Extracts from “The Prophet”
In his book “The Prophet,” Khalil Gibran tells the story of Al-Mustafá, a man who returns to his homeland. The inhabitants of the village where he has spent all those years ask him to teach what he has learned.
Below are some of the (edited) extracts from this classic of the 20th century:
You were born together and together you will be when the white wings of death end your days because you will remain united in the silent memory of God.
But let there be room between the two. Let the wind of the skies pass through your bodies.
Love, but do not turn love into bondage.
Let one of you fill the other’s glass, but may you never drink from the same glass.
Sing and dance, be happy, but let each of you keep your independence; the cords of the lute are single, although they resound to the same music.
Surrender your heart, but not for the other to possess – because only the hand of Life can hold full hearts.
Be together, but not too together – because the pillars of a temple are separated.
The oak does not grow in the shadow of the cypress, and the cypress cannot grow in the shadow of the oak.
Your children are not your children; they are the sons and daughters of life. They came through you, but do not belong to you.
They can give you their love, but not their thoughts – because they have their own dreams.
You can protect their bodies, but not their souls – because their souls inhabit the house of tomorrow, which not even in dream can you visit.
You can try to be like them, but do not try to make them behave like you; because life does not go backwards, nor is it seduced by yesterdays.
You are the bow from where your children, like living arrows, are shot forward; let the hand of the Archer do its work, because just as He loves the arrow that flies, He also loves the bow that stays still.
When love calls, accept its call, even if the road is rough and difficult.
And when your wings open up, surrender yourselves, even if the spade that lies there hidden ends up wounding one of you.
And when love says something, believe it, even if its voice destroys your dreams like the Northern wind devastates the gardens.
Because love glorifies and crucifies. It makes the branches grow and then trims them. It crushes men until they are flexible and docile. It burns them in divine fire so that they can convert into sacred bread to be served at God’s banquet.
However, if you are afraid and want to find in love only peace and pleasure, better that you stay away from the door and seek some other world where you will be able to laugh but without any joy, and cry but without using up all your tears.
Love gives nothing and asks for nothing besides itself. Love neither possesses nor is possessed – because it suffices to itself.
And do not try to direct its course – because love thinks that you are worthy, it will lead you to where you have to go.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone