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So familiar and overwhelmingly warm
This one, this form I hold now.
Embracing you, this reality here,
This one, this form I hold now, so
Wide eyed and hopeful.
Wide eyed and hopefully wild.

We barely remember what came before this precious moment,
Choosing to be here right now. Hold on, stay inside
This body holding me, reminding me that I am not alone in
This body makes me feel eternal. All this pain is an illusion.



Lyrics submitted by gasmask

"Parabol" as written by Justin Chancellor, Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Daniel Carey

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Parabol song meanings
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  • +5
    General Comment:This whole album is entirely comprised of therapy concepts, concepts used in counseling and therapy to help people keep from freaking out. This is not about sex, although that is what I thought it was about when I first heard it. The concept here is the practice of living RIGHT NOW, which is very hard. It is about the difficulty and the reward of not living entirely in the past and in the future. The idea is to live without your preconceptions and your hopes and projections ruining the wonder of the immediate world. Try it sometime, and you will see why it is worth writing songs about. The pain metioned is the anguish of always worrying about the past and the future. Those things are not happening right now, so any pain you are feeling from the past and the future is illusionary. It is only you. Crucify the ego, and you find that there is not much that is worrisome that is happening RIGHT NOW. Try it.
    Infirmoon April 30, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:This song is pretty much a beginning to Parabola, and it flows beautifully into it. Maynards voice is so haunting on this song, and it is saying that he is looking forward to things that may come, and that "we are eternal" and that "all this pain is an illusion".
    Toolkidon January 21, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:Reassess; look back over songs like Third Eye, Forty-Six and 2, and even Reflction and you'll find a common theme between them and Parabol/Parabola. I think this song, and Parabola, ARE about birth--and rebirth. AS we enter again into the world, so fresh, so hopeful and hungry for experence and life to enrich our existence outside this plane. "Celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing/This body holding me remidns me of my own mortality, embrace this moment, remember, we are eternal, all this pain is an illusion." - Parabola. I think it's saying that each gift of life in this world is to be cherished, don't give in to the pain and strife you experience; learn from it, and remember that it's fleeting. Life is fleeting.

    Forgive any glaring typographical errors, my keyboard is oddly sticky o_O
    Ice.Nineon May 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The pain will pass, even though it is strong in your mind now, things will get better
    hell_i_call_my_headon April 26, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think infirmo has the right idea.Read things by alex grey and that will give you great understanding of the whole cd.
    connectednesson May 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Parabol/Parabola (i consider it one song) is one of my favorite songs of all time...it's beautiful. it has alot of meaning to it. ice nine got it correct... this song is for when you're losing all hope. just remember that you should never give in to pain, you learn from it. pain is an illusion. you can make it all go away if you try hard enough.
    mrcleanon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Our "souls", which is my concept of eternal, feel no pain. Because our souls feel no pain, its our bodys and minds that create the pain. When we die we don't take our external with us therefore having them here is a privelage.
    peace_for_meon July 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Jah, I'd personally never seen this as a "sex" song, but I can see that interpretation as I read back over the lyrics.

    I always took it as an incredibly spiritual song. Rather than conforming to their peers in the nu-metal camp singing about how horrible life is and how God has forsaken them, Tool are showing us how life is a beutiful thing. I can relate to this song as in my view it re-inforces my own views on life after death and re-incarnation, and how a soul in the afterlife chooses to be re-born ("Choosing to be here").

    This is a very positive song, as is 'Parabola', as both are showing how lucky we are to receive the gift of life and how wonderful existence can be. It is saying that we should hold onto it.
    Silverdewon April 14, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:parabol..i asked my math teacher about this, this morning, as i bought the album yesterday and was confused about why Parabol and Parabola are spelt similarily. i though Parabol was another math term.. but actually.. it's a bible story, at least that is what i was told about it. and when you think about it.. it's true. not the damned christian bible, but as Alex Grey was making real, the Human Bible. *Our* bible. the bible of life. the bible of creation. the bible of religion is a facade lie. but the feeling of being real and human and mortal is reason enough to write a "bible story" about us. we are the greatest thing that we have found so far on this planet. but so many of us have taken the feeling for granted. as Infirmo said, live each moment..to the truest, most purest form. live like each second is the last. this song could be.. a plea for each person listening to do this. it's difficult to do such, and in a sense, you must act like you have been reborn. experience the same things that you learned when you were a child. one way i have found this to be possible is.. if you know a familar wall.. continuously run your fingers over it.. touch it.. BECOME the wall.. it's a way to "re"-experience it. but, do this with everything. apply it to every day life. try to find the "lateral" of everything you do. find a new reason, a new belief... this comment went a lil long.. =/ but.. if you understand what i'm saying... try it sometime.. the feeling.. is... familar, yet overwhelming warm.
    OrcishIncubuson May 06, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Oh. my. god... I had honestly never thought about this song as sexually related. That's actually interesting when I think about it real hard. But I mean, I have to think about it really hard for sex to sound interesting... It doesnt' really make that much sense, it's all obscure in my head (the sex bit), but there has been a lot of spiritual/sex conjuction things in religion (at least christianity).

    Anyway, when I first thought about this, I thought about buddhism, because that's the way I was raised to think, I guess (rather than about sex and hate for the church, yay for me).

    "This one, this form I hold now " Assuming that reincarnation is real (which it totally is, by the way), this line would be describing the body the soul currently resides in. Why is it warm and familiar? Well, I suppose that will raise some questions. Perhaps the physical material has always been with your soul, not necesarily in the exact form, but enough that it should feel familiar. Or maybe being in a body is familiar because it isn't the first the soul has been in. And well, bodies are just warm fuzzily things to wear.

    I get the sense of perhaps, a former insecurity in the body. Most of us probably live the first good chunk of our lives confused and uncomfortable with the body we have, thinking perhaps we don't belong to it, in this world this way...and alienation of sorts. But then, finding hope...

    It's really like a moment of realization and recognition. And if you've ever felt wildly hopeful... it's a great feeling.

    I think that, we don't remember what happened before this life, or at least barely (if we can feel this hope, we have to know something). It's talking about staying in this body, holding on to this life, no longer doubting it, we chose it and we are choosing to be here.

    The body here, is a total comfort tool. It connects us to the earth, which is full of life. The body and the soul are interconnect, and one cannot be alone when this is the case.

    It is possible of course that it's talking about the ethereal body (s'that what it's called?). And that would be familiar because we remember it from before having a physical body, but that is the connector between the physical body and the soul... This being the body that would make one feel eternal, and realize that pain is an illusion.

    I totally agree with the last line. Pain is an illusion, and we can think the pain up, and we do. Ah, I love these lyrics so.

    Ah, but so many meanings. It's possible that Maynard knows not all of what he sings, since according to Christians and probably other religions, music, art, poetry comes from god and not the individual.
    CÆTon December 03, 2004   Link

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