“The Seven Selves”
by Kahlil Gibran
“In the silent hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven selves sat together and thus conversed in whispers:
First Self: "Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years, with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow by night. I can bear my fate no longer, and now I must rebel."
Second Self: "Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it is given me to be this madman’s joyous self. I laugh his laughter and sing his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dance his brighter thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my weary existence."
Third Self: "And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brand of wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick self who would rebel against this madman."
Fourth Self: "I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naught was given me but the odious hatred and destructive loathing. It is I, the tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell, who would protest against serving this madman."
Fifth Self: "Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self, the self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander without rest in search of unknown things and things not yet created; it is I, not you, who would rebel."
Sixth Self: "And I, the working self, the pitiful laborer, who, with patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into images and give the formless elements new and eternal forms – it is I, the solitary one, who would rebel against this restless madman."
Seventh Self: "How strange that you all would rebel against this man, because each and every one of you has a preordained fate to fulfill. Ah! could I but be like one of you, a self with a determined lot! But I have none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sits in the dumb, empty nowhere and no-when, when you are busy re-creating life. Is it you or I, neighbors, who should rebel?"
When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked with pity upon him but said nothing more; and as the night grew deeper one after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happy submission. But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness, which is behind all things.”