Kahlil Gibran Quotes

Kahlil Gibran, 1883 – 1931

Born: 6 January 1883, Bsharri, Ottoman Syria (now Lebanon)
Died: 10 April 1931, New York City

Gibran Khalil Gibran bin Mikha’il bin Sa’ad was born in Christian Maronite community, his mother Kamila was the daughter of a Maronite priest. His father worked for an Ottoman administrator (read “warlord”), when the administrator was forced from power his staff was investigated and Gibran’s father jailed on embezzlement charges. Although he was released in 1894, Kamila and her children moved to Boston the next year. Along with public school he enrolled in art classes, his drawings were published as early as 1898. To better understand his Lebanese roots he attended prep school at Beirut, returning in 1902. In 1908 he went to Paris and spent two years studying with Auguste Rodin. In 1912 he moved to New York and worked on both his painting and writing, predominantly in Arabic. Starting in 1918 with The Madman he wrote almost exclusively in English, in the Anglophone world he is best known for The Prophet (1923). In 1930 he developed cirrhosis of the liver, which he apparently compounded by drinking heavily to relieve the pain. His sister bought a monastery in his home village and buried Gibran there, the facility is now the Gibran Museum. His will gave his publishing royalties to his home village.

Note: Although a strict transliteration of his given name is Khalil, it was recorded as Kahlil when he entered school at Boston and he consistenly used that spelling in English.

Kahlil Gibran quotes:

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?
    Kahlil Gibran

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
    Kahlil Gibran

A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
    Kahlil Gibran

A root is a flower that disdains fame.
    Kahlil Gibran

Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood.
    Kahlil Gibran

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.
    Kahlil Gibran

All that spirits desire, spirits attain.
    Kahlil Gibran

An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.
    Kahlil Gibran

And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.
    Kahlil Gibran

And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
    Kahlil Gibran

As one’s gifts increase, his friends decrease.
    Kahlil Gibran

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.
    Kahlil Gibran

But now I have learned to listen to silence. To hear its choirs singing the song of ages, chanting the hymns of space, and disclosing the secrets of eternity.
    Kahlil Gibran

By losing your goal, you have lost your way.
    Kahlil Gibran

Coming generations will learn equality from poverty, and love from woes.
    Kahlil Gibran

Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor in his own land or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
    Kahlil Gibran

Desire is half of life, indifference is half of death.
    Kahlil Gibran

Disagreement may be the shortest cut between two minds.
    Kahlil Gibran

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
    Kahlil Gibran

During the first period of a man’s life the greatest danger is not to take the risk. When once the risk has really been taken, then the greatest danger is to risk too much.
    Kahlil Gibran

Education sows not seeds in you, but makes your seeds grow.
    Kahlil Gibran

Enthusiasm is a volcano on whose top never grows the grass of hesitation.
    Kahlil Gibran

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
    Kahlil Gibran

Every man loves two women;the one is the creation of his imagination and the other is not yet born.
    Kahlil Gibran

Exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.
    Kahlil Gibran

Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.
    Kahlil Gibran

Faith, is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.
    Kahlil Gibran

Fear of the devil is one way of doubting God.
    Kahlil Gibran

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
    Kahlil Gibran

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

God has placed in each soul an apostle to lead us upon the illumined path. Yet many seek life from without, unaware that is within them.
    Kahlil Gibran

God made Truth with many doors to welcome every believer who knocks on them.
    Kahlil Gibran

Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.
    Kahlil Gibran

Hallow the body as a temple to comeliness and sanctify the heart as a sacrifice to love; love recompenses the adorers.
    Kahlil Gibran

He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy.
    Kahlil Gibran

He who requires urging to do a noble act will never accomplish it.
    Kahlil Gibran

History does not repeat itself except in the minds of those who do not know history.
    Kahlil Gibran

I am indeed rich, since my income is superior to my expense, and my expense is equal to my wishes.
    Kahlil Gibran

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; Yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.
    Kahlil Gibran

I have never agreed with my other self wholly. The truth of the matter seems to lie between us.
    Kahlil Gibran

I know faces, because I look through the fabric my own eye weaves, and behold the reality beneath.
    Kahlil Gibran

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
    Kahlil Gibran

I prefer to be a dreamer among the humblest, with visions to be realized, than lord among those without dreams and desires.
    Kahlil Gibran

If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully
    Kahlil Gibran

If it were not for guests all houses would be graves.
    Kahlil Gibran

Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam: A Book of Aphorisms (1926)
Hallow the body as a temple to comeliness and sanctify the heart as a sacrifice to love; love recompenses the adorers.

