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Old 07-28-2016, 03:49 PM   #1
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Satori - Glimpse of Truth

I really miss the days of talking about Tool songs so I thought of sharing my interpretation of Undertow which came to me during a meditation retreat many years ago.

This interpretation could fit considering the fact that the members of Tool dive into some pretty esoteric, occult, or spiritual subjects but this may not be the bands intention. I still though find that seeing the song this way has a lot of meaning for me plus it motivates me to practice meditation more or to have a thirst for the truth of self.

Some of you may or may not understand as this is a bit esoteric, but I'll try to explain the best that I can.


Ok... So... There have been times in my life where I have had glimpses of stillness of mind or glimpses of truth. These glimpses are known as satoris in Japanese Zen Buddhism and they mainly happen after a period of time from practicing meditation. There are many depths in these glimpses, but at a great depth one sees that one is not the ego or the mind and it is the most euphoric experience. It is blissful because you are not weighed down by the attachment to ego.

In these glimpses though there is a thread which is still attached to ego so the glimpses are short lived and the identification with ego creeps back. The ego comes back because there is a tendency to cling onto whatever is familiar whenever this glimpse happens. Even though the identification with ego brings suffering it still is a familiar ground to stand on.

This glimpse of truth is like getting sucked into a vacuum or like getting sucked into an undertow. At first you are like, "Wow, oh my god, there is no me!" and its the most ultimate "Ah ha!!" eureka moment that anyone can have. But then you will start asking yourself: "OH!!... But if I'm not the mind or the ego then who or what am I?"... and as you fall deeper everything that you thought you knew to be you just starts shattering... It is like you are falling into an abyss and it feels like you are going to die...

Yes, this glimpse is blissful and yes, the truth is right here! But!!... This is death!... And when I'm talking about death here I'm not talking about physical death. I am talking about a death to the identification with ego and this is cutting something deeper than the physical... It is this point that every meditator or seeker strives for and it is at this point that it is the most difficult to let go, accept death, and fall into self realization.


I'll show how this fits into the song:


Quote:
"gone under two times."

Well, the first time you have had the glimpse your whole life has changed. Once you get a glimpse of truth you don't want to be wallowing in the ego and identifying with something you are not. After the first glimpse, you have practiced meditation regularly and now this is the second glimpse.


Quote:
"I've been struck dumb by a voice"
It's hard to put it into words who's voice this is or what the voice is. If anything, the voice is truth or the voice is consciousness. When you have a satori it really is like truth is calling for you to go back. The voice is so much more real than your ego. You would like to follow the "voice of truth" than your ego.


Quote:
"that speaks from deep
beneath the cold black water"
The cold black water is consciousness. This is the unknown. It's emptiness. It is nothingness. No-thing-ness.... Again, it is hard to put it into words and you would have to experience this to understand..


Quote:
"It's twice as clear as heaven"

The satori is a glimpse of heaven. Heaven is not some place up in the sky that you go to after you die. Heaven is available right here and right now. Heaven is egolessness or self realization.


Quote:
"and twice as loud as reason."

It is beyond the mind. It is "beyond the lines of reason".


Quote:
"It's deep and rich like silt on a riverbed"

Silt is very rich soil for seeds to grow. You are a seed covered in the hard shell of ego and this voice is rich enough like silt to break that shell.


Quote:
"and just as undisturbing."

The center of being is undisturbed. If you were to enter the center of your being where you no longer identify as being the ego then how could anything disturb you?... Nothing can disturb you. Suffering comes from identifying with the ego and if you realize that you aren't the ego then all suffering ends.


This voice is calling from this undisturbed space.


Quote:
"the currents mouth below me opens up around me.
suggests and beckons all while swallowing.
It surrounds and drowns and sweeps me away."

This is exactly what happens in a satori.


In this moment you are turning in. You are looking in. That which is usually witnessing the outer world is now looking in at itself... The seer is looking in at the seer. It sweeps "you" away and the ego starts to drown. Truth, consciousness, or whatever you want to call it is surrounding and swallowing ego. It is shaking and shattering your attachment to ego.


Quote:
"But I'm so comfortable...Too comfortable."

Here is the moment where you are starting to have second thoughts. You are entering the deep abyss of the unknown. The rug which you felt so comfortable standing on for so long is now being pulled from underneath you. That rug is all that you know and if that rug goes, then what?



Quote:
"shut up shut up shut up shut up
shut up shut up shut up shut up"

Ok, NOW this is the point where it is realized that the ego has to be let go and this is like death. This voice just can't be heard anymore and if anymore is heard then death will surely come. "I can't let this go! Who or what am I without my precious ego!?"


