HERE WE ARE! Right!
Fuck, man. I’ll tell you – when I was a kid I read Robert Anton Wilson and all this shit. And here we are, we’re standing here, and we’re talking about this shit, and it’s real.
Okay, I’m pissed.. and in half an hour I’m gonna come up on drugs, so watch for it.
So.. are there any practicing magicians in the audience? Put your hand up if we’ve got any. C’mon, bold! A few. Okay: by the time we’ve finished this, you’re all gonna be practicing magicians. This shit’s easy, right.
I’m like you. Basically: why are we here? Why are we here at this time? What’s this all about?
And by the way, this is a Scottish accent. So reset the filters and pretend it’s Sean Connery talking to you. Okay? Double-oh sheven.
So if you can follow me, I’m just going to talk the way I talk, and fuck you if you don’t understand me.
The deal is this: I’ve been writing this comic for the last six years. And like you, like everybody here, we’re trying to figure: what’s going on? Why do we feel different? Why don’t we fit into this world? Why do we feel as though they’re not telling us the truth?
So I went out and I read Robert Anton Wilson’s books when I was twenty years old – which is twenty years ago now – and I figured “Is this guy bullshitting me? He says we can talk to aliens? We can talk to people from Sirius? Is he talking crap? He says Aleister Crowley’s got methods for contacting alien intelligence and for changing the world; is he talking crap?”
So I did it. And no – he’s not talking crap. And we can all do it.
And this is by way of trying to demolish the counterculture, and replace it with something useful. We’re just gonna start here, and see where we get to.
When I started doing The Invisibles – which is a comic book, for people who haven’t seen the thing; it’s a comic book which was kind of my attempt to explain what happened to me after I’d been abducted by aliens in Kathmandu in 1994. And the only reason I was abducted by aliens in Kathmandu in 1994 is because I *went* to Kathmandu in 1994 to be abducted by aliens.
And it works. And these fuckers… they will turn up!
And what they told me was this, and they tell everyone the same bullshit. But it’s from different perspectives, it’s from different nervous systems; it seems to be filtered through everyone’s own view of the world. But they keep telling us the same shit.
So I met these guys. I’m sitting in the roof garden of the [something] Hotel in Kathmandu. And I was totally, like, doing tons of dope, right. But in my defence, I do like a quarter of dope a day, and I’ve been doing it since 1990. So I know this shit. And as you all know – everyone out there who’s, like, ‘a head’ and knows what I’m talking about knows: you don’t hallucinate. Right? If you go to the garage.. it’s the fucking garage. If you go to the 7-11, it’s the fucking 7-11.
You might be stoned; you might be picking up lots of interesting little bits and pieces that you don’t normally get when you’re straight. But you know what’s real and what’s not real.
So, as I say, in my defence: man, I was loaded.
But this was the end of a week in which I’d been loaded every single day. And I’m sitting up there in the roof garden and suddenly these fuckers arrive, and they arrive en masse. And they look exactly like Terence McKenna described. Why is that? Coz I’d just read Terence McKenna a year before?
What they told me was… they took me out of my body; I wasn’t in my body anymore. This doesn’t normally happen with hash. This happens on DMT, or it happens on, like, Ketamine or something. I’m on hash; a tiny little bit. The size of a lentil. And I start tripping, and I’m out of my body.
And these fuckers are there, and they say: “Where do you want to go?”
The first thing I said was: “Alpha Centauri”. Which is the first thing you would say, of course. And they took me to Alpha Centauri and it was fucking real, and there’s three suns, all moving exactly as we’re told they’re supposed to move astronomically.
And I’m there, and I said to them: “What the hell’s going on?” As you might.
And they said: “We’ve come to tell you this stuff, so you can put it in your work and explain it to the world.” Why do they always say that to everyone? Why do they always tell everyone to go out and tell the world what’s going on, and everyone tells us the same shit?
So these things, I met them. And what they were were, like, silver.. like those things you get in rave videos.. silver, morphing, mercurial blobs of chrome, that think. And they took me to the fifth dimension. And the fifth dimension is outside space and time, and they explained to me what time is all about.
The universe we live in is designed to grow larvae. Right? Believe.. you don’t have to believe me; I’m just setting the story here.
They explained to me that beyond space and time, we have our actual selves. These things that we’re experiencing right now are sections through time. Everyone here is a section through time. But in actual fact, you’re not experiencing your real body. What is your real body? Your real body is a process. It starts when you’re born, and it moves forward until you die. That is you. Seen from outside, that’s what you look like. You look like a gigantic centipede, spread around all the little things that you always do: up and down through your house, up the stairs, down to the store and back – and it’s a centipede, and it’s us. It starts as a little baby and it comes out of your mother’s womb, and it gets bigger.
