There is a Crack in Everything: Leonard Cohen’s Call to Embrace Imperfection

I came to Leonard Cohen late, through a casual quote from his poem, Anthem. It was in Sabbath School class several years ago, led that day by Joe Greig, himself a poet. I don’t recall much of what he said, but have retained the cadence of his voice as he recited the iconic four-line refrain:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The article has a good point about why we should treat imperfection in ourselves and others gently since we all add to the whole. We do need to find better ways for community to function well for all. By the way, not to distract but non land owning whites were not allowed to vote either. The class system does not work in a truly free community. True in the world and true in the spiritual realm also. Thanks for presenting these thoughts


As you masterfully point out, the misguided desires for perfection only block the light from guiding life in the right direction. Paul never claimed to have reached perfection. His aim was to achieve full identification with the suffering and crucified Christ. He wrote to the Philippians: “I consider all my efforts [to perfection according to the Law] losses by the immediate knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for the love of whom I have lost everything and consider it dung in order to have Christ and be found in Him. . . . I aim to know him and the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings, in accordance with his death, so that in some way I may get to the resurrection of the dead. I have in no way reached it, neither am I perfect, but I keep after reaching that for which I was reached by Christ Jesus” (Ph. 3: 8-12). Christ had reached him to give him life “in Christ.” Paul knew well that those who live “in Christ” live now also “in the flesh,” but not “according to the flesh.” In such condition, while still “in the flesh,” striving for perfection according to the Law, or according to any ideal standard, was a stumbling block (Rom. 9:31-32)


Maybe the messengers of the Old Testament weren’t the only ones who were flawed.

What if god himself is “cracked” and, rather than existing in some ethereal and eternally perfect state of being, our creator is evolving, growing and maturing right along with his creation?

If true, the notion that we, as impermanent and imperfect humans, can contribute to god’s efforts in obtaining the almost-certainly unobtainable states of ultimate joy and solid-state perfection, is both an exciting challenge, an awesome responsibility and the most noble purpose imaginable.


This goes even beyond my own thinking. And I thought I was Progressive. The above may have been made with tongue in cheek but I think Bruce got his foot in there too. My God is not cracked, He is well rounded and Perfect.


That is the great hope

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One must be omniscient in order to know whether or not another is omniscient.

Similarly, only a perfect person could say for certain if our creator is perfect.

I know I’m not qualified to make either assessment and am fairly certain that your intellect, as progressive as it maybe, is similar to mine in that it is finite and thus unable to complete these tasks.


How do you know perfection must be well-rounded and and not cracked?

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