The Prophet

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet

“The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran is a revered esoteric classic, originally published by Alfred A. Knopf 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.

The Prophet: The Coming Of The Ship

The Prophet glimpses the vessel, a symbol of his impending transition, marking the close of his 12-year journey in the land of Orphalese. The townspeople, sensing the significance of this moment, gather around him. Almitra, the intuitive seeress, steps forward with questions for the prophet before his departure. This moment sets the stage for the prophet’s insightful reflections on life’s deeper mysteries.

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The Prophet: On Love

The Prophet speaks to the heart’s deepest callings and the sacred dance of love. He paints love not merely as an emotion, but as a force that elevates, yet can also test and refine the soul. Drawing us to our highest selves, love demands our vulnerability, urging us to embrace its wings and its roots alike. Through the prophet’s words, love is revealed as life’s profoundest mystery and gift.

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The Prophet: On Marriage

The Prophet delves into the sacred union of souls, illuminating the harmonious balance between individuality and togetherness. He portrays marriage as a temple built on deep respect and shared purpose, emphasizing the importance of space amidst union. Through these profound insights, marriage is understood not as a bond of restriction, but as a conduit for growth and mutual discovery, celebrating both the joys and challenges of shared life.

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The Prophet: On Children

The Prophet meditates on the timeless dance between generations. He portrays children not as possessions but as life’s longing for itself, independent souls journeying through the cosmos. Parents are but the bow, and children the arrows propelled into the vast unknown. Through his words, The Prophet underscores the reverence of parenthood, urging guardians to guide without imposing, understanding that each child carries the essence of tomorrow’s promise.

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The Prophet: On Giving

The Prophet explores the profound act of generosity, where giving transcends mere transaction. He illuminates how true giving springs from the heart’s abundance, without expectation of return. Through his insights, he challenges us to recognize that in giving, we truly receive. The Prophet teaches that the highest form of giving is boundless, encompassing not just material gifts, but also of oneself, in love, wisdom, and essence.

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The Prophet: On Eating and Drinking

The Prophet delves into the sacrament of sustenance, drawing parallels between the body’s nourishment and the soul’s enrichment. He frames feasting not merely as physical satiation, but as a communal act of gratitude and celebration. Through his teachings, The Prophet underscores the reverence of partaking in life’s bounties, urging us to see every meal as an offering, a dance of nature’s gifts with human spirit.

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The Prophet: 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.

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The Prophet: On Joy and Sorrow

The Prophet contemplates the duality of human experience. He suggests that joy and sorrow are intertwined, each giving depth to the other. Through his musings, he conveys that our deepest sorrows carve spaces within us, which are then filled with boundless joys. The Prophet teaches us to embrace both, understanding that in the heart’s silent conversations, the echoes of joy and sorrow are what create life’s heartrending symphony.

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The Prophet: On Houses

The Prophet reflects on the spaces we inhabit, both physical and ethereal. He suggests that houses are not just walls and roofs, but vessels of memories and dreams. While they offer shelter, true dwelling is within the boundless spirit. The Prophet urges us to seek freedom beyond confines, emphasizing that while houses are our worldly anchors, the soul yearns for the vast expanse of the infinite horizon.

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The Prophet: On Clothes

The Prophet ponders the garments we adorn, both as protection and as expression. He muses that while clothing shield our vulnerability, they can also mask our true essence. Through his reflections, The Prophet encourages us to remember that beneath the fabrics are the rhythms of the heart and soul. He reminds us that while attire can convey beauty and status, it’s the spirit’s unadorned truth that shines brightest.

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The Prophet: On Buying and Selling

The Prophet explores the dance of commerce, where transactions become more than merely an exchange of goods. He speaks of a marketplace where integrity and fairness elevate trade to a higher realm. Through his wisdom, The Prophet invites us to see beyond material gains, emphasizing the spiritual currency that flows when hearts engage in honest barter, ensuring that both giver and receiver are enriched in soulful harmony.

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The Prophet: 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.

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The Prophet: On Laws

The Prophet examines the constructs that govern society, pondering their deeper essence beyond simply a set of rules. He suggests that true laws are not just mandates inscribed on paper, but rather the resonant codes of collective consciousness. The Prophet encourages laws that honor the spirit’s innate freedom while nurturing societal harmony. He envisions a world where laws, anchored in love and wisdom, guide souls towards their highest potential.

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The Prophet: On Freedom

The Prophet delves deep into the soul’s yearning for boundless expanses. He speaks of freedom more than just a state of being unchained, but as an inner journey of self-discovery and truth. Through his poetic musings, The Prophet suggests that true freedom transcends the physical realm, inviting us to soar on wings of spirit and imagination. He paints a vision where the heart, unburdened and unshackled, dances to the universe’s timeless rhythm.

