Kahlil Gibran “On Teaching”

teacher who is wise leads you to your threshold Gibran

Then said a teacher, ‘Speak to us of Teaching.’
And he said:
No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.
The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.
And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.
For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

Khalil Gibran self portrait c.1911Lebanese artist, writer and poet Kahlil Gibran‘s novel from 1923 “The Prophet” has been translated to over forty languages, has sold over 100 million copies, and has never been out of print. Click here to view it on Amazon. According to Wikipedia, Kahlil Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, only behind William Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. [This paragraph to this point was previously shared in my post On Children]

On the right is a self-portrait he painted in 1911. Click image to visit source on Wikipedia.

My own copy of ‘The Prophet’ was given to me as a cherished gift from my brother-in-law nearly thirty years ago. It has since been read repeatedly and is wonderfully worn. I recommend it for every library so that all may read and enjoy its poetic wisdom. ~Namaste.


[Source embedded for self-portrait; Top image on Pinterest without source.]

Author: Gina Day

I enjoy gathering uplifting things for sharing, with hopes of brightening the day.

16 thoughts on “Kahlil Gibran “On Teaching””

  1. Hi Gina….wonderful wonderful!!! This is one of my favorite books indeed! I lost it for a while and replaced it very recently. It was required reading when I was in college….and it spoke to me profoundly. Much love and many blessings to you….have a beautiful weekend! ❤

    1. Thanks Lorrie! Yes isn’t it a wonderful book? SO good you replaced it… the other one must have been more needed at the time by a stranger where it was accidentally left behind perhaps. 🙂 Warmest wishes for a lovely weekend too. xo G

      1. You made my day by making me think that someone who really needed the book, now has it in their possession!!! I am sure that is what happned! Thanks Gina 🙂

  2. I believe the best teachers lead people to the thresholds of their own hearts and minds and bid them enter. Thank you for the beautiful reminder, Gina.

  3. Yes! So very beautiful and true too – we have to find our own path, our own wisdom, our own truth – but we can be inspired by the wise person, the singer, the artist, the mathematician, the writer, the scientist – because why not?

  4. Third best-selling, wow, didn’t know that! Gibran is a favorite of mine and my 1968 copy of The Prophet is frequently read as well. When I was 20 and lost my mom, his words ‘On Joy and Sorrow’ kept me going, a gift for which I am eternally grateful. Thanks for sharing and spreading his wisdom, Gina!

  5. I “found” Kahlil Gibran when I was in college, (art school), but I cannot quite recall how, and of course, it was “The Prophet.” I love the self-portrait of him! It really should be a staple on everyone’s bookshelf – or at least those who look both without and within. 🙂 Jeanne

  6. ” If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”..
    and that dear Gina is all we need connect with.. This is one piece of Wisdom I have never read.. but it sounds to be profound Gina.. xxx

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