Balance Of Intimacy and Independence

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

This difficult balance of intimacy and independence is what the great Lebanese-American artist, poet, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931) explores with uncommon insight and poetic precision in a passage from his 1923 masterwork The Prophet


Credit: brainpickings

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Sumi Nath

I strongly believe in the maxim 'I am what I think'. A Business degree holder taught to pose 'What's In It For Me?', is now seeking to understand the Real Self. My journey is what you will read here.

16 thoughts on “Balance Of Intimacy and Independence”

  1. Hey sumi. I have another food for thought. Well, I have made your posts a medium for question & answer.😂
    Nevertheless, well yesterday i was discussing something about imagination with one of my friends, she said that imagination is really bad thing, it makes desires.
    But, I was not okay. With the fact that imagination do leads to desire, but there must be some imagination which is pure, what imagination is that?
    So how can i have pure imagination which doesn’t lead to desire?
    Imagination which can propel me to good qualities.
    Because, I am very imaginative. I want to use this imagination for right purposes.
    But, ego is so subtle that it hijacks imagination and then fills us with desire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Siddharth. Like I said before, I really look forward to the questions. Glad you wrote 🙂
      Okay,to the questions then,
      I donno why there is so much fear around this word ‘Desire’?
      If not for this desire we wouldn’t be alive and kicking, don’t you think ? Desire by itself wouldn’t derail anybody from staying spiritual. But if we haven’t ever investigated what the desires of acquiring impermanent things lead to then that ignorance can sabotage our spiritual journey.
      Likewise. I think that the same logic applies to ‘imagination’. We as humans are imaginative. It is our unique quality. But then again, if we would like to tread this unknown and less-travelled terrain then we should choose between what’s real and what’s not.
      Acc to the scriptures, anything impermanent is untrue and is neither worthy of our time nor our imagination. But there is something unchanging which supports this whole impermanence and that is the only thing worthy to be known.
      So, if you would like to go with the scriptures(collective knowledge of saints) then use your imagination in that direction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m for that line, that whatever is impermanet is unreal and its unworthy.
        Certainly, I also believe in that. But, then the problem is what to imagine, as I’m a worldly man, i live in the world where everything is really fleeting then what is that I can imagine?
        Like I can’t imagine or meditate on brahman, I’m not a saint.
        I need to work and love.
        But, the abstract ideas like justice, love, hardwork and truth.
        The problem arises here, in imagining these, that ego comes.
        I think, I have got a solution, I think ego only comes when there’s something you get in return or expect anything.
        So if I imagine, these ideas by not getting anything in return. Maybe then it’s right.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Don’t you think everything here is abstract? Whatever we basically perceive is nothing but an interpretation of our mind.
        It isn’t easy to see reality as it really is.
        However, I like your idea of selfless act but it can get very challenging.
        You have to prepare yourself for the time when your idea(selfless act) would be looked otherwise, criticized, mis-understood. Would the ego still take the back seat then?
        If you want it to then the preparation has to start today. Of course, nothing is impossible here and history is the proof. good luck 🙂


      3. I think, to be misunderstood, criticised or ridiculed, these all are nothing but part of human impulses.
        I know people will do that, it’s common. But, not standing upto your belief is something too painful than all these things.
        Thank you, sumi. Good luck to you too. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, sumi. I have observed myself.
    And, to be frankly speaking there are seeds in my mind which propel me to think certain thoughts, act in certain ways and speak.
    These are seeds(karmic imprints) of my past behaviour, but I dont want to keep these seeds alive.
    I just don’t want to indulge in these seeds, it’s just that I know they are useless. But, sometimes I follow my power of intellect and am able to discriminate these seeds, but sometimes they become so automatic that they surpass my awareness and my intellect. And perform such behaviour.
    I want to be good at this skill, how can i increase my practice in this, means i know the process.
    But, the practice is like, I fail quite lot of times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey…Don’t you worry. We all fail. We just have to get up and keep going 🙂
      Although the Vasanas(seeds, that you mentioned) may appear all powerful but they aren’t. Trust me, they are lifeless until we give them attention.
      They are so instinctive or automatic at times that they give an impression of being alive. But they aren’t and you can destroy them if you are more aware.
      Try to be more mindful and at times we may give in and that is okay. But be careful not to strengthen it. Rather replace it with the act that you would like to see.
      It is a lifelong process. When I work on mine, I derive strength from the knowledge that they are lifeless and I am in control of them.


      1. I think I should consider these vasanas part of my life, all these temptations and emotions, it’s just I try to be perfect, one thing I observed in me is that my thoughts are intense, maybe only thing I should do is to just focus on improvement.
        But, the thing is that when I have started to be mindful of these vasanas, I feel like they are so many, when I wasn’t mindful, I was okay, but now as im mindful they have consideriably increased.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha..I guess that happens in every case..when we are mindful we see things clearly. It hasn’t increased, you just started noticing it.
        I think you are doing great. According to me, any day when we aren’t judging others and working towards self-devolpment is a good day :).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah. It’s just I have good awareness regarding thoughts, but when those tempting or fearful feelings come i just lose myself, I am not able to see through those feelings and its quite a time that I have lost on them.
        I don’t know, how they get generated and what to do when they come.
        Thanks sumi.

        Liked by 1 person

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