4umi Khalil Gibran : The Madman / How I Became a Madman

How I Became a Madman

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 and 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 of me.

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 and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a thief in a jail is safe from another thief.

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 Khalil Gibran Introductory biography Spirits Rebellious The Broken Wings A Tear and a Smile The Madman How I Became a Madman God My Friend The Scarecrow The Sleep Walkers The Wise Dog The Two Hermits On Giving and Taking The Seven Selves War The Fox The Wise King Ambition The New Pleasure The Other Language The Pomegranate The Two Cages The Three Ants The Grave-Digger On the Steps of the Temple The Blessed City The Good God and the Evil God "Defeat" Night and the Madman Faces The Greater Sea Crucified The Astronomer The Great Longing Said a Blade of Grass The Eye The Two Learned Men When My Sorrow Was Born And When My Joy Was Born "The Perfect World" The Forerunner The Prophet The New Frontier Sand and Foam Jesus, The Son Of Man The Earth Gods The Wanderer Al-Nay The Garden of the Prophet Lazarus and His Beloved Satan My Countrymen I Believe In You Your Thought And Mine You Have Your Lebanon History and the Nation The Vision Visual art