at last it started in the middle

beginning as it all begins, it forsook the source of things.

and that which flowed over that which stayed, it made the choice to form a standing wave.

it leaned the out against the in, unfolding in a place to call its own.

and it gently draped six senses over this house of cards that it built, and opened ground to the roots of touch and let them in.

incredible sensations

it was the insatiable feeling of a feeling of insatiable desire.

and all that it could do was hold tight to that that it was not.

it told itself it needed names and in so doing it became.

this is the birth that everyone is always talking about. the one assumed but not remembered.

but death does not forget.
the end will remind it to cure it of itself.

Lyrics submitted by toadtws, edited by sufyan

Twelve Fold Chain song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so meaningful to me, talking about life and death and all that comes in between
    BlackGhoston September 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentKinda transcendental at the end, making a mention that nature will cure itself of its creation(man) by the way of the natural life cycle. Other than that I think this is an amazing song of humanistic metaphors and great lyrics of the life and death process (even birth)
    t4pyroon November 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Twelve Chains leading up to the Twelve Stages of Transcendent Dependent Origination

    1. Ignorance leads to choice.
    2. Choice leads to Consciousness.
    3. Consciousness leads to Name and Form.
    4. Name and Form lead to the Senses.
    5. The Senses lead to Contact.
    6. Contact leads to Sensation.
    7. Sensation leads to Desire.
    8. Desire leads to Attachment.
    9. Attachment leads to Existence.
    10. Existence leads to Birth.
    11. Birth leads to Death.
    12. Death.

    or as Buddha himself said, "Thus, monks, with ignorance as proximate cause, volitional formations [come to be]; with volitional formations as proximate cause, consciousness; with consciousness as proximate cause, name-and-form; with name-and-form as proximate cause, the six sense bases; with the six sense bases as proximate cause, contact; with contact as proximate cause, feeling; with feeling as proximate cause, craving; with craving as proximate cause, clinging; with clinging as proximate cause, becoming; with becoming as proximate cause, birth; with birth as proximate cause, suffering" the twelve fold chain (as named by The Books) are the aforementioned obstacles which give way to the Twelve Stages of Transcendent Dependent Origination which ultimately leads to enlightenment. The twelve fold chain is not the end of Buddha's idea, he goes on to say "with suffering as proximate cause, faith; with faith as proximate cause, gladness; with gladness as proximate cause, rapture; with rapture as proximate cause, tranquility; with tranquility as proximate cause, happiness; with happiness as proximate cause, concentration; with concentration as proximate cause, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are; with the knowledge and vision of things as they really are as proximate cause, revulsion; with revulsion as proximate cause, dispassion; with dispassion as proximate cause, liberation; with liberation as proximate cause, the knowledge of destruction." Or in other words,
    The twelve stages of transcendent dependent origination consist of:

    (1) suffering which gives rise to
    (2) faith which gives rise to
    (3) gladness (or joy) which gives rise to
    (4) rapture which gives rise to
    (5) tranquility which gives rise to
    (6) happiness which gives rise to
    (7) concentration which gives rise to
    (8) the knowledge and vision of things as they really are which gives rise to
    (9) revulsion (or disenchantment) which gives rise to
    (10) dispassion which gives rise to
    (11) liberation (or emancipation) which gives rise to
    (12) the knowledge of the destruction of the defilements.

    This proves the assumption made by many, that the The Books' lyrics which are commonly thought of as random and/or nonsensical often contain a strong Buddhist undertone. As for songs like "An Animated Description of Mr. Maps" I'm relatively sure most of that is just random.
    benpston May 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot only do I agree with the post about the Twelve Stages, but if you look into the context of the lyrics, it also seems to be talking about the human brain.

    1-4: the brain unfolds, growing in a place to call its own (the cranium of a foetus)

    5-6: the brain drapes 6 senses over what will become the incredibly fragile psyche, the human condition, by connecting fully to the spinal cord, allowing full feeling.

    8: our unending quest for discovery and companionship, the love of people that are like us, but not us.

    9: Reference to the fact that the brain technically named itself "the brain" upon its discovery as the control system for the body

    10: In the end, the brain cures itself of its suffering by dying.

    Just a thought
    Cassbopeepon August 22, 2012   Link

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