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⛰ What It's About
The Prophet is a collection 26 poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual and inspirational.
The prophet has lived in Orphalese for 12 years and is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He's stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses topics such as life and the human condition.
The book is divided into chapters dealing with work, love, marriage, eating and drinking, joy and sorrow, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, pleasure, beauty, religion, crime and punishment, reason and passion, and death.
🔍 How I Discovered It
Tim Ferris recommendation.
Overall this is a short and simply written book. It's beautifully written. I usually don't like poetic writing - I find it a bit pretentious and find it difficult to understand and get frustrated... but with this book I found it really engaging and accessible. The point of each chapter, poem, fable was easy to recognise and relate to and it was all really quite inspiring and made me feel good. I found the whole book quite profound and feel like this book is one worth re-reading every once in a while. It made me feel quite spiritual and the book has a seductive tone throughout.
🥰 Favourite Quotes
“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,” Excerpt From: Kahlil Gibran. “The Prophet”. Apple Books.
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
On Joy & Sorrow
When you're sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 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.
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.
On Good & Evil
Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters. You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil. For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house. And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom. You are good when you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself. For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
All these things have you said of beauty, Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied, And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, But rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted. It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw, But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight. People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.