The thing that strikes me about occult organisations… all the way from the Roman Catholic Church to the wiccan coven that organises bake-sales and grooves on lunar empowerment… is that they are essentially mechanisms for externalising the neuroses of their members. A way of turning irrational belief into concrete power structures. A way of limiting the imagination.
This far, and no further… and just cos TOPY’s (as one example) this far is a good deal further than the Church of England’s this far, doesn’t mean much when you’re talking about the infinite potential of the human imagination.
I’m in favour of getting involved with stuff because it throws up the unexpected. It’s the randomness of having other people involved with what you do that makes those leaps of understanding. When groups are bad they are what Jim describes, but when groups are good they are the opposite – they provide a structure for the unexepected.
When we started to actively do things of our own in T.O.P.Y. London we found we had to use all our skills to present our ideas to the general public. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but at least we got the chance to argue our case and see what worked and what failed.
When it really worked, we got people joining in who had no interest in Psychic TV or the usual gamut of ideas that the people who originated T.O.P.Y. were interested in.
These peoples’ input had a massive influence on me which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t got involved with something larger than my own imagination. It’s good to have people around you who will innovate and criticise, people who can do things you can’t and will value the things you can do.
And if you ARE going to change the world, you need to have some sort of structure which allows people to face in the same direction (at least some of the time…) and work together.