"And an orator said, “Speak to us of Freedom.”
And he (the prophet) answered:
Aye, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have
And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your
And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains
In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains,
And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that
You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your
judges, though you pour the sea upon them. And if it is a despot you would dethrone,
see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.
For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud,
but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride?
And if it is a care you would cast off,
that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.
And if it is a fear you would dispel,
Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace,
the pursued and that which you would escape.
These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling.
And when the shadow fades and is no more,
the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes
itself the fetter of a greater freedom."
- Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet: Freedom”