— Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God
The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: I do not care what face other ages and other people have given to the enormous, faceless essence. They have crammed it with human virtues, with rewards and punishments, with certain ties. They have given a face to their hopes and fears, they have submitted their anarchy to a rhythm, they have found a higher justification by which to live and labor. They have fulfilled their duty.
But today we have gone beyond these needs; we have shattered this particular mask of the Abyss; our God no longer fits under the old features.
Our hearts have overbrimmed with new agonies, with new luster and silence. The mystery has grown savage, and God has grown greater. The dark powers ascend, for they have also grown greater, and the entire human island quakes.
Let us stoop down to our hearts and confront the Abyss valiantly. Let us try to mold once more, with our flesh and blood, the new, contemporary face of God.
For our God is not an abstract thought, a logical necessity, a high and harmonious structure made of deductions and speculations.
He is not an immaculate, neutral, odorless, distilled product of our brains, neither male nor female.
He is both man and woman, mortal and immortal, dung and spirit. He gives birth, fecundates, slaughters — death and eros in one — and then he begets and slays once more, dancing spaciously beyond the boundaries of a logic which cannot contain the antinomies.