Unthought Known



  • DangDangDangDang Posts: 1,551
    Pyg wrote:
    To all,

    I've really enjoyed reading all of your Thoughts Known or theorized--he he--about this phenom of a song. Below are some thoughts I've had after about 100 or so listens. This only hits on a few pieces of the song, but I absolutely think you must not overlook the last question Ed poses ("What ya givin?) because I think it is a real clue to the central theme of the song--service. So here goes:

    Unthought Known is a brave and vulnerable examination of the pain and loneliness of the depression that hits middle aged persons who've spent their lives establishing themselves through their careers and selfish desires only to realize that they have produced nothing of enduring value to mankind.

    Ultimately UK ends in an anthemic exaultation that the one true way to self-actualization (or spritual/Christian salvation) is to give of one's self through serving your fellow man. "Dream the dreams of others and you'll be no one's rival," the song's climax appeals. By choosing "rival" Ed cleverly communicates that you will not only avoid the conflict that plagues the spirit, but also expresses that you will be without "rival" in reaching the highest levels of self-worth and personal satisfaction.

    He also uses some beautiful imagery of the ocean and sky which invokes far-reaching and visceral reactions so many people have when contemplating the enormity of these beautiful gifts of nature.

    What a great song! My new PJ favorite!


    Enjoyed your interpretation of the song.

    It's so amazing how this song means very different things to different people. It's almost as if the song begs for the listener to apply it to his/her own life, because thats what everyone IS doing with it.

    The term "unthought known" is an actual psychological term given to those "thoughts" you have before you develop language, and although those thoughts exist, we can't actually tap into them fully because now our thoughts are language-based, but then they weren't--so we may be able to "feel" them, but can't properly "describe" them, at least not with words/language.

    "All the thoughts you never see" (the unthought known is your thoughts but you can’t “see” them as you can’t decipher them)

    Ironically, I never heard the term "making hay" before this song (the term make your money most while the money is to be made), but now I hear the term used alot. But when I first heard, "Breathing hard & making hay", it only struck me as life/death cycle. Breath--die (& decompose—you are literally making hay) (like "Cropduster"). and then the shout that common-places the “hay making” "YEAH, this is LIVIN'"

    What is the reason for life? Why, love of course. (Ed told us that a lot.) [sarcasm font] (I guess the bible did too) [end sarcasm font] Because you do only live once, the direction to be heeded “Look for love & evidence that you’re worth keeping” to me implies that one should spend their life with LOVE. It makes your life worth it. “worth keeping”. A total waste of the life that you only live once is when you are “swallowed whole in negatives”. That IS sad & sickening—leads to bad things—bad feelings & sickness.

    And while you’re living with love, you’re giving it, and filling the air up with it. “Black with starlight”. (hmmm. With all that starlight, why is space so black anyway?… If light travels the great distance to reach our eyes, doesn’t it also travel in all directions…then why so black? Just a hmmm.)

    If the line “feel the sky blanket you” is a metaphor for when you die, the line seems to be reminding us that it’s NOT the EARTH that will blanket us, but rather the SKY!

    This life death cycle also plays out in the "nothing left, nothing there" part AND with the path cut to the moon part AND also in the "see the waves on distant shores, awaiting your arrival" part.

    I DON'T KNOW WHY I grabbed a book "Teach only Love" off the library shelf about a month ago. Two kids hanging off me & I just grabbed it. In it is described how we are all connected to each other whether we like it or not. And it used the metaphor (on pg 28 actually) that we are all a collective ocean & each individual is a wave, and we can't be a wave without the ocean. I immediately thought of the "waves" on the distant shore. The ones that are waiting for us.

    Coupled with my previous interpretations of the life/death cycle, when the "waves" of the song were interpreted into "people" (gone before us, but on distant shores waiting our arrival....us doing the moon walk), I was completely floored. Of course, when we enter into THAT state of consciousness, it probably does become apparent that all people are this "ocean" & thus rivalry is to also be at odds with our own selves. And when we see this big picture, this becomes apparent.

    We are all humans, we all seek happiness, we have similar goals—to better ourselves, to provide for & protect our families—we all have the same dreams. (Hard to see this big picture a lot, especially if we are “sinking” “deep” within ourselves)

    Most striking about this beautiful song is the last part. It goes hand in hand with one of my most favorite lyrics of all time (from the Flaming Lips)..."Do you realize we're floating in space". YES PEOPLE we are dangling in space.....La Dee Da...just hanging there. All by ourselves. LA DEE DA!

    So obviously YES we are in the distant time, a very distant place. What we take will only be known by us & will die with us. The only mark we will ever LEAVE is the one that we give. ("So whatcha.......")

    AND YET, we are all born knowing all this. But we don’t know it.
  • dannakinskydannakinsky los angelesPosts: 41
    Does anyone here by any chance know where I can find all of the EV lyrics ?
    Specifically from the BluRay concert, but also in general.
    Thanks !

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  • BhagavadGitaBhagavadGita Posts: 1,748
    Ms. Haiku wrote:

    another thought....

    if you dream the same dream as other men, you are not distinguishing yourself, you are being just like everyone else...you will not be anyone's rival, b/c you'll be the same, not stand out, unworthy of challenge.....sounds negative, but also can be positive, to spur you on TO think your own thoughts, have your own dreams...

    for me, within the context of the positivity i feel within the rest of the lyrics, and delivery of the lyrics....i think it's all positive. that's what i *feel* from the words and music. but again, that's just me.

    gawd...i love this shit.
    thank you all for these awesome discussions...and thank you pearl jam, as ever. :)

    Hmmm..you mean to imply that if I am too concerned with helping others that I never end up dreaming my own dream as if I am giving it away to others?
  • I read some of the thread, not sure if this was mentioned, but it I think this is a song to his daughter. Our first impressions in life are from our parents, and they can be long lasting. I am getting mixed up in thought here, but parents want the best and what we have carried can be good or not, parents may unknowingly in their effort for the best may do some harm. I think this song is just a conscious effort to impress good upon a child.
  • actonplpactonplp MainePosts: 173
    I like a lot of the Backspacer songs, but for some reason, I had disregarded Unthought Unknown & never put it into my Pearl Jam favorites playlist. I sure am glad they played it at the Worcester 1 show though, otherwise I would have never given the song the second chance it deserved. It’s in the playlist now!
    Aug. 05, 2016 - Fenway Park, Boston
    Oct. 15, 2013 - Worcester, Massachusetts
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