The Virtues of Discordianism

July 29, 2008

Magicians, and progeny the scientists, have always taken themselves and their subject in an orderly and sober manner, thereby disregarding an essential metaphysical balance. When magicians learn to approach philosophy as a malleable art instead of an immutable Truth, and learn to appreciate the absurdity of man’s endeavours, then they will be able to pursue their art with a lighter heart, and perhaps gain a clearer understanding of it, and therefore gain more effective magic.

-Principia Discordia

I’m not a Discordian myself. I do however like and respect them, and I believe there is a lot of truth in their spirituality, even if it is overlooked by outsiders. Their main holy book, the Principia Discordia, is divinely inspired and provides a direct link and channel to Eris. Her wisdom is contained in the book. It’s also a very entertaining read (in the way television is entertaining, not in the way a horrible poem about a penis written by Crowley is entertaining), and I highly recommend it.

I do believe many magicians would benefit greatly by adapting some Discordian principles and believes into their magick, and I’d like to take a moment to look at those philosophies which err on the side of Discordianism that would provide the greatest benefit to a practitioner.

1. You can’t take this shit seriously – Really, you can’t, or you won’t survive it. If I took just what I’ve been through in this past week and took it seriously I’d either have a complete mental break-down or become an alcoholic. The ability to be a bit lighthearted and nonchalant about this stuff is one of the things that keeps us from curling up in a fetal position and muttering nonsense the rest of our lives. Which leads right into number two on the list:

2. In regards to your spirituality, your magick, yourself, and even your gods, you need to be able to laugh about it – Laughter is one of the best psychological weapons against the worst situations we find ourselves in. Laughter and joy also attunes us to the higher planes as opposed to the lower planes. And really, being spiritual is no excuse for being somber. Many look at spirituality as something that needs to be taken seriously and shouldn’t be joked about, but these are people who have most likely had a dead Jew on a cross stuck up their ass for some time now. This stuff is a lot more fun when you can laugh about it. And Gods are, supposedly, far more advanced and complicated than humans, and yet most seem arrogant enough to believe that concepts such as humor and laughter are so foreign to the divine that they have no understanding of them or their necessity to humanity. Those that truly love us, be they divine or otherwise, would rather see us laughing than not, would rather we be happy than not. And all of this leads right into number three:

3. Magick is supposed to be fun – I notice a lot of people bitch about the sacrifices they’ve made, the pains and trials they’ve endured, and the rigorous training they’ve undergone to supposedly become magicians. Other than the occasional rant about Wiccan stupidity I’ve been roped into, I don’t. I’ve sacrificed, I’ve endured my trails, I’ve gone through the training, and horrific shit happens to me on a weekly, if not daily, basis. But at the end of every day that I’ve been on this path I’ve looked back and thought to myself, this shit’s fun. I get to fight monsters and see other worlds and talk with gods and solve puzzles and manipulate the universe itself just for my own amusement. I love this stuff, and if I didn’t have it I’d be so fucking bored I’d probably kill myself. If you don’t enjoy magick, if it’s some burden or cross you’re carrying, you’re doing something wrong. Maybe this just isn’t the path for you. Maybe you aren’t made of the right stuff for this. Maybe you just need to change your perspective a bit.

4. Fnord

5. Freestyle, chaotic, carelessness is more often than not at the heart of true magickal advancement – We don’t typically advance ourselves as magicians by reading books and listening to lectures, carefully following basic exercises in order to strengthen our psychic abilities, and keeping to a tight structured path of attainment all the while acquiring numerous degrees. It’s those days that start with what seems like a good idea at the time and end with us getting raped by mermaids while fending off demons we’ve accidentally summoned into our bedrooms that ultimately build us into better magicians. The magicians who achieve the most aren’t the ones who think, “Wait a minute, this might be dangerous,” but rather the ones who think, “I wonder what would happen if instead of sitting in the goetic circle I laid naked in the triangle with the talisman drawn on my chest with a sharpie.”


So Long Mr Grabbe…

June 17, 2008

It just came to my attention that about three months ago J. Orlin Grabbe passed away.

I only recently found about about Mr Grabbe, in the same way many others did, when my website hits nearly tripled because he linked to one of my articles. When I followed the link back to its origin, I found a website filled with links to news articles on science, the economy, politics, conspiracy theories, and other important things, all interlaced with pictures, mostly of naked women. It seemed like a strange site at first, and yet I found myself checking it regularly.

