I bought The Hippie from the airport bookstore to read during the flight to Colorado. I was dating a hippie at the time and I like Coelho so I thought it would pass the time in a good way. It was July when I started and November when I finished; I got distracted along the way.
As he writes about the Magic Bus and the people he meets I find that I’m drawn into all their stories. I was reading it more for the people and learning about them, and not so much about finding a life philosophy. As I read I’m constantly referring to maps to figure out where they are and understand the physical journey.
The main take-away from this book is learning about the character’s urgings to see the world. I enjoyed reading the stories of men and women who want to take every opportunity to see the world. They are full of hope and want to change the world while having amazing experiences. They start their journey in Amsterdam, stopping in Istanbul as they make their way to Kathmandu.
Paulo learns from everyone and finally he meets a white-haired man while taking a risk walking into a building. Paulo is in search of knowledge and wisdom. And my favorite quote from the book:
“A man in search of spirituality knows little, because he reads of it and tries to fill his intellect with what he judges wise. Trade your books for madness and wonder—then you will be a bit closer to what you seek. Books bring us opinions and studies, analyses and comparisons, while the sacred flame of madness brings us to the truth.”
Other quotes I like:
“Salute the sun. Allow it to fill your soul – knowledge is an illusion, ecstacy is the true reality.”
Paulo is in search of dancing and learning the ways of the Sufi. It’s not until I re-read sections to really understand what he is looking for. I like this quote so much.
“Then seek the Truth. Seek always to be on its side, even when it brings you pain. There are times when the Truth goes quiet for long stretches, or when it doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. That’s Sufism.”
“‘The Truth is what makes us free. You will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free,’ Jesus said.”
“He had entered a state of complete emptiness, and this emptiness, though its inherent contradiction, filled everything.”