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Kansas: The Wall Meaning


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The Wall Lyrics

(Kerry Livgren / Steve Walsh)

I'm woven in a fantasy, I can't believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little
more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me, a...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Dec 31st 2012 report

    Like all great artists, the band has been led both consciously, and unconsciously to express a quintessential truth. Sometimes even, artists don't understand their true meaning and even better as we then know true inspiration guided their hand. Nothing against christians, but yes their is an influence, but this song goes deeper to a self-discovery of personal christ-hood. No blasphamy, read the gnostics text, and even Jesus said greater things than this you shall do.

    The first stranza -

    He's just like us, woven in a fantasy (this world we co-create and accept as true, by failing to discern a deeper truth) and in this "he can't believe the things he sees" filled will horror, and viloence and fear. "The path that 'he' has chosen now has led 'him to a wall". (This is going extremely esoteric and vedic, but bare with me) By his complicit agreement of his reality he has chosen to accept it and now he is faced with a choice "the wall" he no longer feels he can participate and his wall that he no longer feels like he is empowered to make choices. "And with each passing day 'he" feels a little more like something dear is lost." He believes he has lost his innocense, his ability to percieve and discover life on his own terms and he feels that the lack of this "loses" his own person. "It rises now before him, a dark and silent barrier between, All 'he' is and all that 'he' would ever want to be." The complicit acceptance of his reality has devested him of his god-given right to "name" things, hence create, yet, it is hard to understand from where he now stands and therefore, he cannot perceive what has happened. (hence the dark and silent barrier) He knows he is more, yet cannot, reconcile who he is with what he "beleives" is true. "It's just a travest, towering, marking off the boundaries my sprit would erase." Travesty is obvious yes, but it marks of his limited world view, ego-centric, world view by smaller and smaller boundaries, shrinking his life, and he knows this is not who his spirit is.

    Second stanza -
    "To pass beyond is what I seek." He not referring to literal death, he wants to pass beyond the limited scope of his own ego, so he can claim a grander god-consiousness, free from boundaries. "I fear that I may be too weak." Fear is the mind killer, fear is what make you weak, and yes, we all fear that when the moment comes, indecision will hang in the air, and we will fail to give our small lives (in selfishness) for something greater. "And those are few who've seen it through to glimpse the other side." Clearly, no offense people who thought death or christian crossing over was the key, because many have seen it through (death that is) But he is speaking about pundits, gurus, saints, yogis, buddhas. Very few have attained nirvana, and as such it makes it all more daunting to dare to accomplish this feat. "The promised land is waiting like a maiden that is soon to be a bride." This is a message of hope, the thing that keeps him climbing the "wall" because he knows consiousness is as eager to receive him as he is her. And that she is pure and ready to embark on a journey filled will love and bliss. "The momemt is a master piece, the weight of indecision's in the air." This represents the prefection of attainment. That until you are fully ready it could never happen and as such, is ordained by destiny in a way, crafted like a masterpiece and when you see it you'll know it by it's sign. Even so, ever doubt, hesitation and fear will be present to punctuate the moment, making it more prescient, more real. "It's standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that's me." The painting, the moment, the indecision, will encapsulate you life, it will be your entire life, in that moment, everything that exists for you (and hopefully you will cease and another will begin.) "It's just a travest, towering, blocking out the light and bliding me." Once again, this idea, this moment you are waiting for is holding you back, it is the longer for this sum of you which is blocking you and blinding you from the truth. (There is no loss.) "I want to see." Again, even with this, moment, fear, and weakness, and the knowledge that it is also the obstacle, he is still ready to desire freedom, to know truth, and it is this readiness beyond belief that will free him.

    "gold and diamonds cast a spell, it's not for me I know it well." The delights of life in all their various forms are the chains that bind him and he has experienced them all, yet he knows they are not that which fulfills him. "The riches that I seek are waiting on the other side." The true riches await after shedding owns personal ego, to open to a new level of consiousness. "There's more that I can measure in the treasure of the love that I can find." Coming close and without fail knowing that everything is shortcoming, he realizes that a love, grander than personal, is the most fulfilling and uplifting state. "And though it's always been with me, I must tear down the Wall and let it be." He realizes that he has always been this love, this christ being, that it is not something external, something to be sought, by something he has always been. that he must just step aside, by reliquishing his ego, and let his true being shine forth. "All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be, in harmony, shining, true and smiling back at all who wait to cross." By stepping aside, he steps into a co-create position will his highest will and god-consiousness. A beacon of hope for those still wrapped in the fear of thier small lives.

