Citações Nikos Kazantzakis

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

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: "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, livro Report to Greco

"The Desert. Sinai.", Ch. 21, p. 278
Report to Greco (1965)
Contexto: "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.

„The mystery has grown savage, and God has grown greater.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: 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.

„And now, my gallant lads — I don't know when or how —
that worm's god-slaying sword has fallen into my hands;
I swear that from its topmost iron tip the blood still drips!“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis

Odysseus' song, Book III, line 424
The Odyssey : A Modern Sequel (1938)
Contexto: The worm stood straight on God's blood-splattered threshold then
and beat his drum, beat it again, and raised his throat:
'You've matched all well on earth, wine, women, bread, and song,
but why, you Murderer, must you slay our children? Why?'
God foamed with rage and raised his sword to pierce that throat,
but his old copper sword, my lads, stuck at the bone.
Then from his belt the worm drew his black-hilted sword,
rushed up and slew that old decrepit god in heaven!
And now, my gallant lads — I don't know when or how —
that worm's god-slaying sword has fallen into my hands;
I swear that from its topmost iron tip the blood still drips!

„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, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: 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.

„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, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: 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.

„Like every other living thing, I also am in the center of the Cosmic whirlpool.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Every word is an Ark of the Covenant around which we dance and shudder, divining God to be its dreadful inhabitant.
You shall never be able to establish in words that you live in ecstasy. But struggle unceasingly to establish it in words. Battle with myths, with comparisons, with allegories, with rare and common words, with exclamations and rhymes, to embody it in flesh, to transfix it!
God, the Great Ecstatic, works in the same way. He speaks and struggles to speak in every way He can, with seas and with fires, with colors, with wings, with horns, with claws, with constellations and butterflies, that he may establish His ecstasy.
Like every other living thing, I also am in the center of the Cosmic whirlpool.

„Every man has his own circle composed of trees, animals, men, ideas, and he is in duty bound to save this circle. He, and no one else. If he does not save it, he cannot be saved.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Every man has his own circle composed of trees, animals, men, ideas, and he is in duty bound to save this circle. He, and no one else. If he does not save it, he cannot be saved.
These are the labors each man is given and is in duty bound to complete before he dies. He may not otherwise be saved. For his own soul is scattered and enslaved in these things about him, in trees, in animals, in men, in ideas, and it is his own soul he saves by completing these labors.

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

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: 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.

„Earth rises up in your brains and sees her entire body for the first time.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: The entire Earth, with her trees and her waters, with her animals, with her men and her gods, calls from within your breast.
Earth rises up in your brains and sees her entire body for the first time.

„A slave's soul has no worth, my brothers; it lacks strength
to tread on this great earth with gallantry and freedom.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis

Egyptian high priest, Book X, line 90
The Odyssey : A Modern Sequel (1938)
Contexto: A slave's soul has no worth, my brothers; it lacks strength
to tread on this great earth with gallantry and freedom.
I pity the poor slaves, they're nought but airy mist,
a light breeze scatters them, a fragrance knocks them down;
it's only just they crawl on the earth on hands and knees.
Today I'll write a hymn to God and pray for this great grace.

„Even the most humble insect and the most insignificant idea are the military encampments of God.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Even the most humble insect and the most insignificant idea are the military encampments of God. Within them, all of God is arranged in fighting position for a critical battle.
Even in the most meaningless particle of earth and sky I hear God crying out: "Help me!"
Everything is an egg in which God's sperm labors without rest, ceaselessly. Innumerable forces within and without it range themselves to defend it.
With the light of the brain, with the flame of the heart, I besiege every cell where God is jailed, seeking, trying, hammering to open a gate in the fortress of matter, to create a gap through which God may issue in heroic attack.

„You are not free. Myriad invisible hands hold your hands and direct them.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: You are not free. Myriad invisible hands hold your hands and direct them. When you rise in anger, a great-grandfather froths at your mouth; when you make love, an ancestral caveman growls with lust; when you sleep, tombs open in your memory till your skull brims with ghosts.

