Monday, December 22, 2008

the meaning of 46 & 2

46 & 2 by Tool

original lyrics:

My shadow's
Shedding skin and
I've been picking
Scabs again
I'm down
Digging through
My old muscles
Looking for a clue

I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been
I've been wallowing in my own confused
And insecure delusions
For a piece to cross me over
Or a word to guide me in
I wanna feel the changes coming down
I wanna know what I've been hiding in

My shadow..My shadow
Change is coming through my shadow
My shadow's shedding skin
I've been picking
My scabs again

I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been
I've been wallowing in my own chaotic
And insecure delusions

I wanna feel the change consume me,
Feel the outside turning in
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and
Cleansing I've endured within

My shadow
Change is coming
Now is my time
Listen to my muscle memory
Contemplate what I've been clinging to
Forty six and two ahead of me

I choose to live and to
Grow, take and give and to
Move, learn and love and to
Cry, kill and die and to
Be paranoid and to
Lie, hate and fear and to
Do what it takes to move through

I choose to live and to
Lie, kill and give and to
Die, learn and love and to
Do what it takes to step through

See my shadow changing,
Stretching up and over me
Soften this old armor
Hoping I can clear the way
By stepping through my shadow,
Coming out the other side
Step into the shadow
Forty six and two are just ahead of me



I found this amazing interpretation somewhere on the internets, i wish i knew who wrote it so i could credit him.


This is one of Tool's most amazing songs, and really sums up the entire theme of ├ćnima. This song is about growing, changing, and moving towards the next level of human evolution and conciousness. It's deeply rooted in Jungian theory.

Basically, it's believed that there are three levels of human evolution and each has it's form of conciousness. There's the 1st level with 44 chromosomes. These are primitive peoples like the ancient aborigines in Australia who did not percieve anything outside of themselves. They only saw one large conciousness with no distinguishment between organisms. Then there's the second level with 46 chromosomes. That is us. We are a chaotic disharmonic conciousness that is basically used as a stepping stone between the first and third levels. The third level is 48 chromosomes. (Or 46 & 2, with 2 being the sex chromosomes x & y). This is the higher level of conciousness. Our destination.

But this is where the Jungian theory comes in. It is believed that you can not reach this third level of evolution without first delving into yourself and basically cleansing your conciousness for the next jump. That's where the Shadow comes in. The shadow is basically everything about that is unseen that you are uncomfortable with or hate. This is also known as the Anima (hence the name of the CD).

The last part of the song sums all of this up...

"See my shadow changing,
Stretching up and over me
Soften this old armor
Hoping I can clear the way
By stepping through my shadow,
Coming out the other side
Step into the shadow
Forty six and two are just ahead of me .."




4 comments:

Nick (CFKS) said...

Great post. I got the gist of what this song was trying to convey, but I had never heard of Jungian theory. So glad I read this.

Mr. Wright said...

Great song, great intended meaning, but here are the facts about chromosomes. Evolution doesn't always mean a higher chromosome count:

Number of Chromosomes:

Fern 480
The ultimate goal.
White Ash 138
Carp 100
Goldfish 94
Sweet Potato 90
Turkey 82
Chicken
Dog
Duck 78
78
78
Identical Triplets!
Horse 64
Cow 60
Silkworm 56
Cotton 52
Amoeba 50
Chimp
Tobacco 48
48
Identical Twins!
Human 46
Bat 44
Wheat 42
Soybean 40
Cat 38
Starfish 36
Apple 34
Alligator
Onion 32
32
Identical Twins!
Frog 26
Opossum
Redwood
Kidney Bean 22
22
22
Identical Triplets!
Corn
Marijuana
Carrot 20
20
20
Identical Triplets!
Lettuce 18
Honeybee 16
Garden Pea 14
House Fly
Tomato 12
12
Identical Twins!
Fruit Fly 8
Penicillium 2

Anonymous said...

good post, except -- and I see this repeated all over the place in regard to this album -- anima is *NOT* the same as the shadow. the two are both Jungian archetypes, and they represent different parts of our minds. the anima is a male's feminine aspect. the shadow is simply all of our untapped potentialities and denied thoughts (so it has both a light and a dark side to it). it can be thought of as very similar to the idea of the unconscious mind. the anima may be inside the shadow part of the self (repressed into the unconscious) before we integrate it into our true self, but it is not synonymous with 'shadow'. anima reintegration may be part of digging through one's shadow...but again, they're not the same. this reintegration, putting back together pieces of the mind that have been fragmented, is also one of the themes of the song Schism. Jung is key to understanding all of Tool's work, not just this song. also, this stuff is real, not just some made up hokum. very much worth looking into for your mental/spiritual health...psychodynamic therapy can help open up a way into this.

Starla said...

thanks for your input, anon. I am always looking for "ways" to delve deeper into the inner self.