    "There is no loss." It doesn't matter when he breaks the wall, because we all will. Every struggle, every moment, every effort was toward this very purpose which is both fruitful and fulfilling, and unnecessary in the grander scheme of things. He was always this love and knows it now, yet the journey was awesome and created the moment of knowing yourself again.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 7th 2012 report

    Although Kansas is a rock band, many of there songs have Christian influence. The wall is about the struggle and decison to accept salvation... and what is really imortant.

  3. anonymous
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    Dec 2nd report

    If your read integral theory and Ken Wilbur, you soon realize that all people come to a "wall." Maslow, Kohlberg and others suggested that we face mental evolution that take people to various levels. It's neither good/bad - it just is. As a child you are egocentric and care about what you need/want. If you didn't we wouldn't be here. However, as your brain grows you may go up a level and become empathic. If mother's weren't empathic, we wouldn't be here. Livgren faced a wall down the road of choosing between being ethnocentric or world/integral. Call it gnosis, enlightenment, born again or what you will. The commonality is that at this point, a moral human realizes that values become more important than life. What do you value? Where is your "wall" that keeps you from being what you should/want to be?

  4. anonymous
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    May 18th 2018 report

    To me its all about the other side. We all will pass the wall sometime. I believe its all better over there. And we will all shine through. Just wait and see. JUST BELIEVE!!!! Thanks be to GOD!!!

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 13th 2018 report

    I think Mr Livegren was talking about trying to become a better person, even in the face of life's many obstacles. He spoke of being in a fantasy and also the temptations that come with wealth and success. (The wall being the obstacles...gold and diamonds being the temptations and that these things just bring false happiness. I believe it can be interpreted in a religious manner or simply as a man trying to better himself.

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 30th 2018 report

    I believe the Wall itself is Death as he states "The Dark and silent barrier between" What he is seeking on the other side is the spiritual world. This side is the physical world. Thus between the two worlds what else could that dark and silent barrier be?

    It can be interpreted many different ways by different people and only the author Kerry Livgren might be the only one who actually knows what the WALL is?

    It is such a cool thinking person's lyrics because he gives us the piece to the puzzle but we have to put it together. How cool?

  7. anonymous
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    Jul 7th 2017 report

    Great interitations of one of 70's rocks greatest songs. Kansas added some of the most heady lyrics to AmErican Rocks lexicons. As a child of the 70's, The Wall must be put into perspective of a generation the eschewed the values of their parents and felt betrayed by the Summer of Love hypocrisy. "Woven in a fantasy" refers to the hippy dippy b.s. that promoted doing drug and getting laid and shirking all responsibility. "Gold and diamond cast a spell, not for me, I know it well" refers to living up to our 70's parents expectations. The wall represents the pressures of the expectations that all people face. Tearing down the wall to, "let me be, all that that I was ever meant to be" is the key to bliss. You know what you want and are living the life. I actually see these people from time to time and they really are, "smiling back at all who hope to cross..."

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2016 report

    A powerful song by KANSAS about being disillusioned with things seen in this world and also as an inpatient believer in the afterlife that feels the more he is getting closer to ''Heaven's Wall'' the more it rises out of his reach and the more he needs to get high each time around, to go over and beyond the other side to see it's treasures of love promised, but he is afraid his body is to weak in the flesh and in The Way [as the wall] that needs to be broken down in order not to be afraid to be made stronger in The Spirit to cross over when the time is up.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  9. anonymous
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    Apr 3rd 2015 report

    The thing to also remember is Kansas was a band made up mostly of devout Christians. Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope would later appear on the 700 Club after being reborn but Kerry was always very devout.

