The book related different people’s stories about Jesus: a laborer, a farmer, a fisherman, a tax-collector – yes, even a tax-collector – a man, a woman, all possibilities. It is as if Kahlil Gibran is asking many people about Jesus – the real Jesus, not the Christian Jesus; the real Jesus, made of flesh…and the stories are so beautiful. Each story needs to be meditated upon. Jesus, the Son of Man is my ninth selection for today.
Tenth: Another book by Kahlil Gibran, The Madman. I cannot leave it out, although I confess I wanted to. I wanted to leave it out because I am that madman about whom he is talking. But I cannot leave it out. He talks so meaningfully, so authentically about the very innermost core of the madman. And this madman is no ordinary madman, but a Buddha, a Rinzai, a Kabir. I wonder – I have always wondered – how Kahlil Gibran could manage it. He himself was not the madman, he himself was not the enlightened one. He was born in Syria, but lived unfortunately in America.
But there are wonders and wonders, questions without answers. How did he manage? Perhaps he did not manage it himself…perhaps something, someone – what Sufis call Khidr, and Theosophists call K.H., Koothumi – must have taken possession of him. He was possessed, but not always. When he was not writing he was a very ordinary man, in fact more ordinary than the so-called ordinary man: full of jealousy, anger, passions of all kinds. But once in a while he became possessed, possessed from above, and then something started pouring through him…paintings, poetry, parables.