Monday, January 14, 2008

This is excellent ...

... Prophet Motive.

... Gibran was familiar with Buddhist and Muslim holy books, and above all with the Bible, in both its Arabic and King James translations. (Those paradoxes of his come partly from the Sermon on the Mount.) In “The Prophet” he Osterized all these into a warm, smooth, interconfessional soup that was perfect for twentieth-century readers, many of whom longed for the comforts of religion but did not wish to pledge allegiance to any church, let alone to any deity who might have left a record of how he wanted them to behave. It is no surprise that when those two trends—anti-authoritarianism and a nostalgia for sanctity—came together and produced the sixties, “The Prophet” ’s sales climaxed. Nor is the spirit of the sixties gone from our world. It survives in the New Age movement—of which Gibran was a midwife ...

2 comments:

  1. Though most religious figures of the highest standing often don't tend to wish to pledge allegiance to any church, let alone to any deity who might have left a record of how he wanted them to behave. Or perhaps that might read, as it tends to really mean, an organsisation who use the pretence that they are intimately linked to this deity, and therefore to reach truth you better surrender to these people's wishes.
    "I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly."
    The pharisees of temporal power wish that they might have self-stultifying obedience, and have it obediently.

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  2. Anonymous8:26 PM

    The dreadful 1960s when people began to protest against their benevolent leaders with their wars and napalm, conscription, hypocrisy and Agent Orange. How much better when the herd behaves exactly like the leaders wish them to behave and unquestioningly get behind the flag, march into the furnaces of annihilation...How one yearns for the trusting days of the early 20th century when they knew their place, and joyfully died in their millions in the mud of Europe.

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