Of Reason and Passion

Alex Bruda

Today, I’d like to share a passage from Kahlil Gibran’s book, The Prophet. It is a passage I have read many times; and it moves me deeply, every time I read it. I hope you enjoy it too.

And the priestess spoke again and said: Speak to us of Reason and Passion.

And he answered, saying:

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

Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.

But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

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, is a force confining; and passion, left 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.

I would have you 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 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, “God 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, “God moves in passion.”

And since you are a breath in God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you should rest in reason and move in passion.

Kahlil Gibran

Photo by Alex Bruda

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4 Comments

  1. Lovely, just lovely. Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  2. Professions for PEACE

     /  September 22, 2013

    Such a beautiful excerpt! I too read and re-read that amazing book, and this passage is incredible. Thank you for sharing! Hugs, Gina

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Gina! I’m not surprised that Gibran’s work resonates with you too. Have a beautifully blessed week! Sloan

      Reply

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