The Darker Album and the Songs

Leonard Ciohen's last studio album (2016)
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby lizzytysh » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:30 am

Even as I wrote that, I wondered; since we have many Jeans here who are women, though, and not so many men, I just went with female. My apologies, kind sir :) Thank you for clarifying that for me. Very glad to see you so fully entering in here.

Hi Diane. Good to see you, too. I know it's going to bring me comfort going through these songs, which I've played non-stop, with the input of everyone in this thread.
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Jean Fournell » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:49 pm

No harm came of it, gentle lady. :lol:

Looking forward to reading your reflections on the Darker album and its songs!
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Jean Fournell » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:29 pm

Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Diane » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:20 pm

Just thought of this:
Desert rose is the colloquial name given to rose-like formations of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include abundant sand grains. The 'petals' are crystals...fanning open in radiating flattened crystal clusters.
desert rose.jpg
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Bennyboy » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:21 pm

Diane wrote:Just thought of this:
Desert rose is the colloquial name given to rose-like formations of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include abundant sand grains. The 'petals' are crystals...fanning open in radiating flattened crystal clusters.
desert rose.jpg
Looks like dog poo
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Jean Fournell » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:27 pm

Bennyboy wrote:No more words
Would it were true!
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Peter » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:30 pm

A short reminder for those who’d like to put their thoughts of the great song „Treaty“ into a historical perspective or expand their view about the background to avoid over-interpretation. At least parts of the text are pretty old and not written under actual pain or disappointment or whatever.

During the 1985 tour Mr Cohen sang additional verses of „Diamonds in the Mine“ at least in the German speaking countries.

Wiesbaden 2.2.1985:

I see you changed the water all into wine
That was a pretty trick to do
I sit at your table every night
Baby I just can't get through (…) to you.
And there are no letters in your mailbox…

(The introduction in Munich on 9.3.1985 was:
This is an old song about the little there is. Even where there was a
lot, there was a little. But now that there is a little, there's even less.)

And in Vienna on 7.3.1985 the additional verse was:

I haven't said a word since you've been gone
That (?) liar couldn't still his voice
I can't believe the static coming on
You were (?)
You were my (?)
And there are no letters in the mailbox…

Perhaps there are more fragments to find? And someone could check the original tapes to complete the missing words? However, these examples show us that Mr Cohen has been working on this song for at least 30 years…

Reference for further search:


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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby B4real » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:58 pm

I already have what I discern are the right words to those verses and I'm glad to help you fill in the missing ones.

Please look here where I've originally posted them:
As well as Wiesbaden 2nd Feb he also sang this verse at Birmingham 28th Feb & Dublin (1) 2nd March 1985.

and here:
This verse was sung at Basel 5th, Vienna 6th & 7th, Munich 9th & Boblington 10th March 1985.

Possibly both verses were sung at more concerts that weren't recorded.
I know of at least one person recalling that last verse and the concert wasn't recorded.

It seems these verses have also serendipitously come to the fore at the same time here too :) ... /#comments
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby DBCohen » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:00 pm

I’ve been away from the Forum the past two weeks (busy, busy) and today enjoyed reading the postings accumulated since then. We still have three tracks to relate to, so I thought I’d start with the next one, “It Seemed The Better Way”. I said earlier how much I love the arrangement on the previous track, “Traveling Light”; here it’s not the same but still inspiring arrangement with the chorus and the distinctive violin, which I can hear in my head even without putting on the disc.

The theme of the song seems to be disappointment with religion. As I’ve said earlier, a surprising number of the songs on this album seem to refer to Jesus (without ever mentioning his name), and this one seems to deal with him most directly. All the images in the song are Christian ones (although I also heard the opinion that the song could refer to Roshi). LC seems to say that when he first encountered Jesus as a child, his “seemed the better way”, but it turns out his message can no longer be regarded as the truth. Maybe the disappointment is due to fact that love is not sufficient because it is inevitably followed by death (unless one believes in an afterlife, which he obviously does not). Still, the narrator in the song warns himself to hold his tongue and try to take his place and even to say the grace, in spite of everything. Is it out of politeness to believers? Or just going through the motions? He seems to be suspending in mid-action.

Can anyone offer a different interpretation?
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Diane » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:20 pm

Good to see you back, Doron. I can't find much to add about Better Way. It could have been written by a Christian who has just about lost faith.

