Leonard Cohen talks about having “exploited relationships”

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Do you ever feel that you have exploited relationships by writing about them?

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That’s the very least way in which I have exploited relationships. If that was the only way I’d exploited a relationship then I’m going straight to heaven. Are you kidding me?quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? Adrian Deevoy, Q, 1991.

An essay from the subject’s perspective can be accessed at Married To An Author In Search Of A Character

“You need this love to be grounded, until there is no difference between you and your love, or what you love or what you are. It’s just the one thing.” Leonard Cohen

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My old teacher told me that the older you get and the lonelier you get, the deeper is your need for love. Like everyone else, I have looked for such deep love. And as you get older, you need this love to be grounded, until there is no difference between you and your love, or what you love or what you are. It’s just the one thing.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen als Zen-Mönch, a video shot during one of the several visits Leonard Cohen and Roshi made to a Zen Center in Austria from 1990 to 1996. Quotation interpreted and, in part, translated by Rike.

Note: “My old teacher” is Roshi. The words quoted are from a videotaped interview that is overdubbed in German. This quotation as represented comprises Leonard Cohen’s words in English except portions obscured by the overdubbing, in which case a translation of the German overdubbing is used.  In this quotation, for example, the phrase “be grounded” is an English translation of the German narration.

A similar Leonard Cohen quotation can be viewed at Leonard Cohen on being asked “What is the best advice you have ever received?”

“I actually bound myself to the mast of non-attachment, but the storms of desire snapped my bounds like a spoon through noodles” Leonard Cohen

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My songs are kind of bleak, but underlying the whole dismal affair is actually a tiny thread of light. I studied the religious values. I actually bound myself to the mast of non-attachment, but the storms of desire snapped my bounds like a spoon through noodles.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

The latest addition to posts on the theme of comes from Leonard Cohen’s introduction to first 2012 performance of “Ain’t No Cure For Love” – Seattle Nov 9, 2012. Photo of Leonard Cohen performing at the 2012 Seattle show by Mary Witter. Originally posted Feb 14, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We hypnotize ourselves into a condition of loneliness …” Leonard Cohen On Suffering As A Self-induced Sense Of Separation


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We go into this trance of loneliness. We hypnotize ourselves into a condition of loneliness. Loneliness is just a human idea. It’s just the result of our not being able to connect with the activity around us, to feel that we are different one from another, to feel there is an other. In other words, to go into the trance of subject and object, where you believe you are the subject at the center of the world and everything else is an object, the other person, the other object. You know, you’re here, and everybody else is over there. But there’s another point of view, which is the point of view of the absolute in which the subject and the object have an equal footing – and we are embraced, both subject and object, by this absolute. So, we go into a trance, we enter into a fiction, into a hypnosis where we believe we are separate from everything else. That produces suffering – the sense of separation. And religion is a technique or a device or the experience of others who have found a way to dissolve this fiction of separation from the creative activity all around us.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s Press Conference – Reykjavik, 1988. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Love] is the most challenging activity that humans get into…” Leonard Cohen


Have the women in your life been a source of your strength or weakness?

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Good question. It’s not a level playing ground for either of us, for either the man or the woman. This is the most challenging activity that humans get into, which is love. You know, where we have the sense that we can’t live without love. That life has very little meaning without love. So we’re invited into this arena which is a very dangerous arena, where the possibilities of humiliation and failure are ample. So there’s no fixed lesson that one can learn, because the heart is always opening and closing, it’s always softening and hardening. We’re always experiencing joy or sadness. But there are lots of people who’ve closed down. And there are times in one’s life when one has to close down just to regroup.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ‘I’m blessed with a certain amnesia’ by Jian Ghomeshi (The Guardian: 9 July 2009). Photo by Paul Zollo. Originally posted October 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“It is only when you have children that you’re truly forced to give up looking only at yourself and start worrying about some other lives” Leonard Cohen


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It is only when you have children that you’re truly forced to give up looking only at yourself and start worrying about some other lives. If you attempt to respond to a child, you can never think of yourself in the same way again. You stop being the center of your drama, which becomes very secondary in light of your children’s needs, of their urgency. I understood right away that the trap had slammed shut (laughs)… There are many marvelous aspects of course; the beauty is indisputable. But the destruction of your self image is inevitable. There were many things that I didn’t like about myself. I was very selfish, I was only concerned with myself. I wouldn’t admit that other beings were legitimately worth my attention.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Throat Culture magazine, 1992). Photo contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric