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The Beloved: Reflections on the Path of the Heart (Compass) Paperback – January 1, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Arabic

About the Author

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) was a Lebanese poet, philosopher, artist, and writer. The millions of people familiar with his work consider him the genius of his age.
Robin Waterfield is a graduate of Manchester University and studied Greek philosphy at King's College, Cambridge. He is currently writing a major biography of Kahlil Gibran.
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Product Details

  • Series: Compass
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014019553X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140195538
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My first venture into the words of Gibran was his most famous work, 'The Prophet.' Wonderful as it was, I must say that I prefer this piece of writing by far. What I found most astounding is that this was penned when he was a very young man! These are the words of an old soul who has tasted the heights and depths of the realm of love embraced and love lost. The language is musical, spare, deep... each word carefully chosen and perfectly placed (I speak of this particular translation of the original work). It is a short read but powerful and deeply impacting. This one is worthy of a permanent place on your bookshelf.
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Format: Paperback
I have probably not read any author with more of a gift for beautiful words than Kahlil Gibran. Just reading the English translation for this collection of his love-related Arabic works makes my bones ache with the amazing insights he portrays through moving language. This book is a very well assembled collection, with a decent introduction about Gibran's life (knowing the author, after all, is essential to understanding their work.)
With a nice harmonized blend of short stories and poetry, The Beloved is an important addition to both beginners' and the experienced's understanding of a very unique philosopher. It also includes some of Gibran's mystic artwork, for which he was almost as well known as for his writing. The translators/editors did an excellent job in portraying Gibran's style and gorgeous words as closely as possible to the original Arabic. No one has had the poetic rhythm Gibran did; hopefully appreciation for his extraodinary gift for language will grow. (PS, if you haven't read Gibran's The Prophet, do.)
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I love Gibran's _The Prophet_, and because I always call my Beloved by that title.
I bought it to give it to her, and read it first. It put into words so elegantly so many things I have tried to say in the time that I have known her.
Anyone who has truly loved another to the point where you feel your soul touched by their soothing word will understand the spiritual reflections of _The Beloved_.
As for the cover art, well: Do what you do is to judge a book by its cover? This, of course, is a foolish thing to do and is quite silly in light of the age-old adage against it.
The cover art embodies the relationship between love and spirit. "Lust" is not included in this equation. Gibran, as many others, has realized that true love is a glorious and righteous thing - provided in this world by God for those who would seek it. And the consummation of such love is a more pure and wonderous act than you give it credit for.
Such a book had to be inspired by greater powers.
-DB
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For Khalil Gibran, love was a way perhaps a supreme way of achieving self-realization and completeness as a human being. Anyone can live their life transformed by the all consuming power of an encounter with "The Beloved". Particularly in the Eastern cultures there are people trapped in joyless or organized marriages; their passions sacrificed to convention. It is these segments of people that Gibran has brilliantly targeted. Gibran can write very complex social issues in quite simple terms. He can make these issues in a way that can make the reader feel one is taking a walk in a quiet wood, or bathing in a cool stream.
During the course of his reading one can observe that Gibran is a fervernt and outspoken champion of the cause of human rights. He has waged a struggle to strengthen the recognition of youth's freedom of action in love, and abolish from the social structure some of the prevailing ancient marriage customs. He has a strong condemnation of traditions of pre-arranged marriages of children by their parents, in complete disregard of the wishes of those so betrothed.
The ill-fated story of Lyla in `The Brides Bed' is an eye witness account recorded by Khalil. Lyla with courage, anguish and heroism broke in fury from this custom. She brought as a result on her self consequences extremely tragic. This is best described in Khalil's prose:
"... Come you cowards! Fear not the specter of death whose greatness will refuse to approach your littleness and dread not this dagger, for it is a divine instrument which declines to touch your filthy bodies and empty hearts. Look at this handsome youth, he is my beloved and I killed him because I love him. .... We sought a bed worthy of our love in this world which you have made so small with your ignorance and traditions. ....
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Format: Paperback
"His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life else it could not have been so universal and so potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own." -- Claude Bragdon

Kahlil Gibran, on Love:
Love was the central theme of Gibran's life which he expressed in prose poems, and drawings; "Just reading the English translation for this collection of his love-related Arabic works makes my bones ache with the amazing insights he portrays through moving language." ankh fire

"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart,
and a song of praise upon your lips."
G. Khalil Gibran

The Beloved:
For Gibran, love was the eternal way for any human being to reach completeness, in self realization transforming their life by the power of the encounter with the beloved;
"Who among you would not cross the seas, traverse deserts,
go over mountains and valleys to reach the woman whom his spirit has chosen?
What youth would not follow his heart to the ends of the earth
to breathe the sweetness of his lover's breath, feel the soft touch of her hands,
delight in the melody of her voice?
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