out true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives.”

“Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroy us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”

“They are the prison of the personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. The accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”

“In order to live fully, it is necessary to be in constant movement; only then can each day be different from the last.”

“… suffering occurs when we want other people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved, and not in the way that love should manifest itself – free and untrammeled…”


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