|Original title||O Diário de Um Mago|
|Followed by||The Alchemist (1988)|
The Pilgrimage (Portuguese: O Diário de Um Mago, "Diary of a Mage") is a 1987 novel by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho. A parable that explores the need to find one's own path. In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. Part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery, this compelling tale delivers the perfect combination of enchantment and insight. It is a recollection of Paulo's experiences as he made his way across northern Spain on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
The story begins in 1986 when Coelho undertakes his initiation into the order Regnus Agnus Mundi (RAM), which he subsequently fails. He is then told that he must embark on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago (a.k.a. Way of St. James) to find the sword that is the symbol of his acceptance into the ranks of RAM. He must do this to gain insight into the simplicity of life. The journey transforms him as he learns to understand the nature of truth through the simplicity of life.
He begins his journey with a guide, also a member of RAM, who goes by the alias Petrus. During the journey Petrus shows him meditation exercises and introduces him to some of the more down-to-earth elements of Western mystical thought and philosophy, and teaches him about love and its forms: agape, philia and eros.
The Pilgrimage has sold its rights to 38 languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Complex), Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Mysticism as a Theme
There are described eleven RAM exercises/rituals in the book that the narrator of the book is taught in order to help him on his spiritual journey, they are presented in such order:
- The Seed Exercise
- The Speed Exercise
- The Cruelty Exercise
- The Messenger Ritual
- The Arousal of Intuition (The Water Exercise)
- The Blue Sphere Exercise
- The Buried Alive Exercise
- The RAM Breathing Exercise
- The Shadows Exercise
- The Listening Exercise
- The Dance Exercise
Paulo Coelho mentions that all these exercises can be carried out except "The Messenger Ritual", which should not be carried out under any circumstances as its description is incomplete and it will not bring positive results.
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