Thursday, March 01, 2007

Khalil Gibran 48 Years Old (Born: January 6, 1883– Died April 10, 1931)
Died: April 10, 1931 New York City, United States (cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis)

Occupation(s): Poet, visual artist Nationality: Lebanese/American
Bsharri in Lebanon. The birth place and final resting place of Gibran

On 6 January, 1883, Gibran Khalil Gibran was born in Bsharre, a north Lebanese village with a stunning position near Wadi Qadisha (Holy Valley) and the forest of Holy Cedars on Mount Lebanon. He was born just after a period of inter-religious political strife and at the tail end of the 400-year long Ottoman occupation. He was a Maronite Catholic, an eastern rite that was the first to adhere to the Papal Vatican but retained their Syriac liturgy and married clergy. His father, Khalil Gibran, was large, loud and harsh, prone to drinking and spending what little money he made on matters other than his family. The quintessential Lebanese bogeyman, he was a tax collector employed by the Turks. Gibran had a half-brother six years older than him called Peter and two younger sisters, Mariana and Sultana, whom he was deeply attached to throughout his life, along with his mother.
Gibran's Mother Kamileh and his two sisters Sultana and Mariana

His mother, Kamilah's family came from a prestigious religious background, which imbued the uneducated mother with a strong will and raised up the family on her own in the U.S .Youth in Lebanon

According to his relative of the same name, the Gibran family's origins are obscure. Though his mother was the "offspring of a priestly, and important family", the Gibran clan was "small and undistinguished." As a result of his family's poverty, Gibran nor his brother and sisters received any formal schooling during their youth in Lebanon. However, priests who were members and friends of the family visited them regularly and taught them about the Bible, as well as the Syriac and Arabic languages. During these early days, Gibran began developing ideas that would later form some of his major works. In particular, he conceived of The Prophet at this time. After Gibran's father went to prison for fraud and tax evasion, Ottoman authorities confiscated his family's property. Authorities released Gibran's father in 1894, but the family had by then lost their home. Gibran's mother, Kamilah, decided to follow Gibran's uncle and emigrate to the United States. Gibran's father chose to remain in Lebanon. Gibran's mother, along with Khalil, his younger sisters Mariana and Sultana, and his half-brother Peter (a.k.a. Butros) left for New York on June 25, 1895, aged 12 years old. Youth in America

Khalil Gibran 1898

At the time the second largest Lebanese-American community was in Boston's South End, which at the time hosted the second largest Syrian community in the U.S. following New York. The culturally diverse area felt familiar to Kamileh, who was comforted by the familiar spoken Arabic, and the widespread Arab customs. Kamileh, now the bread-earner of the family, began to work as a peddler, on the impoverished streets of South End Boston, so the Gibran’s decided to settle there. At the time, peddling was the major source of income for most Syrian immigrants, who were negatively portrayed due to their unconventional Arab ways and their supposed idleness.
Gibran started school on September 30, 1895, aged 12 years old, 3 months after arriving in America. Since he had had no formal schooling in Lebanon, school officials placed him in a special class for immigrants to learn English. Gibran's English teacher suggested that he Anglicise the spelling of his name in order to make it more acceptable to American society. Growing up into another impoverished period, Gibran was to recall the pain of the first few years, which left an indelible mark on his life and prompted him to reinvent his childhood memories, dispelling the filth, the poverty and the slurs. However, the work of charity institutions in the poor immigrant areas allowed the children of immigrants to attend public schools and keep them off the street, and Gibran was the only member of his family to pursue scholastic education. His sisters were not allowed to enter school, thwarted by Middle Eastern traditions as well as financial difficulties. Later on in his life, Gibran was to champion the cause of women’s emancipation and education and surround himself with strong-willed, intellectual and independent women.
In the school, a registration mistake altered his name forever by shortening it to Khalil Gibran, which remained unchanged till the rest of his life despite repeated attempts at restoring his full name. Gibran entered school on September 30, 1895, merely two months after his arrival in the U.S. Having no formal education, he was placed in an ungraded class reserved for immigrant children, who had to learn English from scratch. Gibran caught the eye of his teachers with his sketches and drawings, a hobby he had started during his childhood in Lebanon.
With Kamileh’s hard work, the family’s financial standing improved as her savings allowed Peter to set up a goods store, in which both of Gibran's sisters worked. The financial strains of the family and the distance from home brought the family together, with Kamileh providing both financial and emotional support to her children, especially to her introverted son Gibran. During this difficult period, Gibran's remoteness from social life and his pensive nature were deepened, and Kamileh was there to help him overcome his reservedness. The mother’s independence allowed him to mingle with Boston’s social life and explore its thriving world of art and literature.
Gibran's curiosity led him to the cultural side of Boston, which exposed him to the rich world of the theatre, Opera and artistic Galleries. Prodded by the cultural scenes around him and through his artistic drawings, Gibran caught the attention of his teachers at the public school, who saw an artistic future for the Syrian boy. They contacted Fred Holland Day, an artist and a supporter of artists who opened up Gibran’s cultural world and set him on the road to artistic fame.
Gibran met Fred Holland Day in 1896, and from then his road to recognition was reached through Day’s artistic unconventionality and his contacts in Boston’s artistic circles. Day introduced Gibran to Greek mythology, world literature, contemporary writings and photography, ever prodding the inquisitive Syrian to seek self-expression. Day’s liberal education and unconventional artistic exploration influenced Gibran, who was to follow Day’s unfettered adoption of the unusual for the sake of originality and self-actualization. Other than working on Gibran’s education, Day was instrumental in lifting his self-esteem, which had suffered under the immigrant treatment and poverty of the times. Not surprisingly, Gibran emerged as a fast learner, devouring everything handed over by Day, despite weak Arabic and English. Under Day’s tutelage, Gibran uttered his first religious beliefs, when he declared "I am no longer a Catholic: I am a pagan," after reading one book given by Day.
During one of Fred Holland Day’s art exhibitions, Gibran drew a sketch of a certain Miss Josephine Peabody, an unknown poet and writer who was to later become one of his failed love experiences; later on, Gibran was to propose marriage and be met with refusal, the first blow in a series of heartaches dealt to Gibran by the women he loved.
Continually encouraging Gibran to improve his drawings and sketches, Day was instrumental in getting Gibran’s images printed as cover designs for books in 1898. At the time, Gibran began to develop his own technique and style, encouraged by Day’s enthusiasm and support. Gradually, Gibran entered the Bostonian circles and his artistic talents brought him fame at an early age. However, his family decided that early success could cause him future problems, and with Gibran’s approval, the young artist went back to Lebanon to finish his education and learn Arabic.
Khalil Gibran was the result.
Day spent much time among poor immigrant children in Boston, tutoring them in reading and mentoring them. One in particular, the 13-year-old Lebanese immigrant Khalil Gibran, went on to fame as the author of The Prophet.
Day co-founded and self-financed the publishing firm of Copeland and Day, which from 1893 through 1899 published about a hundred titles. The firm was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and William Morris's Kelmscott Press. The firm was the American publisher of Oscar Wilde's Salomé, illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley; The Yellow Book, also illustrated by Beardsley; and The Black Rider and Other Lines by Stephen Crane.
From 1896 through 1898 Day experimented with religious themes, using himself as a model for Jesus. Neighbours in Norwood, Massachusetts assisted him in an outdoor photographic re-enactment of the Crucifixion. This culminated in his series of self-photographs, The Seven Words, depicting the seven last words of Christ.
Art and poetry
A publisher used some of Gibran's drawings for book covers in 1898, and Gibran aged 21 years old held his first art exhibition in 1904 in Boston. Meanwhile, Fred Holland Day and Josephine Peabody, helped prepare his debut art exhibition which opened on 3rd May 1904 and was widely acclaimed. During the course of the exhibition Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, a headmistress of a girls school in Boston, who at 30 years of age is 10 years his senior. This relationship will last his lifetime and Mary was to prove instrumental in shaping the development of the budding artist. It is on her recommendation that he changed to writing in English, having previously written only in Arabic and subsequently translated the work. Mary was a dynamic and sensitive lady who 'adopted' Gibran and became his benefactor, patron and collaborator. It would be hard to disagree with the sentiment that Mary was the most important and influential person in Gibran's adult life. For many years she provided the financial support that enabled him to continue his studies, to write, to paint and ultimately, to publish his works. The two formed an important friendship that lasted the rest of Gibran's life. Haskell influenced not only Gibran's personal life, but also his career as well.

Self portrait and a drawing by Gibran of Mary Haskell
In 1904, Gibran started to contributed articles to the Arabic-speaking émigré newspaper called Al-Mouhajer (The Emigrant), marking his first published written work. His first publication was called ‘Vision’, a romantic essay that portrayed a caged bird amid an abundance of symbolism. Despite spending four years in Lebanon learning Arabic, Gibran’s written Arabic left something to be desired. To master Arabic, Gibran relied on his ear for capturing traditional vocabulary, depending heavily on the Arabic stories narrated in his hometown of Bsharri. Hence his Arabic writing had a colloquial feel to it, which was comfortable to his audiences. According to Gibran, rules of language were meant to be broken and he went on to advocate Arab émigré writers to break out of tradition and seek an individual style. Throughout his life, Gibran’s Arabic writings did not receive the critical acclaim his English books had, leading him later on to concentrate on his English writings and abandon the cause of improving his Arabic style.
Gibran’s first Arabic written work came out in 1905 with the publication of Nubthah fi Fan Al-Musiqa (Music), a book inspired by his brother music playing and Day’s several invitations to the Opera. During that year, Gibran started a column in Al-Mohajer called ‘Tears and Laughter’’, which was to form the basis of his book A Tear and a Smile. While writing in Al-Mohajer, a certain Arabic émigré writer called Ameen Rihani, wrote to the magazine lauding Gibran’s article which attacked contemporary Arab writers for imitating traditional writers and using poetry for financial gain. Rihani became an important Arabic writer and a friend of Gibran’s, whom he later left for the life-long friendship of Mikhail Naimy. At the time, Gibran published several Arabic poems and wrote in newspapers, about various subjects relating to love, truth, beauty, death, good and evil. Most of his writings had a romantic edge to them, with bitter and ironic tones, reflecting his life experiences and rejections from the women in his life.
In 1906, Gibran published his second Arabic book called Arayis Al-Muruj (The Nymphs of the Valley), a collection of three allegories which take place in Northern Lebanon. The allegories- ‘Martha’, ‘Yuhanna the Mad’, and ‘Dust of Ages and the Eternal Fire’- dealt with issues relating to prostitution, religious persecution, reincarnation and pre-ordained love. The allegories were heavily influenced by the stories he heard back in Bsharri and his own fascination with the Bible, the mystical, and the nature of love. Gibran was to return to the subject of madness in his English book ‘The Madman,’ whose beginnings can be traced to Gibran’s early Arabic writings. What characterized Gibran’s early Arabic publications was the use of the ironic, the realism of the stories, the portrayal of second-class citizens and the anti-religious tone, all of which contrasted with the formalistic and traditional Arabic writings.
Gibran published his third Arabic book Al-Arwah Al-Mutamarridah (Spirits Rebellious) in March of 1908, a collection of four narrative writings based on his writing in Al-Mouhajer. The book dealt with social issues in Lebanon, portraying a married woman’s emancipation from her husband, ( reflecting his awareness of his mother’s plight and ultimate emancipation from with his father) a heretic’s call for freedom, a bride’s escape from an unwanted marriage through death and the brutal injustices of 19th century Lebanese feudal lords. These writings received strong criticism from the clergy for their bold ideas, their negative portrayal of clergymen and their encouragement of women’s liberation. Gibran was to later recall to Mary the dark period in which Spirits Rebellious was written, during a time when he was haunted by death, illness and loss of love. The anti-clerical content of the book threatened Gibran with excommunication from the church, with the book being censored by the Syrian government.

In 1908, Gibran aged 25 years old, went to study art with Auguste Rodin in Paris for two years.
Auguste Rodin

He later studied art in Boston. In 1911, Gibran was to draw a portrait of the Irish poet W. B. Yeats, one in a series of portraits which Gibran was to call the Temple of Art series. This series featured face-to-face portraits of renowned figures such as Auguste Rodin, Sarah Bernhardt, Gustav Jung, and Charles Russell. Gibran’s political activity began to capture his attention as he joined the Golden Links society, a group of young immigrant Syrian men, who worked for the improvement in the lifestyle of Syrian citizens everywhere.
Sultana died at the age of fourteen on April 4th 1902, the first in a series of three family deaths which will fall upon him in the coming months. Gibran was very fond of his sisters and of his family as a whole. At the time of mourning, both Day and Josephine provided distractions for him, in form of artistic shows and meetings at Boston’s artistic circles. Gibran’s artistic talents and unique behaviour had captured earlier the interest of the Bostonian society, which welcomed this foreign talent into their artistic circles.
Josephine, who slowly captured Gibran’s heart, became an inflectional person in his life, the Bostonian poet constantly referring to Gibran as ‘her young prophet’. Greatly intrigued by his oriental background, Josephine was charmed by Gibran’s vividly illustrated correspondences and conversations. Josephine’s care and attention were the inspiration behind his book The Prophet, the title of which is based on an eleven-stanza poem Joesphine wrote in December of 1902 describing Gibran’s life in Bsharri as she envisaged it. Later on, when Gibran was to publish The Prophet, he dedicated it to Josephine, whose care and tenderness helped him advance his career.
Illness struck again when his mother underwent an operation in February to remove a cancerous tumour. To compound his misery, Gibran was forced to take on the family business and run the goods store, which was abandoned by his half-brother Peter who left to pursue his fortune in Cuba. This new burden weighed on Gibran’s spirit, deprived him from dedicating his time to artistic pursuits. During this time, Gibran tried to shy away from the house, to escape the atmosphere of death, poverty and illness. In the following month, Peter returned to Boston from Cuba fatally sick only to die days later on March 12 of consumption. His mother’s cancer continued to spread and she died later that year on June 28, a scene which left Gibran fainting and foaming blood from the mouth.
Following the three family deaths, Gibran sold out the family business and began immersing himself in improving both his Arabic and English writings, a twin task which he was to pursue for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, Day and Josephine were helping him launch his debut art exhibition, which was to feature his allegorical and symbolic charcoal drawings that so fascinated Boston’s society. The exhibition opened on May 3, 1904, and proved a success with the critics. However, the exhibition’s significance lay elsewhere. Josephine, through her future husband, invited a schoolmistress called Mary Haskell to examine Gibran’s drawings. This introduction to the schoolmistress was to mark the beginning of a lifetime relationship, which would greatly influence Gibran’s writing career. Gibran had sought Josephine’s opinion about his Arabic writings, translating them into English. With the language barrier, Josephine could only provide criticism over ideas and thoughts, leaving Gibran alone to tackle his linguistic problems. Josephine’s role was to be taken over by Mary Haskell.
Mary Haskell, who was thirty at the time and ten years older than Gibran, went on to finance Gibran’s artistic development and encourage him to become the artist that he aspired to be. As a school head mistress, Haskell was an educated, strong-willed and independent woman and an active champion of women’s liberation, ( a person of a similar character to his mother)who was set apart to Josephine Peabody’s romantic nature. Mary was the reason behind Gibran’s decision to explore writing in English, as she persuaded Gibran to refrain from translating his Arabic works to English and concentrate instead on writing in English directly. Mary’s collaboration and editing of his various English works polished Gibran’s work, most of which first underwent Mary’s editing before going to the publishers. She would spend hours with Gibran, going over his wording, correcting his mistakes and suggesting new ideas to his writings. She even attempted learning Arabic to gain a better grasp of Gibran’s language and his thoughts.
The significance of Mary’s relationship with Gibran was revealed through her diaries, in which she recorded Gibran’s artistic development, their personal and intellectual conversations and his innermost thoughts for nearly seventeen years and a half. These recordings have provided critics with valuable insight into Gibran’s personal thoughts and ideas, which he kept away from the public eye.
1910 - Back to Boston. Romance deepens with Mary Haskell, but then she pulls back, apparently in part because she fears to cross the then race barrier and risk her place in society. Khalil Gibran joins "Golden Links Society" of Arab-American writers and intellectuals. Publishes in Cairo a collection of prose poems, Beyond the Imagination.
1911 - Begins work on his first English-language manuscript, The Madman. Meets and draws Yeats. Is deeply impressed but criticizes him for his hyper-nationalism.
1912 - Broken Wings, his only novel, a story of love thwarted by greed and convention and male chauvinism, is published in New York in Arabic. Begins correspondence with Syrian-Egyptian intellectual and writer, May Ziadeh. Khalil Gibran moves to New York for good. Meets and draws `Abdu'l-Baha), then leader of the Baha'i faith. Is impressed but objects to latter's emphasis on peace. He argues that there are restless young nations like his own, wishing to get free of the Ottoman yoke, and that youth is a time for a few good such fights.
1913 - Meets and draws Carl Jung, is introduced to Jungian philosophy.
In Fatat-Boston, Gibran developed a close relationship with an Arab immigrant writer Mikhail Naimy, whom he had met earlier in 1914. Naimy, a critical thinker at the time, was among the first Arab writers to acknowledge Gibran’s efforts at advancing the Arab language, and correctly making use of Arab customs and background. He treated Gibran’s The Broken Wings as an example of the universal language of literature, pointing out that Selma Karameh could have easily come from a Russian, English or Italian background. However, following Gibran’s death, Naimy immortalized Gibran, replacing the man with a godly image.
With Naimy, Gibran formed in April of 1911 a ten-member Arab émigré organization called Arrabitah Al-Qalamyiah, which promoted the publication of Arab writings and the transmission of world literature. Throughout its life, Arrabitah was led by Gibran’s call for greater artistic freedom, ever encouraging writers to break the rules and seek individual styles. During the time, Gibran’s involvement in his Arabic writings distracted him from completing The Prophet for a while. Moreover, Gibran vacillated between resuming work on The Prophet or embarking on a lecture tour, as his spreading popularity demanded more artistic presence from him. However, he continued to view himself as a spokesman of both the Arab and English worlds, a role whose difficulty he admitted.
Meanwhile, Gibran's political ideas were incensing local politicians in Syria, who reacted against his article which stated ‘You have your Lebanon and I have my Lebanon.’ Gibran disapproved of the way the Syrian territories were being managed, and he wrote extensively on the identity of the emerging Arab countries, as the Greater Syria region began to be divided into Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. On the makeup of emerging countries, Gibran called on politicians to adopt the positive aspects of the Western culture and refrain from importing the surface values of guns and clothes. His political thought sooner gave way to a general view on the cultural makeup of countries and the way citizens ought to lead their lives.

