Holland Park Lecture - Part One
Holland Park personal reasons for the location, Portland Road - associations with a beginning of an era. Personal significance in the date of the lecture as it will become apparent.
Reasons for lecture I have a strange story to tell and by the time I have finished this talk, some of you will be part of this story. I want to come out into the open about some of the events that have occurred over the last decade and a quarter. Iceland was the beginning of the dream and what happened during that period profoundly changed my life. For what it's worth, I want to share some of my observations and discoveries with you today and perhaps clear up any misconceptions about my activities.
The Lecture Since 1978, I kept a diary and record of the activities of Killing Joke so from time to time, I will refer back to particular periods with the aid of music and extracts of my writings. I will try to recollect all my emotions and thoughts.
Firstly, I should perhaps explain some of my personal 'terminology' which you will find me referring back to throughout the talk. So let us learn to speak the same language. I am an irrationalist; that is to say, I believe that anything is possible and that life is simply an interpretation. I believe that man, by nature of himself, is a Romantic, a Poet. For example, existing concepts of time are only real if we accept and succumb to the boundaries and divisions laid down. I am simply pointing out that we do, of course, have the option to ritually smash the clock up (along with its corresponding restrictions) and transform, extend, increase or decrease such boundaries. enabling us to achieve greater freedom by changing our perspective of truth and reason.
TRUE WILL The psychology of self-potential and fulfillment. I decided the best way to explain this was to write you each a letter (which I wrote last week because the essential content is both personal and spontaneous):
Although I have not known you long, I have so much to say to you. Whether you believe the things I say or not is of little consequence as I know not where the fires of my conviction originate.
As we approach the millennium, each of us must feel the full thrust of our own destinies, discovering why it was that we were born in this particular time. Do you doubt your own personal significance when I say this? Then if you do, you are denying both Divine will and Divine purpose and, most of all, your own potential. Let us look at the infinite possibilities of ourselves in relation to this exhilarating period in history so that perhaps we may discover something of the true purpose behind our individual incarnation. Do not let the right side of your brain deceive you with the follies of rationalisation. Perhaps you may say you are Agnostics or an Atheist. In the final analysis, you may be of a different opinion.
However, you will note that I use the words purpose and individual with frequency. I shall tell you why.
The words purpose and individual are invariably linked with the word fulfillment (which is the realisation of our God-given faculty). The term I use for this condition is TRUE WILL. TRUE WILL, as I understand it, is not individual but Divine will. It is when the individual, through a selfless act of vocational expression, becomes both becomes both spiritually and biologically in harmony with the universe.
I first became aware of this phenomenon when, in the early 1980s, I went to South America for the first time. On returning, several people commented something to the effect of, "Oh, it's OK for you, you can afford it", or "You're in a position to go, I'm not." In actual fact, I knew I would go, I dreamt of going; going was part of my incarnation and therefore was a tool with which I could develop myself. I had been walking across the Nazcan desert long before I got there.
One of the things I want to demonstrate today is that dreams do come true and manifest, but first, you must have your dream and secondly, you must locate your True Will and exercise it selflessly. Now this sounds complex and intellectual, but it isn't. In actual fact, it's the most natural thing for all of us. The dog barks, the baker bakes, the player plays. It is a vision of a natural condition of motion leading to the rapid formation of the universe and this is something I have tried to express through the medium of Killing Joke.
For your information, King Hussein of Jordan and the Saudi royal family also recognise the True Will. I say this because recently, like them, I have had the privilege to work with (and experience) the Arabic master violinist, Abdel Al Aboud. He's a man of mature years. His playing is so effortless it is as if were you or I playing. At times his playing reduces me to tears. He has practised for so long that he has attained a state of exceptional articularsy and now, in my opinion, he becomes a tool for Divine Will to work through him. You see, we can see True Will in others easier than ourselves. But why does he play -- just for money?
