"Parabola" is a song by the American rock band Tool, the song was released as the second single from their third studio album Lateralus. It was released in 2002 as a promo only, however, on December 20, 2005, the single was re-released, which includes the song and a DVD containing the music video and an optional "dual" audio commentary on the video by Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys fame. The dual commentary consists of two separate recordings of Biafra's voice, one playing in each stereo channel. The DVD was released alongside a DVD single for "Schism" as well.
In support of this promo single, a music video was released – clocking in at over ten minutes because of the inclusion of the 3-minute "Parabol" lead-in (a separate track on the album set right before "Parabola"). The last note in "Parabol" can also be heard at the beginning of "Parabola" in Guitar Hero: World Tour. It was directed by Adam Jones and, like other Tool videos, includes several abstract scenes (which can be seen on the single art). These include humanoids meeting and cutting pomaceous fruit, then vomiting a black liquid in a circle. Another scene features interactions between a small stop-motion creature and a human (played by English musician Tricky). The small creature calls out to the man for help but is crushed by The Berry. The man dissects the creature's body, then wanders into a forest and encounters a leaf that turns into a flaming eye.
The man then sees himself as transparent, with all the internal functions of his body visible. Two flaming eyes appear and begin to fly around his body. As the eyes glide about, lotus flowers symbolizing the "Chakras", begin to line up in the center of his body. The two flaming eyes then join together on his forehead to form a "third eye" and the man is assimilated into an endless, glowing pattern. The whole sequence could be a visual presentation of a mystical experience called "Kundalini awakening", in which a mystical energy or force called Kundalini rises through two intertwined channels within the body. The glowing pattern at the end would present an experience of "oneness", an idea referenced in the lyrics of the song "Reflection" from the same album ("And you will come to find that we are all one mind").
Painter Alex Grey created the design and was deeply involved in the animation from the beginning of the flaming eye sequence through to the end of the video.