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AND THERE'S NO DRIVER AT THE WHEEL


09
Out13

Sim, vai ser mais um post sobre os Tool. Desta vez sobre duas músicas do álbum "Lateralus" - "Parabol" e "Parabola" - que, apesar de serem duas músicas independentes, será mais simples tratá-las como uma só neste post até porque estão intimamente ligadas. O videoclip engloba ambas.


 
Swirling round with this familiar parable.
Spinning, weaving round each new experience.
Recognize this as a holy gift and celebrate this 
Chance to be alive and breathing

 

 

 

This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality. 

 

Embrace this moment. Remember, we are eternal
 
All this pain is an illusion.
  
 
 


Nas palavras acertadas de um amigo meu: se o "Ænima" é um álbum que vive muito da dimensão humana, o "Lateralus" vive na mesma medida de uma dimensão mais transcendente. 
Não é um álbum conceptual mas nota-se que a metafísica e a espiritualidade estão presentes em muitos dos temas.

É interessante perceber o contraste entre a "Parabol(a)" e a "Stinkfist" do álbum "Ænima". Enquanto que a "Stinkfist" é uma música sobre falta de percepção de si próprio, sobre estar dormente, desconectado, a "Parabol(a)" é uma música sobre o que é estar realmente vivo, sobre a consciência da nossa existência, sobre o lugar que ocupamos no mundo, sobre a ligação a nós mesmos e aos outros, a ausência de dor no "grande esquema de todas as coisas". Trata-se de uma dimensão completamente nova e oposta, em absoluto, à que existe na "Stinkfist". 

O meu álbum preferido dos Tool é o "Ænima" mas é uma decisão muito difícil e até complicada de fundamentar porque o "Lateralus" também é um excelente álbum, um que tem grande significado para mim. Possivelmente até é melhor que o anterior mas julgo que esta preferência está relacionada com a minha personalidade, maneira de ver as coisas e de estar na vida. Desde que comecei a gostar de Tool que me debato mais com as questões abordadas no "Ænima" e estas têm-me acompanhado nos últimos cinco anos. Muito provavelmente daqui a alguns anos vou-me identificar mais com o "Lateralus" porque os temas que versa são mais complexos, exigem mais anos de vida. 

Uma das fontes de inspiração para os Tool são os ensinamentos do Budismo. Há uma lista de livros de leitura recomendada que consta numa newsletter da banda  para quem estiver interessado em perceber bem os assuntos versados em muitas das letras. Um dos livros é "What The Buddha Taught" de Walpola Rahula, um monge budista que foi também professor universitário e tem vários livros publicados sobre o Budismo. Este livro é considerado um dos melhores sobre o assunto e talvez o melhor para quem se quer iniciar nesta filosofia/religião.
O Budismo interessa-me bastante intelectualmente mas não como religião à qual sinta que tenha de me converter. Tenho este livro (apesar de ainda não o ter terminado) e em vários aspectos identifico-me com certos pontos de vista enquanto filosofia de vida. Tentando ilustrar um pouco isso:


Man's position according to Buddhism, is supreme. Man is his own master, and there is no higher being or power that sits in judgment over his destiny.
"One is one's own refuge, who else could be the refuge?" said the Buddha (...). 
He taught, encouraged and stimulated each person to develop himself and to work out his own emancipation, for man has the power to liberate himself from all bondage through his own personal effort and intelligence. (...)
The freedom of thought allowed by the Buddha is unheard of elsewhere in the history of religions. The freedom is necessary because, according to the Buddha, man's emancipation depends on his own realization of the Truth, and not on the benevolent grace of god or any external power as a reward for his obedient good behaviour. (...)
Doubt is one of the five Hindrances to the clear understanding of Truth and to spiritual progress (or for that matter to any progress). Doubt, however, is not a "sin" because there are no articles of faith in Buddhism. In fact, there is no sin in Buddhism, as sin understood in some religions. The root of all evil is ignorance and false views. (...) 
To get rid of doubt one has to see clearly. (...) 
Just to say "I believe" or "I do not doubt" will certainly not solve the problem. To force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political and not spiritual or intellectual. (...)
The spirit of tolerance and understanding has been from the beginning one of the most cherished ideals of Buddhist culture and civilization. (...)
However you put it, faith or belief as understood by most religions has little to do with Buddhism. (...) 
It is always seeing through knowledge or wisdom and not believing through faith. (...)