That is the process in time. Like I said: we’re experiencing sections now, so we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about this. But think of ourselves as processes through time, which is what we actually are.
We all know we were twelve, we all know we were ten years old. But where is that? Point to it. Show me you at ten years old – and yet you were there.
So these things said to me: this is what’s going on. We use time to grow larvae, because outside space and time you can’t grow anything. Because it’s timeless, nothing grows. What you wanna do, if you want to make one of these higher dimensional beings – that’s actually us, already – is that you grow it in time. So you make a universe.
And how you make a universe is: you plug a little part of yourself into the information world that they live in – which is what I seemed to be experiencing; this kind of sea of pure information – and they exist in that, but there is no time. Time is part of that.. but this is the fifth dimension; it’s like: time, space, breadth, depth.. plus.
And they said to me: the universe you live in, the world you’re living in, is a larvae. Every single one of us here is the same thing. There’s no distinction. All we do is.. we don’t understand what we are.
And they explained to me: if you’ve got a two-dimensional field, see; a flat plane, and you stick your hand through it – there’s one hand there, but if you stick your hand through a two-dimensional plane, the two-dimensional entities who live on there, they will see four circles. Right? Four distinct, completely different circles. But no, it’s the one hand.
Every one of us in here is the same fucker. We’re all the same thing, according to these weirdos. And what we are is.. thank you… I’m pleased someone agrees. And what we are is intersections through 4D space-time.
So yeah, I look like this. I stop here. No, I don’t stop here. I’ve been here for, what, five minutes now? Where was that guy who was here five minutes ago? Where is he? Point to him. But he existed; you all saw him. I saw you five minutes ago. Where is that guy?
So this led me into some very strange alleyways.
These things explained to me that.. as I say, the universe is some kind of larval entity. What it does is it proceeds through stages of development.
Now if you think about a foetus in the womb – and there’s a famous phrase that says.. what is it? Phylogeny recapitulates.. y’know, evolution or whatever the fuck it is. Y’know, I forget the good bits.
But it’s the idea that if you’ve got a foetus, it starts off.. like every living thing, it starts as a unicellular entity, it splits.. it becomes a lizard; it becomes a mammal; eventually it becomes a human.
And they said to me: the culture you’re living in is.. understand it this way: phylogeny recapitulates history.
So what we’re actually watching is this thing coming towards self-awareness and coherence in the same way that a foetus does. We haven’t even been born yet. There are no adults on this planet.
There’s not one adult on this planet.
Which explains a lot. It explains why we let fuckers like Bill Clinton bomb the Kosovans. It explains why I let Tony Blair put cameras in the streets.
Punk rock, dude. This is a Donna Karan suit. Fuck it.
So leading on from these ridiculous.. where do you go from that?
So I was told this stuff when I came out, and I’m just this little kid from Govan in Glasgow, which is a real dodgy area. And I didn’t go to university; I left school at eighteen. But suddenly, I found out that if you do these things that you’re told by Aleister Crowley, by Wilson, by all these people we read and all these people we’ve been consuming – but we don’t do it.
If you actually do what they say, things happen. Things occur, exactly as described. And we can all do it.
So I decided to put this to use in the comic book I was doing, this thing called The Invisibles. And the idea was to kind of get all this down on paper, and somehow look at it. Not to accept it as reality, but to accept it as purely:
“This is part of human experience. It’s a part of human experience that has been described to us for thousands and thousands of years – but for the last two hundred has been hidden and made occult. For some reason that we don’t understand – but it seems to have something to do with the industrial revolution and corporate culture.”
So these things happen. Magic works. And I found out when I was doing the comic that you could actually make magic happen by writing things, and changing the operating system of the universe. It works, and I’m here to tell you to try it when you go home tonight. Because it fucking works.
And what happens if we all do it? If everyone in this room decides to take control of reality? I’m talking about reality; I’m talking about quantum physics; I’m talking about taking control of things from the quantum level up, from the molecular level up – and it works. This magic works.
So I’ll tell you something you can do, while I’m here. You know one of the best techniques, and one of the easiest techniques, to prove that this thing works is to practice sigil magic. The technique is simple: have a desire, tonight.
Go home and do this! Don’t listen to this shit! Don’t listen to my bullshit and think “yeah, we are the fucking counterculture!” DO IT! Do it – and we will change the world.
Because I did it. Coz I didn’t trust those guys. I didn’t trust Wilson and all those people who told me we could do this stuff. And I’m here to tell you: it works. And you can do it; we can all do it.
Number one: first thing you do is, you write down a desire. Make it something easy that’s likely to happen. Something possible, rather than say, y’know, “I’m going to be king of the moon” – which you may want to be, as we all do, but.. it’s kind of hard to be king of the moon. You’re gonna have to get a rocket and go up there.
Something easy. If you want to sigilise for a lottery win, make sure you buy a ticket or else it probably won’t work. So these are the conditions within the material universe that we live in.
What we’re really dealing with here is, as I say, some kind of operating system that can be hacked, using words. Words seem to be the binding agent of this.. thing. Whatever it is.
So I wrote this comic book – and as I wrote it, it became true. Things I would make the characters do became true.
The main character was.. I gave him a bald head and a leather jacket, because I thought people would like me when I they read the comic. Bald heads were really uncool back in 1992.
And it worked. I found that if I put the character through a situation where he’d been tortured; where his lungs had bust and he was being held in captivity; subjected to all these awful things. Two months later: I’m in hospital, two bust lungs, dying of blood poisoning; facing exactly the same shamanic trial that I put my character through.
So once I figured out that, I thought: the best thing to do is to give this guy an easy time in the future.
So as a result of all this, I’d just split up with my girlfriend. And I was like: “okay, I want a new one and I want her to look exactly like this chick in the comic, coz she’s cool.” So I did a sigil; a month later, the girl turns up. Then another one. Then another one. Then another one; then another one. All aspects of this character. And then [I was like]: “Oh fuck, this is insane. Because it works and I’ve done something ridiculous. Because now I’m dealing with all these women who look like the character, but who I don’t get on with, or I can’t talk to, or I can’t deal with.”
And I began to realise a little bit about how this stuff works.
So beyond that, I decided: I won’t just use it to get laid, because it seems a pretty low-grade kind of way of dealing with magic. But man, it works! Believe me.
So I thought: how much could you effect reality by writing a comic that mimics reality, but pushed it in weird directions? So round about 1997, I decided that I would really seriously turn this thing into a super-sigil.
And it was based on the idea that: if you look at cave art – the first art was done; the first writing that was done, basically as art. And if someone wanted to make something happen; like, if you were in the — like, if you were some fucked up caveman in a cave somewhere, worrying about your dinner. What do you do? You draw a bison on the wall; stick some spears in it. Go out, and the bison dies filled with spears.
“Hey, man! We can make this happen!”
Slowly, those things become words; they become abstractions – complexes of meaning. And you can take that basic idea, and – as we’ve seen – people like Austin Osmond Spare, the magician from the early part of the century, or Crowley, or the chaos magicians of the eighties who were a big influence on me – they used this stuff. And like I say, what you can do is this: go home, write down a desire; it’s quite simple, what you can say is: “It is my desire that my cat wins the Olympics.” Take out all the vowels..
– Write this down, for fuck’s sake! Don’t just listen; do it! Right? –
Take out the vowels, and you’ll be left with a string of consonants. Take out all the repeated consonants, and you’ll be left with a string of consonants with no repeats in it. X, Y, A, D, whatever. Turn that thing into a little image. Take the D, draw a big D. Then you’ve got a T; draw a big T on it.
Keep reducing it down until it looks magical.
And there are no rules for this thing. Do it until it looks magical.
At that point you now have a sigil. The sigil will work. You can project desire into reality, and change reality. It works!
Those must be the people who’ve done it.
So please, I mean, write this down, go home and do it. Check; verify the results.
Because – I was reading this thing in New Scientist this week and it said: the difference between bad science and good science is.. scientific procedure has three criteria. And the criteria are: that you can verify results; you can talk to other people who’ve done the thing and make sure that, you know, it works out. You can duplicate results. And also.. some other thing; I’ve forgotten. But yeah, two things is pretty good, innit? Two outta.. yeah.
This is verifiable. People have been telling us about this for thousands of years. The Tibetans have been telling us about this. The Mesopotamians have been telling us about this. And why has it been made ‘occult’?
Because: Coca-Cola have got the secret.
What you do is you create a sigil.
Coca-Cola is a sigil. The McDonalds “M” is a sigil.
These people are basically turning the world into themselves, using sigils.
And if we don’t reverse that process, and turn the world into *us* using sigils, we’re going to be living in fucking McDonalds.
But McDonalds have no more power than us, apart from the fact – like what Doug [Rushkoff] said earlier – they’ve got some money.
