The Prophet interpretation?

#1
How would you interpret the line in bold?

"On Religion
Kahlil Gibran

Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, "This for God 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 who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping 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.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.


And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees."
 

Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#2
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
Ethics can be genuine concerns or they can be rules. If rules, then they imprison. Genuine behaviour cannot exist without liberty which is why the apostle Paul in the Bible is at pains to point out that the Law of Moses, although essentialy good, brought about death and that salvation doesn't come by obeying a fixed code but by the Spirit of God.
"Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty"
To enter the Kingdom of God, one must become like a little child and understand trust, freedom and joy.

You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees."
I particularly love this line. ;;/?:)
 
#3
It helps to understand Gibran's religious views. Gibran was deeply spiritual. He rejected the notion of organized religion. While he was raised Christian, he was influenced by a lot of other religions. Consequently in adulthood he embraced a concept of fellowship and unity based on the religious teachings in christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. He also embraced a lot of folklore from his native land Lebanon. He was a vocal critic of political oppression and clerical hypocrisy.

This passage you selected warns against organized religion. The church promotes a disingenuous faith because they ultimately serve their own interests. In Gibran's view, true religion is not something we can learn in church. It comes from opening your eyes to the truth. It's self-realization through soul searching. These truths cannot be and are not taught in the church. Faith in all its manifestations has to come from within. Below is another quote by Gibran. It will give you a better understanding of his belief that religion comes from within.

Now to get back to the line you highlighted...Gibran warns against embracing concepts of morality and ethics crafted and espoused by man (the church). Such morality and ethics serve man, not humanity.


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I think the passage below demonstrates how Gibran's spirituality evolves from within. It also expresses his views on fellowship and unification.


“My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me and demonstrating to me that I am not exalted over the panhandler nor less than the mighty. Before my Soul taught me, I thought people consisted of two types: the weak, whom I pitied and disregarded, and the powerful, whom I followed or against I rebelled. Now, I have discovered that I was formed as one individual from the same substance from which all human beings were created. I am made up of the same elements as they are, and my pattern is theirs. My struggles are theirs, and my path is theirs.”
 
#4
My Soul gave me good counsel, teaching me and demonstrating to me that I am not exalted over the panhandler nor less than the mighty. Before my Soul taught me, I thought people consisted of two types: the weak, whom I pitied and disregarded, and the powerful, whom I followed or against I rebelled. Now, I have discovered that I was formed as one individual from the same substance from which all human beings were created. I am made up of the same elements as they are, and my pattern is theirs. My struggles are theirs, and my path is theirs
Thank you.
 
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