gather my heart toward the gravity of your name
I hope you will excuse my french but I too interpreted 'gravity' as in grave, serious, important
. Maybe that is a gallicism that sprang out of some french corner of his brain. But to me it makes more sense with this meaning.
Gee it's hard to catch up with the last 10 pages or so. I'll probably leave out important stuff, but at first glance here are a few things that struck me from the discussions over the last 3 psalms:
Crown and crowning is somewhat part of many buddhist traditions. The Buddhas are often said to be crowned and are depicted in that way:
Crowned Buddha Shakyamuni
... so even if it's a bit streching the religious context of psalm I.5
... let me sit beneath the mighty ones whom you have crowend forever, and let me study how they rest.
could also allude to the Buddhas.
As a paranthesis I'd like to mention also the importance of the indo-europeen root KRN (as in crown) in celtic esoterism. Some stories and legends link KRN, and words deriving from it, directly to the Graal quest. But that is another very vast subject.
Matt wrote:It is important to note that Adam and Eve were alone in that original Eden
It may also be important to note though how Christianity has so successfuly evacuated the figure of Lilith, who was Adam's first wife and was part of a famous "love triangle" in Jewish tradition. It's too bad because Lilith brought a lot of "bubbles" to the paradise play. Maybe DBCohen could tell us more about Lilith from a judaic point of view. It might actually be fruitfull to bring her dynamics to the interpretation of LC's relation to the feminine.
As for "The Fall", I tend to perceive it as the fall into language, not as the fall into sin, but that may just be the zen angle surfacing here.
But the notion of sin in the book is of course very important.
Joe wrote:I believe that this entire work is prayer that is aimed at how one lives in this world rather than how one achieves heaven or nirvana
I agree with you Joe even though it may be too early to come to conclusions. LC often said in interviews that his main concern was to find balance in his life, roughly balance between the Crown (the spiritual) and the Kingdom (the physical). My understanding is that LC is aiming for an impeccable balance. He is an impeccable chap in a way...
comes from the Latin pacatus
, which means "sin". The im
in impeccable means "without", so impeccable
means without sin. He is striving for an impeccable daily life...
Blessed be the name of the glory of the kingdom forever and forever
Here, as an atempt to throw some light on this passage, is an extract from an interview LC gave to Doug Fetherling in 1984.
From: Fetherling, Doug. Leonard Cohen
. In Books in Canada. Vol. 13, no 7 (august/september 1984) p. 30
BiC -- Do you hold as strongly as you once did views about the importance of ceremony in everyday life?
LC -- I think that whether we call them ceremonies or not people fall into patterns of greeting one another, of experiencing phenomena. My feeling is that there are certain patterns that have been developed and discerned to be extremely nourishing. It seems to be a waste to discard them. There are some of them from our traditions that I think are very worthwhile.
BiC -- Of the religious sort?
LC -- In a real religious life, such as I don't lead but have led from time to time, there is a vision for everything that comes up. For instance, in the orthodox Jewish tradition there's a blessing for everything: when you see a rainbow, when you meet a wise man, when you meet a stupid man, when you hear bad news. They all start off, "Blessed are Thou, King of the Univers, the True Judge...." In other words, we can't determine where bad news fits in. When you see someone who's very beautiful, or who is deformed, it's the same blessing. It's "Blessed are Thou, King of the Universe, who varied the apearance of this creature...." I'm not saying that everyone should learn the blessings, but that kind of approach to things, where there is reference always beyond the activity, is a perspective that I think is very valuable. Most of our ceremonies, the ones we develop ourselves, usually out of cowardice, ambition, or just mean-spiritedness, all have that.
Jack wrote:I did wish that Simon got here before we continued because I wanted to ask him about the meditation technique that Leonard uses to confirm something that I think is highly likely
I'm sure that when LC sits in zazen next to the most beautiful girl in the zendo, he is being attentive to "her" breathing and thinking that satori can wait. That's not called a sin, it's called procrastination... (if that was the purpose of your question?)
Love and blessings to us all for this fresh new year.