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The Prophet: On Reason and Passion

The Prophet navigates the intricate balance between the mind’s logic and the heart’s fervor. He depicts them not as adversaries, but as harmonious partners guiding the soul’s voyage. Through this lens, The Prophet encourages a dance where reason’s clarity intertwines with passion’s fire, creating a luminous path forward. He beckons us to embrace both, ensuring that in their union, we will find the fullest expression of our true selves.

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The Prophet: On Pain

The Prophet looks deeply into the wounds of the soul, revealing the transformative power of suffering. He portrays pain as a chisel, sculpting and refining our essential self. The Prophet encourages the embrace of life’s challenges, understanding that within every heartache lies the promise of a dawn filled with newfound wisdom and strength.

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The Prophet: On Self-Knowledge

The Prophet beckons us to explored the vast landscapes within. He suggests that our self-awareness is the compass guiding us to our truest essence. His words emphasize that deep self-reflection is the gateway to understanding our purpose and potential. He invites us to dive deep, for in the sacred waters of introspection, we discover the radiant truths and mysteries of our boundless spirit.

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The Prophet: On Teaching

The Prophet speaks of the sacred bond between mentor and pupil, highlighting that true education is only an unveiling of the soul’s innate wisdom. He speaks of teaching not as simply a transfer of knowledge, but as an exchange where both teacher and student evolve. The Prophet suggests that the best teachers awaken curiosity, guiding hearts of others to light their own path. He paints a vision where knowledge becomes a luminous bridge to boundless discovery.

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The Prophet: On Friendship

The Prophet celebrates the vast tapestry of connections that bind souls together. He speaks of friendship as a sanctuary, where hearts commune in unspoken understanding and trust. Through his musings, The Prophet underscores that true friendships are the mirrors reflecting our innermost essence. He cherishes these bonds as life’s treasures, calling attention to their transformative power. In his vision, true friends journey side by side, illuminating each other’s paths with shared light and love.

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The Prophet: On Talking

The Prophet reflects on the nuances of the spoken word, and focuses on the gravity of their impact. He speaks about the essence of true communication, where silence can often speak louder than words. The Prophet urges mindful expression, understanding that careless speech can often cloud truth. He envisions a world where words become bridges, not barriers. A place where integrity of word creates a harmonious flow of conversation that resonates with authenticity and depth.

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The Prophet: On Time

The Prophet unveils the enigma of existence’s ever-flowing river. He portrays time as an infinite canvas on which life paints its moments. Through these reflections, The Prophet suggests that time is both a giver and taker. Ever-present yet elusive. He invites us to embrace of the ebb and of the flow. Within this rhythm lies the beauty of creation, preservation, and transformation.

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The Prophet: On Good and Evil

The Prophet delves into the intricacies of human morality. Our exploration of the interplay between light and shadow reveal that both forces exist within us, shaping our journey. Understanding one requires embracing the other. The prophet invites us to seek harmony in recognizing that in the delicate balance between good and evil lies the profound wisdom of existence. A deeper understanding of these dualities is necessary for our spiritual evolution and growth.

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The Prophet: On Prayer

The Prophet considers prayer as the soul’s conversation with the infinite. He portrays it as a bridge of longing from the human heart to the divine, where words soar on the wings of desire and humility. The Prophet reveals that in the act of prayer, we bare our innermost yearnings, and in this vulnerable communion, we find the echo of cosmic harmony and the silent language of unity.

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The Prophet: On Pleasure

The Prophet speaks to the heart’s joy, reveling in a symphony of the senses. He sees pleasure as a celebration and a sacred affirmation of life. The Prophet reminds us that pleasure is a divine spark, kindling the spirit with delight. He urges us to savor these gifts, understanding that through pleasure, we touch the sublime, and our souls dance in the ephemeral rapture of the present.

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The Prophet: On Beauty

The Prophet holds up a mirror to the soul, revealing beauty as the reflection of the eternal within all of us. He speaks of it as the tender touch of the divine artist, an invisible essence that enchants the heart and eyes. The Prophet teaches that beauty dwells deeply within and all around, in forms and feelings, and it’s our inner sight that unveils this splendor.

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The Prophet: On Religion

The Prophet speaks to the innermost temple of the spirit, where religion is not doctrine, but a deeply personal relationship with the divine. He portrays it as the silent communion between the soul and the vast unknown, transcending holy buildings and spiritual texts. The Prophet invites us to experience the divine directly, understanding that true religion is the breath of life’s mystery flowing through the reeds of every human heart.

