Leonard Cohen on being asked his “relationship to death” at age 82

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As my friend Irving Layton put it: ‘I am not afraid of death, it’s the preliminaries.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Le Dernier Empereur by J.D. Beauvallet and Pierre Siankowski (Les Inrocks: Oct 19, 2015) [from interview transcript]

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Leonard Cohen On The Spiritual Aspect In Everybody’s Life: “You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time”

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I know there’s a spiritual aspect to everybody’s life, whether they want to cop to it or not. It’s there, you can feel it in people—there’s some recognition that there is a reality that they cannot penetrate but which influences their mood and activity. So that’s operating. That activity at certain points of your day or night insists on a certain kind of response. Sometimes it’s just like: ‘You are losing too much weight, Leonard. You’re dying, but you don’t have to cooperate enthusiastically with the process.’ Force yourself to have a sandwich. What I mean to say is that you hear the Bat Kol. [The divine voice] You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time, and much of the time you can’t decipher it. Even when I was healthy, I was sensitive to the process. At this stage of the game, I hear it saying, ‘Leonard, just get on with the things you have to do.’ It’s very compassionate at this stage. More than at any time of my life, I no longer have that voice that says, ‘You’re fucking up.’ That’s a tremendous blessing, really.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

“Putting your house in order…is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable” Leonard Cohen

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At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

Leonard Cohen Recants: “I said I was ready to die recently but that was an exaggeration. One is given to dramatization. I intend to live forever.”

“Spiritual things, baruch Hashem [thank God], have fallen into place, for which I am deeply grateful.” Leonard Cohen

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I’ve had a family to support, so there’s no sense of virtue attached to it. I’ve never sold widely enough to be able to relax about money. I had two kids and their mother to support and my own life. So there was never an option of cutting out. Now it’s a habit. And there’s the element of time, which is powerful, with its incentive to finish up. Now I haven’t gotten near finishing up. I’ve finished up a few things. I don’t know how many other things I’ll be able to get to, because at this particular stage I experience deep fatigue. . . . There are times when I just have to lie down. I can’t play anymore, and my back goes fast also. Spiritual things, baruch Hashem [thank God], have fallen into place, for which I am deeply grateful.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

Leonard Cohen On The Need To “Affirm Failure And Death” (1993)

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There is a crack in everything, because this is the realm of the crack, the realm of failure, the realm of death, and unless we affirm failure and death, we’re going to be very unhappy. The more we affirm death, the happier we get. The more we affirm failure, the more successful we get.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

The Future by Alberto Manzano. El Europeo: Spring 1993.

Note: Originally posted Jun 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric