"Aleph" was a surprise because unlike the magical realism of "The Alchemist," this was all his personal experience. I enjoyed it on one level because it was a glimpse into the life of a writer - dealing with global publishers and fan following.
This book addresses past life connections and how they intertwine into the current life. It was interesting how he said he realized he had transgressions against 7 women from a past life and he interacted with few of them already. He realized that he had to engage with them in this life to resolve the pain carried over from each cycle.
I found this interesting and actually quite helpful perspective. We have such a notion of "one soul mate". I know someone who had gone to a psychic who said her then-husband had been in her past lives too. However, it was a tumultuous connection and they would keep meeting, but they are not resolved. Unfortunately, the marriage dissolved very quickly and they've parted ways completely. He wasn't her absolute soul mate, but they were souls that pulled toward each other.
There's another person close to me who had a committed girlfriend for a few years. This was exciting because she had a positive influence on him. He didn't have a direction in his life, and she really encouraged him to travel independently, continue his studies and find his dreams. During that time, he learned more about himself and gained more momentum. It was a delight to see them together because she received strength from him as well. There was such peace around the two of them.
However, they broke up. They parted amicably as they chose their own paths in different directions. Geographically they did not belong together, but for those few years, they were in the same city. Now, they were being pulled in separate directions (literally, across the country). The romantics in us thought he should've chased her down and proposed, or they both should've at least compromised and looked for alternatives. They are still apart, but quite amicable. Actually, we were all hurt by the break up because it seemed so right.
After reading "Aleph", I feel they were soul mates, but that they had a temporary purpose. They were drawn to each other for a specific period. They needed to help each other and this relationship set the foundation for their future relationships. There isn't one soul mate, but multiple souls becoming entwined. I do feel better about the break up since I know they will both find someone else at a later time.
I think of others who came into my life at various periods, and then they disappeared. At the time, everything fell into place, but then the universe pulls them away just as quickly.