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The Prophet: On Death

The Prophet approaches the solemn threshold of life’s final mystery with reverence. He portrays death not as an end, but rather a return to the essence, a shedding of the physical coil to embrace eternity’s expanse. With poetic grace, The Prophet counsels us to meet death with the fullness of our being. He invites us to look past our sense of loss in order to honor the unfolding of the soul’s majestic voyage into the boundless embrace of the infinite.

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The Prophet: The Farewell

The Prophet stands at the shore of his departure, his heart heavy yet hopeful. He offers his final words as a parting embrace, a gift of the wisdom he’s imparted. With a soulful goodbye, he turns to the horizon, ready to sail back into the mystery from which he came. His presence will linger in the words shared, the silence understood, and in the unity of the spirit that no distance can sever.

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Self-Reflection Inspired by The Prophet

Prism of Love

Reflect on the different forms of love described in The Prophet. Explore its many forms; the romantic, the familial, the spiritual. Contemplate how these profound expressions of love unfold in the tapestry of your own existence. Seek the ways to nurture and express these forms of love, allowing them to flourish and bloom more fully in the garden of your heart.

Freedom Meditation

Focus on the concept of freedom . How does The Prophet’s depiction of freedom resonate with your unique perspective? Take a moment to explore which facets of your life might yearn for a greater sense of liberation. Then, embark on a thoughtful voyage, considering the paths you might traverse to unlock and fully embrace this freedom.

Journaling your Joy and Sorrow

Journal about an experience of where joy and sorrow danced in tandem. Gently cradle these emotions in your heart as you reflect upon the profound teachings each of these emotions bring. Explore the ways in which these two emotions interweave and influence one another. How has this experience sculpted the intricate contours of your personal journey?

Soulful Work

As The Prophet unravels the deeper meaning of work. He paints it as a tangible manifestation of love, a song sung by the soul to express its divine purpose. In this light, consider how your own work aligns with this notion. Is your labor woven with passion and devotion, uniting your heart and hands to create beauty and enrich your life?

Kahlil Gibran and the Spiritual Landscape

Kahlil Gibran’s spiritual legacy invites us to explore the boundless realms of the soul. His words continue to guide us as we navigate our own journey, reminding us of the common threads between many faiths, the importance of spiritual freedom, and the transformative power of love and self-awareness.

The Unity of All Religions

Gibran seemed to see beyond the boundaries of faith, recognizing the shared values that bind humanity together. In his own words, “I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” Gibran’s embrace of diversity and unity reminds us of the universal truths that transcend religious divisions.

Spiritual Freedom and Autonomy

Kahlil Gibran spiritual philosophy encouraged individuals to chart their own spiritual paths, to seek truth in their unique ways. In his view, spirituality was a deeply personal journey. He wrote, “You have your own religion, your own ideals, your own beliefs. In the religion of love, there are no believers and unbelievers. Love embraces all.” In our own spiritual quests, let us remember Gibran’s call for autonomy and the freedom to explore our many paths toward the great mystery.

Embracing Suffering as a Catalyst for Growth

To Gibran, suffering was not a sign of spiritual failure but a transformative force. He believed that out of suffering emerged the strongest souls. “The most massive characters,” he wrote, “are seared with scars.” His words remind us that challenges and adversity can be the crucible of spiritual growth, shaping us into more resilient and compassionate beings.

The Key to Self-Knowledge

For Kahlil Gibran, self-awareness and self-knowledge were essential to one’s spiritual journey. He believed that understanding oneself was the gateway to understanding the universe. This sentiment is beautifully captured in his words, “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.” In our quest for spiritual enlightenment, let us heed Gibran’s call to listen to our wisdom within.

Love as the Ultimate Spiritual Force

Love, in all its facets, was a cornerstone of Gibran’s spirituality. He saw love as a unifying and transformative force, capable of bridging divides and nurturing the soul. In his own words, “When you love you should not say, ‘God is in my heart,’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God.'” Gibran’s profound insights on love remind us of its transcendent power and its central place in our spiritual journeys.

The Art of Giving

To Kahlil Gibran, giving was an act of spiritual significance. He believed that true giving was a means of expressing love and connecting with the divine. “See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. For in truth it is life that gives unto life—while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.” He reminds us that life begets life, and we are simply conduits of that energy. In our own spiritual exploration, let us evolve from givers to instruments of life’s generosity. In this way, we harmonize with the universe’s perpetual cycle of giving and receiving, deepening our connection to divine love.


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 thought 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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