Fuck it; who cares?
At the top levels of this stuff, no one’s using money anyway.
You think Rupert Murdoch, or the Queen, or Bill Clinton, or any of these fuckers use money? Of course they don’t.
They’ve realised that money is only useful to sell to the middle classes – the people in the middle who make things happen; who make things run.
We’ve been sold a fiction. There’s no such thing as money. Ignore it. At the higher levels..
No.. YEAH! HEY!
There is no money. These fuckers don’t use money. If Rupert Murdoch wants a Rolls Royce, they give him one. Because he’s Rupert Murdoch. And if they see him in a Rolls Royce, it means they get some status out of it.
So you’ve gotta understand, these people on the higher levels are operating on a hierarchy of exchange and barter.
On the lower levels – where I lived in Glasgow, which is one of the poorest cities in Europe – people are operating on a hierarchy of exchange that’s quite different: they steal shit, and then they sell it back, and they have their own little money.. and they have this complete black market economy.
There’s only us in the middle who think money’s worth anything – and we chase it until we drop.
So forget it.
Where was I?
(And the other thing is: I hate talking at people, so if anyone wants to join in just put your hand up. Coz I fucking hate just talking at people.)
So… having figured these weird things out, having thought about this and having been through this experience, which was exactly the experience I’d been promised by Wilson, McKenna, Philip K. Dick – everyone, they promised this thing, and it works. You can get the experience. Do what they told you to do, and it will happen – I promise you. You will meet the aliens; they will talk to you. The Golden Dawn called this “Knowledge & Conversation Of The Holy Guardian Angel”.
So it’s been around for a while; it’s accessible to everyone. Magick is accessible to everyone. The means of altering reality are accessible to everyone.
And when everyone starts doing it, we’re going to start to get to see desire manifest on a gigantic scale. Everyone’s desire. What happens when *everyone’s* desire becomes manifest? Does the universe have to split up into a billion to accommodate it? Do we all have to suddenly understand that we’re all in the same place, and that we can all share in each others’ desires?
I don’t know. I’m just here to talk about this stuff.
So beyond that – beyond the alien abduction experience – I was working on the comic, and I began to think about.. seriously, I’d set up the comic to try and explore some of the problems we were dealing with, which are – as Doug [Rushkoff] pointed out earlier – problems of duality: “us” and “them”; “good” versus “evil”; this versus that.
And as I worked my way through the comic I began to realise some interesting things, so I’ll share them with you. This might not be true; these are just useful little thoughts that might be.. you might be able to spin them; do something with them. But really, I’m just up here as someone who has read the same shit you’ve all read; put it into practice, and found that it works.
So here’s my version of what happens.
Doing the comic, I set up these characters – the whole thing was set up as an adventure story, where there are some bad guys who live in another dimension, who want to enslave us all. And there’s some good guys who live in another dimension, who want us all to have a good time. In the middle, there is us. And we are obviously trying to have a good time; everybody wants to have a good time, y’know? Hitler wanted to have a good time. And, uh..
We all want to have a good time. So we’ve got to understand that, as a starter.
The more I set up these dualities – the more I set these people against the opposition – the more it started to seem like a complete crock, and that we’ve been sold this nonsense of opposition. And I began to find that the closer I got to the end of the series, the whole ‘opposition’ element of it was the least meaningful, least important part of it. And that we’ve actually been deluding ourselves in a lot of ways.
Beyond that, I found we’ve actually been deluding ourselves in the worst way of all by believing in the individual.
Stay with me on this.
Kafka, Orwell, Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner.. everyone told us The Individual was the most important thing we could be.
Everyone is fucking ‘quirky’ these days; every shit in their window of MTV is ‘quirky’. Everyone’s cool; everyone’s smart… it’s not true.
What if the individual was the fake? What if the individual’s the crock? And we’ve actually been sold that by “them”; by the man, the establishment.. whatever you want.
Because what occurred to me is that when you talk about the individual, and you deal with the individual, you find that the end of the individual is neurosis. To be individual means that there is “self” and “not self”. Okay?
So where I stop.. the boundaries of “me”, right, this physical body; the boundaries of me that stretch out.. things I believe in.. I’m sure we’d all be friends if we talked – but would we be friends with Newt Gingrich? No.
But that’s the point: I stop, where Newt Gingrich starts. Why is that? Why do I stop there? Why does *he* define my self-sense? And I can’t absorb him?
Why do these fuckers.. why does the Skull And Bones Society, or the CIA.. why do the 33º Masons – why are they different from us?
