A Journey Into The Spiritual
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting, writes Paulo Coelho in HippieBy Rosy Jose
Paulo Coelho de Souza is perhaps the most prolific Brazilian lyricist and novelist of his time. His books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 80 languages. His books coax the reader to question the path of one’s own life and inspires you to walk on the path to selfdiscovery and personal growth.
In April, Coelho released his latest book, Hippie, drawn from his own past experiences. Coelho has always been inspired by Indian literature and legends. In fact, it is a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore that introduces Hippie to its readers: “When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.”
Love and spirituality are the two dominant themes in Hippie, which tells the tale of a young and skinny Brazilian, Coelho, with long, flowing hair and a goatee—the perfect embodiment of the hippie culture. His dream was to become a writer but to do so, he needed to discover and understand the deeper meaning of life. He hitchhiked from Bolivia to Peru, Chile and Argentina, finally heading to Amsterdam. Here he meets Karla, a young Dutch girl in search of everlasting love and spiritual liberation. Karla convinces Coelho to travel with her to Nepal. They embark on a journey aboard the Magic Bus across Europe and Asia to Kathmandu with other like-minded travellers, all of whom have a story to tell. These lessons enriched his life but more importantly, helped Coelho find spiritual motivation that later inspired his years of travelling. The book ends with Coelho staying back in Istanbul, to continue his love affair with spiritualism, while Karla continues on her journey to Nepal.
Throughout the book, Coelho stirs readers’ emotions through passionate prose and evocative passages based on his life experiences. He tries to explain what it felt to be part of the hippie movement. The movement was not anti-capitalist or created for the sake of confrontation and disdain for traditional rules. It was a society with slightly different values regarding women, food and life in general. The hippie culture detested the attitude of consumerism and followed the motto of ‘live with less’.
They recognised women as agents of change and built a society around them. If you have ever felt the need to connect with and understand the events and life experiences that shaped up the writer inside Coelho, this book is a must-read. It is an adventurous and magical ride, more importantly, a way to vicariously live in and appreciate the misunderstood hippie culture.