Kahlil Gibran
He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy.

Kahlil Gibran
He who requires urging to do a noble act will never accomplish it.

Kahlil Gibran
History does not repeat itself except in the minds of those who do not know history.

Kahlil Gibran
How amazing time is, and how amazing we are.

Kahlil Gibran

“Children of Gods, Scions of Apes” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
How amazing time is, and how amazing we are. Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.

Kahlil Gibran

“Children of Gods, Scions of Apes” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
How distant I am from the people when I am with them, and how close when they are far away.

Kahlil Gibran
I have existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.

Kahlil Gibran

“The Anthem of Humanity” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; Yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

Kahlil Gibran
I have never agreed with my other self wholly. The truth of the matter seems to lie between us.

Kahlil Gibran
I know faces, because I look through the fabric my own eye weaves, and behold the reality beneath.

Kahlil Gibran

“Faces” in The Madman (1918)
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.

Kahlil Gibran
I prefer to be a dreamer among the humblest, with visions to be realized, than lord among those without dreams and desires.

Kahlil Gibran
I soared into limitless space and took wing in the imaginal world, approaching the circle of exalted light; and here I am now, mired in matter.

Kahlil Gibran

“The Anthem of Humanity” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)

If indeed you must be candid, be candid beautifully

Kahlil Gibran
If it were not for guests all houses would be graves.

Kahlil Gibran
If my survival caused another to perish, then death would be sweeter and more beloved.

Kahlil Gibran
If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will always remember.

Kahlil Gibran
If [the teacher] 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.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Teaching” in The Prophet (1923)
If you are poor, shun association with him who measures men with the yardstick of riches.

Kahlil Gibran
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.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Work” in The Prophet (1923)
If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.

Kahlil Gibran
If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

Kahlil Gibran
If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?

Kahlil Gibran
In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.

Kahlil Gibran
In the depth of my soul there is a wordless song.

Kahlil Gibran
In the depths of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Death” in The Prophet (1923)
In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Friendship” in The Prophet (1923)
In this burning that is never extinguished is a joy that never wanes.

Kahlil Gibran

The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)

In truth we gaze but do not see, and hearken but do not hear; we eat and drink but do not taste. And there lies the difference between Jesus of Nazareth and ourselves.

Kahlil Gibran

Jesus, The Son of Man (1928)
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?

Kahlil Gibran

“On Giving” in The Prophet (1923)
It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Giving” in The Prophet (1923)
It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.

Kahlil Gibran
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.

Kahlil Gibran
Kindness is the shadow of God in man.

Kahlil Gibran
Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.

Kahlil Gibran
Let there be spaces in your togetherness.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Marriage” in The Prophet (1923)
Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.

Kahlil Gibran

“The Vision” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
Life without Liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit. … Life, liberty, and thought — three persons in one substance, eternal, never-ending, and unceasing.

Kahlil Gibran

“The Vision” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.

Kahlil Gibran
Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.

Kahlil Gibran
Love and what generates it. Rebellion and what creates it. Liberty and what nourishes it. Three manifestations of God. And God is the conscience of the rational world.

Kahlil Gibran

“The Vision” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Love” in The Prophet (1923)
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. …
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. …
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Love” in The Prophet (1923)

Love is trembling happiness.

Kahlil Gibran
Love possesses not nor will it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Love” in The Prophet (1923)
Love that does not renew itself every day becomes a habit and in turn a slavery.

Kahlil Gibran
Man merely discovers, he never can and never will invent.

Kahlil Gibran
Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.

Kahlil Gibran
Many are the fools who say that Jesus stood in His own path and opposed Himself; that He knew not His own mind, and in the absence of that knowledge confounded Himself.

