Kahlil Gibran writings the prophet

The Prophet writings Gibran

The Following is so special that it fills my heart with such joy -
For me it expresses t he beauty of Kahlil so perfectly.

" There is nothing left except your soul- so please judge me
with justice- which is your glory- or call death upon me.
You have burdened me with love I cannot handle.
I am weak in regard to material things. She lying on the throne
- on the mountain - showed me happiness. You and Happiness
are above the mountain. I and misery are in the depths of the valley.
Will thehigh meet the low?"

And of a lofty unknown person he wrote the following:

" And why did I not write sooner? Why did I not pour out my self
with ink as soon as I came into my room. Why? Ah such wounding questions.
You see- y what? What shall I call you .Learn me your name for God's sake and save me.
You see:there was a cup of wine,a poem and your sad eyes - one pain inthree formless forms;
One tale in three chapters - three sad flowers in a vase - so when I cameto write that same evening,
I found how little one could say.
For who can speak of the soul - who can reduce the infinite into five lines?
Write me a word and wound if you will for I love a beautiful pain.
Alas this letter is incomprehensible but you understand because your
eyes are so sad...

The following is from, what most people
consider to be his most important 'work'
The Prophet:

Then said Almitra Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people,and there fell a stillness upon them
And with a great voice he said:

When Love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so he is for your pruning
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns to you his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.
And these things shall love do unto you that you know the secrets of your heart,
And in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's Heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of Love's threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

For Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For Love is sufficient unto Love.

When you love you should not say " God is in my heart", but rather " I am in the heart of God."
And think not that you can direct the course of Love, for Love if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire than to fulfill itself,<
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody into the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;<
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together and together you shall be for evermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love;
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same mmusic.
Give your hearts but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Excerpts from The Prophet.

Poet who has heard of thee but the spirits that follow the solitary path?
Prophet,who has known thee but those who are driven by the Great Tempest
To thy lonely Grove?
And yet when thou are not alone, for thine is the Giant-World of super-realities,
where souls of unborn worlds dance in rhythmic ecstacies;
And the silence that envelopes thy name is the very voice
Of the Great Unknown
Thine is the Giant World of Primal Truth and unveiled visions, whose
Days stand in awe of mystic nights, whose nights are big with high and
Lustrous days, whose hills relate the unrecorded deeds of
Unremembered races, whose seas chant the deep melody
Of distant Time, whose sky withholds the secrets of un-named gods
O, poet,who has heard thee but the spirits that follow
Thy footprints?
O, Prophet, who has known thee but those the Tempest carries
To thy lonelyfields?
O, most aloof son of the New World, who has loved thee
But those who know thy burning love?
Nay, thou art not alone, for we, we who walk on the flaming path,
We who seek the unattainable and reach for the unreachable
We whose bread is hunger and whose wine is thirst, we
Know thee and we hear thee
And we love thee and we hold thee high.

Jan 1915


Self Portrait.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shallclaim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Should we all confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another
for our lack of originality.
Should we all reveal our virtues we would also laugh for the same cause.

From the Farewell: The Prophet
AND now it was evening.

And Almitra the seeress said, Blessed be
this day and this place and your spirit that has spoken.

And he answered, Was it I who spoke?
Was I not also a listener?

Then he descended the steps of the Temple and all the people followed him.
And he reached his ship and stood upon the deck.
And facing the people again, he raised his voice and said:

People of Orphalese,the wind bids me leave you. Less hasty am I than the wind, yet I must go.

We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended
another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us.

Even while the earth sleeps we travel.

We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of
>heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered.

Brief were my days among you, and briefer still the words I have spoken.

But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then
I will come again, And with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit will I speak.

Yea,I shall return with the tide, And though death may hide me, and the
greater silence enfold me, yet again will I seek your understanding.

And not in vain will I seek.

If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice,
and in words more kin to your thoughts.
I go with the wind, people of Orphalese, but not down into emptiness;
And if this day is not a fulfillment of your needs and my love, then let it be a
promise till another day.

Man's needs change, but not his love, nor his desire that his love should satisfy his needs.

Know therefore, that from the greater si-lence I shall return.
The mist that drifts away at dawn,leaving but dew in the fields,shall rise and gather
into a cloud and then fall down in rain.

And not unlike the mist have I been.In the stillness of the night I have walked
in your streets, and my spirit has entered your houses,
And your heart-beats were in my heart, and your breath was upon my face,
and I knew you all.

Ay, I knew your joy and your pain, and in your sleep your dreams were my dreams.
And oftentimes I was among you a lake among the mountains
I mirrored the summits in you and the bending slopes, and even the passing flocks
of your thoughts and your desires. And to my silence came the laughter of
your children in streams, and the longing of your youths in rivers.
And when they reached my depth the streams and the rivers ceased not yet to sing.

But sweeter still than laughter and greater than longing came to me.
It was boundless in you;The vast man in whom you are all but cells and sinews
He in whose chant all your singing is but a soundless throbbing.
It is in the vast man that you are vast, And in beholding him that
I beheld you and loved you.

For what distances can love reach that are not in that vast sphere?
What visions, what expectations and what presumptions can outsoar that flight?
Like a giant oak tree covered with apple blossoms is the vast man in you.
His might binds you to the earth, his fragrance lifts you into space, and in his
durability you are deathless.
You have been told that,even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link.
This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link.

