Monday, June 15, 2009

Thoughts from Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation

Flesh ultimately either becomes mud and returns to dust, or becomes spirit and ascends.

Life is mostly spent somewhere in between mud and spirit—flesh strives to remain strong and firm, but never finds an upwards purpose, continuously trying to sprout wings, but in the end remaining grounded. There is contentment to be found on the ground, the ground offers security, familiarity, and acceptance. In the end, it is a choice between body and mind, flesh and spirit—the body loves the ground, seeks to become dust and return to the ground. The mind or spirit, however, strives against the ground and, seeking separation, tries to build wings and explore the world above.

To honor your father means to honor God, and to honor your mother means to honor the Earth.

Pg. 346- The old law instructs you to honor your father and your mother; but I say, Do not imprison your heart within your parents’ home. Let it emerge and enter all homes, embrace the whole of the Israel from Mount Hermon to the desert of Idumea and even beyond: east and west—the entire Universe. Our father is God, our mother is Earth. We are half soil and half sky. To honor your father and mother means to honor Heaven and Earth.

The foundation for happiness.

(from Anthony De Mello's Awareness)
“People don’t really want to grow up, people don’t really want to change, people don’t really want to be happy. As someone so wisely said to me, “Don’t try to make them happy, you’ll only get in trouble. Don’t try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it irritates the pig.” Like the businessman who goes into a bar, sits down, and sees this fellow with a banana in his ear—a banana in his ear! And he thinks, “I wonder if I should mention that to him. No, it’s none of my business.” But the thought nags at him. So after having a drink or two, he says to the fellow, “Excuse me, ah, you’ve got a banana in your ear.” The fellow says, “What?” The businessman repeats, “You’ve got a banana in your ear.” Again the fellow says, “What was that?” “You’ve got a banana in your ear!” the businessman shouts. “Talk louder,” the fellow says, “I’ve got a banana in my ear!”
So it’s useless. “Give up, give up, give up,” I say to myself. Say your thing and get out of here. And if they profit, that’s fine, and if they don’t, too bad!” – Awareness pg. 8

The foundation is the body, we argue. Each woman is to become God to one man, each man God to one woman. In this way, all become God, and all are engaged in a continual worship. Heaven and Earth are thus joined into beautiful, joyful harmony.

Pg. 359 - “Jesus of Nazareth,” said the angel, unwrapping his wing from around him, “the two sisters lighted a fire, did the milking first thing in the morning and are now preparing the milk for you. On our way, didn’t you want to ask me the meaning of Paradise? Thousands of small joys, Jesus of Nazareth. To knock at a door, to have a woman open it for you, to sit down in front of the fire, to watch her lay the table for you; and when it is completely dark, to feel her take you in her arms. That is the way the Saviour comes: gradually—from embrace to embrace, son to son. That is the road.”

The foundation is the soul

On Wanting Happiness - pg. 10

“I was saying that we don’t want to be happy. We want other things. Or let’s put it more accurately: We don’t want to be unconditionally happy. I’m ready to be happy provided I have this and that and the other thing. But this is really to say to our friend or to our God or to anyone, “You are my happiness. If I don’t get you, I refuse to be happy.” It’s so important to understand that. We cannot imagine being happy without those conditions. That’s pretty accurate. We cannot conceive of being happy without them. We’ve been taught to place our happiness in them.

Pg. 78 – Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture.
[Why do we believe we need the “thousands of small joys” in order to be happy? That is the lie we are taught, conditioned since birth to believe in...] To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop your illusions.

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