What can we learn about the Tool song "Pneuma" from a licensed therapist?

Taylor Palmby has become a YouTube sensation for her work with the HeartSupport organization, offering her analysis of certain heavy bands' music and videos and she's previously been featured on this site breaking down the works of Slipknot. But for this latest video, she's taken on the task of analyzing another of rock's revered bands, Tool. In fact, she's giving us some insight into the group's Fear Inoculum favorite, "Pneuma."

READ MORE: Therapist Concludes One Thing After Watching All Slipknot's Videos

How "Pneuma" Makes the Therapist Feel

Part of the fun of reaction videos is watching how the person responds to the music that they're taking in, and early on within this exercise, you can see Palmby taking in the musical side of what Tool are laying down.

She repeatedly calls the music "vibey," and comments at one point that the song "feels like a lullaby" In addition she shares that she feels she could really get into meditating using the song as backing inspiration.

Breaking Down the "Pneuma" Muse

Once Maynard James Keenan's vocals arrive well into the epic Tool song, Palmby takes a moment to analyze the title. "I think Pneuma, I think breath, because I think pneumonia and that is a disease of the breath." She then looks into the definition of the word, noting that "pneuma" is the "vital spirit or soul for the force of a person."

What We Can Learn From Tool's "Pneuma"

The lyrics clearly strike a chord with Palmby, as she notes of Tool, "I like how they're taking a lot of spiritual and metaphysical and infusing it in their lyrics. It has just has such a deep meaning. Even using the word 'Pneuma' I think is really cool. I have a lot of respect for Tool and I think that they have such a wide range of messaging that is very deep."

She then hits on a central theme, adding, "What I really like about this song is the idea that we are all one spark. Sun becoming. We all have a spark of light within us and it's this call, 'Child, release your light. Release your spark. Let your light shine. Let the pneuma in your shine. Let your soul shine.'"

She adds, "If you have breath, and we all have breath, then you have a shiny spirit. You have a soul. And I think when people are struggling, they feel like they're disqualified from having or shining their light. This song shows that it's fundamentally a part of being human to have light within you in the same way that it is to breathe and that it is a universal part of the experience. Another part is that we all have this universal spark of light within us, which I think is really beautiful."

The therapist, who later admits her own battles with depression, suicidal thoughts and sexual and emotional trauma, feels that the song is an important one that those struggling with mental health issues can and should embrace.

"I think this song is so important for people that are struggling, because when we are struggling with mental health, we often feel like our light has completely gone and been extinguished. It's not. It's just been forgotten," says Palmby. "So we need to remember our light and remember that light has so many different frequencies and so many different colors and so many different ways it can shine. So being a person who is experiencing pain doesn't disqualify you from having light. It informs you about the type of light that you can shine."

Tool, "Pneuma"

The Music Feeds the Message

Within the discussion of "Pneuma," Palmby taps in to how the music supports the message. During a midpoint shift in the song, she points out how Danny Carey's tribal sounding drums accentuate what the band is sharing.

"It's like this light has always existed in us generationally from the beginning of time," she explains.

Elsewhere, she notes how there are many "building" moments of flow within the song that feel like the growing of light, even proclaiming at one point that she envisions "the light shooting out of me."

The Big Takeaway

"i just love this reminder of even if your light feels dark that does not mean that you do not have light. Having light, having a spark within you is as fundamentally true to your being as having breath in your lungs," says the therapist of Tool's "Pneuma."

"I think that the gift of this song is this reminder that even if you feel that your life is dark, you still have light and your pain does not disqualify you from having light, from having purpose in your life. It informs the type of light that you can shine. It literally shines light on the path of your purpose. You still have it, even when life is hard. Even when it's dark, you still have light to shine. You still have something that other people around you need. Going through something does not take that away. It just informs the type of light."

She concludes the chat encouraging those who are inspired to share their light to volunteer and how HeartSupport can help train you to assist others. Check out therapist Taylor Palmby's analysis of Tool's "Pneuma" below.

Therapist Reacts to Tool's "Pneuma"

10 Signs You're a Fan of Tool

Gallery Credit: Jordan Blum

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