“Was looking at the crucifix. Got something in my eye. A Light that doesn’t need to live and doesn’t need to die.” Leonard Cohen Invokes A Thousand Kisses Deep To Answer “What does Christ mean to you?”

What does Christ mean to you?

 

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Last year I tried to put it this way: ‘Was looking at the crucifix. Got something in my eye. A Light that doesn’t need to live and doesn’t need to die. What’s written in the Book of Love is strangely incomplete, ’til witnessed here in time and blood a thousand kisses deep.’quotedown2

 

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Online Web Chat: October 16, 2001. The verse is from A Thousand Kisses Deep, published in Book of Longing.

Leonard’s recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep rarely included this verse. In one of the June 2008 Dublin shows, he employed similar but somewhat altered lyrics:

Was looking at the crucifix
Got something in my eye
A light that doesn’t need to live
And doesn’t need to die
A riddle in the book of love obscure and obsolete,
Til witnessed here in time and blood
A thousand kisses deep

The video below should automatically begin at the pertinent point.

A Thousand Kisses Deep – Leonard Cohen
Dublin: June 2008
Video by albertnoonan

 

Comments From Original Post

David Peloquin June 10, 2018 at 11:21 am:
And you who were bewildered by a meaning;
Whose code was broken, crucifix uncrossed –
Say goodbye to Alexandra leaving.
Then say goodbye to Alexandra lost.

Joseph Campbell gives the deep symbolism of the of the crucifixion as “the tension between opposites.” The horizontal represent earth, and the vertical points heavenward. The reconciliation of the tension is in the vast and shattered heart of the savior. The “Light that doesn’t need to live and doesn’t need to die” is non-dual, and is only ‘seen’ beyond the paradox.This cannot be understood abstractly; it must be” witnessed here” as a direct experience “in time and blood a thousand kisses deep.” When the code is broken and the crucifix uncrossed, all paradoxes are resolved in the heart of the experiencer, no longer “strangely incomplete” as they were when read simply read as “A riddle in the book of love obscure and obsolete.” The injunction to witness directly, as an actual experience, is one of the most profound gifts offered by engaging in Leonard Cohen’s work.

Linda Fish June 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm: More!

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted June 10, 2018.

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