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Neurosis – Origin Lyrics 2 years ago
@[ew1899:14698] Damnit, we can't edit it.

One last thing, on the positioning of the song on the album and the overtness of the lyrics; if this is meant to be seen as a sort of follow up to The Eye of Every Storm, and I think in some respects it is, then pay attention to the song order there, as well. Particularly the last song on The Eye of Every Storm. If this song wasn't overt, "I Can See You" is probably one of the plainest, least reliant on obscure evocative imagery as you'll get with a Neurosis song. And it's about someone dying, and the people left behind having to deal with the pain and loss of losing them.

Neurosis – Origin Lyrics 2 years ago
The song is about death. Given to the Rising is in general very much centered around death, it seems to me. And honor, or the loss thereof. I think around the time of making this, one of the band members' wife died. Anyway:

"All my spirits come through we when I bleed"

Often when people talk about death or near death experiences, they speak about seeing the spirits of past love ones or beings that they can't describe as anything but spirits. When "bleeding," possibly being sacrificed or through suicide, you begin to conjure these spirits. In fact, over the next couple of verses, it describes what appears to be a near-death experience or someone nearing their end.

"A fractured skull in a desert well, I leave this disturbed, destroyed child will follow you"

Mainly seems to be imagery; I am not sure what the significance is of a fractured skull in a desert well is. The disturbed, destroyed child could be a representation of childhood coming back in these final moments.

"A wild and wounded beast I stand inside the sun"

More evocative imagery. But take note: in death, people report seeing a bright, all encompassing light, akin to the sun, and they walk toward it. The first describes the state of being of this person and where they stand in relation to their impending annihilation.

"My heart let memories flood my mind"

In regret, often the pain in your heart is connected to memories. Memories are important in death, as many report seeing their lives flash before their eyes.

"All the fixed, breathing strobes in the waking hours"

Could be a reference to the physical state of the person while they are wasting away or what have you.

"The clouds are looming to remind me of the judgment passed on my soul"

The four horsemen, at the apocalypse, ride in on clouds from the sky, thereby passing judgement during the final reckoning. Could be in relation to how this person is feeling.

As a side note, "Ghost Riders in the Sky," the old country song made popular by Johnny Cash, is a cautionary tale using this kind of thing as an extended metaphor. Sky riders tell a cowboy to change his sinful ways or end up being with them, chasing other haunted souls for eternity.

"Acid stars have scarred my mind and left me as a ghost"

This could be the final recognition that the person has died emotionally. Possibly not physically yet, because of where it stands in the lyrics. What "acid stars" are exactly, I'm unsure of. Could be a reference to past drug use (possibly the thing being passed judgement on), or it could be a reference to mental illness, for which a lot of people are judged on. Speaking from personal experience, when you're on a medication and come off of it, you get "brain zaps" that really do leave you feeling scarred. They can last for a few days on up to months.

As an alternative theory: instead of this being about death, this could just be a description of an incredibly horrid trip, and lines like these and "wounded beast standing inside the sun" would lend credence to this, if there's not some deeper symbolism present that only really Scott Kelly or Steve von Till know about themselves.. But I give my reasoning for it being about death later on.

"I shattered my curse and spread it through the land"

This leads me more to believe it's about suicide, specifically. The way it's written is that it seems to be the person in the song is doing actively, to themselves. Their "curse" is their illness, possibly mental illness, addiction or what have you. If you have close ones, that curse will spread to them ("spread it through the land") and they will feel that loss. In more extreme cases, they may fall into the same patterns.

"I wander guided, willing, and unclean"

Guided to death. Willing to die. Doing it in an unclean fashion.

"Project dark eyes sullen, drawn out and wicked"

Eyes are the window to the soul. This person's soul, being projected, is dark, sad, and wanting to be drawn out of the body; i.e., death. Detangled from the body.

"Nameless lights pull me into a reflected psychic black hole"

And finally the cross over into annihilation. In NDEs, as said before, many people report being drawn into an all encompassing light. The "black hole" here refers to the uncertainty of death itself, I believe; what comes after the light.


My rationale for seeing this song in through this lens has to do with the imagery used. It could just be a really bad trip, but I think it's more than that. Death itself is psychedelic, or can be. But the self-loathing that this person has indicates suicide, more likely.

As I said above, one of the band members lost their wife around the time of this album or the Eye of Every Storm. Something that traumatic will play into your songwriting for an extended period of time. So, there's dealing with the certitude of death, any regrets you might have upon dying and what not.

As well as this, is the position of the song on the album, that it bookends it. That may not be entirely significant because much of the album deals with death in some form or fashion ("Water is not Enough," "Shadow," etc.) But this one I think is significant because of how overt it seems. To me, anyway.

Third, and lastly, is to pay attention to the tonal landscape on the song. It's slow, introspective for most of it, and the latter part erupts, and then after an extended riff, the song just abruptly ends. The transition from life to death is sort of like that. You're waiting to die, which is usually the slow part, and then when you're on the cusp of it, you're greeted with these overwhelming images, and then, it just stops. Everything ceases.

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