They’re not – they want to explain things. They want an answer. They’ve found an answer that seems to suit them – which seems kind of uncool and cruel to me, because it involves exploiting other people. But they’re looking for an answer. We’re all looking for the same thing: Why. Are. We. Here?
Why *are* we here? What are you doing here today? What do you expect? What do you expect to take home with you?
Can anyone answer? Can one person tell me what you expect to take home from all of this? Come on, put your hand up.
Exactly. Because that is all we have. And that is all I can offer you, is experience. Of having done this shit, tested it, put it in the crucible to see what happens – and it works.
So I began to think more and more about the individual, and I looked into what that actually meant. And what it was, was a structure that was pretty much created… the ego structure was created out of what Julian Jaynes calls the “bicameral mind” becoming one mind.
And apparently – according to him – he says that back in the old days of the Greeks, and the earliest writing of the world, people didn’t have self-consciousness in the way that we have. They didn’t have egos. They didn’t understand themselves as “I” in the same way that we do. Because the corpus callosum – that connects the two hemispheres of the brain – wasn’t connected.
So if you heard a voice, that voice was God. And Homer, and all those guys, you’ve got plenty of examples of people hearing the voice of God, and acting on that. Alexander constantly acted on the voice of God.
Julian Jaynes suggests that it wasn’t the voice of God – it was the voice of the left hemisphere of the brain communicating with the right hemisphere of the brain, interpreted as a god.
So okay: now we’ve got the two things joined together. We’ve got this beautiful bridge in the middle that links the two. But we have the ego structure – which was created when those things linked.
Suddenly we’re like: “Oh fuck. I am I. I am the I Am. This is my.. my god is this. I am separate; I am one.”
We made this idea that we’re somehow separated from nature.
No we’re not. Bullshit!
Again, I read New Scientist last month, right – and they’re talking about nature: “We must control nature; we must do this. How do we deal with our relationship with nature?”
We *are* fucking nature! There’s nothing on this planet that is not “nature”. Power stations are nature; atom bombs are nature. Because nature made us to make those things. Either you trust nature, or you don’t trust nature – and I trust nature.
So we have to ask: what is nature getting at here?
If we ignore this crap that we’re somehow isolated from nature; that we somehow have to tame nature… nature knows exactly what it’s doing.
The planet is not in danger. We are.
The planet’ll survive. The planet’s been through, like, ammonia atmospheres and impossible-to-live-on, and everything dead – and it gets its way back out of it.
We’re in danger. Or so we think, because our hubris tells us that we are in danger. Our hubris tells us that we’re about to destroy the world; we’re gonna destroy the planet; we’ll fuck the atmosphere.
No. We’ll fuck *our* atmosphere. But some trilobites’ll come along and live in anything we create.
So that is not the problem.
The problem is we’re standing here at the 21st century, stuck with individuality. Because we’ve believed in it so much; it *seemed* so important that we should all be distinct. What happens if we stop being distinct?
And what happens if we think about individuality as something that was actually just scaffolding for where we are now?
So if you create a skyscraper, you put up your scaffolding, you build the building – and what’s happened here is that we’ve overlooked the building, and focussed on the scaffolding.
Y’know – why aren’t we taking the scaffolding down?
Let’s do it today: take the scaffolding down.
Because the individual was a way to get us to this point. And what I really think.. and basically why I’m here is to try and punt this notion.
After doing this comic book for six years; after thinking about this stuff for six years; after proving that it works for six years, I’m left with this notion: we’ve been fooled, and we’ve fooled ourselves, and we continue to fool ourselves – and, like Doug said: there is no “us” and no “them” – there’s just us. And somehow we’re trying to make this thing work. And it *does* work.
Say, for instance… most of us here are mostly pretty counter-culture types – y’know, we like our drugs, we like this and that; we like breaking a few rules. But we don’t like the police, in general. Who here loves the police? Hands up.
Nice one! Coz I’m gonna teach you to love the police.
Why do we hate the police? If we want to change things – everyone in here, let’s go down to the local precinct and join up. Are we gonna do it? Who here’s gonna do it with me? Coz I’m not gonna do it..
And why? *Why* are we not doing that?
[“Coz they’re dumb!”]
Right. So we’re hating these guys who’ve taken on this thing… we’ve chosen the biggest lunkheads in society to protect ourselves from the fuckers in Rikers Island! Because we are scared of them! Y’know, we are scared of them. We are middle-class, libertarian liberals who are shit-scared of being raped in prison.