No, his eyes tell a different story. He is simply driven. Does the baker bake so that he can have a multi-million pound baking industry? For what reason does the dog bark, the writer write or the player play? No reason beyond a simple expression of life. Again, True Will is only True Will when it is exercised out of love and when it is totally selfless. That is to say, when I take away the distribution deal of the writer, when I take away his money, his home and all his personal securities, he still picks up a pen and writes from his heart, then I see True Will.
But as I'm explaining this, I can feel some of you are beginning to alienate yourselves. You say to me, I'm not a writer or an artist of any kind. I work in a bank, or I'm a secretary. And you begin to form the idea of a creative elite in your mind's eye.
But I say in reply to you bullshit. When did anyone have exclusive rights to the creative process? Each one of us is part of Creation and Creation is forever; striving for perfection and, in its striving and hunger for perfection, it is perfect. Yet Abdel Al Aboud is forever dissatisfied with his playing and similarly, so were Dali and Da Vinci with their respective works.
Within each and every one of you here in this room lies the power of attaining Kingship or personal sovereignty. Not by lineage, caste or inheritance, but by the location and selfless execution of True Will, which is Divine Will - our personal gift from God (however you perceive Him or Her to be).
You can only repeat a process for years and years on if you truly love what you are doing (and the love we are talking about here invariably becomes a selfless and essentially higher form of love).
So, the creative process can be applied to any medium of expression whatsoever -- bricklayer, accountant, signwriter, poet and so on.
When we witness somebody else executing their True Will, we become perhaps a little bit awestruck, or should I say 'threatened'? It might be an Olympic gymnast or a concert pianist or a brilliant comedian. And this brings us to the true function of 'art'. Great art produces a chain reaction. It inspires us to create within our own medium and let me tell you, no one is exempt from achieving loftier heights if we rise to the challenge.
I will tell you a secret. Creation is perfect (within its perpetual striving for perfection). Everybody has a role and everybody is born talented and life is simply the challenge of locating our talent (or True Will).
Stop doubting. Nothing works when you doubt. Stop putting yourself down; you are unique and your place within the scheme of things is assured. You have ample clues as to your True Will. You belong here now. Believe in yourself and I will believe in you. You will soon discover that everything is possible.
Waipura The first time I really understood this philosophy was truth.
Manifestation When someone has genuinely located their True Will, the material world begins to change around them. When the individual emanates that aura of beauty, confidence and self assurance that comes from working with our hands, head and heart, everything fits into place. For example, the aspiring painter acquires an attic in which to work on his canvases and in due course, an exhibition followed by an agent and a possible commission become natural repercussions of a located will. And from the painter and his paints, to the chef in his kitchen and his restaurant, or the talkative socialite to the tour operator and so on. Essentially we are talking about a natural condition.
Of course, not every example of True Will achieves or manifests into desire, because desire is the one thing that short-circuits True Will. Although I am neither wealthy nor poverty-stricken, I have noticed certain patterns concerning 'earthing' or 'manifesting' True Will, and it is a specific result we rarely achieve our aims. Again, I must emphasise that we must become selfless.
In contrast, if I look at those occasions when fortune has befriended me, it is almost always when the last thing I am thinking of is success or the object of my desire, that it actually materialises. When we are devoid of desire, we attract that which is our birthright. I want you to remember this.
So, do whatever comes naturally to you. Do it for no other reason than you love doing it; it becomes selfless without thinking.
But how do we know when we are really doing our True Will? The answer to this is both simple and complex: there is an aura of 'rightness' about a natural 'aptitude' in its own element. Also the chemical effect on others in the immediate proximity of someone executing their True Will normally speaks for itself.
One last word about 'Transformation of True Will' in terms of material acquisition. It is undoubtedly linked with some kind of karmic law. We are only ever lent assets proportional to our essential demands for self-expression and existential continuity. And the extent of material assets we obtain is determined by the individual lesson we must learn in this particular life.
My personal philosophy on this is simple. We don't take anything with us when we leave this world, so in my life there is little emphasis on materialism. I seek to make my life as colourful as possible, to thrill at existence, to sense the exhilaration of being alive, to feel the shiver run down my back at the beauty and mystery of consciousness and the human condition. And my financial philosophy is simply to invest in those experiences and hopefully share them.
