The Other Side

“I greet you from the other side
Of sorrow and despair
With a love so vast and shattered
It will reach you everywhere.”

~Leonard Cohen, A Heart With No Companion

I am a work in progress, as is my writing. I lurch from one side of Nonduality Street to the other, whirling like a word dervish as I go. Some of you can probably identify. There is no central self, as my teacher, Vernon Howard, used to say. The ego consists of many selves vying for control of the body/mind and no one ever has a remote chance of winning.

But not to lose heart, the Self in all of its clarity is a beacon to the surrendered one, which in fact, it is. One without a second, without having to say, “gimme a second…” as the ego is wont to do.

Like thousands, I am a great fan of Leonard Cohen, whom someone dubbed The Spin Doctor of the Apocolypse. He is not afraid to embody multiplicity while bringing us into self-unity. We vibrate to his chord. We know that as wine-stained as his tie may be, he is the Perfect One, letting us share a taste of what impels him to perform at the age of 78.

Leonard Cohen floats many boats; he is an ocean of bliss, watching his broken banjo “bobbing on a dark infested sea.” He is, of course, speaking of his unavoidable demise. Baby boomer nondualists are just now coming to terms with their mortality. Like Ram Dass after his stroke, Leonard is singing to a crowd he has known for ages. Showing us that aging can be cool. HIs wisdom winds us around his little finger. He crooks it and we come running.

I got to see Leonard Cohen perform at the Fox Theater in Atlanta in 2010. It was one of those nights with magic stamped all over it. I had bought nosebleed seats for my son and I, who agreed to accompany me. He is a volunteer tour guide at the Fox. We were milling about in the lobby when an usher waved at him. Rob and I went to where he was standing. “I’ve got some tickets left in this section and you can have them,” he said, motioning us to prime real estate in the audience. Thus I got to actually see Leonard as a person rather than as a dim speck from the cheap seats.

I can only say this. Leonard Cohen wrote the book. And he sings it very well.

Comments welcomed....