Khalil Gibran; Wisdom (1914)

Wisdom came and stood by my bed.

In the stillness of night, Wisdom came and stood by my bed. She gazed upon me like a tender mother. Wiping away my tears, she said : ‘I have heard the cry of your spirit and I have come to comfort it. Open your heart to me and I shall fill it with light. Ask of me and I shall show you the way of truth.’

I said : ‘Who am I, Wisdom, and how came I to this frightening place? What manner of things are these mighty hopes and these many books and strange patterns ? What are these thoughts that pass as doves in flight? And these words composed by Desire and sung by delight, what are they? What are these conclusions, grievous and joyous, that embrace my spirit and envelop my heart? And those eyes which look at me seeing into my depths and fleeing from my sorrows ? And those voices mourning my days and chanting my littleness, what are they ?

‘What is this youth that plays with my desires and mocks at my longings, forgetful of yesterday’s deeds, rejoicing in paltry things of the moment, scornful of the morrow’s coming?

‘What is this world that leads me whither I know not, standing with me in despising? And this earth that opens wide its mouth to swallow bodies and lets evil things to dwell on its breast? What is this creature that is satisfied with the love of fortune, whilst beyond its union is the pit? Who seeks Life’s kiss whilst Death does smite him, and brings the pleasure of a minute with a year of repentance, and gives himself to slumber the while dreams call him?
What is he who flows with the rivers of folly to the Sea of Darkness? O Wisdom, what manner of things are these?’

And she answered, saying :
You would see, human creature, this world
Through the eyes of a god. And you would seek to
Know the secrets of the hereafter with the thinking
Of men. Yet in truth is this the height of folly.

All that You see with Your eyes was, and is, for Your sake.

The many books and the strange patterns and Beautiful thoughts are the shades of those spirits that came ere you were come. The words that you do weave are a bond between you and your brothers. The conclusions, grievous and joyous, are the deeds that the past did scatter in the field of the spirit to be reaped by the future. That youth who plays with your desires is he who will open the door of your heart to let enter the light. This earth with the ever open mouth is the saviour of your spirit from the body’s slavery. This world which walks with You is your heart; and your heart is all that You think that world. This creature whom You see as ignorant and small is the same who has come from God’s side to learn pity through sadness, and knowledge
By way of Darkness.’

Then Wisdom put her hand on my burning brow And said:
Go then forward and do not tarry, for before You walks Perfection.

Khalil Gibran, A Visit from Wisdom (1914) 

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