Anyway, in a few minutes we will be discussing the importance of 'Dreams' in conjunction with our 'True Will' and how important dreams are in context to our True Will. Before we do, I would be obliged if you would spend the next few minutes quietly reflecting on your personal role in this life (even if you do not believe in what I say).
Let us first define what is meant by the general term 'dream'. I will try and describe my own understanding which is obviously shaped by personal experiences.
As far as I can see, there are two types of dreams: night dreams and daydreams.
Nightdreams are passive dreams; that is, they are a series of images that generally reflect unconscious fears, hopes, etc. Occasionally they are prophetic, but usually they are indicative of the impurities of the mind.
Daydreams, on the other hand, can be utilised successfully to shape our destinies. They can thus be described as the visualisation of a more desirable reality.
"Beware of the man who dreams with his eyes open" -- Napoleon
For the next part of this talk, I am going to attempt to convey one individual's personal research on a dream that started out as a curiosity and became both a reality and his life's work. There might be moments when you will have to excuse my precautionary irrationalities concerning talking or focusing on certain forces. I am loathe to talk in the first person about this area of metaphysics without assuming the role of a certain archetype which may or may not do as I see fit. I suffered derangement some time ago because of being subject to such forces. Sometimes simply talking about them is enough to evoke such through forms. It has been an exciting but painful exploration and only a fool would have undertaken it.
From time to time throughout the recollections, I will refer to specific numbers by which I used to identify certain forces. In this system, we work from the premise that every number has a soul and corresponding vibration.
I want to talk about dreams which have come true. I want to tell a story about a Harlequin. I want to talk about the thoughts, daydreams and night dreams that led to Killing Joke, Iceland and about a period in my life from which I have never recovered.
From my teenage years onwards, I employed magical principles of thought. One of these was the principle of sacrifice (and by this I do not mean blood sacrifice; I mean simply abandoning that which we love most dearly in order to release power and energy).
For one whole year, I did nothing but daydream about a sound and a band. This was between the years 1977 and '78 at my parents' place in Cheltenham. This was simply a process of visualisation.
However, it was while my parents had gone on holiday abroad that I spontaneously acted on a premonition of being close to another person whose approach and ideals were compatible to my own.
followed by an impulsive decision to take up permanent residence in
London and made my way to Portabello Road in Notting Hill Gate.
Entered a shop (253 Portabello Road). Explained my intentions of
forming a group to a stranger called Lee Harris who was working behind a
stall. Discussion lasting three hours, followed by tea at the
stranger's residence down Lancaster Road, who offered me the use of his
flat for £7 a week,
since he only stayed there at weekends, spending weekdays in the country
with his wife. Hitched back to Cheltenham the same night.
personal belongings and keyboards in friend's car, returned to London and
moved into Lancaster Road, Notting Hill Gate.
|Went to sign on in Holland Park, next door to tube station. Whilst standing in the queue, I noticed a Eurasian gentleman in front of me. He turned round, held out his hand and said in broken English, "Hello, my name's Carlos." In keeping with the recent turn of events, I introduced myself as Jaz, a musician looking for other musicians. He replied that he knew, adding that I must meet Paul the drummer who lived in the house where he was staying. We finished our business in the dole office and proceeded round the corner to 11 Portland Road. Carlos took me to an upstairs room, opened the door, and I found myself face to face with Paul Ferguson. We were instantly repulsed by the sight of each other yet, within that instant, there was a mutual understanding of the situation. No time was wasted in talking, listening and clashing about musical objectives. The house was full of metaphysical and political oddballs, one of which was Brian Taylor, who was to become our first choice of disastrous management. The web of coincidence which united the two founder members of Killing Joke was to be the basis of all personal manoeuvres in the future.
I knew exactly where Ferguson was coming from as soon as I met him. It was quite obvious we shared similar principles. We began to daydream together, though with perhaps a little more discipline. There are of course other descriptions for disciplined daydreaming (Magic?).
