Kahlil Gibran

"Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge."

 

"If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were."

 

"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children."

 

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."

 

"For what is it to die, but to stand in the sun and melt into the wind?"

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy."
 

 On Children

(The Prophet)

 

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

 

And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness:
For even as He loves the arrow that flies so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 On Marriage

(The Prophet)

 

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?
 

And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And 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.