My Favorite Aphorisms from Sand and Foam (Kahlil Gibran)

I have first encountered Kahlil Gibran when I was in highschool  because of his book – The Prophet. I haven’t read that actually. We were just given a copy of it which is translated in Tagalog. But just recently, I’ve got Gibran’s another book and I was amazed by his writings. Here are some of my favorites:

foam-and-sand-kahlil-gibran

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The significance of man is not in what he attains, but rather in what he longs to attain.

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Give me an ear and I will give you a voice.

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The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather to what he does not say.

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Only the dumb envy the talkative.

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Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.

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Now let us play hide and seek. Should you hide in my heart it would not be difficult to find you. But should you hide behind your own shell, then it would be useless for anyone to seek you.

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A woman may veil her face with a smile.

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Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper that we may record our emptiness.

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Poetry is not an opinion expressed. It is a song that rises from a bleeding wound or a smiling mouth.

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Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their timelessness.

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Poetry is wisdom that enchants the heart. Wisdom is poetry that sings in the mind.

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A great singer is he who sings our silences.

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How can you sing if your mouth be filled with food? How shall your hand be raised in blessing if it is filled with gold?

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When a man’s hand touches the hand of a woman they both touch the heart of eternity.

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Every man loves two women; the one is the creation of his imagination, and the other is not yet born.

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Your most radiant garment is of the other person’s weaving;
You most savory meal is that which you eat at the other person’s table;
Your most comfortable bed is in the other person’s house.
Now tell me, how can you separate yourself from the other person?

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Only great sorrow or great joy can reveal your truth.

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I stopped my guest on the threshold and said, “Nay, wipe not your feet as you enter, but as you go out.”

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Generosity is not in giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is in giving me that which you need more than I do.

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We often borrow from our tomorrows to pay our debts to our yesterdays.

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I too am visited by angels and devils, but I get rid of them.
When it is an angel I pray an old prayer, and he is bored;
When it is a devil I commit an old sin, and he passes me by.

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Those who give you a serpent when you ask for a fish, may have nothing but serpents to give. It is then generosity on their part.

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I have no enemies, O God, but if I am to have an enemy
Let his strength be equal to mine,
That truth alone may be the victor.

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How mean am I when life gives me gold and I give you silver, and yet I deem myself generous.

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We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.

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Should we all confess our sins to one another we would all laugh at one another for our lack of originality.

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I would be the least among men with dreams and the desire to fulfill them, rather than the greatest with no dreams and no desires.

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If it were not for our conception of weights and measures we would stand in awe of the firefly as we do before the sun.

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In truth we talk only to ourselves, but sometimes we talk loud enough that others may hear us.

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Perhaps the sea’s definition of a shell is the pearl.
Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the diamond.

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A root is a flower that disdains fame.

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We choose our joys and our sorrows long before we experience them.

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If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

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Turtles can tell more about roads than hares.

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Love which is not always springing is always dying.

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You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.

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