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Forums > Social Chat > The Alchemist & the reason for doing good

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Well, Glass, I can blame you. In a gorgeous example of synchronicity, after all our conversations, someone has lent me a copy of the Alchemist (without me even asking!!!). And I spent yesterday devouring it (it tastes really nice with tomato sauce).

So, some of the lessons learnt:

The world’s greatest lie is that at a certain point in our lives we lose control of what is happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.Our “destiny” will not just happen, instead we must choose it. Each decision we make is a step where we move to our destiny (or destination). Therefore if you have a dream, each step should lead towards this dream to make it happen.Do not put off your dreams. Begin your journey today.Look for omens, like the example of synchronicity above, they will help show you that you are on the right path.Listen to your heart. Sometimes it may speak of fears that it has, but you must listen to this also, even though it may hurt. Doubts and worries are natural. Listen to them to understand what you fear, they are like warnings. However in understanding that you control your own life, you can then take action to deal with the obstacles in your path.You will experience adversity. However in order to make your dreams happen, you need to work through it.Anyhow, those were some lovely powerful things I learnt. But it all stemmed from an interesting conversation with glass, who had read the book before me.
The conversation begins with the assumption that if we can choose our destiny, we have total control of our lives. The implications of this are that there is no such thing as an obligation. We can choose to take on each task, or not. As such, why should we take on a task to serve others?

This is the question I am struggling with. I believe in helping others. However I also believe that you do this gladly, with free choice, not out of a feeling of obligation. And yet even such reasons as “you do it because it is right” and “you do it because you should” put the obligation back into it.

What do you think?


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Shibaki


enthusiast
Location: Tampa, Fl

Total posts: 309
Posted:ahh, what a beautiful book is that. i have read some of coelhos other works, but i still think the alchemist is the best.

for your q' rozi...

feeling obligated to help others
...because it is right
...because we should...

i dont believe in these as motives to help others, or really for too much of anything. they imply an external impetus.

take for example someone trying to get clean off drugs and live a decent life outside of addiction. in societies eyes, sure its the right thing to do, many members of family may make us feel obligated through shame or pride to clean up. but the fact is, the only way someone can cope with whatever form of addiction, is if they want to for themselves. there has to be an internal locus of control stimulating this change. person must want to deep down.

time and again people get clean for the wrong reasons and end up relapsing.

i think this parallels helping others. any of us can choose for the reasons above to start helping others. we may even feel good about doing it. that may stimilute a change of reason from feeling obligated, to doing it because one wants to. doesnt always work like that though.

but helping others, caring for, sharing with, is awesome on so many levels. i think in order to feel most happiness from this activity, person must genuinely want to. whenever i dont have the proper motives for doing something, i always feel a pulling away of my attention somewhere else.

but yes, awesome book i have been meaning to read again.



Wow

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:I think you may be right. When I was writing that I was exploring the idea that maybe putting any "reasons" on helping others makes it an obligation, and therefore takes away from the power of the act. (I mean, who would want a friend who only helped you because they had to).

So that suggests that doing good to others is something that exists beyond reason. And in fact is lessened by "reasons".

Very interesting



[ 30. November 2002, 12:28: Message edited by: Rozi ]


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:

This is going to be another of those threads that i don't understand isn't it?


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Frazzle


member
Location: Worcestershire,England

Total posts: 105
Posted:Nice to see an entire topic devoted to one of my favourite books! If you like the Alchemist then you might also enjoy "Mutant Message Down Under" by Marlo Morgan - it`s about one womans spiritual journey through outback Australia.

Happiness is a journey,not a destination

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Location: San Diego California

Total posts: 2905
Posted:If doing right would make me feel good, then I would do it.

I have yet to read the book though Rozi keeps telling me that I should read it.

I am interested in what it has to say, though I might not understand it all.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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ms nelson


member
Location: this planet, mostly

Total posts: 12
Posted:who wrote this book? your comment made me think about giving -
if a man was starving he wouldn't care whether the food given to him was given out of obligation or love
giving out of love would be like the whipped cream on a bowl.


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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Paulo Coelho is the author.

And yes, you have a point, the starving man doesn't care what the motivation is if you give him food.

However, and I haven't quite got my head around this yet, giving is important to both the giver and the recipient. It brings in something Ray said about "giving making you feel good". What if it doesn't? Should you still give?

I don't have any answers right now, I am just muddling through questions.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

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Location: San Diego California

Total posts: 2905
Posted:Hmm, I dunno, all I know is that if you love to give, give. If you dont, dont take!

Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:That sounds like a very good starting point.

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Kali
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

member
Location: Berlin, Germany

Total posts: 577
Posted:Rozi, you've just reminded me that I really have to read that book. Hopefully after I finish this semester. Anyways....I was actually reflecting on this kind of stuff earlier.

I really agree with what Shibaki was saying about addiction. I used to work in a rehab center and saw how difficult it is to get out of addiction and the things that alcoholism and drug addiction cause people to do. I've also seen the difference between when people were there of their own free will and so they could please others (court ordered stuff is a different story I'm not going to get into).

Looking back, this was also the happiest time of my life because I was involved in something that I felt was so much greater than just me. Doing this made me feel more alive than I have in any other time in my life. I also was really clear with myself on what I was going to be capable of doing and getting out of this experience.

