The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
“The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran is a revered esoteric classic, originally published in 1923. This book seamlessly blends poetry and philosophy, offering profound insights into the mysteries of the human soul. It tells the story of a beloved prophet bidding farewell to a place he holds dear, imparting heartfelt wisdom to its people.
In his eloquent speech, the prophet weaves words of love, friendship, and gratitude using poetic imagery to convey the delicate balance of togetherness, joy, and even the inevitability of pain and sorrow. Gibran’s wisdom, akin to the profound verses of Rumi, resonates deeply.
The poetic beauty of Gibran’s words serve as a precious gift, revealing profound truths about life, love, freedom, and the interconnectedness of all things. “The Prophet” possesses a transformative power that deeply resonates with seekers of esoteric knowledge, lighting the path for those in search of wisdom, and inviting readers to unlock their inner knowledge and embrace profound truths.
In “On Crime and Punishment,” The Prophet speaks to humanity’s struggle with justice and redemption. He paints a vision where understanding and compassion eclipse condemnation. Through his words, The Prophet challenges us to see that even in wrongdoing, there lies a cry for acknowledgment and healing. He invites society to reflect, emphasizing that when we truly see the interconnectedness of all souls, we approach justice with a heart of mercy and healing.
On Crime and Punishment
Then one of the judges of the city stood forth and said, Speak to us of Crime and Punishment.
And he answered, saying:
It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,
That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.
And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged.
Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self does not dwell alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I now speak.
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
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 as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,
So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.
Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.
You are the way and the wayfarers.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.
And this also, though the word lie heavy upon your hearts:
The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder,
And the robbed is not blameless in being robbed.
The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked,
And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon.
Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured,
And still more often the condemned is the burden bearer for the guiltless and unblamed.
You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the wicked;
For they stand together before the face of the sun even as the black thread and the white are woven together.
And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.
If any of you would bring to judgment the unfaithful wife,
Let him also weigh the heart of her husband in scales, and measure his soul with measurements.
And let him who would lash the offender look unto the spirit of the offended.
And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the axe unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;
And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.
And you judges who would be just,
What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?
What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?
And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,
Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?
And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?
Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?
Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.
Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.
And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,
And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.
Continue Reading The Prophet
Table of Contents
- The Coming of the Ship
- On Love
- On Marriage
- On Children
- On Giving
- On Eating and Drinking
- On Work
- On Joy and Sorrow
- On Houses
- On Clothes
- On Buying and Selling
- On Crime and Punishment
- On Laws
- On Freedom
- On Reason and Passion
- On Pain
- On Self-Knowledge
- On Teaching
- On Friendship
- On Talking
- On Time
- On Good and Evil
- On Prayer
- On Pleasure
- On Beauty
- On Religion
- On Death
- The Farewell
The Prophet PDF
A Scanned Copy of the 1923 printing of The Prophet can be read here
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The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is widely considered to be a masterpiece of spiritual poetry. This book contains all twelve original drawings Gibran created specifically for The Prophet upon its first publication.
About the Author
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, and a philosopher best known for his, The Prophet. Born to a Maronite-Christian family in a village occupied by Ottoman rule, Gibran and his family immigrated to the United States in 1895 in search of a better life. Studying art and literature, and inevitably ensconced in the world of political activism as a young man dealing with the ramifications of having to leave his home-land, Gibran hoped to make his living as an artist. With the weight of political and religious upheaval on his shoulders, Gibran’s work aimed to inspire a revolution of free though and artistic expression.
Gibran’s, The Prophet has become one of the best-selling books of all time, leaving behind a legacy of tremendous accolades and establishing him as both a literary rebel and hero in his country of Lebanon. Gibran is considered to be the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu.
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