The Alchemist – …Precise and Powerful

You are currently viewing The Alchemist – …Precise and Powerful

Preferred Summaries

…Precise and Powerful

Author: Paulo Coelho
Pages: 171
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: Motivation & Life
Summarized By preferred Books…Distributing Knowledge!

Suite B46 Murg Plaza, Opp. UTC, Area 10, Box 5791, Garki, Abuja. +234 803 793 8549, +2348172140782.
Email: .

Name of Book: The Alchemist

Part one
The Alchemist is a universal book that effuses simplicity woven in soul stirring mystical stories that typifies nothing but genius. It’s the story of a simple village boy; Santiago who was born in an ordinary village who chose to obey his parents by going to the seminary but eventually decided to do the one thing his soul yearns passionately for and that is to travel. From his simple village perspective, he leant from his father that the only way to see the world as a traveler is to become a shepherd.

Santiago as a Shepherd

Having made his decision, he received some savings from his father and bought himself some sheep. From this new undertaking, he was exposed to the world of lessons even as he fulfills his quest of exploring the world. As he got engrossed in his adventure, he encountered a girl, the daughter of a merchant who buys sheep’s wool from him and falls temporarily in love with her. Lesson: Santiago learnt that as long as one had dreams and aspirations to pursue that life was worth living. This simple shepherd from the region of Andalusia had one thing apart from exploring the world that gnawed at him and that’s his dreams. He has had this same dream twice where a child playing with his sheep eventually transports him to the Egyptian pyramids and tells him that if he would dig there, he would find great treasure. This dream excited and haunted him until he sought out an interpreter. The woman interpreter told him that the treasure may eventually be there and that her fee was that Santiago was going to give her 10% of the treasure if found. Lesson: Santiago learnt here that dreams are the language of God and that when He speaks in human language, it can be interpreted by others but that when He speaks in the language of the soul, only the dreamer can interpret that. Being a Shepherd offered Santiago the opportunity to travel and through travelling he found out that he makes a lot of friends. As he makes friends, he discovered that if you are not what people want you to be, they will be unhappy with you. To him, it seems like everyone has a perfect idea how others should live their lives but seem to have no idea of how they should live theirs. At Tarifa, a nearby town beside the city of Andalusia, Santiago met an old and mysterious man who ended up revealing to him that he was Melchizedek; the King of Salem. He revealed so many of Santiago’s secrets such that he was mesmerized and he also promised to tell him how to get to his treasure if he would promise to give him a tent of his sheep. Santiago hesitated but on recalling the man’s magical powers complied. The man told him the same thing the woman had told him and gave him two crystal like stones known as Ummim and Thummim for guidance and discerning omens. Lessons: Melchizedek told Santiago that the greatest lie in the world was the story that at certain periods in our lives, we lose control of our lives and become controlled by fate. He also learnt from him that the most important task of a man is to discover his personal legend; his purpose. He also learnt from him that whenever you sincerely want something that desire originated from the soul of the universe and that’s one’s mission on earth. He also learnt that all things are one and that we are always capable of achieving whatever we dream of, because whenever we want something, the whole world conspires to help us have them. He also learnt that everything has a price. Santiago found out that he had to give up self and its attachments to achieve his personal legend. The old king also reminded Santiago that God has a path designed for everyone in the pursuit of his personal legend and that each of us has to learn to understand our hearts to understand the signs or omens God uses in guiding us along. The old king also told Santiago that to discover his personal legend, he must learn to make his own decisions. Finally, the old king taught him through a story that the secret of happiness is to never forget the little things of life even while focusing on the big picture.


Santiago eventually completed his plans to sail to Egypt in search of his treasure at the pyramids having sold his sheep with a bag full of money. At the tangier port, he was very conscious of the signs and omens that he was taught to always look out for. Eventually, he lost all his money to someone he taught was sent to him as a good omen. Lesson: Santiago realized that he was like everyone else and often see the world as he would want it to be and not as it is. He also remembered that the old king taught him to learn to make his own decisions. He also recalled that the old King taught to always ask very clear questions and that to do this, he must know what he wants. In his dilemma, he managed to secure an employment with a crystal trader but was confronted with the fact that he doesn’t understand Arabic. Despite this, he was employed and managed to do very well. Lesson: at this stage, he learnt that there is a language that doesn’t depend on words and that all things are one.

Part II

Santiago got himself immersed in the business of selling crystals. He initiated a number of innovations that seemed to rupture the owner’s comfort zone but which eventually made him save more money that he had ever imagined from the commission the man paid him. He could even be called a rich man by some standards. Once more, the temptation to go back to his old life and buy even more sheep than he had before and reconnect with the merchant’s daughter reared its head back to his mind again but he managed to convince himself to resist it and forge on ahead in search of his treasure; his personal legend. Lesson: He learnt about what was called the beginner’s luck which comes to the aid of everyone starting anything new. He also learnt once more that you must know what you want to get it. He learnt that every blessing ignored is a curse. He learnt about the universal language that everyone understands and it was this principle that helped him to make a lot of money at them crystal merchant’s shop and it was the language of enthusiasm; of things done in love and purpose and part of search for something believed in and desired.

