One of the really lovely things about reading books is that one book will always lead into another and the growing and learning just keeps happening. This is true of fiction as much as it is true of non fiction because fiction needs to research geographical and historical knowledge as well as develop believable characters. And there is always something in a story which will enrich and develop one’s understanding.
Our book for today is an inspirational masterpiece of spiritual fiction. It was first published in 1923 and has been translated into more than forty languages ( Wikipedia actually says over 100). It is one of the most translated books in history and has never been out of print. It is short, with 133 small pages and will take about 20 minutes to read and for the next 20 years you will ponder its profound wisdom and paradox. It is a book I consider essential reading for its beautiful lyrical expression, timeless wisdom and truth.
The Prophet, written by Lebanese- American poet Kahill Gibran, is a collection of 26 fables of poetic prose which are at once philosophical, spiritual and inspirational. After Shakespeare and the Chinese poet Laozi, The Prophet, has made Gibran the third most sold poet of all time (The Conversation.com). Excerpts of The Prophet are often read at weddings and funerals and the book contains sage advice on all aspects of living. Below are just a few quotes from The Prophet.
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself”
― Khalil Gibran,
“Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
― Kahlil Gibran, T
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
― Kahlil Gibran,
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same 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, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
― Khalil Gibran,
If you are not familiar with this book, please do yourself a favour and read it. If you are familiar, do yourself a favour and reread it.