Some books are more than paper and ink bound together with a common theme... some books are windows. Whether they are windows to the soul or windows to the heavens, once we look through them, our world is never the same. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is one of those rare books, which opens a window to both.
The book, which everyone has come to know and love as The Prophet, existed for many years within Gibrans consciousness as a much less refined collection entitled The Counsels. There is evidence to believe that the original concept of this book of discourses came as early as 1903 and matured into the final form over a twenty-year period. A living record of how the earlier work became the timeless classic is preserved within the personal letters of both Kahlil Gibran and his life long friend, Mary Haskell, published by Alfred A. Knopf as Beloved Prophet.
Within the intimate passages of both private journals and personal letters, the reader is introduced to the history of this literary treasure and provided with direct insight into the personal transformation, which guided Gibran, as he somehow comprehended many of the deepest mysteries of the human heart and soul. It is obvious from the comments revealed within the dialogue between Gibran and Mary Haskell that as he delved deeper and deeper into the story of Almustafa, he began to touch the living core of reality that connects each of us into a much larger truth, of which we are only now becoming aware.
The level of trust that Gibran experienced with Mary Haskell allowed him to share his most personal visions and dreams regarding the future of his work and its influence within the global community. Shortly after the publication of The Prophet in 1923, he revealed his plans to Mary for the two additional books, which would complete the story of Almustafa. Mary recorded his words in her private journal, dated November 26, 1923, New York;
Im going to tell you the plan of the Second Book and the Third book - of the Prophet. The Second book is in the Garden of the Prophet - and the Third is The Death of the Prophet. He has gone to his island - and there he spend a great deal of his time in his mothers garden. He has nine disciples, who talk with him in the garden. And he talks to them about how the small things and the great things are connected of mans kinship with the universe. He talks of the dewdrop and the ocean, the Sun and the Fireflies, of the air and ways in space, of the Seasons, of Day, and Night of Light and Darkness.
It deals with mans relation to the universe just as the Prophet dealt with his relation to his fellow men. In the Third book he returns from the island and talks with various groups as they come to him about the air above the earth and beneath the clouds of yesterday and tomorrow the Four Seasons Growth Birth Light and Darkness again - the falling of snow of fire and smoke. The Prophet is put into prison. When he is freed again he goes into the market place and they stone him.
This brief, but detailed overview is taken directly from conversations with Gibran along with several other unpublished letters from the 1923 -1930 period, during which time Gibrans awareness of his own impending death brought about a series of detailed precognitive visions that lead to his ultimate acceptance of both his mortality and his immortality. Before his death, Gibran found great peace in knowing that his beloved Prophet Trilogy would be completed. This was confirmed for him to such a degree that he felt confident in telling Mary
it is promised from the heavens
my Almustafa will not wander lost through the sands of time
He also confided to her in the summer of 1929 that, I will not be the man who will hold the pen and write the words of the Third book, but it will be written and I will Breathe my Breath into each word
Personal comments such as these, as well as specific passages in the second book, The Garden of the Prophet, where Almustafa speaks of his return from beyond the grave are among the many indications of his intention to add a final edition to his expanding masterpiece, The Prophet and The Garden of the Prophet. Gibran entitled the last book, The Death of the Prophet and it would complete the trilogy, mirroring the triune nature of humanity.
Gibran was fully occupied with completing the second book when he passed from the Earth on April 10, 1931. Within a few months after his passing, in a manner that is common within the traditions of Arabic and Persian literature dating back to the Persian Book of Kings, Barbara Young, a close associate of Gibran, began to receive direct inspiration from Gibran, which guided her as she completed the manuscript of The Garden of the Prophet. This fact remained unknown until the publication of This Man from Lebanon, in 1973.
With the unfortunate and untimely death of Kahlil Gibran, and the publishing of The Garden of the Prophet in 1933, the dream of the complete Trilogy entered the universal dreamtime for forty years. But the dream was not forgotten. During the years of 1933 -1973, the spirit of Gibran had carried the message of The Prophet into more than 100 languages and into the lives of millions who would never forget him.
The young author, Jason M. Leen, who the Heavenly Muse had selected to help Gibran complete his masterpiece, had no personal knowledge of the Trilogy nor had he ever read the writings of Kahlil Gibran in any form. Yet, in the early morning hours of January 6, 1973, a most unusual literary collaboration between the two men began. A meeting of the minds in the truest use of those words, which lasted six years and resulted in the completion and publication of The Death of the Prophet in 1979.
Although he felt the hand of divine guidance throughout the years of his work, Jason did not immediately realize the significance of his accomplishment. Hesitant at first, in believing that it was Gibran who had directly influenced his work, he read and re-read the letters and journals which contained the intimate details of Gibrans vision regarding the three books. In the end, Jason finally accepted that the text which had mysteriously flowed through his mind each morning for so many years was communicated from Gibran, in some manner yet known to us, from dimensions beyond the physical world.
The single edition of The Death of the Prophet has remained an underground classic since it was first released in 1979. Reprinted in 1989 by Illumination Arts Publishing, it has since been translated into French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Although it involves a controversial form of authorship known as clairaudience, this edition has been hailed worldwide as the authentic conclusion to Gibrans trilogy.
In 2001 an unauthorized German edition of The Prophet Trilogy (Die Propheten Bucher), bearing only the name of Kahlil Gibran was published and distributed throughout Europe. The edition has been temporarily suspended due to copyright violations. Please see News Desk on this website for up-dated information regarding the new German edition.
In honor of the 25th year anniversary of the completion of the three books which form the trilogy of the Prophet, J & J Publishing has released the Premiere English Edition of The Prophet Trilogy, containing all three books, presented in the manner that Gibran had always envisioned.
Gibran Self Portrait