"Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
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Re: "Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Postby daka » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:38 pm

Here are my two cents worth. Being a long term buddhist, and knowing that Leonard has been a rather serious and intense Buddhist practitioner/student/retreater/monk his whole life I tend to look for Buddhist-related themes in his songs and find many.

"A brief elaboration of a tube"

The key for me to understanding this expression is not the word tube but the word brief. I had also contemplated the TV analogy of a tube and this is possible but I think another interpretation makes more sense. In Buddhism there is a belief in reincarnation (Please remember that Leonard is and has been a BIG-TIME Buddhist for over 30 years and this is basic Buddhist theory); each life has had a series of previous lives and will have a series of future lives (until enlightenment, which is when the tube stops). The tube I see as a visual metaphor for this Buddhist truth. Leonard Cohen's very subtle mind had past incarnations (the previous sections of the tube) and will have another incarnation (assuming he does not become/is not now enlightened). These are all sections of the tube. We would usually imagine a tube that is one color and one material (plumbing tubing for example); for this analogy one could possibly imagine a tube that changes both color and material as it progresses (different bodies,beings etc). That kind of tube would still be a tube. I think Leonard's point is that he is an impermanent phenomenon/appearance in the world, and also that he has had previous lives and may have future lives if he does not become enlightened.

I may be wrong, only Leonard knows, and the few people to whom he may have passed his actual lyrical intentions.

He is a powerful poet and a holy man. I call him "Lama Leonard"

If you become the ocean you will not become seasick....Jikan (aka Leonard Cohen)

It's comin' from the feel that this ain't exactly real, or it's real, but it ain't exactly there! . Jikan
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Re: "Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Postby Ustunb » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:59 am

This may be the embryological tube that later takes the form of the human body.
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Re: "Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Postby ThousandReviews » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:29 am

It's the umbilical cord.
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Re: "Elaboration of a tube" line in "Going Home"?

Postby Violet » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:33 pm

He will speak these words of wisdom
Like a sage, a man of vision
Though he knows he’s really nothing
But the brief elaboration of a tube

At some point during some internet research I was doing quite a while back now I stumbled upon what I felt to be a more specific and consistent seeming answer to this "tube" conundrum.

As most here know, Leonard considered a lot of different viewpoints on things, and while he may have moved on in many cases, still he may have kept with him certain ideas along the way. One such idea has to do with -- and I believe this comes from Scientology -- but there is the idea of the human race as being concocted in a test tube in a laboratory, as it were -- as some manner of genetic engineering; this by extraterrestrial beings.

If anyone here has some expertise in this -- or a desire to research Scientology (something I'm lacking at present) -- you can probably trace what I'm saying here back to its source.

On the topic of Scientology, Leonard has always said he was "impressed by their data," and so on that basis I believe what I've brought up here is something to consider seeing how "a brief elaboration of a tube" so effortlessly fits in with such an interpretation.

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