Born in 1883 in Lebanon, Kahlil Gibran was a Renaissance man -- an author, illustrator, poet, essayist, novelist, prophet, visionary, and spiritual adventurer. His most famous work is a series of prose poems titled The Prophet (1923). It has been translated into more than forty languages and has sold more than one hundred million copies. Sections of it were used in a 2015 animated film.
Paul-Gordon Chandler, an Episcopal priest, interfaith advocate, and social entrepreneur sees this book not as a biography but "a type of pilgrimage into and through Kahlil's own spiritual journey." Each chapter explores one of the creative works of this prolific genius and sheds light on different aspects of his spiritual quest: The Sacred Valley, The Heretic, The Lover, The Madman, The Tempest, The Prophet, The Son of Man, The Wanderer, A Man for Our Times. Themes covered include being an immigrant, traveling, espousing an interfaith perspective, musing on Jesus, and staying open to the manifold mysteries of life.
Here is a sampler of quotes from the book:
- "The things which the child loves remains in the domain of the heart until old age. The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain hovering over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves. I am one of those who remember those places regardless of time and place."
- "The soul is mightier than space, stronger than time, deeper than the sea, and higher than the stars."
- "To wake at dawn with winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
to rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
to return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips."
— from The Prophet
- "Your neighbor is your other self dwelling behind a wall. In understanding, all walls shall fall down."
— from Jesus the Son of Man
- "My friend, you and I shall remain strangers unto life,
And unto one another, and each unto himself,
Until the day when you shall speak and I shall listen
Deeming your own voice my own voice;
And when I shall stand before you
Thinking myself standing before a mirror."