The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: Book Review

A funny book review relating how The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran saved my life

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Has a book ever completely changed the direction of your life?  That’s what happened to me when I read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  Here’s how it happened:

My life had always been spiritually empty.  I was a godless infidel with no sense of anything greater than myself – and I liked it that way.  A hedonistic heathen, I tried to fill my spiritual void with superfluous thrills: late nights in sketchy locales, bottomless bottles of booze, fast women with tight clothes and loose morals, knife fights with manic homeless dudes, and Russian roulette contests in the trunks of stolen cars hurtling down the highway piloted by half-blind elderly immigrants.  My life was totally out of control, but I truly believed that I was happy.  I realize now that I was simply masking my misery.

But why was I so miserable, so devoid of soul?  As a youth I rejected the mainstream spiritual traditions that surrounded me, for they were laden with dogma and morality.  I refused to be indoctrinated with a set of beliefs to be blindly accepted and followed, and I questioned the idea that God would smite me if I disobeyed his commandments.  To me, this type of spirituality was unnatural, and I resisted it with my entire being.  I soon became suspicious of all spiritual pursuits, so I sealed the door to my soul and embarked on the perverted lifestyle already described.

But the universe has a way of bringing us exactly what we need in the precise moment when we are open to receive it.  For me, this moment came at the height of my self-indulgent revelry – which is to say, when I was at my lowest.  I had spent an evening getting sloppy drunk off vodka, slurping dirty shots from a Ukrainian woman’s fuzzy navel while surreptitiously lighting her chest hair on fire.  On my meandering walk home that night, I passed a library and wicked inspiration struck.  I broke in and began drawing penises on the pages of the children’s books.  My uproarious laughter awoke the resident librarian, a no-nonsense diminutive octogenarian with rounded glasses and a sharp tongue.  She pounced on me like a literary lion, beat me repeatedly with a book, and chased me out the door and halfway down the street.  As I began to outpace her, she heaved her book heavenwards and it struck me in the head.  I stumbled, collapsed, and lost consciousness.

While my insensate body lay sprawled on the grimy sidewalk, my muddled mind was visited by the spirit of the irritable librarian.  In surprisingly profane language for a woman her age, she told me that my life was in ruins, my soul was lost, and that I needed to change.  So convincing was this vision that I awoke with dawn’s dreary light determined to turn my life around.  As I regained my senses I noticed the book that had bested me was resting on my chest.  It was The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

I sat up and immediately read the book cover to cover, and it changed my life forever.  In the book, a prophet poetically expounds his ideas on a variety of everyday topics, including love, freedom, prayer, and death.  It offers simple and achievable ideas on how to live a happy, spiritual life.  Finally, I had found a natural and pleasant guide to spirituality that I had never known I was missing.  Since that day, my soul has blossomed and my life has been a joy.  I highly recommend The Prophet to everyone.  You won’t regret reading it.


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