Gibran on Religion

And an old priest said, Speak to us of religion.

And he said:  Have I spoken this day of aught else?

Is not religion all deeds and all reflection, and that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself;  This for my soul, and this other for my body?”

All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.

He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.

The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.

And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.

The freest song comes not through bars and wires.

And he to whom worshiping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.

Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,

The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.

For in revelry you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.

And take with you all men:

For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.

And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.

Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.

And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.

You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

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This writing is from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  I’ve been wanting to buy this book for quite a while now.  When I went to Atlanta last month to empty my storage unit that had received water damage from a storm (My Atlanta Adventure) , I found the book among my belongings.  I’d forgotten I had it and have no recollection of how I acquired it.  The book opens with a statement regarding Kahlil Gibran made by Claude Bragdon.  It reads as follows:  “His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life else it could not have been so universal and so potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own.” 

kahlil gibran 2

Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) was born in Lebanon.  He is the third best-selling poet of all time behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.  Khalil Gibran is the author of The Prophet, a book composed of 26 poetic essays that has never been out of print since its publication in 1923.

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