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 Work,” The Prophet unravels the deeper meaning of labor, portraying it as an act of love made visible. He emphasizes that work is not just a means to sustenance, but a song of the soul expressing its purpose. Through his insights, The Prophet invites us to embrace our tasks with passion and devotion, recognizing that in true work, the heart and hands unite, crafting beauty and adding to the tapestry of existence.
Then a ploughman said, Speak to us of Work.
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
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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