  10. anonymous
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    Oct 7th 2014 report

    The song reminds me of when I was married and early in our marriage my husband lost his job. Twenty years later he still hadn't found a job. We talked about plans and what we would do once he had a job but the job never came. Unknown to me he was content to have me support both of us. The "Weight of indecision" had to do with how long it took me to decide to divorce him.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  11. mayvismay
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    Aug 7th 2014 report

    if you listen, very close i think you will agree that its about sucide. "the moment is a masterpeice" when my brother died at his own hand the song became attached to his death in such a strong way that i couldnt listen without understanding what my brother was thinking when he left us.its a great song either way...im a writer and if i could write like that. .. wow

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Jul 16th 2014 report

    This song, for me personally, represents the marriage I was in and "the wall" was my controlling husband. Each passing day I felt more and more of myself slipping away. I feared divorce because I had a child and the times being what they were, it was not an easy task to take on being a single parent. But I had to make that choice so I could grow as I was meant to be.

  13. anonymous
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    Jun 23rd 2014 report

    I somewhat agree with the person who wrote the 12/31/12 'epistle'. Nice job friend, but I think you entertain a problem by inserting the term 'christ' or 'christhood' into the equation. I am sure you were just at a loss at a term to express yourself more clearly; but maybe not. Anyway, excellent discussion, regardless.

    I almost thing that there is more Eastern and/or Gnostic thought involved here (of course, many of the things that Jesus supposedly said had Eastern/Gnostic leanings).

    Those of you old enough to remember will relate to what I say next and those who were not alive/aware then may profit. At the time Kansas came out, the 'culture' had gone through a transitional change in thinking: About war and nuclear annihilation, about civil rights, equality, fashion, morals, patriotism/nationalism, imperialism...EVERYTHING! But especially in the spiritual realm, we had gone from being an essentially Christian nation to a nation that now had access to other influences. Eastern religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, the beliefs of the Native-Americans. And those are the positive influences. There were other less desirable spiritual influences, like the rising interest in the late 60's and early 70's with astrology, the occult (hidden) arts, even devil worship. 1969 seemed like the who world had gone mad, people acting like they still lived in the 50's, but wild-eyed, swaztika-branded faces on the evening news along with the nightly body counts from Vietnam.

    And then there were drugs. Life would be better if they had legalized pot. But there was a sub-movement of the drug culture that sought to achieve enlightenment through the use of pot, peyote and LSD. I, though raised with a strong Christian influence, was one of these people.

    Bear with me now....

    One thing I experienced with pot was an altered, more appreciative view of the world around me. A sunset became a personal gift from God in its beauty and perfection and many was the time I thanked God for it.

    Another thing I experienced, with LSD, was the alteration of time. LSD is not for everyone, but I firmly believe my experience and knowledge of things spiritual helped me. The magical thing of LSD was that a second in time became a longer passage than you could ever imagine. (IS this what people refer to as "God's Time"?) Additionally, each action or sound or the words and music of a song took on a significance that one had not detected before! It was amazing. That 'moment' referred to in the song, might it be that stretched out moment when perceptions have been altered, be it by drugs or by meditation or whatever???

    "The moment is a masterpiece, the weight of indecision's in the air. It's standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that's me". That's a lot of things happening in that 'moment'.

    Now, in some Eastern thought, there is a scenario that when one's spirit leaves the body, one passes through a darkness ("a dark and silent barrier") where one might encounter a variety of spirits/personages/gods that try to (to shorten THIS epistle!) scare the living bejesus out of you to determine if you are worthy to continue on in the cycle of reincarnation...a dung beetle or a prince or a humble farmer? Like the Egyptian Ma'at where the soul is weighed on the scales with a feather on the other side.
    The passage has much to do with what your spirit has learned on earth and if you have prepared your spirit to make that passage.

    " It rises now before me, a dark and silent barrier between,
    All I am, and all that I would ever want be
    It's just a travesty, towering, marking
    off the boundaries my spirit would erase"

    I think we are all born in the image of God
    and, thus, have a bit of that divine spark within us. It takes a lot of soul searching, praying/meditation, casting off the elements of life and society that sparkle and shine, but eventually lead you into that 'fantasy woven', that diverts you from the truth of what life should be. God IS Love. God is not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc, etc. God is Love.

    Focus on what matters and you will get through the darkness and there will be 'No Loss".

    Sorry for this long and drawn out screed.

  14. anonymous
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    Dec 15th 2011 report

    It's about conquering fear.....

  15. anonymous
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    May 16th 2011 report

    It's about contemplating suicide and that crossing over is better than facing your life on this side.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. anonymous
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    May 14th 2011 report

    I believe it's about overcoming a big obstacle

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