My diary reads from this period:
These are interesting days. The other people in the house take great interest in our musical amalgamation. Time is spent discussing various aspects of politics, occult techniques and current musical style. Life in the house at Holland Park will be a treasured memory for me I am sure. We enjoy the luxury of heated dialogue in comfortable surroundings. I will always remember the sunny atmosphere in the roomy kitchen, the anticipation of unwritten music and the promise of thrilling adventures on the horizon.
Which brings us to the present tense. Here we are in Holland Park some fourteen years later, almost to the date.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
We decided to commence Killing Joke at a given moment in time. The rite of consecration was set for 3:00 pm on February 25th 1979. Beginnings of:-
Personification of Killing Joke/Harlequin
The same day the advert went out in the press. In a matter of weeks, the lineup was complete.
Turn To Red
Associations with fire - sound - mythos - destruction of the world by fire. Burning of flat. Explanation of the term Force & Fire - contemporary magical philosophy - Crowley - energy 93/418/718.
Killing Joke - paranoia - this line of thinking eventually led to the formation of personal philosophy of geopolitics. My reasoning was like this:-
Fact One - When man is in danger, he will instinctively seek safety. When his existence is threatened in one specific area, he will automatically locate a sanctuary that will give him relative security.
Fact Two - When man is hungry, he will instinctively seek nourishment. When is source of food is contaminated or exhausted in one area, he will inevitably move to a location where it is possible to survive.
Fact Three - If the alternative environment is correctly portrayed prior to the dilemma arising, it is possible to influence the directional activity of whole bodies of instinctively astute individuals.
It is precisely this reasoning, rooted in 'paranoia' or 'fear of the future', that triggered a series of curious events and dreams.
During the years late 80-81, the entire group moved into an abandoned house on the corner of Elgin Crescent and Ladbroke Grove. We occupied two enormous basements linked by a long passageway. The rooms were spacious and there were large gardens at the back. I spent my spare time studying groundplans of pre-Christian megalithic sites in Great Britain as well as the parallels in various mythologies concerning the destruction of the world by fire.
I found it interesting that the majority of the Heroes who survived cataclysmic destruction were the most unlikely members of society and, once again, there is the suggestion of the archetypal fool, madman of the Harlequin.
I began to notice a pattern forming out of some of the more obscure references that fell before me. The parallels became fascinating. One of the first ones I seem to remember was Old Testament Isaiah.
Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the END OF THE EARTH, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein: THE ISLES, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord and declare his praise IN THE ISLANDS --Isaiah
In order to achieve some sort of relevance to the twentieth century, it was necessary to interpret the aforementioned verse with the following considerations:-
There were other, perhaps more obscure, biblical analogies that warrant a mention.
Hear the word of the Lord O ye nations and declare it in THE ISLES AFAR OFF --Jeremiah 31, 10, 11
The people which were left of the Sword found grace in the wilderness. --Jeremiah 31:1, 2
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. --Hosea 2:14
The woman fled into the wilderness where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand, two hundred and three score days. -- Apocalypse 12:6
In the Babylonian myth, Gilgamesh, there is a curious reference to a remote island bearing similar topographical characteristics to the aforementioned verse from Isaiah. In Gilgamesh, the island is described as a place where death is finally transcended. Again, we must remember that we are interpreting these verses of prose as the future set into the past terms.
"Then Gilgamesh felt a deep misery in his heart and it was for himself that he mourned.
'I have looked on the face of death and I am afraid. I, too, shall surely die. One day I, too, shall fall into so deep a slumber that nothing shall wake me again'.
And gradually he thought of an idea. He had heard that AT THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, ON AN ISLAND FAR FROM ALL HUMAN HABITATION, lived a very, very old man -- the only one of all the mortals to escape death. Gilgamesh decided to go in search of this old man, named Umnapishti, and to ask him his secret."
I eventually discovered the verse I felt I had been looking for. Interestingly enough, two other members of the band discovered it at the same time independently of one another. Of those three individuals, one vehemently disagreed with the two others on the interpretation of this particular verse.