1914 - Arabic anthology of his newspaper prose poems, A Tear and a Smile, is published in New York by Nasib Arida. Exhibits paintings at Montross Gallery on Fifth Avenue--a rare success, since most galleries resisted Khalil Gibran's work on grounds of its excessive nudity and modernism.
During one of Gibran's art exhibitions in 1914, an American architect, Albert Pinkam Ryder, paid an unexpected visit to the exhibition, leaving an impression on Gibran who decided to write an English poem in his honour. The poem, which was first edited by Mary, became Gibran’s first English publication, when it went out into print in January 1915.
Meanwhile, Gibran became more actively involved in the politics of the day, especially with the onset of World War I. To Gibran, the war suggested hope of liberating Ottoman-ruled Syria, through a united Arab military front, aided by a general Allied attack. He called on both Muslim and Christian sides to unite their forces against the oppressive Ottoman hegemony. In fact, Gibran fantasized about becoming a fighter and a romantic political hero, who is able to lead his country to liberation. When he actually suggested to Mary going over to Lebanon to fill a post of fighter, she adamantly refused.
In 1915, the pain he had suffered in his shoulder when he was young began to come back, and he underwent electrical treatment on his left shoulder, which had remained weak and in quasi-paralyzed state following the childhood accident. During the war years, Gibran went into a depression that distracted his thoughts and debilitated his health. Despite his active and widespread writings about the Arab uprising against the Ottomans, Gibran felt helpless, contributing whatever money he spared to his starving Syria. To distract himself from war thoughts, Gibran tried to seek further recognition in New York, boosting his social life and joining in 1916 the literary magazine The Seven Arts. Gibran prided himself in being the first immigrant to join the board of this magazine, which reflected Gibran’s literary style. At the time, Gibran’s presence began to be demanded in literary circles, who craved to hear recitations from his books and writings.
By 1918, Gibran began to tell Mary of an Arabic work he had been working on which he called ‘my island man,’ the seeds of his most famous book The Prophet. Based on a Promethean man’s exile to an island, The Prophet evoked the journey of the banished man called Al Mustafa, or the Chosen One. In her diary, Mary recounted Gibran’s musings about the book, which he later called ‘the first book in my career –my first real book, my ripened fruit." Soon Gibran added to the work the title of the Commonwealth, a separate work he had attached to the story of Al Mustafa. Gibran was to later link the seeds of The Prophet to an Arabic work he did when he was sixteen years old, where a man at an inn discusses with the rest of the attendants various subjects. However, Gibran still worried about his English writing and he sought Mary’s advice constantly. Gibran had always been fascinated by the language of the Syriac Bible, which reflected Gibran’s views on the creation of ‘an absolute language’, a task he tried to achieve through his various English writings, through the creation of a unified universal style.
Mary Haskell was crucial to the development of The Prophet, for she advised Gibran to adopt the English language for this book. Gibran was further encouraged to pursue writing in English following the attention given to his soon-to-be-published book The Madman. The conversation Gibran had with Mary over the issues of marriage, life, death, love…infiltrated his chapters in The Prophet and various other works. However, Mary was against the title of The Prophet, which Gibran came up with in 1919, preferring the title ‘The Counsels,’ the name which she continued to use after the publication of the book. By the fall of 1918, Gibran was preparing to publish his first English book, and another Arabic poem called ‘Al-Mawakib’ (The Processions), his first serious attempt at writing a traditional Arabic poem with rhyme and meter.
Gibran's first English book The Madman came out in 1918 and received good reviews from the local press, who compared him to the Indian writer Tagore, famous for bridging the gap between East and West, and the English poet William Blake. The Madman, a collection of parables which was illustrated by Gibran, revealed the influence of Nietzsche, Jung and Tagore. Following the success of The Madman, Gibran’s popularity began to soar and gradually Gibran started losing touch with his old acquaintances, Day, Josephine, and now he dissolved his relationship with Rihani. Gibran relished the aura of mystery which he evoked among people, given his undisclosed accounts of his oriental background and his personal reserve.
In 1919, Gibran published his Arabic poem ‘Al-Mawakib’, which received little success from the Arab press. During the same year, Gibran joined the board of yet another local magazine Fatat Boston, to which he contributed several Arabic articles. Throughout his life, Gibran joined societies and magazines such as Al-Mouhajer, Al-Funnon, The Golden Links Society and Fatat-Boston, in order to create a mouthpiece for avant-garde Arabic writing and unite Arabic literature abroad. However, Gibran’s success as an Arabic writer remained limited. Ironically, his Arabic language was still not up to standards and received little success in the Arabic press.
By 1920, nearly three-quarters of The Prophet was done while Gibran’s Arab writings continued to occupy his time. In a poignant letter written to Mary, Gibran confessed that he has resolved the identity problem and has balanced the East and West influences, admitting that "I know now that I am a part of the whole -- a fragment of a jar.… Now I've found out where I fit, and in a way I am the jar -- and the jar is I."
In 1922, Gibran started to complain about heart trouble, which was later attributed to his nervous psychological state, and he personally admitted: "But my greatest pain is not physical. There’s something big in me…. I've always known it and I can’t get it out. It’s a silent greater self, sitting watching a smaller somebody in me do all sorts of things.’’ With the near compilation of work on The Prophet, Mary Haskelland Gibran acknowledged Nietzsche’s great influence on the book, which is reminiscent of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Mary had advised Gibran about the style of The Prophet, covering issues such as the use of capitalization, the use of punctuation marks and the form of paragraphs. Gibran had insisted that he wanted his paragraphs to remain short, almost becoming one lines. Mary had always pointed out that Gibran was a man of few words, who limited his letters to a minimum of words.
A few months before the publication of The Prophet, Gibran summarized the book to Mary: "The whole Prophet is saying one thing: ‘you are far far greater than you know -- and all is well.'
By 1923, Gibran had a well-established reputation in the Arab world through his Arabic articles, which he contributed to the various local and émigré Arabic newspapers. During this time, Gibran was gradually depending less on Mary as a financier and editor. He had agreed earlier with Mary to pay off his loans by sending her several of his paintings, an agreement which settled down their quarrels over money. And as Gibran's confidence in his English writings grew, his reliance on Mary's opinion dwindled. However, Mary’s face remained an inspiration in his illustrations, for soon Gibran will decide to restrict his paintings to book illustrations. The Prophet finally came into print in October of 1923, with a modest success in the U.S.
While most of Gibran's early writing was in Arabic, most of his work published after the age of 35 years old, 1918 was in English. Gibran also took part in the New York Pen League, also known as Al-Mahjar ("immigrant poets"), alongside other important Arab American authors Ameen Rihani ("the father of Arab American literature"), Mikhail Naimy and Elia Abu Madi. Much of Gibran's writings deal with Christianity, mostly condemning the corrupt practices of the Eastern churches and their clergies during that era. His poetry is notable for its use of formal language, as well as insights on topics of life using spiritual terms. Gibran's best-known work is The Prophet, (1923), a book composed of 26 poetic essays. During the 1960s, The Prophet became especially popular with the American counterculture and New Age movements. The Prophet remains famous to this day, with passages often read at weddings and christenings. Perhaps his most famous line of poetry in the English speaking world is from 'Sand and Foam' (1926)(aged 43 Years old), which reads : 'Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you'. This was taken by John Lennon and placed, though in a slightly altered form, into the song Julia from The Beatles' 1968 album The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album). Juliet Thompson, one of Khalil Gibran's acquaintances, said that Gibran told her that he thought of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the divine leader of the Bahá'í Faith in his lifetime, all the way through writing The Prophet. `Abdu'l-Bahá's personage also influenced Jesus, The Son of Man, another book by Gibran. It is certain that Gibran did two portraits of him during this period.[1]
Death and legacy
During the 1920’s, Gibran continued to be active in the political arena, writing extensively on the issue of culture and society and the need of the emerging Arab countries to transport the positive sides of Western culture. Gibran’s writings had remained controversial in his home country, especially with his liberal views on the Church and clergy. As a writer, Gibran relished controversy, and his writings reflected this spirit. His limited success in the Arab world drove Gibran to abandon the cause of gaining acceptance as an Arabic writer and he concentrated his efforts instead on writing in English. Slowly, Gibran was getting to grips with his writing, creating a style of language, as he revealed to Mary that he wished to write small unified books, which could be read in one sitting and carried in one’s pocket.
Mary's role in Gibran's writing career gradually dwindled, but she came to his rescue when he made some bad investments. Mary had always handled Gibran’s financial affairs, ever present to extricate him from his bad financial keeping. However, Mary in 1923 decided to move into the house of a Southern landowner, to become his future wife in May of 1926. Gibran helped her reach this decision, which slightly clouded their relationship. However, Gibran continued to confide in Mary, and he told her about the second and third parts of The Prophet which he intended to write. The second part was to be called The Garden of the Prophet and it would recount the time the prophet spent in the garden on the island talking to his followers. The third part would be called The Death of the Prophet and it would describe the prophet’s return from the island and how he is imprisoned and freed only to be stoned to death in the market place. Gibran’s project was never to be completed, due to the deterioration of his health and his preoccupation with writing his longest English book, Jesus, The Son of Man.
Gibran hired a new assistant Henrietta Breckenridge, who later played an important role following his death. She organized his works, helped him edit his writings and managed his studio for him. By 1926, Gibran had become a well-known international figure, a stance which was to his liking. Seeking a greater cosmopolitan exposure, Gibran began in 1926 to contribute articles to the quarterly journal The New Orient, which had an international approach encouraging the East and West to meet. At the time, he had started working on a new English work, Lazarus and His Beloved, which was based on an earlier Arabic work. This book was a dramatic collection of four poems recounting the Bible story of Lazarus, his quest for his soul and his eventual meeting of his soul mate.
In May of 1926, Mary married the Southern Landowner Florance Minis. At the time, Mary’s journals revealed Gibran’s perception with the writing of Jesus, The Son of Man. Writing the story of Jesus had been a lifetime ambition, especially the attempt at portraying Jesus as no one else has done before. Gibran had traced Jesus’ life from Syria to Palestine, never sparing a book that recounted his life journey. To Gibran, Jesus appeared as human acting in natural surroundings and he often had dreams about meeting his ideal character in the natural scenery of Bsharri. Gibran’s imagination was further fuelled by the native stories he had heard in Lebanon about Jesus’ life and acts. Soon, by January of 1927 Mary edited the book, for Gibran still relied on Mary’s editing before sending his works to print.
By 1928, Gibran’s health began to deteriorate. Soon Gibran’s excess drinking turned him into an alcoholic at the height of the prohibition period in the U.S. That same year, Gibran was already thinking of the post-life and he began inquiring about purchasing a monastery in Bsharri, which was owned by Christian Carmelites. In November of 1928, Jesus, Son of Man was published and received good reviews from the local press, who delighted in Gibran’s treatment of Jesus, the Son of Man. By that time, the artistic circles thought it was high time Gibran was honoured; by 1929 every possible society sought to give him a tribute. In honour of his literary success, a special anthology of Gibran’s early works was issued by Arrabitah under the title As-Sanabil.
Gibran’s mental health, which drove his alcohol addiction made him in one evening to burst out crying, lamenting the weakness of his mature works. ‘I have lost my original creative power,’ he lamented to an audience during a reading of one of his mature works. By 1929, doctors were able to trace Gibran’s physical ailment to the enlargement of his livers, caused by drinking. To avoid the issue of illness, Gibran ignored all medical care, relying instead on heavy drinking. To distract himself, Gibran turned to an old work about three Earth gods written in 1911. This new book recounts the story of three earth gods who watch the drama of a couple falling in love. Mary edited the book which went into print in mid-March of 1930.
By 1930, Gibran’s excessive drinking to escape the pain caused by cirrhosis in his liver aggravated his disease, and destroyed his hopes of finishing the second part of The Prophet, The Garden of the Prophet, dwindled. Gibran revealed to Mary his plans of building a library in Bsharri and soon he drew the last copy of his will. To his pen-pal May Ziadeh, Gibran revealed the fear of death as he admitted, ‘I am, May, a small volcano whose opening has been closed.'
On April 10th 1931, Gibran died at the age of forty-eight in a New York hospital, as the spreading cirrhosis in his liver left him unconscious. The New York streets staged a two-day vigil for Gibran’s honour, whose death was mourned in the U.S. and Lebanon. His will left large amounts of money to his country, since he wanted his Syrian citizens to remain in their country and develop it rather than immigrate. Mary, Mariana and Henrietta all attended to Gibran’s studio, organizing his works, sorting out books, illustrations and drawings. To fulfil Gibran’s dream, Marianna and Mary travelled in July of 1931 to Lebanon to bury Gibran in his hometown of Bsharri. The citizens of Lebanon received his coffin with celebration rather than mourning, rejoicing his homecoming, for in death Gibran’s popularity increased. Upon Gibran’s return, The Lebanese Minister of Arts opened the coffins and honoured his body with a decoration of Fine Arts. Meanwhile, Marianna and Mary started negotiating the purchase of the Carmelite monastery Gibran wished to obtain. By January of 1932, the Mar Sarkis monastery was bought and Gibran moved to his final resting-place. Upon Mary’s suggestion, his belongings, the books he read, and some of his works and illustrations were later shipped to provide a local collection in the monastery, which turned into a Gibran museum.
Khalil Gibran memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Gibran Museum and Gibran's final resting place, located in Bsharri, Lebanon. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931: the cause was determined to be cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis. Before his death, Gibran expressed the wish that he be buried in Lebanon. This wish was fulfilled in 1932, when Mary Haskell and his sister Mariana purchased the Mar Sarkis Monastery in Lebanon. Gibran remains the most popular Lebanese-American writer ever.
Love Letters