So we create the police. And we get these lunkheads… who will obey what we tell them do to. They’ll actually obey us; those fuckers will do what we tell them. And we say to them: “Protect us from those real fuckers; those bikers, and those black guys, and all those awful guys who are gonna come and fuck us up and kill us and steal all our stuff.”
We put the police there. Right? We put them there. And we don’t want to go there, because we are smart people; we are cool people. We don’t want to go and hit anyone. We don’t want to go and enforce the law – because we don’t really believe in it. But we know some poor bastard has to enforce it.
Why do we hate those guys when we put them there?
Why do we hate ourselves for creating this society?
Why are so many people in America obsessed with Marilyn Manson; corpses; dead people; misery; John Wayne Gacy… John Wayne Gacy’s a fucking prick. Y’know, he killed a few people and did some shitty paintings. What’s that? Why should we be engaged with that? And yet that has become.. what, “apocalypse culture“?
Where do we go from there, that isn’t that? Where do we go that isn’t playing with our own shite?
The Answer… back to the individual.
If the individual doesn’t work – if Patrick McGoohan was wrong; Number 6 was wrong to stand on that beach screaming “I am not a number, I am a free man!” – what do we have left?
Because ultimately the guy who’s not a number and not a free man experiences neurosis, the longer he goes down that path. I’m sure there’s a bunch of people here, like me, who eventually… you’ve worked your way through this stuff; you’ve read the books, you’ve done this shit; you’ve taken the drugs; you’ve been there, you’ve seen it. We’ve all experienced enlightenment in little bits. You know it’s out there; you know this stuff is true: the consensus doesn’t explain our lives. But what does?
Imagine getting rid of the individual. Imagine getting rid of that scaffolding. What do we have left? And here’s what I’m about to offer:
The more I looked into it, the more I began to see that we have these mutants living among us, right now. The people from the 21st century; from the end of the 21st century are here. But there is no context for them. In the same way that – y’know, if you lived in… Tunguska two hundred years ago, and you were an epileptic, you would be a shaman. There was a context for you. In this society, you’re an epileptic. It’s quite simple; it’s a disease, and nothing you say is of any worth because it’s considered pathology.
If, on the other hand, you look at these people, who are the mutants… and what do they call it? Multiple Personality Disorder.
This is what lies beyond the personality; the “I”; the bullshit.
Because if you take “I” to the limit – and like I said, I’m sure a lot of us here have done this – it becomes… all that happens is that self questions self. Endlessly; repetitively. “Am I doing this right? Is this the right way? Should I think about these people like this? Should I approach them this way; should I involve them this way?” Self questions self, endlessly, and it reaches a peak… it goes nowhere.
On the national scale, that same thing – self questions self; self encounters not-self; equals borders, war, destruction.. that’s where it goes. That’s where it ends. That thing ends in disaster.
It ends in neurosis on a personal level. And it ends in war on the national level.
So I began to think: “What could we replace that with?” And I was looking at these poor MPD fuckers. And I realised they just don’t have a context.
What would happen if we decided to abandon the personality, and replace it with a multiple personality complex? Because as we all know – everyone in here, I’m sure.. I mean, I feel as if I can say this for certain, knowing human beings as they are: sometimes you do things that you don’t want to do. Sometimes you do things that are contradictory to what you think. Sometimes you fuck yourself up.
Why? Because there’s not one person in here; there’s hundreds.
And if you start giving them names, and you start shuffling them about; if you start playing with them, you become a bigger human being. Because you’ve no longer allowed yourself to stop at your boundaries.
Imagine the personality as… let’s choose Windows, even though that’s a contentious one. Imagine the personality as Windows. Instead of the personality.. there’s so many people, I’m sure you’ve met them.. you talk to them, and they say “No, this is the way I am. I’ve worked on this. This is me. And I won’t change. And you’ll just have to work with that. This is me; this is important; this is what I’ve come to, and this is what I’ve Made Of Myself.”
Bullshit. It’s a trap. They don’t go anywhere; they’re stuck there.
What if those same people were then given Personality 2000? Which is an upgrade, and an add-on? And here’s a bit of your personality that likes hip hop? Here’s a bit to your personality that likes ballet? And because we’ve all got them. And we’ve got the fucker.. we’ve got the serial killer inside; we’ve got the wonderful new-age bastard… we’ve got whatever we like. We’ve got James Bond in there. We’ve got Pussy Galore in there. They’re all there.
So what I’m suggesting is that we start working with that. Abandon the personality; abandon the individual; abandon the “I” because it’s a lie, and it has held us down; it’s been like a weight round our necks. It was useful for the last two thousand years of history, because it created this out of the chaos that was – and this is more coherent; more useful; more meaningful. It has its problems; everything does; every system has – but we’re getting better.
