"In my view, the song is a statement proclaiming that only when we cure the problems that the world presently suffers from can we begin to make things better for ourselves and for humanity."
"Are BR (jokingly) getting back at Fat Mike in this song? Anyone notice the blatant similarity of the first chords of this song to NOFX's Sticking In My Eye (album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean)? Mike did something like this twice with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes... Ripping the first chords of Generator playing My Favorite Things (from the album Are a Drag) and ripping Stranger than Fiction playing San Francisco (from the album Blow in the Wind)"
"I took the meaning as this: Epiphany doesn't happen. One may think it happens, but shortly thereafter the wisdom of the epiphany comes to seem as though it were merely a fleeting idea. Deep understanding is not something that suddenly hits you. It is a long process."
"An 'epiphany' is a sudden realization and understanding of the nature of all things that comes from a profound event or subjective experience. Religious people claim such 'epiphanies' consistantly when they talk of 'visions,' God talking to them, etc. When BR sings about 'The Fallacy of Epiphany,' they mean that subjective experience can fool you into thinking reality is something it is not, and that we have been led away (by our own minds) from the truth of who we are. It's really a song about taking these supposedly profound experiences, such as seeing God, with a grain of salt."
"This is a truly brilliant song. This song is attacking a static tenet of most organized religion. To illustrate, Christianity revolves around the idea that there is one fundamental truth in life, and consequently, anyone that happens to have a different view is wrong. This theory is premised on the idea of prophets and biblical revelations. In this song, Greg is stating that their 'epiphany' is inherently flawed. He asks why 'revelations always fade to cold blue untruths' and adds that truth and meaning are all relative to ones perspective, which directly contradicts the very notion of dogmatic religious montras."
"The line 'A new age of reason, brain treason to trick the mind, what good is searching if nothing's there to find?' is saying that looking for a new truth is pointless because there is no universal 'right', only different opinions. 'We arrive at this place of no return my brothers' is saying once you change a certain belief, there's no going back because your old truth no longer exists. 'What's right is wrong, what's come has gone, what's clear and pure is not so sure, it came to me. All promises become a lie, all that's benign corrupts in time. The fallacy of epiphany,' is pointing out the cons of an epiphany, how it totally turns everything you once thought to be true inside out. 'Come forth bear witness, see the profit from your loss. Beg for forgiveness only after you tally the cost,' seems to me like a confessional, like asking to be absolved for following the wrong religion. Tallying the cost refers to all the wars created and wasted lives by following a religion that isn't 'right'."
"I think Greg wants to explain about this stupid world, being threatened by human, coz' on the riff. it says 'What's right is wrong, what's come has gone, what's clear and pure is not so sure It came to me All promises become a lie, all that's benign corrupts in time (mountains don't stand the test of time) The fallacy of epiphany'. the fall of Human, where each other is give a shit to others."
"As for the possibility of the opening being a take off a NoFX song, one of my less enlightened friends (never listened to Bad Religion until that song) honestly thought it was a song off of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's 'Californication' album. After hearing that statement I agreed that it did bare some similarity. Regardless, I believe that this song is simply a statement that you can proclaim to have had an epiphany, but in essence you really just had a thought. An epiphany is, of course, the act of coming to a sudden realization of something profound or otherwise meaningful. To claim such a thing shows a bit of arrogance. It's as if to say that you're so intellectual you figured out the meaning of something in an instant. True understanding comes not from thinking, but experiencing. I think one of the greatest things about Bad Religion is that their music is never straight forward in its meaning. You can read into it as little or as much as you want. If all you want is some straight up, hard hitting punk rock music, well, you've got it. If you want something more, something deeper, you need only listen closely and ponder on the meaning. I've spent hours contemplating what a single song means, and still never came to a satisfying conclusion. That is a good thing, actually. For once a man (oops. Gotta be 'PC'.), person claims to have learned everything that there is about something they tend to stop reaching out for more knowledge. By writing songs that challenge our intellect they are doing more good than simply making us aware of certain aspects of our lives. They are causing us to become more considerate, more observant, and more open minded."
"In response to Coert, Graffin said in SF that they stole the chords from NOFX. There didn't seem to be any sarcasm or disgust. They're probably just feeding each other out of respect."
"First of all, I would like to begin my interpretation with a praise for this song. While it is a slower and more melodic composition, slightly more intense than broken, it is, in my opinion, the highlight of the CD. The music and lyrics compliment one another in a very spiritual way, which may seem antithetic to the message of the song, but true in a manner of speaking. While all of Bad Religion's songs are fabulous in their own respects, some stand out not only for the message the lyrics convey but also for the visceral response the music provokes from the listener, and this is one of those songs. On to the interpretation: this song really has no 'hidden' meanings, per se. If anything it abounds in clarity, which is why I was a bit hesitant to offer an 'interpretation.' Be that as it may, a quick note on some of the lyrics may be in order. The idea of 'brain treason' tricking the mind is expressed so quaintly, but it is powerful. Despite the seemingly endless 'age[s] of reason' that dawn on man, and despite our struggle to accept or reject the new principles while weighing our commitment to the old principles, the bottom line is: 'If there is no answer, then why search?' I find this notion to be in line with Bad Religion's well-known skepticism and antipathy for the proposition of absolute truths, but the life of Bad Religion, and man in general, has been marked by an endless search for what can be known, and it will, in my estimation, continue unabated. In despairing that nothing is there, as the song certainly expresses, it drives man to an even more ardent search for something secure and absolute, despite his skepticism of it. Believing the answer has been found fosters complacency and arrogance. The chorus of the song is powerful and clear, 'What's right is wrong, what's come has gone, what's clear and pure is not so sure.' This superbly expresses the harsh reality of transitory truths and changing interpretation. The echo following these three lines, 'It came to me,' is the conviction and description of epiphany, a manifestation of 'truth' that suddenly appears. The song attempts to express the fallacy of this kind of belief system, or of any belief system that claims special revelation that winds up fading 'to cold blue untruths.'"
