Sunday, June 15, 2008

"The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran

I recommend that you read this little book titled "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran. It is freely available HERE along with his other works and some information about him.

I even emailed the parts about Children and Marriage to my mother. Because what Gibran says in those chapters is extremely relevant to my mother's relationship with me&my brother and my father, they are almost like written for us. :)

After reading a chapter of the book, if you get a feeling that you didn't understand it completely, then I suggest that you try to read it over and over again and think about what the author aims to tell the reader. I'm still only halfway through the book, but I found every metaphor, every seemingly nonsense-phrase to be of a lot of meaning.

I'm not saying the book is flawless, but at least I could assert the flaws I perceived to certain conditions and was able to ignore some of them without getting upset at the author. For example: the impossibility of the author knowing back then that a mindset he defends can actually have tragic consequences under certain conditions.

That's also one of the reasons why Anthony Daniels, a psychiatrist, criticizes the book pretty harshly. But I found his criticism to be a little too emotional and biased, especially for a psychiatrist. I also watched one of his interviews, he seems to be interested in the harmful effects of lack of self-control or authority. He digs really deep to interpret the teachings in a pessimistic way and this blinds him to some points in the book.

There is one thing though: I'm not sure if someone can understand the book at all, if one doesn't already know what the author tries to say. Perhaps one has to go through the experience himself/herself* before being able to appreciate this work of art, or any other for that matter... I'll write my thoughts about art when I can find some time. About its advantages, disadvantages, limits and so on... It'll be sort of Art vs. Science I suppose. But that's it for now...

[ Interesting Fact: Did you know that there is only one word in Turkish for both he and she? : "O". Notice the unnecessary gender differentiation(sexism?) in the English language, the same in German and all other western languages I guess. The definite articles are also unnecessary for practical communication purposes, should better be removed, especially from German.]

Turkish Language - The Articles


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