"Forty Six & 2" as written by Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Daniel Carey and Justin Chancellor....
My shadow's
Shedding skin and
I've been picking
Scabs again.
I'm down
Digging through
My old muscles
Looking for a clue.
I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been.
I've been wallowing in my own confused
And insecure delusions
For a piece to cross me over
Or a word to guide me in.
I wanna feel the changes coming down.
I wanna know what I've been hiding in
My shadow.
Change is coming through my shadow.
My shadow's shedding skin
I've been picking
My scabs again.
I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been.
I've been wallowing in my own chaotic
And insecure delusions.
I wanna feel the change consume me,
Feel the outside turning in.
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and
Cleansing I've endured within
My shadow
Change is coming.
Now is my time.
Listen to my muscle memory.
Contemplate what I've been clinging to.
Forty-six and two ahead of me.
I choose to live and to
Grow, take and give and to
Move, learn and love and to
Cry, kill and die and to
Be paranoid and to
Lie, hate and fear and to
Do what it takes to move through.
I choose to live and to
Lie, kill and give and to
Die, learn and love and to
Do what it takes to step through.
See my shadow changing,
Stretching up and over me.
Soften this old armor.
Hoping I can clear the way
By stepping through my shadow,
Coming out the other side.
Step into the shadow.
Forty six and two are just ahead of me.


Lyrics submitted by implode, edited by midnightzone

"Forty Six & 2" as written by J. Chancellor Daniel Carey Tool

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, EMI Music Publishing

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Forty Six & 2 song meanings
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  • +27
    General CommentThis is one of Tool's most amazing songs, and really sums up the entire theme of Aenima. This song is about growing, changing, and moving towards the next level of human evolution and conciousness. It's deeply rooted in Jungian theory.

    Basically, it's believed that there are three levels of human evolution and each has it's form of conciousness. There's the 1st level with 44 chromosones. These are primitve people's like the aboriginies in Australia who do not percieve anything outside of themselves. They only see one large conciousness with no distinguishment between organisms. Then there's the second level with 46 chromosones. That is us. We are a chaotic disharmonic conciousness that is basically used as a stepping stone between the first and third levels. The third level is 48 chromosones. (Or 46 & 2, with 2 being the sex chromosones x & y). This is the higher level of conciousness. Our destination.

    But this is where the Jungian theory comes in. It is believed that you can not reach this third level of evolution without first delving into yourself and basically cleansing your conciousness for the next jump. That's where the Shadow comes in. The shadow is basically everything about that is unseen that you are uncomfortable with or hate. This is also known as the Anima (hence the name of the CD).

    The last part of the song sums all of this up...

    "See my shadow changing,
    Stretching up and over me
    Soften this old armor
    Hoping I can clear the way
    By stepping through my shadow,
    Coming out the other side
    Step into the shadow
    Forty six and two are just ahead of me"
    Oberoneson January 29, 2002   Link
  • +9
    My Interpretation"Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. It may be (in part) one's link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind." - Jung

    The song is about Jung's Psychological theory of the "Shadow."

    And yes, it does have something to do with Chromosomes- Jung said that it is "One's link to more primitive animal instincts.." Humans have 46 chromosomes. Apes have 48.
    46 + 2 = 48
    Brandon435on December 05, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is so awesome and powerful I don't even have words to describe it.

    I was just thinking one thing; could the whole shadow story be, among the other stuff, even a reference to the first verse of Sober? I like to think that when in Sober the protagonist of the song was chased by this negative (his own?) shadow, in Forty Six and Two he finally evolves, he get over his misery and he's free of his old shadow.

    Just guessing of course...
    Savag3Dragonon August 09, 2011   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationOkay, we have 44 and 2 chromosomes currently and 46 and 2 is said to be our next step in our "evolution". I'm not religious, but Jesus Christ was thought to have 46 and 2 chromosomes, which made him what an amazing person in which he was claimed to be lol. It's kind of a more spiritual thing dealing with mind, body and soul. Even involving different dimensions like a 4th dimensional being,but w/e idk. This song talks about all of our problems as who we are currently and that we must live through them in order to get to our next step (46 and 2)....if we make it. Something interesting could be in our near-future.
    SomeDude66on August 16, 2012   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation[This song is about self improvement]