I knew this because we used to keep an open lyric book in the flat for anyone in the band to write lyrics in. In actual fact, only two of us ever bothered to write in it. However, in the back of this book, I discovered certain comments hidden within the neatly handwritten prose. One of the was titled Queen of Discs and obviously was a slightly misogynistic view of the person I was living with. The other was in reference to an Island, arguing that its true interpretation was the island of your being, or 'soul', as opposed to a geographical reality. It was the beginning of my isolation and a conflict within the band that was never resolved.
The verse in question was:-
III Now let it be first
understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance. I shall
hardly with them.
IV Choose ye an island.
V Fortify it!
VI Dung it about with enqinery of war!
VII I will give you a war engine.
Liber Al Vel Legis
Four years later, I had the opportunity to read the original manuscript in Windsor. Later still, in 1986, I discovered the work of the modern alchemist Fulcanelli. Fulcanelli was the last alchemist to successfully transmute base lead into gold in the presence of doubting scientists. It should also be noted that Fulcanelli is credited for having warned the pioneers of the atomic bomb (Planck, Rutherford and Bohr) that they were making discoveries which would alter the destiny of the world.
However, Fulcanelli's pupil Canseliet only died in the last fifteen years or so. In Canseliet's literary work 'Alchemie' he recollects his last conversation with the master.
The time will come, my son, when you will no longer be able to work in alchemy, when it will be necessary to search for an island rare and blessed, privileged without doubt and situated towards the south.
Of course I didn't find this extract until much later in the scheme of things.
Then I began to have a series of peculiar dreams in which all senses - sight, smell, taste, aural faculties, touch and sixth sense - were operating.
(I seem to remember . . .)
Portabello Road. Browsing. Book. Map dowsing. Arundel Gardens. Pendulum. Locating Iceland. Tickets.
To describe all that transpired before my third memorable visit is impossible.
If I had to summarize my intentions, it would be to gain access to another dimension of my existence, a spiritual realm every bit as real as the one you and I are in now. And looking back in retrospect, I would say I was successful in this context. In all truthfulness, I tell you to this day I have never recovered from these beautiful shores. I saw things that ten years later I cannot dismiss.
How did the madman gain access there?
He planned one single concrete ritualistic act of destruction irrelevant to all others but himself. Everything and everybody, all that he loved, all that was dear to his soul. To renounce it utterly at a given moment in time in order to destroy time.
There was a rhyme that wasn't a rhyme
In a time that wasn't a time
There was a place that wasn't a place
There was a race that wasn't a race
By June 1981, I had decided upon a date for this personal sacrifice. Everything was geared towards personal sacrifice (The Hum). To go any further in this story is painful for me as an individual. What was most valuable to Jaz during this time? What was most precious to his heart, what did he sacrifice?
A girlfriend he loved very much and a flat with Youth
A called Leo
In fact anything that meant anything.
Every moment of my life from the second I made my vow was focused on four lines of prose.
I see the earth rising. . . .
For the months preceding my departure, I repeated the rhyme of prose and began to live within its imagery. In the trees next to every hotel, in the park next to every gig.
And although I was aware that the imagery of the four lines of prose were different from the harsh, barren landscape/topography of Iceland, the two became one within my soul.
For the next eight months of my life, every action, every thought and every moment of my creativity became one single act; I was utterly committed.
The months went fast with my clandestine preparations. The lyrics on the next LP, Revelations, pretty much give the game away.
During this time I began to lose all perspective and rationale. My daydreams had become one with my night dreams. 24 hours a day, I walked on those distant shores.
The concert before my departure is like a blurred oil painting - What can I say about it? How can one adequately describe the random perfection and precision of the illuminated moment? How can one even attempt to designate when the right pattern of snow flake will fall into the vision of the enlightened mind? It is impossible for the musician to really explain the emotional impact that comes with the fruits of his labour, the realisation that comes through personal struggle over a prolonged period. When his ceaseless formation of aural tones suddenly falls in a unique arrangement immaculately suited for the occasion, words become flimsy messengers of conveyance.
