Friday, December 23, 2016

On The speech of Jesus/ On the kingdoms of the world by Khalil Gibran

vassilis saleas

The orator of tyre On the speech of Jesus
Khalil Gibran
Excerpt,Jesus:The son of man

What shall I say of His speech?
Perhaps something about His person lent power to
His words and swayed those who heard Him.
For He was comely, the sheen of the day was upon His countenance.

Men and women gazed at Him more than they listened to His argument.
But at times He spoke with the power of a spirit,and
that spirit had authority over those who heard Him.

In my youth I had heard the orators of Rome and Athens and Alexandria.
The young Nazarene was unlike them all.They assembled their words
with an art to enthral the ear, but when you heard Him your heart
would leave you and go wandering into regions not yet visited.

He would tell a story or relate a parable, and the like of His stories
and parables had never been heard in Syria. He seemed to spin them out
of the seasons, even as time spins the years and the generations.

He would begin a story thus:
“The ploughman went forth to the field to sow his seeds.
”Or, “Once there was a rich man who had many vineyards.”
Or, “A shepherd counted his sheep at eventide and found
that one sheep was missing.”

And such words would carry His listeners into their
simpler selves,and into the ancient of their days.
At heart we are all ploughmen,and we all love the vineyard.
And in the pastures of our memory there is a shepherd and
a flock and the lost sheep.

And there is the plough-share and the winepress and the threshing-floor.
He knew the source of our older self, and the persistent thread of
which we are woven.

The Greek and the Roman orators spoke to their listeners
of life as it seemed to the mind.
The Nazarene spoke of a longing that lodged in the heart.

They saw life with eyes only a little clearer than yours and mine.
He saw life in the light of God.

I often think that He spoke to the crowd
as a mountain would speak to the plain.
And in His speech there was a power that was not
commanded by the orators of Athens or of Rome.

On the kingdoms of the world
Khalil Gibran
Excerpt,Jesus:The son of man

And His face shone like molten gold, and He outsretched
His arms and He said to us,

"Behold the earth in her green raiment,and see how the streams
have hemmed the edges of her garments with silver.
"In truth the earth is fair and all that is upon her is fair.
"But there is a kingdom beyond all that you behold, and therein
I shall rule.

"My face and your faces shall not be masked;
our hand shall hold neither sword nor sceptre,
and our subjects shall love us in peace and shall
not be in fear of us."

"My throne is a throne beyond your vision.
Shall he whose wings encircle the earth seek shelter
in a nest abandoned and forgotten?

"My kingdom is not of this earth, and my seat is not
builded upon the skulls of your ancestors.

"If you seek naught save the kingdom of the spirit then it were
better for you to leave me here...

"Dare you tempt me with a crown of dross, when my forehead seeks
the Pleiades, or else your thorns?

"Were it not for a dream dreamed by a forgotten race I would not
suffer your sun to rise upon my patience, nor your moon to throw
my shadow across your path.

"Were it not for a mother's desire I would have stripped me of
the swaddling-clothes and escaped back to space.
"And were it not for sorrow in all of you I would not have stayed to weep.

"Let ignorance reproduce itself until
it is weary of its own offspring.

"Let the blind lead the blind to the pitfall.

"And let the dead bury the dead till the earth
be choked with its own bitter fruit.

"My kingdom is not of the earth.
My kingdom shall be where two or three of you
shall meet in love, and in wonder at the loveliness of life,
and in good cheer, and in remembrance of me."

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