    My shadow's
    Shedding skin and [he sees himself as frayed and in a state of loss]
    I've been picking
    Scabs again. [He knows he has been the cause of it- doing it to himself]



    I'm down [he is deeply..]
    Digging through [searching his inner self]
    My old muscles [of his fundamental makeup (habits/interest/hates)]
    Looking for a clue. [of what is causing this]


    I've been crawling on my belly [he has left nothing unexamined]
    Clearing out what could've been. [busily discarding haunting what-ifs]
    I've been wallowing in my own confused [everywhere he digs he finds ]
    And insecure delusions [the what-ifs and lies to self that are -------------------------------------------------------------[truly not needed]

    For a piece to cross me over [he hopes for an easy fix]
    Or a word to guide me in. [or the guidance to fix himself]
    I wanna feel the changes coming down. [he truly wants to get better]
    I wanna know what I've been hiding in [and identify the hidden source of his -------------------------------------------------------------[problems]

    My shadow. [he identifies his Shadow as the inner self- his ------------------------------------------------[core being, or Soul]
    Change is coming through my shadow. [he knows that to fix himself he must mend his Soul.
    My shadow's shedding skin [he sees that his soul is suffering]
    I've been picking
    My scabs again. [and that he was the cause of it all]

    I've been crawling on my belly [he continues to examine himself, knowing
    Clearing out what could've been. [now what he has learned]
    I've been wallowing in my own chaotic
    And insecure delusions.

    I wanna feel the change consume me, [he knows to truly change will devour all ----------------------------------------------------------[that he was- and get rid of it]
    Feel the outside turning in. [he wants his outer self to change along with ---------------------------------------------------[his inner self]
    I wanna feel the metamorphosis and [he wants the change all through him]
    Cleansing I've endured within [that he has started to repair in His -----------------------------------------------------------------Shadow]

    My shadow
    Change is coming. [its working!]
    Now is my time.

    Listen to my muscle memory. [in his new self construction, he looks -------------------------------------------------------------back with hindsight]
    Contemplate what I've been clinging to. [on his foolish beliefs/delusions]
    Forty-six and two ahead of me. [there were 46 cycles of refining the list ------------------------------------------------------------of what to keep, and 2 left to do]

    I choose to live and to
    Grow, take and give and to
    Move, learn and love and to
    Cry, kill and die and to [This is self correction #45- the aspects he has chosen to hold onto]
    Be paranoid and to [There are 14 at this point]
    Lie, hate and fear and to
    Do what it takes to move through. [do it again (divide the list in half)]

    I choose to live and to
    Lie, kill and give and to [This is correction #46- the refined list of what
    Die, learn and love and to [he chooses to retain in his core being. 7 left]
    Do what it takes to step through. [do it again (divide the list in half)]

    See my shadow changing, [see how it works?]
    Stretching up and over me. [the Shadow is more whole than it has been]
    Soften this old armor. [his old defenses really arent needed anymore]
    Hoping I can clear the way [to finish he must FINISH]
    By stepping through my shadow,[each pass through his shadow is another turn]
    Coming out the other side. [what emerges is the new self/list]
    Step into the shadow. [do it again-]
    Forty six and two are just ahead of me.
    [he has done it 46 times, and 2 more remain]

    So, he has learned how to improve himself, and we are hearing if his process between the 46th and 47th repeat

    He lists his previous "insecure delusions" of 14, and whittles it down to 7, keeping only those he wishes to. He must do it 2 more times, leaving him with 1.7 aspects (1 fully, another just mostly) he wishes to hold onto at the end- that which he holds MOST important in his being.