The professors in the academy say, "Do not make the model more beautiful than she is," and my soul whispers, "O if you could only paint the model as beautiful as she really is." (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 8th November 1908)Each and every one of us, dear Mary, must have a resting place somewhere. The resting place of my soul is a beautiful grove where my knowledge of you lives. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 8th November 1908)Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 8th November 1908)When I am a stranger in a large city I like to sleep in different rooms, eat in different places, walk through unknown streets, and watch the unknown people who pass. I love to be the solitary traveller ! (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 16th May 1911)Imagination sees the complete reality, - it is where past, present and future meet... Imagination is limited neither to the reality which is apparent - nor to one place. It lives everywhere. It is at a centre and feels the vibrations of all the circles within which east and west are virtually included. Imagination is the life of mental freedom. It realizes what everything is in its many aspects ... Imagination does not uplift: we don't want to be uplifted, we want to be more completely aware. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 7th June 1912)I want to be alive To all the life that is in me now, to know each moment to the uttermost. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 7th June 1912) I realized that all the trouble I ever had about you came from some smallness or fear in myself. (Extract from Mary Haskell's journal dated 12th June 1912)Mary, what is there in a storm that moves me so ? Why am I so much better and stronger and more certain of life when a storm is passing ? I do not know, and yet I love a storm more, far more, than anything in nature. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 14th August 1912)The most wonderful thing, Mary, is that you and I are always walking together, hand in hand, in a strangely beautiful world, unknown to other people. We both stretch one hand to receive from Life - and Life is generous indeed. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 22nd October 1912)If I can open a new corner in a man's own heart to him I have not lived in vain. Life itself is the thing, not joy or pain or happiness or unhappiness. To hate is as good as to love - an enemy may be as good as a friend. Live for yourself - live your life. Then you are most truly the friend of man. - I am different every day - and when I am eighty, I shall still be experimenting and changing. Work that I have done no longer concerns me - it is past. I have too much on hand in life itself. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 25th December 1912)His love is as restful as Nature itself. He has no standard for you to conform to, no choice about you, but is simply with your reality, just as Nature is. You are real, so is he: the two realities love each other - voila ! (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 29th December 1912) A man can be free without being great, but no man can be great without being free. (From Gibran's letter to Mary Haskell dated 16th May 1913) A true hermit goes to the wilderness to find - not to lose himself. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 8th October 1913)"With you, Mary," he said today, "I want to be just like a blade of grass, that moves as the air moves it -to talk just according to the impulse of the moment. And I do." (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 10th January 1914) I often picture myself living on a mountain top, in the most stormy country (not the coldest) in the world. Is there such a place ? If there is I shall go to it someday and turn my heart into pictures and poems. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 1st March 1914)I want to do a great deal of walking in the open country. Just think, Mary, of being caught by thunder storms! Is there a sight more wonderful than that of seeing the elements producing life through pure motion? (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 24th May 1914)But now I can put myself in your hands. You can put yourself in another person's hands when he knows what you are doing and as respect for it and loves it. He gives you your freedom. (Extract from Mary Haskell's Journal dated 20th June 1914)What is poetry ? "An extension of vision - and music is an extension of hearing." (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 20th June 1914)An expression of that sacred desire to find this world and behold it naked; and that is the soul of the poetry of Life. Poets are not merely those who write poetry, but those whose hearts are full of the spirit of life. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 17th July 1915)What the soul knows is often unknown to the man who has a soul. We are infinitely more than we think. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 6th October 1915)When the hand of Life is heavy and night songless, it is the time for love and trust. And how light the hand life becomes and how songful the night, when one is loving and trusting all. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 19th December 1916)Sometimes you have not even begun to speak - and I am at the end of what you are saying. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 28th July 1917) Knowledge is life with wings. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 15th November 1917)You have helped me in my work and in myself. And I have helped you in your work and in yourself. And I am grateful to heaven for this you-and-me. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 12th March 1922) If I accept the sunshine and warmth I must also accept the thunder and lightning. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 12th March 1922)Follow your heart. Your heart is the right guide in everything big. Mine is so limited. What you want to do is determined by that divine element that is in each of us. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 12th March 1922) That deepest thing, that recognition, that knowledge, that sense of kinship began the first time I saw you, and it is the same now - only a thousand times deeper and tenderer. I shall love you to eternity. I loved you long before we met in this flesh. I knew that when I first saw you. It was destiny. We are together like this and nothing can shake us apart. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 12th March 1922) Demonstration of love are small, compared with the great thing that is back of them. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 28th April 1922) We are expression of earth, and of life - not separate individuals only. We cannot get enough away from the earth to see the earth and ourselves as separates. We move with its great movements and our growth is part of its great growth. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 5th May 1922) The relation between you and me is the most beautiful thing in my life. It is the most wonderful thing that I have known in any life. It is eternal. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 11th September 1922) I am so happy in your happiness. To you happiness is a form of freedom, and of all the people I know you should be the freest. Surely you have earned this happiness and this freedom. Life cannot be but kind and sweet to you. You have been so sweet and kind to life. (Extract from one of Gibran's letters dated 24th January 1923)I care about your happiness just as you care about mine. I could not be at peace if you were not. (Extract from Gibran's diary dated 23rd April 1923)Among intelligent people the surest basis for marriage is friendship - the sharing of real interests- the ability to fight out ideas together and understand each other's thoughts and dreams. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 26th May 1923) What difference does it make, whether you live in a big city or in a community of homes ? The real life is within. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 27th May 1923) Marriage doesn't give one any rights in another person except such rights that a person gives - nor any freedom except the freedom which that person gives. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 27th May 1923) The trees were budding, the birds were singing - the grass was wet - the whole earth was shining. And suddenly I was the trees and the flowers and the birds and the grass - and there was no I at all. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 23rd May 1924) You listen to so much more than I can say. You hear consciousness. You go with me where the words I say can't carry you.(Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 5th June 1924) No human relation gives one possession in another - every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone. (Gibran's words quoted from Mary Haskell's journal dated 8th June 1924) What-to-Love is a fundamental human problem. And if we have this solution - Love what may Be- we see that this is the way Reality loves - and that there is no other loving that lasts or understands. (Extract from one of Mary Haskell's letters dated 2nd February 1925)

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The Prophet
"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." (Chapter 2)
"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 music." (Chapter 3)
"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." (Chapter 5)
"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." (Chapter 7)
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." (Chapter 16)
"Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always known in thought. You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams." (Chapter 17)
"No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge." (Chapter 18)
"You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime." (Chapter 20)
"...the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, And knows that yesterday is but to-day's memory and to-morrow is to-day's dream." (Chapter 21)
"...regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement." (Chapter 24)
"People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror." (Chapter 25)
"Your daily life is your temple and your religion." (Chapter 26)
"And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles. Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children." (Chapter 26)
"In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond..." (Chapter 27)
"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 shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance." (Chapter 27)
"To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy." (Chapter 28)
The Beloved
"Love is resolution added to my being, linking my present to generations past and future."
"I purified my lips with sacred fire that I might speak of love, but when I opened my mouth to speak, I found myself mute."
The Eye Of The Prophet
"I have floated in the universe of the infinite and flown in the upper air of the imaginary world. There I was close to the circle with its divine light; here, I am in the prison of matter."
"Be patient, for it is from doubt that knowledge is born."
"...he who has never looked at suffering cannot claim to see joy."
Tears And Laughter
"In God's field of Beauty, at the edge of the stream of life, I was imprisoned in the cage of laws made by man." (Chapter 10)
"Everything of beauty that awakens my love and desire is a disgrace, according to man's conceptions; everything of goodness that I crave is but naught, according to his judgment." (Chapter 10)
"Yesterday I was a happy shepherd looking upon his head as a merciful king looks with pleasure upon his contented subjects. Today I am a slave standing before my wealth, my wealth which robbed me of the beauty of life I once knew." (Chapter 12)
"Human kinds cling to earthly things, but I seek ever to embrace the torch of love so it will purify me by its fire and sear inhumanity from my heart." (Chapter 15)
"Beauty is that which attracts your soul, and that which loves to give and not to receive." (Chapter 26)
Sand And Foam
"It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life.Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me."
"The first thought of God was an angel.The first word of God was a man."
"Remembrance is a form of meeting."
"Forgetfulness is a form of freedom."
"Humanity is a river of light running from the ex-eternity to eternity."
"One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night."
The Madman
"My God, my aim and my fulfilment; I am thy yesterday and thou art my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the face of the sun." (Chapter 2)
The Vision
"I have existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end." (Chapter 1)
"Human beings unite in destroying the temples of the spirit and cooperate in building the edifices of the body." (Chapter 5)
"You are my brother, and both of us are sons of a single, universal, and sacred spirit. You are my likeness, for we are prisoners of the same body, fashioned from the same clay. You are my companion on the byways of life, my helper in perceiving the essence of reality concealed behind the mists. You are a human being and I have loved you, my brother." (Chapter 5)
"Yesterday we complained of time and feared it, but today we love and embrace it." (Chapter 7)
The Forerunner
"Too young am I and too outraged to be my freer self." (Chapter 24)
"You are your own forerunner, and the towers you have builded are but the foundation of your giant-self. And that self too shall be a foundation." (Chapter 1)
"Out of my deeper heart a bird rose and flew skywards.Higher and higher did it rise, yet larger and larger did it grow.At first it was but like a swallow, then a lark, then an eagle, then as vast as a spring cloud, and then it filled the starry heavens.Out of my heart a bird flew skywards. And it waxed larger as it flew. Yet it left not my heart." (Chapter 15)
Visions Of The Prophet
"Happiness is a vine that sakes root and grows within the heart, never outside it." (Page 4)
"My existence, with all that I have revealed and hidden concerning it, appears to me like an atom in the sigh of a small child, a moment that trembles in a void stretching from Creation to Eternity." (Page 6)
"Love is all I can possess and no one can deprive me of it." (Page 3)

Selected works
Ara'is al-Muruj (Nymphs of the Valley, also translated as Spirit Brides, 1906) al-Arwah al-Mutamarrida (Spirits Rebellious, 1908) al-Ajniha al-Mutakassira (Broken Wings, 1912) Dam'a wa Ibtisama (A Tear and A Smile, 1914) The Madman (1918) al-Mawakib (The Processions, 1919) al-‘Awāsif (The Tempests, 1920) The Forerunner (1920) al-Bada'i' waal-Tara'if (The New and the Marvellous,1923) The Prophet, (1923) Sand and Foam (1926) The Son of Man (1928) The Earth Gods (1929) The Wanderer (1932) The Garden of The Prophet (1933) Comprehensive Gibran Site (All his works, photos, artwork, bio, downloads etc)
Works by Khalil Gibran at Project Gutenberg
Gibran Archive of Paintings and Books
A Voice of Consciousness
Khalil Gibran)
Online copies of texts by Gibran
On Children, a poem by Kahlil Gibran with animation and sound. From Geometry from the Land of the Incas
The Gibran Archive: Biography, Timeline, Drawings/Paintings and many Full Text books
Chronological Biography of Gibran
The Only Gibran Site In China
Khalil Gibran and the Bahá'í Faith
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran - pdf eBook with images
Selection of Excerpts from "The Prophet" by Gibran Khalil Gibran.
Meeting in another dream - The Prophet reborn as Myriam of Lebanon
Khalil Gibran at h2g2
Children of Al-Mahjar: Arab American Literature Spans a Century general history of Arab American literature
The Prophet

The Coming of the Ship

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 is he 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 you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may 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.
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 you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil 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 to 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 wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
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.
Eating and Drinking
Joy and Sorrow
Buying and Selling
Crime and Punishment

