"Intension" as written by Daniel Carey, Justin Chancellor, Adam Jones and Maynard James Keenan....
Pure as we begin
Pure as we come in
Pure as we begin
Ruled by will alone

Pure as we begin
Here we have a stone
Gather, place, erase so
Shelter turns to home

Pure as we begin
Here we have a stone
Throw to stay the stranger
Swore to crush his bones

Ruled by will alone

Spark becomes a flame
Flame becomes a fire
Light the way or warm this
Home we occupy

Spark becomes a flame
Flame becomes a fire
Forge a blade to slay the stranger
Take whatever we desire

Moved by will alone
Pure as we begin

Pure as we begin
Move by will alone
Leave as we come in
Pure as light, return to one

Move by will alone
Move by will alone


Lyrics submitted by Solarius

"Intension" as written by Daniel Carey Adam Jones

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Intension song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commentsome these responses make me wish 2012 really does happen...

    this song presents what all other tool songs do, a meaning that applies to anyone and anything that exists. maynard talks about the stone that can either be 'gathered, placed, arranged so shelter turns to home' or thrown 'to stay the stranger'. The lines that follow...'move by will alone' suggest that it is ultimately up to us...this stone can be used for benefit or harm, and it boils down to our human will that makes the decision. The lyrics are somewhat critical of human nature, as are a lot of tool lyrics, but at the same time it is something that needs to be said. The second verse continues this via fire that can 'light the way/warm the home we occupy' or 'forge a blade to slay the stranger'...and of course followed with 'move by will alone'...
    pahunteron January 20, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIntention + Tension = Intension?
    0nion April 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJudging by everything else Tool has done, it appears to be a very literal explanation of new age-ish philosophies, something they cover quite a bit. Returning to the light is exactly that, death, returning to light, which is God, in New Age ideas.
    0nion April 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOni, go here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    Wait, so if you reverse this song it goes "Work hard, Stay in school, Listen to your mother, your father is right/rising/right, son... Jesus loves you... Work hard, Stay in school, Listen to your mother, your father is right/rising/right son..."? I'm trying this out now.
    MunkyBallzon April 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSpark becomes a flame.
    Flame becomes a fire.
    Light the way or warm this.
    Home we occupy

    The spark could be an idea. The idea turns into something, then gets a little out of control.


    Thrown this day a stranger
    Swore to crush his bones....
    Forge a blade to slay the stranger

    Getting back to the idea of free will, we have never ending conflict. Before the stanger this was not so. The stranger in a sense challenges our free will.


    this isn't so much about civilisation as it is an idividual. Stripping down the world to it's essntial animalistic nature. The idea of free will is about not being ruled purely by instincts, though they remain the guiding force.

    Born an innocent, return to earth (the atom mix if you want) when we die, pure.

    but then again I've got a long track record of being wrong
    nowherenikon May 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbtw, the guitar says to me: "feel the generations of death weigh upon this moment and feel the errors of this outward struggle over and over and over again. futile will."
    Tongon June 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it is a description of the 10 emanations or 4 worlds on the qabalistic tree of life.

    Aziluth (Emanation) - "pure as we begin, pure as we come in"

    Beriah (Creation) - "Here we have a stone. Gather, place, arrange so." (the first seperation from the divine - also paralled with human devlopment (from stone to blade... also a very crowleyish idea of magick)

    Yezirah (Formation) - "Yezirah symbolizes the concept within creation of individual existence and space" - Division of man, "forge a blade to slay the stranger..."

    Assiah, the Fourth World (Asiyyah (Action) - the material universe in which we live), the "rule" becomes "move" as it manifests into physical action "Move by will alone."

    Just a theory
    grasshopaon October 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentin my opinion, he's saying when we're born we're pure but allow ourselves to be ruled by will alone and we do not progress and leave (die) just as we were born. we don't focus on self-improvement and do not try to understand ourselves...we just follow our will and that is not what is intended for us.
    muggsbowon June 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWe don't exist, we are pure. Then we do, and will is our only tool. Take whatever you want at whatever the cost, because it's the will to possess. Then we die and are pure again. It's part of an overall theme to me...the war machine.
    OIAAIOon June 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTo me this song is an account of the journey of the individual consciousness from birth to death. To this effect, MJK, who is well-versed in mysticism, uses a variety of occult symbols.

    The first paragraph is quite explicit. When we are born ('as we begin'), or when we 'come in[to]' the world, we are pure, ruled by Will alone. Look up Crowley's concept of True Will.

    The 'stone' is a borrowing to the symbology of Alchemy (the first verses of Lateralus as well as the 46 & 2 song show MJK's knowledge about this), in the strictest sense the Stone is Consciousness (that has to be refined again and again - 'gather, place erase') but like any occult symbol it's supra-rational so you can interpret it in many ways.

    The rest is a bit more complex and open to interpretation.

    The 'stranger' is probably the Other (the polarity of the Self). We are afraid of realising and opening to that which is not ourselves, hence 'swore to crush his bones'.

    The 'spark' is the Divine Spark of the Christian Gnostics, the divine essence. Because there is duality, there are two 'ways back' : follow the Way, or focus within ('warm this home'), if that makes sense.

    The blade/sword is a symbol for the intellect (Air element), through life we build our own mind, and here comes the theme of the 'stranger' again.

    To understand the references to the Will, here is a quote from Nietzsche : "This world is the will to power — and nothing besides ! And you yourselves are also this will to power — and nothing besides !"

    And at the end of life, the cycle is complete, one 'leaves as one comes in, pure as light, returns to One.'
    sylvainsabon May 14, 2015   Link

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