Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Kahlil Gibran

1883 – 1931 CE

After Shakespeare and Laozi, Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time. His friends included WB Yeats, Carl Jung and Auguste Rodin. Elvis Presley was deeply influenced by Gibran, read passages to his mother, made notes in the margins, and gave away copies of The Prophet to his friends. Johnny Cash was also a big fan and John Lennon adapted lines from his poetry into his songs.

{Maronite Christian, Bahá’í, Sufi}

The Prophet, Sand and Foam, The Earth Gods, The Broken Wings, Love Letters in the Sand.

Eras

Sources

The Prophet

Unlisted Sources

A Tear and a Smile

Sand & Foam​

Quotes by Kahlil Gibran (95 quotes)

“And if you can't 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 the people who work with joy.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Livelihood

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“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.”

Chapters: 54. Planting Well

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“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

Chapters: 12. This Over That

Themes: Beauty

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“For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

Chapters: 37. Nameless Simplicity

Themes: Less is More

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“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

Chapters: 50. Claws and Swords

Themes: Death and Dying

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

Chapters: 80. A Golden Age

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

Chapters: 48. Unlearning

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“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.”

Chapters: 70. Inscrutable

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“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind.”

Chapters: 45. Complete Perfection

Themes: Kindness

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“I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art.”

Chapters: 81. Journey Without Goal

Themes: Art

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“I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes.”

Chapters: 56. One with the Dust

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

Chapters: 74. The Great Executioner

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“It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone... but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.”

Chapters: 20. Unconventional Mind
79. No Demands

Themes: Forget Memory

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“Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?”

Chapters: 49. No Set Mind

Themes: Evil

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“Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion… that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful… whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler… that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, and farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

Themes: Religion

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“She was beautiful in her ignorance, virtuous in her simplicity, and strong in her weakness. Today she has become ugly in her ingenuity, superficial and heartless in her knowledge. Will the day ever come when beauty and knowledge, ingenuity and virtue, and weakness of body and strength of spirit will be united… ?”

Chapters: 61. Lying Low

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“Spare me the political events and power struggles, as the whole earth is my homeland and all men are my fellow countrymen.”

Chapters: 58. Goals Without Means

Themes: Competition Power

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“The appearance of things changes according to the emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.”

Chapters: 76. The Soft and Flexible

Themes: Magic

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“The lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.”

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

Themes: Materialism

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

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Money

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“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”

Chapters: 67. Three Treasures

Themes: Kindness

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“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

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“They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.”

Chapters: 44. Fame and Fortune

Themes: Livelihood

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“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.”

Chapters: 66. Go Low

Themes: Poetry

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“When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.”

Chapters: 79. No Demands

Themes: Philosophy

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“yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

Themes: Dream

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“You often say ; I would give, but only to the deserving. The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture… For in truth it is life that gives unto life-while you, who deem yourself a giver, is but a witness.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

Themes: Compassion

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“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.”

Chapters: 5. Christmas Trees

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“You can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness”

from The Prophet

Themes: Freedom

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“If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life”

from The Prophet

Themes: Openness

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“A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Letting Go

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“A seeker of silences am I, and what treasure have I found in silences”

from The Prophet

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“And think not that you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Love

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“But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Marriage

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“For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?... And what is fear of need but need itself?”

from The Prophet

Themes: Materialism

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“When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music... Work is love made visible.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Livelihood

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“It is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.”

from The Prophet

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“The selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filed with your tears.”

from The Prophet

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“Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balance.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Emptiness

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“Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain?”

from The Prophet

Themes: Beauty

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“the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master... murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral”

from The Prophet

Themes: Entertainment

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“that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Basic Goodness

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

from The Prophet

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“It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied - but only if in love and kindly justice or it will only lead some to greed and others to hunger”

from The Prophet

Themes: Business Poverty

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“Gifts from the singers and dancers - though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and food for your soul”

from The Prophet

Themes: Music

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“the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfied”

from The Prophet

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“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Moon

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“How shall you punish those whose remorse is already grater than their misdeeds?”

from The Prophet

Themes: Punishment

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“The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked… the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Crime

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“They see only their shadows, and their shadows are their laws.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Law and Order

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“they too stand in the sunlight, but with their backs to the sun”

from The Prophet

Themes: Evil

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“You prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom, even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Freedom

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“break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened”

from The Prophet

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“if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Revolution

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“the seat of fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Fear

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“all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished”

from The Prophet

Themes: Middle Way

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“Reason alone confines; passion unattended burns to destruction… rest in reason and move in passion.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Equanimity

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“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... watch with serenity through the winders of your grief.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Suffering

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“You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams and it is well you should.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Dream

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“self is a sea boundless and measureless”

from The Prophet

Themes: Know Yourself

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“The vision of one person lends not its wings to another… no one can teach you anything that doesn’t already lie half asleep in the dawning of your understanding.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Pluralism

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“In the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Less is More

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“Thought is a bird of space that in a cage of words cannot fly”

from The Prophet

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“Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream… let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Time

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“What is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?”

from The Prophet

Themes: Evil

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“In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Basic Goodness

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“If you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking, you shall not receive.”

from The Prophet

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“regret is the beclouding of the mind”

from The Prophet

Themes: Forget

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“Pleasure is a freedom song but it is not freedom”

from The Prophet

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“your body is the harp of your soul... [you] bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Health Music

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“Beauty is not a need but an ecstasy... a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.”

from The Prophet

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“Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face... eternity gazing at itself in a mirror... you are eternity and you are the mirror.”

from The Prophet

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“Is not religion all deeds and all reflection... a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul?”

from The Prophet

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“All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Time Carpe diem

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“They who define their conduct by ethics imprison their song-bird in a cage.”

from The Prophet

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“Your daily life is your temple and your religion.”

from The Prophet

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“In the depth of your hopes and desires likes your silent knowledge... like seeds dreaming beneath the snow”

from The Prophet

Themes: Hope

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“Trust the dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Dream

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“Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Fear

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“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?”

from The Prophet

Themes: Death and Dying

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“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.”

from The Prophet

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“When you have reached the mountain top, only then will you begin to climb.”

from The Prophet

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“What is word knowledge but a shadow of wordless knowledge?”

from The Prophet

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“Though in your winter you deny your spring... you are also as strong as your strongest link.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Virtue

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“The kindness that gazes upon itself in a mirror turns to stone and a good deed that calls itself by tender names become the parent to a curse.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Anonymity

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“Too proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Livelihood

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“You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields. That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind.”

from The Prophet

Themes: True Self

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“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”

Themes: Music

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“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself... their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”

Themes: Family

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“Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.”

from The Prophet

Themes: Friendship

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“Our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.”

from Sand & Foam​

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“The Queen of Fantasy… I am a symbol embracing reality; and a truth revealing the oneness of the spirit”

from A Tear and a Smile

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“Clothed in no garment save that of beauty… they chanted melodies woven from dreams of love”

from A Tear and a Smile

Themes: Love

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“Who passes not his days in the region of dreams is the slave of those days.”

from A Tear and a Smile

Themes: Slavery

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“Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper.”

Themes: Anger

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Quotes about Kahlil Gibran (0 quotes)

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