Some questions and answers

Google Alerts is great. Sometimes I found things about myself that I did not expect. Today I found an old interview for an Indian newspaper – and here are some Q&A

Could you recall from your life where you felt the feminine face of God?

It was in 1992, when I was sitting inside of a grotto, in Lourdes. Since then, I try to accept my feminine side. When I write, I am a woman. I got pregnant from life, and I don’t know how the baby looks like. My pregnancy cycle lasts for two years, and I don’t take notes, I don’t make plans. The only thing that I know is that life put inside me a seed that will grow when time comes. Then, when time comes, I sit and write. Every creative act demands a respect for mystery, and I respect the mystery, without trying to understand it.

What do you feel when readers hug you and confess in public how the book had changed their lives?

First and foremost, I am a writer – and a writer is always facing the challenge of a new book. This is, for me, what makes life interesting: there is always a new book to be written, which involves pain, joy, suffering, relief, feelings of a person who is alive. I don’t think why this or that happened, and I became a worldwide celebrity. I think: “Am I honest in which I am doing? Can I still talk to my soul?
The secret of the success of my books, if there is one; it is the absence of secrets.

Did you expect this world wide success?
When I wrote “The Alchemist”, I was trying to understand my own life, and the only way that I could do it was through a metaphor. Then, the book – with no support of the press, because the media normally refuses to publish anything about an unknown writer – made its way to the readers, and the readers start to discover that we share the same questions. Little by little, the book started to travel abroad, and today is one of the best seller books of all times. But this success came slowly, based on a word-of-mouth promotion, and this gives me the sensation, the wonderful sensation that I am not alone.

In an Interview with Juan Arias of El Paí­s you confessed that, “Happiness to me is very abstract, To tell you the truth, I am never happy”.

The fact that I don’t search for happiness, does not mean that unhappiness is the choice. The right choice is “joy”. Challenges, defeats, victories, excitement, never being bored by this peaceful Sunday afternoon “happiness”.

As a best-selling author how far has consumerism affected you. You have to go through a corporate capitalist structure.

As Buddha said, first you have to have, then you can renounce everything. It is easy to make a chastity vow if you are impotent. Easier to make a poverty vow if you are incapable of earning money with your choice, your dream. I could buy a castle, but I bought a watermill, not because I feel guilty – I work hard – but because a watermill is close to my way of seeing life, and easier to maintain. As for my work, no publisher dares to ask me anything – I don’t see the point of “corporate capitalist structure”.

In The Alchemist you have said that you have to pay a price for the perusal of ones dream. What’s the price you paid in the journey with your dream?

A very high one. But I am glad that I paid this price for my dream, instead of paying the price of living someone else’s dreams.

You have been into an asylum twice. People like Michael Foucault have written about the power discourses that create madness. How do you see you days in the asylum?

I cannot summarize that. I wrote a whole book on my experience, “Veronica Decides to Die”. But one thing I can say: it was not a traumatic experience, to begin with. It was in my path, I had to see it as something that I must overcome, not as something I was victimized by.

If you meet a person who has a deep sense of worthlessness, who is broken, and has decided to end her life, what would you tell her?

Dare to be different. You are unique, and you have to accept you as you are, instead of trying to repeat other people’s destinies or patterns. Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person.


  1. luis elias amoriello says:


  2. Gowrishankar says:

    ‘From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person’

    Excellent touching words!!!

  3. worm farming says:

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

  4. Nessma says:

    what a wonderful answers everyday im learning from u how to be strong and how to be bigger than my fear.THANK YOU :)

  5. Lailah says:

    “Insanity is to behave like someone that you are not. Normality is the capacity to express your feelings. From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person”.

    I love your answer to the last question. It’s just amazing. Magical words.

  6. If Assange had focused on releasing examples of wrongdoing, more people might support him. Still, he’s exposed incompetence and corruption. Better than most of the journalists damning his name.

  7. Hi!
    I remember reading ‘Veronica decides to die’ by chance and believe me i didn’t even know who u were. i was impressed by one thing that book taught me; in one of the pages when veronica is told that the outside world consider ppl in the villete as insane ‘coz they are free from the social obligations or ‘coz they cannot behave as carefree as mad can.
    I know it’s not the exact translation of what u’ve written but something similar. But, what i want to say is, that, i still rmbr that and have gradually followed that, i.e., to be different, to be like what i am and what i want(ofcrse choosing right options but).
    And i really feel sad sometimes that how i missed so many years of not reading ur art.

    Abhilasha Tyagi

  8. Mathilde says:

    ‘From the moment that you don’t fear to share your heart, you are a free person’

  9. Marie-Christine says:

    Moods fluctuate, one just has to know which time you are performing at your best during the day, morning, afternoon, night time, etc.It can be done through observations.
    I was reading on wikipedia about the India “Ayuverdic medicine. I believe there is a lot to learn from that science.
    “the science of life.
    “ayus = longevity
    “veda = related to knowledge or science.
    “It is grounded in a metaphysics of the “5elements :earth, “water, fire, air, ether all of which compose the “universe, including the human body
    “Ayuverda stresses a balance of 3 elemental energies or “humors : vata -m principles -doshas -(that which “deteriorates
    “Building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good “digestion and proper excretion leads to vitality,
    “Ayuverda also focuses on exercise yoga, meditation and “massage.

    “Balance – emphasis is placed on moderation of food intake, sleep, sexual intercourse and the intake of medicine.”
    source wikipedia

  10. Yasmina says:

    Happiness is not a destination. It is a mood. Sometimes we are happy and sometimes we are sad. It all depends on day we are having.