Speak to us of Houses: The Prophet

And so the people asked the Prophet to share his wisdom and they asked him about there homes.   

Here is an extract from the poetic fabled book called ”The Prophet” a timeless masterpiece written by Kahill Gibran in 1923

Here in green text and between stanzas, is my short interpretation of what the Prophet was saying to the people of the city of *Orphalese and what we can learn from it  (*I see a correlation here perhaps with an “Omphalos” which is the stone at the very centre the “navel” of the world.)

 “Speak to us of Houses.”

And he answered and said:

Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls.

Use your imagination to build outside of the what is considered normal  Have yourself feel at home in the world of nature as well as your home: Go out into nature, learn from nature.

For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone.

Go beyond mere comfort and protection from the elements, expand your understanding of what a home can be. 

Your house is your larger body.

We are our home and our home is us, it reflects who we are literally, how we relate to our home is how we relate to ourselves and the greater environment

It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night;  it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?

Your house has a consciousness of its own, in ‘house whispering” we tap into this consciousness that is connected to you. Allow your home to support you to explore the world.   

Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow.

Especially as we live in such close quarters, in cities and towns it’s important to connect with nature and the land.

Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments.

But these things are not yet to be.

We are now starting to see and include Biophilic design, which incorporates natural elements, natural deliberate materials and motifs and symbols,  as well as living plants, into our homes and workplaces for better wellness.

In their fear, your forefathers gathered you too near together. And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls separate your hearths from your fields.

We have retreated from nature and been taught its dangerous and that the indoors & towns are where we belong, but we now begin to embrace things like forest bathing as a healing modality  

And tell me, people of Orphalese, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors?

Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power?

Does your home really allow you to fully support all aspects of you, on all levels, is it really full of valuable or just consumerist stuff? Does it encourage you to step into your life purpose?  

Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind?

Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain?

Tell me, have you these in your houses?

Have you incorporated natural and motivational elements that inspire us our hearts and spiritually too as nature does?

Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and becomes a host, and then a master?

Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires.

Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron.

It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh.

It makes mock of your sound senses and lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels.

Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul and then walks grinning in the funeral.

Our obsession with comfort has led us to be ill and sick with homes full of toxic materials, with windows closed with the air conditioning on, and we have become addicted to comfort and thus our senses have been dulled down. We have closed down too much in our endeavours and addiction to be comfortable. 

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed.

Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast.

It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye.

You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down.

You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living.

And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing.

For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.

Our home can be more than a place to hide from the world, they can be places that inspire us, and nurture our soul. Healthy places that make us well, not ill, supporting us physically emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. All we need to do is want this, to aspire to aspire to this and our places could be this.

Anthony Ashworth a designer, teacher and Shaman, he helps people to understand how to create and bring forth beautiful homes that can nurture us on all levels.

The book the   ”The Prophet” written by Kahill Gibran can be easily found in its entirety free online. 

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