Quote:
"you're saturating me"

In this line, Maynard chose to use the word "saturating" and its very significant because it is commonly used specifically by Christians. For example, I've heard Christians say, "Saturate yourself with the word of God" and that SORT of relates with this...


Yet, the best place where I've seen this word used and where it relates most with this interpretation is in the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra has 112 meditation techniques and the 94th technique is this: "Feel your substance, flesh, blood, bones, saturated with the cosmic essence".


Here, one is saturated by the cosmic essence but there is resistance. (The resistance can also be heard by the smashing of the cymbals in the song. It sounds like one is struggling to get out of the water.)


Quote:
"So how could I let this bring me
back to my knees"

One needs to get back to the familiar space of ego. At least being knee deep feels safe on the shallow end.


...


Now at this part of the song you are back to being knee deep in the water again.


The guitar riff is the same as it was in the beginning of the song and it just gives a feeling like, "Oh, great, here I am again back to being attached to ego like a fool... How could I have not just faced this, surrendered, and let go?... I now got to start over from the beginning... again!"

...

Quote:
"under for the third time."

You continued in your meditation practice and are at least a lot more aware of what you are getting yourself into... Now you are back again for the third time.


Quote:
"I've been baptized by your voice.
it screams from deep beneath the endless water."

You just can't get enough of that voice. All that you dream and think about is reaching or being in that space of truth again.


Quote:
"and it's half as high as heaven"

It's getting you closer to self realization. Just a leap more will take you there.


Quote:
"and half as clear as reason."

Truth can not be attained by reasoning. You can't reach truth by thinking about it. Truth or self realization happens in a state of no mind.


Quote:
"it's cold and black like silt on the riverbed."

Cold water wakes you up and to the ego it appears black. It is mysterious and there is fear of the unknown.


Quote:
"Why don't you kill me,
I'm weak and numb and insignificant"

I can relate with this frustration because on one side you would like the truth and on the other side its just so difficult to let go of the ego. You would just like the truth to set you free from ego. You would like to just "die" already. You have seen that the ego is insignificant and you would like to sacrifice yourself to truth.


Quote:
"lost in euphoria."

In that glimpse, in that state of no-mind, in that state where you are aware of the truth of self- it is euphoric. Nothing else can compare to the bliss... This is what is called "Sat Chit Anand". This is "Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss".


Quote:
"I'm back down. I'm in the undertow.
I'm helpless and awake in the undertow.
I'll die within your undertow.
It seems there's no other way out of this undertow.

Euphoria."

Building up to the end of the song, you are just going to let go and allow the "undertow" to take you. You are surrendering, accepting whatever will come, and letting go. All of your awareness is gathered to this point.


The best way out of an undertow is to just relax, to not struggle, and let it take you. In that letting go, you are swallowed in... but eventually by not resisting you will go back up to the surface. In this undertow you come back a different person and have reached moksha, liberation.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

After reading this you are probably thinking, "Ha, there is no way Tool intended that at all." But if you think about it Tool also made the songs Third Eye, 46 and 2, Reflection, plus many others which pretty well have the same meaning.

Heh... to me it doesn't matter. This interpretation may be wrong, however ever since this interpretation came to me from that meditation retreat I can't help but use this song as a motivation song to just take the leap for the next time a satori happens.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

sooooo goddamn close (to how i think of it).

thank you very much for sharing, Prem Kala!

"you're saturating me" refers to ego, not shutting up. (hush!)
"remember i'll always love you as i tear your fucking throat away" - pushit

essentially... still the mind ...watch "things/parts" (ego) die.
-vicarious / part of me

"toss the calming apple (of knowldge) up and over satellites"
- a stranger (apc)

"don't know, won't know"
- rosetta stoned

"fall to gravity and the unknown"
- gravity (apc)

"it's time for you to make a sac-ri-fice...
it's time to die a little, give it up!" (crucify)
- part of me

then of course. ... there's the fan excerpt included in the intro to BMB's very first TOOL newsletter... may 2000:

""Forgetting who I was for the first time in my life, just a scared little creature with a featureless body, all I could do was feel and see. That is when you know how infinite the universe is, when you have no reference point (cognition). Nothing to compare any thing to. Just a bunch of sensory data experienced by an Infant." - excerpt from a letter by a TOOL fan"

TOOL TOTALLY INTENDED IT.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

no mind. ... "you believed in moments NONE could see" -_-
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