Sounded like the truth/But it's not the truth today might be alluding to an Eastern point of view. J Krishnamurti said it well:
He alone shall know truth who is not seeking, who is not striving, who is not trying to achieve a result...Truth is always new, therefore timeless. What was truth yesterday is not truth today, what is truth today is not truth tomorrow. Truth has no continuity. It is the mind which wants to make the experience which it calls truth continuous, and such a mind shall not know truth.
I have to to say how fascinating are Peter's and Bev's discovery of those lines from Treaty having been 'in progress', as you say Bev - bubbling and brewing away - for decades. It is notable that getting 'drunk' on the wine eventually morphed into getting 'high'. Did the word 'high' just work better in Treaty, or did Leonard intend to underline a lament for the absence of a more specifically 'up-there' heavenly presence?

By the way just in case anyone is interested in an extra installment of Jean's writings, I have edited my post on the previous page including the Rilke poem Buddha in Glory, with his own translation and notes.
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Jean Fournell » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:59 pm

Doron and Diane, I'm somewhat behind events, still lingering on the previous considerations. Haven't really started on "Seemed The Better Way" yet...
DBCohen wrote:I wonder: if indeed “going back” refers to death (let’s say, the migration of the soul back to where it came from, given that one believes in that reality – and did LC really believe?), isn’t it amazing that he can “travel light”? Can one really shed off the burden of the years, the accomplishments and failures, the myriad human connections and travel on lightly? If so, it’s quite an achievement. Or perhaps when a person gets near that point, all those things no longer really matter, but isn’t that a sad thought? I’ll have to leave it at that…
Well, Doron, I think death is sad, or at least it has a sad aspect to it. There is no point in denying this, on the contrary. Sadness deserves its rightful place in life, and it deserves our respect. (Personally, I'd say it deserves more than our respect, but that might be subject to argument.)
And I'm aware of only one piece of advice concerning artistic creation that Leonard Cohen ever received from his zen-teacher which was: More sad.
But I'm not quite sure that memories are necessarily heavy. I rather tend to think that they have no physical weight at all. And whether they are a psychological burden is a very individual question.
Leonard Cohen was delighted that he was allowed to keep all his marbles, and of course this is a fine thing, to be grateful for. But people with Alzheimer, once they have gone beyond the initial revolt against the diagnosis, often achieve a kind of "travelling light" in spite of their losing those marbles. Dignity resides on an altogether different level.
Diane wrote:He/it is singing back at us, from His point of view. If that song is God's concession towards the treaty.
And also if it's not... It/He is simply singing back at us, even when we don't hear it. Treaty or no treaty. All the time, even when we sleep. (For my part, I never managed to breathe on purpose during my sleep.)
Diane wrote:He has now given up on the me and you - the separate "I" that wants an answer outside itself; given up hope and traveled to the end of love. We may still be waiting, but now, for the narrator perhaps, the darkness is the light
That is one possibility. For argument's sake, let me disagree:

I guess I'm just
Somebody who
Has given up
On the me and you

First I'd say, it's guesswork, supposition, not certainty. And never trust a man who "don't like to see / Temptation caving in". Least of all Leonard Cohen...

Second, as long as we try to control "the me and you", as long as a part tries to be more than the whole, there can be no real me and you. Giving up on that is the very first step towards it. It's only then that alterity can appear.

Thank you, Peter and B4real, for reminding us that "Treaty" can (and should) also be seen in the dimension of passing time. Here I'll try to say something about this before-after aspect.

It is difficult for me to keep in mind that the "Treaty" is not envisaged between the two personae, but between their respective loves. The two personae themselves need no treaty, there is no conflict between them, they have no diverging interests.
Not to slip into this misinterpretation requires a lot of discipline for me, all the more so because I have no idea what these two different (and obviously incompatible) loves are. This means that in the following I'll be speaking from the depths of my ignorance.

I seen you change the water into wine
I seen you change it back to water too
I sit at your table every night
I try but I just don't get high with you
I wish there was a treaty we could sign
It's over now, the water and the wine
We were broken then, but now we're borderline

It has been said that the second line is about disillusionment, and this understanding is perfectly acceptable. It's just that here I'd like to suggest a different perspective.
A perspective which might be somewhat harsh for the human ego...

