Leonard Cohen Connects Religion & Human Perplexities

crose

quoteup2
This connection—the unavoidable presence of the Other—has driven us to religion. The great religion is the great work of art. We form ourselves around these problems. These problems exist prior to us, and we gather ourselves, almost molecularly, around these perplexities. That’s what a human is: a gathering around a perplexity.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen quoted in Leonard Cohen: Several Lifetimes Already by Pico Iyer (Shambhala Sun, September, 1998). Originally posted November 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Finding A Solution For Suffering: “The broken heart illuminates a path, and it is a different path for each broken heart”

lc-1988
quoteup2
When the level of suffering in any individual reaches a certain point and he can’t deal with his own discomfort, then he is going to look for some kind of solution. I don’t think any religious quest is begun with a sense of luxury. I don’t think any serious study is undertaken unless the being is broken with some kind of suffering, either physical or psychic. I don’t think anybody undertakes a serious religious examination unless they’ve been creamed somehow by the world. And once that happens, once the heart is broken and once you recognize that the heart is broken, then various paths open to individuals. And there are very many different paths. That’s why we should never take a position from one path or another on the other paths, because the broken heart illuminates a path and it is a different path for each broken heart. I understand that when you say the words ‘broken heart,’ lots of people just turn off. But the truth is, this is the beginning of wisdom, to understand that you are deeply uncomfortable here. That discomfort illuminates its own solution and it is often years before you take that solution. So you poke around at the different solutions that are available. Maybe you come to the ones that are most familiarly articulated, your own religion. Most of the religions around are pretty good for that. It may be a political solution. It may be an ascetic solution. It may be a hedonistic solution. None of us has the right to judge other people’s solutions to suffering. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: A Portrait in First Person, a 1988 CBC broadcast narrated by Moses Znaimer. Originally posted April 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Connection Between God & Sex

godsex

quoteup2
The song [‘Blueberry Hill’] doesn’t invite you to examine your achievements in the realm of piety or religiosity or even love, but the song itself is embracing all those elements! Like in Beautiful Losers, there’s certain moments when the lyricism and the spontaneity and the boldness allow the expression to be without self-regard, without self-consciousness, and once that happens, once that moment happens, then the embrace is absolute: Everything is embraced, nothing is left out! It’s when you leave things out that you get on the one side pious, on the other side the vulgar or pornographic. If God is left out of sex, it becomes pornographic; if sex is left out of God, it becomes pious and self-righteous. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted July 25, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Summarizes His Relationship With Judaism “There was something in it for me …”

quoteup2
There was something in it [Judaism] for me. I still had to go whoring after false gods, and maybe I’m still in the bed of one, but there was something about what I saw. I grew up in a Catholic city, and my Catholic friends have horror stories about what Catholicism is, and my Jewish friends have horror stories about what Judaism is. . .I never had them. I never rebelled against my parents. Even when I was taking acid and living at the Chelsea Hotel and feeling miserable about myself, it never occurred to me once to blame my situation on my family, my city, my religion, or my tribe. So, I always thought it was great — what they were practicing — and I’ve tried to keep it up in my own half-assed way.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Jewish Book News Interview With Leonard Cohen By Arthur Kurzweil And Pamela Roth: 1994. Originally posted Aug 1, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Meditation: From “Your Top Ten Erotic Fantasies” To “Know Thyself”

lczen
quoteup2
You run through your top ten erotic fantasies, ambition fantasies, revenge fantasies, global ratification fantasies. You run through them all until you bore yourself to death, basically, and the faculty that produces opinions and snap judgments and unrealistic scenarios for your own prominence, after you run through them for a number of years, they cease to have charge. They bore themselves into non-existence. You see them as diversions from another kind of intimacy that you become more interested in – and that is what Socrates said: Know Thyself.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From He Has Tried in His Way to Be Free [Update: no longer online] by Sarah Hampson (Shambhal Sun: November 2007). Originally posted February 22, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“[Roshi] became someone who really cared about-or deeply didn’t care about who I was. Therefore, who I was began to wither. And the less I was of who I was, the better I felt.” Leonard Cohen

roshiag

From Being True Love- Sasaki Roshi, a founding father of American Zen, turns one hundred by Sean Murphy (Tricycle, Fall 2007). Originally posted July 28, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric