Irene Papas, “Zorba the greek” movie and the philosophy it transpires through time.

“O Menousis” is my favorite Çameria song of all time and sang by irene Papas makes it even dearer to my own heart. I took sometime off today to wander my mind and feed my soul with some wisdom and here I am bringing for you some real “suffism” wisdom from “Zorba the Greek” through the voice of Nikos Kazantzakis. Even through the lessons come through joy and tragedy we learn that each and everyone of us deals with the cards we are dealt; so keep your chin up, and live life to the fullest, because it is all way too short!

1- “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.”

 

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

3- “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.”

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

5-“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.’
Which of us was right, boss?”

6- “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.”

 

7- “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.”

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

9- “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!”

10- “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?”

11- “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.”

12- “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!”

13- “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.”

 

14- “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.”

15- “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?”

16- “So few in reality are the true necessities of man…”

17- “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.”

18- “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!”

19- “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.”

20- “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…” 

21- “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.”

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

23- “…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.”

 

24- “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!”

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

 

26- “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.

 

27- “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!”

28- “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!”

Gathered by Aferdita Delaj

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*