And an orator said, "Speak to us of Freedom."
And he answered:
At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom,
Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them.
Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff.
And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief,
But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.
And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour?
In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle the eyes.
And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free?
If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead.
You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them.
And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.
For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their won pride?
And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.
And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.
Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape.
These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.
And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.
Reason and Passion
And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."
And he answered, saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Good and Evil
Then a priestess said, "Speak to us of Prayer."
And he answered, saying:
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.
For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?
And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart.
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.
When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion.
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive.
And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted:
Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.
I cannot teach you how to pray in words.
God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips.
And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains.
But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart,
And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence,
"Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth.
It is thy desire in us that desireth.
It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days which are thine also.
We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all."
The Farewell
The Madman by Kahlil Gibran
You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, longbefore many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found allmy masks were stolen,--the seven masks I have fashioned an worn inseven lives,--I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting,"Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves." Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fearof me. And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-topcried, "He is a madman." I looked up to behold him; the sun kissedmy own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sunkissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love forthe sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance Icried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks." Thus I became a madman. And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety frombeing understood, for those who understand us enslave something inus. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jailis safe from another thief.God In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips,I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying, "Master,I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey theefor ever more." But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away. And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and againspoke unto God, saying, "Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clayhast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all."And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passedaway. And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spokeunto God again, saying, "Father, I am thy son. In pity and lovethou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shallinherit thy kingdom." And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distanthills he passed away. And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and gainspoke unto God, saying, "My God, my aim and my fulfillment; I amthy yesterday and thou are my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earthand thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before theface of the sun." Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness,and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down toher, he enfolded me. And when I descended to the valleys and the plains God was therealso. My Friend My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear--acare-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and theefrom my negligence. The "I" in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, andtherein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable. I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what Ido--for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and mydeeds thy own hopes in action. When thou sayest, "The wind bloweth eastward," I say, "Aye it dothblow eastward"; for I would not have thee know that my mind dothnot dwell upon the wind but upon the sea. Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I havethee understand. I would be at sea alone.When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet eventhen I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and ofthe purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thoucanst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beatingagainst the stars--and I fain would not have thee hear or see. Iwould be with night alone. When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I descend to my Hell--even thenthou callest to me across the unbridgeable gulf, "My companion, mycomrade," and I call back to thee, "My comrade, my companion"--forI would not have thee see my Hell. The flame would burn thy eyesightand the smoke would crowd thy nostrils. And I love my Hell toowell to have thee visit it. I would be in Hell alone. Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; and I for thy sakesay it is well and seemly to love these things. But in my heartI laught at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter.I would laugh alone. My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou artperfect--and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. Andyet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone. My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make theeunderstand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, handin hand. The Scarecrow Once I said to a scarecrow, "You must be tired of standing in thislonely field." And he said, "The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting one, and Inever tire of it." Said I, after a minute of thought, "It is true; for I too haveknown that joy." Said he, "Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it." Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittledme.A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher. And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nestunder his hat. The Sleep-Walkers In the town where I was born lived a woman and her daughter, whowalked in their sleep. One night, while silence enfolded the world, the woman and herdaughter, walking, yet asleep, met in their mist-veiled garden. And the mother spoke, and she said: "At last, at last, my enemy!You by whom my youth was destroyed--who have built up your lifeupon the ruins of mine! Would I could kill you!" And the daughter spoke, and she said: "O hateful woman, selfishand old! Who stand between my freer self and me! Who would havemy life an echo of your own faded life! Would you were dead!" At that moment a cock crew, and both women awoke. The mother saidgently, "Is that you, darling?" And the daughter answered gently,"Yes, dear." The Wise Dog One day there passed by a company of cats a wise dog. And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heededhim not, he stopped. Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat andlooked upon them and said, "Brethren, pray ye; and when ye haveprayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shallrain mice."And when the dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned fromthem saying, "O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written andhave I not known and my fathers before me, that that which rainethfor prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones." The Two Hermits Upon a lonely mountain, there lived two hermits who worshipped Godand loved one another. Now these two hermits had one earthen bowl, and this was their onlypossession. One day an evil spirit entered into the heart of the older hermitand he came to the younger and said, "It is long that we havelived together. The time has come for us to part. Let us divideour possessions." Then the younger hermit was saddened and he said, "It grievesme, Brother, that thou shouldst leave me. But if thou must needsgo, so be it," and he brought the earthen bowl and gave it to himsaying, "We cannot divide it, Brother, let it be thine." Then the older hermit said, "Charity I will not accept. I willtake nothing but mine own. It must be divided." And the younger one said, "If the bowl be broken, of what use wouldit be to thee or to me? If it be thy pleasure let us rather casta lot." But the older hermit said again, "I will have but justice and mineown, and I will not trust justice and mine own to vain chance. Thebowl must be divided." Then the younger hermit could reason no further and he said, "Ifit be indeed thy will, and if even so thou wouldst have it let usnow break the bowl." But the face of the older hermit grew exceedingly dark, and hecried, "O thou cursed coward, thou wouldst not fight. On Giving and Taking Once there lived a man who had a valley-full of needles. And oneday the mother of Jesus came to him and said: "Friend, my son'sgarment is torn and I must needs mend it before he goeth to thetemple. Wouldst thou not give me a needle?" And he gave her not a needle, but he gave her a learned discourseon Giving and Taking to carry to her son before he should go tothe temple. The Seven Selves In the stillest hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my sevenselves sat together and thus conversed in whisper: First Self: Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years,with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrowby night. I can bear my fate no longer, and now I rebel. Second Self: Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it isgiven to me to be this madman's joyous self. I laugh his laughterand sing his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dancehis brighter thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my wearyexistence. Third Self: And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brandof wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick selfwho would rebel against this madman. Fourth Self: I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naughtwas given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing. It isI, the tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell,who would protest against serving this madman. Fifth Self: Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self,the self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander withoutrest in search of unknown things and things not yet created; it isI, not you, who would rebel.Sixth Self: And I, the working self, the pitiful labourer, who,with patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into imagesand give the formless elements new and eternal forms--it is I, thesolitary one, who would rebel against this restless madman. Seventh Self: How strange that you all would rebel against thisman, because each and every one of you has a preordained fate tofulfill. Ah! could I but be like one of you, a self with a determinedlot! But I have none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sitsin the dumb, empty nowhere and nowhen, while you are busy re-creatinglife. Is it you or I, neighbours, who should rebel? When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked withpity upon him but said nothing more; and as the night grew deeperone after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happysubmission. But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness,which is behind all things. War One night a feast was held in the palace, and there came a man andprostrated himself before the prince, and all the feasters lookedupon him; and they saw that one of his eyes was out and thatthe empty socket bled. And the prince inquired of him, "What hasbefallen you?" And the man replied, "O prince, I am by professiona thief, and this night, because there was no moon, I went to robthe money-changer's shop, and as I climbed in through the windowI made a mistake and entered the weaver's shop, and in the dark Iran into the weaver's loom and my eye was plucked out. And now,O prince, I ask for justice upon the weaver." Then the prince sent for the weaver and he came, and it was decreedthat one of his eyes should be plucked out. "O prince," said the weaver, "the decree is just. It is right thatone of my eyes be taken. And yet, alas! both are necessary to mein order that I may see the two sides of the cloth that I weave.But I have a neighbour, a cobbler, who has also two eyes, and inhis trade both eyes are not necessary." Then the prince sent for the cobbler. And he came. And they tookout one of the cobbler's two eyes.And justice was satisfied. The Fox A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, "I will havea camel for lunch today." And all morning he went about lookingfor camels. But at noon he saw his shadow again--and he said, "Amouse will do." The Wise King Once there ruled in the distant city of Wirani a king who was bothmighty and wise. And he was feared for his might and loved forhis wisdom. Now, in the heart of that city was a well, whose water was cool andcrystalline, from which all the inhabitants drank, even the kingand his courtiers; for there was no other well. One night when all were asleep, a witch entered the city, and pouredseven drops of strange liquid into the well, and said, "From thishour he who drinks this water shall become mad." Next morning all the inhabitants, save the king and his lordchamberlain, drank from the well and became mad, even as the witchhad foretold. And during that day the people in the narrow streets and in themarket places did naught but whisper to one another, "The king ismad. Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason.Surely we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him." That evening the king ordered a golden goblet to be filled from thewell. And when it was brought to him he drank deeply, and gave itto his lord chamberlain to drink.And there was great rejoicing in that distant city of Wirani,because its king and its lord chamberlain had regained their reason. Ambition Three men met at a tavern table. One was a weaver, another acarpenter and the third a ploughman. Said the weaver, "I sold a fine linen shroud today for two piecesof gold. Let us have all the wine we want." "And I," said the carpenter, "I sold my best coffin. We will havea great roast with the wine." "I only dug a grave," said the ploughman, "but my patron paid medouble. Let us have honey cakes too." And all that evening the tavern was busy, for they called oftenfor wine and meat and cakes. And they were merry. And the host rubbed his hands and smiled at his wife; for his guestswere spending freely. When they left the moon was high, and they walked along the roadsinging and shouting together. The host and his wife stood in the tavern door and looked afterthem. "Ah!" said the wife, "these gentlemen! So freehanded and so gay!If only they could bring us such luck every day! Then our son neednot be a tavern-keeper and work so hard. We could educate him,and he could become a priest." The New Pleasure Last night I invented a new pleasure, and as I was giving it thefirst trial an angel and a devil came rushing toward my house. Theymet at my door and fought with each other over my newly createdpleasure; the one crying, "It is a sin!"--the other, "It is avirtue!" The Other Language Three days after I was born, as I lay in my silken cradle, gazingwith astonished dismay on the new world round about me, my motherspoke to the wet-nurse, saying, "How does my child?" And the wet-nurse answered, "He does well, Madame, I have fed himthree times; and never before have I seen a babe so young yet sogay." And I was indignant; and I cried, "It is not true, mother; formy bed is hard, and the milk I have sucked is bitter to my mouth,and the odour of the breast is foul in my nostrils, and I am mostmiserable." But my mother did not understand, nor did the nurse; for the languageI spoke was that of the world from which I came. And on the twenty-first day of my life, as I was being christened,the priest said to my mother, "You should indeed by happy, Madame,that your son was born a Christian." And I was surprised,--and I said to the priest, "Then your motherin Heaven should be unhappy, for you were not born a Christian." But the priest too did not understand my language. And after seven moons, one day a soothsayer looked at me, and hesaid to my mother, "Your son will be a statesman and a great leaderof men." But I cried out,--"That is a false prophet; for I shall be amusician, and naught but a musician shall I be." But even at that age my language was not understood--and great wasmy astonishment.And after three and thirty years, during which my mother, and thenurse, and the priest have all died, (the shadow of God be upontheir spirits) the soothsayer still lives. And yesterday I met himnear the gates of the temple; and while we were talking togetherhe said, "I have always known you would become a great musician.Even in your infancy I prophesied and foretold your future." And I believed him--for now I too have forgotten the language ofthat other world. The Pomegranate Once when I was living in the heart of a pomegranate, I heard a seedsaying, "Someday I shall become a tree, and the wind will sing inmy branches, and the sun will dance on my leaves, and I shall bestrong and beautiful through all the seasons." Then another seed spoke and said, "When I was as young as you, Itoo held such views; but now that I can weigh and measure things,I see that my hopes were vain." And a third seed spoke also, "I see in us nothing that promises sogreat a future." And a fourth said, "But what a mockery our life would be, withouta greater future!" Said a fifth, "Why dispute what we shall be, when we know not evenwhat we are." But a sixth replied, "Whatever we are, that we shall continue tobe." And a seventh said, "I have such a clear idea how everything willbe, but I cannot put it into words." Then an eight spoke--and a ninth--and a tenth--and then many--untilall were speaking, and I could distinguish nothing for the manyvoices. And so I moved that very day into the heart of a quince, where theseeds are few and almost silent. The Two Cages In my father's garden there are two cages. In one is a lion, whichmy father's slaves brought from the desert of Ninavah; in the otheris a songless sparrow. Every day at dawn the sparrow calls to the lion, "Good morrow tothee, brother prisoner." The Three Ants Three ants met on the nose of a man who was asleep in the sun. Andafter they had saluted one another, each according to the customof his tribe, they stood there conversing. The first ant said, "These hills and plains are the most barren Ihave known. I have searched all day for a grain of some sort, andthere is none to be found." Said the second ant, "I too have found nothing, though I havevisited every nook and glade. This is, I believe, what my peoplecall the soft, moving land where nothing grows." Then the third ant raised his head and said, "My friends, we arestanding now on the nose of the Supreme Ant, the mighty and infiniteAnt, whose body is so great that we cannot see it, whose shadowis so vast that we cannot trace it, whose voice is so loud that wecannot hear it; and He is omnipresent." When the third ant spoke thus the other ants looked at each otherand laughed. At that moment the man moved and in his sleep raised his hand andscratched his nose, and the three ants were crushed. The Grave-Digger Once, as I was burying one of my dead selves, the grave-digger cameby and said to me, "Of all those who come here to bury, you aloneI like." Said I, "You please me exceedingly, but why do you like me?" "Because," said he, "They come weeping and go weeping--you onlycome laughing and go laughing." On the Steps of the Temple Yestereve, on the marble steps of the Temple, I saw a woman sittingbetween two men. One side of her face was pale, the other wasblushing. The Blessed City In my youth I was told that in a certain city every one livedaccording to the Scriptures. And I said, "I will seek that city and the blessedness thereof."And it was far. And I made great provision for my journey. Andafter forty days I beheld the city and on the forty-first day Ientered into it. And lo! the whole company of the inhabitants had each but a singleeye and but one hand. And I was astonished and said to myself,"Shall they of this so holy city have but one eye and one hand?"then I saw that they too were astonished, for they were marvelinggreatly at my two hands and my two eyes. And as they were speakingtogether I inquired of them saying, "Is this indeed the BlessedCity, where each man lives according to the Scriptures?" And theysaid, "Yes, this is that city." "And what," said I, "hath befallen you, and where are your righteyes and your right hands?" And all the people were moved. And they said, "Come thou and see." And they took me to the temple in the midst of the city. and inthe temple I saw a heap of hands and eyes. All withered. Then saidI, "Alas! what conqueror hath committed this cruelty upon you?" And there went a murmur amongst them. And one of their eldersstood forth and said, "This doing is of ourselves. God hath madeus conquerors over the evil that was in us." And he led me to a high altar, and all the people followed. Andhe showed me above the altar an inscription graven, and I read: "If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee;for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish,and not that the whole body should be cast into hell. And if thyright hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; for itis profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, andnot that thy whole body should be cast into hell." Then I understood. And I turned about to all the people and cried,"Hath no man or woman among you two eyes or two hands?" And they answered me saying, "No, not one. There is none whole savesuch as are yet too young to read the Scripture and to understandits commandment." And when we had come out of the temple, I straightway left thatBlessed City; for I was not too young, and I could read the scripture. The Good God and the Evil God The Good God and the Evil God met on the mountain top. The Good God said, "Good day to you, brother." The Evil God did not answer. And the Good God said, "You are in a bad humour today." "Yes," said the Evil God, "for of late I have been often mistakenfor you, called by your name, and treated as if I were you, and itill-pleases me." And the Good God said, "But I too have been mistaken for you andcalled by your name." The Evil God walked away curing the stupidity of man. Defeat Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory. Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of footAnd not to be trapped by withering laurels.And in you I have found alonenessAnd the joy of being shunned and scorned. Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,In your eyes I have readThat to be enthroned is to be enslaved,and to be understood is to be levelled down,And to be grasped is but to reach one's fullnessand like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed. Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,You shall hear my songs and my cries an my silences,And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,And urging of seas,And of mountains that burn in the night,And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul. Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,You and I shall laugh together with the storm,And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,And we shall stand in the sun with a will,And we shall be dangerous. Night and the Madman "I am like thee, O, Night, dark and naked; I walk on the flamingpath which is above my day-dreams, and whenever my foot touchesearth a giant oak tree comes forth." "Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou still lookestbackward to see how large a foot-print thou leavest on the sand." "I am like thee, O, Night, silent and deep; and in the heart ofmy loneliness lies a Goddess in child-bed; and in him who is beingborn Heaven touches Hell." "Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou shudderest yetbefore pain, and the song of the abyss terrifies thee." "I am like thee, O, Night, wild and terrible; for my ears are crowdedwith cries of conquered nations and sighs for forgotten lands." "Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thou still takest thylittle-self for a comrade, and with thy monster-self thou canstnot be friend." "I am like thee, O, Night, cruel and awful; for my bosom is litby burning ships at sea, and my lips are wet with blood of slainwarriors." "Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman; for the desire for asister-spirit is yet upon thee, and thou has not become a low untothyself." "I am like thee, O, Night, joyous and glad; for he who dwells inmy shadow is now drunk with virgin wine, and she who follows me issinning mirthfully." "Nay, thou art not like me, O, Madman, for thy soul is wrapped inthe veil of seven folds and thou holdest not they heart in thinehand." "I am like thee, O, Night, patient and passionate; for in my breasta thousand dead lovers are buried in shrouds of withered kisses." "Yea, Madman, art thou like me? Art thou like me? And canst thouride the tempest as a steed, and grasp the lightning as a sword?" "Like thee, O, Night, like thee, mighty and high, and my throne isbuilt upon heaps of fallen Gods; and before me too pass the daysto kiss the hem of my garment but never to gaze at my face." "Art thou like me, child of my darkest heart? And dost thou thinkmy untamed thoughts and speak my vast language?" "Yea, we are twin brothers, O, Night; for thou revealest space andI reveal my soul." Faces I have seen a face with a thousand countenances, and a face thatwas but a single countenance as if held in a mould. I have seen a face whose sheen I could look through to the uglinessbeneath, and a face whose sheen I had to lift to see how beautifulit was. I have seen an old face much lined with nothing, and a smooth facein which all things were graven. I know faces, because I look through the fabric my own eye weaves,and behold the reality beneath. The Greater Sea My soul and I went to the great sea to bathe. And when we reachedthe shore, we went about looking for a hidden and lonely place. But as we walked, we saw a man sitting on a grey rock taking pinchesof salt from a bag and throwing them into the sea. "This is the pessimist," said my soul, "Let us leave this place.We cannot bathe here." We walked on until we reached an inlet. There we saw, standingon a white rock, a man holding a bejewelled box, from which he tooksugar and threw it into the sea. "And this is the optimist," said my soul, "And he too must not seeour naked bodies. Further on we walked. And on a beach we saw a man picking up deadfish and tenderly putting them back into the water. "And we cannot bathe before him," said my soul. "He is the humanephilanthropist." And we passed on. Then we came where we saw a man tracing his shadow on the sand.Great waves came and erased it. But he went on tracing it againand again. "He is the mystic," said my soul, "Let us leave him." And we walked on, till in a quiet cover we saw a man scooping upthe foam and putting it into an alabaster bowl. "He is the idealist," said my soul, "Surely he must not see ournudity." And on we walked. Suddenly we heard a voice crying, "This is thesea. This is the deep sea. This is the vast and mighty sea."And when we reached the voice it was a man whose back was turnedto the sea, and at his ear he held a shell, listening to its murmur. And my soul said, "Let us pass on. He is the realist, who turnshis back on the whole he cannot grasp, and busies himself with afragment." So we passed on. And in a weedy place among the rocks was a manwith his head buried in the sand. And I said to my soul, "We canbath here, for he cannot see us." "Nay," said my soul, "For he is the most deadly of them all. Heis the puritan."Then a great sadness came over the face of my soul, and into hervoice. "Let us go hence," she said, "For there is no lonely, hidden placewhere we can bathe. I would not have this wind lift my golden hair,or bare my white bosom in this air, or let the light disclose mysacred nakedness." Then we left that sea to seek the Greater Sea. Crucified I cried to men, "I would be crucified!" And they said, "Why should your blood be upon our heads?" And I answered, "How else shall you be exalted except by crucifyingmadmen?" And they heeded and I was crucified. And the crucifixion appeasedme. And when I was hanged between earth and heaven they lifted up theirheads to see me. And they were exalted, for their heads had neverbefore been lifted. But as they stood looking up at me one called out, "For what artthou seeking to atone?" And another cried, "In what cause dost thou sacrifice thyself?" And a third said, "Thinkest thou with this price to buy worldglory?" Then said a fourth, "Behold, how he smiles! Can such pain beforgiven?" And I answered them all, and said: "Remember only that I smiled. I do not atone--nor sacrifice--norwish for glory; and I have nothing to forgive. I thirsted--and Ibesought you to give me my blood to drink. For what is there canquench a madman's thirst but his own blood? I was dumb--and Iasked wounds of you for mouths. I was imprisoned in your days andnights--and I sought a door into larger days and nights. And now I go--as others already crucified have gone. And think notwe are weary of crucifixion. For we must be crucified by largerand yet larger men, between greater earths and greater heavens." The Astronomer In the shadow of the temple my friend and I saw a blind man sittingalone. And my friend said, "Behold the wisest man of our land." Then I left my friend and approached the blind man and greeted him.And we conversed. After a while I said, "Forgive my question; but since when has thoubeen blind?" "From my birth," he answered. Said I, "And what path of wisdom followest thou?" Said he, "I am an astronomer." Then he placed his hand upon his breast saying, "I watch all thesesuns and moons and stars." The Great Longing Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea. We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us togetheris deep and strong and strange. Nay, it is deeper than my sister'sdepth and stronger than my brother's strength, and stranger thanthe strangeness of my madness. Aeons upon aeons have passed since the first grey dawn made usvisible to one another; and though we have seen the birth and thefullness and the death of many worlds, we are still eager and young.We are young and eager and yet we are mateless and unvisited, andthough we lie in unbroken half embrace, we are uncomforted. Andwhat comfort is there for controlled desire and unspent passion?Whence shall come the flaming god to warm my sister's bed? Andwhat she-torrent shall quench my brother's fire? And who is thewoman that shall command my heart? In the stillness of the night my sister murmurs in her sleep thefire-god's unknown name, and my brother calls afar upon the cooland distant goddess. But upon whom I call in my sleep I know not. * * * * * * * * * Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us togetheris deep and strong and strange. Said a Blade of Grass Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, "You make such a noisefalling! You scatter all my winter dreams." Said the leaf indignant, "Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless,peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tellthe sound of singing." Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And whenspring came she waked again--and she was a blade of grass. And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, andabove her through all the air the leaves were falling, she mutteredto herself, "O these autumn leaves! They make such noise! Theyscatter all my winter dreams." The Eye Said the Eye one day, "I see beyond these valleys a mountain veiledwith blue mist. Is it not beautiful?" The Ear listened, and after listening intently awhile, said, "Butwhere is any mountain? I do not hear it." Then the Hand spoke and said, "I am trying in vain to feel it ortouch it, and I can find no mountain." And the Nose said, "There is no mountain, I cannot smell it." Then the Eye turned the other way, and they all began to talk togetherabout the Eye's strange delusion. And they said, "Something mustbe the matter with the Eye." The Two Learned Men Once there lived in the ancient city of Afkar two learned men whohated and belittled each other's learning. For one of them deniedthe existence of the gods and the other was a believer. One day the two met in the marketplace, and amidst their followersthey began to dispute and to argue about the existence or thenon-existence of the gods. And after hours of contention theyparted. That evening the unbeliever went to the temple and prostrated himselfbefore the altar and prayed the gods to forgive his wayward past. And the same hour the other learned man, he who had upheld thegods, burned his sacred books. For he had become an unbeliever. When My Sorrow Was Born When my Sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over itwith loving tenderness.And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautifuland full of wondrous delights. And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the worldabout us; for Sorrow had a kindly heart and mine was kindly withSorrow. And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged andour nights were girdled with dreams; for Sorrow had an eloquenttongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow. And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat attheir windows and listened; for our songs were deep as the sea andour melodies were full of strange memories. And when we walked together, my Sorrow and I, people gazed at uswith gentle eyes and whispered in words of exceeding sweetness.And there were those who looked with envy upon us, for Sorrow wasa noble thing and I was proud with Sorrow. But my Sorrow died, like all living things, and alone I am left tomuse and ponder. And now when I speak my words fall heavily upon my ears. And when I sing my songs my neighbours come not to listen. And when I walk the streets no one looks at me. Only in my sleep I hear voices saying in pity, "See, there liesthe man whose Sorrow is dead." And When my Joy was Born And when my Joy was born, I held it in my arms and stood on thehouse-top shouting, "Come ye, my neighbours, come and see, for Joythis day is born unto me. Come and behold this gladsome thing thatlaugheth in the sun." But none of my neighbours came to look upon my Joy, and great wasmy astonishment. And every day for seven moons I proclaimed my Joy from thehouse-top--and yet no one heeded me. And my Joy and I were alone,unsought and unvisited.Then my Joy grew pale and weary because no other heart but mineheld its loveliness and no other lips kissed its lips. Then my Joy died of isolation. And now I only remember my dead Joy in remembering my dead Sorrow.But memory is an autumn leaf that murmurs a while in the wind andthen is heard no more. "The Perfect World" God of lost souls, thou who are lost amongst the gods, hear me: Gentle Destiny that watchest over us, mad, wandering spirits, hearme: I dwell in the midst of a perfect race, I the most imperfect. I, a human chaos, a nebula of confused elements, I move amongstfinished worlds--peoples of complete laws and pure order, whosethoughts are assorted, whose dreams are arranged, and whose visionsare enrolled and registered. Their virtues, O God, are measured, their sins are weighed, andeven the countless things that pass in the dim twilight of neithersin nor virtue are recorded and catalogued. Here days and night are divided into seasons of conduct and governedby rules of blameless accuracy. To eat, to drink, to sleep, to cover one's nudity, and then to beweary in due time. To work, to play, to sing, to dance, and then to lie still whenthe clock strikes the hour. To think thus, to feel thus much, and then to cease thinking andfeeling when a certain star rises above yonder horizon. To rob a neighbour with a smile, to bestow gifts with a gracefulwave of the hand, to praise prudently, to blame cautiously, todestroy a sound with a word, to burn a body with a breath, and thento wash the hands when the day's work is done.To love according to an established order, to entertain one's bestself in a preconceived manner, to worship the gods becomingly,to intrigue the devils artfully--and then to forget all as thoughmemory were dead. To fancy with a motive, to contemplate with consideration, to behappy sweetly, to suffer nobly--and then to empty the cup so thattomorrow may fill it again. All these things, O God, are conceived with forethought, born withdetermination, nursed with exactness, governed by rules, directedby reason, and then slain and buried after a prescribed method.And even their silent graves that lie within the human soul aremarked and numbered. It is a perfect world, a world of consummate excellence, a world ofsupreme wonders, the ripest fruit in God's garden, the master-thoughtof the universe. But why should I be here, O God, I a green seed of unfulfilledpassion, a mad tempest that seeketh neither east nor west, abewildered fragment from a burnt planet? Why am I here, O God of lost souls, thou who art lost amongst the gods?

