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Reflection by Tool

Album: LateralusReleased: 2001
  • Images in a reflection are dependent on the type of light cast upon them. In this song, the singer reaches what he thinks is the end of his pitiful existence, when he looks to the moon, has an epiphany and realizes that we are all one. There is nothing impossible, and if it is conceivable, than we can achieve it through a higher level of consciousness. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jonathan - Chattanooga, TN and Ed - Gardena, CA
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Comments: 9

Talking about the song "Disposition", I seem to remember several times when I've been angry at someone and were arguing and arguing incessantly for a long time. Then, suddenly, there's nothing left to say, realizing that nothing good is coming out of the argument and the anger. In those moments I've come to think that I don't really care who's right or wrong, I just want to be happy with that person again. But there's that silence again, after all the fighting... not knowing what to say. Cowardly, not having the courage to say anything, I think something similar to the lyrics "Mention this to me. Mention something, mention anything." I think, "Just say anything and I swear I'll let this thing go. Please say anything so that we can start a different conversation. I won't keep fighting. I don't want to keep fighting. Just say something and I'll follow so that we can change this mood we're in." You know how people that don't really have anything to say or just want to avoid awkard moments start talking about the weather? Like, "Nice weather were having today!" Just to break the ice or the awkard silence. "...and watch the weather change." You can mention something, mention anything at this point and the "weather" (mood, atmosphere, situation) will change because I don't want to be mad. Again, its just that I don't have the guts to start the conversation after everything I've said in the fight or argument we just had.Tito - Monterrey, Mexico
To me this song is part of one big story with four songs in it.
Most of the Tool listeners know about the fibonacci-sequence in the trackorder. For those who don't know:
http://members.tripod.com/hunk_o_manwich0/ . This site gives a pretty good illustration of the alternative trackorder.
If you watch the alternate trackorder you can see it goes like this:
- disposition
- the Patient
- Reflection
- Triad

My story begins here.
For me the story begins with Disposition. The lyrics are quite simple. The only lyrics in it are these:
"mention this to me
mention something
mention anything
mention this to me
watch the weather change"
These lyrics give me a sense of... well... frustration or something. Everybody keeps on mentioning everything and keeps having an oppinion but nothing changes. The weather is still changing in a bad direction. This can illustrate the story of his mom. Maynards mother died of a stroke. From own experience I can remember that, in a hospital, a hell of a lot is being said but often the situations gets worse and worse. Almost like these lyrics.
So let's continue with this thought. Maynard's mom had a stroke and is in the hospital where here situation get's worse and worse.
The next song follows...
According the alternative trackorder not reflection but the patient comes next. This song already makes sense by only reading the title. Maynard's mom became a patient in a hospital. If you read the entire lyrics (http://toolshed.down.net/lyrics/lateraluslyrics.php - song 3) you notice somebody that's keeping faith in something and continues waiting patiently. This is basically the same with somebody who had a stroke, is in the hospital and the situation get's worse and worse.
After this song 'Reflection' follows. This song illustrates to me the ending of a life. It's a reflection of a life that's almost done. Maynard propably descripes his mom almost going to die. The situation is thusfar that nothing can be done 'bout it. Triad is the instrumental end of his moms life.

To me these songs are about the death of his mom, the feeling of remorse and the crucifying feeling that nothing and nobody, most importantly himself, can help her.
This makes these four songs by far the most beautiful and sad songs of Tool. For any other thoughts or additional information, please reply.
Jeroen - Lisse, Netherlands
Its funny how disposition is right before this song on the album.In disposition maynard repeats "watch the weather change".What does this have to do with reflection? I infer that reflection is partyly about the Moon reflecting the sunlight when the weather changes.The moon takes some of the glory of the sun,not actually creating sunlight but reflecting it.Sean - Ontario, On
After watching the documenary "Manson" on the History Channel, I think the song has a strong connection to Charles Manson's philosophy. He told his followers to kill their egos so they could all become one.Peter - Pittsburgh, Pa
the lyrics and spiritual feel of the music, especially Danny on drums,have awakened me; a million waves of light have penetrated my soul tonight.Sean - Decatur, Ga
This song has a strong link to The Patient (Which I'm not going to go into). There's this person who has obviously had a depressing time in their life, all this individual craves to do is crawl away from the things that plague him. "Defeated I concede and move closer. I may find comfort here -- I may find peace within the emptiness... How pitiful", He explains how the burdens of life have him laying defeated in his own sorrow, and the only serenity to be found is within himself, in his "self-indulgent pitiful hole." But in his darkest moment of grief, he starts to reflect. He begins to understand the reasons for all this agony (Self-Reflection being the Moon, the actual reflective thoughts being "Light Reflections" that pass over him), and this river of knowledge streams to him endlessly. It rejuvinates his vitality as he begins to understand the reason for torment. This is the turning point, because now the man has had his revelation, he pulls his head out and crucifies his ego. He now understands all, and lays to rest his possibly hasty conclusions, and prays for the light, this source of serenity to lift him out of the whole he's crawled into -- Because even though he's had this revelation: the damage is done. He can only hope for it to be fixed, and now warns us all to not make the same mistake of wallowing in our miseries... At least, that's what I get from this. There's a million different ways to interperate any given Tool song, so figure it out for yourself eh?Steven - Jumba, Tx
I believe that this whole album is about self-reflection. "The grudge", about not letting resentments rob you of living life to it's fullest. "Schism", not letting lack of communication deteriorate our relationships. I also have a strong belief about much, if not all, of this album being about recovery, hence "The Patient". In it, Maynard says, "If there were rewards to reap, no loving embrace to see me through this tedious path I've chosen here I certainly would've walked away by now..... I still may", this could very easily mean that the road to recovery is hard but but I'm going to anyway because I know great things will come of it, but I have a reservation. If anyone has ever heard someone in recovery share their story then you woukld clearly see major similarities in "Reflection". I have come curiously close to the end, down beneath my self-indulgeant, pitiful hole". In the next line Maynard states, "Defeated, I concede and move closer, I may find comfort here, I may find peace within the emptiness. How pitiful." Surrendering to the program of either Narcotics Anonymous or Alcaholics Anonymous, to a new way of life. All of this is followed up by the A Perfect Circle album "The Thirteenth Step" which is about all aspects of addiction, from the first step to surrendering to a new way of life, the "unknown".Steve - Kettering, Oh
This is one of my favorite Tool songs, so thanks for your mythological references in the interpretation of this song... it adds to my thoughts about it. I always thought that he was trying to banish some demons from his soul by writing it, because I know his ego must be overinflated by now.Keri - Longmont, Co
This song makes numerous references to the myth of Echo and Narcissus. Echo, a nymph I'm pretty sure, was in love with Narcissus, but he was too in love with him self and just stared at his REFLECTION (nice) in a pond in the forest until he "pined away." I think this song is definitely about infatuation and conceitedness, yet MJK speaks how one muse overcome and "crucify the ego" before it's too late, thus leading us to realize how much potential we truly have.Patrick - Collingswood, Nj
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