Let me take great liberties with a zen saying:

Under ordinary circumstances, water is water and wine is wine. When we're after extraordinary experiences, we want water not to be water and wine not to be wine. Once we have come off that trip, water is water and wine is wine.

And here there are two ways of seeing this latter (third) phenomenon:
Water is water again, and wine is wine again, and the whole beautiful fairytale was no more than some illusion.
Water is really water now, and wine is really wine, and we are free.

Another zen saying recommends: If you're after extraordinary experiences, take drugs. That's easier and more likely to work. (And it's not meant as propaganda for intoxicating oneself!)

Some thirty years ago I heard a tale which I have never seen in writing, and I have forgotten who told it. So I cannot give due credit to its author, and it is not necessarily a zen tale. Adapting the currency to the present fashion:

A master and a disciple are travelling. On the road, the disciple asks:
"Master, your supernatural powers, what are they worth?"
After a while they come to a river. There is no bridge; the ferry is on the other side and anyway they have no money to pay for it; and the water is too deep and flowing too fast for wading or swimming. So the master takes the disciple's hand and they cross the river by walking on the water. On the other side:
"Hi ferryman." "Hi master. Hi disciple."
"Say, ferryman, please: How much would it have cost for us to be hauled over?"
"The two of you? 1.50 €."
"Disciple, my supernatural powers are worth 1.50 €."

Nothing special. The world as it is. With no guarantee that it will be more beautiful for all that.
(It's just that in the eyes of quite a number of beholders...)

I don't know why the speaker in "Treaty" tries to "get high with" Jesus, sitting at his Last Supper table every night, lifting "this glass of blood", after catholic or orthodox transubstantiation.

For me, an atheist (no, I do not deny God's existence and I'm apolitical too, and I do not deny the existence of politics either), the problem of a synthesis of zen and monotheism is not accessible emotionally, but only as an intellectual puzzle.
(Nor is it possible for me to understand "brokenness" and "sin" otherwise than as two of many forms of suffering.)
But I have a deep-rooted feeling that Leonard Cohen needed and found such a synthesis.

I agree that the song would fit into any moment of Leonard Cohen's career except possibly for the line "I'm so sorry for that ghost I made you be" and especially for the "Reprise". These, as far as I can see, come logically after the synthesis.

Although Leonard Cohen had hoped that the "Darker" album might not be his last, we also know that he was "tying up loose ends". The song "Treaty" seems a good example for what that synthesis might mean:
Jesus as an ordinary man; impossibility to speak truthfully; radio connection between God and human busted "broken" stuff.
Versus "but now we're borderline", "half crazy" if you like, death (of the ego) through seeing God's face unveiled if you like but first and foremost: having access to both sides.

A hunch is telling me that this is where "wishing" does help (and not only wishing for a treaty between two kinds of love, by the way)...
And if this supernatural wishing is worth 1.50 €, and thus quite obviously insufficient to buy a table, it should yet be enough for a piece of bread, and for a sip of wine or two, out of a plastic bottle.
Because when one day five hundred monkeys had decided to ape five hundred buddhist saints, the result was one thousand buddhist saints sitting zazen...
Diane wrote:Just thought of this:
desert rose.jpg
desert rose.jpg (111.28 KiB) Viewed 2929 times
We who are graced with the privilege of living in a three-dimensional world including impermanence (passing time) , we have the potential to marvel at the "static", don't we?
(Not in spite of, but because of Krishnamurti being right.)

As for your Edit on the previous page:

Yes, and thanks for the trouble you took with my mail!
Thought that chaos was there for good,
but you got it fine.

My mares send their regards.

Last edited by Jean Fournell on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby Violet » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:55 am

Jean, I enjoyed reading your post, although I’ve been dealing with the next song on my desktop (off and on) today.

Diane, I saw your post after I'd largely finished writing this. That's a very compelling context for interpreting "truth" here, matching almost word for word.

Doron, I’ll be getting to your last question towards the end.

But first (re: It Seemed the Better Way):

But now it’s much too late
To turn the other cheek

In a personal sense, these lines speak to what can (or can’t) be accomplished at this late stage of life. But even as its being renounced, “to turn the other cheek” may still suggest a compelling belief. For the more impenetrable seeming aspect of all these lyrics could well go to all the internal grappling that goes on. In this case: We know we failed. We know we blew it way back when, when possibly we still had a choice about things. We know it’s impossible to now come to terms with it all.

