The Mind and Thoughts of Kahlil Gibran

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  • Topic: Lebanon, Khalil Gibran, Love
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  • Published : May 29, 2013
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THE

MIND

AND OF

THOUGHT

KHALIL

GIBRAN*

In speaking about work to the people of Orphalese, Gibran's It is only Al-mustafa, says, "Work is love made visible."' Prophet, fair to Gibran, therefore, that we should treat his literary works, eight in Arabic and an equal number in English, as various manifestations of this love. Had Gibran been primarily a thinker, a student would probably addressing himself to the study of his philosophy have been able to establish a Gibranian system of thought and a welldefined theory of love. But Gibran was primarily a poet and a mystic in whom thought, as in every good poet and good mystic, is a state of being rather than a state of mind. A student of Gibran's philosophy, therefore, finds himself more concerned not with his ideas but with his disposition; not with his theory of love but with Gibran the lover. That Gibran had started his literary career as a Lebanese emigrant in America, passionately yearning for his homeland, twentieth-century and intellectual may, perhaps give a basic clue to his disposition framework. To be an emigrant is to be an alien. But to be an emigrant mystical alienation is added poet is to be thrice alienated. To geographical from both conventional human society at large, and estrangement also the whole world of spatio-temporal existence. Therefore such a poet is gripped by a triple longing: a longing for the country of his birth, for a utopian human society of the imagination in which he can feel at home, and for a higher world of metaphysical truth. This Gibran with the basis for his artistic creatitriple longing provided vity. Its development from one stage of his work to another is only a variation in emphasis and not in kind; three strings of his harp are always to be detected and towards the end of his life they achieve * Al-Majm�'ah al K�milahli Mu'allaf�t Gibr�nKhal�lGibr�n,Beirut 1949-50 Sand and Foam, New York 1926 ThePropbet, New York 1923 The Forerunner,New York 1920 Jesus the Sonof Man, New York 1928 The Earth Gods,New York 1931 1 TheProphet, 33. p.

56 almost perfect harmony in his master-piece, The Prophet, where the home country of the prophet Almustafa, the utopian state of human existence and the metaphysical world of higher truth become one and the same. To The Prophet as well as to the rest of Gibran's works, Music can be considered as a prelude. Published eleven years after Gibran's emigration to Boston as a youth of eleven, this essay of about thirteen pages marks the author's debut into the world of letters. Though entitled Music, this booklet is more of a schoolboy's prosaic ode to on it. As such, it tells us more music than an objective dissertation about Gibran, the emotional boy, than about his subject. The Gibran it reveals is a flowery sentimentalist who, saturated with a vague sees in music a floating sister-spirit, an ethereal nostalgic sadness, of all that a nostalgic heart is not and yet yearns to be. embodiment of the whole essay, both in style and in spirit, is the Representative following quotation, in which he addresses music: "Oh you, wine of the heart that uplifts its drinker to the heights of the world of imagination;-you ethereal waves bearing the soul's phantoms; you sea of sensibility and tenderness; to your waves we lend our soul, and to your uttermost depths we trust our hearts. Carry those hearts away beyond the world of matter and show us what is hidden deep in the world of the unknown."' Between Mztsic of 1905 and The Prophet of 1923, Gibran's writings as well as his thought seem to have passed through two stages: the youthful period of his early Arabic works, Nymphs of the Wally, Spirits Rebellious, Broken Wings and A Tear and a Smile, published between 1907 and 1914, and the relatively more mature stage of Processions, The Tempests, The Madman, his first work in English, and The Forerunner, his second, all leading up to The Prophet. It is only natural that in his youthful stage Gibran's longing in...
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