Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

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Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes in english

Hello, Welcome in a collection of english quotes Nikos Kazantzakis, inspiration, life, teacher, future, motivate, problems, goals, succeed, inspire, hard-work, failure, courage and happiness. Our team gives you some quotes about Nikos Kazantzakis.He was born 18 February 1883, Heraklion, Greece. 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 died in 26 October 1957, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

  • “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.”

  • “I hope nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”

  • “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 their own.”

  • “This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.”

  • “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.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognize him in all his disguises.”

  • “The only thing I know is this: I am full of wounds and still standing on my feet.”

  • “A man needs a little madness, or else… he never dares cut the rope and be free.”

  • “You can knock on a deaf man’s door forever.”

  • “I was happy, I knew that. While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we had been.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”

  • “I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God.’ And the almond tree blossomed.”

  • “Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.”

  • “Look, one day I had gone to a little village. An old grandfather of ninety was busy planting an almond tree. ‘What, grandfather!’ I exclaimed. ‘Planting an almond tree?’ And he, bent as he was, turned around and said: ‘My son, I carry on as if I should never die.’ I replied: ‘And I carry on as if I was going to die any minute.’

  • “You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint the paradise, then in you go.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “When everything goes wrong, what a joy to test your soul and see if it has endurance and courage! An invisible and all-powerful enemy—some call him God, others the Devil, seem to rush upon us to destroy us; but we are not destroyed.” ? Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Gree

  • “All my life one of my greatest desires has been to travel-to see and touch unknown countries, to swim in unknown seas, to circle the globe, observing new lands, seas, people, and ideas with insatiable appetite, to see everything for the first time and for the last time, casting a slow, prolonged glance, then to close my eyes and feel the riches deposit themselves inside me calmly or stormily according to their pleasure, until time passes them at last through its fine sieve, straining the quintessence out of all the joys and sorrows.”

  • “For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.”

  • “Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.”

  • “Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all … is not to have one.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “You have everything but one thing: madness. A man needs a little madness or else – he never dares cut the rope and be free.”

  • “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!”

  • “All those who actually live the mysteries of life haven’t the time to write, and all those who have the time don’t live them! D’you see?”

  • “Reach what you cannot”

  • “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.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “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 longer the tether of our slavery?”

  • “How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.”

  • “Once, I saw a bee drown in honey, and I understood.”

  • “We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life.”

  • “No, you’re not free,” he said. “The string you’re tied to is perhaps no longer than other people’s. That’s all. You’re on a long piece of string, boss; you come and go, and think you’re free, but you never cut the string in two. And when people don’t cut that string . . .” “I’ll cut it some day!” I said defiantly, because Zorba’s words had touched an open wound in me and hurt. “It’s difficult, boss, very difficult. You need a touch of folly to do that; folly, d’you see? You have to risk everything! But you’ve got such a strong head, it’ll always get the better of you. A man’s head is like a grocer; it keeps accounts: I’ve paid so much and earned so much and that means a profit of this much or a loss of that much! The head’s a careful little shopkeeper; it never risks all it has, always keeps something in reserve. It never breaks the string. Ah no! It hangs on tight to it, the bastard! If the string slips out of its grasp, the head, poor devil, is lost, finished! But if a man doesn’t break the string, tell me, what flavor is left in life? The flavor of camomile, weak camomile tea! Nothing like rum-that makes you see life inside out!”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “When an almond tree became covered with blossoms in the heart of winter, all the trees around it began to jeer. ‘What vanity,’ they screamed, ‘what insolence! Just think, it believes it can bring spring in this way!’ The flowers of the almond tree blushed for shame. ‘Forgive me, my sisters,’ said the tree. ‘I swear I did not want to blossom, but suddenly I felt a warm springtime breeze in my heart.”

  • “When shall I at last retire into solitude alone, without companions, without joy and without sorrow, with only the sacred certainty that all is a dream? When, in my rags—without desires—shall I retire contented into the mountains? When, seeing that my body is merely sickness and crime, age and death, shall I—free, fearless, and blissful—retire to the forest? When? When, oh when?”

  • “What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out comes sighs, laughter, and dreams.”

  • “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.”

  • “Man is able, and has the duty, to reach the furthest point on the road he has chosen. Only by means of hope can we attain what is beyond hope.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “Let your youth have free reign, it won’t come again, so be bold and no repenting.”

  • “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.”

  • “Poverty and nakedness are nothing, provided you have a good wife”

  • “If I were fire, I would burn; if I were a woodcutter, I would strike. But I am a heart, and I love.”

  • “Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “Beauty is merciless. You do not look at it, it looks at you and does not forgive.”

  • “Only one woman exists in this world, one woman with countless faces.”

  • “Let people be, boss; don’t open their eyes. And supposing you did, what’d they see? Their misery! Leave their eyes closed, boss, and let them go on dreaming!”

