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View Full Version : Tool & Lateralus - An Alchemical Analysis



Aleilius
01-06-2009, 01:49 AM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm).

I highlighted some of the more interesting parts.


Black then white are all I see in my infancy.
red and yellow then came to be, reaching out to me.
lets me see.
As below, so above and beyond, I imagine
drawn beyond the lines of reason.
Push the envelope. Watch it bend.

Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must
Feed my will to feel my moment drawing way outside the lines.

Black then white are all I see in my infancy.
red and yellow then came to be, reaching out to me.
lets me see there is so much more
and beckons me to look through to these infinite possibilities.
As below, so above and beyond, I imagine
drawn outside the lines of reason.
Push the envelope. Watch it bend.

Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition leaving all these opportunities behind.

Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line.
Reaching out to embrace the random.
Reaching out to embrace whatever may come.

I embrace my desire to
feel the rhythm, to feel connected
enough to step aside and weep like a widow
to feel inspired, to fathom the power,
to witness the beauty, to bathe in the fountain,
to swing on the spiral
of our divinity and still be a human.

With my feet upon the ground I lose myself
between the sounds and open wide to suck it in,
I feel it move across my skin.
I'm reaching up and reaching out,
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.

Spiral out. Keep going, going...

1. We see the mention of these four colors: black, white, yellow, and red. I believe this to be a direct representation of the "color stages" we must watch for while creating the stone. Notice how Maynard, the writer, mentions black and white are the infancy. I see a problem though, he mentions red and yellow, but it should actually be yellow then red. Maybe this was intentional, but I find it suspect.

2. A little below that he mentions our maxium "as below, so above." He also adds "and beyond" which seems to resonant with me on a personal level. Anyway, this is another direct allusion to alchemy and the alchemical method.

3. He mentions the spiral! This is another allusion to alchemy, but I am unable to go into any detail - sorry!
Hmm... remember that red and yellow have been combined into one stage... so to me when he says "black then white" in infancy, and then that "red and yellow" follow suggest a unified third stage, that the order is "red and yellow," not "yellow and red," is simply to show that they're one stage, not two.

I'd be very interested to hear any interpretation you have of the rest of the song.
You make a very good point WCH. I'll have to think about the song a bit more before I can come up with anything else. This whole thread was one of those spur of the moment things.
and I'm glad you posted it, as, honestly, I'd never listened to the lyrics of that song before. Tool is great, and always has intense lyrics, but the music is loud enough that I usually don't have any idea what they're singing unless I specifically try to pay attention to them.
Dude! What about "the Grudge" (the first song on the album)

"Saturn comes back around
shows you everything
lets you choose what you will
or will not ....?
drags you down like a stone
or lifts you up again
spits you out like a child
wide and innocent
Saturn comes back around
lifts you up like a child,
or drags you down like a stone
to consume you til you
choose to let this go...

Give away the stone
let the ocean take and transmutate
this gold-plated anger
give away the stone
let the waters kiss and transmutate
these leaden grudges into gold


Personally, I thought the colors in Lateralus were an accurate description
of how a baby/infant sees - first in black and white, then eventually red (maybe blue) then yellow.
I didn't give it alchemical significance.
Yes, that's REALLY interesting, and honestly it's almost too blatant! I knew some of them were occultists, fans of Aleister Crowley and such, but it never occurred to me they would hide stuff in their lyrics. I've been a fan of Tool (most of Maynards work too), but I guess I never really LISTENED to the lyrics (just kind of flowed along with the music, great stuff). I think I'll take a look at the lyrics of each song on the album now.


Personally, I thought the colors in Lateralus were an accurate description
of how a baby/infant sees - first in black and white, then eventually red (maybe blue) then yellow.
I didn't give it alchemical significance.
While this is true, we must also not over look the alchemical significance of those colors. They are the colors to "watch" for in the work.
Yeah I've read that Tool has some occult/alchemical tendencies... but none surpass The Secret Chiefs 3 (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=112).

Saw Tool once... pretty good I guess...