1: James The Son Of Zebedee - On The Kingdoms Of The World
2: Anna The Mother Of Mary - On The Birth Of Jesus
3: Assaph Called The Orator Of Tyre - On The Speech Of Jesus
4: Mary Magdalene - On Meeting Jesus For The First Time
5: Philemon A Greek Apothecary - On Jesus The Master Physician
6: Simon Who Was Called Peter - When He And His Brother Were Called
7: Caiaphas - The High Priest
8: Joanna The Wife Of Herod's Steward - On Children
9: Rafca - The Bride Of Cana
10: A Persian Philosopher In Damascus - Of Ancient Gods And New
11: David One Of His Followers - Jesus The Practical
12: Luke - On Hypocrites
13: Matthew - The Sermon On The Mount
14: John The Son Of Zebedee - On The Various Appellations Of Jesus
15: A Young Priest Of Capernaum - Of Jesus The Magician
16: A Rich Levi In The Neighborhood Of The Nazarene - Jesus The carpenter
17: A Shepherd In South Lebanon - A Parable
18: John The Baptist - He Speaks In Prison To One Of His Disciples
19: Joseph Of Arimathea - On The Primal Aims Of Jesus
20: Nathaniel - Jesus Was Not Meek
21: Saba Of Antioch - On Saul Of Tarsus
22: Salome To A Woman Friend - A Desire Unfilfiled
23: Rachael A Woman Disciple - Jesus The Vision And The Man
24: Cleopas Of Bethroune - On The Law Of The Prophets
25: Naaman Of The Gadarenes - On The Death Of Stephen
26: Thomas - On The Forefather Of His Doubts
27: Elmadam The Logician - Jesus The Outcast
28: One Of The Marys - On His Sadness And His Smile
29: Rumanous A Greek Poet - Jesus The Poet
30: Levi A Disciple - On Those Who Would Confound Jesus
31: A Widow In Galilee - Jesus The Cruel
32: Judas The Cousin Of Jesus - On the Death of John the Baptist
33: A Man From The Desert - On the Money-changers
34: Peter - On the Morrow of His Followers
35: Melachi Of Babylon, An Astronomer - The Miracles of Jesus
36: A Philospher - On Wonder and Beauty
37: Uriah An Old Man Of Nazareth - He Was a Stranger in Our Midst
38: Nicodemus The Poet - On Fools And Jugglers
39: Joseph Of Arimathea - The Two Streams in Jesus' Heart
40: Georgus Of Beirut - On Strangers
41: Mary Magdalen - His Mouth Was Like the Heart of a Pomegranate
42: Jotham Of Nazareth To A Roman - On Living and Being
43: Ephrain Of Jericho - The Other Wedding-Feast
44: Barca A Merchant Of Tyre - On Buying and Selling
45: Phumiah The High Priestess Of Sidon - An Invocation
46: Benjamin The Scribe - Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
47: Zacchaeus - On the Fate of Jesus
48: Jonathan - Among the Water Lilies
49: Hannah Of Bethsaida - She Speaks of Her Father's Sister
50: Mannasseh - On the Speech and Gesture of Jesus
51: Jephtha Of Caedarea - A Man Weary of Jesus
52: John The Beloved Disciple - On Jesus the Word
53: Mannus The Pompeian To A Greek - On the Semitic Deity
54: Pontius Pilatus - Of Eastern Rites and Cults
55: Bartholamew In Ephesus - On Slaves and Outcasts
56: Matthew - On Jesus by a Prison Wall
57: Andrew - On Prostitutes
58: A Rich Man - On Possessions
59: John At Patmos - Jesus the Gracious
60: Peter - On the Neighbor
61: A Cobbler In Jerusalem - A Neutral
62: Suzzanah Of Nazareth - Of the Youth and Manhood of Jesus
63: Joseph Surnamed Justus - Jesus the Wayfarer
64: Philip - And When He Died All Mankind Died
65: Birbarah Of Yammouni - On Jesus the Impatient
66: Pilat's Wife To A Roman Lady
67: A Man Outside Of Jerusalem - Of Judas
68: Sarkis An Old Greek Shepherd, Called The Madman - Jesus and Pan
69: Annas The High Priest - On Jesus the Rabble
70: A Woman, One Of Mary's Neighbors - A Lamentation
71: Ahaz The Portly - The Keeper of the Inn
72: Barabbas - The Last Words of Jesus
73: Claudius A Roman Sentinel - Jesus the Stoic
74: James The Brother Of The Lord - The Last Supper
75: Simon The Cyrene - He who Carried the Cross
76: Cyborea - The Mother of Judas
77: The Woman In Byblos - A Lamentation
78: Mary Magdalene (Thirty Years Later) - On the Resurrection of the Spirit
79: A Man From Lebanon - Nineteen Centuries Afterwar

1: Foreword
2: Silent Sorrow
3: The Hand Of Destiny
4: The Entrance To The Shrine
5: The White Torch
6: The Tempest
7: Lake Of Fire
8: Before The Throne Of Death
9: Between Christ And Ishtar
10: Sacrifice
11: The Rescuer

1: Madame Rose Hanie
2: The Cry Of The Graves
3: Khalil The Heretic

1: The Creation
2: Two Infants
3: The House Of Fortune
4: A Poet's Death Is His Life
5: The Criminal
6: Song Of Fortune
7: Song Of The Rain
8: The Poet
9: Laughter And Tears
10: Vision
11: Two Wishes
12: Yesterday And Today
13: Leave Me, My Blamer
14: The Beauty Of Death
15: A Poet's Voice
16: The Life Of Love
17: Song Of The Wave
18: Peace
19: The Playground Of Life
20: The City Of The Dead
21: The Widow And Her Son
22: Song Of The Soul
23: Song Of The Flower
24: Song Of Love
25: Song Of Man
26: Before The Throne Of Beauty
27: A Lover's Call
28: The Palace And The Hut