To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power
of ocean by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconsistency.
Ay, you are like an ocean,And though heavy-grounded ships await
the tide upon your shores,yet, even like an ocean, you cannot hasten your tides.
And like the seasons you are also, And though in your winter you deny your spring,
Yet spring, reposing within you, smiles in her drowsiness and is not offended.

Think not I say these things in order that you may say the one to the other,
"He praised us well. He saw but the good in us."
I only speak to you in words of that which you yourselves know in thought.
And what is word knowledge but a shadow of word less knowledge?
Your thoughts and my words are waves from a sealed memory that keeps records of
our yesterdays,
And of the ancient days when the earth knew not us nor herself,
And of nights when earth was upwrought with confusion.
Wise men have come to you to give you of their wisdom.
I came to take of your wisdom:
And behold I have found that which is
greater than wisdom.
It is a flame spirit in you ever gathering more of itself,
While you, heedless of its expansion, be- wail the withering of your days.
It is life in quest of life in bodies that fear the grave.

There are no graves here. These mountains and plains are a cradle and a stepping-stone.
Whenever you pass by the field where you have laid your ancestors look well there-
upon, and you shall see yourselves and your children dancing hand in hand.
Verily you often make merry without knowing. Others have come to you to whom for
golden promises made unto your faith you have given but riches and power and glory.
Less than a promise have I given, and yet more generous have you been to me.
You have given me deeper thirsting after life. Surely there is no greater gift to a man
than that which turns all his aims into parching lips and all life into a fountain.
And in this lies my honor and my re- ward, --- That whenever I come to the fountain to
drink I find the living water itself thirsty; And it drinks me while I drink it.
Some of you have deemed me proud and over-shy to receive gifts.
To proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts.
And though I have eaten berries among the hill when you would have had me sit at your board,
And slept in the portico of the temple where you would gladly have sheltered me,
Yet was it not your loving mindfulness of my days and my nights that made food
sweet to my mouth and girdled my sleep with visions?For this I bless you most: You give much and know not that you give at all.
Verily the kindness that gazes upon it-self in a mirror turns to stone,
And a good deed that calls itself by ten- der names becomes the parent to a curse.
And some of you have called me aloof, and drunk with my own aloneness,
And you have said, "He holds council with the trees of the forest, but not with men.
He sits alone on hill-tops and looks down upon our city."
True it is that I have climbed the hills and walked in remote places.
How could I have seen you save from a great height or a great distance?
How can one be indeed near unless he be far?

And others among you called unto me, not in words, and they said,
"Stranger,stranger,lover of unreachable heights, why dwell you among the summits
where eagles build their nests? Why seek you the unattainable?
What storms would you trap in your net, And what vaporous birds do you hunt in the sky?
Come and be one of us.

Descend and appease your hunger with our bread and quench your thirst with our wine."
In the solitude of their souls they said these things; But were their solitude deeper they would
have known that I sought but the secret of your joy and your pain
And I hunted only yourlarger selves that walk the sky.

But the hunter was also the hunted; For many of my arrows left my bow only
to seek my own breast.And the flier was also the creeper; For when my wings were spread in the sun
their shadow upon the earth was a turtle. And I the believer was also the doubter;
For often have I put my finger in my own wound that I might have the greater belief in
you and the greater knowledge of you. And it is with this belief and this knowledge that I say,
You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields.
That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind.
It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness for safety,
But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether.
If this be vague words,then seek not to clear them.Vague and nebulous is the beginning of
all things, but not their end,And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning.
Life, and all that lives,is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal.

And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay?
This would I have you remember in re-membering me:
That which seems most feeble and be-wildered in you is the strongest and most determined.
Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?
And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt that building your
city and fashioned all there is in it? Could you but see the tides of that breath
you would cease to see all else, And if you could hear the whispering of
the dream you would hear no other sound.But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well.

The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it,
And the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it.
And you shall see And you shall hear.

Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf.
For in that day you shall know the hidden purposes in all things,
And you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.
After saying these things he looked about him, and he saw the pilot of his ship stand-
ing by the helm and gazing now at the full sails and now at the distance.
And he said:Patient, over-patient,is the captain of my ship.
The wind blows, and restless are the sails; Even the rudder begs direction;
Yet quietly my captain awaits my silence. And these my mariners, who have heard
the choir of the greater sea, they too have heard me patiently.
Now they shall wait nolonger. I am ready. The stream has reached the sea, and
once more the great mother holds her son against her breast.

Fare you well, people of Orphalese.This day has ended.
It is closing upon us even as the water -lily upon its own tomorrow.
What was given us here we shall keep, And if it suffices not, then again must we
come together and together stretch our hands unto the giver.
Forget not that I shall come back to you.

A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.
Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream. You have sung to me in my aloneness,
and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.

But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part.
Ifin the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again to-
gether and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.
So saying he made a signal to the seamen, and straightaway they weighed anchor and
cast the ship loose from its moorings, and they moved eastward.
And a cry came from the people as from a single heart, and it rose the dusk and
was carried out over the sea like a great trumpeting.

Only Almitra was silent,gazing after the ship until it had vanished into the mist.
And when all the people were dispersed she still stood alone upon the sea-wall,
re-membering in her heart his saying,
"A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me."
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-excerpt from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran


Art: Kahlil Gibran
reference to more kahlil gibran sites
The Prophet By Kahlil Gibran
A Multi media Tribute
Combining images and music with the lucid and timeless
Wisdom of The Prophet

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