Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life is full of surprises…

From among the heap of surprises I summon the latent powers of my ancient Greek ancestors, by whose blood I am not saved, but with whose blood I will fight. For a fight to the death is only another way of saying a fight to live. You have to be dead before you can know how to be born again. The trick, of course, is admitting when you are dead.

It is our duty to set ourselves an end beyond our individual concerns, beyond our convenient, agreeable habits, higher than our own selves, and disdaining laughter, hunger, even death, to toil night and day to attain that end. No, not to attain it. The self-respecting soul, as soon as he reaches his goal, places it still farther away. Not to attain it, but never to halt in the ascent. Only thus does life acquire nobility and oneness.
(Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco, p. 80)

I thank God that this refreshing childhood vision still lives inside me in all its fullness of color and sound. This is what keeps my mind untouched by wastage, keeps it from withering and running dry. It is the sacred drop of immortal water which prevents me from dying. When I wish to speak of the sea, woman, or God in my writing, I gaze down in my breast and listen carefully to what the child within me says. He dictates to me; and if it sometimes happens that I come close to these great forces of the sea, woman, and God, approach them by means of words and depict them, I owe it to the child who still lives within me. I become a child again to enable myself to view the world always for the first time, with virgin eyes.
(Kazantzakis, Report to Greco, "The Son", chapter 4, p. 49)

We, who are dying, are doing better, than they, who will live. For Crete doesn't need householders, she needs madmen like us. These madmen make Crete immortal.
(Kazantzakis, Freedom and Death, p. 467)

A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.
(Kazantzakis, unknown)

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