Monday, September 8, 2008

THE TRANSCENDENT IN US

Blowing through heaven and earth, and in our hearts and the heart of every living thing, is a gigantic breath—a great Cry—which we call God. Plant life wished to continue its motionless sleep next to stagnant waters, but the Cry leaped up within it and violently shook its roots: “Away, let go of the earth, walk!” Had the tree been able to think and judge, it would have cried, “I don’t want to. What are you urging me to do? You are demanding the impossible!” But the Cry, without pity, kept shaking its roots and shouting, “Away, let go of the earth, walk!”It shouted in this way for thousands of eons; and lo! As a result of desire and struggle, life escaped the motionless tree and was liberated.
Animals appeared—worms—making themselves at home in water and mud. “We’re just fine”, they said. “We have peace and security; we’re not budging!”
But the terrible Cry hammered itself pitilessly into their loins. “Leave the mud, stand up, give birth to your betters!”
“We don’t want to! We can’t”
“You can’t, but I can. Stand up!”
And lo! After thousands of eons, man emerged, trembling on his still unsolid legs.
The human being is a centaur; his equine hoofs are planted in the ground, but his body from breast to head is worked on and tormented by the merciless Cry. He has been fighting, again for thousands of eons, to draw himself, like a sword, out of his animalistic scabbard. He is also fighting—this is his new struggle—to draw himself out of his human scabbard. Man calls in despair. “Where can I go? I have reached the pinnacle, beyond is the abyss”.

And the Cry answers, “I am beyond. Stand up!”
Excerpt from Nikos Kazantzakis, "Report to Greco".

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)