I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.
If a woman sleeps alone it puts a shame on all men. God has a very big heart, but there is one sin He will not forgive. If a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.
Once more I realized to what an extent earthly happiness is made to the measure of man. It is not a rare bird which we must pursue at one moment in heaven, at the next in our minds. Happiness is a domestic bird found in our own courtyards.
You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me.Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, If you had to betray your master, would you do it?Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified.
True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create theirown.
We are to blame if reality does not take the form we desire. Whatever we have not desired with sufficient strength, that we call nonexistent. Desire it, imbrue it with your blood, your sweat, your tears, and it will take on a body. Reality is nothing more than the chimera subjected to our desire and our suffering.
I felt sorry for the inhabitants and went into the forest to admonish the wolf in God's name not to eat any more sheep. I called him, he came—and do you know what his answer was? 'Francis, Francis,' he said, 'do not destroy God's prescribed order. The sheep feeds on grass, the wolf on sheep—that's the way God ordained it. Do not ask why; simply obey God's will and leave me free to enter the sheepfolds whenever I feel the pinch of hunger. I say my prayers just like Your Holiness. I say: Our Father who reignest in the forests and hast commanded me to eat meat, Thy will be done. Give me this day my daily sheep so that my stomach may be filled, and I shall glorify Thy name. Great art Thou, Lord, who hast created mutton so delicious. And when the day cometh that I shall die, Grant, Lord, that I may be resurrected, and that with me may be resurrected all the sheep I have eaten—so that I may eat them again!' That, Brother Leo, is what the wolf answered me.
How could I, who loved life so intensely, have let myself be entangled for so long in that balderdash of books and paper blackened with ink!
By means of poetry all this suffering and effort could be transformed into dream; no matter how much of the ephemeral existed, poetry could immortalize it by turning it into song. Only two or three primitive passions had governed me until this time: fear, the struggle to conquer fear, and the yearning for freedom. But now two new passions were kindled inside me: beauty and the thirst for learning.
I should learn to run, to wrestle, to swim, to ride horses, to row, to drive a car, to fire a rifle. I should fill my soul with flesh. I should fill my flesh with soul. In fact, I should reconcile at last within me the two internal antagonists.
With the passage of days in this godly isolation [desert], my heart grew calm. It seemed to fill with answers. I did not ask questions any more; I was certain. Everything - where we came from, where we are going, what our purpose is on earth - struck me as extremely sure and simple in this God-trodden isolation. Little by little my blood took on the godly rhythm. Matins, Divine Liturgy, vespers, psalmodies, the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening, the constellations suspended like chandeliers each night over the monastery: all came and went, came and went in obedience to eternal laws, and drew the blood of man into the same placid rhythm. I saw the world as a tree, a gigantic poplar, and myself as a green leaf clinging to a branch with my slender stalk. When God's wind blew, I hopped and danced, together with the entire tree.
It is impossible for me to remember how many days or weeks went by in this way. Time is round, and it rolls quickly.
What is love?It's not empathy, nor kindness.Empathy takes two, the one who hurts and the one who empathizes.Kindness takes two, the one who gives and the one who takes.But love takes just one.The two get together into one.They don't separate.The I and the you disappear.I LOVE MEANS I DISAPPEAR..
An ardent desire to go took possession of me once more. Not because I wanted to leave - I was quite all right on this Cretan coast, and felt happy and free there and I needed nothing - but because I have always been consumed with one desire; to touch and see as much as possible of the earth and the sea before I die.
No. I don't believe in anything. How many times must I tell you that? I don't believe in anything anyone; only in Zorba. Not because Zorba is better than the others; not at all, not a little bit! He's a brute like the rest! But I believe in Zorba because he's the only being I have in my power, the only one I know. All the rest are guts. All the rest are ghosts, I tell you. When I die, everything'll die. The whole Zorbatic world will go to the bottom!
I felt deep within me that the highest point a man can attain is not Knowledge, or Virtue, or Goodness, or Victory, but something even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred Awe!” - The Narrator.
You know all about love, but that is not enough. You must also learn that hate comes from God as well, that it too is in the Lord's service. And in times like these, with the world fallen to the state it has, hate serves God more than love.
Never in my life had I felt so tangibly and with such astonishment that hate, by passing successively through comprehension, mercy, and sympathy, can be transformed into love.
The human soul is heavy, clumsy, held in the mud of the flesh. Its perceptions are still coarse and brutish. It can divine nothing clearly, nothing with certainty.
Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humor, and others, I’m told, into God.” - Zorba.
Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and I'll tell you who you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humor, and others, I'm told, into God. So there must be three sorts of men. I'm not one of the worst, boss, nor yet one of the best. I'm somewhere in between the two. What I eat I turn into work and good humor. That's not too bad, after all!'He looked at me wickedly and started laughing.'As for you, boss,' he said, 'I think you do your level best to turn what you eat into God. But you can't quite manage it, and that torments you. The same thing's happening to you as happened to the crow.''What happened to the crow, Zorba?''Well, you see, he used to walk respectably, properly - well, like a crow. But one day he got it into his head to try and strut about like a pigeon. And from that time on the poor fellow couldn't for the life of him recall his own way of walking. He was all mixed up, don't you see? He just hobbled about.
