self-fulfillment through the wisdom of the ages

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran


AND a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.
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.


Then Said a Teacher, Speak To Us Of Teaching.
And He Said:
No Man Can Reveal To You Aught But That Which Already Lies Half Asleep In The Dawning Of Your Knowledge.
The Teacher Who Walks In The Shadow Of The Temple, Among His Followers, Gives Not Of His Wisdom But Rather Of His Faith And His Lovingness.
If He Is Indeed Wise He Does Not Bid You Enter The House Of His Wisdom, But Rather Leads You To The Threshold Of Your Own Mind.
The Astronomer May Speak To You Of His Understanding Of Space, But He Cannot Give You His Understanding.
The Musician May Sing To You Of The Rhythm Which Is In All Space, But He Cannot Give You The Ear Which Arrests The Rhythm, Nor The Voice That Echoes It.
And He Who Is Versed In The Science Of Numbers Can Tell Of The Regions Of Weight And Measure, But He Cannot Conduct You Thither.
For The Vision Of One Man Lends Not Its Wings To Another Man.
And Even As Each One Of You Stands Alone In God's Knowledge, So Must Each One Of You Be Alone In His Knowledge Of God And In His Understanding Of The Earth.

This book is copyright-expired and in the public domain.