Leonard Cohen Describes How “To Sit Comfortably In The Bonfire Of Desire”

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It’s like sleeping on the wind. You have these feelings [of passion] but you don’t reject them. You just lean on them, you just burn in them, to sit comfortably in the bonfire of desire. You do not try to prevent yourself from being burned to a crisp. That’s how you can sit comfortably in the fire. If you put up the slightest resistance, if you try to put any burn ointment on, you’ll suffer horribly. I like to give myself to it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From At Lunch With Leonard Cohen; Philosophical Songwriter On A Wire by Jon Pareles. New York Times: October 11, 1995. Originally posted Oct 20, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“To escape from the burden of decision is a delightful notion but nothing more” Leonard Cohen

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Somehow things are given and they are given powerfully. You’re stuck with them. Your own nature is one of those things. You don’t wake up in the morning and choose the sort of guy you’re gonna be. Maybe you can in a really superficial way. Like in Rhinehart’s Dice Man. I loved that book very much, as a wonderful escapist idea. I think you’re kind of stuck with who you are and that’s what you’re dealing with. That’s the hand that you’ve been dealt. To escape from the burden of decision is a delightful notion…but nothing more.”quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 
From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabatoge Times. Posted Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).

Leonard Cohen Reading List

The book referenced by Leonard Cohen, The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart, is the latest entry to the Leonard Cohen Reading List, a compilation of books commended by the Canadian singer-songwriter.

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  • Title: The Dice Man
  • Author: George Cockcroft under the pen name Luke Rhinehart
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 1971)
  • ISBN-10: 0688014577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688014575

Note: Originally posted Jan 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Story of Isaac: “It isn’t necessarily for war that we’re willing to sacrifice each other”

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I was careful in that song [Story of Isaac] to try and put it beyond the pure, beyond the simple, anti-war protest, that it also is. Because it says at the end there the man of war, the man of peace, the peacock spreads his deadly fan. In other words it isn’t necessarily for war that we’re willing to sacrifice each other. We’ll get some idea – some magnificent idea – that we’re willing to sacrifice each other for; it doesn’t necessarily have to involve an opponent or an ideology, but human beings being what they are we’re always going to set up people to die for some absurd situation that we define as important. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns – Interview With Leonard Cohen by John McKenna. RTE Ireland, May 9 & 12, 1988. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted Nov 30, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia

Leonard Cohen on the “will that is behind all things,” “our own will” and “the distance between those two wills”

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We sense that there is a will that is behind all things, and we’re also aware of our own will, and it’s the distance between those two wills that creates the mystery that we call religion. It is the attempt to reconcile our will with another will that we can’t quite put our finger on, but we feel is powerful and existent. It’s the space between those two wills that creates our predicament.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Robert Sward &  Pat Keeney Smith. The Malahat Review: No. 77 (1986). Originally posted July 14, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The real weapons of mass destruction are the hardened hearts of humanity” Leonard Cohen

hardhrtsFrom Leonard Cohen’s appearance on the March 30, 2007 edition of “Først & sist” (“First & last”), the Norwegian talk show hosted by Fredrik Skavlan. See Video: 2007 Leonard Cohen Interview – Personal Changes, Life As Zen Monk, The Pilfering Of His Money, Al Gore & Anjani

Note: Originally posted Aug 12, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Guilt: “It’s an essential component of the human psyche”

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I think guilt is an excellent indication of the fact that you’re doing something wrong, or that you have done something wrong, it’s an essential component of the human psyche.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen Heads Back to The Future by Spencer Bright. London Daily Mail: December 11, 1992: Originally posted Jan 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric