“The hook I came up with, the one I could get behind and sing in several hundred concerts, was, ‘I’ve seen the future baby, it is murder.’ That seems to be true.” Leonard Cohen

Huston: How do you think that’s going to affect the future, given the fact that we are panicked and that things seem to be closing in on us?

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This just may be each individual human’s translation of the certainty of their own death. I mean, things are closing in on us in a real way. I found when I was writing about the future, in a song called ‘The Future,’ I found that the hook I came up with, the one I could get behind and sing in several hundred concerts, was, ‘I’ve seen the future baby, it is murder.’ That seems to be true.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Originally posted May 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I still pack [Leonard Cohen] like a sleeping pill, a beautiful ghost to surrender to, a spiritual songster for these unspiritual times.” Ahmed Rashid

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Throughout my life I have taken Cohen everywhere and I have done so like many others for wanting the poetry of love and tolerance, musical harmony and his gruff voice to end days of covering wars and political conflict as a journalist. Whenever I travel I still pack him like a sleeping pill, a beautiful ghost to surrender to, a spiritual songster for these unspiritual times. In a 1993 interview he came closest to defining his credo:

“I am completely open and transparent and therefore its easy for anyone to grasp the emotion that’s there. I am the person who tries everything and experience myself as falling apart. I try drugs, Jung, Zen meditation, love and it all falls apart at every moment. And the place where it all comes out is in the critical examination of those things – the songs. And because of this, I am vulnerable. There’s the line in ‘Anthem’ that says, ‘There’s a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.’ That sums it up: it’s as close to a credo as I’ve come.”quotedown2

Ahmed Rashid

 

From Death Of Leonard Cohen by Ahmed Rashid (ahmedrashid.com: November 11 2016). Photo by Chatham House – Ahmed Rashid, Journalist; Author, Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West, CC  Wikipedia Commons

Also see Why I Love Leonard Cohen by Ahmed Rashid (New York Review of Books: Nov 15, 2012)

Thanks to Klaus Offermann, who alerted me to Death Of Leonard Cohen by Ahmed Rashid

“Our natural vocabulary is Judaeo-Christian. That is ours. We have to rediscover law from our own heritage.” Leonard Cohen 1968


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The best products of our time are in agony. The finest sensibilities of the age are convulsed with pain. That means a change is at hand. People keep saying India, India, India. But the Indian vocabulary is much too precise for us. Our natural vocabulary is Judaeo-Christian. That is ours. We have to rediscover law from our own heritage.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Unique Interpreters of Pop: Leonard Cohen by Jacoba Atlas. The Beat: March 9, 1968. Photo from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01709. Originally posted February 7, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Having illusions makes it very difficult to create an appropriate self…” Leonard Cohen

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You’ve got to recreate your personality so that you can live a life appropriate to your station and predicament. And having illusions makes it very difficult to create an appropriate self.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland (Musician, July 1988). Originally posted September 14, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“We’re in the middle of the Flood” Leonard Cohen On Why He Hasn’t Read Lorca’s Or His Own Biography (1992)

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People have time to sit around reading biographies? Haven’t they heard the bad news? We’re in the middle of the Flood. Well, maybe that’s the appropriate behavior in a flood: Get yourself a corner, slippers, tweed jacket with leather elbows; light the old pipe, and break open the bio and spend a pleasant evening.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

For context, the paragraph preceding this quotation follows:

Lorca’s vision was of “a universe I understood thoroughly,” Cohen says, “and I began to pursue it, to follow it, and to live in it.” But he would not read the poet’s hefty biography published last year. He won’t even read his own, the recently published and scholarly “Prophet of the Heart,” written by Loranne S. Dorman and Clive L. Rawlins.

From Leonard Cohen, Pain Free by Sheldon Teitelbaum. Los Angeles Times: April 05, 1992. Originally posted June 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Jung “As a western scientist, his appreciation of the Oriental psychology and Oriental psychical anatomy … dissolved the western view that their psychology was mystical”

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I more or less came to Jung through oriental studies. He’d written some prefaces to the I Ching and also The Secret of the Golden Flower. As a western scientist, his appreciation of the Oriental psychology and Oriental psychical anatomy — mysticism, whatever that means — dissolved the western view that their psychology was mystical. He saw systematically a diagram of the psyche. It was valid. That kind of view developed in the West in the Forties where we had a radical change in our perception of their work. I think Jung probably led in that re-evaluation of Oriental methodology. It’s the science of the orient. It’s not mysticism. The word mysticism is used in a somewhat pejorative sense. The point Jung makes in all his prefaces is that these things are pragmatic, that they refer to the mechanics of the psyche and can be properly studied. He demystified the work that the Orientals had done.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Working for the World to Come. The interview (probably from 1982) was published in the book In Their Own Words: Interviews with fourteen Canadian writers, by Bruce Mayer and Brian O’Riordan, 1984. Accessed at LeonardCohenfiles. Originally posted September 28, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric