Saraswati Mela

Kahlil Gibran on love and freedom – His ideal of a Marriage

Love one another, but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.


To love and to be free is one of the life’s greatest ideals and victories.  To love freely and fully yet letting the recipient of the love be free is one of love’s greatest triumphs.  This is when love shines in all its resplendent glory.  I daresay this is the only form of true love that exists.

Love deals with the reality as well  the potential- what we are and what we can blossom into, what all we can be. Thus the ideal in love is just the horizon which the practical strives to meet . And as the lovers realize, the ideal is not impossible to reach , as long as they try to reach it ; and they are elevated in the process.  Kahlil Gibran , the masterful poet and philosopher writes on this delicate balance of love, distance and space in his book The Prophet. This is a book which features dialogues between the residents of a village and their Prophet Almustafa as he departs from their . Kahlil Gibran provides deep philosophical insights into the nature of things which are a part of the fabric of our daily lives.

Lebanese American Poet- Kahlil Gibran

It calls to mind the Porcupine Theory which states that in winters, the porcupines come closer to share warmth and intimacy. However the moment they come very close , their spines start hurting their partners and they are in turn hurt by the sharp spines of others. So they once again move away. Yet the problem persists as they are cold , bereft of bodily warmth. So they again seek to come close and yet again steer away when the pain of spines becomes unbearable.

This dilemma captures succinctly the dilemma of Human Intimacy. To truly enjoy and bask in warmth of human relations we need to have  spaces in our togetherness. This sentiment is captured most poetically by Gibran as he pens down this piece,

Excerpt from the beauteous The Prophet , it is something that we must read and understand if we ever hope to do justice to the word love.

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.


Illustration by Ramya Sriram at The Tap

Seldom has the philosophy of life been so woven so beautifully in words. To elevate your spirits , make The Prophet an essential read.