And he answered saying:
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.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
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.
-- from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran
Poetry Chaikhana | Kahlil Gibran - Self-Knowledge
I first read The Prophet (1923) sixty years ago. I shared it with a sixteen year-old girl whom i had no business dating, but would soon marry. I don't thing either of had any idea what i was reading, but it seemed grand and romantic at the time. I still have that copy; it shows signs of wear, but the pages and spine look as though they will outkast my. Almost every poem has coupletss or phrases or words underlined. The sections on children, work, teaching, giivinf, crime and punishment, and, especially, good and evil are heavily underlined. Others (e.g. prayer, beauty, religion) are relatively ckean.
"Self-knowledge" has only one phrase marked.
Say not,;I have found the truth,' but rather. 'I havs found a truth.'
Say not, 'I have found the path of the soul,' say rather, 'have met the soul walking upon my path.'
For the soul walks upom all paths.
That was not the line that jumped out at me this week. Instead i read:
You would knoq in words that which you have always known in thought.
But that leads to the topics of oxygen, contemplation, and John Cassian's "prayer of the heart" but that will have to be another post.