My tongue is in my hand…

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Posted on: January 5, 2010

Some of my favorite parts of this book:

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart

Your children are not your children.

They come through you but not from you,

And though 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.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity

You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed.

You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living.

For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.

Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.

And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain.

For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,

So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.

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 let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

And since you are a breath In God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion

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

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.

And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.

You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment?” nor the houseless, “What has befallen your house?”

For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether?

It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?”

All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.

Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.

And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.

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