Stage 6 - Universalising Faith
Coelho does not reach Stage 6 completely in his narration of the journey to Santiago (as typical for this stage, according to Croucher (2010)) and only selected aspects of the stage are addressed in the book.
Coelho does not self-sacrifice himself, as described as typical of this stage (Hughes, 1997, p. 2). However, he turns to agape, the love that consumes and connectedness with the world and beyond (Coelho, 2003b, pp. 213-214): “Now everything was different: I was my own Master, and I was learning to communicate with the universe.” The focus on Coelho is (still) on the ego, on self-development and not on selfless service towards others (Croucher, 2010). He also does not claim a vision and faith-related action, which is expected at this stage (Elifson & Stone, 1985, p. 31). However, he is able to oppose the world non-violently and partly with unconditional love (Coelho, 2003b, p. 222), revealing his self-worth and his own power. Coelho does not display any specific actions that emanate from God’s love and justice (Fowler & Dell, 2004, p. 32). However, God displays a new, interconnected quality for Coelho, which he experiences within himself and in his surroundings while being able to see the world from more than one perspective. Coelho points out: “There, at one time, a miracle has happened. It was the miracle of transforming what you do into what you believe in, just like the secret of my sword and of the strange Road to Santiago” (Coelho, 2003b, p. 221). Up until the end of the journey, Coelho’s focus is on himself; however, he recognises the stage-typical attitude of deep knowledge, respect for and valuing others (Fowler, 1987). In this creative work, Coelho’s focus is on self-development and on Stage 5, but not on the development of the selfless attitude of Stage 6. Through this work, Coelho is well settled within Stage 5 of faith development and gains a solid base for moving forward later in his life.