My soul preached to me and taught me to love that which people abhor and befriend him whom they revile. My soul showed me that love prides itself not only in the one who loves, but also in the beloved.
“Ere my soul preached to me, Love was in my heart as a tiny thread fastened between two pegs. But now love has become a halo whose beginning is its end, and who’s end is its beginning. It surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be. …
“My soul preached to me and instructed me and taught me to listen to the voices which the … lips do not utter.
“Ere my soul preached to me, I heard naught but clamor and wailing. But now I eagerly attend silence and hear the choirs singing the hymns of the ages.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Our souls do have much they can teach us. First, of course, they have to be awakened. A dormant spirit and soul may still have much to teach us, but is unable to do so. Once awakened, the soul is delighted to teach us what we should know. The mind may not want to listen, but the soul can be persistent in its effort.
Preaching Soul on Love
Love is naturally the main thing the awakened soul wants to teach us. Not lust or want, but love. The soul understands love far better than the mind does. The soul doesn’t see love as something at at a particular individual. It’s not even limited to a particular species. The soul sees love as applying to all beings, all life, all existence. Yes, even the evil ones. The soul knows that love cannot truly be real if it is limited.
This doesn’t mean, as some believe, that we must embrace our dark side and listen to the demons and beings of darkness. It means that we love them to transform them. We don’t want them destroyed. We want them transformed. That has, in fact, already happened as some of them have given up already and turned back to God. This is how light wins, not by killing and mayhem.
Clamor and Wailing
There are two ways to see this statement from Gibran, and both, I think, are correct.
In one sense, he is telling us that there are many things happening in the world around us. We have to choose which ones we want to listen to and which ones will drive us into action.
If we listen just to the moaning and wailing of the downtrodden, we become bitter and angry people. We want it to stop, but we are willing to stop it with anger and violence: the very things that cause it.
If we listen to the “choir”, that is the good things, the pleasant things in the world, we can take joy in them and help them spread. By doing so, we push some of that evil and anger out of the world. We don’t becomeangry or fearful, so we can think better and solve problems better. It is not that we ignore it, just that we don’t listen to it so much that it takes over our thinking.
The Preaching Soul Continues
Gibran’s preaching soul goes on to give him advise about a number of other things, but I can only include so much in a quote. Suffice it to say that our souls are a source of great advice on many things—if we are willing to listen. First, of course, we must awaken the soul from it’s dormant state. That is the hard part, but well worth the effort.