  • “When I encounter a sunrise, a painting, a woman, or an idea that makes my heart bound like a young calf, then I know I am standing in front of happiness.”

  • “Truly, everything in this world depended on time. Time ripened all. If you had time, you succeeded in working the human mud internally and turning it into spirit. Then you did not fear death. If you did not have time, you perished.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “Once more there sounded within me the terrible warning that there is only one life for all men, that there is only one life for all men, that there is no other and that all that can be enjoyed must be enjoyed here. In eternity no other chance will be given to us.”

  • “My principle anguish and the source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh.”

  • “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!”

  • “My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.”

  • “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.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “The sole way to save oneself is to save others. Or to struggle to save others -even that is sufficient.”

  • “Every man has his folly, but the greatest folly of all, in my view, is not to have one.”

  • “I say one thing, you write another, and those who read you understand still something else! I say: cross, death, kingdom of heaven, God…and what do you understand? Each of you attaches his own suffering, interests and desires to each of these sacred words, and my words disappear, my soul is lost. I can’t stand it any longer!”

  • “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.”

  • “Throughout my life my greatest benefactors have been my travels and my dreams. Very few men, living or dead, have helped me in my struggles.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “I did not know what I was going to do with my life; before anything else I wanted to find an answer, my answer, to the timeless questions, and then after that I would decide what I would become. If I did not begin by discovering what was the grand purpose of life on earth, I said to myself, how would I be able to discover the purpose of my tiny ephemeral life? And if I did not give my life a purpose, how would I be able to engage in action? I was not interested in finding what life’s purpose was objectively – this, I divined, was impossible and futile – but simply what purpose I, of my own free will, could give it in accord with my spiritual and intellectual needs. Whether or not this purpose was the true one did not, at that time, have any great significance for me. The important thing was that I should find (should create) a purpose congruent with my own self, and thus, by following it, reel out my particular desires and abilities to the furthest possible limit. For then at last I would be collaborating harmoniously with the totality of the universe.”

  • “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?”

  • “so few in reality are the true necessities of man”

  • “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.”

  • “Freedom was my first great desire. The second, which remains hidden within me to this day, tormenting me, was the desire for sanctity. Hero together with saint: such is mankind’s supreme model.”

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  • “There is only one sin god will not forgive Boss, and that is to deny a woman who is in wanting ~ Zorba”

  • “We are not men, to have need of another, an eternal life; we are women, and for us one moment with man we love is everlasting Paradise, one moment far from the man we love is everlasting hell. It is here on earth that we women love out eternity”

  • “Life’s true face is the skull.”

  • “The truth is that we all are one, that all of us together create god, that god is not man’s ancestor, but his descendant.”

  • “While experiencing happiness, we have difficulty in being conscious of it. Only when the happiness is past and we look back on it do we suddenly realize – sometimes with astonishment – how happy we had been.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “My soul comes from better worlds and I have an incurable homesickness of the stars.”

  • “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.”

  • “Every integral man has inside him, in his heart of hearts, a mystic center around which all else revolves. This mystic whirling lends unity to his thoughts and actions; it helps him find or invent the cosmic harmony. For some this center is love, for others kindness or beauty, others the thirst for knowledge or the longing for gold and power. They examine the relative value of all else and subordinate it to this central passion.”

  • “Ideal 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 bridges of their own.”

  • “Is he good? Or is he bad? That’s the only thing I ask nowadays. And as I grow older—I’d swear this on the last crust I eat—I feel I shan’t even go on asking that! Whether a man’s good or bad, I’m sorry for him, for all of ’em. The sight of a man just rends my insides, even if I act as though I don’t care a damn! There he is, poor devil, I think, he also eats and drinks and makes love and is frightened, whoever he is: he has his God and his devil just the same, and he’ll peg out and lie as stiff as a board beneath the ground and be food for worms, just the same. Poor devil! We’re all brothers! All worm-meat!”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “It was certainly not this mummified and outrageously painted old woman he was seeing before him, but the entire “female species,” as it was his custom to call women. The individual disappeared, the features were obliterated, whether young or senile, beautiful or ugly – those were mere unimportant variations. Behind each woman rises the austere, sacred and mysterious face of Aphrodite.”

  • “What is truth? What is falsehood? Whatever gives wings to men, whatever produces great works and great souls and lifts up a man’s height above the earth – that’s true. Whatever clips off man’s wings – that’s false.”

  • “You were saying you wanted to open the people’s eyes. All right, you just go and open old uncle Anagnosti’s eyes for him! You saw how his wife had to behave before him, waiting for his orders, like a dog begging. Just go now and teach them that women have equal rights with men, and that it’s cruel to eat a piece of the pig while the pig’s still raw and groaning in front of you, and that it’s simple lunacy to give thanks to God because he’s got everything while you’re starving to death!…Let people be, boss: don’t open their eyes. And supposing you did, what’d they see? Their misery! Leave their eyes closed, boss, and let them go on dreaming!”