Meeting the Englishman

While waiting for the caravan that will transport him across the Al-Fayoun desert in search of his treasure a the Egyptian pyramids, Santiago met an Englishman traveling along same route. The Englishman made him to understand that he was searching for an Alchemist believed to be living at the Al-Fayoun oasis who would teach him the secret of Alchemy. In the course of their traveling across the desert, he tried learning of the intellectual researches of the Englishman concerning alchemy while the Englishman tried learning of Santiago’s ways of learning by observing nature. Ironically, Santiago found the complex text book approach to alchemy boring while the Englishman found Santiago’s simple approach to learning from too simplistic and uninteresting. Lesson: Santiago learnt from that exposure that making a decision was only the beginning of things; that everything in life was an omen. He also observed that there is a universal language which everyone understood but which has been forgotten and that’s the language of alchemy. Santiago discovered that the closer one is to realizing one’s personal legend or purpose, the more that personal legend becomes his true vision. During their travel across the desert, he learnt that intuition is the immersion of the soul into the universal current of life where the histories of all people are connected and we are able to know all things because, its written there. He also learnt that fear of loss of any kind evaporates when we understand that our life histories and those of the world were written by same hand and that when you want something with all your heart, you are closer to the soul of the world and that all things are the manifestations of only one thing. While they were resting one night along the desert, they got to know that a tribal war was raging on the other side of the desert and from experience, major tribal wars across the desert are major crisis of concern. At that time the delicate and exciting adventure of travelling across the desert was turned into a hunter’s nightmare. It was in this mood that he learnt from the captain of the caravan that the best approach to life and the ultimate secret of happiness is to concentrate on the present,

ignoring the past and the future.

The Oasis: Eventually, the caravan reached the Al-Fayoun oasis without any eventuality of war. Santiago was thrilled that life had returned to normalcy while the Englishman was very much excited at the prospect of meeting the Alchemist. At the Oasis, Santiago met and fell in love with a lady called Fatima who agreed to marry him should he return from the search for his treasure. At the Oasis, Santiago learnt the most important part of the language the whole world is capable of understanding in their heart and that is love. At the oasis, he saw a vision of an invading army after physically watching two hawks fighting each other. He remembered that the old king had always told him to heed omens and he decided to warn the chiefs of the tribes that make up the oasis. The chiefs did not take it kindly with him because, according to tradition, the oasis is a neutral zone in times of war. They threatened to kill him if it was false and to reward him if it happened. The oasis was invaded as he predicted and due to their readiness, the invaders were resisted and Santiago was rewarded with a bag full of gold coins. Lesson: Santiago learnt that the answer to the future is in the present, that if we pay attention to the present, we can improve it and birth the future. He learnt that one should concentrate on the present and not bother with the future confident that God loves his children. While waiting for the war to end and feeling like going nowhere due to his newfound love; Fatimah. His exploits at trying to become one with the spirit of the world connected him with the man most people would die to meet; the man who had lived for more than 200 years and still looked like a youngman; the man who has answer to all things in life, the man who can turn garbage to gold and the man with the falcon perched on his shoulder; the Alchemist. Lesson: The Alchemist taught him that courage is the quality most essential in understanding the language of the world. The Alchemist reminded him of what the old king had told him that when a person seriously desires something that the whole world conspires to help him get it. Santiago was also reminded that his treasure is where his heart is. Santiago learnt that love can never keep a man from his personal legend unless its not true love; the one that speaks the language of the world. He also discovered that one is loved, because, one is loved and there is no reason needed for loving. The Alchemist guided Santiago across the desert and in the process taught him deeply how to listen and learn from his heart and how to be one with the soul of the world. Lesson; Santiago learnt that the only thing to learn is learnt through action; one should not seek the treasure of his personal legend but should just seek to fulfill his personal legend. He learnt that for the Alchemist, action means knowing that this imperfect world is a copy of the perfect world above and that by observing physical creation, we would be able to grasp the teachings and marvels of his wisdom. He also learnt to listen to his heart, because, it came from the soul of the world and therefore knows all things. Santiago also learnt that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering and that no heart suffers if it goes after its dreams. He learnt that those who are peaceful have God in them. He learnt from his heart that men’s hearts no longer speak to them of treasures, because, men no longer go after them and instead, hearts speak only to children. He learnt that before a dream is realized that the soul of men tests everything. He learnt along the way that every search begins with the beginner’s luck and ends with the victor being severely tested. When they had almost crossed the desert, they were arrested by a section of the warring tribes and in trying to pacify them, Santiago lost all his money and was made to practice all he has been learning of alchemy as the alchemist promised them that Santiago can turn himself into wind, otherwise, they would lose their lives. Santiago invoked all he had been learning and eventually persuaded the wind, the sun and heaven to help him in transforming himself to wind. Lesson: he learnt that the easiest way to fool people is to tell them the truth. He also learnt that one’s heart shows the strength of one’s soul and that the secret to having all is penetrating the soul of the world and discovering the treasure reserved for you. Santiago learnt that fear prevents from listening to and hearing from your heart; that alchemy is bringing spiritual perfection into contract with the material plane. He learnt that when one truly loves, he becomes one with the soul of the world and all things become possible and we can do miracle. He learnt that all we search and strive for are within us. After impressing the soldiers, they were escorted to their destination. The alchemist took him to an old Coptic monastery, just within the pyramids and in his presence turned metal to gold. Santiago went in search of his treasure and on getting to the pyramids, he tears dropped at a place and he took it as an omen and started digging there. Some desert soldiers saw him and stripped him of all he had and beat him half dead as a lesson for believing in an ordinary dream and the soldier recounted for him how he had had recurring dreams of treasures beneath a sycamore tree hidden at the base of an alter of one Coptic monastery in Spain. Without knowing it, the soldier was used by the soul of the world to redirect him back to that monastery. At the exact spot beneath the sycamore tree was where Santiago found his treasure at last and one last thing remained and that was to get back to Fatimah. Lesson: No matter what one does, everyone plays a central role in the history of the world and normally, one doesn’t know it. Santiago leant that no project is completed until its objectives have been achieved and finally, Santiago leant that as long as we are living our personal legends; our purpose that everything that happens comes to direct us to the fulfillment of our legends

Leave a Reply