Thursday, November 01, 2007
The Zahir – a book about Obsession
Just finished an other book by Paulo Coelho, this time I have been reading ‘The Zahir’ – a novel that talks about OBSESSION!
The central message in the book is that the unexpected happens in life, and often we are not prepared for it. When everything in life appears to be organised, that is the danger-point. We could always ask ourselves; ‘is my life organised as I like to believe it is?’
In Arabic ‘zahir’ means ‘visible’, ‘present’, and ‘inacaple of going unnoticed’. It can either refer to a person or an object, and that object or person gradually takes over our thoughts. It ultimatelly becomes an unhealthy obsession. Instead of taking new steps in life, we become OBSESSED by matters of the past.
The unnamed narrator of this story is a wildly successful novelist and celebrity who lives in Paris with his wife Esther, a war correspondent. The book eventually relocates to Kazakhstan. Their marriage has hit a dry spot and she is restless, wanting to move on in search of her own happiness. When Esther disappears, he is tormented and traumatized by the mystery of what has happened to her. Gradually he realises that her disappearance is a sort of message, a challenge to him to rethink his emotions. She becomes the 'Zahir' of the title, a blinding obsession. The narrator's struggle is that of a man as trying to come to terms with something he cannot understand or control: the mystery of Esther's absence. It is very hard for him to let go of his feeling that she is the only one who fills his life with meaning.
I always enjoy highlighting pieces that make me reflect about life and humanity, here I am sharing 10 of them with you.
1.“When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive”
2.“People always believe what they want to believe”
3.“It is not life that matters, but the journey”
4.“Blessed are those who are not afraid to admit that they don’t know something”
5.“History will only change when we are able to use the energy of love, just as we use the energy of the wind, the seas, the atom.”
6.“There are two kinds of world: the one we dream about and the real one.”
7.“We all harbour a great sadness in our soul”
8.Do you know what gives a woman most pleasure within marriage? ‘Sex’? ..No, making food. Watching her man eat.
9.“Our human condition makes us tend to share only the best of ourselves, because we are always searching for love and approval.”
10.“We pretend to be strong because we are weak.”