Secret Love © Katie Slaby katie-slaby.artistwebsites.com/
This is a 9×12 acrylic done on acrylic specialty paper
Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese poet, artist, and writer, (1883 -1931) captured in his writing, as so few have done so eloquently, many of the universal truths of our nature as both human and spiritual beings. His grasp of the the inner workings of the human spirit give the reader a sense of lightness and joy when the topic is joyful, and his poetic sensibilities inform every subject that appears in his writing, making him one of the truly timeless spokespersons for the wisdom of any age.
A collection of some of his more popular meditations is entitled, “Secrets of the Heart,” which I often turn to in moments when I feel lost or disoriented by life in the temporal world, and sometimes his words still take me by surprise, even though I have read them many times. Speaking of the beauty in life and in Nature he wrote:
“Beauty is that which attracts the soul…When you meet Beauty, you feel that the hands deep within your inner self are stretched forth to bring it into the domain of your heart…It is the unseen which you see, the vague which you understand, and the mute which you hear…It is the Holy of Holies that begins in yourself, and ends vastly beyond any earthly imagining.”
With these words, Gibran helps us to understand the relationship between the mind of our thoughts and our inner self that transcends the visible world, and that our perception of beauty is a natural result of our longings for something that exists, “vastly beyond any earthly imagining.” In our everyday lives, we often do not perceive the beauty that is right in front of us, and find ourselves either dwelling in the past, thinking perhaps to recapture the happiness or love we experienced years ago, or dreaming of an as-yet- unrealized future in which all of our struggles or sadness eventually fade and our unfulfilled longings will somehow be realized. Gibran puts all of this in perspective by urging us to connect more fully to our inner selves–our human spirit or soul–call it what you will, in order to see the true nature of time:
“Before my Soul spoke to me, I imagined the past as an epoch that never returned, and the future as one that could never be reached. Now I realize that the present moment contains all time and within it is all that can be hoped for, done and realized.”
We tend to be more focused on the temporal aspects of time in our conscious waking state, and imagine that our love can only be truly experienced in the physical world, but Gibran tells us that not only are our most important thoughts and feelings only truly able to be discovered beyond our “earthly imaginings,” but that relating to life in the physical world is but a shadow of what is possible if we extend our hearts and minds and spirits beyond the limited range of what we can see and touch. Since responding to his own spiritual nature and listening to his “soul,” Gibran learned to:
“…touch that which has not become incarnate; my soul revealed to me that whatever we touch is part of our desire. But now my fingers have turned into a mist penetrating that which is seen in the universe and mingling with the unseen.”
When we choose to focus our perceptional talents only on what our physical senses can reveal to us, there is still a vast expanse of beauty and wonder available to us in the natural world of the tangible and predictable, but it is far more limited than the totality of what the universe contains when we open our hearts and minds and spirits to the world within us.