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I find it a privilege being on this planet at the same time as you, and believe we all are here at this time of humanity for a purpose. I hope you will find it interesting getting into conversation with me and my readers.

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.”


Anonymous said...

Elham Binai, hello!
I'm a big Paulo Coelho's fan and I don't know if you heard about his blog
I've started as a fan and now I'm collaborating with him and thought that you would like to enter his universe.
Check the blog, if you want, or subscribe to his newsletter
You'll see a community of warriors of light sharing ideas, dreams and most importantly following their personal legend.

"The warrior of light knows that he is free to choose his desires, and he makes these decisions with courage, detachment and - sometimes - with just
a touch of madness."

See u there and have a great day!

A F said...

I'm pretty sure his "Zahir" is a reference to the story of "Zahir" by Borges about a trinket that when people see they become obsessed with and ultimately drives them mad because their world becomes reduced to just that -- the "Zahir".

It is a very good story.

You should also check out the "Alef", also by Borges which is the counter point to the "Zahir" (A and Z). The "Alef" is a point in space from which you can see the whole world.