I remember descending the staircase to the stage whilst looking down at the amulet of black rock from Snaefells which hung around my neck. There was no need to consciously establish a link of memory associations to the Snaefells rite. It was already beginning to manifest before me in the immediate domain. The intensity of heat, the sweat, combined with the roaring was so overwhelming that at times I had the impression of a white hot silence...
Not for one moment did I suppose nature could create such a fantastic noise - highly strung vocal cords raised to tones of unnatural extremities. The sound of so many people insanely screaming at the tops of their voices for no discernible reason, cause, or politic, dissolved all notions of logic.
I stood in a cavernous cathedral of my own making, dedicated to the psychotic derangement of a most specific kind. All was a mirror image of my subconscious mind in its ghastly completeness. Iceland and the location of true will was veiled with an obsession with the desolate landscape...
What appeared to be the audience covered everything, like wet tells of a slimy fungus-sponge (or was it moss?) pulsating with life. A dark grey-green orgasm splattered like rotten seaweed on a jagged shore, followed by a repugnant smell of sulphur. Crowds bubbled and burst like fat pockets of air rising up through a mud geyser and I knew my madness was a hoax patterned by the finest tailor.
The stage upon which I was now standing was no more than a dispersal of primeval signs and images in an age of anxiety. That which was once considered art was now a leans of communicating with the racial unconscious where the blind, pre-rational and immensely powerful forces of survival existed. Such entities manifest themselves in Man as hunger, the sex urge, the fight or flight adrenalin reaction and the tribal cohesion factor. Now was the time to embrace the source of human folly.
The air split open, my senses responded in primal baseness, earth tremor, fear, excretion. Blinding lights consumed all, a searing crescendoing noise activating ugly rhythmic spasms of thunder. The quivering mass before me exploded. Once again I heard its familiar and loathsome call within a hypnotic tempo that was too slow for dance. I couldn't work it out whether it was approaching from outside the circles of time, leagues below my feet, or the squirming unconscious minds of the audience.
Deep penetration, slowly sliding back and forth, becoming harder and faster with lubrication .... The oscillations got wider and wider until they devoured everything. My perverse cravings for unison with my dreams almost at an end....
When it came, the release was ecstatic, a horror-beauty that transcended the realms of imagination. My mind went black and eclipsed. It had awakened in conjunction with my will.
It was stark and beautiful, a bluish subsonic resonance humming like a thousand atomic generators underfoot.
Not so long ago, I saw a repeat of the interview I made on French television in the Hammersmith Palais dressing rooms prior to the live broadcasting which was to be made later on that memorable night. It was not easy to recognise myself. It was also painfully evident that after ten months of clandestine preparation, the two worlds I had been living in had suddenly collided. I still feel that if I had not gone through with my self-induced ordeal, I would have had only days to live. Perhaps the small circle of people around the group Joy Division that really knew of Ian Curtis' inspirational activities prior to his death will understand this. There is no doubt that my existence was also on the border line for the two months before departure. Death had to occur in one form or another so it was fortunate I brought into play a card that had long been up my sleeve.
The precise moment the Icelandair flight left the runway, the sound of The Hum once again split through my eardrums. I allowed myself the privilege of listening to the Revelations recordings on headphones. It was a thrilling thought to me that the music I was listening to was specifically created for this particular moment in time. The magic of it all was that the ideas and principles of illumination within the work were unfolding into a three-dimensional actuality of my personal experience.
Wide thoughts to broad horizons
(Chapter III, Revelations)
However, what we will discuss after lunch are the events in Iceland that led to certain discoveries in Germany. What the Harlequin saw in the three weeks that followed have taken a slightly more rational Jaz ten years to unravel.
Pandys (Long Hall)
It is not quite the description; it's actually better. Lunch today has been prepared by the famous Lebanese chef, Tony Attar. We will now experience a particularly delicious example of True Will applied to great cuisine.