Monday, June 10, 2013

On Religion

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 her faith from her actions, or her belief from her occupations?
Who can spread her hours before her, 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.
She who wears her morality but as her best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in her skin.
And she who defines her conduct by ethics imprisons her song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And she to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of her 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 women:
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 Her playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Her walking in the cloud, outstretching Her arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Her smiling in flowers, then rising and waving Her hands in trees.

~Kahlil Gibran (Revised by The Girl God)

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

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