More gleanings from my journals, these two from 1973:
Three Kinds of Souls, Three Prayers:
1) I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me, lest I rot.
2) Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
3) Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break!
Nicholas Kazantzakis, Report to Greco
… to discover, beyond our humble everyday life, the essence which hides in back of appearances… 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 in this 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 courage, trust, and fruitful action.
Years have passed. I tried to establish order over the chaos of my imagination, but this essence, the same that presented itself to me slightly 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.
Nicholas Kazantzakis, Report to Greco, pp. 79-80