"locked up inside you, like the calm beneath castles, is a cavern of treasures that NO ONE has been to. let's go digging." -_-
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:35 PM   #6
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

also, not sure if this is the fanbase consensus for this song, but the lyrics submitted to toolshed (by the man himself?), are incorrect. as with most of them, here and there. but with respects to 'undertow'? the differences are subtle but extremely important. even submitting lyrics to tdn, mjk is artistically fucking with the fans.

i'm back down,
i'm in the undertow
i'm helpless and awake
in the undertow
i'll die within your undertow
it seems there's no other way
out of this undertow

is ACTUALLY(!)...

i'm back down,
i'm in the undertow
i'm helpless and I'M awake,
i'm in the undertow
LIE DEAD BENEATH THE undertow
THERE DOESN'T SEEM no other way
out of this undertow

"i'll die within your undertow!" vs. "lie dead beneath the undertow!"

all of the imperative statements mean the same thing:
crucify the ego, give it up, free yourself from yourself, let go, learn to swim...

this is the "voice" ...of the voiceless.
"trust in me (center), don't you judge (left) or question (right)"

from sober:

i am just a worthless liar. (left)
i am just an imbecile. (right)
i will only complicate 44&2.
trust in 46&2 and fall as well.
i will find a center in you.
i will chew it up and leave,
i will work to elevate you
just enough to bring EGO down.
trust me...

"your brain on tooooooolllll???" - jello biafra, parabola dual-commentary link
A: yes.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

Great to hear that you sort of see this in the same way.

I can see some of your points. I do see many songs where Maynard is pretty much just conversing with himself. In some songs it appears like he is singing from the perspective of truth or consciousness and in others it is like he is singing from the perspective of one who is still attached to the mind or ego. …. But who knows??

Quote:
Originally Posted by iAMtheMA! View Post
"you're saturating me" refers to ego, not shutting up.

Well, sure it can be seen like that as well. The mind tends to question what’s to come out of meditation or enlightenment when a depth is reached. It wants to cling on anyway possible so many speculations and thoughts can come up. So yeah, the ego could be saturating oneself allowing one to not surrender.

Though… I still see the “voiceless voice” or truth saturating the ego and the ego just can’t handle it. It can’t handle the truth and doesn’t want to hear it.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:14 PM   #8
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

"who are you to wave (your muddy) finger + AT everything but (ego's) heart"?

when mjk writes of the 2nd person pronoun he's instilling or alluding t'wards a (false) sense of separation. disharmonic consciousness (44&2) = broken, severed, imbalanced, deaf, blind, dumb, born to follow, bound to cut it all right in TWO ...and considerately killing 46&2, "you" lying, cheating, thief ...wandering and stumbling. how can 46&2 (unity consciousness) tolerate 44&2 when "there's no love in fearrrr!"?

consider "he/him/his": "repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of EGO's fleeting time here" "disconnect and self-destruct one bullet at a time. what's your hurry? everyONE will have EGO's day to die" "ego had a lot to say, ego had a lot of nothing to say, we'll miss ego" ...not hicks, cobain, jesus, blah blah blah...

the 2nd person pronoun suggests "both" or "two" or more (ya'll!). not one. NOT "until my two become one" (spice girls?). over-stimulated, over-speculating, over-thinking, over-analyzing, wallowing, ranting, raving, chattering, incessent, beligerant, desensitized, confused, insecure, delussional, judgmental, grudging, defining, controlling, confining... "leaded/fated" finger (of the mind!)... is pointed outward. whennnn... there is NO "outward", NO "outsider", NO spoon, NO "things" (so watch 'em die!), and NO phantom lines in the sand (the map is NOT the territory!). hence, TOOL. "threw you the obvious..."

see vicarious vid's "carbon destroyer" drawing a line
oh and stinkfist! ...with all this talk of fingers...

"you believed in moments
NONE could seeeeeee
...44&2 believed in 46&2"
(apparently nothing at all)
1-ZERO+1 -_-
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:26 PM   #9
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

back to the "undertow" lyrics:

44&2 has "bathed in the fountain" (46&2) twice
its "venemous voice tempts", stikes "you" dumb

then perspective of new landscape (second sun?)
allegory/cave > evolutionary, dimensional wisdom
aha! voice beckons from beneath the "nigredo"!
"cold black water", the "currents" of which
suggests, beckons, sucks, & swallows ...44&2.

"he" then realizes something is being taught
which startles? bc he stumbles to his knees...
knock 46&2 down, i'll come back running
knock 44&2 down, it won't be long now
get up, and free yourself from yourself.

