Lao Tzu once said “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, and 15 years ago I would learn that my “teacher” would come to me in the physical form as a book.
Before introducing you to my teacher allow me to take you back 15 years to give this blog post context. Fifteen years ago I was in a very toxic marriage. I was unhappy, drank in access, smoked cannabis in access and was angry I allowed myself to be in the position I was in. I don’t want to create the false premise that I was in no way responsible for my failing marriage. I was just as much at fault and I take full responsibility for my shortcomings in the marriage. I owned it and have no shame in saying that I probably wasn’t the best partner.
So there I was in the midst of a failing marriage and angry that I had become a person I no longer knew. I was always an avid reader of Dyer, Chopra and anything to do with Quantum Physics since I was in my late 20’s. These authors and topics always intrigued me and got me thinking about life. The idea that we are alive always gave me pause as to “why?” Why are we alive? What is life? Why are we here? What’s the damn purpose of it all!? These questions to this day still evade me, but I do have a much better idea of the “why”. In short..to serve. That’s a whole other blog post.
One late summer day I was in the Bodhi Tree Book store in West Hollywood. The Bodhi Tree Bookstore is a new age book store that was packed with books on everything to Aliens to Wicca and everything in between. It was one of my favorite book stores. As I perused the aisles a small book jumped out at me. That book was called The Prophet. Khalil Gibran was it’s author and it’s slim profile said to me “take a look”. I picked it up, rifled through it’s 60 pages like a deck of cards. “Easy enough read” I said. Let me take a deeper look.
I looked at the Table of Contents and saw a list of “chapters”; The Coming of the Ship, Love, Marriage, Giving, Work, Joy and Sorrow, and on it went with another 15 or so “Chapters”. I’m sure most people do what I decided to do.. read a little bit of it. I decided to read the chapter titled “Giving”. I came upon a sentence that impacted me profoundly. It read:
There are those who give little of the much which they have – and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
Whoa! I thought to myself. I actually used an expletive that probably started with “F”. I continued to read the chapter which is actually 2 pages and was floored by the Prophets wisdom. Gibrans Prophet speaks of Love:
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
When you fully comprehend, not just intellectualize, the power and meaning of the Prophet’s words; your life and choices come into full focus. It leads you inward without effort. You know how when you read or hear something that is filled with truth you just have this “knowing” that it is truth? Gibran’s, The Prophet, is a page turning gift of truths that will impact your soul and change your life. It’s the truth you have been waiting to hear again. Your soul will recognize it and be flush in the feeling of knowing.
After I had read The Prophet it made me reevaluate my life and what I was doing. I decided that I would no longer live a life betraying myself or the woman I had married. I saw that I was not only doing a huge disservice to myself, but also to her. We both deserved to be happy. The only way forward was to end the marriage. One week later I did just that.
Here’s my brief description of The Prophet. The Prophet is a tale of Almustafa (The Prophet) who has waited 12 years in the city of Orphalise for his ship to return him to the isle of his birth. In the 12th year he climbed the hill and looked seaward. There his gaze met the ship coming with the mist. The people of the city don’t want him to leave. They are begging him not to leave because they have fallen in love with him. A woman named Almitra, who was the first to believe in him when he arrived 12 years ago, lets him know its ok to leave and that he must follow his heart no matter the communities cries for him to stay. She understands that Almustafa must go back to his birthplace, because it is his deepest desire and has been for 12 years. Before leaving she says to him:
In your aloneness you have watched with our days, and in your wakefullness you have listened to the weeping and the laughter of our sleep. Now therefore disclose us to ourselves, and tell us that this has been shown you of that which is between birth and death.
The tale kicks off from there. The Prophet bestows upon the people that very gift through a Q & A from the people of the city. I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s 60 pages are a quick read and you will find yourself reading the “chapters” time and time again. They are life changing and very powerful.
I’ve linked the book below for purchase. It will be well worth $9.00 price tag. Maybe by you reading this blog post, your teacher just appeared as well..the Prophet awaits you.