I'm a big believer in doing good because its something you genuinely feel right about doing. I don't think people should do things out of a sense of obligation or to fulfill some co-dependent need for approval because you'll just wind up feeling shitty and resenting the person you were trying to help in the end. So in the end, if your trying to do good for yourself or for others, my thoughts are be honest with yourself about your intentions and maintain strong boundaries by learing how to say "No" if something doesn't feel like its coming from your heart.


Beauty is the conscious sum of all our perversions.-Salvador DaliHope without action is hopeless.

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:quote: I'm a big believer in doing good because its something you genuinely feel right about doing. I don't think people should do things out of a sense of obligation or to fulfill some co-dependent need for approval because you'll just wind up feeling shitty and resenting the person you were trying to help in the end. So in the end, if your trying to do good for yourself or for others, my thoughts are be honest with yourself about your intentions and maintain strong boundaries by learing how to say "No" if something doesn't feel like its coming from your heart.
Kali, you are brilliant. You said that so much better than I could of.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Kali
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

member
Location: Berlin, Germany

Total posts: 577
Posted:Aw, thank you, honey. Glad that made sense as I was kind of half asleep when I wrote it.

Beauty is the conscious sum of all our perversions.-Salvador DaliHope without action is hopeless.

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:Agree with you all See if I can put some thoughts down.

I think that this 'happiness' thing that this and other such books, philosophies, us and myself aspire to is unreachable on our own. It's by our interactions with other people that we are defined (by oursleves, not others) and evolved. When you realise that everyone and everything is just as important, powerful and wonderful as you are yourself, then a deep desire to help other people comes naturally.

We shouldn't necessarily deplete our own energies or negatively affect our lives to help other people. But everyday we're given opportunties to do Little Things that will make a difference to one or one million people. These Little Things can be very little or actually Big Thngs, but regardlss, they are all very important. Doing Little Things not only makes other people happier, but also gives us a strong feeling of satisfaction that is far, far stronger than buying a new CD or winning $100 on the lottery. Seeing someone smile and be grateful makes me smile a lot and be very grateful for this wonderful thing called Life.

As to obligation, I try hard (and have kinda suceeded) to pay the concept little attention. I do what I do because I want to and I ask for nothing in return. This applies to everything from helping someone down the stairs to buying a drink. I ask for nothing in return, and everything I do get back I'm very grateful and thankful for.



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JeStEr
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne Australia

Total posts: 214
Posted:Excellent Author!
The 1st book of his that I read was 'The Alchemist' and I loved it; interesting thoughts/ideas you guys have come up with about the messages it conveys.

And don't forget to read his other books,

'The Pilgrimage' is prolly my 2nd fav, it's got all these cool exercises for self mastery in it.
Read these to twice already thinking about going back for a third helping
Also
'The Valkyries' about gaurdian angels
'Veronica decides to die'
'The Devil and Miss Prym'
just to name a few

P.S. I find alot of his books provoke new ways of looking at things in a new light which can only be a good thing


Trying to play the Akashic records,
but my turntables not compatible.

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin

Total posts: 2617
Posted:I think this book has completely changed the way that I look at the world as it is for me right now.

I found this post before christmas and was telling my girlfiend about this book I'd heard about. She gave out to me cause she had started reading the book a few days before and was telling me about it but I hadn't been listening (my mind wanders a lot).

Well after reading another post on HOP about Chakra's I decided to go to the book shop to buy Charkra book for a friend I thought would appreciate it. When I walked into the book shop the first book I saw was a book I'd never even heard of a week before, the alchemist.

I decided I was supposed to read this book, still at this stage not having clue what it's about. (look out for Omens)

Trying not to give anything away for those yet to read it....
There are lessons in there that are not the main point of the book regarding leaving one you love to chase your dreams and what would happen if you didn't chase them because of fear of losing what you already have. This particular point was particular to love between a man and woman.

Identical to the situation I'm in with my girlfriend. She's in Sydney at the moment and I'm stuck in Dublin until June.
but
1) ...although the dunes change the desert stays the same as my love for her never changes regardless of where I/she is.
2) She had already planned to go before she met me and I know that if she had decided not to go because of me, she would have always had the doubt in her mind as to whether she should have gone. I would have worried about her not going because of me and she'd probably have ended up resenting me for it.

I dunno if this will make any sense to anyone or if anyone even cares but hey, maybe this is a selfish post . I do know one thing this book was sent to me to make it a lot easier to deal with my current situation and I think all of the lessons it teaches are fantasic.

There are 3 kinds of people in the world.
1) people who have read this book
2) people who plan to read this book
3) silly people

Ok I'm running...


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Stebbins
BRONZE Member since Dec 2002

10th degree spoon weilder
Location: Halifax, Canada (currently in ...

Total posts: 171
Posted:I agree this book had a big impact on me as did The Celestine Prophecy. Anybody know of any other books like these?

-Beeaaatch please, I'm the macaroni with the cheese.
-This message will self destruct in 10 seconds.

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:I really do need to dig up a copy of this book.

And i agree with you totally dss.... there's not much good to come of denying yoru dreams for someone... you just have to hope it's meant to work out, in some ways. it can be hard, though.
good luck!

Peace, Love, Hope, Hugs,
Kyri-Bug


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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JeStEr
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne Australia

Total posts: 214
Posted:I've heard 'the way of the peacful warrior' is a great book although have yet to read it and don't forget his other books 'as above'.



Trying to play the Akashic records,
but my turntables not compatible.

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