Thee Psychick Bible: Thee Apocryphal Scriptures Ov Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Thee Third Mind Ov Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth (Anglais) Broché – 18 novembre 2010
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Like most modern books advertising themselves as manuals on 'practical magic', Thee Psychick Bible is merely a set of commonsensical notions re-imagined as esoteric concepts. I see little in the neologistic excesses of Megson, or the more straightforward hagiographical text of his co-editors, that cannot be summed up succinctly as "think for yourself as much as you possibly can." It is a sad fact that many individuals do need some "de-programming" to reach this lofty plateau of self-determination, but very few people ever undergo this process without allowing themselves to be "re-programmed" with yet another immutable and systemic way of thinking. TOPY, as much as it might have claimed to be a 'meta-religion' or a parody of belief systems intending to unveil the methods of innoculation common to them all, was ultimately an indoctrination into the aesthetic preferences and personal biases of Genesis P. Orridge. Little in this book alleviates my suspicion that GPO wants to remake the world in his image, as much as it salutes the liberating potential of "chaos." Despite its arguably novel addition of using modern technology to supplement transformative rituals, TOPY writ provides nothing that could not be gleaned from Zen meditation or following Taoist precepts. As these 'scriptures' will of course tell you, the more Occidental, post-Crowley version of "psychic surgery" is far more useful than those other systems because it brings sex back into the picture in a big way. Maybe there is something to that, but when we have an ideologue calling for neophytes to share the results of private sexual inquiries with him (look up the TOPY "three fluids" ritual), then my suspicion of motives resurfaces stronger than ever.
"But wait, there's more," as TV infomercials so famously proclaim. Megson has a maddening inability to stick with a story, and to revise history- as if nobody had access to his numerous out-of-print works and assumed that the 'current' edition of any given text (including this one) were the most accurate one. He has been blessed, so far, with a fanbase that is very accepting of his version of events, and with cultural enemies who tend to focus their fire on the moral unacceptability of his art rather than on the possibility that he is falsifying much of his personal history. Many of the pivotal events in Megson's life, from his youthful meetings with Brian Jones to his being the last person to speak with Joy Division's Ian Curtis, MIGHT have happened, but when consdering the way that he airbrushed his ex-wife Paula out of TOPY history following their divorce, these compelling stories become harder to swallow. This is, sadly, also the case for the TOPY post-scripts that are added to this book (and also repeated, to some degree, in the recent book "Love, Sex, Fear, Death.") One wonders why these revelations as to the organizational nature and activities of TOPY had to be kept more vague until this point. And the more such 'hitherto undisclosed' information becomes conveniently available as a means of filling this character's coffers, the more he seems like a po-mo, pop-cultural L. Ron Hubbard promising ever newer and deeper secrets to those with more money to burn. Though they are not included in this book, such colorful episodes as GPO's hearing ghost rappings during the recording of his tribute single to Brian Jones, or having Austin Osman Spare paintings transform before his eyes, are probably as fictional as L. Ron's claims to have been fighting in every major theater of the second World War. More unfortunately, these anecdotes cast doubt upon the extent of GPO's involvement in genuinely worthwhile projects such as manning a soup kitchen in Nepal or protesting the cruel treatment of dolphins in a Brighton 'dolphinarium.'
In the final reckoning, I think it's only fair to judge Megson's ideology by the fruits that it has borne. Those manifestations of his creativity where he was clearly in the driving seat have been profoundly banal, imitative, and characterized more by nostalgic yearning for some lost 'Garden' than for a Promethean or Nietzschean drive to build a new wo / man. When acting under the tutelage of some more disciplined mind, or when paired with collaborators that didn't attempt to flatter his ego (r.i.p. Peter Christopherson), he produced his best work. Meanwhile, the would-be penultimate non-conformism of the Temple Ov Psychick Youth resulted not in an ever-increasing pluralism of ideas and fashions, but in another template for correct conduct that, like Punk, has remained largely unchanged since its inception, and has attracted a fairly homogeneous crowd since that inception. Some of these acolytes, like Richard Metzger of the Disinfo website, publish similar tomes with the nagging, adolescent "I know something that you don't know!" arrogance common to "magick" hucksters posing as cultural critics or skeptics. That is the legacy of this book in its less 'deluxe' prior incarnations, and I doubt that a more sophisticated choir will be listening to the gospel this time around.
Back in the 80's, the hippest kids on the Magickal Scene were without a doubt, Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth, and one of the hippest bands on the New Wave/Industrial scene was Genesis P. Orridge's Psychick TV. 20-odd years later, their infamous Psychick Bible finally receives an updated, expanded, corrected edition,complete with dozens of new visuals and essays. This edition is beautifully gold embossed on the cover, is a smyth-sewn hardcover with a red ribbon, and its' 544 pages within are printed in two colors on high-quality 60-pound stock on acid-free 100% recycled paper stock. A quality book. This signed, numbered limited edition (999 copies only) is also presented with a remarkable DVD of impossible-to-find videos from P-Orridge archives of early Psychic TV and TOPY creations which includes the work of Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson and Derek Jarman. Several of the videos included were seized by Scotland Yard in 1991, and as a result, here are second-generation, and are reproduced in this CD for both their intrinsic and historical value.
The artist and author/editor, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, says about this edition: "It has been a revelation and become very thrilling for me to see 30 years+ of social, ritual and communal creative explorations consensed into what we feel may become the most profound new manual on `practical magick' taking from its Crowleyan level of liberation and empowermeant of the Individual to a next level of realization that magick must then give back to its environment, its community, become about liberation and empowermeant to change this `world' and evolve our humanE species."
Thee Temple was the group largely responsible for popularizing body modification: including piercing and tattooing, as well as acid house music, and to a degree Thelemic magick, all of these points aimed at personal liberation and the construction of a model of life outside of, and very opposed to, the status quo of the 1980s and beyond. They did a tremendous amount of work at shifting our culture in new and creative directions-- "'tis an ill wind that blows no minds."
It was hard to make sence of what was happening at that time.
The publication of ratio 5 docs was helpful.
Gen was a great influence on me and I'm happy to see his works compiled into one book.
Now... I wonder what happened to all those N.A. Sigils?
His presentation is very non-dogmatic,pragmatic, and fascinating.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been a fan of
Throbbing Gristle,Psychick TV,Genesis P. Orridge, and Aleister Crowley. My only disappointment is that I was expecting a signed and numbered edition of the book which had neither.
Another related book that I recently ordered from Amazon is
Wrecker`s of Civilization: A History of Coum Transmissions and
Throbbing Gristle by Simon Ford which I also give 5 stars. Highly
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