  • “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.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “If the soul within us does not change, Judas, the world outside us will never change. The enemy is within, the Romans are within, salvation starts from within!”

  • “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.”

  • “A prophet is the one who, when everyone else despairs, hopes. And when everyone else hopes, he despairs. You’ll ask me why. It’s because he has mastered the Great Secret: that the Wheel turns.”

  • “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!”

  • “The doors of heaven and hell are adjacent and identical.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “there are three kinds of men: those who make it their aim, as they say, to live their lives, eat, drink, make love, grow rich, and famous; then come those who make it their aim not to live their own lives but to concern themselves with the lives of all men – they feel that all men are one and they try to enlighten them, to love them as much as they can and do good to them; finally there are those who aim at living the life of the entire universe – everything, men, animals, trees, stars, we are all one, we are all one substance involved in the same terrible struggle. What struggle?…Turning matter into spirit.”

  • “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…”

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “…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.”

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  • “I an not tired, but the night is coming.”

  • “I knew that over and above the truth, there exists another duty which is much more important and much more human.”

  • “The canary began to sing again. The sun had struck it, and its throat and tiny breast had filled with song. Francis gazed at it for a long time, not speaking, his mouth hanging half opened, his eyes dimmed with tears. “The canary is like man’s soul,” he whispered finally. “It sees bars round it, but instead if despairing, it sings. It sings, and wait and see, Brother Leo: one day its song shall break the bars.”

  • “What first truly stirred my soul was not fear or pain, nor was it pleasure or games; it was the yearning for freedom. I had to gain freedom – but from what, from whom? Little by little, in the course of time, I mounted freedom’s rough unaccommodating ascent. To gain freedom first of all from the Turk, that was the initial step; after that, later, this new struggle began: to gain freedom from the inner Turk – from ignorance, malice and envy, from fear and laziness, from dazzling false ideas; and finally from idols, all of them, even the most revered and beloved.”

  • “Beauty always had a purpose: to be of service to life.”

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  • “…I spent the whole morning coiled up in front of the fire, with my hands over it, eating nothing, motionless, just listening to the first rain of the season, softly falling. I was thinking of nothing. Rolled up in a ball, like a mole in damp soil, my brain was resting. I could hear the slight movements, murmurings and nibblings of the earth, and the rain falling and the seeds swelling. I could feel the sky and the earth copulating as in primitive times when they mated like a man and woman and had children. I could hear the sea before me, all along the shore, roaring like a wild beast and lapping with its tongue to slake its thirst.”

  • “The unfailing rhythm of the seasons, the ever-turning wheel of life, the four facets of the earth which are lit in turn by the sun, the passing of life–all these filled me once more with a feeling of oppression. Once more there sounded within me, together with the cranes’ cry, the terrible warning that there is only one life for all men, that there is no other, and that all that can be enjoyed must be enjoyed here. In eternity no other chance will be given to us. A mind hearing this pitiless warning–a warning which, at the same time, is so compassionate–would decide to conquer its weakness and meanness, its laziness and vain hopes and cling with all its power to every second which flies away forever. Great examples come to your mind and you see clearly that you are a lost soul, your life is being frittered away on petty pleasures and pains and trifling talk. “Shame! Shame!” you cry, and bite your lips.”

  • “What a miracle life is and how alike are all souls when they send their roots down deep and meet and are one!”

