In 2009, right after the release of See Mystery Lights, we wrote a book.
That book, The Secret Teachings of the Mystery Lights: A Handbook on Overcoming Humanity and Becoming Your Own God, was as clear an explanation of the YACHT philosophy as we’ve ever set forth. In no uncertain terms, it delineated our beliefs, the specific form of radical self-empowerment that we attempt to convey to the world in everything that we do.
For several years, the book—a slim but handsome volume bound in faux-calfskin—was only available at YACHT shows. It felt important to hand over each copy personally: so we could answer questions and look at people in the whites of their eyes, so they’d know we meant it. This made copies of The Secret Teachings into special items, testaments of their owners‘ experiences and their care for tactile objects. It made the book mysterious, elusive, just like the Marfa Mystery Lights, which had triggered its writing.
When we learned that Apple was releasing free software for people to author and design interactive books for the iPad, however, we knew we needed to give this esoteric little text a new life. We decided to evolve The Secret Teachings from an elusive chapbook into a futuristic educational tool.
So, without further ado: The Secret Teachings of the Mystery Lights: A Handbook on Overcoming Humanity and Becoming Your Own God, free for iPad. We’ve revised and expanded the book like crazy, tacking on texts from the archives of YACHT print material distribution: the official YACHT Tattoo Policy, our handout “On Mantra” (which includes rare audio files of all the YACHT mantras) and every single image from the YACHT Catalogue of Influences, in full-color, with extended footnotes. It was very much surreal to make this thing, which is unlike anything we’ve ever put out into the world; it bridges the gap between analog and digital projects, being both tactile and ephemeral, while somehow being more than the sum of its parts. We’re excited to make many more interactive texts for you.
The Secret Teachings eBook is only available on iPad for the time being; the second that Apple makes multitouch interactive iBooks available for the iPhone, we’ll make an iPhone edition.
Claire & Jona