“There’s so little that you can do about [death]… We’ve got to live our lives as if they’re not going to end immediately. So we have to live under those – some people might call them illusions.” Leonard Cohen (2009)


Are you fearful of death?

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Everyone has to have a certain amount of anxiety about the conditions of one’s death. The actual circumstances, the pain involved, the affect on your heirs. But there’s so little that you can do about it. It’s best to relegate those concerns to the appropriate compartments of the mind and not let them inform all your activities. We’ve got to live our lives as if they’re not going to end immediately. So we have to live under those – some people might call them illusions.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From ‘I’m blessed with a certain amnesia‘ by Jian Ghomeshi. The Guardian: July 9, 2009. Originally posted Apr 23, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Psychotherapy, Drugs, Religion, Wine, Women, & Song


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

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No. But I try everything else… 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?] 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. [Interviewer: Well, what about the wine and women?] They’re the worst of all. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

A summary of information about Leonard Cohen’s depression can be found at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution. Also see Leonard Cohen’s Psychotherapy Session.

From Look Who’s Back at 67: Gentle Leonard Cohen by Frank DiGiacomo. New York Observer: Oct 15, 2001. Originally posted Apr 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on His Treatment of Women in The Favourite Game


 
What about the argument that [Leonard Cohen] fails women [in The Favourite Game] by denying them their human personalities, setting them up as only goddesses?

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I can’t see things that way either. I don’t think anybody has failed anybody else. It’s only when you walk around with a programme or a fixed ideology or a strategy that you really encounter failure in this respect.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“The kind of surrender that is involved with love means that you have to take a wound also.” Leonard Cohen

foisdg2rnzmTS: Has you view of romance changed over the past twenty years, since you embarked on your songwriting career?

LC: Well, I think that it changes naturally, but I think that the position I took in some of those early songs is not so far from the position I take now.

TS: Which is?

LC: That the kind of surrender that is involved with love means that you have to take a wound also.

TS: Do you think that it’s a typical growth process, or that it’s more your own?

LC: I can’t believe that my predicament is unique.

From Stolen Moments: Leonard Cohen by Tom Schnabel. Acrobat Books, 1988. Photo by Antonio Olmos. Originally posted Mar 21, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

“One’s own life is mysterious” Leonard Cohen Rebuts Simplistic Causality

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One’s own life is mysterious. The predicaments one finds oneself in at particular moments are the result of a web of inextricable circumstances which I certainly can’t penetrate. As you get older, you begin to accept the circumstances.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

More Leonard Cohen comments on this issue can be found at

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview). Photo of Leonard Cohen by Roland Godefroy (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted Feb 1, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on “The Law” & Guilt

imgLC026_bewerkt-1-900quoteup2
[The Law is] about our current dismal catastrophe. It’s about the Age of post-guilt. Guilt has been given a very bad name. There are entire medical industries that are devoted to describing guilt as a disease. Actually it’s the only way that we know that we’ve done something wrong.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Introduction to “The Law” at the June 8, 1985 San Francisco show. Accessed at Leonard Cohen Prologues – The Law

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Guilt has gotten a lot of bad press lately. Guilt is the only way we know we’ve done something wrong.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Introduction to “The Law” at the June 9, 1985 Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, Accessed at the review of the show by Ethlie Ann Vare in Billboard (June 29, 1985)

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Yes, guilt is a very under-estimated emotion. It has a lot of bad press today, guilt has. Actually, it is the only way we know when we’re doing a wrong thing. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Introduction to “The Law” at the December 4, 1988 Mannheim concert, Accessed at Leonard Cohen Prologues – The Law

Credit Due Department: Photo by Pete Purnell

“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. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). Photography Dana Lixenberg. Originally posted May 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric