PLEASE TAKE NOTE !! From a Christian Perspective, I DO NOT agree with nor condone all of Gibran's Religious or "Spiritual" notions -- especially reincarnation, channeling, communicating with the dead, etc. However, I offer his works here as a tribute to a very gifted and insightful artist and writer, as well as an individual of great spiritual sensitivity.

Someone once said that, "ALL artistic talent ultimately comes from God -- some merely misinterpret its source and medium of conveyance !"

Every few hundred years, a blazing beacon hurls itself onto this plane called reality. On January 6, 1883, such a great light took form, blessing us with Kahlil Gibran. Through this channel were to come many famous works. This Lebanese-born poet, philosopher and artist knew from early childhood that life was more than it seemed.

Perhaps Gibran's greatest gift as a writer was the use of metaphor. In The Garden of the Prophet, Almustafa is preparing for his departure and speaks to his close followers:

"My comrades and my road-fellows, we must needs part this day. Long have we sailed on the perilous seas, and we have climbed the steepest mountains and we have wrestled with the storms. We have known hunger, but we have also sat at wedding feasts, Oftentimes have we been naked, but we have also worn kingly raiment. We have indeed traveled far, but now we part. Together you shall go your way, and alone must I go mine."

His metaphor for the journey of life was gentle, yet strong. Just before Almustafa leaves the garden he says:

"And remember this of me: I teach you not giving, but receiving; not denial, but fulfillment; and not yielding, but understanding, with the smile upon the lips. I teach you not silence, but rather a song not over-loud. I teach you your larger self, which contains all men."

Then, when the followers have parted, he speaks privately to one woman. Here he gives what I feel is the greatest hope and promise - even the procedure - to communicate with him after his passing: "I go but if I go with a truth not yet voiced, that very truth will again seek me and gather me, though my elements be scattered throughout the silences of eternity, and again shall I come before you that I may speak with a voice born anew out of the heart of those boundless silences. And if there be aught of beauty that I have declared not unto you, then once again shall I be called, ay, even by mine own name, Almustafa, and I shall give you a sign, that you may know I have come back to speak all that is lacking, for God will not suffer Himself to be hidden from man, nor his word to lie covered in the abyss of the heart of man."

Here Gibran clearly states through this personal communication with Karima the possibility of spiritual communication. He did not offer this wisdom to the many; no, there could be misuse. But those who can gain and learn and grow, he tells simply, in essence, "call me by mine own name." He said he would give a sign so that the person receiving would know for sure he had come back to communicate.

Parable and metaphor are not experience themselves; rather, they provide a connection between a new concept and something one has previously experienced. Learning comes in discovering how something new relates to something people already comprehend. Gibran, like Jesus whom he loved so fully, was a master of the use of parable to broaden humanity's vision, helping make known the unknown. The greatest truths are most easily conveyed in the simplest stories.

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