The Garden of the Prophet 1933

Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a noon unto his own day, returned to the isle of his birth in the month of Tichreen, which is the month of remembrance. And as his ship approached the harbour, he stood upon its prow, and his mariners were about him. And there was a homecoming in his heart. And he spoke, and the sea was in his voice, and he said: "Behold, the isle of our birth. Even here the earth heaved us, a song and a riddle; a song unto the sky, a riddle unto the earth; and what is there between earth and sky that shall carry the song and solve the riddle save our own passion? "The sea yields us once more to these shores. We are but another wave of her waves. She sends us forth to sound her speech, but how shall we do so unless we break the symmetry of our heart on rock and sand? "For this is the law of mariners and the sea: If you would freedom, you must needs turn to mist. The formless is for ever seeking form, even as the countless nebulae would become suns and moons; and we who have sought much and return now to this isle, rigid moulds, we must become mist once more and learn of the beginning. And what is there that shall live and rise unto the heights except it be broken unto passion and freedom? "For ever shall we be in quest of the shores, that we may sing and be heard. But what of the wave that breaks where no ear shall hear? It is the unheard in us that nurses our deeper sorrow. Yet it is also the unheard which carves our soul to form and fashion our destiny." Then one of his mariners came forth and said: "Master, you have captained our longing for this harbour, and behold, we have come. Yet you speak of sorrow, and of hearts that shall be broken." And he answered him and said: "Did I not speak of freedom, and of the mist which is our greater freedom? Yet it is in pain I make pilgrimage to the isle where I was born, even like unto a ghost of one slain come to kneel before those who have slain him." And another mariner spoke and said: "Behold, the multitudes on the sea-wall. In their silence they have foretold even the day and the hour of your coming, and they have gathered from their fields and vineyards in their loving need, to await you." And Almustafa looked afar upon the multitudes, and his heart was mindful of their yearning, and he was silent. Then a cry came from the people, and it was a cry of remembrance and of entreaty. And he looked upon his mariners and said: "And what have I brought them? A hunter was I, in a distant land. With aim and might I have spent the golden arrows they gave me, but I have brought down no game. I followed not the arrows. Mayhap they are spreading now in the sun with the pinions of wounded eagles that would not fall to the earth. And mayhap the arrow-heads have fallen into the hands of those who had need of them for bread and wine. "I know not where they have spent their flight, but this I know: they have made their curve in the sky. "Even so, love's hand is still upon me, and you, my mariners, still sail my vision, and I shall not be dumb. I shall cry out when the hand of the seasons is upon my throat, and I shall sing my words when my lips are burned with flames." And they were troubled in their hearts because he spoke of these things. And one said: "Master, teach us all, and mayhap because your blood flows in our veins, and our breath is of your fragrance, we shall understand." The he answered them, and the wind was in his voice, and he said: "Brought you me to the isle of my birth to be a teacher? Not yet have I been caged by wisdom. Too young am I and too verdant to speak of aught but self, which is for ever the deep calling upon the deep. "Let him who would have wisdom seek it in the buttercup or in a pinch of red clay. I am still the singer. Still I shall sing the earth, and I shall sing your lost dreaming that walks the day between sleep and sleep. But I shall gaze upon the sea." And now the ship entered the harbour and reached the sea-wall, and he came thus to the isle of his birth and stood once more amongst his own people. And a great cry arose from their hearts so that the loneliness of his home-coming was shaken within him. And they were silent awaiting his word, but he answered them not, for the sadness of memory was upon him, and he said in his heart: "Have I said that I shall sing? Nay, I can but open my lips that the voice of life may come forth and go out to the wind for joy and support." Then Karima, she who had played with him, a child, in the Garden of his mother, spoke and said: "Twelve years have you hidden your face from us, and for twelve years have we hungered and thirsted for your voice." And he looked upon her with exceeding tenderness, for it was she who had closed the eyes of his mother when the white wings of death had gathered her. And he answered and said: "Twelve years? Said you twelve years, Karima? I measured not my longing with the starry rod, nor did I sound the depth thereof. For love when love is homesick exhausts time's measurements and time's soundings. "There are moments that hold aeons of separation. Yet parting is naught but an exhaustion of the mind. Perhaps we have not parted." And Almustafa looked upon the people, and he saw them all, the youth and the aged, the stalwart and the puny, those who were ruddy with the touch of wind and sun, and those who were of pallid countenance; and upon their face a light of longing and of questioning.And one spoke and said: "Master, life has dealt bitterly with our hopes and our desires. Our hearts are troubled, and we do not understand. I pray you, comfort us, and open to us the meanings of our sorrows." And his heart was moved with compassion, and he said: "Life is older than all things living; even as beauty was winged ere the beautiful was born on earth, and even as truth was truth ere it was uttered. "Life sings in our silences, and dreams in our slumber. Even when we are beaten and low, Life is enthroned and high. And when we weep, Life smiles upon the day, and is free even when we drag our chains. "Oftentimes we call Life bitter names, but only when we ourselves are bitter and dark. And we deem her empty and unprofitable, but only when the soul goes wandering in desolate places, and the heart is drunken with over-mindfulness of self. "Life is deep and high and distant; and though only your vast vision can reach even her feet, yet she is near; and though only the breath of your breath reaches her heart, the shadow of your shadow crosses her face, and the echo of your faintest cry becomes a spring and an autumn in her breast. "And Life is veiled and hidden, even as your greater self is hidden and veiled. Yet when Life speaks, all the winds become words; and when she speaks again, the smiles upon your lips and the tears in your eyes turn also into words. When she sings, the deaf hear and are held; and when she comes walking, the sightless behold her and are amazed and follow her in wonder and astonishment." And he ceased from speaking, and a vast silence enfolded the people, and in the silence there was an unheard song, and they were comforted of their loneliness and their aching. And he left them straightway and followed the path which led to his Garden, which was the Garden of his mother and his father, wherein they lay asleep, they and their forefathers. And there were those who would have followed after him, seeing that it was a home-coming, and he was alone, for there was not one left of all his kin to spread the feast of welcome, after the manner of his people. But the captain of his ship counselled them saying: "Suffer him to go upon his way. For his bread is the bread of aloneness, and in his cup is the wine of remembrance, which he would drink alone." And his mariners held their steps, for they knew it was even as the captain of theship had told them. And all those who gathered upon the sea-wall restrained the feet of their desire. Only Karima went after him, a little way, yearning over his aloneness and his memories. And she spoke not, but turned and went unto her own house, and in the garden under the almond-tree she wept, yet she knew not wherefore. And Almustafa came and found the Garden of his mother and his father, and he entered in, and closed the gate that no man might come after him. And for forty days and forty nights he dwelt alone in that house and that Garden, and none came, not even unto the gate, for it was closed, and all the people knew that he would be alone. And when the forty days and nights were ended, Almustafa opened the gate that they might come in. And there came nine men to be with him in the Garden; three mariners from his own ship; three who had been his comrades in play when they were but children together. And these were his disciples. And on a morning his disciples sat around him, and there were distances and remembrances in his eyes. And that disciple who was called Hafiz said unto him: "Master, tell us of the city of Orphalese, and of that land wherein you tarried those twelve years." And Almustafa was silent, and he looked away towards the hills and toward the vast ether, and there was a battle in his silence. Then he said: "My friends and my road-fellows, pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion. "Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own winepress. "Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful. "Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening. "Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except when its neck is laid between the sword and the block. "Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggle, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking. "Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again. "Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle. "Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation." And one said: "Speak to us of that which is moving in your own heart even now." And he looked upon that one, and there was in his voice a sound like a star singing, and he said: "In your waking dream, when you are hushed and listening to your deeper self, your thoughts, like snow- flakes, fall and flutter and garment all the sounds of your spaces with white silence. "And what are waking dreams but clouds that bud and blossom on the sky-tree of your heart? And what are your thoughts but the petals which the winds of your heart scatter upon the hills and its fields? "And even as you wait for peace until the formless within you takes form, so shall the cloud gather and drift until the Blessed Fingers shape its grey desire to little crystal suns and moons and stars." Then Sarkis, he who was the half-doubter, spoke and said: "But spring shall come, and all the snows of our dreams and our thoughts shall melt and be no more." And he answered saying: "When Spring comes to seek His beloved amongst the slumbering groves and vineyards, the snows shall indeed melt and shall run in streams to seek the river in the valley, to be the cup-bearer to the myrtle-trees and laurel. "So shall the snow of your heart melt when your Spring is come, and thus shall your secret run in streams to seek the river of life in the valley. And the river shall enfold your secret and carry it to the great sea. "All things shall melt and turn into songs when Spring comes. Even the stars, the vast snow-flakes that fall slowly upon the larger fields, shall melt into singing streams. When the sun of His face shall rise above the wider horizon, then what frozen symmetry would not turn into liquid melody? And who among you would not be the cup-bearer to the myrtle and the laurel? "It was but yesterday that you were moving with the moving sea, and you were shoreless and without a self. Then the wind, the breath of Life, wove you, a veil of light on her face; then her hand gathered you and gave you form, and with a head held high you sought the heights. But the sea followed after you, and her song is still with you. And though you have forgotten your parentage, she will for ever assert her motherhood, and for ever will she call you unto her. "In your wanderings among the mountains and the desert you will always remember the depth of her cool heart. And though oftentimes you will not know for what you long, it is indeed for her vast and rhythmic peace. "And how else can it be? In grove and in bower when the rain dances in leaves upon the hill, when snow falls, a blessing and a covenant; in the valley when you lead your flocks to the river; in your fields where brooks, like silver streams. join together the green garment; in your gardens when the early dews mirror the heavens; in your meadows when the mist of evening half veils your way; in all these the sea is with you, a witness to your heritage, and a claim upon your love. "It is the snow-flake in you running down to the sea." And on a morning as they walked in the Garden, there appeared before the gate a woman, and it was Karima, she whom Almustafa had loved even as a sister in his boyhood. And she stood without, asking nothing, nor knocking with her hand upon the gate, but only gazing with longing and sadness into the Garden. And Almustafa saw the desire upon her eyelids, and with swift steps he came to the wall and the gate and opened unto her, and she came in and was made welcome. And she spoke and said: "Wherefore have you withdrawn yourself from us altogether, that we may not live in the light of your countenance? For behold, these many years have we loved you and waited with longing for your safe return. And now the people cry for you and would have speech with you; and I am their messenger come to beseech you that you will show yourself to the people, and speak to them out of your wisdom, and comfort the broken of heart and instruct our foolishness." And looking upon her, he said: "Call me not wise unless you call all men wise. A young fruit am I, still clinging to the branch, and it was only yesterday that I was but a blossom. "And call none among you foolish, for in truth we are neither wise nor foolish. We are green leaves upon the tree of life, and life itself is beyond wisdom, and surely beyond foolishness. "And have I indeed withdrawn myself from you? Know you not that there is no distance save that which the soul does not span in fancy? And when the soul shall span that distance, it becomes a rhythm in the soul. "The space that lies between you and your near neighbour unbefriended is indeed greater than that which lies between you and your beloved who dwells beyond seven lands and seven seas. "For in remembrance there are no distances; and only in oblivion is there a gulf that neither your voice nor your eye can abridge. "Between the shores of the oceans and the summit of the highest mountain there is a secret road which you must needs travel ere you become one with the sons of earth. "And between your knowledge and your understanding there is a secret path which you must needs discover ere you become one with man, and therefore one with yourself. "Between your right hand that gives and your left hand that receives there is a great space. Only by deeming them both giving and receiving can you bring them into spacelessness, for it is only in knowing that you have naught to give and naught to receive that you can overcome space. "Verily the vastest distance is that which lies between your sleep-vision and your wakefulness; and between that which is but a deed and that which is a desire. "And there is still another road which you must needs travel ere you become one with Life. But of that road I shall not speak now, seeing that you are weary already of travelling." Then he went forth with the woman, he and the nine, even unto the market-place, and he spoke to the people, his friends and his neighbours, and there was joy in their hearts and upon their eyelids. And he said: "You grow in sleep, and live your fuller life in you dreaming. For all your days are spent in thanksgiving for that which you have received in the stillness of the night. "Oftentimes you think and speak of night as the season of rest, yet in truth night is the season of seeking and finding. "The day gives unto you the power of knowledge and teaches your fingers to become versed in the art of receiving; but it is night that leads you to the treasure-house of Life. "The sun teaches to all things that grow their longing for the light. But it is night that raises them to the stars. "It is indeed the stillness of the night that weaves a wedding-veil over the trees in the forest, and the flowers in the garden, and then spreads the lavish feast and makes ready the nuptial chamber; and in that holy silence tomorrow is conceived in the womb of Time. 'Thus it is with you, and thus, in seeking, you find meat and fulfilment. And though at dawn your awakening erases the memory, the board of dreams is for ever spread, and the nuptial chamber waiting." And he was silent for a space, and they also, awaiting his word. Then he spoke again, saying: "You are spirits though you move in bodies; and like oil that burns in the dark, you are flames though held in lamps. "If you were naught save bodies, then my standing before you and speaking unto you would be but emptiness, even as the dead calling unto the dead. But this is not so. All that is deathless in you is free unto the day and the night and cannot be housed nor fettered, for this is the will of the Most High. You are His breath even as the wind that shall be neither caught nor caged. And I also am the breath of His breath." And he went from their midst walking swiftly and entered again into the Garden. And Sarkis, he who was the half-doubter, spoke and said: "And what of ugliness, Master? You speak never of ugliness." And Almustafa answered him, and there was a whip in his words, and he said: "My friend, what man shall call you inhospitable if he shall pass by your house, yet would not knock at your door? "And who shall deem you deaf and unmindful if he shall speak to you in a strange tongue of which you understand nothing? "Is it not that which you have never striven to reach, into whose heart you have never desired to enter, that you deem ugliness? "If ugliness is aught, indeed, it is but the scales upon our eyes, and the wax filling our ears. "Call nothing ugly, my friend, save the fear of a soul in the presence of its own memories." And upon a day as they sat in the long shadows of the white poplars, one spoke saying: "Master, I am afraid of time. It passes over us and robs us of our youth, and what does it give in return?" And he answered and said: "Take up now a handful of good earth. Do you find in it a seed, and perhaps a worm? If your hand were spacious and enduring enough, the seed might become a forest, and the worm a flock of angels. And forget not that the years which turn seeds to forests, and worms to angels, belong to this Now, all of the years, this very Now. "And what are the seasons of the years save your own thoughts changing? Spring is an awakening in your breast, and summer but a recognition of your own fruitfulness. Is not autumn the ancient in you singing a lullaby to that which is still a child in your being? And what, I ask you, is winter save sleep big with the dreams of all the other seasons." And the Mannus, the inquisitive disciple, looked about him and he saw plants in flower cleaving unto the sycamore-tree. And he said: "Behold the parasites, Master. What say you of them? They are thieves with weary eyelids who steal the light from the steadfast children of the sun, and make fair of the sap that runneth into their branches and their leaves." And he answered him saying: "My friend, we are all parasites. We who labour to turn the sod into pulsing life are not above those who receive life directly from the sod without knowing the sod. "Shall a mother say to her child: 'I give you back to the forest, which is your greater mother, for you weary me, heart and hand'? "Or shall the singer rebuke his own song, saying: 'Return now to the cave of echoes from whence you came, for your voice consumes my breath'? "And shall the shepherd say to his yearling: 'I have no pasture whereunto I may lead you; therefore be cut off and become a sacrifice for this cause'? "Nay, my friend, all these things are answered even before they are asked, and, like your dreams, are fulfilled ere you sleep. "We live upon one another according to the law, ancient and timeless. Let us live thus in loving-kindness. We seek one another in our aloneness, and we walk the road when we have no hearth to sit beside. "My friends and my brothers, the wider road is your fellow-man. "These plants that live upon the tree draw milk of the earth in the sweet stillness of night, and the earth in her tranquil dreaming sucks at the breast of the sun. "And the sun, even as you and I and all there is, sits in equal honour at the banquet of the Prince whose door is always open and whose board is always spread. "Mannus, my friend, all there is lives always upon all there is; and all there is lives in the faith, shoreless, upon the bounty of the Most High." And on a morning when the sky was yet pale with dawn, they walked all together in the Garden and looked unto the East and were silent in the presence of the rising sun. And after a while Almustafa pointed with his hand, and said: "The image of the morning sun in a dewdrop is not less than the sun. The reflection of life in your soul is not less than life. "The dewdrop mirrors the light because it is one with light, and you reflect life because you and life are one. "When darkness is upon you, say: 'This darkness is dawn not yet born; and though night's travail be full upon me, yet shall dawn be born unto me even as unto the hills.' "The dewdrop rounding its sphere in the dusk of the lily is not unlike yourself gathering your soul in the heart of God. "Shall a dewdrop say: 'But once in a thousand years I am a dewdrop,' speak you and answer it saying: 'Know you not that the light of all the years is shining in your circle?' " And on an evening a great storm visited the place, and Almustafa and his disciples, the nine, went within and sat about the fire and were silent. Then one of the disciples said: "I am alone, Master, and the hoofs of the hours beat heavily upon my breast." And Almustafa rose up and stood in their midst, and he said in a voice like unto the sound of a great wind: "Alone! And what of it? You came alone, and alone shall you pass into the mist. "Therefore drink your cup alone and in silence. The autumn days have given other lips other cups and filled them with wine bitter and sweet, even as they have filled your cup. "Drink your cup alone though it taste of your own blood and tears, and praise life for the gift of thirst. For without thirst your heart is but the shore of a barren sea, songless and without a tide. "Drink your cup alone, and drink it with cheers. "Raise it high above your head and drink deep to those who drink alone. "Once I sought the company of men and sat with them at their banquet-tables and drank deep with them; but their wine did not rise to my head, nor did it flow into my bosom. It only descended to my feet. My wisdom was left dry and my heart was locked and sealed. Only my feet were with them in their fog. "And I sought the company of men no more, nor drank wine with them at their board. "Therefore I say unto you, though the hoofs of the hours beat heavily upon your bosom, what of it? It is well for you to drink your cup of sorrow alone, and your cup of joy shall you drink alone also." And on a day, as Phardrous, the Greek, walked in the Garden, he struck his foot upon