Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh. (Gospel of Thomas 112)
"Bless you mother Salome," he said. "It is right and just you should care for the body. The body is the camel which the soul mounts to traverse the desert." (Kazantazakis 336)
As Jesus is slop it between love and the axe, so he is split between body as hindrance and body as help. He oscillates between these two extremes, one gnostic, the other Buddhist and traditional Christian doctrine.
"Dust you are, return to dust. The soul within you has fled, you are needed no longer, you have accomplished your duty. Flesh, you have accomplished your duty: you aided the soul to descend to its earthly exile, to walk for a few subs and moons over the sand and stones, to sin, to feel pain, to yearn for heaven, it's Fatherland, and for God, it's father. Flesh, the abbot no longer needs you: dissolve!" (Kazantazakis 140)
Within me are the dark immemorial forces of the Evil One, human and pre-human; within me too are the luminous forces, human and pre-human, of God--and my soul is the arena where the two armies have clashed and met. (Kazantzakis 1)
Strong dualism of the author present in the Gnostic texts, the idea of an irreconcilable conflict between the two.
I must go away, I must escape, he thought, must not set foot. In Magdala--curse the place! I won't stop till I reach the desert and bury myself in the monastery. There I will kill the flesh and turn it into spirit. (Kazantazakis 82)
It was not hunting anything, this hawk-mind of his; he had become oblivious of the body, he was escaping the flesh, ascending to heaven--and this was all he could possibly desire. (Kazantazakis 82)
[The Abbot] was angry with God and wanted to die. He wanted to die--that he made abundantly clear to the brothers--so that his soul might be unburdened by the brothers, might be able to ascend to heaven in order to find God... The body was lead; it prevented his ascent. (KaZantazakis 99)
"The body of man is accursed," he murmured. "It's the body which always intrudes and refuses to allow the soul to hear the Invisible. Slay me Lord! I want to be free of the dividing wall of the flesh, so that when you speak to me I will hear you!" (Kazantazakis 103)
"God replies every time we question him, but our flesh is bemired and almost deaf: we do not hear." (Kazantazakis 55)
Early in the book, Jesus and everyone around him see the flesh as a hindrance to full perception of God. The flesh is an anchor, and only by cutting it can the ship sail fully to God.
"We worship within our selves, Jacob," Jesus said. "Our bodies are a temple." (Kazantazakis 232)
"Bless you mother Salome," he said. "It is right you should care for the body. The body is the camel on which the body mounts to traverse the desert." (Kazantazakis 336)
As Jesus is split between love and the ax, so he is split between the body as hindrance and body as help. He oscillates between these two poles.
No one spoke. The disciples were not sure which of the two roads to take. They gazed at the rear her and waited. He was looking thoughtfully at the flames... When would men understand only one thing exists on both the visible and incisivke worlds--th soul! (Kazantazakis 347)
"How can you talk to this pack of dogs?" The centurion asked.
Jesus blushed. "They're not dogs," he said, "but souls, sparks of God. God is a conflagration, centurion, and each soul a spark which should be revered by you." (Kazantazakis 380)