.. in this sense, “It’s not the truth today” may not be as final a verdict as it first appears, perhaps because it's a line that contains within it its own lament. This goes to the somber tone of the song, as well as the lyrics.

.. and so we go through the motions, which here seem to indicate some frail hope that, in spite of it all, these rituals might still possess some meaning, even when one has lost faith that they do:

Lift this glass of blood
Try to say the grace

I’m reminded of a line from Paul Newman’s closing argument in the Sydney Lumet film, The Verdict (written by David Mamet):

"In my religion they say: act as if ye had faith, and faith will be given to you.”

As for just what that faith is, this is a difficult passage (as Doron suggested):

I wonder what it was
I wonder what it meant
At first he touched on love
But then he touched on death

“But then” does present a problem.

As I understand it, death does not loom large in Judaism the way it does in Christianity. Would that I were a comparative religion scholar, but alas I’m not. Still, this disparity seems a starting point to look into further and reflect on.

.. as for now, if we have not found a way to redeem ourselves in life then what does death portend?

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life


.. but back to:

I better hold my tongue
I better take my place
Lift this glass of blood
Try to say the grace

There is just so much here that cannot be uttered. And so we're left to decode things. “Lift this glass of blood” exists in at least two worlds simultaneously. It contains both the crime and the possibility of redemption, if only those old truths could still hold the answer.

Hamlet is largely without a God, with the life of the mind the All.* Whereas in Leonard’s work the protagonist often seems to be addressing himself to an angry God, with Jesus standing on the other side of this unfinished argument.

* FYI, Leonard mentions his (more recent?) interest in Hamlet in the article Karren B. linked to: Being Leonard Cohen’s Rabbi. This might also go to Leonard’s recent claim (as per the press conference for You Want It Darker) that he is not religious although he uses the biblical landscape that was so prevalent for him when growing up. And yet unlike the character Hamlet, Leonard’s grappling with existence seems to involve some version of God, even when he's doubting that same God's existence. Of course, “God” is also subject to this biblical landscape that Leonard claims to be using for literary purposes, and thus God could be thought about metaphorically. After all, “a particle, a wave” has been inserted into this conversation some time ago now, as per Old Ideas; and while Einstein (for example) spoke of God, that too was in a metaphorical sense. But then this has all been evolving, hasn't it, in this work, this more implicative sense of doubt?

edit: typo. 2nd edit: added 'comparative' religion. 3rd: cited press conference.

Later note: in that same press conference Leonard speaks of sensing a presence at times in reference to spiritual matters. So, if earlier I spoke of his doubt, there is also to think about this tacit presence.
Last edited by Violet on Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby vickiwoodyard » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:17 am

I am listening to You Want It Darker again and again, mainly when I fall asleep at night. One thing is sure. We are in some serious shit! And I don't say that comedically. No one will ever know for sure what Leonard meant nor what God means or meant. We are all living the mystery and Leonard limns this for us in song after song after song.

I always take what Leonard says as true, whether I grasp the meaning or not. I trust his intention, you might say. We all have to contend with the glass of blood and taking our place in the cosmic plan, whatever it may be.

Since Leonard is an embodiment of love, what he transmits is both the love and the law.
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby surrender » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:24 pm

This is an early version, published on the Files in 2003 (LC copyright 2001, 2003) - long before the scandal with Sasaki Roshi. It makes the narrow interpretation of the song as Leonard's reckoning with Roshi even more improbable.


It seemed the better way
When first I heard him speak
But now it's much too late
To turn the other cheek

It sounded like the truth
It seemed the better way
Though no one but a fool
Would bless the meek today

I wonder what it was
I wonder what it meant
This rising up with love
This lying down with death

Better hold my tongue
Better know my place
Cup of blood with everyone
Try to say the Grace

I don't know whether the narrator is disappointed in mankind (..."though no one but a fool would bless the meek today"...) or in Christian religion ( ...."this rising up with love this lying down with death"....or "at first he touched on love but then he touched on death"....).
Without belief in resurrection is hard to accept that Jesus teachings on love have ended in meaningful death; the redemption - salvation dogma.
I can only guess why the narrator is further holding his tong. It's definitely polite and respectful toward believers. Sometimes it's wise to suspend in mid-action.
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Re: The Darker Album and the Songs

Postby I'm your fan » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:07 pm

Jean Fournell wrote:WARNING (to whom it may concern):

This post is guilty of over-analysis. Do not read it!