  • “When I close my eyes to see, to hear, to smell, to touch a country I have known, I feel my body shake and fill with joy as if a beloved person had come near me. A rabbi was once asked the following question: ‘When you say that the Jews should return to Palestine, you mean, surely, the heavenly, the immaterial, the spiritual Palestine, our true homeland?’ The rabbi jabbed his staff into the ground in wrath and shouted, ‘No! I want the Palestine down here, the one you can touch with your hands, with its stones, its thorns and its mud!’ Neither am I nourished by fleshless, abstract memories. If I expected my mind to distill from a turbid host of bodily joys and bitternesses an immaterial, crystal-clear thought, I would die of hunger. When I close my eyes in order to enjoy a country again, my five senses, the five mouth-filled tentacles of my body, pounce upon it and bring it to me. Colors, fruits, women. The smells of orchards, of filthy narrow alleys, of armpits. Endless snows with blue, glittering reflections. Scorching, wavy deserts of sand shimmering under the hot sun. Tears, cries, songs, distant bells of mules, camels or troikas. The acrid, nauseating stench of some Mongolian cities will never leave my nostrils. And I will eternally hold in my hands – eternally, that is, until my hands rot – the melons of Bukhara, the watermelons of the Volga, the cool, dainty hand of a Japanese girl… For a time, in my early youth, I struggled to nourish my famished soul by feeding it with abstract concepts. I said that my body was a slave and that its duty was to gather raw material and bring it to the orchard of the mind to flower and bear fruit and become ideas. The more fleshless, odorless, soundless the world was that filtered into me, the more I felt I was ascending the highest peak of human endeavor. And I rejoiced. And Buddha came to be my greatest god, whom I loved and revered as an example. Deny your five senses. Empty your guts. Love nothing, hate nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing. Breathe out and the world will be extinguished. But one night I had a dream. A hunger, a thirst, the influence of a barbarous race that had not yet become tired of the world had been secretly working within me. My mind pretended to be tired. You felt it had known everything, had become satiated, and was now smiling ironically at the cries of my peasant heart. But my guts – praised be God! – were full of blood and mud and craving. And one night I had a dream. I saw two lips without a face – large, scimitar-shaped woman’s lips. They moved. I heard a voice ask, ‘Who if your God?’ Unhesitatingly I answered, ‘Buddha!’ But the lips moved again and said: ‘No, Epaphus.’ I sprang up out of my sleep. Suddenly a great sense of joy and certainty flooded my heart. What I had been unable to find in the noisy, temptation-filled, confused world of wakefulness I had found now in the primeval, motherly embrace of the night. Since that night I have not strayed. I follow my own path and try to make up for the years of my youth that were lost in the worship of fleshless gods, alien to me and my race. Now I transubstantiate the abstract concepts into flesh and am nourished. I have learned that Epaphus, the god of touch, is my god. All the countries I have known since then I have known with my sense of touch. I feel my memories tingling, not in my head but in my fingertips and my whole skin. And as I bring back Japan to my mind, my hands tremble as if they were touching the breast of a beloved woman.”

  • “ADAM AND EVE, sitting in Paradise, chatting: “If we could only open the gate and leave,” says Eve. “To go where, my dearest?” “If we could only open the gate and leave!” “Outside is sickness, pain, death!” “If we could only open the gate and leave!”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “The more he approached the people and perceived their anger-filled eyes and the dark, tortured fierceness of their expressions, the more his heart stirred, the more his bowels flooded with deep sympathy and love. These are the people, he reflected. They are all brothers, every one of them, but they do not know it—and that is why they suffer. If they knew it, what celebrations there would be, what hugging and kissing, what happiness!”

  • “Discipline is the highest of all virtues. Only so may strength and desire be counterbalanced and the endeavors of man bear fruit.”

  • “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!”

  • “How ought we to love God, Father?” he asked in a whisper. “By loving men, my son” “And how ought we to love men?” “By trying to guide them along the right path” “And what is the right path?” “The one that rises”

  • “My son, I carry on as if I should never die.’ I replied: ‘And I carry on as if I was going to die any minute.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “Confucius says: ‘Many seek happiness higher than man; others beneath him. But happiness is the same height as man.’ That is true. So there must be a happiness to suit every man’s stature.”

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “in order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”

  • “It is impossible for me to remember how many days or weeks went by in this way. Time is round, and it rolls quickly.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “The great difference between us is this: you believe you have found salvation, and believing this, you are saved; I believe that salvation doesn’t exist, and believing this, I am saved.”

  • “What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The I and the you vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved”

  • “—I hope you don’t mind my saying so, boss, but I don’t think your brain is quite formed yet. How old are you? —Thirty-five. —Then it never will be.”

  • “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.”

  • “The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone, together with the longing for reconciliation. Most often this struggle is unconscious and short-lived. A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long. It grows heavy, becomes flesh itself, and the contest ends. But among responsible men, men who keep their eyes riveted day and night upon the Supreme Duty, the conflict between flesh and spirit breaks out mercilessly and may last until death.”

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  • “Oh, how crafty of religion, I cried out indignantly, to transplant rewards and punishments into a future life in order to comfort cowards and the enslaved and aggrieved, enabling them to bow their necks patiently before their masters, and to endure this earthly life without groaning (the only life of which we can be sure)!”

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • Nikos KazantzakisNikos Kazantzakis > Quotes Nikos Kazantzakis quotes Showing 241-270 of 682 “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.” ? Nikos Kazantzakis, Askees. Salvatores Dei 6 likesLike “The longer I live, the more I rebel. I’m not going to give in; I want to conquer the world!”

  • “This, I thought, is how great visionaries and poets see everything–as if for the first time. Each morning they see a new world before their eyes; they do not really see it, they create it.”

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  • “What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The ‘I’ and the ‘you’ vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved.”

