« on: March 06, 2010, 09:30:27 am »
This post is unlikely to contain any new ideas for you.
I need to get it down here, though, to be built upon... because I'm getting my head to a point where I hope I can contribute content of some substance. Maybe. Unless I start screaming again.
Sometimes people ask me about my religious beliefs.
Hearing that I am a "Discordian" they are perplexed.
"What is a Discordian?" is usually their second question.
These people are seeking the Wikipedia definition of Discordianism and that's what I give them. "It's a religion disguised as a joke or a joke disguised as a religion; nobody really knows. We believe that God is a woman and she's crazy. She's the Greco-Roman Goddess of Chaos actually. Eris, y'know? We're not allowed to believe anything we read. Actually that's not what we believe. I was only kidding."
This is what people want to hear when they ask me about Discord, and upon hearing this absolutely nobody is enlightened because the Principia Discordia was written by a couple of stoned hippies. It's not all bad. It's something to start with. Parts of it might work for you and others might not and can be discarded. The book is true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense. It contains some handy metaphors and useful ideas which some may not have encountered yet. It also contains a whole lot of fluff. It's a model to be improved upon, but not something I think you should take and use as is. Some people get hung up on the fluff. They take the Principia as their holy book and spend their time repeat 50 year old jokes. This gives the convenient illusion of being a freethinker without having to do any actual thinking. These people missed the joke entirely.
Some people get cured of Discordianism™ and evolve, stronger than they were before they caught it, but to me, Discordianism™ is just another form of mental bondage and it's not my Discordia.
Sometimes, though, they ask the question in a different way. Sometimes people ask "What do you believe?" which, despite being very similar to the first question, is in fact entirely different. Whether they meant to or not, these people are asking about my Discordia. These people are asking what Discordia means to me. Sometimes I'm in a bad enough mood to try and tell them.
My Discordia is what separates me from the rest of you primates. It's in my refusal to suspend disbelief, instead embracing it and confronting issues head-on... and it's in the way that I deal with these issues. It's in acknowledging the horrors as horrors, rather than denying their existence. It's in laughing at these horrors, not as a coping mechanism, but because they're so ridiculous that there is no other way to react to them. I mean, it seems fair. If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. My Discordia is in pointing this out to you. It's in sprinting, climbing, leaping... dodging security guards, evading the police just to get a message put up on a wall. A simple protest. Just to share a tiny part of my Discordia with others, in the hopes that it's something they can use... and if they can't, at least I get a laugh out of confusing them.
It's not a set of beliefs I hold. My Discordia is in my questioning those beliefs. It's in the understanding that everything I might gather together and refer to as my "self", should not just be accepted as immutable truth or exempt from critique. My Discordia is in my taking responsibility for the way I process, interpret and form relationships between the information I gather. It's in my acknowledgement that the world as I see it isn't the world as it is... nor is the world as I think of it even the world as I see it. Everything that I observe, I change in my observation.
My Discordia is something I rarely talk about, because as soon as I start to make statements about my beliefs, I find further flaws in my philosophy. Inconsistencies and contradictions... and my Discordia is in my attacking those. It is likely that in the time between my posting this and your reading it my philosophy has changed again. Watch this space for further updates.
My Discordia is in my acknowledgement that what is popular is not the same as what is best.
It's in my rejection of the status quo as being something beyond criticism and inherently "right".
My Discordia incorporates parts of your Discordia. It has been inspired and shaped by your elements of your Discordia... but my Discordia is not your Discordia.
It's not something I believe. It's something I am and something I do... It's a multifunctional tool, because when it doesn't fit, I modify it until it works. It's my private, heavily modified copy of an Open Source Religion... and it's not for sale.