"At the time being I am a little confused about the song but still have some understanding which I think could be beneficial. The 'Age of Reason' from 1660 to around 1800 took place in England. It was a time when peoples' minds started deviating from the previous train of thought (being why and not how). With the new trend being one where society was looking for answers to the questions and mysteries of the world, religion began to take a back seat among more and more people. In fact, Alexander Pope wrote 'Essay on Man' which I think Greg might make reference to in the chorus. The contradiction I am finding is where he is stating 'the fallacy of epiphany' (relating to treason tricking the mind) but at the same time talking of this period where the movement was away from the traditional supernatural explanations. Perhaps my outlook on his reference to the age of reason is wrong and he is speaking of a more recent alteration in ways of thinking. Any ideas or answers you have that could help clear up my interpretation would be appreciated."
"Epiphany may be the best song on 'Process of Belief'. It presents a very relativistic view of knowledge. The things that we are most certain of today may be revealed as untrue tomorrow. We grasp at simplifying concepts to explain the disorder around us, but these epiphanies are fleeting. Life cannot be easily categorized into black and white (e.g., right and wrong), and the things that we look to for hope (e.g., the pure, the benign) are all impermanent as well. We insist on tricking ourselves into these false beliefs to make life easier ('our minds have led us away so far from the painful truth of who we are'), but ultimately it only limits our potential ('our values ran us aground on the shoal in the sea of what we could be')."
"This song is cool because it's completely contradictory to itself. To me, it proves how epiphanies can happen, and how logic can't explain everything. The lyrics suggest that he suddenly realizes that epiphanies don't happen. But he realizes this in the form of an epiphany. To me, it shows that they do happen, and logic just can't explain it. It's on a higher level, one we can't explain, i believe this is Christianity."
"I heard Brett say that the chords in the intro are actually common chords that are used a lot so they weren't really trying to rip NOFX off, it just kinda happened. I believe this was on 'Loveline', a nationally syndicated radio show."
""New Age of reason, brain treason to trick the mind" -This is talking about how people are believing that it is reasonable that an absolute right and ground breaking decision can come at any time. It states how this can't happen and your brain is abandoning you and tricking you into believing these crazy thoughts about anything and everything can possibly be the absolute right which can not exist. "Only to discover that our minds have led us away so far from the painful truth of who we are." -The thoughts that just hit us and are supposed to be ground breaking is taking us away from actually believe the one absolute truth that ever has been or ever will be that everyone can agree on. We are all people and therefore have our own opinions and beliefs on everything. No one person is right. It's all about what each person thinks is right. "What's Right is Wrong"-What one person thinks is right. Another thinks is wrong. We can never have one uniform belief of what is right and wrong in the world. "What's come has gone"-These ideas hit us and we believe with all our heart that it is right. But another idea hits us and suddenly our past belief we were so sure of has disappeared and we have new ideas on life. "What's clear and pure is not so sure"-Like above, what we once thought was obviously a right and perfect thought without any doubts in our mind has now become something that we aren't sure of how perfect it really is. "All promises become a lie all that's benign corrupts in time."-The world can never be perfect with everyones differing thought and every changing beliefs. All promises about doing one thing to create a great world is now thought of as being wrong and is now a lie. People think it can't be. And they change there thoughts. Things that we once thought were not bad have corrupted because people think differently. Thought processes change. And in time what once was good and pure are now bad and evil. "The profit from the loss"-The knowledge that there is no one truth that is uniform in the world. "Values ran us a ground"-We thought something was great and right but it now is thought of as a bad thing. "If it's real to me do I have to prove it to you"-One person has an Epiphany and believes it's true. But others don't think the same way. But people keep thinking that they are right because it seems so true and pure. But others think it is the exact opposite. "The Fallacy of Epiphany"-One large belief of truth crashes and becomes bad. No idea can last forever as truth and be thought of as truth to everyone. And Epiphany will never stand. It can never be true. THE BIG PICTURE: We are all different and trying to believe that there is one real true belief is pointless. There will always be different people with different beliefs. Everyone is unique so an epiphany of one person can't be an absolute truth. I think this is about battles based on beliefs. Such as 9/11 & War on Terrorism where the Al Quida believes America is evil and killing Americans is right. And the Americans believe America is right and killing is evil. And also the war between Isreal and Palistinians. This shows us there will always be different opinions. No one man is absolutly right. The thought of truth can not exist."
"I think that even the fact that there are some similarities with other songs enhance the meaning of this song. For example, one can think, suddenly, that there is a similarity with another song by nofx or red hot chilli peppers. Is this not also a small epiphany on it's own, Which is later proved wrong when the song takes a different melodic course than the other similar songs. I think this also can reinforce the meaning that epiphanies aren't true"
-The Punk Rawker