„Whoever has found the solution cannot find me.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Cries rise up on every side. Who shouts? It is we who shout — the living, the dead, and the unborn. But at once we are crushed by fear, and we fall silent.
And then we forget — out of laziness, out of habit, out of cowardice. But suddenly the Cry tears at our entrails once more, like an eagle.
For the Cry is not outside us, it does not come from a great distance that we may escape it. It sits in the center of our hearts, and cries out.
God shouts: "Burn your houses! I am coming! Whoever has a house cannot receive me!
"Burn your ideas, smash your thoughts! Whoever has found the solution cannot find me."

„Fools, art is a heavy task, more heavy than gold crowns;
it's far more difficult to match firm words than armies“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis

Pharaoh, Book X, line 688
The Odyssey : A Modern Sequel (1938)
Contexto: Fools, art is a heavy task, more heavy than gold crowns;
it's far more difficult to match firm words than armies,
they're disciplined troops, unconquered, to be placed in rhythm,
the mind's most mighty foe, and not disperse in air.
I'd give, believe me, a whole land for one good song,
for I know well that only words, that words alone,
like the high mountains, have no fear of age or death.

„Every man worthy of being called a son of man bears his cross and mounts his Golgotha.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro Report to Greco

Author's Introduction, p. 15
Report to Greco (1965)
Contexto: Every man worthy of being called a son of man bears his cross and mounts his Golgotha. Many, indeed most, reach the first or second step, collapse pantingly in the middle of the journey, and do not attain the summit of Golgotha, in other words the summit of their duty: to be crucified, resurrected, and to save theirs souls. Afraid of crucifixion, they grow fainthearted; they do not know that the cross is the only path to resurrection. There is no other path.

„Everything you do reverberates throughout a thousand destinies.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Everything you do reverberates throughout a thousand destinies. As you walk, you cut open and create that river bed into which the stream of your descendants shall enter and flow.

„Every body, every soul is a Holy Sepulcher. Every seed of grain is a Holy Sepulchre; let us free it!“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Life is a crusade in the service of God. Whether we wished to or not, we set out as crusaders to free — not the Holy Sepulchre — but that God buried in matter and in our souls.
Every body, every soul is a Holy Sepulcher. Every seed of grain is a Holy Sepulchre; let us free it! The brain is a Holy Sepulchre, God sprawls within it and battles with death; let us run to his assistance!

„Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it we do suddenly realize — sometimes with astonishment — how happy we had been.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro Zorba the Greek

Fonte: Zorba the Greek (1946), Ch. 6
Contexto: While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it we do suddenly realize — sometimes with astonishment — how happy we had been.

„General, the battle draws to a close and I make my report. This is where and how I fought. I fell wounded, lost heart, but did not desert. Though my teeth clattered from fear, I bound my forehead tightly with a red handkerchief to hide the blood, and ran to the assault.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro Report to Greco

"Prologue", p. 23
Report to Greco (1965)
Contexto: General, the battle draws to a close and I make my report. This is where and how I fought. I fell wounded, lost heart, but did not desert. Though my teeth clattered from fear, I bound my forehead tightly with a red handkerchief to hide the blood, and ran to the assault.
Before you shall pluck out the precious feathers of my jackdaw soul, one by one, until it remains a tiny clod of earth kneaded with blood, sweat, and tears. I shall relate my struggle to you — in order to unburden myself. I shall cast off virtue, shame, and truth — in order to unburden myself. My soul resembles your creation "Toledo in the Storm"; girded by yellow thunderbolts and oppressive black clouds, fighting a desperate, unbending battle against both light and darkness. You will see my soul, will weigh it between your lanceolate eyebrows, and will judge. Do you remember the grave Cretan saying, "Return where you have failed, leave where you have succeeded"? If I failed, I shall return to the assault though but a single hour of life remains to me. If I succeeded, I shall open the earth so that I may come and recline at your side.
Listen, therefore, to my report, general, and judge. Listen to my life, grandfather, and if I fought with you, if I fell wounded and allowed no one to learn of my suffering, if I never turned my back to the enemy: Give me your blessing!

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