There it is, plain and simple. It destroyed itself without any of my slander. This is the lunacy by which we kneel. This is the doublespeak by which we kill. This is the inertia that keeps tradition feared. This is the absurdity by which we walk barefoot with shoes on our heads. Ponder this to get nearer to Nothing. On top of the world, think about it, there's Nothing. An unseasoned meal, monotone spirits, routine homily. Nothing has never been clearer. So kill a cat to keep logic at bay, then eat my body's finest and fell me how it tastes. Is it Nothing too? Does it stink like Nothing? Does it poison like Nothing?


Lyrics submitted by kibe

Nanzen Kills A Cat song meanings
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  • +2
    Song MeaningThis is actually based on a Zen Buddhist teaching story by the same name.
    The gist of the story is as follows:

    In the temple, there is a master who has achieved enlightenment.
    His disciples pester him regularly with questions, hoping that they may too achieve the same goal.
    Frustrated by the lack of progress in his disciples, Nanzen proclaims "If no one can answer me this question, I will kill this cat. What is the nature of the Buddha?" Being as the cat was a favored cat around the temple, and it was much loved, the students tried to answer the question. Though they spoke many answers, none satisfied the master, and so he took a sickle to the poor cat. The disciples sat horrified. Just then, the wisest student returned from his journey, removing his shoes at the door. The master asked again, "what is the nature of the Buddha?", and the wisest student, without hesitation, picked up his shoes and placed them on his head. To this the master replied, "Ah, if only you had been here sooner, this cat could have been spared."

    The purpose of stories like this one was to confuse the readers. While pondering what the story could actually mean, they would ultimately draw a blank, completely at a loss for any explanation. That blankness of the mind was, according to Zen Buddhists, a preview of what enlightenment is.

    Zen Buddhists are very mistrustful of words and language, and feel that nothing can be taught by them.
    In addition, the "nothing" of which the song speaks is likely speaking of Nirvana, or enlightenment, which is effectively nothing, or a state of nothing. You'll have to do more research on Buddhism to understand that.
    gecko2222on March 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStream of consciousness, I suppose, though there may be a meaning.

    It's a great jam.
    somniferouson January 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbooks.google.co.uk/…
    NoValueson February 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe that it's about religion and god.
    They're basically saying that religion is a mere expression of human weaknesses and absurd childish superstitions, which are great to keep people quiet ("This is the lunacy by which we kneel. This is the doublespeak by which we kill. This is the inertia that keeps tradition feared. This is the absurdity by which we walk barefoot with shoes on our heads.") and to make them committ atrocities ("So kill a cat to keep logic at bay").
    Additionally, the lines "Ponder this to get nearer to Nothing. On top of the world, think about it, there's Nothing." definitely sound like atheist remarks.
    I wonder where the title comes from, though. Any ideas?
    LooseCharmon March 23, 2009   Link

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