a stone and he was angered. And he turned and picked up the stone, saying in a low voice: "O dead thing in my path!" and he flung away the stone. And Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, said: "Why say you: 'O dead thing'? Have you been thus long in this Garden and know not that there is nothing dead here? All things live and glow in the knowledge of the day and the majesty of the night. You and the stone are one. There is a difference only in heart-beats. Your heart beats a little faster, does it, my friend? Ay, but it is not so tranquil. "Its rhythm may be another rhythm, but I say unto you that if you sound the depths of your soul and scale the heights of space, you shall hear one melody, and in that melody the stone and the star sing, the one with the other, in perfect unison. "If my words reach not your understanding, then let be until another dawn. If you have cursed this stone because in your blindness you have stumbled upon it, then would you curse a star if so be your head should encounter it in the sky. But the day will come when you will gather stones and stars as a child plucks the valley-lilies, and then shall you know that all these things are living and fragrant." And on the first day of the week when the sounds of the temple bells sought their ears, one spoke and said: "Master, we hear much talk of God hereabout. What say you of God, and who is He in very truth?" And he stood before them like a young tree, fearless of wind or tempest, and he answered saying: "Think now, my comrades and beloved, of a heart that contains all your hearts, a love that encompasses all your loves, a spirit that envelops all your spirits, a voice enfolding all your voices, and a silence deeper than all your silences, and timeless. "Seek now to perceive in your selffulness a beauty more enchanting than all things beautiful, a song more vast than the songs of the sea and the forest, a majesty seated upon the throne for which Orion is but a footstool, holding a sceptre in which the Pleiades are naught save the glimmer of dewdrops. "You have sought always only food and shelter, a garment and a staff; seek now One who is neither an aim for your arrows nor a stony cave to shield you from the elements. "And if my words are a rock and a riddle, then seek, none the less, that your hearts may be broken, and that your questionings may bring you unto the love and the wisdom of the Most High, whom men call God." And they were silent, every one, and they were perplexed in their heart; and Almustafa was moved with compassion for them, and he gazed with tenderness upon them and said: "Let us speak rather of the gods, your neighbours, and of your brothers, the elements that move about your houses and your fields. "You would rise up in fancy unto the cloud, and you deem it height; and you would pass over the vast sea and claim it to be distance. But I say unto you that when you sow a seed in the earth, you reach a greater height; and when you hail the beauty of the morning to your neighbour, you cross a greater sea. "Too often do you sing God, the Infinite, and yet in truth you hear not the song. Would that you might listen to the song-birds, and to the leaves that forsake the branch when the wind passes by, and forget not, my friends, that these sing only when they are separated from the branch! "Again I bid you to speak not so freely of God, who is your All, but speak rather and understand one another, neighbour unto neighbour, a god unto a god. "For what shall feed the fledgling in the nest if the mother bird flies skyward? And what anemone in the fields shall be fulfilled unless it be husbanded by a bee from another anemone? "It is only when you are lost in your smaller selves that you seek the sky which you call God. Would that you might find paths into your vast selves; would that you might be less idle and pave the roads! "My mariners and my friends, it were wiser to speak less of God, whom we cannot understand, and more of each other, whom we may understand. Yet I would have you know that we are the breath and the fragrance of God. We are God, in leaf, in flower, and oftentimes in fruit." And on a morning when the sun was high, one of the disciples, one of those three who had played with him in childhood, approached him saying: "Master, my garment is worn, and I have no other. Give me leave to go unto the market-place and bargain that perchance I may procure me new raiment." And Almustafa looked upon the young man, and he said: "Give me your garment." And he did so and stood naked in the noonday. And Almustafa said in a voice that was like a young steed running upon a road: "Only the naked live in the sun. Only the artless ride the wind. And he alone who loses his way a thousand times shall have a home-coming. "The angels are tired of the clever. And it was but yesterday that an angel said to me: 'We created hell for those who glitter. What else but fire can erase a shining surface and melt a thing to its core?' "And I said: 'But in creating hell you created devils to govern hell.' But the angel answered: 'Nay, hell is governed by those who do not yield to fire.' "Wise angel! He knows the ways of men and the ways of half-men. He is one of the seraphim who come to minister unto the prophets when they are tempted by the clever. And no doubt he smiled when the prophets smile, and weeps also when they weep. "My friends and my mariners, only the naked live in the sun. Only the rudderless can sail the greater sea. Only he who is dark with the night shall wake with the dawn, and only he who sleeps with the roots under the snow shall reach the spring. "For you are even like roots, and like roots are you simple, yet you have wisdom from the earth. And you are silent, yet you have within your unborn branches the choir of the four winds. "You are frail and you are formless, yet you are the beginning of giant oaks, and of the half-pencilled patterned of the willows against the sky. "Once more I say, you are but roots betwixt the dark sod and the moving heavens. And oftentimes have I seen you rising to dance with the light, but I have also seen you shy. All roots are shy. They have hidden their hearts so long that they know not what to do with their hearts. "But May shall come, and May is a restless virgin, and she shall mother the hills and plains." And one who had served in the Temple besought him saying: "Teach us, Master, that our words may be even as your words, a chant and an incense unto the people." And Almustafa answered and said: "You shall rise beyond your words, but your path shall remain, a rhythm and a fragrance; a rhythm for lovers and for all who are beloved, and a fragrance for those who would live life in a garden. "But you shall rise beyond your words to a summit whereon the star-dust falls, and you shall open your hands until they are filled; then you shall lie down and sleep like a white fledgling in a white nest, and you shall dream of your tomorrow as white violets dream of spring. "Ay, and you shall go down deeper than your words. You shall seek the lost fountain-heads of the streams, and you shall be a hidden cave echoing the faint voices of the depths which now you do not even hear. "You shall go down deeper than your words, ay, deeper than all sounds, to the very heart of the earth, and there you shall be alone with Him who walks also upon the Milky Way." And after a space one of the disciples asked him saying: "Master, speak to us of being. What is it to be?" And Almustafa looked long upon him and loved him. And he stood up and walked a distance away from them; then returning, he said: "In this Garden my father and my mother lie, buried by the hands of the living; and in this Garden lie buried the seeds of yesteryear, bought hither upon the wings of the wind. A thousand times shall my mother and my father be buried here, and a thousand times shall the wind bury the seed; and a thousand years hence shall you and I and these flowers come together in this Garden even as now, and we shall be, loving life, and we shall be, dreaming of space, and we shall be, rising towards the sun. "But now today to be is to be wise, though not a stranger to the foolish; it is to be strong, but not to the undoing of the weak; to play with young children, not as fathers, but rather as playmates who would learn their games; "To be simple and guileless with old men and women, and to sit with them in the shade of the ancient oak-trees, though you are still walking with Spring; "To seek a poet though he may live beyond the seven rivers, and to be at peace in his presence, nothing wanting, nothing doubting, and with no question upon your lips; "To know that the saint and the sinner are twin brothers, whose father is our Gracious King, and that one was born but the moment before the other, wherefore we regard his as the Crowned Prince; "To follow Beauty even when she shall lead you to the verge of the precipice; and though she is winged and you are wingless, and though she shall pass beyond the verge, follow her, for where Beauty is not, there is nothing; "To be a garden without walls, a vineyard without a guardian, a treasure-house for ever open to passers-by; "To be robbed, cheated, deceived, ay, misled and trapped and then mocked, yet with it all to look down from the height of your larger self and smile, knowing that there is spring that will come to your garden to dance in your leaves, and an autumn to ripen your grapes; knowing that if but one of your windows is open to the East, you shall never be empty; knowing that all those deemed wrongdoers and robbers, cheaters and deceivers are your brothers in need, and that you are perchance all of these in the eyes of the blessed inhabitants of that City Invisible, above this city. "And now, to you also whose hands fashion and find all things that are needful for the comfort of our days and our nights-- "To be is to be a weaver with seeing fingers, a builder mindful of light and space; to be a ploughman and feel that you are hiding a treasure with every seed you sow; to be a fisherman and a hunter with a pity for the fish and for the beast, yet a still greater pity for the hunger and need of man. "And, above all, I say this: I would have you each and every one partners to the purpose of every man, for only so shall you hope to obtain your own good purpose. "My comrades and my beloved, be bold and not meek; be spacious and not confined; and until my final hour and yours be indeed your greater self." And he ceased speaking and there fell a deep gloom upon the nine, and their heart was turned away from him, for they understood not his words. And behold, the three men who were mariners longed for the sea; and they who had served in the Temple yearned for the consolation of her sanctuary; and they who had been his playfellows desired the market-place. They all were deaf to his words, so that the sound of them returned unto him like weary and homeless birds seeking refuge. And Almustafa walked a distance from them in the Garden, saying nothing, nor looking upon them. And they began to reason among themselves and to seek excuse for their longing to be gone. And behold, they turned and went every man to his own place, so that Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, was left alone. And when the night was fully come, he took his steps to the grave-side of his mother and sat beneath the cedar-tree which grew above the place. And there came the shadow of a great light upon the sky, and the Garden shone like a fair jewel upon the breast of earth. And Almustafa cried out in the aloneness of his spirit, and he said: "Heavy-laden is my soul with her own ripe fruit. Who is there would come and take and be satisfied? Is there not one who has fasted and who is kindly and generous in heart, to come and break his fast upon my first yieldings to the sun and thus ease me of the weight of mine own abundance? "My soul is running over with the wine of the ages. Is there no thirsty one to come and drink? "Behold, there was a man standing at the cross-roads with hands stretched forth unto the passers-by, and his hands were filled with jewels. And he called upon the passers-by, saying: 'Pity me, and take from me. In God's name, take out of my hands and console me.' "But the passers-by only looked upon him, and none took out of his hand. "Would rather that he were a beggar stretching forth his hand to receive -- ay, a shivering hand, and brought back empty to his bosom -- than to stretch it forth full of rich gifts and find none to receive. "And behold, there was also the gracious prince who raised up his silken tents between the mountain and the desert and bade his servants to burn fire, a sign to the stranger and the wanderer; and who sent forth his slaves to watch the road that they might fetch a guest. But the roads and the paths of the desert were unyielding, and they found no one. "Would rather that prince were a man of nowhere and nowhen, seeking food and shelter. Would that he were the wanderer with naught but his staff and an earthen vessel. For then at nightfall would he meet with his kind, and with the poets of nowhere and nowhen, and share their beggary and their remembrances and their dreaming. "And behold, the daughter of the great king rose from sleep and put upon her silken raiment and her pearls and rubies, and she scattered musk upon her hair and dipped her fingers in amber. Then she descended from her tower to her garden, where the dew of night found her golden sandals. "In the stillness of the night the daughter of a ploughman, tending his sheep in a field, and returning to her father's house at eventide with the dust of the curving roads upon her feet, and the fragrance of the vineyards in the folds of her garment. And when the night is come, and the angel of the night is upon the world, she would steal her steps to the river-valley where her lover awaits. "Would that she were a nun in a cloister burning her heart for incense, that her heart may rise to the wind, and exhausting her spirit, a candle, for a light arising toward the greater light, together with all those who worship and those who love and are beloved. "Would rather that she were a woman ancient of years, sitting in the sun and remembering who had shared her youth." And the night waxed deep, and Almustafa was dark with the night, and his spirit was as a cloud unspent. And he cried again: "Heavy-laden is my soul with her own ripe fruit; Heavy-laden is my soul with her fruit. Who now will come and eat and be fulfilled? My soul is overflowing with her wine. Who now will pour and drink and be cooled of the desert heat? "Would that I were a tree flowerless and fruitless, For the pain of abundance is more bitter than barrenness, And the sorrow of the rich from whom no one will take Is greater than the grief of the beggar to whom none would give. "Would that I were a well, dry and parched , and men throwing stones into me; For this were better and easier to be borne than to be a source of living water When men pass by and will not drink. "Would that I were a reed trodden under foot, For that were better than to be a lyre of silvery strings In a house whose lord has no fingers And whose children are deaf." Now, for seven days and seven nights no man came nigh the Garden, and he was alone with is memories and his pain; for even those who had heard his words with love and patience had turned away to the pursuits of other days. Only Karima came, with silence upon her face like a veil; and with cup and plate within her hand, drink and meat for his aloneness and his hunger. And after setting these before him, she walked her way. And Almustafa came again to the company of the white poplars within the gate, and he sat looking upon the road. And after a while he beheld as it were a cloud of dust blown above the road and coming toward him. And from out the cloud came the nine, and before them Karima guiding them. And Almustafa advanced and met them upon the road, and they passed through the gate, and all was well, as though they had gone their path but an hour ago. They came in and supped with him at his frugal board, after that Karima had laid upon it the bread and the fish and poured the last of the wine into the cups. And as she poured, she besought the Master saying: "Give me leave that I go into the city and fetch wine to replenish your cups, for this is spent." And he looked upon her, and in his eyes were a journey and a far country, and he said: "Nay, for it is sufficient unto the hour." And they ate and drank and were satisfied. And when it was finished, Almustafa spoke in a vast voice, deep as the sea and full as a great tide under the moon, and he said: "My comrades and my road-fellows, we must needs part this day. Long have we climbed the steepest mountains and we have wrestled with the storms. We have known hunger, but we have also sat at wedding-feasts. Oftentimes have we been naked, but we have also worn kingly raiment. We have indeed travelled far, but now we part. Together you shall go your way, and alone must I go mine. "And though the seas and the vast lands shall separate us, still we shall be companions upon our journey to the Holy Mountain. "But before we go our severed roads, I would give unto you the harvest and the gleaning of my heart: "Go you upon your way with singing, but let each song be brief, for only the songs that die young upon your lips shall live in human hearts. "Tell a lovely truth in little words, but never an ugly truth in any words. Tell the maiden whose hair shines in the sun that she is the daughter of the morning. But if you shall behold the sightless, say not to him that he is one with night. "Listen to the flute-player as it were listening to April, but if you shall hear the critic and the fault-finder speak, be deaf as your own bones and as distant as your fancy. "My comrades and my beloved, upon your way you shall meet men with hoofs; give them your wings. And men with horns; give them wreaths of laurel. And men with claws; give them petals for fingers. And men with forked tongues; give them honey words. "Ay, you shall meet all these and more; you shall meet the lame selling crutches; and the blind, mirrors. And you shall meet the rich men begging at the gate of the Temple. "To the lame give your swiftness, to the blind of your vision; and see that you give of yourself to the rich beggars; they are the most needy of all, for surely no man would stretch a hand for alms unless he be poor indeed, though of great possessions. "My comrades and my friends, I charge you by our love that you be countless paths which cross one another in the desert, where the lions and the rabbits walk, and also the wolves and the sheep. "And remember this of me: I teach you not giving, but receiving; not denial, but fulfilment; and not yielding, but understanding, with the smile upon the lips. "I teach you not silence, but rather a song not over-loud. "I teach you your larger self, which contains all men." And he rose from the board and went out straightway into the Garden and walked under the shadow of the cypress-trees as the day waned. And they followed him, at a little distance, for their heart was heavy, and their tongue clave to the roof of their mouth. Only Karima, after she had put by the fragments, came unto him and said: "Master, I would that you suffer me to prepare food against the morrow and your journey." And he looked upon her with eyes that saw other worlds that this, and he said: "My sister, and my beloved, it is done, even from the beginning of time. The food and the drink is ready, for the morrow, even as for our yesterday and our today. "I go, but if I go with a truth not yet voiced, that very truth will again seek me and gather me, though my elements be scattered throughout the silences of eternity, and again shall I come before you that I may speak with a voice born anew out of the heart of those boundless silences. "And if there be aught of beauty that I have declared not unto you, then once again shall I be called, ay, even by mine own name, Almustafa, and I shall give you a sign, that you may know I have come back to speak all that is lacking, for God will not suffer Himself to be hidden from man, nor His word to lie covered in the abyss of the heart of man. "I shall live beyond death, and I shall sing in your ears Even after the vast sea-wave carries me back To the vast sea-depth. I shall sit at your board though without a body, And I shall go with you to your fields, a spirit invisible. I shall come to you at your fireside, a guest unseen. Death changes nothing but the masks that cover our faces. The woodsman shall be still a woodsman, The ploughman, a ploughman, And he who sang his song to the wind shall sing it also to the moving spheres." And the disciples were as still as stones, and grieved in their heart for that he had said: "I go." But no man put out his hand to stay the Master, nor did any follow after his footsteps. And Almustafa went out from the Garden of his mother, and his feet were swift and they were soundless; and in a moment, like a blown leaf in a strong wind, he was far gone from them, and they saw, as it were, a pale light moving up to the heights. And the nine walked their ways down the road. But the woman still stood in the gathering night, and she beheld how the light and the twilight were become one; and she comforted her desolation and her aloneness with his words: "I go, but if I go with a truth not yet voiced, that very truth will seek me and gather me, and again shall I come." And now it was eventide. And he had reached the hills. His steps had led him to the mist, and he stood among the rocks and the white cypress-trees hidden from all things, and he spoke and said: "O Mist, my sister, white breath not yet held in a mould, I return to you, a breath white and voiceless, A word not yet uttered. "O Mist, my winged sister mist, we are together now, And together we shall be till life's second day, Whose dawn shall lay you, dewdrops in a garden, And me a babe upon the breast of a woman, And we shall remember. "O Mist, my sister, I come back, a heart listening in its depths, Even as your heart, A desire throbbing and aimless even as your desire, A thought not yet gathered, even as your thought. "O Mist, my sister, first-born of my mother, My hands still hold the green seeds you bade me scatter, And my lips are sealed upon the song you bade me sing; And I bring you no fruit, and I bring you no echoes For my hands were blind, and my lips unyielding. "O Mist, my sister, much did I love the world, and the world loved me, For all my smiles were upon her lips, and all her tears were in my eyes. Yet there was between us a gulf of silence which she would not abridge And I could not overstep. "O Mist, my sister, my deathless sister Mist, I sang the ancient songs unto my little children, And they listened, and there was wondering upon their face; But tomorrow perchance they will forget the song, And I know not to whom the wind will carry the song. And though it was not mine own, yet it came to my heart And dwelt for a moment upon my lips. "O Mist, my sister, though all this came to pass, I am at peace. It was enough to sing to those already born. And though the singing is indeed not mine, Yet it is of my heart's deepest desire. "O Mist, my sister, my sister Mist, I am one with you now. No longer am I a self. The walls have fallen, And the chains have broken; I rise to you, a mist, And together we shall float upon the sea until life's second day, When dawn shall lay you, dewdrops in a garden, And me a babe upon the breast of a woman."


