Life Forces

This section includes examples of the life forces referred to in “The pilgrimage” (Coelho, 2003b).


The topic of family is mentioned in the prologue and in Chap. 1, Arrival, when Cristina is introduced as Coelho’s wife, supporting him on his spiritual journey (Coelho, 2003b, p. 10). Her influence on Coelho is immense, strong, positive and supportive and family becomes a very strong resource for Coelho at the beginning of his journey in terms of wellness and with regard to his development as a writer and a master of RAM.


Religion is the most important life force described in the book (Coelho, 2003b). The journey is based on Coelho’s desire to become a master of RAM, an old Catholic order. Religion (in terms of spirituality) becomes a dominating concept that keeps him alive and well and initiates his Christian pilgrimage. Coelho reconnects to God and the environment and learns that a person’s religion needs to reunify various religious traditions and spiritual concepts. Religion, spirituality, magic and their experience and practice in terms of exercises, rituals and prayer are tools of religion that teach him to progress in his development, obey the masters (Coelho, 2003b, p. 169), hear inner voices (Coelho, 2003b, p. 218) and experience the miracle of transformation and multiple perspectives (Coelho, 2003b, p. 221). Throughout the journey, religion builds the base of the development and it becomes the major life force throughout the text.


Coelho understands education in terms of informal education, religious education in terms of RAM practices, life experiences, the guidance of Petrus, self-mastery, the conduct of exercises and ritual. He does not speak of education in terms of formal education. The most important learning is based on self-mastery, trust and intuition (Coelho, 2003b, p. 217). Through these experiences, Coelho feels confident, unified with the environment and in deep harmony with himself and others. This is education for Coelho and in this way, this kind of holistic education contributes to his wellness.


The reason for the journey described is Coelho’s membership of RAM, the community he belongs to, which is highly important to him. This community brings Petrus and Coelho together and ensures that Coelho learns and progresses. The membership of the RAM community is based on a common faith and attitude, common rituals and exercises and belief in magic, as well as positive forces and signs that are expressed, for example, in the appearance of the monk (Coelho, 2003b, p. 41) or the nun (Coelho, 2003b, p. 118). The membership of RAM is a positive one that has a positive influence on Coelho’s wellness, as long as he feels part of the group and as long as he can cope with the challenges connected to the membership. During the time of failure that is described at the beginning of the creative work, the membership seems to be a burden to Coelho, but through the walk and the reintegration he is strengthened in his role as a master of RAM


The life force of the media is not referred to in the book “The pilgrimage” (2003b).


The life force of the government is not referred to in the book “The pilgrimage” (2003b).

Business or Industry

The life force of business and industry is only referred to in “The pilgrimage” (2003b) with regard to Coelho’s struggle with not being able to attend to his work at the beginning of the journey (Coelho, 2003b, p. 20) and the dialogue with Petrus about business (Coelho, 2003b, p. 31). Although business and industry are generally important to Coelho, during the journey he experiences freedom from this life force, which seems to be healthy in that he seems to need a break from business and industry to engage into it again fully after the journey. Work, business and industry only have a positive impact on his wellness when they are attended to with agape (Coelho, 2003b, p. 98).

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