The Prophet: On Talking

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The Prophet On Talking illustration Ashok Bhowmik
Let the voice within your voice speak. Illustration Ashok Bhowmik.

Earlier Chapters of ‘The Prophet’: [On Marriage] [On Love] [On Children] [On Giving] [On Eating and Drinking] [On Work] [On Joy and Sorrow] [On Houses] [On Clothes] [On Buying and Selling] [On Crime and Punishment] [On Laws] [On Freedom] [On Reason and Passion] [On Pain] [On Self-Knowledge] [On Teaching] [On Friendship]

And then a scholar said, Speak of Talking.

And he answered, saying:

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;

And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.

And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.

For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.

The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.

And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.

And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.

In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.

Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;

For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered

When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.

‘The Prophet’ is now in the public domain. Text reproduced from The Project Gutenberg Ebook

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