Why are you weeping, my Soul?Knowest thou my weakness?Thy tears strike sharp and injure,For I know not my wrong.Until when shalt thou cry?I have naught but human words to interpret your dreams,Your desires, and your instructions.Look upon me, my Soul;I have consumed my full life heeding your teachings.Think of how I suffer!I have exhausted my life following you.My heart was glorying upon the throne,But is now yoked in slavery;My patience was a companion,But now contends against me;My youth was my hope,But now reprimands my neglect.Why, my Soul, are you all-demanding?I have denied myself pleasureAnd deserted the joy of lifeFollowing the course which you impelled me to pursue.Be just to me,Or call Death to unshackle me,For justice is your glory.Have mercy on me, my Soul.You have laden me with Love until I cannot carry my burden.You and Love are inseparable might;Substance and I are inseparable weakness.Will e'er the struggle cease between the strong and the weak?Have mercy on me, my Soul.You have shown me Fortune beyond my grasp.You and Fortune abide on the mountain top;Misery and I are abandoned together in the pit of the valley.Will e'er the mountain and the valley unite?Have mercy on me, my Soul.You have shown me Beauty,But then concealed her.You and Beauty live in the light;Ignorance and I are bound together in the dark.Will e'er the light invade darkness?Your delight comes with the Ending,And you revel now in anticipation;But this body suffers with the lifeWhile in life.This, my Soul, is perplexing.You are hastening toward Eternity,But this body goes slowly toward perishment.You do not wait for him,And he cannot go quickly.This, my Soul, is sadness.You ascend high, though heaven's attraction,But this body falls by earth's gravity.You do not console him,And he does not appreciate you.This, my Soul, is misery.You are rich in wisdom,But this body is poor in understanding.You do not compromise,And he does not obey.This, my Soul, is extreme suffering.

In the silence of the night you visit The BelovedAnd enjoy the sweetness of His presence.This body ever remains,The bitter victim of hope and separation.This, my Soul, is agonizing torture.Have mercy on me, my Soul!

Your Thoughts and Mine

Your thought is a tree rooted deep in the soil of tradition and whose branches grow in the power of continuity. My thought is a cloud moving in the space. It turns into drops which, as they fall, form a brook that sings its way into the sea. Then it rises as vapour into the sky. Your thought is a fortress that neither gale nor the lightning can shake. My thought is a tender leaf that sways in every direction and finds pleasure in its swaying. Your thought is an ancient dogma that cannot change you nor can you change it. My thought is new, and it tests me and I test it morn and eve. You have your thought and I have mine. Your thought allows you to believe in the unequal contest of the strong against the weak, and in the tricking of the simple by the subtle ones. My thought creates in me the desire to till the earth with my hoe, and harvest the crops with my sickle, and build my home with stones and mortar, and weave my raiment with woollen and linen threads. Your thought urges you to marry wealth and notability. Mine commends self-reliance. Your thought advocates fame and show. Mine counsels me and implores me to cast aside notoriety and treat it like a grain of sand cast upon the shore of eternity. Your thought instils in your heart arrogance and superiority. Mine plants within me love for peace and the desire for independence. Your thought begets dreams of palaces with furniture of sandalwood studded with jewels, and beds made of twisted silk threads. My thought speaks softly in my ears, "Be clean in body and spirit even if you have nowhere to lay your head." Your thought makes you aspire to titles and offices. Mine exhorts me to humble service. You have your thought and I have mine. Your thought is social science, a religious and political dictionary. Mine is simple axiom. Your thought speaks of the beautiful woman, the ugly, the virtuous, the prostitute, the intelligent, and the stupid. Mine sees in every woman a mother, a sister, or a daughter of every man. The subjects of your thought are thieves, criminals, and assassins. Mine declares that thieves are the creatures of monopoly, criminals are the offspring of tyrants, and assassins are akin to the slain. Your thought describes laws, courts, judges, punishments. Mine explains that when man makes a law, he either violates it or obeys it. If there is a basic law, we are all one before it. He who disdains the mean is himself mean. He who vaunts hisscorn of the sinful vaunts his disdain of all humanity. Your thought concerns the skilled, the artist, the intellectual, the philosopher, the priest. Mine speaks of the loving and the affectionate, the sincere, the honest, the forthright, the kindly, and the martyr. Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being. In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself. You have your thought and I have mine. According to your thought, the greatness of nations lies in their politics, their parties, their conferences, their alliances and treaties. But mine proclaims that the importance of nations lies in work - work in the field, work in the vineyards, work with the loom, work in the tannery, work in the quarry, work in the timberyard, work in the office and in the press. Your thought holds that the glory of the nations is in their heroes. It sings the praises of Rameses, Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, and Napoleon. But mine claims that the real heroes are Confucius, Lao-Tse, Socrates, Plato, Abi Taleb, El Gazali, Jalal Ed-din-el Roumy, Copernicus, and Pasteur. Your thought sees power in armies, cannons, battleships, submarines, aeroplanes, and poison gas. But mine asserts that power lies in reason, resolution, and truth. No matter how long the tyrant endures, he will be the loser at the end. Your thought differentiates between pragmatist and idealist, between the part and the whole, between the mystic and materialist. Mine realizes that life is one and its weights, measures and tables do not coincide with your weights, measures and tables. He whom you suppose an idealist may be a practical man. You have your thought and I have mine. Your thought is interested in ruins and museums, mummies and petrified objects. But mine hovers in the ever-renewed haze and clouds. Your thought is enthroned on skulls. Since you take pride in it, you glorify it too. My thought wanders in the obscure and distant valleys. Your thought trumpets while you dance. Mine prefers the anguish of death to your music and dancing. Your thought is the thought of gossip and false pleasure. Mine is the thought of him who is lost in his own country, of the alien in his own nation, of the solitary among his kinfolk and friends. You have your thought and I have mine.

Prologue part 1
Prologue part 2
Prologue part 3
Prologue part 4
Prologue part 5
Prologue part 6
Prologue part 7
Prologue part 8
Prologue part 9
Prologue part 10
1: The Three Metamorphoses
2: The Academic Chairs of Virtue
3: The Afterworldly
4: The Despisers of the Body
5: Joys and Passions
6: The Pale Criminal
7: Reading and Writing
8: The Tree on the Hill
9: The Preachers of Death
10: War and Warriors
11: The New Idol
12: The Flies in the Market Place
13: Chastity
14: The Friend
15: The Thousand and One Goals
16: Love of the Neighbor
17: The Way of the Creator
18: Old and Young Women
19: The Bite of the Adder
20: Child and Marriage
21: Free Death
22: The Gift-Giving Virtue
23: The Child with the Mirror
24: In The Happy Isles
25: The Compassionate
26: The Priests
27: The Virtuous
28: The Rabble
29: The Tarantulas
30: The Famous Wise Men
31: The Night Song
32: The Dance Song
33: The Grave Song
34: Self Overcoming
35: The Sublime Ones
36: The Land of Culture
37: Immaculate Perception
38: Scholars
39: Poets
40: Great Events
41: The Soothsayer
42: Redemption
43: Manly Prudence
44: The Stillest Hour
45: The Wanderer
46: The Vision and the Riddle
47: Involuntary Bliss
48: Before Sunrise
49: Virtue That Diminishes
50: The Mount of Olives
51: Passing By
52: The Apostates
53: The Return Home
54: The Three Evils
55: The Spirit of Gravity
56: Old and New Tablets
57: The Convalescent
58: The Great Longing
59: The Second Dance Song
60: The Seven Seals (The Yes and Amen Song)
61: The Honey Sacrifice
62: The Cry of Distress
63: Conversation with the Kings
64: The Leech
65: The Magician
66: Out of Service
67: The Ugliest Man
68: The Voluntary Beggar
69: The Shadow
70: At Noontide
71: The Greeting
72: The Last Supper
73: The Higher Man
74: The Song of Melancholy
75: Science
76: Among Daughters of the Desert
77: The Awakening
78: The Ass Festival
79: The Drunken Song
80: The Sign


Blogger adverse seo said...

His writings teach a philosophy of universal peace and religious tolerance based on a spirit of love that transcends cultural differences.

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11:14 am  
Blogger Firoz Khan said...
fotografo matrimonio :-Battesimo,dove trasmettiamo sempre quelle emozioni uniche attraverso le immagini che rimarrano per sempre impresse nella memoria di tutta la famiglia,e dove i bambini stessi possono rivedere qualcosa di importante della loro vita e avere come ricordo per sempre
Pre-Wedding PhotoShoot

11:27 am  
Blogger Frances said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:54 am  
Blogger ליאור קרסנופולסקי said...

i have a huge problem
i want to get my love back and i dont know what to do can you give advice of what should i do. on one side he wants me and loves but he asks me to get things i don’t want and it’s began to get bother me and we broke-up and i am still in love with him what to do ?
Moreover , i want to know what is really will work for me.
if he will get what he wants from me i will suffer from that but what to do i need a good advice from you pleaseee
i search and found one site that write about this program too what to do
I know i bother you but it is for safe my wonderful relationship with him

10:14 am  

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