Tool - Parabol & Parabola (Lyrics and Meaning)


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EDIT (about "all this, it is an illusion" vs. "all this pain is an illusion"): This website has uploaded the "official lyrics" (i.e. the lyrics provided by Maynard) for all of Tool's music -- -- -- -- Please note what the text on that page says... "Some Tool songs undergo slight lyrical variations in each performance; Maynard's own typed versions are shown here, uncorrected, to provide you with a straight-from-the-source guide to what he has said / might say next time." "Most of these transcriptions came straight from the Man's computer. How he writes his lyrics/poetry and then translates that into music is up to him. Think of them as photographs; you don't look exactly the same in every picture, but it is still you." ...It's important to understand that even the "official lyrics" are not always 100% accurate depictions of what Maynard sings/sang. Now, in this video, I wrote "all this pain is an illusion" the first time the phrase in question comes up ( 2:58 ). However, as many of you have pointed out, the three subsequent times the phrase comes up, I wrote "all this, it is an illusion". I have to admit that I (foolishly) didn't check the official lyrics to these two songs before I created & posted this video; if I had done that, I might have written "pain" every time (and not written "it" at all) -- but not necessarily. I wrote "it" instead of "pain" the latter 3 times the phrase is said because to my ears, that's what it *sounds like* Maynard is saying. This *may* be due, in part, to my initial understanding of those lyrics being what I've transcribed in the video (i.e. "all this, it is an illusion" x 3). So, while it's quite possible (*potentially* probable) that I'm wrong & that the phrase is "all this pain is an illusion" all four times throughout the song, I maintain that it's also quite possible (*potentially* less possible) that AT LEAST one of the four times, the phrase is "all this, it is an illusion". That's still what I hear. But equally importantly (if not more so), I would strongly argue that the difference between the lyrics I've written (with "pain" x 1 & "it" x 3) and the "official lyrics" (with "pain" x 4) is not meaningfully significant, regarding its effect on the message(s) suggested by the lyrics. And if I'm wrong about that, too, then... Um... I don't know.. dishonor is upon me, and I would take this video down & reupload a corrected version if it were a more drastic mistake. --- --- --- *HERE IS THE ANALYSIS/MEANING* --- All of the lyrics in Parabol and Parabola seem to be talking about the nature of being a human, experiencing this reality we have found ourselves in. Many of the lyrics are straight-forward, once you understand this general theme. In these songs, Maynard (singer) depicts a hopeful and enlightened view of the nature of humanity and existence. He describes reality and this general, bizarre experience of existence as "holy". He describes his (or possibly our) current state as "so familiar and overwhelmingly warm", as well as "wide-eyed" (I would argue meaning "open to and curious about this experience we are having"). When the lyrics refer to "this body" (as in "this body makes me feel eternal"), it appears that they're referring to a sort of "collective consciousness" or "holy being" that the speaker is part of. The lyrics urge the listener to "hold on", and "stay inside" this body - I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this. Knowing the theme of the song is a broad one of enlightenment and heightened awareness, I would argue that the "body" to which Maynard is referring is one of enlightenment specifically, and not a more inclusive "body" that all humans are part of. The lyrics imply that it is possible to be outside of the body. In telling the listener to "stay inside", Maynard is urging them to retain that sense of holiness and divinity in this reality that we're experiencing, rather than becoming lost in any of the fleeting or menial occupations of our lives. The lyrics encourage the listener to recognize their very strange opportunity to merely "be alive and breathing" as a "holy gift". A "parabola" is a relatively common shape. Google image search "parabola" to see one, as the image is hard to explain. Or, alternatively, graph the function y=x² to get a basic, upward-facing parabola. Definition of "parable" -- a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson Feel free to ask questions or give other input!