And I think what we should do is walk away from the crap of the 21st century, and start thinking about what we’ve been experiencing.
My feeling about the 20th century, and about World War II and about Auschwitz and all of that stuff is that we had to go through it. We had to do it. That was humanity’s dark night of the soul, and it will never, ever happen again. But it had to happen.
Every single nightmare image, every image of hell that we have in our minds happened. Everything you can think of; people were flayed, brutalised, gassed, tortured, cut into pieces, turned into pigs – everything you can imagine happened. The world was a wasteland. There were cities completely annihilated. We went through it.
Why did we do that?
Stanislav Grof has a conception of the ‘perinatal matrices‘, which was one of the big influences on the film The Matrix. You might recognise some of this. He says that things that happen to us around birth are really profound, and they have all kinds of weird effects. They effect society, they effect the self; they effect everything. They have reverberations.
And he claims that there are several states, that he calls “Basic Perinatal Matrices”.
The first state is oceanic bliss – which we’re all familiar with, I’m sure. Oceanic fuckin’ bliss, mate. And that is the state of the baby in the womb, untouched – everything is provided for; everthing is there; everything you need will turn up out of the blue.
Basic Perinatal Matrix 2 is a different thing. It’s when the womb starts to turn a little toxic, and begins to suggest we’re about to be expelled. And, y’know, we don’t remember this stuff – what happened? What was the feeling of that fetus in there who suddenly thinks: “My entire universe has been overturned and I’m about to be shit out”? Does he know where he’s going? “What the fuck’s this? Y’know, I was happy there. It was cool; I was getting everything I wanted.”
And so on into BPM 4 – which is kind of a release from tension; which is the birth process.
So I’m beginning to think.. as a society – and returning to the idea of ontogeny as history.. phylogeny, or whatever the fuck the word is.. what we’re looking at now is humanity’s process through Grofian matrices.
And what we went through is actually a Stanislav Grof Basic Perinatal Matrix 3 experience.
Every image that he talks about: death camps, control, the idea of people.. babies trapped in tubes.. you’ll recognise all this from The Matrix, as I said.
Oil, mechanisms, machines that hate us; destructive technology.. it all happened.
What if this little baby that is the universe; this little larvae that’s approaching culmination, has had to go through these stages? Because everything does. If you want to get rid of war, how do you get rid of war? You inoculate yourself against war by having the worst fuckin’ war you’ve ever had in your life. And everything after that’s just an aftershock. We’ve done nothing worse than what we did in those few years. Humanity’s never come close to anything like it. We’ve tried; there’s been a few lunatics who’ve tried. But nothing on that scale.
So what if we choose to imagine that humanity has passed through that stage?
We’ve reached the 21st century, and we’re now approaching Basic Perinatal Matrix 4. Which is: victory after war. Which is: the struggle is over. Which is: we’re all here; what do we do next?
There was no apocalypse; there was no Christ. There was no rapture. There is nothing. All this stuff is shit.
There is only us. And we’ve still got another thousand years, and maybe another thousand beyond that, and maybe another twenty thousand beyond that.
What are we gonna do?
Who are we?
Are we gonna stick to these personalities; these bounded, territorial things?
Are we gonna expand ourselves; make ourselves bigger? So that if you happen to like.. [say] ‘world music’ and I don’t, I can tap into your love of ‘world music’, and experience it – and it means something.
So all I’m suggesting here is that we all take up magic. Because basically it works. We can change the world. It’s quite simple; the technology’s there. The Buddhists have been telling us.. as I said, people have been telling us this for so long. And in the last two hundred years, it’s been driven underground and we’ve forgotten.
And people like us are here today to try and recover something of that. And the way to recover it, is to do it. Do the techniques. Go buy an Aleister Crowley book; [or] buy one by Phil Hine or Peter Carroll that’s a bit more up to date, and you don’t have to bother with that 18th century fucking language. But do the shit, and you will find it works.
And we stand here now. This is the counterculture. We are the counterculture.. this is like, this shit. I went to this thing in, like, 1987 and it was Robert Anton Wilson and the whole deal – and I remember sitting in the audience thinking “fuck, rave is dead”. Because it was that kind of thing; that version of it’s dead. The hippy version of it’s dead.
We stand here. And we’re looking ahead. What are we gonna do?
Abandon the personality is what I suggest.
