“This illusion that we are separate, alone, abandoned…” – Leonard Cohen On Suffering & Grief #18

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We have a natural affinity for each other and we are all deeply connected but we get into this illusion that we are separate, alone, abandoned. This also produces suffering.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Hallelujah For Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabatoge Times. Posted 22 March 2011 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).

Leonard Cohen On Suffering & Grief #15: The relationship between artistic work and suffering

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Good [artistic] work is produced in spite of suffering…and as a victory over suffering.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From 1997 CTV interview with Leonard Cohen by Valerie Pringle

Note: Originally posted July 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Suffering & Grief #14: “The sure formula for suffering”

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The notion that a thing is fixed and doesn’t admit of any need for change or modification, that’s the sure formula for suffering.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “As a New Generation Discovers Leonard Cohen’s Dark Humour Kris Kirk Ruffles the Great Man’s Back Pages” By Kris Kirk in Poetry Commotion, June 18, 1988.

Leonard Cohen On Suffering & Grief #13: “The Source Of All Suffering Is …”

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The source of all suffering is a sense of separation between you and everything else. That separation is always fictitious but that fiction is always very powerful.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Hallelujah For Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabatoge Times. Posted 22 March 2011 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).

Note: Originally posted March 30, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Suffering & Grief #11: How Songs Expressing Suffering Can Be Experienced As Comfort


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If the song is authentically an expression of the person’s suffering, then the suffering is transcended and you don’t get the whine, you don’t get the complaint, even though it may be all about a whine and a complaint. It’s experienced as relief, as comfort, as pleasure.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

The Prince of Prurience and Loss by John Leland, GQ: Nov 2001.

All Cohencentric posts about Leonard Cohen’s thoughts on suffering and grief are collected at 

Responding to suffering by tightening religious practices – Leonard Cohen On Suffering & Grief #10

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I found if I don’t make certain efforts in my life, I go under. I find I’m operating on my knees. The level of suffering gets so high you can’t enjoy even the simplest things. Then it’s time to clean your house. And the way I do it is tighten my religious practices. I recognize myself as weak, and I need the help of a tradition. I need the information the tradition imparts to its observers.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Mixes Movie-Making And Zen by Paul King. (The Gazette: July 16, 1983)