Experience Music
Hi everyone. I just want to make a comment here to respond to a specific sentiment many of you express, on this video as well as all my other Tool videos. This is the general sentiment: *"There is no one meaning to the song. The point of the music is for you to interpret it in your own way."* If I were to go back in time to when I first started making these videos, I would have tried to avoid using the word "meaning" in the titles -- maybe replace it with something like, "analysis". Because I'm fairly certain the point of contention here is what people think I'm claiming to be doing when I provide lyrical analyses for these songs. My objective when I analyze the lyrics of a song and do a write up is to figure out what Maynard meant with the lyrics he wrote -- and I think almost all of us can agree that people write lyrics/poetry/prose with specific ideas & intents in mind. In fact, that's the very function language serves -- conveying ideas. Very, very few people write songs like this one without having concepts in their head to begin with, which they then use to write words, phrases, etc. in order to convey those concepts. That's what I'm doing right now, as I write this comment. That's what I do when I write poetry/prose/etc. That's what you do when you write your comments, and whatever else you write. So when I suggest that I'm providing a sort of objective analysis of the lyrics, what I'm trying to do is come up with an educated guess as to what Maynard _meant_ with the lyrics he wrote -- an educated guess as to what general themes Maynard was writing about when he developed the lyrics. Does that mean I'm right? No. But if you admit that we agree about the function of language, & we agree that Maynard had specific ideas he was trying to express when he was writing his lyrics, then we agree that a "correct"/"accurate"/whatever analysis of the lyrics is something that _can be completed_, and that it's possible for an analysis to have varying degrees of accuracy/correctness (a 100% "accurate"/"correct" analysis being one that perfectly describes the ideas Maynard was attempting to express through his words). That is what I have attempted to do in the descriptions of my Tool videos. Now, does that mean you can't connect with the song in a way that's completely different than what some sort of semi-'scientifically-conducted' logical analysis leads us to believe the song is about? *Absolutely not.* What you take from the song is genuine, and nobody can take that from you. Quite literally. Music (especially music that can touch us so deeply) is something we bond to. We take it, we incorporate it into our lives -- and in a very real way, it becomes something new when that happens. Maybe that "something new" has a different meaning/significance to you than Maynard had for it -- in fact, that's almost certainly the case for most people (to varying degrees). I know pure objectivity is a virtually impossible state for humans to be in when they're taking in information of any kind, and I'm not saying that I've achieved that feat. But that's what I have _tried_ to do, when writing up the lyrical analyses on my videos (I know my own views inevitably seep into my analyses to some degree). The way I (aim to) perform these lyrical analyses is purely logic-based, using only the words themselves to formulate arguments for or against certain potential ideas/concepts Maynard was conveying with a song as a whole, or with some specific portion of a song. If some bit of a song's lyrics appears to be a reference, I'll do a little digging into the potential reference being made. I read other people's interpretations of these songs, and I look at how well the lyrics themselves serve as evidence to back up various things people suggest the songs are about. I also sometimes find that certain pieces of a song's lyrics can basically be logically incompatible with certain suggested "meanings". This has been a little harder to explain clearly than I'd thought it would be (I didn't intend to write this much lol... sorry guys). I feel like what I've written is at least a decent explanation. I might be back later to edit this comment... or just make a new one instead. I hope this explanation eases some frustrations. I know many of you have been through the comment sections on my Tool videos more than once, so you may well have seen, but there have always been - and there continue to be - a whole lot of people upset about this issue. I've responded to a handful of those comments in the past, but I've never written anything as comprehensive as this. And few people ever saw the responses I gave to those comments in the past. I'm gonna pin my comment here to the top of the comment section. Hopefully this wall of text does some good. :) Love you guys. Side note: another Tool video may be happening soon. But also maybe not. Who knows, really? Not me.
Swapnil Pathak
over thinking over analysing separates the body from the mind.
Joshua
These songs have such a strong spiritual meaning. I think you all might be missing it. You must look into the metaphysical to understand. That pain and fear are an illusion in a reality that is an illusion brought out by the physical dimension. We are all light and sound. We exist in infinity. Just look at the art work. And pay close attention to lyrics. It will be hard to perceive the true meaning without first understanding who you are and where you came from. The answer can only be found inside of you. You must travil Inwards into the mind and unlock the The consciousness connection between the brain and the heart. When you can do this the things you will perceive will be astonishing
Vapourcup
4:31 eargasm of the year
alfius76
all this PAIN is an illusion
Timothy Janes
the basic premise of these songs are simple. parabol has to do with the spirit we are, the divine One, taking a form it has many times, a physical body. Parabola expands upon this theme. this reality result of divine creation. it is holy, and experiencing it is a holy experience. life is a holy experience. our spirit chooses to be here and now. we know we are an eternal spirit and the pain of life is an illusion. Parabola also describes the process we take of weaving the tapestry our lives around each experience we have one line sums up the meaning the best: "Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing"
BassbaitGG
The meaning of this song is really simple. He's just saying that his body reminds him that he's not going to live forever, so he needs to embrace his time on earth and make the best of it.
06armzful
Hold on stay inside...don't kill yourself...embrace life...a holy gift...This body is just a containment...