My apologies for first suggesting things, and then leaving them unexplained for such a long time.
Let's say, I'm still somewhat paralysed stunned by this powerful album, shocked by the sad news, astonished by the e-mail quoted above. It's all pretty much of a whirlwind in my mind.
But maybe I can say a little more about my idea of "Treaty" and "If I Didn't Have Your Love" seen as the key and the lock in this album.

Please bear with my amateurish outsider approach to monotheism, and inside that world even more amateurish when it comes to Judaism rather than the other three (Zoroastrism, Christianism, Islam).
And please bear with my verbosity. Making it shorter would require even more time before I give an answer.

Yes, Diane, I mean to suggest that God might be a narrator in "If I Didn't Have Your Love" (not "the" narrator, though), and that God might be "that ghost" in "Treaty", if there's no human love to make Him real.

For a first approach, that solution seems the easiest to begin with all the more so in the light of the quoted e-mail.

"Treaty", the key for the lock "If I Didn't Have Your Love", presents us with two incompatible sorts of love, and I don't think they are male and female love. The addressee changed water into wine, and that means he is Jesus. Not necessarily the Christian saviour, but still very much one with God.

Methinks the two sorts of love are rather human love and divine love. But here again, not in the common mystic sense of "love of a human towards another human" versus "love of a human towards God", but in the sense of "love of a human towards God" versus "love of God towards a human". Mutuality, reciprocity; and yet incompatibility ("We find ourselves on different sides of a line that nobody drew").

Starting position of the lock: "love of a human towards God".
God depending on the human to be more than "that ghost", to be real.

Turn the key: "love of God towards a human".
The human depending on God to be real.
(Believers often tend to see atheists like me as mere ghosts, deprived of any spiritual dimension. This led to many of us sharing Giordano Bruno's fate.)

Turn the key: the real-human's love making God live.

Turn the key: the living-God's love making the human live.

Turn the key: the living-human's love making God perceptible for outsiders.

Turn the key: the perceptible-God's love making the human convincing.
(I'm not talking about proselytism. Leonard Cohen is a priest, and a prophet the way Jesus and Al-Hallaj are, but he's not a missionary. He refers to himself as "the unconvincing Zen monk", but then: what would a convincing Zen monk be, if not a contradiction in terms? He is a convincing human being.)

Once this toying with key and lock is over, maybe we can open the Gateless Gate:

If, in Eihei Dogen's "To forget the self is to be certified by all beings in the cosmos" (as opposed to some generalised "Maya"), we replace "all beings in the cosmos" by a collective "the One", we have, methinks, the synthesis Leonard Cohen went to Bombay for. And after all, why should his zen-teacher have whispered the solution into his ear? A zen monk is meant to be(come) autonomous.
One possible difference being that in such a pan-en-theist view, the human species is one phenomenon amongst so many others, and not some "crown of creation".

For my part, I tend to heed the buddha Siddharta Gautama's warning that incompetent fiddling around with things that exceed our capacities (God, Cosmic Illusion, afterlife, reincarnations, what happens to the universe once it has expanded enough, and other suchlike Epimenides paradoxes) might easily lead to more confusion, instead of less.
"But [here I will] make an exception":

In the quoted e-mail, the mystics seem to be inviting to do just this fiddling around. The koan looks as though some basically Zoroastrian mare had run away, and now it's after her as best you can. (But the e-mail is from 1st January 2008, quite a while before Old Ideas, Popular Problems, and You Want It Darker. I don't think a man like Leonard Cohen will remain "static" that long...)

Now those mystics can legitimately be expected to have the operating instructions for their koan. So there should be no problems, unless some unknowing "free-lance" should set out on their own.
They are supposed to but do they?

I'm not into koan-practice; zen for rewards, like satori or enlightenment or what, is not my cup of tea.
If, however, a monotheist koan like "Can the Omnipotent create a stone so heavy that He Himself cannot lift it?" is answered by Hugues de Saint Victor, saying "impossibilia posse non esset posse, sed non posse" (to be able to do the impossible isn't to be able, but to be unable), this sounds to me like utterly botched spiritual craftsmanship, and not at all like a master's koan added on top of a previous koan.

