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In The Alchemist, describe what it may be like to be guided by dreams, omens and sign...

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egghead2 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted June 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM via web

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In The Alchemist, describe what it may be like to be guided by dreams, omens and sign influences throughout one's life.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM (Answer #1)

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This story above all else explores what life would be like when it is given over completely to pursuing one's own reason for existence, one's own Personal Legend, rather than wasting one's life in the fruitless pursuit of wealth, security or status, which so many humans spend their entire lives doing. The story, through the journey of Santiago, suggests that dreams, omens and signs are used by the spirit of the world to mystically communicate with those who engage in this pursuit. Santiago therefore can be used as an example of how to answer this question. He experiences suffering and lack of security, but in spite of these hardships, he gains a pearl of great price through the experiences he goes through and the skills he develops as a result of those experiences, finally coming to find the treasure that he has always looked for. The words of the camel driver to Santiago are particularly relevant in this context:

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

Fear acts as the biggest barrier to achieving our Personal Legend, as a life guided by dreams and omens is one that lacks stability and involves a loss of control and tremendous faith. However, this quote points out the futility of fear when it is remembered that our lives are part of something much bigger than our own existence. Each person's existence is part of the universe that he or she exists within, and living a life that is responsive to dreams and omens, although it may take you places that you are scared of or through journeys that are completely unexpected, is always of immense value. This is shown in the way that Santiago, every time he loses something, only comes to gain so much more in other ways. A life spent following dreams and omens is one that is depicted as being immensely valuable.

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