Ben Spruce
'The body' in the lyrics is very much the individual human body. 'All this pain is an illusion': illusory physical and mental pain suffered by the body and mind which can be overcome (thru opiate use/spiritual enlightenment). The song is an exploration of Gnostic principles: the noisy bit at the end is an abstraction of the Lateralus album art... as the layers of the physical and spiritual body are peeled away by Gnostic enlightenment then God is at the centre. By God, I mean the driving force of the universe, not the evil God of Abraham as defined in Gnosticism. Anyway... that's just one interpretation; your mileage may vary.
jimmy wolfy
Excellent song and you're close. He's referring to the soul being eternal. And barely remembering who or what came before aka what the soul occupied before this precious moment choosing to be here right now. And it is up for debate but when you become very enlightened by studying all this stuff and then you find an inkling that you're just going to be incarnated again it makes it very tempting to leave. But you have to hold on stay inside and recognize it as a holy gift none of this has anything to do with orthodox religion it's all esoteric ancient knowledge. A lot of Maynards it songs are like this deeply ingrained with ancient knowledge he's obviously a lover of philosophy
ExoticMuffinMan
epilepsy warning
slothtanicbrutality
The lyrics make perfect sense if you are familiar with The eastern esp Hindu concept of birth and rebirth. we are a brief period of consciousness between the darkness and the darkness. We make sure to erase our memories of being alive upon each death so as to experience life a new each time just as we erase the memory of our spirits whilst "In this holy reality, in this holy experience". We are all God acting out different parts in a great play. We often get a feeling that there is more to life the universe and everything. Thats the remnants of memories that we are all actually God.
Jeremy Clark
One Love, One Fate, One Destiny. Consciousness has but one purpose. Unity.
negate hate increase peace
this song always gives me tingles even everyday for the last 15 or so years. I shamelessly play air drums and lead sing in my car everywhere. It's a pretty great show if you happen to be at the stop light with me😂
alia gilmore
Tool makes me cry hahaha
ling ling
It was amazing how he made this.
Berealzalot Dosays
I don't want to wait anymore for the new Tool record. I'm owed it from them. I'm an original fan from 92 and I feel I should be one of the first to get it when its released. I hope I GET a t-shirt too. I am an original charter member of their fan club. hope to be President of the fan club soon. Maynard is a genius, Danny is the best drummer alive Jones and chancellor just bring more high iqs into the band. I wanna be like them when I grow up....ok, please every tool fan read this. too many of ya sound like this in way or the other. don't get me wrong, I love their music but these guys don't owe me or you shit. if they never make another record just enjoy what they already gave us.
Lucas Janiak
I love the outro in this song.
grewn d
I once heard Maynard talk about the healing power of music. I'd like to think that regardless of what evils have been committed while veiled in religion, Maynard has come to accept spiritually. Much more than any one theology has tried to explain and we are eternal but we should relish this moment in this form. I'm doing so more and more
Mas
correct me if I am wrong but I always thought it was, "feeling eternal all this pain is an illusion" not "feeling eternal all this is an illusion"
Hamburger Dungon
Based on what I know, this song goes hand-in-hand with the overall theme of this album. Referring back to the song Lateralus, Maynard talks about swinging and spiraling. An upward Parabola is in a swinging motion. The song(s) are talking about the first stages of reaching out, expanding your body and mind. This is partially why this song comes first in the re-ordered arrangement of this album "The Holy Gift", it's because in the journey to the spiritual pinnacle, this is the first step. P.S. I'm word stupid today, so this is a very simple way of half describing what I mean.
Milan
Respect for the work put into the video. The transitions and timing are awesome
jarvis knight
everytime I listen to this song I take something new from it...but your lyrics ..sighs...brought me to a new level.
Paintball Martyr
I think we should just listen to these songs and not overthink them... If we give them a meaning, it probably won't even be the intended meaning. I just like to listen to the music and think about awesome stuff.
Locust Dawn
Love the video, but you might want to put a warning for those with epilepsy. Spiral in, spiral out. Cheers
Müge Yıldız
i think it's a DMT experience what he all sings about... amazing music, amazing lyrics.
Theriver Jordan
I love how you presented the lyrics. Do you think you could do one for Jambi?Amazing. Thank you
olympianlaugh
This is the song that got me interested in listening to Tool . I played this song 3 times a day for three years. It is a great wake up and shower song. Rusty Cage by Soundgarden is my other shower song. Parabola is my second favorite song of all time. It reveals a lot about the band (or so it would seem) . I try to only listen to bands with conscious lyrics. It sucks for me to know the lyrics and not have any tool fans to talk to about them with (even at concerts) . I would consider Tool fans "as stupid as they come" . I have only known them to be the most drunk and drugged out idiots I have ever known. Maybe society has become drunk as a whole. I do live in a cave.
Cristian Sosa
Dude I love how you edited the video. Truly awesome, perfect to explain what's being said in this amazing song.