Kahlil Gibran

“Nicodemus The Poet” in Jesus, The Son of Man (1928)
Many indeed are the owls who know no song unlike their own hooting.

Kahlil Gibran

Jesus, The Son of Man (1928)
March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path.

Kahlil Gibran

“Wisdom and I” in The Voice of the Master (1963)
Money is like love; it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it, and enlivens the other who turns it on his fellow man.

Kahlil Gibran

Yesterday and Today in Tears and Laughter, Martin L. Wolf, ed. (1947)
Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.

Kahlil Gibran
Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Pain” in The Prophet (1923)
Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.

Kahlil Gibran
My loneliness was born when men praised my talkative faults and blamed my silent virtues.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam (1926)
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me not to define a place by saying ‘here’ or ‘there’. Before my Soul taught me, I thought that when I was in any place on the earth I was remote from every other spot. But now I have learned that the place where I subsist is all places, and the space I occupy is all intervals.

Kahlil Gibran

The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me that the lamp which I carry does not belong to me, and the song that I sing was not generated from within me. Even if I walk with light, I am not the light; and if I am a taut-stringed lute, I am not the lute player.

Kahlil Gibran

The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)

My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me to love what the people abhor and to show good will toward the one they hate. It showed me that Love is a property not of the lover but of the beloved. Before my Soul taught me, Love was for me a delicate thread stretched between two adjacent pegs, but now it has been transformed into a halo; its first is its last, and its last is its first. It encompasses every being, slowly expanding to embrace all that ever will be.

Kahlil Gibran

The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
My yearning is my cup, my burning thirst is my drink, and my solitude is my intoxication; I do not and shall not quench my thirst. But in this burning that is never extinguished is a joy that never wanes.

Kahlil Gibran

The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
No lower can a man descend than to interpret his dreams into gold and silver.

Kahlil Gibran
Of life’s two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a laborer’s hand.

Kahlil Gibran
Oh, heart, I the ignorant say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower perishes, but the seeds remain. This is the law of God.

Kahlil Gibran
One may not reach the dawn save by path of night.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam: A Book of Aphorisms (1926)
Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,
And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Crime and Punishment” in The Prophet (1923)
Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master?

Kahlil Gibran

“On Houses” in The Prophet (1923)
Our worst fault is our preoccupation with the faults of others.

Kahlil Gibran
Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.

Kahlil Gibran
Philosophy’s work is finding the shortest path between two points.

Kahlil Gibran
Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.

Kahlil Gibran
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.

Kahlil Gibran

“A Handful of Sand on the Shore” quoted by Karen Fiala in Alterquest: the Alternative Quest for Answers (2006)
Rebellion without truth is like spring in a bleak, arid desert.

Kahlil Gibran
Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.

Kahlil Gibran

Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being.

Kahlil Gibran
Say not, ‘I have found the truth’, but rather, ‘I have found a truth’.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Self-Knowledge” in The Prophet (1923)
Should we all confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another for our lack of originality. Should we all reveal our virtues we would also laugh for the same cause.

Kahlil Gibran
Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches; yet it sends our living roots deeper into the living heart of the living earth.

Kahlil Gibran
Strange that creatures without backbones have the hardest shells.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam (1926)
Strange that we all defend our wrongs with more vigor than we do our rights.

Kahlil Gibran
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.

Kahlil Gibran
The best of men is he who blushes when you praise him and remains silent when you defame him.

Kahlil Gibran
The bird has an honor that man does not have. Man lives in the traps of his abdicated laws and traditions; but the birds live according to the natural law of God who causes the earth to turn around the sun.

Kahlil Gibran
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Joy and Sorrow” in The Prophet (1923)
The giving and receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Pleasure” in The Prophet (1923)
The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.

Kahlil Gibran

“My Friend” in The Madman (1918)
The lights of stars that were extinguished ages ago still reaches us. So it is with great men who died centuries ago, but still reach us with the radiations of their personalities.

Kahlil Gibran
The most pitiful among men is he who turns his dreams into silver and gold.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam: A Book of Aphorisms (1926)
The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.

Kahlil Gibran

The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.

Kahlil Gibran
The reality of the other person lies not in what he reveals to you but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather to what he does not say.

Kahlil Gibran
The silence of the envious is too noisy.

Kahlil Gibran
The tears that you spill, the sorrowful, are sweeter than the laughter of snobs and the guffaws of scoffers.

Kahlil Gibran

“A Handful of Sand on the Shore” quoted by Karen Fiala in Alterquest: the Alternative Quest for Answers (2006)
The truly religious man does not embrace a religion; and he who embraces one has no religion.

Kahlil Gibran
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Giving” in The Prophet (1923)
There must be something strangely sacred about salt. It is in our tears and in the sea.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam (1926)
They have exiled me now from their society and I am pleased, because humanity does not exile except the one whose noble spirit rebels against despotism and oppression. He who does not prefer exile to slavery is not free by any measure of freedom.

Kahlil Gibran
Those who give you a serpent when you ask for a fish, may have nothing but serpents to give. It is then generosity on their part.

Kahlil Gibran
Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.

Kahlil Gibran

“Children of Gods, Scions of Apes” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.

Kahlil Gibran
To be closer to God, be closer to people.

Kahlil Gibran
To realize that prophecy in the people is like fruit in the tree is to know the unity of life.

Kahlil Gibran
To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do.

Kahlil Gibran

quoted by Lisa Ford in Become a Conscious Creator (2007)
Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Kahlil Gibran

Wailing and lamentation befit those who stand before the throne of life and depart without leaving in its hands a drop of the sweat of their brows or the blood of their hearts.

Kahlil Gibran
We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.

Kahlil Gibran
We fear death, yet we long for slumber and beautiful dreams.

Kahlil Gibran
When Life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.

Kahlil Gibran

Sand and Foam: A Book of Aphorisms (1926)
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Love” in The Prophet (1923)
When we turn to one another for counsel we reduce the number of our enemies.

Kahlil Gibran
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Joy and Sorrow” in The Prophet (1923)
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Joy and Sorrow” in The Prophet (1923)
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Joy and Sorrow” in The Prophet (1923)
When you have solved all the mysteries of life you long for death, for it is but another mystery of life.

Kahlil Gibran
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Friendship” in The Prophet (1923)
When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.

Kahlil Gibran
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Kahlil Gibran

“On Work” in The Prophet (1923)
Where can I find a man governed by reason instead of habits and urges?

Kahlil Gibran
Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfful to seek other than itself.

Kahlil Gibran

Work is love made visible.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Work” in The Prophet (1923)
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.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Work” in The Prophet (1923)
Yes, there is Nirvana; it is in leading your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem.

Kahlil Gibran
Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Time” in The Prophet (1923)
Yesterday we complained of time and feared it, but today we love and embrace it. Indeed, we have begun to perceive its purposes and characteristics, and to comprehend its secrets and enigmas.

Kahlil Gibran

“Children of Gods, Scions of Apes” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.

Kahlil Gibran

“Children of Gods, Scions of Apes” in The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul, Robin H. Waterfield, ed., Juan R. I. Cole, trans. (1994)
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness,
And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Time” in The Prophet (1923)
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Children” in The Prophet (1923)
You can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?

Kahlil Gibran

“On Laws” in The Prophet (1923)
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Giving” in The Prophet (1923)
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Prayer” in The Prophet (1923)
You progress not through improving what has been done, but reaching toward what has yet to be done.

Kahlil Gibran
You see but your shadow when you turn your back to the sun.

Kahlil Gibran
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Talking” in The Prophet (1923)
You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore. …
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Marriage” in The Prophet (1923)

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. …
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.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Children” in The Prophet (1923)
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. …
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Children” in The Prophet (1923)
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.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Children” in The Prophet (1923)
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy, you may find in them a harness and a drain.
Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your body and less of your raiment.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Clothes” in The Prophet (1923)
Your confidence in the people, and your doubt about them, are closely related to your self-confidence and your self-doubt.

Kahlil Gibran
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Religion” in The Prophet (1923)
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Friendship” in The Prophet (1923)
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Friendship” in The Prophet (1923)
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Pain” in The Prophet (1923)
Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.

Kahlil Gibran

“On Reason and Passion” in The Prophet (1923)

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