“In the sweaty, passionate, filthy embrace [of sexual ecstasy], in all of its delicious and time-dissolving power, in the midst of that embrace there is no difference, no separation between the spiritual and the profane.” Leonard Cohen


Pico Iyer: ‘Dance Me To The End of Love’ implies the dissolving of time in the moment of sexual ecstasy. To what extent do you make a distinction between the sexual and the spiritual when it comes to absolute?

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In the sweaty, passionate, filthy embrace, in all of its delicious and time-dissolving power, in the midst of that embrace there is no difference, no separation between the spiritual and the profane. But it’s reached through the profane rather than through the spiritual, at least in my canon. That is the portal, that is the door into the whole affair. In that moment there is no separation, there is no spirit and flesh, there’s no conflict, there never was. It’s dissolved.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen:  Several Lifetimes Already by Pico Iyer (Shambhala Sun, September, 1998). Update: No longer online. Originally posted Nov 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Everything that a man does is laid at a lady’s feet whether it is a battle or a song, or an amalgamation between two great companies” Leonard Cohen

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Women are indeed in control. It isn’t necessary to declare a matriarchy but it exists just the same. Everything that a man does is laid at a lady’s feet whether it is a battle or a song, or an amalgamation between two great companies. At some time in the day the man comes home to his woman and says ‘look what I’ve done.’ I remember one day I was in a very exalted state and I saw a bunch of cows in a field. And I noticed how beautiful they were that I got down on my knees to worship them. And, do you know, those cows were so happy. The more I worshipped them the happier they became. And to make a metaphor out of it, it’s exactly the same with ladies.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Quotation from Leonard Cohen by Ray Connolly. Evening Standard, July 1968, The image is from the back cover of the 1971 Songs of Love and Hate guitar book, contributed by Dominique BOILE.

“No State or Authority will ever define my shadow on a woman or hers on me.” Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen’s Apr 22, 1964 letter to Redmond Wallis, a writer from New Zealand, who was Cohen’s friend as well as his fellow resident on Hydra. At the time this letter was written, Leonard Cohen was living in Montreal, and Wallis was at his home on Hydra. This letter is archived at the National Library of New Zealand – Wellington, Originally posted September 9, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Never question where love comes from …” Leonard Cohen

Jennifer Warnes: I phoned Leonard on the day that my mother – who in many ways was my ‘significant other’ – died. ‘Was that somehow strange, devoting one’s life to one’s mother?’ I asked. His response was impeccable

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Never question where love comes from. We have no control over these things. From a stranger, a mother, a dog, or that perfect mate, it comes from wherever it comes. You were lucky, in fact – everyone hopes to find love in the place that you found it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, quoted by Jennifer Warnes in Leonard Cohen – as remembered by Jennifer Warnes by Marcus Webb (Slow Journalism: 7 November 2016).

“Everyone working on their relationships, always discussing them, that can certainly cause only grief …” Leonard Cohen

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I have to go back to the word ‘relationship’ you just mentioned. In my opinion, this expression has a threatening, almost sinister taste. Everyone working on their relationships, always discussing them, that can certainly cause only grief. What we two [Anjani Thomas & I] have, is better – there is no word for it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Mit Gedächtnisschwund kommt man schon sehr weit by Von Johannes Wächter. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin: Issue 17: 2007, an interview with Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas about their connection. Quote via Google Translate. Photo by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted April 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on The Story Of Isaac “The song doesn’t end with a plea for peace. It doesn’t end with a plea for sanity between the generations.”

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It has fathers and sons in it and sacrifice and slaughter, and an extremely honest statement at the end. It does say something about fathers and sons and that curious place, generally over the slaughtering block where generations meet and have their intercourse. I think probably that I did feel [when I wrote it] that one of the reasons that we have wars was so the older men can kill off the younger ones, so there’s no competition for the women. Also, completely remove the competition in terms of their own institutional positions. The song doesn’t end with a plea for peace. It doesn’t end with a plea for sanity between the generations. It ends saying, ‘I’ll kill you if I can, I will help you if I must, I will kill you if I must, I will help you if I can.’ That’s all I can say about it. My father died when I was nine, that’s the reason I put that one of us had to go.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Interview,by Robin Pike. ZigZag: October 1974. Image by Ji-Elle – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons