The Prophet is Kahlil Gibran's masterpiece and is one of the most popular spiritual books of all time. It tells the story of the prophet Al-Mustafa who is about board a ship, which will take him home. He enters into a discussion with a group of people on subjects as diverse as self knowledge, death, beauty, good and evil, love, pain, crime, shopping, life, and the human condition. The book is divided into 26 chapters and is essential reading for anyone on a spiritual journey. Read a chapter here and listen to Arthur Brown's beautiful narration of the book.
'Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death." And he said: You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
'For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
'Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.'
"Cadenced and vibrant with feeling, the words of Kahlil Gibran bring to one's ears the majestic rhythm of Ecclesiastes... If there is a man or woman who can read this book without a quiet acceptance of a great man's philosophy and a singing in the heart as of music born within, that man or woman is indeed dead to life and truth." (
The Chicago Post)
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