The Pilgrimage – Paulo Coehlo

Wandering castle Guillaume Ducreux
Like often with Paulo Coelho’s books, The Pilgrimage is a nice read. But unlike the others I read (the Alchemist and Aleph), there are just a few things about life in general, and so much about rituals, religions, and the pilgrimage (the main character does the road to Santiago) itself. I managed to find some good quotes, mainly about the concept of good fight, but this is my least favourite book from Paulo Coelho. Without considering that I just started a Paul Auster book, which is so much better. (I still manage to read this during a trip in Ireland, just like the last one. This was good.)

In spite of the knowledge that there were many ways in which I could fail, I had taken the first step.

p 11

When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passer more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the langage the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to attach much more importance to the things around you because your survival depends on them. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to help you in a difficult situations. And you accept any small favor from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life

p 32

‘The Good Fight is the one we Fight because our heart asks it of us.The Good Fight is the one that’s fought in the name of our dreams. When we are young our dreams first explode inside us with all of their force, we are very courageous, but we haven’t yet learned how to Fight. With great effort, we learn how to Fight, but by then we no longer have the courage to go into combat. So we turn against ourselves and do battle within. We become our own worst enemy. We say that our dreams were childish, or too difficult to realize, or the result or our not having known enough about life. We kill our dreams because we are afraid to Fight the Good Fight.

p 51

“And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams – we have refused to Fight the Good Fight.

p 52

Picture by Guillaume Ducreux, from Wandering Castle, that I heard about on  Beyeah. I made an article about an exhibition of the same guy earlier in the year, here.

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