One of the greatest pleasures man is capable of being granted in this world is to sail the Aegean in springtime when a gentle breeze is blowing. I have never been able to conceive how heaven could be in any way different. What other celestial or mundane joy could be more perfectly in harmony with man's body and soul? This joy reaches as far as exaltation but it does not go beyond -- praise the Lord -- and thus the beloved visible world does not vanish. On the contrary, the invisible becomes visible, and what we term God, eternity, and beatitude board our caique and sail along with us.

Close your eyes at the horrible hour of death, and if you see Santorini, Naxos, Paros, and Mykonos, you shall enter heaven directly, without the soul's intervention. What are Abraham's bosom and the immaterial fetches of the Christian heaven compared to this Greek eternity composed of water, rocks and a refreshing north wind?
-- Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco, p. 467.

The crucial point about Athens is that it was first.
-- Peter Hall, "Cities in Civilization," , p. 25.

Fair Greece! sad relic of departed worth!
Immortal, though no more! Though fallen, great!

 - Lord Byron (1788-1824)


Last modified 7/26/15; posted 8/25/99. © 2015, 1999 John P. Nordin