Fred Ottley
The deep meaning behind everything Maynard writes makes me wonder if hes an enlightened being.
Learn2Gramrs
Seizure warning? Lol. Thanks for making this, experience. I always love your Tool Lyric videos
atheistram
I think Maynard is trying to get across the concept that reality is holy (in that it is the only thing we have to hold onto).
Radical_Tempo
You do absolutely fantastic editing for these lyric videos, i was just expecting the words to come up like usual, but NOPE. And the transition from the calm voice into the guitar and the bass and the drums was perfect. Keep up the good work.
Anicrow
For me, I've often in life neglected mortality as a burden and desired frequently to end it myself. This song, makes me regret the night spent doing blow, the nights spent with some one worthless, the time wasted in my time here as a living mortal being. By living on Eternal, I am bound between the energy we create continuing here whether anyone remembers our name or not or the belief of a continued reincarnation/single being that we progress through many version of a life/consciousness.
Dylan Mencer
I think he is speaking of being in the womb
Kevin Brown
Follow the pattern of Tool Sequence: tracks 6, 7, 5, 8, 4, 9, 13, 1, 12, 2, 11, 3, and 10 for a different experience.
Lady Bella Holmes
l<3 much time & energy was given,ThankYou
Eevee XD
Next of u haven't done this yet, you should do (my favorite) Jambi
culantroseco
Thanks for taking the time to make this mind-fucking-blowing lyrics video!!!
ahmed hadded
if only that guitar solo from 3min was longer it would've been my favorite eveeeeer
truimagz
36 weeks pregnant and bawling while listening to this song. Whole new meaning for me. <3
reflectionist
I love that music is subjective and all these interpretations are equally valid. But as a transplant patient... holy SHIT. The lyrics take on a completely different meaning for me, that I get to keep to myself.
DEUS VULT
THIS IS SICK
MrAnonymousDub
I fcking LOVE this song :] Thx for great work with lyrics and stuff:)
Mar Motas
excellent work. thanks bro. A great fan for a great band.
Spaded Spaded
Finally.
Norville Rogers
I sang this intro to my twins for the first 3 years of their life. Amazing bedtime song lol
Elkin Cardona
Great analysis, I'm agree. But (from my inner convictions) this lyrics will be not accurate as it deserves to be, if we don' explains from two basic concepts. First: re encarnation, and second: God (universal consciousness) are everything, we, it... everything. So, if God is inside we, we are experiencing divinity, or if you please, God. Maybe thats why lyrics says "reminds me thet I am not alone in this body" Thanks for this great and lucid analysis, and for keeping opened comment section. 🙏
Adrian Massey
Genius. The whole band. Geniuses
Sahab Mas
to my ears it's always "all this PAIN is an illusion" and never "all this IT is an illusion"... although I can see that the second way would also make sense.
sapbuckets
I thought the lyric was "We are eternal / all this pain is an illusion". That's what I hear. I even tried hard to hear it as you give it here but no dice. To me, it makes less sense as you have transcribed it also. This one word alone gives more meaning to the song, in that it contrasts the eternal spiritual body against the illusory physical body. It gives allegory to life versus afterlife as well.
Ertan Saygi
Thanks for these awesome videos man :) I really appreciate it.
zNOTHINGFACEz
lyrics are wrong. "Pain" is an illusion. "Not it is"
Cristian Maripangue
the best song of all is exciting You have a new sub
Kyle Joel
The only reality is now
Aj Bála
Amazing job on this channel! You rock!
Chandler Rogers
Parabol, I believe and many others, basically describes, cuddling.
Lotus Algorithm
"Over analyzing separates the body from the Mind"
Jesse Allard
I never post comments, but I'd like to let you know that I've seen a lot of your lyric videos, and I absolutely love the way you make them. Keep it up!!!
Viktor Orlov
Nice work with lyrics! I'm waiting for more :)
Kaleb Peffers
I'm very impressed by your videos. You do a great job interpreting the lyrics in your descriptions and illustrate the lyrics on screen in a very appealing matter. You've without question earned my subscription to your videos. Thanks, man.
MJKTool
Lyrics are wrong buddy. its "all this pain is an illusion." 
Seva Loginov
Guided meditation, heavy metal version
CodeDarkBlue
LET ME DIE RN I WOULD BE COMPLETELY 100% SATISFIED I STG
Ratspitsixsixsix
Its all about his Momma..Truthfully. She had a lot of health issues Maynard Loved her deeply..her passing broke his heart..
Night Al
Great job, but I swear that he says " all this pain is an illusion " throughout the song
James Gronen
Please, before anything on all of your videos, out of respect for the band, please put "Open For interpretation". This is how the lyrics were created, interpreting the music. There is and will never be one definition for the songs.
