“Life is indeed darkness unless there is urge,
And all urge is blind unless there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain unless there is work,
And all work is empty unless there is love” – Gibran Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
“The Prophet” is Gibran’s absolute masterpiece and the sum of his lifetime experience.
Upon its publishing in the US in 1923, it achieved immediate success. It impressed all readers with its highly spiritual and universal teachings, and for many years to follow, it was second in sales only to The Bible.
It was first written in English before being translated into more than 20 languages. The book took its name from a poem written to Gibran by a lady he loved greatly: Josephine Peabody, a poet who used to call him her “young prophet”.
This book was meant to be part of a trilogy:
-The Prophet; examining the relationship of man to other humans
-The Prophet’s Garden; examining the relationship of man to Nature
-The Prophet’s Death; examining the relationship of man to God
Throughout “The Prophet”, Al-Mustafa –who is about to take the ship back home- talks to the people of the Island of Orphalese about basic concepts in life, based on his own vision & understanding. He lectures them on Love, Marriage, Children, Giving, Sorrow & Joy, Friendship, Beauty, etc. Below are some quotes from that amazing book:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked”
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding”
“Stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
“Your friend is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving”
“Trees give so as to live, for to withhold is to perish”
“For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.”
“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation”
“They see only their shadows, and their shadows are their laws.”