The Valkyries

I was looking forward to reading this book, since I very much enjoyed two other Paulo Coelho novels The Alchemist and The Devil and Miss Prym. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

This book is a very personal story, apparently of Paulo’s real journey to the desert the US (Paulo Coelho is from Brazil) to look for his angel. He brings his wife along as well. (The woman must really love this guy to follow him all over with his various quests – I suppose I’d go too if I haven’t ever been to the desert in the US, it’s quite an amazing place.)

But it’s such an odd quest – why does it have to be here? – and the circumstances so strange that it’s hard to take it all in.

I kept thinking, there are probably any number of ways to talk to your angel (if there is such a thing), and seeing one’s angel, well that would be extraordinary in deed. But the whole angel thing, I’m not sure I buy into it.

I have heard other people speak of angels and their existence. Paulo even mentions some more obvious examples of this in his story. Paulo and his wife go out into the desert in the middle of the day. They do not listen to the warnings other have given them about how dangerous this is. They walk and walk, trying to get to a certain point they see in the distance, but they don’t judge the distance correctly and travel too far. Once they decide they can’t make it to where they want to go they head back to their car. They are hot, so they take off their clothes, then they start to feel odd and very tired. They lay down in the sand with their car in sight and close their eyes. Someone – someone I agree has been sent for them (I would say this is God, they say, their angel), sees their car and eventually finds them. This person takes them to safety, where they’re given an IV because of their severe dehydration. They never find out who this person is.

But when people speak of angels, what I think what they are talking about is God. Maybe I’m wrong, time will tell, but the only source of anything in my book is the one source, the alpha and omega, the one, the great – I am. How can there be anything else. Maybe this source comes in different forms at different times (and tells people things they should do – like this is an empty car in the desert and I don’t see anyone around, I need to go look for them!) but I can’t see it  or what they talk to as they channel (meditate?) or what Paulo eventually sees as anything but the one source.

But who knows, I have been wrong it the past – believe it or not. Thought does it matter what you call it. The experience taught Paulo and his wife Chris some enlightening things about themselves, and that is what is really important. It’s just not that interesting to read about, unless I knew them personally.

On a side note, I should mention what Valkyries are since I would imagine most people, like myself, have heard the word but don’t really know the meaning. Well this is from the book: “Valkyries: the nymphs at Wotan’s palace… Messengers of the gods, they led heroes to their death-and then to paradise…They excite combatants with the love that their charm excites their hearts, and through the example of bravery at the battlefront, mounted on steeds as fast as the clouds and as deafening as a thunderstorm.” (Paulo’s Valkyries rode motor cycles and wore leather.) “At the same time, they symbolize both the inebriation of courage and rest for the warrior, the adventure of love in battle, encounter, and loss.”

Just so you know.


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