“The only thing that differs in those writers [Celine, Burroughs, Gunter Grass, Sartre] and myself is that I hold out the idea of ecstasy as the solution.” Leonard Cohen 1967

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The only thing that differs in those writers [Celine, Burroughs, Selbe, Gunter Grass, and Sartre] and myself is that I hold out the idea of ecstasy as the solution. If only people get high, they can face the evil part. If a man feels in his heart it’s only going to be a mundane confrontation with feelings, and he has to recite to himself Norman Vincent Peale slogans, ‘Be better, be good,’ he hasn’t had a taste of that madness. He’s never soared, he’s never let go of the silver thread and he doesn’t know what it feels to be like a god. For him, all the stories about holiness and the temple of the body are meaningless.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From After the Wipe-Out, A Renewal” by Sandra Diwa, published in The Ubyssey (the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia), February 3, 1967. The photo is from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01708. Originally posted August 3, 2016 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“This is a painting that Suzanne [Elrod] did… That’s me playing guitar and being comforted by her. It’s the consolamentum, the kiss of peace.” Leonard Cohen

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From the Armelle Brusq documentary, Leonard Cohen, Spring 96, A Portrait.

More about the consolamentum can be found at Video – The Consolamentum of Leonard Cohen: An Introduction by David Peloquin

Leonard Cohen Talks About Drugs: “The recreational, the obsessional and the pharmaceutical. I’ve tried them all. I would be enthusiastically promoting any one of them if any one of those worked.”

Interviewer: I asked him… if he’d ever tried psychotherapy…

Leonard Cohen: It was an opinion of mine, based on no research or evidence-well, evidence, yes, because I saw my friends in therapy did not look improved. I preferred to use drugs. I preferred the conventional distractions of wine, women and song. And religion. But it’s all the same.

Interviewer: When you say ‘drugs’ do you mean something like Prozac, or the recreational kind?

Leonard Cohen: Well, the recreational, the obsessional and the pharmaceutical. I’ve tried them all. I would be enthusiastically promoting any one of them if any one of those worked.

From Look Who’s Back at 67: Gentle Leonard Cohen by  Frank DiGiacomo. New York Observer: Oct 15, 2001. Photo by Chris Buck Website Instagram

“Find the positive values between the black and white; non-judgemental values based on real values; a position that acknowledges complexity, yet takes a strong stance.” Leonard Cohen’s Guide To Spirituality

Not least of Roshi’s positive attributes, Leonard stated, was that he “hates religion.” There is, Roshi finds, “something ugly about it. The armor of religion places people in hateful situations.” What is required, Leonard believes, is for people “to find the positive values between the black and white; non-judgemental values based on real values; a position that acknowledges complexity, yet takes a strong stance.”

From Prophet of the Heart by Loranne S. Dorman and Clive L. Rawlins. Omnibus Press: 1990.

“That’s why I speak in my songs about marriage – because I believe that any human being who acquires that commitment is someone with an authentic monastic spirit.” Leonard Cohen

In Cohen’s songs there are repeated allusions to marriage.

Leonard Cohen: Last year I was traveling in the service of a monk [Roshi], carrying his luggage. We went to several monasteries in America, and I remember he once told the monks of a Trappist monastery that the life they led was very easy in their setting. To know what a hard, difficult life was, they had to know what marriage was. In their environment, it was very easy to get up at three in the morning and pray. But leading a life of commitment with another person was the most difficult thing in this world. It is in marriage that a man is tested, where his manhood, his dignity is proved. That’s why I speak in my songs about marriage – because I believe that any human being who acquires that commitment is  someone with an authentic monastic spirit.

Are you married?

Leonard Cohen: I live with a woman [Suzanne Elrod]

And do you do it in the spirit you’re talking about?

Leonard Cohen: Yes, although I think it’s very difficult. Anyway, it’s worth trying.

Leonard Cohen Words And Silences by Constantino Romero (1974). Republished in Rockdelux 356 (December 2016). Via Google Translate.

Q: Are you still so eager to write if… your appetite for love is satiated? Leonard Cohen: “Marianne and I didn’t think of it as a love story. We just thought we were living together.” Leonard Cohen On Love And Creativity

Are you still so eager to write if some of your desire, your appetite for love is satiated?

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Marianne and I didn’t think of it as a love story. We just thought we were living together. I understand the belief that if your desire for love is satisfied, you no longer have the motivation to write, but I’ve never felt that way, it’s not a mechanism that applies to me. If anything, it was the opposite: there was a woman, she had a child, meals on the table, order in the house and harmony. It was precisely the moment to start one’s own work. I could work a lot because of Marianne, I wrote Beautiful Losers and more. She brought tremendous order to my life. [Interviewer: A material order, in the way of everyday life?] If you want to call that material, okay. But the material is the spiritual, that’s the real order, there is no other. When there is food on the table, when the candles are lit, when you wash the dishes together and when you put the child in bed together – that’s the order, that’s the spiritual order, there is no other.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via online translation. Originally posted Feb 22, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric