He said, “You misunderstand me. When I was writing it, two persons knew the meaning: I knew the meaning and God knew the meaning – and now only God knows. I have tried hard myself…beautiful words, but nothing substantial. You have to forgive me. If you meet God somewhere you can ask your question to him; and you can also ask on my behalf because I am very disturbed.
“This is not the first time. You have come to me – this has happened three or four times before. Other people who have a deep insight into poetry have approached me, and this is the point where they get stuck. Those closed words are clear, but empty, words.”
Kahlil Gibran is one of the greatest poets, with a unique quality: once in a while his poet transforms into a mystic. And when that mystic speaks, it is not Kahlil Gibran who is speaking.
In the words of Coleridge, “It is God who is speaking.” He has become just a vehicle, allowing existence to express itself. If you go to him, he himself may perhaps not be able to explain to you many things that he has said – and said so beautifully that they have never been said so beautifully ever before.
And an astronomer said, Master, what of Time?
The astronomer is continually concerned with the reality of time. That is his whole profession, his whole search.
And he answered:
You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable.
He is saying that your very effort is absurd. You would measure…the measureless and the immeasurable? Just the very idea shows your ignorance. Life has many dimensions which are measureless and immeasurable; time is only one of the aspects.
By the way, it will be significant for you to understand that the English word measure comes from the same Sanskrit root as matter. The Sanskrit root is matra – that which can be measured.
Matter is that which can be measured. Spirit is that which cannot be measured.
The only difference between matter and the spiritual is that of measurement, because one is a quantity – matter; and the other is a quality – spirit, love, time. These are qualities; there is no way to measure them. You can experience them, but you cannot describe your experience in words which indicate any kind of measurement. Can you tell someone how much you love them? – one kilo, two kilos, or one mile, two miles? How much do you love? Even the whole sky will seem to be too small. All measurements are dropped.