Friday, August 28, 2009

The Wisdom of Humanity

Strikes a deep chord, and sells in millions, is translated into hundreds of languages, but ... it keeps sorrow alive.

Exhibit A: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Some excerpts:

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”

“One’s Personal Legend is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is."

“The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it’s all written there”

“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand”

“At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke – the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well."

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

"That night, the boy slept deeply, and, when he awoke, his heart began to tell him things that came from the Soul of the World. It said that all people who are happy have God within them. And that happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said. Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it. “Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer whant to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them – the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. “So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.” “why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?” the boy asked the alchemist. “Because that’s what makes the heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.” From then on, the boy understood his heart. He asked it, please, never stop speaking to him"

Exhibit B: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Some excerpts:

"Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."

""If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, 'Somewhere, my flower is there...' But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened..."

"At one time I say to myself: "Surely not! The little prince shuts his flower under her glass globe every night, and he watches over his sheep very carefully..." Then I am happy. And there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars.

But at another time I say to myself: "At some moment or other one is absent-minded, and that is enough! On some one evening he forgot the glass globe, or the sheep got out, without making any noise, in the night..." And then the little bells are changed to tears..."

"Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."

"One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed... "


In both, the heart and its sentiments are extolled over the facts of life. Both appeal to our very being. If something is a hit, I consider it an exposition of human nature, a normative book rather than a prescriptive one.


Jarnail said...

"....rather than a prescriptive one."...Blogger

...then what is your prescription?

Harmanjit Singh said...

Selflessness in toto, and not just egolessness.

Jarnail said...

"Virtues of Selfishness", Ayn Rand?

Anonymous said...

uggh...another prescription:

pre·scrip·tive (pr-skrptv)
1. Sanctioned or authorized by long-standing custom or usage.
2. Making or giving injunctions, directions, laws, or rules.
3. Law Acquired by or based on uninterrupted possession.


another sage in making who will the save the world from disaster :-)...

what a misreading of AF!

since the blogger still 'believes' in the prescriptive world of God and godliness, God bless him !

a very good blog other wise..

Jarnail said...

Do birds and plants and stones have selves?