“You become what you oppose. I never wanted to have children; now I have children. I never wanted to have my own house; now I have my own house. What you do not want, you get … [Pause] Also the things you want, you get.” Leonard Cohen

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You become what you oppose. I never wanted to have children; now I have children. I never wanted to have my own house; now I have my own house. What you do not want, you get, if you do not want it strong enough. [Pause] Also the things you want, you get.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23, 1974. [Via Google Translate]. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article. Photo property of John Miller.

“You’re never ready for the things that create character.” Leonard Cohen

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You’re never ready for the things that create character. Somehow you have to be tripped in such a way that you’re thrown headlong into the events, and trick yourself by signing up for the tour, or spending the money before you’ve made it, or whatever it is. And then you find that these events create character, these events that you’re never ready for.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974.  Photo by Paul-Gerhard Zimmerman.

“When you jump into a pool of water you don’t hit that water as a man or a woman you hit it as shock; that is the central reality I was talking about.” Leonard Cohen

leonard cohen

Does Cohen try to try to write from a point which is neither masculine nor feminine, yet is both?

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Well, you’ve got to move between these two points and take the residue of each point back to the others. If you never experience yourself as neither man nor woman or, for that matter, as neither fish nor any form of creature, then eventually you are going to get bored being just a man. When you jump into a pool of water you don’t hit that water as a man or a woman you hit it as shock; that is the central reality I was talking about back thenquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016). Photo by Gorupdebesanez (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

“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.

“A guy who gets hit by a car didn’t think that the whole automotive industry and the innovation of the West isn’t worth a piece of shit. Once you get hit by a car, however, you definitely have reservations about technology. To dissolve the individual point of view, things are as they always were.” Leonard Cohen

Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.

“Any of the decisions that I made, if one could actually locate a shape or form, were all within a wall, the landscape of panic.” Leonard Cohen

Anjelica Huston: Have you always had a sense of interior panic?

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Always. I didn’t really know what to call it for a long time, but I have a friend in Greece who used that word panic a lot, and I found myself resisting it, until I totally accepted that as a precise description of my interior condition. It was mostly panic from one moment to the next. And nothing much else was going on. And any of the decisions that I made, if one could actually locate a shape or form, were all within a wall, the landscape of panic. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). Photography Dana Lixenberg. Content originally posted May 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Kill Cool” Leonard Cohen

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I remember going to the Village because I’d heard that was where the action was. I went to a coffeehouse. There were people sitting around in black sweaters. After about 3 or 4 days of walking around looking for someone to fall in love with and finally looking for just someone to say hello to, I remember finally in desperation writing on my placemat ‘Kill Cool,’ and I held it up in the coffee shop. That’s the way I feel now.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From No Line Before Its Time It Takes Leonard Cohen A While To Find The Right Words – Five Years Of Writing And Revising For Some Of The Songs On His Latest Album by Tom Moon, Philadelphia Inquirer: Nov 26, 1992. Originally posted Sep 10, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Also see: “The notion of cool has been destroying the heart for years…” Leonard Cohen