Sunday Sermon by Kahlil Gibran 8-8-2010


No one can reveal to you anything 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 loving kindness.


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 The Force's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of The Force and in his understanding of the universe.


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.


Your soul is a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.


Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.

For reason, ruling alone, confines The Force; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.


Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.


Consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.

Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.


Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows -- then let your heart say in silence, "The Force rests in reason."

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky -- then let your heart say in awe, "The Force moves in passion."

And since you are a breath in The Force's sphere, and a leaf in The Force's forest, you too should rest in reason yet move in passion.


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?

When good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.


You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.


You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.

For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance."

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.


You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.

And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.


You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward. But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.


You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.


In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.


Religion is all deeds and all reflection,

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?

Who can spread his hours before him, saying, "This for The Force and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?"

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

He to whom The Force is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.


Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.


If you would know The Force be not therefore a solver of riddles.

Rather look about you and you shall see it playing with your children.

And look into space; you shall see it in the clouds, flashing in the lightning and descending in rain.

You shall see its beauty in flowers and find it waving to you in the trees.

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