(Feral House, 2010)
After the disbandment of Throbbing Gristle (a group dealing in audial and visual art but mostly known for being responsible for creating Industrial music in the seventies), the multitalented artist and occultist Genesis P-Orridge continued the agenda behind the group (which was none other than the re-evaluation of everything learned, or “Don’t Do As You’re Told, Do As You Think”) in the early eighties with a magickal collective or a network of like-minded individuals named Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth. After influencing a lot of countercultures, Genesis P-Orridge left the network in the early nineties – leaving it to the hands of it’s other members – and later continued the work under the name TOPI.
While the Temple acted as means of communication for a global grid of people interested in existing as absolute Leaders of their own lives, Psychick TV was formed by Genesis P-Orridge, as well as Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and John Balance (whom later formed COIL), to act as an audial and visual branch of the Temple, providing a soundtrack (or just acting as magickal musick separate from the Temple) for the activities of the network.
This book – edited by Jason Louv of the amazing Ultraculture-blog and a personal student of Genesis P-Orridge – gathers the key texts produced by the Temple, to present it’s philosophical and “ideological” agendas, and give guidance and inspiration to it’s members. What comes apparent in the texts is the eclectic attitude of TOPY towards magic, giving only a few techniques as suggestions of practice to it’s members. Major inspirations include for example the cut-up work of William Burroughs, the Sigil-workings of Austin Osman Spare, and general Sex Magic (also the term Chaos Magic goes without saying when thinking of the work of the Temple). Indeed, one of the Temple’s most important goals was the sexual liberation of the individual, and the cultures of for example S&M and Piercing are apparent in the world of TOPY. Later the work of the Temple would also be highly influential for example in the Acid House scene and culture.
This book acts first of all as a wonderful introduction to this quite obscure (at least in the times of it’s foundation) magickal group, besides giving a few techniques used by the group to those interested in receiving inspiration for their personal work. As the group always emphasized, the goal of a magical order is (or should be) to act only as a stepping-stone for the individual to find his/her own personal way of working. In this sense, TOPY never acted as a “church” with strict codes, philosophies or rituals, but rather as a way of exchanging ideas and guidance for individuals interested in personal growth and finding their True Self (something which goes without saying in most “spiritual” work).
However, the amount of highly intelligent and thoughtful writing of Genesis P-Orridge gathered within these pages is phenomenal, and amidst the philosophical writings within the context of the Temple, we can find a treasure-house of highly inspirational observations and contemplations of a person deeply interested in psychology, spirituality and the working of the human mind in general, especially when it comes to Awakening out of the sleep of societies.
A highly recommended purchase to anyone interested in the ideas and atmospheres of the occult eighties – especially the world of so-called Chaos Magic – or just intendeded in waking up, “to be ex-dream.”