Q: Do you have a specific philosophy of life? Leonard Cohen: “I would like to see principles evolve from relationships between people and groups of people rather than being dictated by the theoreticians.”

Do you have a specific philosophy of life?

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No, I can’t say I do – only to survive and to meet my responsibilities to the best of my abilities. I am, with respect, very suspicious of ideologies and policies as they usually ignore many people’s needs. I would like to see much simpler opportunities evolve and people, both men and women, be free to develop their own community. I would like to see principles evolve from relationships between people and groups of people rather than being dictated by the theoreticians.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331.

“I love Ray Charles… [He] is exactly the kind of singer I would like to be.” Leonard Cohen

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I love Ray Charles. He’s who the people have been hunting for, who people have always been worshiped – mot because of his faith but because he reaches their thoughts and hearts, and that is exactly the kind of singer I would like to be.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo by Rob Bogaerts (ANEFO) – GaHetNa (Nationaal Archief NL), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia

“Suffering has made me rebel against my own weakness; suffering makes you strong.” Leonard Cohen

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Suffering has led me to wherever I am. Suffering has made me rebel against my own weakness; suffering makes you strong. Now, in the midst of my suffering, I refuse to suffer. It’s there, but I refuse to suffer… Sex used to be the only thing that relieved suffering for me. I still like women and sex but for different reasons now. It’s wrong to feel sorry for people. It just confirms them in their suffering. It makes it an end in itself. Suffering is really the way you learn what not to do This thing I want to do in the world relieves suffering.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Wants the Unconditional Leadership of the World by Susan Lumsden (Weekend Magazine: Sept 12, 1970). Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174.

“When you get married… you begin to realize that there is no kind of comfort or compensation for inner loneliness; not in marriage, not in friendships, not in money – nowhere.” Leonard Cohen

 

I have always interpreted your songs in a pained expressions of loneliness. Do you still feel this kind of pain even though you have found consolation and warmth in Suzanne and your children?

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I think marriage can also create real loneliness. When you get married and live with your wife, you begin to realize that there is no kind of comfort or compensation for inner loneliness; not in marriage, not in friendships, not in money – nowhere. You can look for comfort only on your own and for yourself, and only then will you realize what your real turmoil is. And once you have gone through all this, it should comfort you and make you less lonely and depressed. But then you realize that the same feeling is still there – there is no escape from loneliness, except in yourself. You can cling to each other and get a lot of strength and comfort, but it will not release you from the pain forever.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation.

“[The I Ching] has been a sort of teacher for me.” Leonard Cohen

 

Interviewer: [Leonard Cohen] asked me if I had read The Book Of Changes [aka The I Ching], a Chinese work that took 1,000 years to write.

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It’s about the phases of arrangement, holding together, splitting apart and decay all the possible phenomena affecting a given moment of time. The book has been a sort of teacher for me.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Wants the Unconditional Leadership of the World by Susan Lumsden (Weekend Magazine: Sept 12, 1970)

 

The Leonard Cohen Reading List

This is the latest entry to the Leonard Cohen Reading List, a compilation of books commended by the Canadian singer-songwriter.

“I like [Hallelujah]. I think it’s a good song, but I mean, I think too many people sing it … I think people have to stop singing it for a little while.” Leonard Cohen (2009)

Leonard Cohen Talks Women, Age And Hallelujah by Jian Ghomeshi (National Post: March 20, 2009). Originally posted March 22, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The simple fact of the matter is, I’m too old to die now. Hell, there just wouldn’t be any romance in it.” Leonard Cohen 1977

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Do you ever think about the fact that a lot of people who lived out there on the ledge with you have died, but somehow you came through it all on the right side?

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Sometimes I wonder if this is really the right side or not. But now I guess it just has to be. The simple fact of the matter is, I’m too old to die now. Hell, there just wouldn’t be any romance in it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Life On The Ledge With Leonard Cohen by Jon Marlowe. The Miami News: Nov 9, 1977. Photo Credit: Arnaud Maggs / Library and Archives Canada, archival reference number R7959-2044.  Originally posted Sep 5, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“My plan was to make a record, make some money, and go back to writing. I had no idea I’d end up in hotel rooms for the rest of my life, banging my head against the carpet trying to find the right chord.” Leonard Cohen


Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted Oct 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric