Crystal Shop Merchant

Comments

  1. Aiko Kamata says:

    I am about to pursue a master’s degree in Creative writing. Every day, as I get closer and closer to have my dream realize, my fear is also getting stronger. And when I remember The Alchemist and read it again, I cried because the impact is greater than the last time I read it.

    I found strength and courage so thank you.

  2. Blues tone says:

    I have allways loved this character … maybe even more then Santiago. He is wise, is nice, friendly and understanding but he is so ORDINARY…just like me or U.
    Ordinary in the best meaning of this word. Not a king, not a alchemist…just like me or U!
    Maybe (one day) he will go to Mecca. But he does not really care…is happy the way he is and THAT makes him extraordinary…just like me or U ;c)

  3. MerchantIE1 says:

    The Crystal Merchant was really into his way of life. I thought that he was to into the way he lived and should expand just like Santiago suggested with out complaining about it. In my mind he was way to up tight and scared of change. On the other hand he was one of the nicer guys Santiago would ever meet. They helped each other out; the Crystal Merchant gave Santiago food and a job while Santiago made his business thrive. They were good for each other.
    I think that every one should pursue some sort of personal legend even if it is not as cool as a treasure under a tree. Like the Crystal Merchant’s personal legend witch is to travel to Mecca. He shouldn’t be afraid of it and follow his dreams.

  4. santiagofs2 says:

    Part Two
    The book has indeed begun getting more and more interesting as soon as Santiago left the Crystal Merchant’s shop. I am so glad that he decided to go on the Caravan instead of going home to become a shepherd again. The book has left me with a lot of questions as of now, especially about alchemy and why the book is named the alchemist. Alchemy in itself makes no sense to me, is it simply making insignificant/petty things into better/more important things? I also hope that somewhere along the book, Santiago goes back and visits the Crystal Merchant again, because they made such a strong bond which they were working together.

    1. Recep Özbey says:

      Dear santiagofs2,, I will try to put it simply why the book is named The Alchemist.

      As you may know the alchemy was the primitive form of chemistry. And alchemists may be seen in some novels as persons (witches) who try to make for example, gold out of tin. In the philosophical sense Alchemy is trying to get the best out of an ordinary man- this is also similar to what is aimed at in a motto of the freemasonry “Making good man better”. And, as you may know in Kabbalah teachings there are some basic principles for example “Nothing rests, everything moves”. As you may now well understand, Santiago is an alchemist who tries to get the best out of what he has : he makes the Chrystal Merchant’s shop , which in fact is a good shop but not cared about properly, a perfectly active and profitable shop- this is turning tin into gold figuratively, and he improves himself and chases his targets and changes himself from an ordinary poor shepherd to an itelligable, prudent tradesman.

      I hope I was able to explain my comment above well. Of course, Mr. Coelho knows best about what he intended to to with that title.

  5. CrystalMC2 says:

    I feel so bad for the crystal merchant; he works alone in his shop that sees limited customers. This is until Santiago comes into his life. Santiago brings life and new ideas to the shop. The crystal merchant is afraid of change, but he goes along with it, and gets more riches than he had ever imagined. His life was changed by one person. But not completely, his shop grew, and he changed, but his life goal will always be just that, a goal.
    He knows that he will never bring himself to travel to Mecca but knowing that it will be there is what keeps the crystal merchant going. I hope that his life gets better… I want him to find hope.

  6. Stephen says:

    Yeah, that’s true. And also, the experience at the crystal shop helped Santiago recognize that he needs different experiences, and that he needs to move on. He had just sold his sheep, right? That’s like losing family members. That’s huge, yet, Santiago is really lucky that he gets to have a place to stay, and to digest all the things that he has learned and to move on…. to pursue his personal legend. Another thing I found kool was that Santiago realizes that not everyone’s dreams happen the same way. For the crystal merchant, he may have already found his dream – to make the shop prosper. For Santiago though, he continues on this perilous journey to find his treasure.

  7. Marta Adriana says:

    The merchant is a lovely character. I like him a lot. Maybe this is because I identify myseltf with him.
    He is moody , good , and fair. He complies with the little he’s asked for from life.
    Just imagining to live our dreams can be pretty attractive because you just feel joy , enthusiasm, excitement and little dissapointment.
    All of us can be like that at a certain moment of our lives.

  8. Savita Vega says:

    Santiago’s encounter with the merchant reminds me of an experience that I once had working in a yoga studio. The owner of the studio had always dreamed of going to India to study under the great guru of that lineage. Many students and teachers came through the studio who did, in fact, fulfill this dream. They were always coming and going through the studio with tales of having spent a month, six-months, even a year, studying under this great teacher. After I had been there at the studio for about a year and become fully familiar with all aspects of running the business, I said to her, “This is your chance. You can go if you want to, because I can handle the studio while you are away.” She agreed, and she even took the time off, but she didn’t go. Though there was no need to, each day she still showed up at the studio. She explained this by saying that she felt the studio WAS her, and she was the studio.

    Finally, several years later, she sold the studio, and then she went. My conclusion from this was that we cannot go to Mecca until it is our time to go. We have to really want it more than we want anything else, because we have to be able to let go of everything else in order to undertake that journey. As long as we are clinging to other dreams – as long as our sense of self is supported and defined by its connection with other ventures – we cannot undertake that journey to the center of the self.

    1. Alexandra says:

      Exactly. Your story is really a good example. Thanks.

    2. Blues tone says:

      This really is beautiful story…brings me hope that one day I can find power to fullfit my dream, power I am feeling have inside, but have not an access to it :c)

  9. Cameron Morgan says:

    Okay, so i just got finished reading the book for the first time, and i love it overall, but i find this character, the crystal merchant, to be one of the most confusing characters to understand. In the novel he talks about how he always wanted to go to Mecca, but is this his personal legend, or just something on his destiny? What is his specific personal legend, being a successful merchant or being a devoted religous person? I’ve looked at all the discussions and debates, but still I remain confused about him overall.

  10. Alexandra says:

    When I think at Santiago arrival in the Crystal shop, it comes in my mind these words ” the wind of change”. Is a tittle from a song too, and seems it fits in this story. You also talk about a wind that made feel Santiago the desire to travel. The fresh air brought there by Santiago was good for the commerce, increasing the affair. That shows the fact that Santiago was skilled in doing many things, inventive, with lot of patience and imagination, not a dull character.

  11. Dances With Crayons says:

    I loved the aspect of the Merchant and Santiago helping each other in unexpected ways. Santiago, through what seemed like a mundane task, saw a bigger picture and what he learned there, helped him later. And the Merchant saw, through a young person’s enthusiasm, that his own life can change for the better. One time I worked in a senior’s home, in the housekeeping department. I fell in love with the residents there and before long, dusting endless curios became a labour of love. These little trinkets were their prized possessions, with long stories attached. The job was temporary but also, when leaving, felt sad as well as excited about the next adventure. Thank you Paulo, Love to All xo : )

  12. András says:

    Once he understands that his Dream is not Mecca, but the Shop, he won’ t be afraid to go there anymore; because if so, he does not risk anything…

    (of course leaving his shop for some time under the strict control of some trustworthy employees, who take care of the glass : ))) )

  13. András says:

    Is he a coward?
    Is he a man who is afraid to live up to his dream?

    No, he isn’t.

    He is a man who is ALREADY, instinctively, living his dream – but like so many warriors he is blocked somewhere in his quest and he is confused in his fantaisies.

    He needs to meet a young man in order to progress in his path, to learn what he needs to learn on how to make business.

    And he needs to understand the difference between the fantasies about Mecca and the Dream of his life. He needs to realise who he is, what he has achieved – and that the “Mecca” he imagined was just a fantasy to give him the drive to accomplish his real dream: to flourish his shop on the hill. Because he is a Merchant. He needs to recognise how his fantasies helped him realise his dream, even when he did not notice it. He needs to understand the difference between a fantasy and a dream. The latter is your true responsability – the former is just like smoke of his hookah-pipe, that can help him during the day, but that is not the same as a dream.

    Realising that since his youth he was always accomplishing his dream, his self-esteem will come back; and then he won t be frightened anymore to sacrifice the smoke of a fantasy onto the truth of an obligation. And he will be ready to fulfill his fifth obligation.

    The warrior of light knows the difference between a fantasy and a Dream.

    1. Shaima says:

      The crystal shop merchant reminded me by ME yes sometimes i am asking myselef I am a coward or not !!! As you said he is blocked and I am Blocked also somewhere :)))but I am not Coward I am doing all my best to change every things

  14. András says:

    “When I was young, all I wanted to do was put together enough money to start this shop. I thought that someday I’d be rich, and could go to Mecca.”

    The Crystal Shop Merchant’s real Dream is not Mecca, but to have a crystal shop.

    The moment he will understand this, he won t be afraid to go to Mecca – the real one, not the one of his fantaisies.

    The “Mecca” of his imagination is not his Dream – but only a fantasy that motivated him to earn more money with the shop, to make business, that is, to realise his real Dream: to make the shop prosper; because he is a Merchant.
    In this “Mecca” of his fantasies, he will not go indeed, because that is not part of his destiny.

    Meeting the young shepherd was a gift on his way, for him to learn what he needed to learn in order to be an even better Merchant.
    Cleaning the glass, putting crystal out in the display and selling tea – these are excellent PR ideas, that he needed to learn from a young man – but for all these ideas you needed the shop on the hill. The other shops opened that imitated the idea to serve tea in crystal had little business. You needed a shop on the hill – you needed the solidly rooted heart of the Merchant who instinctively kept his shop in his life.

    His “Mecca” was not a real Dream for him – but a fantasy to help him accomplish his Destiny, his real Dream.
    The moment he will understand this, he will go to the real Mecca, not the one of his fantasies but the real one – because he is a devout man, a true Muslim, who will fulfill the fifth obligation.

    Maktub.

    1. Well, just because it is an obligation of his religion, it does not make it his Dream. It is like you say a fantasy.

      If on the other hand it is a Dream, then he reminds me of the frog who is slowly cooking in the boiling water.

      If it is a fantasy, then his Dream is probably awaiting him in his shop!

      A very calm and sincere character, sometimes seemed lifeless.

  15. András says:

    “When I was young, all I wanted to do was put together enough money to start this shop. I thought that someday I’d be rich, and could go to Mecca.”

    The Crystal Shop Merchant’s real Dream is not Mecca, but to have a crystal shop.

    The “Mecca” of his imagination is not his Dream – but only a fantasy that motivated him to make business, that is, to realise his real Dream: to make the shop prosper; because he is a Merchant.
    In this “Mecca” of his fantasies, he will not go indeed, because that is not part of his destiny.

    Meeting the young shepherd was a gift on his way, for him to learn what he needed to learn in order to be an even better Merchant.

    Cleaning the glass, putting crystal out in the display and selling tea – these are excellent PR ideas, that he needed to learn from a young man – but for all these ideas you needed the shop on the hill. The other shops opened that imitated the idea to serve tea in crystal had little business. You needed a shop on the hill – you needed the solidly rooted heart of the Merchant who instinctively kept his shop in his life.

    His “Mecca” was not a real Dream for him – but a fantasy to help him accomplish his Destiny, his real Dream.

    The moment he will understand this, he will go to the real Mecca, not the one of his fantasies but the real one – because he is a devout man, a true Muslim, who will fulfill the fifth obligation.

    Maktub.

  16. András says:

    “When I was young, all I wanted to do was put together enough money to start this shop. I thought that someday I’d be rich, and could go to Mecca.”

    The Crystal Shop Merchant’s real Dream is not Mecca, but to have a crystal shop.

    The “Mecca” of his imagination is not his Dream – but only a fantasy for that helped him to realise his real Dream: to make the shop prosper; because he is a Merchant.
    In this “Mecca” of his fantasies, he will not go indeed, because that is not part of his destiny.

    Meeting the young shepherd was a gift on his way, for him to learn what he needed to learn in order to be an even better Merchant.