Get rid of the sense of self. Get rid of the sense of “I”, and make yourself something bigger. Imagine that every time you want to learn something new, it’s a new computer program; you can buy the operating system; the update. You can learn to fly a plane in seven days according to Neuro-Linguistic Programming – so why not? Let’s do it.
Do we want to change things? Or are we just sitting here talking?
Are we talking at all? Do we want to change things? Yeah! Right – that’s why we’re fucking here, man. That is why we’re here!
So what are we gonna do?
If you want to change things, the first thing you have to change is yourself.
Because if you don’t change yourself, you will take on the world as if it is yourself – and fuck up. You will really fuck up, because you don’t understand your own dark side. If you don’t understand your own weird, shitty side.. if you don’t understand the fact that there’s someone in there who will kill your mother, if need be – if you can’t take that on; if you can’t take that on board and realise that Charles Manson and me and you are not much different; that John Wayne Gacy and me and you are not much different – except that he did it. Y’know, there’s those days when I’m gonna kill that motherfucker over there – but we don’t do it.
But it’s in us, and it’s there. And so much of this is denial. That we have no dark side. You know: the hippies, and those lovely people in the rave era who were all on ecstasy – they tried to pretend we have no dark side. And what happened was they got fucked up by their own dark side. As will always happen.
So let’s kiss our dark sides; let’s fuck our dark sides. Get him down there where he belongs. And he can tell us stuff. Y’know, that thing’s useful.
But above all: let’s become plex-creatures. Complex, superplex – be able to take on new personality traits; able to take on new ideas; able to adapt; able to extend our boundaries into what was previously the ‘enemy territory’ – until the point where we become what was once our enemy, and they are us, and there is no distinction.
Mad Cow Disease, or BSE, or CJD – Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease; it’s very interesting. It’s hitting the headlines; people are interested in these new 21st-century fucked up diseases that are gonna wipe us all out, apparently.
This is a disease – I’ve been studying this, coz it seems like a really good metaphor to use – CJD is a disease that attacks the brain and central nervous system and utterly demolishes them. Completely; you’re fucked. You will slide down a ramp like a stupid cow. You’ll fall on the concrete; you won’t be able to walk; your brain will turn to sponge. You’ll be eaten to bits.
You know that CJD does that without the immune system noticing? The immune system can’t detect CJD. By the time you’re slipping down the ramp like a cow, it’s all over. The immune system suddenly says: “Oh fuck; we’re in trouble.” Too late, mate.
So what happens if we act like BSE and CJD? What if we colonise the culture? What if we give it something it can’t swallow?
And this is a little bit like what Doug [Rushkoff] was saying earlier: we go in there; they want us. They’re desperate for us, because they think we know this shit; we know something they don’t know. We’re attached; we’re connected in some way that they don’t.. “they”, whoever “they” are; these poor bastards. They’re looking at us, like – coz I’ve got a leather jacket, I know something, y’know?!
But that’s what they think. And what I think has actually happened here is: the culture’s getting weirder and weirder.
Back home in Britain, Tony Blair is putting up cameras in every street corner. And he’s talking about putting cameras in peoples’ homes. He’s gotten rid of trial by jury. This is like, fascist Britain 1999, y’know?
But the more he does this, the weirder things get.
The more cameras you put up, the more people will start to act like movie stars. The more people start to act like movie stars, the weirder things get. And then the *more* cameras they put up to try and deal with it! And the weirder it gets!
So let ‘em bring the cameras; I’ll fucking act the shit out of these bastards! Let’s have the cameras. Let’s have cameras everywhere. And we’ll show them what we can do.
And they’ll be watching, going: “Man, that guy’s getting fucked; I wish I was.”
And they want in. They want in on this. So let’s, like Doug said, invite them in. Let’s take them in. Let’s be like the diseased prion that destroys its host, and CJD.
Let’s go in there and give them something they cannot digest. Something they cannot process. Something so toxic, so dangerous, so powerful.. that it will breed, and destroy them utterly.
Not destroy them – turn them into us. Because that’s what we want. We want everybody to be cool. We don’t want to go in and think: “That guy over there’s gonna kill me; that guy hates me; that guy’s got some fucking weird agenda.”
Don’t we just wanna talk? And let it all go, and just say: “Hey, I’m interested in you; what have yo
u got to tell me?”
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? We communicate; we join up; we make networks; we make things happen.
And there are some people in the world who don’t wanna do that.
So let us infect them.
Infect them to the point where they become us.
Where there’s nothing left in this world, but us.
And then some kid’ll come up and fuck that as well.
And that’ll be exactly what we need at the time.
And that’s me finished, so thank you very much.