The second prominent belief, expressed by Zorba is the necessity of focusing on what one’s heart is prompting at the certain moment of time. The Greek ‘philosopher’ develops no plans for the remote future, as Fortuna is extremely whinny and might destroy the most ambitious and promising projects. In order to attain self-actualizations, individuals should learn the ability to notice even the most primitive and simple joys the life has recently brought: “How simple is a thing of 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 heart” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 126). Thus, it is important to grant momentary wishes and needs: “We must both have been hungry because we constantly led the conversation round to food” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 120). The deity of moment seems to act as a separate character in the novel: under the influence of impulses, Zorba once cut off his finger because it was getting in the way of his pottery work: the man just took his knife and got rid of the obstruction to enjoying his current hobby.
When the Greek suddenly wills to flirt or establish a new romantic relationship, he selects a woman, who seems to him appropriate at this moment – that’s why he has married several times and engaged into countless affairs. In this context, his truth about life is as follows: individuals live here and now rather than existing in “tomorrow” or “yesterday” dimensions, so the sense of content evolves after a set of momentary wishes or even whims are met.
As opposed to Zorba, the narrator tends to operate general terms like universe or eternity and therefore believes human existence is a moment itself, comparing to the everlasting processes like galaxy dynamics. He seems too abstractive and uncommitted to the reality of sensations, as having studied individuals ‘from above’, he believes is determinism, thus, humans are barely able to change their lives substantially. Nevertheless, after several perfects moments, which bring the narrator true aesthetic pleasure (dancing, listening to Zorba’s music) , he begins to treasure such short episodes and pay attention to his sensations and impressions.
Consequently, the Boss realizes the determinism can be overcome by human momentary will, as happiness and the central goal of each human life is more attainable when going Zorba’s path. Furthermore, the two characters’ views on the highest power are tremendously different. Zorba believes God is love: “Alexis,’ he said. I’m going to tell you a secret. You’re too small to understand now, but you’ll understand when you are bigger.
Listen, little one: neither the seven stories of heaven nor the seven stories of the earth are enough to contain God, but a man’s heart can contain him. So be very careful, Alexis – and may my blessing go with you – never to wound a man’s heart! ’”( Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 173). In addition, the self-made philosopher views “Sacred Awe” (Kazantzakis, 1953, p. 178) as the highest value of human life, as all achievements, related to prestige or power, bring little satisfaction unless they are followed by appropriate emotional response, namely delight and admiration.
Human heart has the component of divinity inside, as love in broad context, is the most uniting and enlightening feeling, which allows individuals experience any positive emotion they wish: inner peace, excitement, light melancholy or fountaineering ecstasy. The narrator, as one understands from the reading, believes God is the Logos, or knowledge and wisdom and therefore seeks to get a maximum of knowledge about the world and life without the highly desirable emotional processing of this knowledge.
In addition, the author views thinking and comprehension (i. e. cognitive events) as the prerequisite for fulfillment, and therefore directs his efforts towards understanding the nature of “right” and “appropriate” lifestyle, but towards the end of the writing he understands that no general recipe can be developed, as it is important to trust one’s own heart and momentary (and momentous, as he also realizes) wishes.
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