The Alchemist and Knowing

It’s usually weddings and/or excess amounts of wine that get me all chatty about love and such and since I’m at wedding weekend in Denver, celebrating my sister-in-law Allison and her used-to-be-fiance Nick get married, you guessed it. I’m all philosophical on all things stars aligning and soul mates.

Allison asked me to read a passage from one of my favorite books, The Alchemist, and to shorten one of the passages and then write it out so it would be suitable for her reading at her wedding yesterday. Below is the passage she had chosen, which is one of the finest passages ever written about Knowing.

Now. If you had asked me when I was twenty if I believe in the notion of Knowing, I would have laughed in your faced, or punched you, rolled my eyes and said it is not fucking possible to meet anyone and just Know. Not.a.chance.in.hell.

But. I was wrong, as I *sometimes am. The passage below is reflective of Knowing, and the Fire, and of speaking with no words. It is the perfect example of how sometimes, when I suppose luck is in your favor, or the world is tilted just right, you will be given the chance to meet someone and you will just.Know. And in a matter of seconds, it will seem as though you have met somewhere in the universe, at another time, it’s just the details you lack.

And in a short time–minutes, hours, days or longer, you will feel as though you have known each other for a lifetime. Nothing in the world will be able to explain this. Nothing will be able to make it go away, either. It is bothersome and magical and gut wrenching and one of the most fantastic things the world can ever give you.

And it happens, most usually when you least expect it.

Extract from “The Alchemist”
“At that moment,it seemed to him that time stood still,and the Soul of the World surged within him.When he looked into her dark eyes,and saw that her lips poised between a laugh and silence,he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke-the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart,it was Love.

Something older than humanity,more ancient than the desert.Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well .She smiled, and that was certainly an omen-the omen he had been waiting for,for all his life.The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and his books,in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.

It was a pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time.What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life,and that,with no need for words,she recognized the same thing.He was more certain of it than anything in the world.

He had been told by his parents and grand-parents that he must fall in love and really know a person before being committed.But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because,when you know that language,it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you,whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city.

And when two such people encounter each other,and their eyes meet, the past and the future becomes unimportant.there is only that moment,and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world.

Without such love,one’s dreams would have no meaning.”