Leonard Cohen on “The reanimation of the blood-lust which human beings seem to fall back on whenever they get mildly bewildered about their predicament” 1994


quoteup2
As I said, ‘I have seen the future baby, it is murder.’  I would say one of the consequences is going to be tremendous disorder and the reanimation of the blood-lust which human beings seem to fall back on whenever they get mildly bewildered about their predicament. When the Berlin Wall came down, I wrote, ‘Give me back the Berlin Wall, give me Stalin and Saint Paul’ — there weren’t many people saying that at the time.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From A Purple Haze To A Purple Patch by Adam Sweeting (The Canberra Times: July 24, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Response Following The September 11 Attacks

On Sept. 11,  Mr. Cohen was in India visiting another teacher, Ramesh Balsekar. He returned to the States as soon as he could. The level of suffering that he believes is always present in the world had been raised to unfathomable heights. And Mr. Cohen knew better than to try to comfort the comfortless.

quoteup2
You know, there’s an ancient Hebrew blessing that is said upon hearing bad news: ‘Blessed art thou, king of the universe, the true judge.’ It’s impossible for us to discern the pattern of events and the unfolding of a world which is not entirely our making. So I can only say that.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Look Who’s Back at 67: Gentle Leonard Cohen by Frank DiGiacomo. New York Observer: Oct 15, 2001. Photo by Coast Guard News Originally posted May 2, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Nothing in this human realm is meant to work. So once you can deeply appreciate that…the mind of compassion grows if you understand that everybody’s up against it.” Leonard Cohen

Featured

quoteup2
The greatest help you can get from anything is to find out it doesn’t workquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Update: The “French woman” to whom Leonard alludes in the final sentence is Simone Weil (thanks Thelma Blitz for this correction); the full quote is ““The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say, “What are you going through?”

From Leonard Cohen interview With Stina Dabrowski (Mount Baldy Zen Center: 1997. Originally posted Dec 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Value Of “A Reference Always Beyond The Activity”

Q: Do you hold as strongly as you once did views about the importance of ceremony in everyday life?

LC: I think that whether we call them ceremonies or not people fall into patterns of greeting one another, of experiencing phenomena. My feeling is that there are certain patterns that have been developed and discerned to be extremely nourishing. It seems to be a waste to discard them. There are some of them from our traditions that I think are very worthwhile.

Q: Of the religious sort?

quoteup2
In a real religious life, such as I don’t lead but have led from time to time, there is a vision for everything that comes up. For instance, in the orthodox Jewish tradition, there’s a blessing for everything: when you see a rainbow, when you meet a wise man, when you meet a stupid man, when you hear bad news. They all start off, ‘Blessed are Thou, King of the Universe, the True Judge…’ In other words, we can’t determine where bad news fits in. When you see someone who’s very beautiful, or who’s deformed, it’s the same blessing. It’s ‘Blessed are Thou, King of the Universe, who varied the appearance of this creature…’ I’m not saying that everyone should learn the blessings, but that kind of approach to things, where there is a reference always beyond the activity, is a perspective I think is very valuable. Most of our ceremonies, the ones we develop ourselves, usually out of cowardice, ambition, or just mean-spiritedness, all have that.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen interview by Doug Fetherling in Books in Canada: Vol. 13, no 7, August/September 1984. Photo “Leonard Cohen, 1988 01” by GorupdebesanezOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons. Originally posted April 25, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in.’ That’s the closest thing I could describe to a credo.” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in.’ That’s the closest thing I could describe to a credo. That idea is one of the foundations, one of the fundamental positions behind a lot of the songs.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Photo by Ted McDonnell.

“My teacher’s [Roshi’s] school places much emphasis on work and ordinary life, and is very structured, severe and strict. What happens is that you stop thinking about yourself. It worked for me.” Leonard Cohen


quoteup2
My teacher’s school places much emphasis on work and ordinary life, and is very structured, severe and strict. What happens is that you stop thinking about yourself. It worked for me. I never really understood the Zen philosophy. What kept me coming back was my friendship with Roshi. Like all great teachers, he accommodates all students who come to him. Some seek a teacher, others discipline. I needed a friend and he gave me a great deal of affection. He did not try to give me spiritual instruction, but a solution to the pressures of my life, and it didn’t matter to me if it passed for religion, the kitchen or philosophy.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Intimate Conversation With…Leonard Cohen by Elena Pita. Translated by Marie Mazur (using translation software) and aided by Guadalupe Baquero. Originally posted in Spanish at Magazine, Sunday Supplement to El Mundo: September 26, 2001.

Note: Originally posted June 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric