Tool: AEnima Meaning
Song Released: 1997
anonymous Jan 3rd 2007 report
Very few of you mentioned Bill Hicks in your interpretations. A great deal of this song, along with Third Eye, are heavily influenced by Hicks' philosophy, and the album as a whole is dedicated to him. That may tie up some loose ends.
anonymous Jan 2nd 2007 report
Keenan openly says that this song is about his best friend and outstanding comedian Bill Hicks's philosophies. Bill Hicks released a comedy album called "arizona bay". The lyrics say "learn to swim, see you down in arizona bay." arizona bay is a concept hicks created to show what would be left after L.A. Falls into the ocean.
anonymous Nov 19th 2006 report
I have no idea how you idiots manage to log into the internet and access forums. It is blatantly obvious the entire song is metaphoric. I does not literally mean I want the world to drown, Think for a second. AEnema we have already determined means spiritual cleansing, now what would we drown in? Swim in? Comes down in the rain? Water! WATER WATER WATER! Purity, cleanse yourself in the renewing powers of water, wash away all the filth from you soul. L.A the spirtual anus of the world represents the spirtual anus of our souls, our souls are dirty and filth ridden, strip away all the bullshit with the cleansing powers of water.
MJK is saying the world needs a spirtual cleansing, the entire song is metaphoric, he says it himself "read between the lines", he's not talking about apolcalyptic cleansing or L.A literally, he is talking about the human spirit and it's need to be cleaned of all the filth that the world generates. Learn to swim in these cleansing waters, I'll see you there.
anonymous Nov 9th 2006 report
Aenima is a song about the fall of human kind. Mother nature is sick and tired of us humans fucking up her planet. Therefore, "mom", will flush it all away. Maynard James Keenan, you're a genius. He knows it's going to end. It's already started. Learn to swim.
anonymous Oct 1st 2006 report
I think that whoever said at the beginning had it right that aenima was a cleansing of the soul, but remember, you hav to take an enema up the ass. So MJK is saying that someone is going to shove all their bullshit up their asses, but it will clense them and create something new.
anonymous Sep 11th 2006 report
The song is certainly about living by your own standards.
The reference to LA is because it's the center of
superficial ideas of perfection that no one can obtain
that have been washed into our heads from the first
time we ever watched a television or read a magazine.
So learn to swim because the only way to cleanse it is
to flush it all away. Phuck smily glad hands they want
your money.. Phuck actors they want your attention.. Phuck
Hubbard or any religion, they want your compliance. Learn to
swim through the sea of bullshat because we're livin in it.
anonymous Aug 22nd 2006 report
Maynard's saying two things at the same time. For instance, "learn to swim." by this he means, on a personal level, that you shouldn't follow the crowd, and should just be yourself and independent. At the same time he is saying, on a statewide scale, that learning to swim would be a good idea if california sank and everybody would have to swim to arizona bay. In particular, I like the part where he says "fret for your latte, lawsuit,etc." because he's talking about how a lot of people (especially in l.A.) worry about the stupid meaningless shit in life(cars,jobs,anti-depressant medicine)that we could definitely suvive without. As for the "mom's gonna fix it all soon" part, he is talking about the apocalypse on a global scale. Mom = mother earth. And finally, the verse about smiley glad-hands is referring to politicians. Kudos to Tool - this song kicks ass.
anonymous Aug 21st 2006 report
"mom please flush it all away". When he says mom, he's refering to mother nature, I think he's just asking why hasn't mother nature done something to fix this place. Its time for change, drown l.A., "I can't imagine why you wouldn't welcome any change, my friend".
anonymous Aug 16th 2006 report
Every single person has been wrong so far. Keenan openly says that this song is about his best friend and outstanding comedian bill hicks's philosophies. Bill hicks released a comedy album called "arizona bay". The lyrics say "learn to swim, see you down in arizona bay." arizona bay is a concept hicks created to show what would be left after l.A. Falls into the ocean. He also has used the phrase "flush it away" when talking about l.A.
anonymous Aug 1st 2006 report
Its about forgetting all your materialistic shit cause when we all die its not gonna matter and by learning to swim he means that we need to look forward to armegeddon. Cause it is coming. And keep yourself busy to make yourself better to go to the place that you want to go, heaven or hell, cause when it happens and if your not ready you may just live in the firey pits of hell for the rest of your spiritual life, be ready....
anonymous Jul 26th 2006 report
Hes talking about how the world needs an enima, to get rid of all the shit, to cleanse the world of shit.. Get it????
anonymous Jul 10th 2006 report
L.A. is a nightmare city, as soon as it is flushed into the ground due to a major earthquake the better this world will be. I'm not a pessismist, you will understand that if you read between the lines. furthermore, the way most humans adapt to this urban living is ridiclous, such as insecure actresses, gun-toting-hip-gangster-wannabee's, and L Ron Hubbard clones (understand scientology to understand how much of this city living you would not only have to tolerate, but embrace if you were to be a hubbard clone).
I personally think that MJK is sick of everything and can't wait until the end of the world comes. He's probablly sick of reality and the media and how people are and how human beings are so into the useless crap in life and I think that he just wants every thing to go away.
anonymous May 23rd 2006 report
Im going to stick with the theory that it is about Los Angeles, though I think that it may be more of an expression of misanthropy in general. In addition to being a gag by Bill Hicks, Maynard uses Los Angeles because it is a typical "shithole" city, using the theory about California falling into the ocean to expresses a misanthropic fantasy.
"Dont just call me pessimistic, try and read between the lines." I found this line to be rather explicit: Although the dark lyrics may suggest something terrible out on the horizon, it is not terrible at all, but something to be celebrated, a collective "Aenima": the purging of, among others, retro freaks, junkies, "gun-toting hip-ganster wannabees," "insecure actresses," and other contemptible people in order to benefit society.
In short, I see "Aenima" as Maynard, in the grips of misanthropy, giving a vision of a sort of cleansing of the gene pool by killing off the worthless -- starting with L.A.
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