Nikos Kazantzakis quotes

Nikos Kazantzakis photo
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Nikos Kazantzakis

Birthdate: 18. February 1883
Date of death: 26. October 1957
Other names: نیکوس کازانتزاکس, ნიკოს კაზანძაკისი

Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer. Widely considered a giant of modern Greek literature, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in nine different years.

Kazantzakis' novels included Zorba the Greek , Christ Recrucified , Captain Michalis , and The Last Temptation of Christ . He also wrote plays, travel books, memoirs and philosophical essays such as The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises. His fame spread in the English-speaking world due to cinematic adaptations of Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ .

Works

The Saviors of God
Nikos Kazantzakis
Report to Greco
Report to Greco
Nikos Kazantzakis
Zorba the Greek
Zorba the Greek
Nikos Kazantzakis

„Die every day. Be born every day. Deny everything you have every day. The superior virtue is not to be free but to fight for freedom.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: God cries to my heart: "Save me!"
God cries to men, to animals, to plants, to matter: "Save me!"
Listen to your heart and follow him. Shatter your body and awake: We are all one.
Love man because you are he.
Love animals and plants because you were they, and now they follow you like faithful co-workers and slaves.
Love your body; only with it may you fight on this earth and turn matter into spirit.
Love matter. God clings to it tooth and nail, and fights. Fight with him.
Die every day. Be born every day. Deny everything you have every day. The superior virtue is not to be free but to fight for freedom.
Do not condescend to ask: "Shall we conquer? Shall we be conquered?" Fight on!

„Enlighten the dark blood of your ancestors, shape their cries into speech, purify their will, widen their narrow, unmerciful brows.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Enlighten the dark blood of your ancestors, shape their cries into speech, purify their will, widen their narrow, unmerciful brows. This is your second duty.
For you are not only a slave. As soon as you were born, a new possibility was born with you, a free heartbeat stormed through the great sunless heart of your race.

„Where are we going? Do not ask! Ascend, descend. There is no beginning and no end.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Where are we going? Do not ask! Ascend, descend. There is no beginning and no end. Only this present moment exists, full of bitterness, full of sweetness, and I rejoice in it all.

„Free yourself from race also; fight to live through the whole struggle of man.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: It is not you talking. Nor is it your race only which shouts within you, for all the innumerable races of mankind shout and rush within you: white, yellow, black.
Free yourself from race also; fight to live through the whole struggle of man.

Citát „I hope nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.“

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„The mind is patient and adjusts itself, it likes to play; but the heart grows savage and will not condescend to play; it stifles and rushes to tear apart the nets of necessity.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: I will not accept boundaries; appearances cannot contain me; I choke! To bleed in this agony, and to live it profoundly, is the second duty.
The mind is patient and adjusts itself, it likes to play; but the heart grows savage and will not condescend to play; it stifles and rushes to tear apart the nets of necessity.

„Free yourself from the simple complacency of the mind that thinks to put all things in order and hopes to subdue phenomena. Free yourself from the terror of the heart that seeks and hopes to find the essence of things.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: The moment is ripe: leave the heart and the mind behind you, go forward, take the third step.
Free yourself from the simple complacency of the mind that thinks to put all things in order and hopes to subdue phenomena. Free yourself from the terror of the heart that seeks and hopes to find the essence of things.
Conquer the last, the greatest temptation of all: Hope. This is the third duty.

„In this lightning moment when you walk the earth, your first duty, by enlarging your ego, is to live through the endless march, both visible and invisible, of your own being.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: It is not you talking, but innumerable ancestors talking with your mouth. It is not you who desire, but innumerable generations of descendants longing with your heart.
Your dead do not lie in the ground. They have become birds, trees, air. You sit under their shade, you are nourished by their flesh, you inhale their breathing. They have become ideas and passions, they determine your will and your actions.
Future generations do not move far from you in an uncertain time. They live, desire, and act in your loins and your heart.
In this lightning moment when you walk the earth, your first duty, by enlarging your ego, is to live through the endless march, both visible and invisible, of your own being.

„The star dies, but the light never dies; such also is the cry of freedom.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: How does the light of a star set out and plunge into black eternity in its immortal course? The star dies, but the light never dies; such also is the cry of freedom.
Out of the transient encounter of contrary forces which constitute your existence, strive to create whatever immortal thing a mortal may create in this world — a Cry.
And this Cry, abandoning to the earth the body which gave it birth, proceeds and labors eternally.

„Gather your strength and listen; the whole heart of man is a single outcry.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: Gather your strength and listen; the whole heart of man is a single outcry. Lean against your breast to hear it; someone is struggling and shouting within you.
It is your duty every moment, day and night, in joy or in sorrow, amid all daily necessities, to discern this Cry with vehemence or restraint, according to your nature, with laughter or with weeping, in action or in thought, striving to find out who is imperiled and cries out.
And how we may all be mobilized together to free him.

„We do not struggle for ourselves, nor for our race, not even for humanity.
We do not struggle for Earth, nor for ideas.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: We do not struggle for ourselves, nor for our race, not even for humanity.
We do not struggle for Earth, nor for ideas. All these are the precious yet provisional stairs of our ascending God, and they crumble away as soon as he steps upon them in his ascent.
In the smallest lightning flash of our lives, we feel all of God treading upon us, and suddenly we understand: if we all desire it intensely, if we organize all the visible and invisible powers of earth and fling them upward, if we all battle together like fellow combatants eternally vigilant — then the Universe might possibly be saved.
It is not God who will save us — it is we who will save God, by battling, by creating, and by transmuting matter into spirit.

„We must understand well that we do not proceed from a unity of God to the same unity of God again.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: We must understand well that we do not proceed from a unity of God to the same unity of God again. We do not proceed from one chaos to another chaos, neither from one light to another light, nor from one darkness to another darkness. What would be the value of our life then? What would be the value of all life?
But we set out from an almighty chaos, from a thick abyss of light and darkness tangled. And we struggle — plants, animals, men, ideas — in this momentary passage of individual life, to put in order the Chaos within us, to cleanse the abyss, to work upon as much darkness as we can within our bodies and to transmute it into light.

„Fire is the first and final mask of my God.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Context: "Fire is the first and final mask of my God. We dance and weep between two enormous pyres."
Our thoughts and our bodies flash and glitter with reflected light. Between the two pyres I stand serenely, my brain unshaken amid the vertigo, and I say:
"Time is most short and space most narrow between these two pyres, the rhythm of this life is most sluggish, and I have no time, nor a place to dance in. I cannot wait."
Then all at once the rhythm of the earth becomes a vertigo, time disappears, the moment whirls, becomes eternity, and every point in space — insect or star or idea — turns into dance.

„This is how the spirit comes. After the gale, the earthquake, and fire: a gentle, cooling breeze. This is how it will come in our own day as well. We are passing through the period of earthquake, the fire is approaching, and eventually (when? after how many generations?) the gentle, cool breeze will blow.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, book Report to Greco

"The Desert. Sinai.", Ch. 21, p. 278
Report to Greco (1965)
Context: "Tomorrow, go forth and stand before the Lord. A great and strong wind will blow over you and rend the mountains and break in pieces the rocks, but the Lord will not be in the wind. And after the wind and earthquake, but the Lord will not be in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord will not be in the fire. And after the fire a gentle, cooling breeze. That is where the Lord will be."
This is how the spirit comes. After the gale, the earthquake, and fire: a gentle, cooling breeze. This is how it will come in our own day as well. We are passing through the period of earthquake, the fire is approaching, and eventually (when? after how many generations?) the gentle, cool breeze will blow.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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