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Please explain the meaning of this quote about seeing creation in a single grain of...

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cynthia3 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2010 at 2:51 PM via web

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Please explain the meaning of this quote about seeing creation in a single grain of sand in The Alchemist by Coelho.

"you dont have to understand the desert all you have to do is contemplate a single grain of sand &you will see in it all the marvels of creation?"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:11 PM (Answer #1)

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What this quote is saying is that everything in the world is connected and that you can learn everything you need to know wherever you are.  Because of this, a person should look at their own surroundings to learn about the world -- they do not need to seek the truth anywhere else.

In this passage, Santiago is talking to the alchemist, wondering how he can best achieve understanding.  The alchemist is telling him that understanding can be achieved right where he is.  The alchemist is saying that everything in the world can be understood by looking at any little part of the world.  This is true because everything in the world is connected and so each bit of the world is a microcosm of the whole.

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strawberryblossom | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted February 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM (Answer #2)

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That's true.

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