Ignorance is bliss no wise woman's failed to mention
and surely some koan suggests 'neglect leads to perfection'
but the more I turn my face from the crowd
the more I feel my backs' increasingly compelled
for the sake of escape, to turn a knife on itself,
a knife of relief, from all the petty insight
and finally I'll sleep, I'll sleep through the night.
Bored as fuck with this street corner-cover.
study of a face in a figure. surveying this language as a game
surveilence of this language as the plague.
the dimension of persistence condemns.
This portrait of karma, crafted in accident
text book seduction, minus the text in the language of ghosts
and so we ran, like the wolves were biting,
the inhibitions of their prey kept them from screaming
scratch my back and I will stab you in yours
so I chose to live this life alone, without the teeth marks
but I predict, I'll have to sink my fangs in someone else's heart to heal my own.
just a victim's split, one part for the wolves, one part for you.
but I'll grow weary soon, weary of this fractal code,
weary of this hallway lined with ghosts.
just a scratch upon the skin, a drop of blood to let them in
their words will cause the sweetest fracture from a stone's throw
just a scratch upon the skin, a drop of blood to welcome them
parasitic, viral critics, or lovers, like spirits mingling in the mist
that we crafted, a starving jury, let them eat shit from our trembling hands.
The heat for heat's sake, on this Barnard block of Congress
deductively speaking, the polar of progress
well maybe I put too much faith in the accident
entranced, we danced toward the ripest display of escape
let the starving ghosts feats, from this flesh, from these bones,
let them all feast. In this chess game of language, forced to sit so I play all alone, watch the bathos drift forth like the petals from a wild crafted rose.


Lyrics submitted by Darth_Squirrel

Non-Objective Portrait of Karma song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentCTTS's best
    DawnOfReckoningon April 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentahh I love the introduction to this song. I think it leads up to the song perfectly. I love the like "scratch my back & I will stab you in yours". genious. CTTS has a very unique writing style, I haven't seen/heard anything else like it.
    Thursdayloveon April 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthese lyrics are insanely well written. best song off As The Roots Undo IMO. The meaning? I cant figure it out... but it kinda sounds like he's talking about life and things through a... non-objective way.. Just a hunch though.
    TheMarchOfFlameson December 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPretty sure this whole song is basically about Drew's general contempt for mankind.
    You'll be a memoryon August 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about delving too deeply into your mind. Earlier in the album, ambition is established as a positive trait; it's what allows the journeyer to "wade in the water"

    and "fill your lungs" with oxygen instead of wading in doubt and floating like concrete.

    Ambition however, can lead to tragedy, because of the paradoxical dual-nature of it; it will lead you out of the quagmire of pretense and pre-conceived notions laid out by

    religion, mass media, and other forms of hegemony, but once you're out of those woods and into the wilds of the human mind, hyper-analyzing every single piece of information

    available to you, analyzing the analysis, the ambition becomes an enemy. At first you don't want to believe that it could have led you astray, so you push yourself further and

    further, convinced that there will be another breakthrough....but it doesn't come.

    This song begins at the beginning of the end of the journeyer's rope....they are beaten down by the prospect of a lack of understanding, trapped between the ambitious drive and

    the complexity of the information being derived. The mind, knowing its predicament quips "ignorance is bliss", and surely some koan suggests neglect leads to perfection

    (conventional wisdom, which was once only a hindrance has now become sage advice....but the ambition won't allow you to take it).

    The journeyer feels isolated, having separated his mind from his culture, his people, and the more he turns away from them, the greater his temptation to just end it all, end

    the rush of information that won't let him sleep. A knife of relief, from all the petty insight (the wisdom that ambition provided him is now rendered meaningless, because

    there's too much to handle), and finally I'll sleep....

    The journeyer's thoughts have exploded into unchanneled anger. Bored as fuck on a street corner, watching people as a front to hide his inner thoughts, while surveying language

    (the medium through which thoughts are received) as a plague (human language simply is not powerful enough to accurately transmit the volume of information). The dimension of

    persistance condemns (again, the ambition is his downfall).

    This portrait of karma, crafted in accident (From the journeyers subjective perspective, the true vision of karma is crafted; not of a positive correlation between

    effort[ambition] and reward, but a vision of futility which breeds feelings of injustice, which is even more maddening to the journeyer because there was NO way to predict

    it[crafted in accident]). Textbook seduction, minus the text in the language of ghosts (he's been lead here by information, only he's ignored any information not derived from

    his own mind, again adding to his isolation).

    And so we ran, like the wolves were biting (reaching the end of the rope), the inhibitions of their prey kept them from screaming "scratch my back and I will stab you in yours!"