Luck is blind, they say. It can’t see where it’s going and keeps running into people…and the people it knocks into we call lucky! Well, to hell with luck if it's like that, I say!
I lack nothing, I tell you!”“Nothing?” I asked. “Not even heaven?”He lowered his head and was silent. But after a moment:“Heaven is too high for me. The earth is good, exceptionally good–and near me!”“Nothing is nearer to us than heaven. The earth is beneath our feet and we tread upon it, but heaven is within us.
But then I was young, and to be young means to undertake to demolish the world and to have the gall to wish to erect a new and better one in its place.
Happy the youth who believes that his duty is to remake the world and bring it more in accord with virtue and justice, more in accord with his own heart. Woe to whoever commences his life without lunacy.
When you've made up your mind, no use lagging behind, go ahead and no relenting,Let your youth have free reign, it won't come again, so be bold and no repenting.
Free yourself from one passion to be dominated by another and nobler one. But is not that, too, a form of slavery? To sacrifice oneself to an idea, to a race, to God? Or does it mean that the higher the model the longer the tether of our slavery? Then we can enjoy ourselves and frolic in a more spacious arena and die without having come to the end of the tether. Is that, then, what we call liberty?
…Man’s heart is a ditch full of blood. The loved ones who have died throw themselves down on the bank of this ditch to drink the blood and so come to life again; the dearer they are to you, the more of your blood they drink.” - The Narrator.
Man hurries, God does not. That is why man's works are uncertain and maimed, while God's are flawless and sure. My eyes welling with tears, I vowed never to transgress this eternal law again. Like a tree I would be blasted by wind, struck by sun and rain, and would wait with confidence; the long-desired hour of flowering and fruit would come.
How ought we to love God, Father? he asked in a whisper.By loving men, my sonAnd how ought we to love men? By trying to guide them along the right pathAnd what is the right path?The one that rises- Nikos Kazanzakis, Christ Recrucified
My route, Sior Francis—and don't be surprised when you hear it—my route when I set out to find God... was... laziness. Yes, laziness. If I wasn't lazy I would have gone the way of respectable, upstanding people. Like everyone else I would have studied a trade—cabinet-maker, weaver, mason—and opened a shop; I would have worked all day long, and where then would I have found time to search for God? I might as well be looking for a needle in a haystack: that's what I would have said to myself. All my mind and thoughts would have been occupied with how to earn my living, feed my children, how to keep the upper hand over my wife. With such worries, curse them, how could I have the time, or inclination, or the pure heart needed to think about the Almighty?But by the grace of God I was born lazy. To work, get married, have children, and make problems for myself were all too much trouble. I simply sat in the sun during winter and in the shade during summer, while at night, stretched out on my back on the roof of my house, I watched the moon and the stars. And when you watch the moon and the stars how can you expect your mind not to dwell on God? I couldn't sleep any more. Who made all that? I asked myself. And why? Who made me, and why? Where can I find God so that I may ask Him? Piety requires laziness, you know. It requires leisure—and don't listen to what others say. The laborer who lives from hand to mouth returns home each night exhausted and famished. He assaults his dinner, bolts his food, then quarrels with his wife, beats his children without rhyme or reason simply because he's tired and irritated, and afterwards he clenches his fists and sleeps. Waking up for a moment he finds his wife at his side, couples with her, clenches his fists once more, and plunges back into sleep.... Where can he find time for God? But the man who is without work, children, and wife thinks about God, at first just out of curiosity, but later with anguish.
To think things out properly and fairly, a fellow's got to be calm and old and toothless: When you're an old gaffer with no teeth, it's easy to say: 'Damn it, boys, you mustn't bite!' But, when you've got all thirty-two teeth...
When everyone drowns and I'm the only one to escape, God is protecting me. When everyone else is saved and I'm the only one to drown, God is protecting me then too.
I had taken up my quill to begin writing many times before now, but I always abandoned it quickly: each time I was overcome with fear. Yes, may God forgive me, but the letters of the alphabet frighten me terribly. They are sly, shameless demons—and dangerous! You open the inkwell, release them: they run off—and how will you ever get control of them again! They come to life, join, separate, ignore your commands, arrange themselves as they like on the paper—black, with tails and horns. You scream at them and implore them in vain: they do as they please. Prancing, pairing up shamelessly before you, they deceitfully expose what you did not wish to reveal, and they refuse to give voice to what is struggling, deep within your bowels, to come forth and speak to mankind.
You have everything but one thing: madness. A man needs a little madness or else - he never dares cut the rope and be free.
Forgetting himself for a moment, Francis brought his hand out from under his frock in order to bless the multitude. When the people saw his wound they bellowed madly. The women dashed forward with mantles outstretched to catch the drops; the men thrust in their hands and anointed their faces with blood. The villagers' expressions grew savage, and so did their souls. They longed to be able to tear the Saint limb from limb in order for each of them to claim a mouthful of his flesh, for they wanted to make him their own, to have him enter them so that they could become one with a saint—could be sanctified. Blind rage had overpowered them; their eyes were leaden, their lips ringed with froth.