Religion, sex, and politics are said to be the three subjects you are not supposed to discuss in “polite society,” but doesn’t that make them that much more alluring? So much balkanization has been achieved by stressing divisions of thought to the degree that chaos is the only outcome. Believe it or not, there is an entire religion that literally worships discord.
This holy book, of sorts, lays the foundation for Discordianism, which is a religion that worships Eris, the goddess of chaos. It is a wickedly humourous tome, as you can tell by its subtitle, “How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her” (alternatively, “Wherein is Explained Absolutely Everything Worth Knowing About Absolutely Anything”). As the author, the “Omnibenevolent Polyfather of Virginity in Gold,” says, “Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way is irrelevant.”
What some would think of as a parody religion points out the ridiculousness of institutionalized religion, which is filled to the brim with this thing you call a “clergy.” The Paratheo-Anametamystikhood Of Eris Esoteri (known more simply as the POEE) brilliantly illustrates this:
“There are no particular qualifications for Ordination because if you want to be a POEE Priest then you must undoubtedly qualify. Who could possibly know better than you whether or not you should be Ordained?”
The theological dictates of Discordianism are uniquely strange. Eris, who is also the goddess of confusion, makes it a point to illustrate certain topics with countless contradictions, for converting cognitive dissonance into doublethink is performed with abandon. The Sacred Chao (pronounced “cow”) points out the duality between order (that is, the Pentagon that some would say represents the military-industrial complex) and disorder (as signified by the Apple of Discord, with has the Greek word “kallistēi” on it, which means “the fairest,” drawing on the mythological Greek story about Eris rolling the Apple at the wedding reception of Achille’s parents, Peleus and Thetis). The Law of Fives states that:
“All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5. The Law of Fives is never wrong.”
I bet it would be, since that definition is so loose it could literally apply to anything; then again, perhaps that was the point.
The Discordian Society seems to be a little hard to pin down exactly what it is, since it “has no definition.” As it is said on page 0032:
“If you want in on the Discordian Society then declare yourself what you wish do what you like and tell us about it or it prefer don’t. There are no rules anywhere. The Goddess Prevails.”
Organizationally speaking, there is none to speak of, not even an affinity group of any real sort. The closest would probably be the POEE:
“POEE is one manifestation of THE DISCORDIAN SOCIETY about which you will learn more and understand less. We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS GODDESS OF CONFUSION and with Her Doings.”
Is there really a difference between the POEE and the Discordian Society? I don’t really see one, and perhaps that is the point.
Significantly, there are all sorts of puns and word plays to underlay the chaotic contradictions that abound this holy literature. If you don’t seem to understand me, then you’ll need to consult your pineal gland. Of course, understanding the integral pivotal importance of the Curse of Greyface might just open you up to receive fallible blessings from the Polyfather, who seeks to remind all of the useless flock to remain somewhat faithful to the steady hand of chaos in all of our questionable interactions. The Pentabarf is as follows:
I – There is Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is the Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.
II – A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.
III – A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Bog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of the Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).
IV – A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.
V – A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing What he Reads.
Now, I’ve been a stickler for not following arbitrary dictates from the State, but since this is the most arbitrary one possible outside of the government, then it behooves me to follow it, for the Goddess said so. Then again, aren’t all fnords just fnords? Might this just be the point, to simply lay down and support the local polizia? Surely I jest — or perhaps not.
Malaclypse the Younger and Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst’s Principia Discorida is as wonderful explication of the absurdities from organized religions the world over and the sometimes (?) baffling theology that goes with it. Goofiness, I think, goes hand in hand with Liberty, for if you just can’t clown around and crack jokes, then you aren’t having as much fun living life and resisting tyrants, now are you? Maybe it’s time for all of us to let go of our sacred cows and just fucking relax for once. Taking things too seriously can dangerously limit what can be accomplished. Besides, why not gain Victory over the Establishment by doing it in style?
Oh, what the hell…. ALL HAIL ERIS! ALL HAIL DISCORDIA!