    (Fear of the rush of information at his back combines with self-righteous rage, but ultimately fear wins, his inhibitions prevent him from fighting against it).

    So I choose to live this life alone (acceptance of the isolation), without the teethmarks (constantly running from the information rush), but I predict, I'll have to sink my

    fangs in someone else's heart to heal my own, just a victim's split, one part for the wolves, one part for you (the mind is beginning to split; the journeyer is realizing that

    he is going to need to begin again to rely on the information of people in order to fix his mess, but won't open himself up to them enough to allow them to help him against the

    wolves[information], his ambition still relentless, wanting to defeat the wolves, retain self-pride).

    But I'll grow weary soon, weary of this fractal code, weary of this hallway lined with ghosts (journeyer is getting tired of running from the information [fractal in nature],

    and also of running from the ways of the past; weary of having to wade in the water [hallway lined with ghosts].

    The journeyer's anger is turning to despair, as his mind slowly begins to break (just a scratch upon the skin, a drop of blood to let them in, these words will cause the sweetest fracture from a stone's throw). Even as the building blocks of his mind-state are crumbling under the weight of doubt (spirits mingling in the mist that we crafted), his ambition still provides the energy for a last gasp of defiance against the parasitic ghosts; though they've breached his walls, and are ready to feast, he won't give in to the old way (let them eat shit from our trembling hands).

    The journeyer hits rock bottom as the despair fades, leaving the willpower only for physical sustenance (The heat for heat's sake, on this Barnard block of Congress[Barnard and Congress are streets that intersect in Savannah; the journeyer hasn't left the street corner]) and unbiased contemplation, at first just to make light of the situation (deductively speaking, the polar of progress[a self-deprecating joke about congress, one of the street names in view being the opposite of progress, which perfectly fits his mental situation), and then a sort of anti-climactic epiphany: his ambition blinded him to the fact that the information he was running to was not a polar opposite of the information he was running from (another allusion to progress vs congress), in fact they were the same, only separated by context (the old information was kept alive by the faithful, and it was only his faith that the old information was wrong that lead him to the new information; both based on faith). [Well maybe I placed too much faith in the accident. Entranced, we dance towards the ripest display of escape].

    Upon this discovery, the journeyer ceases to care about anything (let them all feast, from these flesh and these bones). He's left now feeling smaller, more isolated and even more curious and overwhelmed at what this reality has got to offer, and has to relinquish control and simply watch it all in motion (In this chess game of language, forced to sit so I play all alone), which is how he'll ultimately learn from his mistakes and begin the journey anew (watch the bathos drift forth like the petals from a wild crafted rose )
    erikmclennanon November 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think most of you are looking at this song as if thats all it were. Erik got it pretty close, but took the song too personally and inflected too much of his own thinking.

    To anyone who thinks this song is about being denied popularity or being tempted by an in-crowd.. smack yourself over the head and grow up. Because that's an insult to the nature of what this song is about.

    It IS about contempt for manking, but as Erik suggests, its after reflection and meditation; the reality of existing on earth with human beings, and what that really means, comes as a shock and causes this non-objective portrait of karma.

    In the album jacket, there's a brief synopsis of the story. Basically, it says, this is a story of self realization. Which implies a new understanding of ones-self. But it also implies a new understanding of those around you; the differences and the parallels. To realize suddenly that the people you accepted and tolerated are in fact using your energy and ambition for their own tired purposes, be they pride, success, contempt.

    Just a scratch across the skin, a drop of blood to let them in.

    Playing their game means that the slightest imperfection or vulnerability is grounds for them to get under your skin, effectively shaping how you act (To appeal to the highschool-minded people, if you stumble or your voice cracks, they feel justified to laugh. You accept that justification.)

    Just listen to the song, and listen to what is being said. This is a very complex subject for anyone to tackle and they do it masterfully. It's about the disparity between the people who believe in drive, goals, and excellence, and the people who seek meaning through others, be it through ridicule, torment, bribery, manipulation, or compliance.
    Al_Siraton November 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of my most favourite songs of all time. Beautiful. A masterpiece.
    Inoue versus Dateon January 31, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree....the line "well maybe I put too much faith in the accident" is just so beautiful...
    SMUSER167088on May 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is awesome. the intro is beautiful & the lyrics are so well written, though some of them don't make so much sense to me hah.
    ___TERRORon September 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto terror:
    there is a story behind the album.
    it's about a story of self discovery, the intro track of whistling is the character just,well whistling and then the album builds up as you travel, i imagine that 'as the roots undo'is the peak(though don't quote me on that) and then it carrys on and eventually you find that you are right back when you started from, hence the last track is the tune of the whistling.
    hope this helps :)
    fightoffyourdemons.on September 29, 2004   Link

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