Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoughts on 'The Zahir'



One of my favourite authors is Paulo Coelho. Last summer I went on a reading binge and I read one of his books called The Zahir. Honestly the man writes like a prophet. He puts these sentences together and forms these ideas and when you read them, they sound like they should be canonized. They just make sense. It’s like they resonate with this innate part of you.

Even if I were to summarize this book for you, I would feel like am not doing it any justice but here goes. The book (branded as a novel of Obsession) is about this rich, successful married couple who seemingly has lost sight of their true purpose together. Esther, the wife decides that instead of staying in the marriage and watching it disintegrate any further, she leaves and embarks on this spiritual journey with another man Mikhail. Trouble (or rather the good news) is, Mikhail is not her lover, but rather like a spiritual mentor. Her husband (who by this time falls in love with another woman) is unable to forget about her and by extension let her go, so he embarks on his own journey to understand what happened to their relationship and to find his wife.

I wish I could tell you what happened then but this book is just one of those reads that I was never able to finish. The book however is laden with these insightful passages that you cant help but share with others. For example:

“Generally speaking, the universe tells us when we’re wrong by taking away what is most important to us…” pg56
“….our true friends are those who are with us when the good times 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.” pg56-57

“You’ve often said that absolute freedom doesn’t exist; what does exist is the freedom to choose anything you like and then commit yourself to that decision.” Pg71

“How does one go about abandoning the story one was told? By repeating it out loud in meticulous detail. And as we tell our story, we say goodbye to what we were, as you’ll see if you try, we create space for a new, unknown world. We repeat the old story over and over until it is no longer important to us.” “…..There is just one other thing: as those spaces grow, it is important to fill them up quickly, even if only provisionally so as to be left with a feeling of emptiness.” Pg179

I truly love the wisdom that just oozes out of this book. It makes you just question everything. I am definitely using this book as my challenge; to finish the story of this couple and to see what finally becomes of them.

Hope your challenge reads are coming along nicely. Am planning for my group’s meet and greet on Monday. More details on that in my next post.

Have a great week everyone.

Your partner in reading,
Lesley.

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