What does That Old Black Hole mean?

Dr. Dog: That Old Black Hole Meaning

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Album cover for That Old Black Hole album cover

Song Released: 2012


That Old Black Hole Lyrics

I put on my clothes like a bodyguard
I send my dogs on patrol in my own backyard
I don't want to fight, but I'm constantly ready
And I don't rock the boat, but it's always unsteady

There's and elephant in my head
And I tiptoe around...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 1st 2016 !⃝

    To me this song is about or derives from an experience of kensho, or of a deep insight into life, and is about a spiritual experience.

    Alan Watts interpretation of the method of Zen Buddhism's teachings is that it 1.) ask students to be zealous about answering questions, and 2.) provides double-binds and paradoxes to students. The idea would be that the student believes that there is an answer, and it can be found, but in attempting to answer impossible questions eventually exhausts all of his or her reserves. Once all reserves are exhausted the student can then break through everyday experience into a new way of thinking. The idea being that you are forced to provide an imperfect answer, but that you're so exhausted you don't even care that the answer is imperfect and that is enlightenment, instantaneous and direct. The imperfect answer that is fully accepted as complete is the perfect spontaneous answer.

    This song is riddled with evidence that the writer had this sort of experience. There are all of these contradictions:

    With the sun in my eyes
    I step into the night
    Like the mystery in the dark
    Oh, it's just another kind of light

    Highly suggestive of a problem presented to the writer that the writer earnestly attempted to solve, and then eventually let go of himself for not solving and allowed himself to simply be a human.

    Lines like:

    Who am I to tell the truth?
    I don't even know what it is.

    Suggest that the author has attained a very special truth, the truth of non-truth.

    Also there is a persistent suggestion of deep sincerity:

    There's a tender heart
    Inside that ugly armadillo
    "These are tears of joy, "
    Cried the weeping willow


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