Aleph by Paulo Coelho

  • A very personal account where the main character is having a crisis of faith. His attempts are not getting him the results he desires and he starts to have doubts about the path he is following and about the things he is doing, until he meets Hilal
Key Takeaways
  1. The narrator’s master, J, says, he is trying to become the “King of His Kingdom”
  2. J tells him that what he is feeling is what he himself had felt some years back. That way, the writer is convinced that what he is in is a phase he cannot withdraw himself from
  3. The narrator decides to travel and persuades his agent to do a Russian tour where he will travel the country on the Trans Siberian Railroad. In Russia, he comes across a girl, Hilal, who he shares a history of lives past with. She talks about her dream about a friend with a light. Then the two of them see Aleph, which is defined as “a point where everything, the whole universe is contained”
  4. He becomes obsessed with how the bamboo grows. How, for the first several years the bamboo only grows underground with only a small shoot above the earth and then, seeemingly out of nowhere, it grows 25 meters in the next year. I think this is a powerful message that before success, there are years of hard work that go unseen
  5. “Karma is not what we did in our past, but what we do in the present to change our future”
  6. “Only mediocrity is sure of itself”
  7. “Love always triumphs over death. That is why there is no point in grieving for our loved ones. They will always be loved.”
What I got out of it
  1. A very intimate and touching story of a man who is battling a personal crisis and how he overcomes it through love and faith

Buy Aleph