  • “The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water, and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring. The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables, their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight. The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed to come before her guests after so much murder. Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained, turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals. The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed: Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold, pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons; she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face, and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human. Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood: “In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife, the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage; I was in danger often, both through joy and grief, of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face. I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help, but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed. I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes, and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me; then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust, piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues, the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man, and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst, and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage. As I swam on, alone between sea and sky, with but my crooked heart for dog and company, I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear. Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness. Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts, I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.” All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege, and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit; They did not fully understand the impious words but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head. The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed, and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs; all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled. Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply: “This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath! These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!” He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food.”

  • “I am a weak, ephemeral creature made of mud and dream. But I feel all the powers of the universe whirling within me.”

  • “My life had got on the wrong track, and my contact with men had become now a mere soliloquy. I had fallen so low that, if I had had to choose between falling in love with a woman and reading a book about love, I should have chosen the book.”

  • “I was once more struck by the truth of the ancient saying: 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.”

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  • “We have but a single moment at our disposal. Let us transform that moment into eternity. No other form of immortality exists”

  • “What do you have to fear? Nothing. Whom do you have to fear? No one. Why? Because whoever has joined forces with God obtains three great privileges: omnipotence without power, intoxication without wine, and life without death.”

  • “Man cannot sprout wings unless he has first reached the brink of the abyss!”

  • “I tried to establish order over the chaos of my imagination, but this essence, the same that presented itself to me still hazily when I was a child, has always struck me as the very heart of truth. 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 further away. Not to attain it, but never to halt in the ascent. Only thus does life acquire nobility and oneness.”

  • “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.”

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  • “I pity the village where no one is a saint, but I also pity the village where everyone is a saint!”

  • “I was sitting in front of the hut and watching the ground darken and the sea grow a phosphorescent green. Not a soul was to be seen from one end of the beach to the other, not a sail, not a bird. Only the smell of the earth entered through the window. I rose and held out my hand to the rain like a beggar. I suddenly felt like weeping. Some sorrow, not my own but deeper and more obscure, was rising from the damp earth: the panic which a peaceful grazing animal feels when, all at once, without have seen anything, it rears its head and scents in the air about it that it is trapped and cannot escape. I wanted to utter a cry, knowing that it would relieve my feelings, but I was ashamed to. The clouds were coming lower and lower. I looked through the window; my heart was gently palpitating. What a voluptuous enjoyment of sorrow those hours of soft rain can produce in you! All bitter memories hidden in the depths of your mind come to the surface: separations from friends, women’s smiles which have faded, hopes which have lost their wings like moths and of which only a grub remains – and that grub had crawled on to the leaf of my heart and eating it away.”

  • “An old fisherman heard all this and shook his head. “This is what happens to those who don’t get married,” he said. “All they want to do is save the world, by hook or by crook. The sperm rises to their heads and attacks their brains. For God’s sake, all of you: get married, let your forces loose on women and have children in order to calm yourselves!”

  • “God enjoys himself, kills, commits injustice, makes love, works, likes impossible things, just the same as I do. But, boss, I´ve said so before, and I say it again, God and the devil are one and the same thing!”

  • “I’m fighting to save myself, and save myself, I will.” Mary Magdalene in The Last Temptation of Christ”

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  • “Christ is born, my wise Solomon, my wretched pen-pusher! Don´t go picking things over with a needle! Is He born or isn´t He? Of course He is born, don´t be daft. If you take a magnifying glass and look at your drinking water-an engineer told me this, one day – you´ll see, he said, the water´s full of little worms you couldn´t see with your naked eye. You´ll see the worms and you won´t drink. You won´t drink and you´ll curl up with thirst. Smash your glass, boss, and the little worms´ll vanish and you can drink and be refreshed!”

  • “God turned his face the other way, and the earth was in darkness. “An eclipse of God… an eclipse of God”

  • “By believing passionately in that which doesn’t exist, you create it and that which has not been sufficiently desired is what we call the non existent -”

  • “They had no fear of death, and whoever has no fear of death—the centurion had often meditated on this here in the East—whoever has no fear of death is immortal.”

  • “There, in the desert, there’s hunger, thirst, prostrations—and God. Here there’s food, wine, women—and God. Everywhere God. So, why go look for him in the desert?”

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  • “I sense that the thing I am seeking is higher than love and higher than the joy of life and higher than science and glory and higher even than starts. Don’t keep my wings tied in Your embrace. You are only a shadow and only a smile in the great journey of my soul. Your eyes are the two clear springs where my thoughts came to drink and rest for a moment. And between Your breasts hides the soft pillow where I slept for a moment in order to waken again. Don’t hold me bound. The enigma is not hidden in Your Lions nor in Your enormous eyes. And Your arms are small and weak and do not embrace my entire soul. There is a magnet above the stars that pulls me. And my entire body shudders, magnetized by the Great Nostalgia and the Great Longing. Someone is pulling at me from the stars. Do not hold me bound. The thing I am seeking is higher than love and higher than the joy of life.”

