The Master Song

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
Dolmakalem
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Re: The Master Song

Postby Dolmakalem » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:22 pm

mat james wrote:
I think there should be a love triangle between god, soul and body. (Dlomakalem)
That is the message that I find in this song of Cohen's as well. Actually I find that message tucked away in most of his work
Mat.
Yes, he uses that theme a lot. And if you don't think about the song thorough, it sounds like "just a love triangle".
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mat james
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Re: The Master Song

Postby mat james » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:32 am

The master song in parts.

“This is a song about the Trinity” (Leonard Cohen)

So what could that statement possibly mean???

Mat’s folly: a Key to Trinity (just for fun!)
Now this may sound all complicated but it is not. It is beautifully simple. It is as simple as Einstein’s famous equation on the “various positions” of energy. In fact I like to transpose the trinity symbols to that Einstein layout and we end up with: g = S² x i

Which moves around to: S²i/g = 1 or, in other words, { Spirit times the individual divided by god = Unity (or 1) }

The "Various Positions" of Trinity and "i" is the symbol for the "individual" Leonard; (or any other individual entity in existence).
or, g = S² x i
or, i = g/S²
or, S² = g/i
The equation gets fascinating once one starts dividing any of the “Three” into Unity. And what we end up with is the relative “Various Positions” one can take within that “Unity”.
Maybe Einstein was right when he blurted out “God does not play dice with the universe.”
You may think that my little equation above is silly, and you are probably correct, but if you can play around with it for awhile, you get, for example,
So, Unity = S²i/g........... or you could say: (Unity or 1 = S²i/g )................ S²i/g = 1
The above equation is one way of expressing the old testament quote;
“I am Who Am”;
And the whole ineffable concept of “Trinity” is not so ineffable after all. 8)


Summary:

The concept "Trinity" suggests that unity is a multiplicity of three and that you can experience all three of those separate "positions", as Leonard terms them in his writing and you can possibly go even further and experience all three positions at once; and this is "Unity".
1) you can experience moment after moment as "you"... (i). And this we do every day of our lives.
2) you can experience the Holy Spirit when you connect with your own personal spirit...(S²)... (and hence: "S" is not singular but rather S x s, or "S²" in the equation). Some sort of spiritual experience.
3) you can experience God from the other position...(g) Some holy communion with your god.
4) you can experience being all three at once when all three are aligned and unified......(Unity)...unity = S²i/g . And this is possibly the mystic union which San Juan de La Cruz calls "becoming God by participation". ("I and the Father are One" as Jesus the Jewish prophet put it.)


Mat.
Last edited by mat james on Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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mat james
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Re: The Master Song

Postby mat james » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:28 am

"This is a song about the Trinity" (Leonard Cohen)... from the "Leonard Cohen files".

Commentary of a sort:
This song could be about Leonard's understanding of (Jesus’) concept of the unification (“I and the Father are One.”) of one’s soul through spiritual re-birth/resurrection. Other cultures call it something else. (Hindu’s, (via Krishna perhaps) call it Samhadi, Zen Buddhists call it Satori, as I remember. Sufi's no doubt call it something else.)
Lines from other songs like “For the Christ who has (not) risen in the caverns of the heart” suggests this "position" of dormant enlightenment is ever-present in the hearts of each of us, perhaps Leonard experienced this while he was "tumbled up in formless circumstance" where "love went on and on... 'till love itself was gone". Sauntering on his spiritual "Unified Heart Tour" there was "nothing left between the nameless and the name" I heard him say.
Anyway, something seems to have done a Lazarus and “risen from the dead” in Leonard’s “secret life”.


Additional Ideas/observations:
{an interesting point for me is that the "Master Song" was written when Leonard was in his early 30's, and released on the album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" in 1967/8. Leonard was just 33 years old, co-incidentally the same age as Jesus when he was crucified. So we have two young Jewish men who are capable of thinking outside the square, as they say; and perhaps Leonard saw a common dilemma; perhaps he could relate to this old time Mystic who had a common heritage and who felt or became marginalized. The "Master song" and indeed most or all of the songs from this album are toiling around this theme. And it is not until the album "Various Positions", (produced when Leonard was 50 years old) that Leonard is comfortable with his eclectic perspectives and spiritual "position". Songs produced after he was 50 years old are not so much scented by 'longing'; rather, they are more accepting and grateful (Mercy) and knowing and he sings not of a quest he is chasing but of a place he has been, to/at "...the end of Love."
The album/writings up to and at 30 years old had a mood of frustrated and tangled searching ("Longing"), for me; and the album at 50 years old (and beyond), has a mood of relaxed knowing of ones place in the scheme (divine mystery) of things.

In his 30's he is questing; in his 50's he is knowing...and in his 40's he was stumbling around the place, in-between, perhaps?}

As time goes by I will add to this post.
As Zorba says, "Boss, I have so much to tell you!"
Please forgive my Zorba-ish enthusiasm; if you find these ideas too much.

I have been rather adventurous, as always; and thanks for hanging in there; please join in and say your bit; it is all the more enjoyable if you do. Continue to give your take on this song and have fun in the process; I do.
Thanks for reading my musings.

Mat James. (matbellybuttongazerJ)
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Dolmakalem
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Re: The Master Song

Postby Dolmakalem » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:27 pm

I find out "The Golden String" image has been used by William Blake once.

-Jerusalem-
-To The Christians-

I GIVE you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven's gate,
Built in Jerusalem's wall.…

England! awake! awake! awake!
Jerusalem thy sister calls!
Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death,
And close her from thy ancient walls?

Thy hills and valleys felt her feet
Gently upon their bosoms move:
Thy gates beheld sweet Zion's ways;
Then was a time of joy and love.

And now the time returns again:
Our souls exult, and London's towers
Receive the Lamb of God to dwell
In England's green and pleasant bowers.

It's interesting because I really don't think Blake's poetry and Cohen's are about the same thing. Blake and Cohen are too different from each other. But the golden string is not an image we see everyday. And it shows the way to heaven, indirectly eternity in Blake's, and if you think like that, it fits to The Master Song.

Then I searched the Blake's golden string:
http://ramhornd.blogspot.com/2009/11/golden-string.html
http://ramhornd.blogspot.com/2009/10/bl ... tring.html
http://ramhornd.blogspot.com/2010/12/i- ... -only.html

Something more:

"Thus were the stars of heaven created like a golden chain
To bind the Body of Man to heaven from failing into the Abyss
Each took his station, & his course began with sorrow & care"

Quote from "The Four Zoas" of William Blake. It's golden "chain" this time but they can be related.

So what I'm trying to say is, this may be an allusion. :)
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mat james
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Re: The Master Song

Postby mat james » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:09 am

Hi Dolmakalem,
It's interesting because I really don't think Blake's poetry and Cohen's are about the same thing. Blake and Cohen are too different from each other.
Maybe so, but for me at least, they are "talking the same language". ;-)

Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Dolmakalem
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Re: The Master Song

Postby Dolmakalem » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:51 pm

mat james wrote:Hi Dolmakalem,
It's interesting because I really don't think Blake's poetry and Cohen's are about the same thing. Blake and Cohen are too different from each other.
Maybe so, but for me at least, they are "talking the same language". ;-)

Mat.
You're right, "too different" is too much. I was thinking about these particular poetries...
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mat james
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Re: The Master Song

Postby mat james » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:29 pm

angelcarnivore wrote some fascinating ideas about The Master Song (back in 2005).

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4130
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
imaginary friend
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Re: The Master Song

Postby imaginary friend » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:55 pm

Thanks for pointing this post out Mat – On reading it, I thought – 'Of course. That's it. All the pieces fit together, naturally.' (always preferred storytelling to preaching anyway)

Wonder if angelcarnivore took his/her forum name from the song... ?
Meryam
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Re: The Master Song

Postby Meryam » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:35 pm

In Dutch newspapers 15-2-13 is given a whole new meaning to the word master:

" Zen Master Joshu Sasaki Roshi (1944) falls with thunderous roar from his pedestal. The Japanese-American Buddhist has in recent decades molested hundreds of students.

That is the conslusion of least a group of Buddhist leaders based on their own research. 'Our hearts were not strong enough, our minds are not bright enough and our action was not strong enough to put an end to these practices'
The charismatic Sasaki is not only popular in America, but also in Western Europe he has a considerable fan base. Singer Leonard Cohen spent years in his monastery and served for some time as his personal assistant."
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mat james
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Re: The Master Song

Postby mat james » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:45 am

" The Japanese-American Buddhist has in recent decades molested hundreds of students. "
The old goat is about 105 yrs old now so he probably started these molestations in his 80's.
As far as "bad guys" go, he must be a late bloomer.

Mat.
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
Meryam
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Re: The Master Song

Postby Meryam » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:07 pm

Does it affect Leonard Cohen?
Here in Holland people say: ; he has been Roshi's personal assistant for years, so he must have known it. And he has kept his silence!
Cate
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Re: The Master Song

Postby Cate » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:09 am

People are imperfect beings
which is (mostly) a good thing. We make mistakes and then say, ‘ahhh,, I see how I might do it better’ and then sometimes
we do.

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