So, for those who have read The Alchemist, and even those who just came across it in social media memes, I believe we’d all agree that this is one of the most powerful lines: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Makes me wonder how that works. Is the universe like us, too? Does it have a dream or a wish that reflects our own so well that it will help us achieve it? Or is the universe our reflection?
Does it reflect that dream that we’ve had since we were little kids? Was it also weak then that it could not achieve the ice cream or the doll or the remote controlled car that broke our hearts pleading for?
Does it also reflect the dream that just popped in our heads one day and did not do something about it because it understands that you can’t be a Hollywood superstar in the four corners of your office cubicle?
Does it reflect a long-standing wish slash dream? What does it do about it?
Does it also reflect the dream that you do not realize yet? Does it give you flags and warnings to identify it, to know that it is already in your hands, to know that it is already in front of you? Does it recognise if it is real?
We’ve all been taught to strive for what our hearts want, to never give up despite the compelling voice in our heads to quit when times are not in our favor. I wonder if this is also true for the universe. Does it understand the gravity of importance of a dream? Or does it just do what is was supposed to do, like a mechanical process, a technological program that just does what it takes to get the job done without any regard for the possibility of getting tired… of giving up? Can it undo? Can it undo?
Does it also give up? Does it also recognize that sometimes, achieving the dream also entails giving up? Does it recognize the fact there is a thin line between perseverance and giving up and it is fatal not to be able to recognize it?
Does it also get confused? Does it also miss to understand? If this happens, are these the times that we, too, are unable to comprehend what is happening? Are these the moments that we stand in the middle of our chaotic rooms not knowing what to do with the pile of paper works that we know how important but still choose to ignore, the unmade bed that we climb in and get up from no matter how the day will start or end, the trash that needs to be taken out but we always forget, the scattered spare change that will never be enough even if you collect them all, the laundry that keeps piling up no matter how you “maximise” your use of clothes, the old photos that you do not understand why it is not in the photo album, the empty pens that you can’t seem to throw away because it is a “souvenir” and you don’t understand why you think that way, the empty bottles of perfumes that is accumulated because the scent lingers and you don’t want to throw them yet ‘just because’. Does the universe understand a lack of reason?
Do we ever get the chance to talk to the universe? Do we get to ask questions? Can we ask when? Can we ask why?
Say, we get lucky and the universe hands us that precious dream, does it also mean it has the right and the capacity to take it away from us? Does it have the power to decide if it was meant to be ours in the first place? I think we all know what the answer to this is, and it’s pretty scary.
See, that’s the reason I have always just been at the shore. Not wanting too much to touch the sea, I keep the desire to conquer the waves but…
And as Mitch Albom said, “All that happens when your dreams come true is a slow, melting realization that it wasn’t what you thought.”. Sometimes, perhaps by not pursuing the dream, we protect it.