  • “Nothing is nearer to us than heaven. The earth is beneath our feet and we tread upon it, but heaven is within us.”

  • “If some priest or other comes to take my confession and give me sacrament, tell him to clear out, quick, and leave me his curse instead! I´ve done heaps and heaps of things in my life, but I still did not do enough. Men like me ought to live a thousand years.”

  • “What are you looking at, grandfather?” he asked with curiosity. The old man raised his head and smiled sadly. “At my life flowing and disappearing, son, flowing and disappearing.” “Don’t worry, grandfather, it knows where it is going–toward the sea, everyone’s life flows toward the sea.” The old man sighed. “Yes, my son, that is why the sea is salty—from the many tears.” He turned back to the flowing stream and did not speak again.”

  • “Leave nothing for death but a burned-out castle”

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  • “Zorba sees everything everyday as if for the first time.”

  • “What is the definition of heaven? Complete happiness. But how can anyone be completely happy when he looks out from heaven and sees his brothers and sisters being punished in hell? How can paradise exist if the inferno exists also? That is why I say—and let this sink deep down into your minds, my sisters—that either we shall all be saved, all of us together, or else we shall all be damned. If a person is killed at the other end of the earth, we are killed; if a person is saved, we are saved.”

  • “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.”

  • “It’s all because of doing things by halves and saying things by halves, being good by halves, that the world is in the mess it’s in today.”

  • “To do the will of God means to do my own most deeply hidden will. Within even the most unworthy of men there is a servant of God, asleep.”

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  • “God replies every time we question him, but our flesh is bemired and almost deaf: we do not hear.”

  • “Take care, Friars!” he cried. “If the yearning is broken off for even an instant, the wings become chains again. Stay vigilant, fight, keep the torch of your soul burning day and night. Strike! Forge the wings! I’m going-I am in a hurry to speak to God. I’m going… These are my final words: Strike! Forge the wings!”

  • “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.”

  • “Time is round, and it rolls quickly.”

  • “You cannot understand how much patience I need in order not to lose my patience, so that I can withstand all this misfortune all by myself.

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  • “Thy designs are a bottomless pit. How can I descend into this pit to examine it? Thou lookest thousands of years into the future and then Thou judgest. What today seems an injustice to man’s minute brain becomes, thousands of years hence, the mother of man’s salvation. If what today we term injustice did not exist, perhaps true justice would never come to mankind.”

  • “It’s possible to save oneself from Satan, Father Francis, but from men—never!”

  • “If they were to ask me what road leads to heaven, I would answer them: the most difficult!”

  • “Religion is opium for the masses”

  • “This rebel would but toss his head, and men,slaves,horses, towers…all the accursed levels above him…would come tumbling down. God always works in this way. Deep in the foundations of wrong he buries the small despised cry of justice.”

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  • “A crust of lard, habit, and cowardice envelops the soul; no matter what it craves from the depths of its prison, the lard, habit, and cowardice carry out something entirely different.”

  • “There are three kinds of souls, three kinds of prayers. One: I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me lest I rot. Two: Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break. Three: Overdraw me, and who cares if I break! “Choose!”

  • “In order to mount to heaven, you used the Inferno to give you momentum. “The further down you gain your momentum,” you often used to tell me, “the higher you shall be able to reach. The militant Christian’s greatest worth is not his virtue, but his struggle to transform into virtue the impudence, dishonor, unfaithfulness, and malice within him. One day Lucifer will be the most glorious archangel standing next to God; not Michael, Gabriel, or Raphael—but Lucifer, after he has finally transubstantiated his terrible darkness into light.”

  • “Gradually I began to understand that it does not matter very much what problem, whether big or small, is tormenting us; the only thing that matters it that we be tormented, that we find a ground for being tormented. In other words, that we exercise our minds in order to keep certainty from turning us into idiots, that we fight to open every closed door we find in front of us.”

  • “The creator wrestles with a hard, invisible substance, a substance far superior to him. Even the greatest victor emerges vanquished, because our deepest secret, the only one that deserves expression, always remains unexpressed. This secret never submits to art’s material contours. We suffocate inside every word. Seeing a blossoming tree, a hero, a woman, the morning star, we cry, Ah! Nothing else is able to accommodate our joy. When, analyzing this Ah! we wish to turn it into thought and art in order to impart it to mankind and rescue it from our own dissolution, how it cheapens into brazen, mascaraed words full of air and fancy!”

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  • “Every one follows his own bent. Man is like a tree. You’ve never quarrelled with a fig tree because it doesn’t bear cherries, have you?”

  • “Keep your distance, boss! Don’t make men too bold, don’t go telling them we’re equal, we’ve got the same rights, or they’ll go straight and trample on your rights; they’ll steal your bread and leave you to die of hunger. Keep your distance, boss, by all the good things I wish you!”

  • “The human soul is heavy, clumsy, held in the mud of the flesh.”

  • “All the political, social, and economic improvements, all the technical progress cannot have any regenerating significance, so long as our inner life remains as it is at present.”

  • “Leave your books alone. Aren’t you ashamed? Man is a wild beast, and wild beasts don’t read.”

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  • “There is only one essence, always the same. As yet, man has found no other means to elevate himself—none but the routing of matter and the submission of the individual to an end which transcends the individual, even though that end be chimerical. When the heart believes and loves, nothing chimerical exists; nothing exists but” ? Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco

  • “If you have faith, a splinter from an old door will become a holy relic. And if you have no faith the entire holy cross will become an old door.”

  • “On the way between nothingness and God, we dance and weep.”

  • “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.”

  • “Whoever is rich, and is a communist, is an idiot,” he would say. ” Whoever is poor, and is not a communist, is a bigger idiot.”

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  • “I lived six months with her. Since that day – God be my witness! – 1 need fear nothing. Nothing, I say. Nothing, except one thing: that the devil, or God, wipe out those six

  • “At such times [drunk] all the doors of a woman’s being are opened. The sentinels relax and a kind word is as powerful as gold or love.”

  • “You’ve got a devil inside you, as well, but you don’t know his name yet, and, since you don’t know that, you can’t breathe. Baptise him, boss, and you’ll feel better!”

  • “I am not going to kill sin by killing the sinners; I am not going to wage war against evildoers and infidels. I shall preach love, and I shall love; I shall preach concord, and shall practice brotherly love toward everyone in the world.”

  • “God hates a half-devil ten times more than an arch-devil!”

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  • “Good Lord, just think what poor old God must go through also,” he said with a laugh. “He certainly got himself in hot water when he created the world. The fish screams, Don’t blind me, Lord; don’t let me enter the nets! The fisherman screams, Blind the fish, Lord; make him enter the nets! Which one is God supposed to listen to? Sometimes he listens to the fish, sometimes to the fisherman—and that’s the way the world goes round!”

  • “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 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.”

  • “Was this man the Messiah whom God had promised him or wasn’t he? All the miracles he performed could also be performed by Satan, who could even resurrect the dead. The miracles therefore did not give the rabbi sufficient basis to pass judgment; nor did the prophecies. Satan was a sly and exceedingly powerful archangel. In order to deceive mankind he was capable of making his words and actions fit the holy prophecies to perfection.”

  • “I surrender myself to everything. I love, I feel pain, I struggle. The world seems to me wider than the mind, my heart a dark and almighty mystery.”

  • “O brain, be flowers that nightingales may come to sing!”

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  • “I am always filled with melancholy. It’s as if I see everything black. Everything wounds me deeply.”

  • “Love responsibility. Say: It is my duty, and mine alone, to save the earth. If it is not saved, then I alone am to blame.”

  • “At night the jackals came and ate their feet, and the next morning crows flew down and ate their eyes.”

  • “She disappeared. Since then I had never thought anymore of her. Nevertheless, she must have continued to live deep down in my heart, and today, on this empty coast, she reappeared, pale and plaintive, from the depths of my being.”

  • “My principle anguish and source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh . . . and my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met.”

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  • “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..”

  • “I hope for nothing I fear nothing I am free”

  • “Good god how much I have suffered, but serenely, because I understood that what I endured was nothing, just a caress compared to the world’s boundless misfortune.”

  • “But how can anyone put a bridle on man’s vanity and arrogance? But how can Purity walk the earth without covering her feet with mud?”

  • “In this way, without understanding how, I entered sleep together with Christ’s passion and the nightingales’ warbling, just as the soul will enter Paradise.”

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  • “I would fill my soul with flesh, my flesh with soul”

  • “You, too, have a devil inside you but you still don’t know his name and because you don’t know his name, you suffocate. Baptize him, Boss, and you’ll find relief.”

  • “Father Yànaros closed his eyes again; he turned to Mount Athos, to the cell of Father Arsénios. What calm peaceful discussions the two had had; how many days and nights he had stayed with him—they had passed like lightning! Surely this must be how the hours and days and centuries go by in Paradise. The hours passed, and the two souls strolled before God, gurgling like pigeons. “How can you live like this, Father Arsénios? How do you stand the loneliness?” Father Yànaros asked one day as he watched the sea from among the orange trees and felt the longing to leave, “Have you lived in solitude many years?” “I’ve been glued to this cell since I was twenty, Father Yànaros,” he replied, “like the silkworm in its cocoon. This,” he said and pointed to his cell, “is my cocoon.” “And is it large enough to hold you?” “Yes, it is, because it has a small window, and I can see the sky.”

  • “Our body is a ship that sails on deep blue waters. What is our goal? To be shipwrecked!”

