“I don’t think any philosophy of mankind can avoid pessimism. This is a butcher’s shop; this realm is a catastrophe. And even if it weren’t, each life ends with suffering, decay and death, so there are grounds for pessimism – and optimism too.” Leonard Cohen

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I don’t think any philosophy of mankind can avoid pessimism. This is a butcher’s shop; this realm is a catastrophe. And even if it weren’t, each life ends with suffering, decay and death, so there are grounds for pessimism – and optimism too. When you embrace a woman, there is no thought. And if there is thought, it’s suffering: does she like me, do I like her, am I in the right place, is this the right woman, should I be doing this? But if it’s true embrace between lovers or friends, then the faculty of investigation is suspended and what flows in there is the sense of identification with the other so that there is no sense, and space collapses. And unless space collapses five or ten times a day, then daily life is unmitigated suffering.

 

Leonard Cohen

 

From The Man with a Golden Voice. Interview by Mat Snow, Sounds, February 20, 1988. Photo by Antonio Olmos.

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