Paulo Coelho answers / celebration in Aviles

Dear readers,

I’ve experienced some technical problems and therefore I decided to leave here, by writing, by answers to some of you.

1. Sheila Rahman asks:
Have you achieved your dream?
If so, what was the alchemy?
If no, what is your dream still unfulfilled?


Dear Sheila,
I can say that I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a writer. The Alchemy started when I understood that I simply had to materialize my dream, meaning when I sat down and wrote.

2. Cathy Brooks asks :
What was your biggest surprise in relation to The Alchemist (given that it’s read all over the world and it transcend different cultures )?


Dear Cathy, I would say exactly that : having my book being read all over the world was to me my greatest surprise. I could have never thought that the tale of a shepherd boy could cross boundaries the way it did.

3.Vinvin (VIDEO)
Have you found your personal legend ?

Dear Vivin,
you not only find your personal legend, but you have also to fulfill it.
Indeed, my personal legend, what brings me joy in life, is writing. So I would say that I have found and fought for my personal legend.

4.Joan Lockwood (VIDEO) and Yajna ask :
Where were you when you decided to write The Alchemist?

Dear Joan and Yajna,
I decided to write The Alchemist one year after I did my pilgrimage to Saintiago of Compostela. I was in Brazil, after the carnival, and I needed to explain to myself why I took so long to actually write. I found the way to express that through a metaphor – the story of a shepherd boy that goes after his treasure.

5.John asks:
When Santiago found his treasure and returned to Fatima in the desert this was not the end of his dream, I assume he would go on dreaming and working for the rest of his life and his life is found in the challenge of doing so? for all our lives achieving one dream is also not the end? we must always dream and always follow them?

Dear John,
Indeed, when Santiago finds his treasure, his journey just begins. He finds the physical treasure but the spiritual one he acquires through the journey. Challenges are what a person needs in order to keep in fulfilling one’s personal legend.

6.Ravin asks:
Twenty years on from that famous line, do you still believe that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”


Dear Ravin,
yes I still believe in this sentence. What people don’t realize though is that the universes conspires, hears, all wishes may they be positive or negative ones.
This doesn’t mean though that a conscious wish will be heard – there are undercurrents in our souls that are stronger – that despite ourselves communicate with the Anima Mundi.

7.Monika
what do you understand by “world-soul” (anima mundi)?


Dear Monika,
Anima Mundi is an expression taken from old alchemist’s texts. It’s the soul of the world, the beating heart of our emotions, dreams, desires. It is very similar to what Carl Young refers to as the “collective unconscious”. It is meaningful – even if sometimes forgotten – and it surrounds us.

8.Zuleyka Sanchez (VIDEO) asks:
I believe God is Supreme Being – without a determines sex. Why do you refer then to the Goddess?

Dear Zuleyka,
I agree with you that God is a Supreme Being. The reason why I decide to speak about the Goddess in my books is related to the fact that I’m fascinated by it’s feminine face, by its compassion. This doesn’t mean though that the masculine side – made up of determination and rules – is absent. Both faces are present in our lives.

9.Jorge Hirata pergunta:
Lí­ na internet que finalmente vocíª e Hollywood entraram em um acordo e finalmente O Alquimista vai virar filme, vai ser uma super produí§í£o avaliada em 60 milhíµes de dolares.
Vocíª confirma a notí­cia? Poderia nos adiantar mais dados do filme? (tais como nomes de atores, diretor, data de laní§amento, etc.)


Ola Jorge,
sim confirmo esta informaí§í£o porque aliás estava em Cannes quando o produtor Harvey Weinstein disse anunciou que faria o filme com o Laurence Fishbourne estreando e dirigindo.

10.Rose (Video) asks:
How can people that are very sick or with severe disabilities fulfill their personal legend?


Dear Rose, I think that the best example of a person with a disability that managed to fulfill his personal legend is the scientist Stephen Hawking. Of course, having a disability makes this more difficult but you would be surprise by people’s capacity to overcome adversities.

11.Wablinska asks:
The world’s soul…
Do you consider it alive, as another unseen world?


Dear Wablinska,
The world’s soul is alive since it’s composed of ourselves and our beliefs.

12.Gabriela asks:
Why is a desert the setting for The Alchemist?
Why not a big city?

Dear Gabriela,
I have always been fascinated by the desert. When I discovered thorughout my wanderings in the world that the desert, this empty place, was actually full with life I could have never thought that it would end up in one of my books.

13.Agnieszka asks:
Dear Paulo,
If you would like to turn the clock back to a certain moment in your life, to live it through again, which moment would that be? from your childhood maybe?


Dear Agnieska,
my clock moves forward and the only moments when I think about the past with regret is when I have hurt a friend. But to be able to apologize is something that i can only do in the present, not in the past.

14. Paul from Austria
What point in time did you decide to be a writer?

Dear Paul,
my biography “The Magus”, written by the Brazilian journalist Fernando Morais, was just released in Brazil and I received today a copy of it. Throughout the process, the only thing that I did was to hand over my diaries to Fernando and 5 years later the biography came out. Fernando sent me a letter with the book talking about precisely that : that the idea of becoming a writer goes back to my adolescence, when I was 14.

15. Rosa de los vientos asks:
Hola Paulo, felicitaciones por los 20 años de “El Alquimista”.
El rey Salem habla de fuerzas misteriosas que tratan de convencerte de que no serás capaz de lograr tu “Leyenda Personal”.
Mi pregunta es:
¿Qué son estas fuerzas misteriosas?


Querida Rosa,
las fuerzas misteriosas que tratan de convencernos son un teste. En el largo de nuestro camino hacia Santiago tenemos que ser testados en nuestra determinación. Sin estas tentaciones del camino, no existe caminar.

16. Jennifer Mannion asks:
Is it possible to have more than one personal legend ?


Dear Jennifer,
I believe it’s possible, but to be honest I think people may disperse themselves if they don’t focus in one particular goal.

17. Alexandra asks:
I want to ask you if you think that Love is the most important thing in life.

Dear Alexandra,
to quote the Beatles : ” all you need is love”.

Thank you for these excellent questions and I hope that soon I shall be using more the seesmic plugin here in my blog.

All my love
Paulo