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

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 Press Conference, Reykjavik, 1988. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric