This article was published by Going Down Swinging on August 10, 2015.
I picked up my first copy of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet in Beirut in June last year, but I was too busy having a good time roaming about the country to read it – despite visiting Gibran’s village of birth, Becharre.
I felt The Prophet was one of those books that deserved my due attention, and I wasn’t in a frame of mind to give it.
Baha’i philosophy holds that, throughout the course of humanity, Messengers of God will reveal spiritual truths when the time is right for us to receive their wisdom. These progressive revelations will come to us, the Baha’i say, when we’ve forsaken previous teachings and need to be returned to the right path.
The time for Khalil Gibran to write his masterpiece was as World War One came to an end. Thanks to the imperial powers’ prolonged conflict, suffering was widespread. In Gibran’s homeland Lebanon, under the hand of the Ottomans, an estimated one third to one half of the population starved to death or succumbed to disease.