JD Blatz
Beautiful and heartbreaking message all in one!!! Love Tool!!!! 👍👍👈
Ktm Alpha
In 50 years from now , maybe we will understand this masterpiece!!
hellinik70
Thanks Cardinal...
The Cryptomaniac
"Stay inside" "This body". Pretty much the same as "Over-thinking, over-analyzing separates the body from the mind" in Lateralus
markfromct2
Great video man...I appreciate it
Sai Harsha
These people rock. i've got a different view of life
GamMa RaY s
perfect lyrics to the song. nice editing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!teach me
markfromct2
love the soft intro and then we GET IT ON!!
SadieJ
your awesome. i know tool is meant to be individually interpreted but its always nice to see a (very) intelligent other opinion. subd
Sara Morano
I AM FINALLY WAKING UP TO REALIZE THIS SONG IS ABOUT WAKING UP!!!!
Kathi Houston
Love it. Truly enjoy how you create the words to the music; able to pull an artistic and emotional feeling just from black and white on a screen. I may not understand all of the ancient philosophy but I know good music and I know good art
Ashraf Sahdan
You guys are clearly over-thinking, overanalyzing hence separated the body of lyrics to the actual meaning of it. This is just a song about riding a jetski. Everyone knows it. Yeah go look into it!
Boyguy Dudeman
There aren't words for how good these songs made me feel just now ... OH man listening to this made my whole day!
Topher N
+cardinalbaseballer I'd be interested in you doing a video and lyric meaning to Puscifer's 'The Humbling River'
Stacie Digby
I agree:) pretty awesome.
Luxei
Chills 4:30
Patrick McComb
Awesome fucking job on the lyric video dude. Not to push you or anything, but how about doing Jambi next?
Brian B
1:15 “Embracing you, this reality here”... I always thought it was “embrace anew, this reality here”
Kyle Joel
I mean NOW NO NOW NOW,NO WAIT NOW Ayahuaska!
Rick Hernandez
+experience [official]
Maca Man
I use to not like tool..... NOW I DO! :)
Sara Doe
This video and analysis is VERY WELL MADE! ONE OF THE BEST I'VE SEEN YET! PROPS TO YOU. BESIDES The SONG and lyrics being great I mean
Gennaro Rapa
what meaning are you lookin for? the lyrics are so clear it's like a deep conversation with a friend..
Keyvan Shahin
well i can see the clip in 2 completely different ways: 1- many of the descriptions are aligned with religions, being a part of the whole being, the desire for being eternal and at last rejoin with the whole and become united. 2- however the official video clip suggests something else, the extensive use of masonic and kabalistic symbols and concepts. the star of david in the apple (the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil). this would be my interpretation based on masonic and kabalah: in the evolution of kabalah, it becomes their belief that through rituals and certain knowledge not even man sees god but also can change god which is kinda blasphemy and one of the sources of the human worshiping and seeing the human as the whole power. what I see in the video is bigger man (elite in masonic view), studying the little man (ordinary people) after he gets killed by the god(the belief in the god makes him grow and become stronger in kabalah view). the god getting bigger as far as the little man is alive but then the elite rejects god and starts studying the dead ordinary man and gain knowledge of himself. i do not know what the leaf represents when it becomes the eye. but then the eyes spinning around the spine and come out in the forehead making the knowledge of man whole, and he becomes the god (instead of rejoining with the god as the religion says). to sum up, the first time i heard the song i only though of the first interpretation even though, this world and it's pain being an illusion was a point i could not understand and was not aligned with religious beliefs. but after I saw the clip i was almost convinced that there is too much masonic and human worshiping (maybe humanism but not completely) symbolism and content in the video.
kylepatrickkellygrew
The way you visualize the lyrics is perfect. Thank you
Shaun Frost
First few lyrics gave me goosebumps
Francis Aguilera
I always thought, that the body is a prison cell, to the soul.
MusicDude
so parabol is just an softer verison of parabola, i'm surpised that MJK didn't save parabol for a perfect circle
MusicDude
so parabol is just an softer verison of parabola, i'm surpised that MJK didn't save parabol for a perfect circle
Nolverdose
your lyric videos are best I've seen, I love how you add visuals almost to the lyrics it really ads to the experience to tools music. Good job.
sky kole
all this pain is an illusion* good job btw
Juliesunshine 333
This is my Funeral song. I love it. Thank you Friend, for making it even more meaningful than it already was. You rock.
ShyrKhan
What program did you use to edit this ? Great job, btw ;)