The Prophet-Kahlil Gibran

I obtained The Prophet, a book by Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, from a second hand sale. It is a short read, taking a little longer than an hour.

Kahlil’s works are mostly poetry/prose poetry, parables and short stories, with influences from most of the major religions and mysticism. His writings sit in that space of things where you can’t figure out if they are profound but obvious once said, or are something you have always known but appreciate being articulated.

While not my favorite book of all time, I appreciate the themes of freedom and acceptance running through it.

You will be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor you nights without a want and a grief, but father when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.

And if it is a care that you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.

-the first quote reminds me of mindfulness (see here  or here) a common technique used to improve mental health/coping, without having to try and get rid of the all bad thoughts or stress.

-the second reminds me of an observation I had- that we all look at someone else’s life, and think that if we had their life we wouldn’t be stressed by the things that they find stressful, and that we would be happy. And they probably think the same thing looking at us. This is because we find particular things stressful because we choose to- we place importance on them, we choose to focus on small failures rather than possibility for improvement, we make certain outcomes or things the be all and end all… Someone else could be in the same situation without it being stressful.

On love and relationships:

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

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore… but let there be spaces in you togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

On children:

They are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts

On talking:

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts… and in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.

and probably my overall favorite,

Say not, “I have found the truth”, but rather, “I have found a truth.”

And with that thought, I will leave you for today.

 

 

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