“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

 

“When an experience is embracing or total you don’t know who you are.” Leonard Cohen On Writing

In Beautiful Losers you wrote, ‘disarmed and empty, an instrument of grace.’ Can you make that condition happen?

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Those conditions arise spontaneously. Often they’re the result of writing. I have in a poem, ‘How sweet to be that wretch, forgotten by himself in the midst of his own testimony.’ When an experience is embracing or total you don’t know who you are. When you jump into a pool of really cold water, when you hit that water there’s no you.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Interview / Leonard Cohen By Alan Twigg. Essay Date: 1979, 1984, 1985. ABC Bookworld.

“Seriousness is nether light or dark. It’s just the way it is, and there’s a great nourishment when you just name the thing as it is.” Leonard Cohen

You said that rather than having a dark cast of mind you were merely realistic. Do you think reality is dark?

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I think it participates in all the shades. But I think people have an appetite for seriousness. And seriousness is nether light or dark. It’s just the way it is, and there’s a great nourishment when you just name the thing as it is. I think there are certain occasions when cynicism is appropriate. One should be cautious.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From July 13, 1988 radio interview: Morning Becomes Eclectic KCRW. Found in Stolen Moments: Leonard Cohen by Tom Schnabel. Acrobat Books, 1988.