by Khalil Gibran
You ask me how I became a madman. It happened thus: One day, long
before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all
my masks were stolen,--the seven masks I have fashioned an worn in
seven lives,--I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting,
"Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves."
Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their houses in fear
And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top
cried, "He is a madman." I looked up to behold him; the sun kissed
my own naked face for the first time. For the first time the sun
kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for
the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I
cried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks."
Thus I became a madman.
And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety from
being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in
But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail
is safe from another thief.
Last updated January 14, 2019