The Lebanese-American writer Kahlil Gibran is best known for his elegant and moving book The Prophet. But Gibran produced many other works during his short life, which ended in 1931. Since his death, Gibran has inspired countless spiritual progressives, including artists like John Lennon who paraphrased Gibran’s famous verse, “Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you,” in the Beatle’s song Julia, from the White Album.
In A Second Treasury of Kahlil Gibran there is one passage that is especially poignant and should be recalled frequently by Progressive Christians and all who are walking the path of spiritual progress:
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. If your knowledge doesn’t teach you the real value of things, nor frees you from the bondage of matter, you will never come near the altar of Truth. If your knowledge doesn’t teach you to rise above human weakness and misery to help lead others on the right path, you are indeed someone of little worth and will remain so until judgment day.1
Learn the words of wisdom uttered by the wise and apply them to your own life. Live them, but do not make a grand show of reciting them in public–for someone who repeats what they do not fully understand is no better than an ass loaded with books. Remember that one person who is just gives the Devil greater affliction than a million blind believers in God.
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- In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. This does not mean that we are to wring our hands over yesterday’s sins, so as to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s final day of judgment. There is no singular last day. Our day of judgment is here with us always, and in a million different ways. It demands only that we make a decision, and make it on our own. – The Lord’s Prayer For Daily Life, pg. 27 [↩]