"give this to me" -_-

it has happened twice, so third time's the charm!
new landscape becomes too familiar/"comfortable"
time to move, time to get baptized by the voice

so, the first two times, ego was taking notes.
"i've done the math enough to know
the details of our second-guessing"
NOW is the time to shut the fuck up
only questions and unknowings...
"how could i let this happen again?"

_______________________________________

a perfect circle - gravity

lost again
broken and weary
unable to find my way
tail in hand
dizzy and clearly unable to
just let this go

i am surrendering to gravity and the unknown
catch me heal me lift me back up to the sun
i choose to live

i fell again
like a baby unable to stand on my own
tail in hand
dizzy and clearly unable to just let this go
high and surrendering to gravity and the unknown
catch me heal me lift me back up to the sun
i choose to live, i choose to live, i choose to live

catch me heal me lift me back up to the sun
help me survive the bottom

calm these hands before they
snare another pill and
drive another nail down another
needy hole please release me

i am surrendering to gravity and the unknown
catch me heal me lift me back up to the sun
i choose to live, i choose to live
_______________________________________

also, a perfect circle's "the package"
is their version of TOOL's "undertow"

enjoy!
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:35 PM   #10
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

a perfect circle - the package

clever got me this far
then tricky got me in
eye on what i'm after
i don't need another friend
smile and drop the cliche
'till you think i'm listening
i take just what i came for
then i'm out the door again

peripheral on the package
don't care to settle in
time to feed the monster
i don't need another friend
comfort is a mystery
crawling out of my own skin
just give me what i came for,
then i'm out the door again

lie to get what i came for
lie to get just what i need
lie to get what i crave
lie and smile to get what's mine

eye on what i'm after
i don't need another friend
nod and watch your lips move
if you need me to pretend
because clever got me this far
then tricky got me in
i'll take just what i came for
then i'm out the door again

lie to get what i came for
lie to get what i need now
lie to get what i'm craving
lie and smile to get what's mine

give this to me
mine, mine, mine
take what's mine
mine, mine, mine
take what's mine
mine, mine, mine

lie to get what i came for
lie to get what i need now
lie to get what i'm craving
lie to smile and get what's mine

give this to me
take what's mine
mine, mine, mine
take what's mine
give this to me

take what's mine, take what's mine, mine...
take what's mine, take what's mine, take what's mine,
this is mine, mine, mine

* not to mention that both "undertow" and "the package" BOTH has such a strong, walking beat. LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT. listen for it. you're walking, running, stumbling, and jumping with these two songs. under. . . tow.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prem Kala View Post
the ego could be saturating oneself allowing one to not surrender.

Though… I still see the “voiceless voice” or truth saturating the ego and the ego just can’t handle it. It can’t handle the truth and doesn’t want to hear it.
you know what? come to think of it...
both interpretations seem reciprocal!

ego prevents surrender's actualization
surrender encourages ego's dissolution

(whoa... wtf...?!) mjk, man... holy shit.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:58 PM   #12
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

note: sorry about all the typos, grammar,
the condensing and mixing of mjk lyrics..
i'm sure it's all very annoying to read. :/
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:06 PM   #13
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

iamthema,

What you write definitely is hard to catch, it is a bit scattered, and I have to read twice to see what you are trying to say. I can tell that you have spent years analyzing or trying to figure out the meaning behind Tool songs just because in every line you have to quote Maynard. I think it would be better for you to just explain in your own words. Plus you never know if your interpretations are correct and many others have different views so they might be really confused reading your views.



There was a phase in my life where I was researching a lot and studying the lyrics but then it hit me... It's one thing to have knowledge of the meaning behind Tool songs and it is another to experience Tool songs or experience what the songs are about.

My recommendation would be that if anyone would like to understand or experience Tool then drop all the knowledge that was gathered of others interpretations and spend some time to dive into yourself. Find a technique that works for you, go out in nature, or go on a meditation retreat. I just feel that you may not be able to truly understand unless you have experienced a depth in your being.

Another thing is that no one really knows what Tools intentions are. Maybe I am interpreting all the songs wrong. Who knows?... But, at least Tool gave me the drive and thirst to experience a song like Lateralus.

If there is anything I would be sure of Tools intentions- especially for a song like Lateralus- would be for you to experience depths in yourself instead of living so much in your head.

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Old 07-31-2016, 08:46 PM   #14
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

idk why i need to explain that i can't speak for anyone else... you have those powers?
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:50 PM   #15
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

read it a hundred times. (left)
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:55 PM   #16
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

mull it over for a while... (center)
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:56 PM   #17
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Re: Satori - Glimpse of Truth

ask questions if need bee (right)
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