(From Interface, published in Chicago and calling itself "devoted to the use of computers and other electronic devices as tools to create quality music and art. The microprocessor is a valid medium." This is the Summer 1995 issue; it was all written as one long paragraph originally, but I split it up at what I thought were logical points to make it easier to read)
This is a spoken-word essay by Youth, newly returned to the band, on chaos magick:
There's lots of different kinds of chaos magick; lots of different kinds of chaos theory, but to me, chaos is essentially the fundamental framework of the universe and, as far as I can tell, order comes out of chaos. Chaos comes out of order. You try and instill order, you get chaos. So I think you've got to understand the nature in which it works. That corresponds with a lot of ancient mysticism, but it's basically embracing the paradox you find within chaos, which quite often means you have to do the exact opposite to what you actually consciously think you're doing at the time.
I'm reading a book by Sitting Bull at the moment and it talks about the sort of American Indian/shamanistic traditions, and they would have to do that as well, interestingly enough. If their particular spirit guide, animal guide, was a buffalo, it'd give them a particular respect, but it also involved them going through traumatic, as a shaman, as a witch doctor, they'd have to go through arduous initiation and everything, because it was significantly heavy. Part of what they'd have to do was this sort of dichotomy thing, where in summer they'd wear winter clothes and in winter they'd wear summer clothes: this sort of opposite thing. Lots of techniques and methods around the world employ that. It's very Zen, it's very Sufi, there are aspects of Hinduism that embrace the opposite.
I actually have studied it to quite a great degree. I've written papers on it that I haven't published. One is called "Dichotomy Of Misinformation - Paradox", which is basically once you're aware and conscious of your own condition and what that is, how that rules your personalities - you've got all the many personalities that you employ - how much of these are formulated to your own ego conditioning, so to speak, rather than your real self. If you put it to a dichotomy because, if you know the real extent of that, no matter how aware or full you feel you are, if you're brought up in the West, it's a vast degree - let's face it, you were brought up in China, you'd have a Chinese personality. It's a different culture, it's a different consciousness. So our consciousness is Western. We kid ourselves that we don't get affected by advertising, we kid ourselves that we're part of the alternative, people who know what the real score on the door is, but we don't. That's the whole point I'm trying to make: we're so fucked up, we don't even know how fucked up we are until you actually have a "peak" experience, a near-life or near-death experience and you actually see what's going on around you. When you can perceive that, you can work with that, then you're getting into sort of mystical, spiritual realms, because you have to find a balance in the equilibrium, and that's what I'm trying to relate.
It's not about an arrival point, it's not about an absolute, and this is the whole thing about chaos, there's no absolute or final stopping off point in chaos, it's a continual thread. Our consciousness, our conditioning, right from the word "go" - from the beginnings of education, we've been rammed to believe in absolute, in facts, in rights and wrongs. So that's the main crux of the paradox: our subconscious desire, through conditioning, to sort of arrive at a place. And that's how advertising and media and capitalism work, because it constantly dangles a carrot of an arrival, a lifestyle, a life success, and you never arrive, which means you can continue buying into, you can buy your way into heaven - basically, we all buy into it. We may think we don't, but when you're in the supermarket buying your washing up powder, you'll go for the one you associate with the most familiarity, and even if you don't, even if you consciously go against the one you've seen advertised, that's affected you anyway, so we're all affected by it, whether we like it or not. I think once you realise that, you have to come to ... you have to make a few decisions about how you're going to deal with it, about how you're going to approach that. To me, I apply chaos absolutely, and that means I don't make plans. I concentrate on a direction because plans change.
I see my life, I see what I do, as a journey, akin to going from Liverpool to New York by steamer boat. That's my thread: from this year, from this day, each one of those is that journey. Now during that journey, I might come across some icebergs, I might come across some storms, and I might have to change plans, and I might have to change direction. But it won't matter, because I'll still end up in New York, because I'll know which direction I'm going in, and that's what I try and do, is focus on a direction. Because I have a direction, that gives me purpose. It doesn't worry me that paths change, it doesn't worry me that plans change. I don't ever let it affect me.
