Excerpts from Paulo Coelho’s “The Zahir”

I read “The Zahir” a few months back and would recommend it for book lovers who love books with some spiritual connect in it.

For the lovers of Paulo Coelho’s books, this was once again a spiritual journey that helps self-discovery where the main character of the story is a best-selling writer himself.

As in Goodreads :

The narrator of  The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn’t have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.

Below are some of the excerpts from the book that are worth noting down  and sharing with fellow book lovers:

  • Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose and commit myself to – what is best for me.
  • We, humans, have two great problems, the first is knowing when to begin, the second is knowing when to stop.
  • The important things always stay, what we lose are the things we thought were important but which are in fact useless, like the false power we use to control the energy of love.
  • That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect the genius to be understood. Complete the circle. Not our of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.
  • As soon as, people decide to confront a problem, they realize that they are far more capable than they thought they were.
  • No one is alone in their troubles, there is always someone else thinking, rejoicing or suffering in the same way, and that gives us the strength to confront the challenge before us.
  • There is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress; a trauma, a bitter defeat, a disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not quite understand, can make cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing his hidden powers, the shaman must first free himself from the giving-up point and to do so, he must review his whole life and find out where it occurred.
  • If you are nobody, if your work has no impact, then it deserves to be praised. If however, you climb out of that state of mediocrity and a success, then you are defying the law and deserve to be punished.
  • Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this is considered perverse.
  • Suffering occurs when we want other people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved, and not in the way that love should manifest itself – free and untrammelled, guiding us with its force and driving us on.

Paulo Coelho-The Zahir



The Zahir is a 2005 novel by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. Just as in an earlier book, The Alchemist, The Zahir is about a pilgrimage. The book touches on themes of love, loss, and obsession.It was written in Coelho’s native language, Portuguese, and it has been translated into 44 languages.

14 thoughts on “Excerpts from Paulo Coelho’s “The Zahir”

  1. I read this book recently, and I loved it! 😀 But I think the book did not get much needed recognition in all countries, there were few controversies related to the name of the book and depiction of the Zahir.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for expressing your opinion on this book. Can’t wait to read based on what you’ve written here. Paulo Coelho is a beautiful writer, my favourite author. So thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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