    Cleaning the glass, putting crystal out in the display and selling tea – these are excellent PR ideas, that he needed to learn from a young man – but for all these ideas you needed the shop on the hill. The other shops opened that imitated the idea to serve tea in crystal had little business. You needed a shop on the hill – you needed the solidly rooted heart of the Merchant who instinctively kept his shop in his life.

    His “Mecca” was not a real Dream for him – but a fantasy to help him accomplish his Destiny, his real Dream.

    The moment he will understand this, he will go to the real Mecca, not the one of his fantasies but the real one – because he is a devout man, a true Muslim, who will fulfill the fifth obligation.

    Maktub.

  17. Nancy says:

    The crystal shop merchant reminded me of the people who surround me. He saw life as following his duty to family and society. Santiago stay at the crystal store was interesting. I really thought Santiago was going to change the crystal shop merchant life – he was going to go to Mecca.

  18. This man was one of my favourite characters in the book. He, for me is like both a father figure and a true friend. He is nervous of change but embraces it in what Santiago suggests. He is honest and even though he cant follow his own dream he doesnt deter Santiago from following his. I think there is a strong bond between them…It was very moving when Santiago left to continue…

  19. Paulo Coelho says:

    Indeed dear Sheela,
    the Crystal Merchant doesn’t try to kill Santiago’s dream. On the contrary he respects that and it is very honorable of him to enable Santiago to prosper under his roof and to understand that the boy had to leave also.
    He is a true friend to the boy.
    Much love
    Paulo

    1. Biombo says:

      I think one of the reasons that Fatima is so strong is because when she lets people leave, she knows in her heart that they will one day return. And when they return they will return different, they will return better and stronger, because they have traveled and listened to the soul of the world.

    2. sido66 says:

      yes The finest gift that we can do to somebody that we love is to make him his freedom [ in fact it is his desire for freedom (To achieve its path , in agreement with "the soul of the world" and the confidence of the love )
      which is more important that our desire to maintain near itself = the love of the other ; even if it is difficult ]

      Love , accompany , accept , love

      thus , we can say :”I took you left from because I love you and my soul accompanies you on your way of life , because the return is great, and the LOVE is great ”
      Amen

  20. Alexandra says:

    If I remember, his dream was arriving to Mekka…But never fulfilled. Is the opposite of Santiago. Still, Santiago was there to work for one year…Sometimes we stop for no reason, or maybe he have something to learn from that occasion?

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      Sometimes we need to stop in the path of our dreams in order to gain strength and focus. It is a very delicate moment : because there is always the risk of abandoning our quest for the security of what we know.

  21. Paulo Coelho says:

    Dear Annie,

    really beautiful image : two rivers coming across.

    Much love
    Paulo

  22. Heart says:

    Santiago’s risk management wouldn’t have been easy without all his helpers. He had his dream to travel. His father advised the boy to become a shepherd. He sold all his sheep, and the Gypsy and King Melchizedek helped Santiago start his journey. The risks were great. All his money were stolen. And the Crystal Merchant lets Santiago work for him. As the story continues, Santiago all the time trust the universe to provide for him, keeps searching, and doesn’t give up when he is out of luck. The thought of going back to Andalusia occurred to him when he lost all his money. Why didn’t he? Because he is a brave, strong go-getter and not a quitter. He continued till he reached his goal. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as we live to be on the road, not to reach our destiny. The Destiny will show up when He/She is ready.

  23. Alexandra says:

    Dear Annie, you are really smart and mature in thinking. Thats were my fears too, so many times, even today… I am not sure 100% of anything. Sometimes I need security, than I hate risks, but not for long… My nature love adventure too much, so I forget fears, and only act. Life is a continuous surprise.
    Love
    Alexandra

  24. András says:

    Thank you Annie.

    It is the calm that I feel in his word “Maktub”, that makes me think that the Crystal Shop Merchant’s real Dream is the shop (Mekka being “just” a motivating factor for him to make his shop more prosperous). Because I don t think it is possible to feel real, deep calm if you do not realise your Dream.