When I apply that to music, it doesn't really matter if it's bass or guitar. It doesn't matter what they're doing musically, actually. The last thing I think about when I'm recording music is music, and this is how it works in reality. Now this is the same with magick. It's almost impossible to discuss; you have to do it. You have to experience it. You can read about it, but it'll never be as you think. You can talk about it, but it's never quite what it was, what it is - you have to just do it. To just do it, however it means, to devote once a month - join up with a few friends and get your Ouija board out, you know what I mean? I mean do it and that means being aware and being conscious. That means raising your consciousness up to a heightened state yourself, without the aid of stimulants - or maybe some, but if you do it all the time, you're going to be reliant on it. Be able to do it yourself. Generate it within yourself. Molecular structure - get into your atomic structure, generate your own drugs, raise yourself up. Be aware, and then it doesn't matter if you're in a temple in a Tibetan or Himalayan landscape of infinite beauty or if you're doing the washing up in your condo in Brooklyn, because once your consciousness is that aware, you're part of everything, and that's where you see beauty in everything ... if you choose. I mean, you could become a cynic, get very bitter and see ugliness in everything through the same process, and that's where intent comes into it and that's what I focus on in music.
Music and your life - everything you do is in fact creative. People aren't aware that, when you speak, you're being creative. You're constantly in a flow of ... you're half being destroyed and you're half creating and building. Where you are at any time in time and space, you are in equilibrium between those two points, those two polarities. Now that gives you incredible power, if you're aware of that. What that means - whatever you do affects everything else, and that means, if your perception is high enough, you can make whatever position you're in whatever you want. That means you have to know what you want before you start fucking around with that shit. Just do it out of curiosity without settling that score first, you'll be put in a situation where you'll get what you want, you may not even think it was that serious or that important and then you have to deal with the consequences of that. So if you're making music or anything like that, I question people's intent. I examine people's intent. I get them to question their own intent, because that is all we're doing in effect, and everything is intent as far as I can see.
When it comes down to it, and if you study your intent, in my experience, there are a few conclusions you can come to, if you follow it whatever way you'd like to take it. In general, it comes out to a corresponding distillation point, in my experience.
In a very selfish perspective, the thing that makes me feel most complete, the act that makes me feel most alive, that I get the most fulfillment out of, is when I give unconditionally. When I do that, I have no expectations. That's a very difficult statement to make and actually try to put into practise. I know from experience that you get what you give at the end of the day. It's common sense; there's no secret about that. When you go into that labyrinth of perceptions and reality, you can sometimes miss that point, because you get in touch with universal power and universal energy, which, with your conditioned ego, can take you to all sorts of areas through experience. I've learned what I've just said: by giving, you receive, you receive more. I can't rationally explain why I'm sitting here talking to you, on tour with Killing Joke when rationally, I shouldn't be doing any of this because I had a fine career doing something else.
Financially - anyway, emotionally - it's a struggle with Killing Joke, but I do it because it makes me feel alive. More than that, it's beyond my rational - I intuitively gravitate to Killing Joke, because Killing Joke is part of me and I'm part of it. Whatever way I look at it, that is what it is, and I love it for what it is, and I hate it for what it is, but it is what it is, and that's why I'm doing it and I'm going with that. I'm really happy I'm doing that because I've never felt more alive than I've felt in the last few months. I've actually learned so much from doing this and I've had the benefit of amazing experiences in a short space of time ... and some horrible ones as well.
All I'm saying is that you've got to do things because you want to give out, you want to turn people on to something, you want to help, you want to contribute, instead of taking and chipping off, squeezing another dollar - you know, just seeing how much you can stash away and how much insignificant material trivia you can accumulate. All that makes you unhappy. It just gives you more problems. I'm not saying "give it all away", I'm just saying "put it into perspective and understand what's real". And what's real is - basically, what we're here to do is help each other out. When you help each other out, things start fucking feeling good, despite adversity, despite everything else you know. In fact, that is the only way you can empower yourself, because no one can fuck around with you. It doesn't matter what anyone else is doing, because you know, in your little universe, you're doing what you want to do, you feel good about yourself. You can shine a light into a dark cavern, but even then, you've got to keep yourself paradoxically cynical and cautious, be quite disciplined actually, to be that sort of flexible anarchist, if you like. I find that in life. I find life is full of paradox, especially with music. You try to cling to something, the further away it goes. As soon as you let go of it, it comes to you.