Em 2001 um professor de Filosofia, Christopher diCarlo, fez uma entrevista ao Maynard J. Keenan (que em muitos aspectos foi também uma conversa entre duas pessoas com opiniões similares sobre vários assuntos) e é uma entrevista bastante interessante porque as perguntas que foram feitas são muito pertinentes e diferentes das habituais. Aqui estão algumas partes que julgo serem úteis para perceber melhor a banda (o sublinhado é meu): 


So Maynard is not about to preach any definitive methodology for interpreting their lyrics but, for those who do understand that the lyrics have meanings at one intended level which can be interpreted by various people in various ways to relate those to personal self-reflection, those are commonalities which he does encourage.
The members of Tool generally shun human pretense and arrogance. This is stated explicitly in some of their lyrics, and it is one of the reasons I had a feeling Maynard would want to discuss these ideas with someone like me whom he has never met nor knows.

(...)

Maynard said: "Information, itself, is pure. Take a knife, for example. You can use it to cut up vegetables, meat, butter your bread, etc. Or you can use it as a weapon. The way in which information exists in its many forms leaves for us the decision as to how it is we wish to use it. Information itself has a certain purity. Humans have intentionality. It's humans who decide how it is 
they wish to behave. Information and technology are pure" [or what I referred to as amoral- that is, morality- the rightness/wrongness of actions - cannot take place until humans decide how they wish to use them].

(...)


I have on my office door the lyrics to "Stinkfist" because I have viewed this as a very telling statement in reference to what I have called the "Age of Immediacy". That is, we want input/information/pleasure, etc., quicker, bigger, better. We grow bored quickly and need more now. And so the metaphor of a gradual increase of larger sized objects shoved up a particular human cavity is quite appropriate to express our desensitization.
 
(...)
 
At this point, I mentioned my Critical Thinking text: How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Practical Guide to Thinking Critically. He appreciated the title and we talked further on the topic of critical self-reflection which is lacking in the world today. We agreed that this can lead to a behaviour mode of Us against Them through an incapacity of self-discovery and self-reflection.
 
(...)
 
 

In "Parabola" you speak about the body as a type of vessel. And you state that we need to hold on to and stay inside this holy reality. In contrast to your attacks on Christianity, how should we interpret the use of the term 'holy', here?

MK: "Life is to be revered. Few people take the time to realize how valuable their experiences are at any given time in their lives because we can be snuffed out in the next minute".

Although some may take this to be a paraphrase of the 'Stop and smell the flowers' bit of flaky advice from the sixties, the central message is a good one because it demands of us the discipline by which to forcibly become self-aware of what is meaningful and essential to life. We do take things for granted, without doubt. Most of the time, we are caught up in the superficial trappings of cultural inventions. But to be alive, and to know it, is one of the first great cognitive evolutionary steps in the development of human consciousness.

MK: "Life should be revered simply for the fact that we need to be thankful that we are currently able to consciously appreciate what we are going through right now. There are layers to our lives which can be appreciated at various levels. This moment that we're having right now is highly significant."

At this point I mention Albert Schweitzer's book Reverence for Life where he mentions that some things are necessary in life. There are constraints on life and we have to function within those constraints. I referred to the lyrics in 'Disgustipated' where Maynard mentions that 'Life feeds on life'. This is an obvious biological truism which creates an environment of constraints in 
which we must live.

From this, I state that the feeling of eternity and reference to pain as an illusion in 'Parabola' is interesting. Is this tongue-in-cheek or is the meaning here literal?

MK: "Having a background in science, anyone will tell you that everything pretty much is light. Form and frequency, quantum physics and the fact that humans are made up of bits of matter (light), at this level, particles neither come into nor go out of existence, and at that level we are eternal. And although pain operates at one level, there is no pain at the underlying level of matter. People operate at different levels. Does that make any sense? These are huge, lofty spiritual concepts. Keith Richards is still walking around, doesn't that prove something?"

Laughing, at this point, I said that I was an evolutionist and I really think Keith Richards is de-volving back into a reptilian form. The man is becoming a lizard. Maynard laughs.

(...)

The members of Tool, I was told, rarely take themselves seriously in terms of beliefs. They acknowledge a complex world and are having fun looking at the various ways in which we can understand it.

MK: "I have very much enjoyed the last ten years of my life and how much people enjoy what Tool is doing. If people can take something positive from Tool's music and use this for self-reflection and discovery, great. But I'm not going to preach to people about what they ought to do".







É muito significativo o que é dito sobre a importância de termos consciência de tudo o que nos acontece, de estarmos acordados e o quão vital é viver e não simplesmente sobreviver. 
Definitivamente não estamos nesta vida para vermos os dias passarem, completamente alheados da realidade à nossa volta, ao sabor das circunstâncias. 
Nas palavras dos Beatles: Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.





 





It's just a ride.    

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