    So its not anything bad, nor violent. Its just ruthless self examination and improvement, performed whenever he notices his shadow looking a little rough.
    lharveyon February 07, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe title of the name does not only have to do with the Anima, it is called Ænima. It is like saying an "Anima enema," or flushing out your old self. That would relate more closely to the theme of the album, which is change.
    bizarreon May 07, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI really don’t like this idea of it being about selling records or TooL being tedious for Maynard. One of the reasons APC was formed was because TooL were in a battle with lawyers due to recording writes when they’re producers or something changed. TooL thought they were in titled to record another album but the they’re new record company didn’t agree and when tool decided to take they’re stuff somewhere else they’re company tried to sue them for breaking a contract, this went on for years so during the time tool just toured on Opiate and Maynard started APC. He also stated that he feels more at home with tool than APC, which I think, is audible as it sounds so much.... Uh, you just can’t explain it. Like people have said before tool try to make they’re songs meanings apply to everyone, to me its about suffering from depression, this song helped me through some hard as shit times. I’m NOT talking about fucking ‘my parents hate me, I have no friend’ depression it was the real shit. Its about, yeah, just waiting out, this vampire- the cloud of people and ideas is trying to drain you and its getting so tiring you do just want to walk away- suicide. But you just gotta keep thinking of what you can have at the end of it, seriously anyone’s who has a rough time it helped me so fucking much, I swear and I’m so grateful no one will ever know how much. And all this shit about Maynard being god- please stop. If I was Maynard I would take offence as in many songs he makes fools of people who believe in gods and the idea of ‘god’ itself, I would feel seriously misunderstood and that my fans were complete dumbasses. Hey I dunno maybe he’s just a good old Christian full of sarcasm or whatever, but just please stop its irritating at religion itself.
    Tool_girlon September 08, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment This song is about Maynard delving into the painful memories of his past which he has repressed "I've been picking scabs agian", this is represented in Jungian Psychology as his "Shadow", in order to grow and overcome there effects on him. The shadow in this song is the same as the Snake in H "my shadow's shedding skin", which represents urges to treat Devo how his father treated him, abusively. In order to eliminate his shadow he must first elucidate it's comments by looking into what he has repressed in his shadow. The song shows this metaphorically through getting in touch with past uses of his body.

    I'm down
    Digging through
    My old muscles
    Looking for a clue

    I've been crawling on my belly
    clearing out what could have been

    The lyrics may also imply that he's been analyzing his dreams to further elucidate these repressed thoughts and feelings "wallowing in my own confused and insecure delusions" also "chaotic and insecure delusions" all to find and bring out these unconscious fears, and urges.

    for a piece to cross me over
    or a word to guide me in
    I wanna feel the changes coming down
    I want to know what I've been hiding

    In my shadow

    The last 2 verses of this song are merely a declaration that he will do whatever is necessary, lie, cheat, steal, love, kill, die, etc. to express his shadow and by doing so understand it, and bring it into consciousness.
    He is throughout this song attempting to bring his "shadow" into light, merging it with his consciousness. When he has merged his unconscious fears and urges with his conscious psyche "stepping through (his) shadow" he will have gained understanding of why he feels the way he does towards Devo, and these feelings will no longer be unconscious urges, effectively evolving (but in a psychological way) which is what the line and title "Forty Six and 2" represents metaphorically. Or at least that's what I got out of it.

    On a related note: THIS SONG IS AWESOME

    Daemianon July 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere's how I interpret the song:

    "My shadow's shedding skin
    I've been picking scabs again"
    -He's accepting things that he normally thinks of as not him. His shadow is shrinking because there are fewer things he rejects.

    "Listen to my muscle memory.
    Contemplate what I've been clinging to.
    Forty-six and two ahead of me."
    -He's considering everything he rejects. He's accepting things, so he is coming closer to 46+2.

    "I choose to live and to
    Grow, take and give and to
    Move, learn and love and to
    Cry, kill and die and to
    Be paranoid and to
    Lie, hate and fear and to
    Do what it takes to move through.
    I choose to live and to
    Lie, kill and give and to
    Die, learn and love and to
    Do what it takes to step through."
    -He's choosing to do all these things, both things that he already accepts and things he pushes away, in order to evolve into the next step.

    "See my shadow changing,
    Stretching up and over me.
    Soften this old armor.
    Hoping I can clear the way
    By stepping through my shadow,
    Coming out the other side.
    Step into the shadow.
    Forty six and two are just ahead of me."
    -His shadow is changing because he, himself, is changing. It's stretching over him like it's consuming him. He opened the floodgate when he started embracing his alter-ego. He is hoping that by becoming everything at one time, he can evolve into a new consciousness.
    toolupon May 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is beautiful. the song the spiritual meaning behind it. it makes for such a beautiful entity. tool is definately the best band in the world. it makes me feel beautiful to listen to them. thank you maynard, adam, justin, and danny from the bottom of my heart.
    gaeaplaysguitaron June 12, 2002   Link

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