The Pilgrimage by Paulo Cohelo – Review

To be very honest, I didn’t go out there in the market to buy this book. But in fact I was looking for Paulo Cohelo’s another best selling Masterpiece, “Alchemist”, but couldn’t find a copy for myself and instead I ended up with this book in my hands.

The reason I bought this is because before reading an art piece like, “Alchemist”, I wanted to understand the style of the author.

By the way, did I tell you that “The Pilgrimage” is the first book of Paulo Cohelo that I ever read. So I wanted to understand the way the writer expresses so that I am able to grasp and therefore enjoy maximum when I read Alchemist.

Therefore, I bought this book and got impressed by this one as well. So below is the review of the Paulo Cohelo’s first book that I read.

The Pilgrimage – a novel written by Paulo Cohelo, explains the journey of self recognition by the writer himself under the supervision of his mentor or guide named, Petrus.

The best selling small sized novel (by small I mean a novel of 226 small sized pages), published originally in Portuguese language in 1987 and then the first English version came out in 1992, depicts the experience of Paulo Cohelo (the writer himself), which he gains after setting for a pilgrimage to a legendary road of  San Tiago De Compostela in order to get his “sword”.

The novel starts with a scene of a ritual, where the main character and the narrator, Paulo is denied of the sword to be handed over which is the symbol of “Knight-ship” and in order to achieve it, he has to travel to San Tiago where many lessons of the life are waiting to be revealed.

The very journey and the RAM exercises during the entire pilgrimage open the doors of wisdom, spirituality, self control, agape and of course, fighting the “Good Fight” and Paulo starts to appreciate the simplicity of life.

At the beginning of the journey, Paulo always saw the spiritual world as some sort of magical world where only super natural beings reside but gradually as he completes the different stages of the pilgrimage and comes to know and practices different RAM exercises, he finds out that he was blinded by his own fascination of the world around him and despite the presence of all his senses, he never bothered to ponder about the world.

In the novel, the writer has explained many RAM exercises which seems to be the same practices that normally monks and mystics do i.e meditation and everything else like that. I would like to share at least one of them below so that you would understand what the RAM exercises actually are:

The RAM Breathing Exercise

Expel all of the air from your lungs, emptying them
as much as you can. Then, inhale slowly as you
raise your arms as high as possible. As you inhale,
concentrate on allowing love, peace, and harmony
with the universe to enter into your body.
Hold the air you have taken in and keep your
arms raised for as long as you can, enjoying the
harmony between your inner sensations and the
outer world. When you reach your limit, exhale all
of the air rapidly, as you say the word, ‘RAM.’
Repeat this process for five minutes each time
you do the exercise.

I recently read this novel and was impressed by the simplicity with which the entire novel has been crafted. Because normally when it comes to “Mysticism”, it is elaborated with difficult terms and complicated jargon which are hard to understand. But in  the case of “The Pilgrimage”, the language has been kept very simple and if you are the person whose mother tongue is different than English (like me), even then you won’t find it difficult to understand.

So, in order to find out that did Paulo really achieved his sword or his whole pilgrimage went in vain, I would reckon to read this novel. It’s not a gigantic book as I’ve written above so you will easily go through it in couple of days.

My Favorite Phrase From The Book

It is not a sin to be happy. Half a dozen exercises
and an attentive ear are enough to allow us to realize
our most impossible dreams

Other Popular Phrases From The Book

We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide
nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the
body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered
and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue
dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies

The first symptom of the process of our killing our
dreams is the lack of time,’ Petrus continued. ‘The
busiest people I have known in my life always have time
enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are
always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of
work they are required to do. They complain constantly
that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to
fight the good fight.

And Many More…

 

 

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