  • “Time is not a field, to be measured in rods, nor a sea, to be measured in miles; it is a heart beat.”

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  • “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.”

  • “Life is trouble. Death – no. To live – do you know what that means? To undo your belt and look for trouble!”

  • “And I am glad, because although no one else in the world remembers him now, he will live inside me as long as I live. We shall die together. This grandfather was the first to make me wish not to die – so that the dead within me should not die. Since then, many departed dead ones have sunk, not into the grave, but into my memory, and I know now that as long as I live they shall live too.”

  • “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.”

  • “He opened his shirt and lowered his trousers. ‘Bring the light over!’ he ordered. I held the lamp close to the thin, tanned body. What with deep scars, bullet and sword marks, his body was like a collander. ‘Now look at the other side!’ He turned round and showed me his back. ‘Not a scratch on the back, you see. Do you understand? Now take the lamp back.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “A fault confessed is half redressed.”

  • “Because what God wants, that, and only that, is also what we want—but we don’t know it. God comes and awakens our souls, revealing to them their real, though unknown, desire. This is the secret, Brother Leo. To do the will of God means to do my own most deeply hidden will.”

  • “The higher we went the more our spirits seemed to become purged and exalted. Once again I felt the influence on the soul of pure air, easy breathing and a vast horizon. Anyone would think the soul, too, was an animal with lungs and nostrils, and that it needed oxygen, was stifled in the dust or in the midst of too much stale breath.”

  • “The bishop escorted Francis a short distance out into the courtyard. Bending over, he said to him in a hushed voice, “careful Francis. You’re overdoing it.” “That’s how one finds God, Bishop.” Francis answered. The bishop shook his head. “Even virtue needs moderation; otherwise it can become arrogance.” “Man stands within the bounds of moderation; God stands outside them. I am heading for God, Bishop.” said Francis, and he proceeded hastily towards the street door. He had no time to lose.”

  • “Free your self from one passion to be dominated by another and nobler one. But isn’t that, too, a form of slavery?”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “Are you a preacher or a capitalist? You must make up your mind!” But how could I choose? I was consumed by the ingenuous desire of uniting these two things, of finding a synthesis in which the irreducible opposites would fraternise, and of winning both the earthly life and the kingdom of the skies.”

  • “I am always disgusted by the world. The more that time passes the more I become increasingly broody and tight-lipped. I have so many things in mind and so much that I plan to do that an entire human lifetime is barely enough for me to finish everything I’m thinking, and to set it down in writing. That’s why I have an absolute need for countryside, quiet, solitude.”

  • “HERE LIES A GREEK WHO HATES THE GREEKS.”

  • “I have one and only one wish: to withdraw from the world, to live far away in the countryside in a beautiful house, and to study and work there, all alone. I hope to realize that dream next yeat, when I will be thirty years old and will say goodbye to the world forever.”

  • “Every one follows his own bent. Man is like a tree. You’ve never quarrelled with a fig tree because it doesn’t bear cherries, have you?”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “I realize that everything inside me is growing heavy, wishing to sink and decompose. The brain is becoming tired, the body wearing out. I cannot catch my breath. The entire earth is a millstone suspended from my neck. At the same time, however, I am swept away by an inner rage, an unrelenting eagerness to keep fighting so as not to decline, not to die. I understand the universe to be the same. I flow with it. Good does not exist, nor does evil. Everything is submerged in futility; everything is sacred. I waste away, wither, ache and struggle with all other beings.”“I say one thing, you write another, and those who read you understand still something else!”

  • “The Lord preserve us from sainthood”“There is only one essence, always the same. As yet, man has found no other means to elevate himself – none but routing of matter and the submissions of the individual to an end which transcends the individual, even though that end be chimerical. When the heart believes and loves, nothing chimerical exists; nothing exists but courage, trust and fruitful action.”

  • “I headed abroad once again, suffering from the incurable Faustian disease of learning.”

  • “This distance between my dreams and my capabilities makes me so furious that I want to die–to die from spite and also from grief.”

  • “I don’t desire anything right now. My desires have frozen in my breast. A lethargy is killing my heart.”

  • Nikos Kazantzakis Quotes In English

  • “My soul is seething, agitated by a certain vague desire, an incomprehensible soul-fluttering, a magical attraction, a hidden pain.”

  • “Everything is of God, he reflected; everything has two meanings, one manifest, one hidden.”

  • “My heart is always heavy. No matter where I go, I have no pleasure. I’m hiding. Everything that I do, write and think strikes me as unworthy. And human beings are horrible, ignoble companions. I often think, furthermore, that the only thing worthy of our lofty nature is death.”

  • “As far as I can see, your lordship’s never been hungry, never killed, never stolen. what ever can you know of the world? You’ve got an innocent’s brain and you skin’s never felt the sun,”

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