…about Kahlil Gibran.
A very dear friend and reader told me that according to literary critics, the ranking of best-selling poets of all time is this:
2. Lao Tzu
3. Kahlil Gibran
So I grabbed my worn copy of The Prophet
“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 known 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.
from: The Prophet
Alfred A Knopf Publisher New York
I think it was some 30 years ago when I gave this (The Prophet) as a gift to a classmate who was suffering from the big C. I feel sorry that I never had the chance to see her again; she was not able to recover. I offered orisons for her spirit just this New Year, when while choosing the various books that have occupied a tiny/cramped space, this book fell from the ledge. Rereading the book on a quiet New Year’s Day was a time well-spent.