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On Freedom
Olive Branch image

An excerpt from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran


And an orator said, Speak to us of Freedom ;
And he answered saying:


At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you
prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom,
Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant
and praise him though he slays them.

Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of
the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear
their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff.

And my heart bled within me; for you can only be
free when even the desire of seeking freedom
becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to
speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfilment.

You shall be free indeed when your days are not
without a care nor your nights without a want and a
grief,
But rather when these things girdle your life and yet
you rise above them naked and unbound.

And how shall you rise beyond your days and
nights unless you break the chains which you at the
dawn of your understanding have fastened around
your noon hour?

In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest
of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun
and dazzle your eyes.
And what is it but fragments of your own self you
would discard that you may become free?

If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was
written with your own hand upon your own
forehead.
You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor
by washing the foreheads of your judges, though
you pour the sea upon them.

And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first
that his throne erected within you is destroyed.
For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud
but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame
in their own pride?

And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has
been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.
And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that
fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.

Verily all things move within your being in constant
half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the
repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that
which you would escape.

These things move within you as lights and
shadows in pairs that cling.
And when the shadow fades and is no more, the
light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters
becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.

Kahlil Gibran's book, published in 1923 is especially relevant and  helpful
for these times and is a wonderful gift for yourself or a loved one.
"The Prophet"

Tender is Legal in The Eternal State of Love
Accepted payment towards all karmic debt
The perfect gift for all who let their 'Lovelight Shine'

Kahlil Gibran
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