More stuff like that:

"God is limited in his actions to his nature. The Bible supports this, [certain Christian philosophers] assert, in passages such as Hebrews 6:18, which says it is 'impossible for God to lie'."

Impossible for Him as well: to die, to fail, to do evil, to negate Himself what is there He actually can do, in the end?
Not much, visibly, not without human love.
With the Gateless Gate open, the position of the lock is indifferent now, and the key can be turned as you like, for the fun of it, or in the process of repair-work on the lock, or not at all.

The "we", now, would be both speakers. The two of them certifying and being certified by each other, like two sides of one coin; sustaining and being sustained by each other, like two halves of one vault.

Thus, humans could indeed live without the sun, merely sustained by God. And this situation would allow for one or both sides to be merely doing their duty (like paying taxes) but love is more:
In his "Mea culpa" ("I'm so sorry for that ghost I made you be"), the human speaker apologises for imperfect human love, marked by impermanence, not operating at all points in passing time, but only now and then. At other moments, God is merely "that ghost", and only the ego is "real".
(More would have to be said about "points in time".)

This sounds very much like "Why have I forsaken Thee". A mirror image of Jesus' cry on the cross, which is the key to the Christian salvation mechanism.

The Gateless Gate swinging to and fro across the "borderline".
("And you know that she's half crazy" "That's how the light gets in")

And when God receives the human back into His love, as He did recently, when the Treaty does come about, when God loses the alterity of His priest then, I'm afraid, His life indeed becomes a bit more like that of a dead God, of an image some people make unto themselves, of some Word learned by rote.

Diane wrote: The idea of "a kind of backwards Biblical creation story" hadn't occurred to me, but it is a good idea. Even though I don't know the intricacies of that creation story, if passing time can go forwards, it should be able to go backwards, too. Maybe that conception will sink in and something come from it.

It is not a necessity, however.
Jean, I imagine you are able to steer your way around some metaphors in the Bible! I like how you brought together the various ways of dying. The 'backwards' creation, and the reverse side of impermanence (impermanence is most often examined in terms of what we lose) are important to note in IIDHYL imo because if God - or if the ever-changing, conditional universe - had not created (or contained) and sustained us, He/it would not 'have' - - our love to make it real. He/it is singing back at us, from His point of view. If that song is God's concession towards the treaty.

But when we get into the area of time going backwards and forwards, my mind gets nicely boggled, and I will be continuing to digest your intriguing post about the lock and key but cannot add anything.

I really like what you said here:
Jean Fournell wrote:
What we can do is: live inside our world, be it real or illusory or whatever. We can testify our mutual reality, like Muslims and Jehova's Witnesses testify God's existence. With the risk of wrong testimony, be it knowingly and on purpose, or be it because our perception and memory play tricks on us.
Or else we can make each other real by love (as opposed to personal desire). With no risk: it is not possible to give wrong love.

Now if a fool, a dreamer, forgets to dream this dream inside a dream to reality, that is not really a catastrophe if he is not alone...
Thank you Jean Fournel for your enlightening message concerning the interpretation of "If I didn't have your love". I'd like to share my own opinion about the subject. I am not an expert on the interpretation of the Bible, or a Theologist, but I happen to have found what is, in my humble opinion, a relation between that song and a passage of the Bible (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7):


Words by Leonard Cohen, music by Patrick Leonard
If the sun would lose its light
And we lived an endless night
And there was nothing left
That you could feel
That's how it would be
What the world would seem to me
If I didn't have your love
To make it real

If the stars were all unpinned
And a cold and bitter wind
Swallowed up the world
Without a trace
Well that's where I would be
What my life would seem to me
If I couldn't lift the veil
And see your face

If no leaves were on the tree
And no water in the sea
And the break of day
Had nothing to reveal
That's how broken I would be
What my life would seem to me
If I didn't have your love
To make it real

If the sun would lose its light
And we lived an endless night
And there was nothing left
That you could feel
If the sea were sand alone
And the flowers made of stone
And no one that you hurt
Could ever heal
That's how broken I would be
What my life would seem to me
If I didn't have your love
To make it real


Ecclesiastes 12:1-7King James Version (KJV)

12 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.


Do you think we can find a possible relation? As I said, I am not an expert, so I run the risk of being superficial... Or not as enlightening as you.

I'll be glad to know your opinion.

Thank you for your attention.

Alfonso Ansó Rojo

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