I also found myself, like many others, trying to figure out exactly what it was and who Grabbe was. As it turns out, he’s one of the original Internet conspiracy theorists, his conspiracies focusing on finance. However, unlike other conspiracy theorists, this wasn’t some random guy in a basement with a tin foil hat. Grabbe had a doctorate in economics obtained at ivy league schools and was renowned as a financial expert long before he ever got into conspiracy theories. Even after jumping into conspiracies he continued to produce important and well regarded works inside and outside of finance. The man was a conspiracy theorists, but he was also legit, not some random crazy but someone who should probably be listened to about the subject at hand.

He was also involved with cryptology, media works, and had a hand in discordianism. That last part probably explains everything.

We not only lost a remarkable man when we lost J. Orlin Grabbe, but we lost the man who was probably the only conspiracy theorist that was sane, logical, and possibly right about everything. My inner-discordian can’t help but think that the world is now bereft something wondrous and beautiful and so rare that we may never see the likes of it again, which in itself is remarkable because my inner-discordian is typically distracted mid-thought by something shiny or funny.

Also the man had impeccable taste in naked women.


Eris’ Enlightenment

June 7, 2006

 

eris3.jpg

A friend directed me to the Principia Discordia the other day, and it’s the funniest holy book I’ve ever read. While reading through the book, I could feel the energy of Eris coming off of it, and it differed a lot from what I had read about Eris. The general idea I had seen was that Eris was not a pleasant deity and something that should be feared and shunned. I understand how chaos is necessary and good in the universe, and how sometimes things of that ilk get labeled as evil by those who are not mature enough to understand why they are needed. Even so, the energy I felt compared to the descriptions I’d seen were way off. Eris’s energy was fun and enjoyable, and her followers seemed more like members of Harvard Lampoon than left-hand pathers. I went and researched Eris some more, and came up with pretty much the same results. Outside of discordians, I couldn’t find one person in all of history who had written something nice about Eris.

As I sidenote, it’s also very hard to find any imagery of Eris. There are a very few surviving Greek depictions of her. There are some later secular paintings, but not much that is recent and non-secular. The few recent depictions I found of her were actually incorrect.

As I read through the Principia Discordia I started to feel Eris tug upon me and call me to her. I was pretty sure I was going to talk with Eris shortly, and talking to Eris would be the only way I could find out for sure the truth about Eris.

When I went to speak with Eris, she responded to me almost immediately. Her energy was very happy and fun. There is a specific type of joy to that energy which is difficult to exactly describe. The energy also made me crave sugar. There was another aspect to the energy too, which is in agreement to what is taught in the Principia Discordia. It’s a complete removal of boundaries and rules and formalities and such. Almost an emotion of being able to do whatever it is you feel like doing without restriction or judgment. It’s all very pleasant though.

I had sought out Eris mainly to rectify the discrepancy between the various accounts of her, and after I had felt her and knew what she was I asked her why other accounts had described her in the way in which they did. And she explained it to me.

What a person sees in Eris is a reflection of what they truly are. Eris doesn’t corrupt or destroy a person. She just removes rules, and laws, and formalities, and ethics, and honor, and punishments, and rewards, and consequences. She strips away everything else and leaves a person as they truly are.

Those who are truly good see her as good, because she incites no evil in them. Those who are good will continue to hold their actions to the same standards even when there are no punishments or rewards for those actions, and they will not need a structure to tell them right from wrong.

But then there are those who act good, but are truly evil. They are people who are full of malice and selfishness who would do so much more to better pleasure themselves without due regard for others if not restrained by fears of punishment and rewards for good behavior. When they look on Eris, they see evil, because they see what evil would be unleashed if they were ever allowed to act without consequences.

The only thing Eris does is she gives a person the freedom to be themselves, their true self. She’ll expose the great and the beautiful and the innocent as she exposes the petty and the selfish and the malicious.

She also told me that the fact that man knows of heaven and knows of hell proves that neither exists. No man can be labeled as good and deserving of heaven and not hell when his good acts were performed for the sole purpose of escaping punishments in hell and receiving rewards in heaven. At the same time a man’s true nature cannot be discerned until he is able to act freely without fear of consequences.

And she explained the Trojan War to me, and how that wasn’t her fault. She had done nothing, except allow everyone to be as they truly were.

Three deities had been reduced to fighting over something that had little value for any of them.

Paris had been swayed by the bribery of goddesses, and had judged the contest unfairly. Then after receiving the hospitality of Menelaus decided to use Aphrodite to steal away his wife. He then became more concerned with keeping Helen than doing what was necessary for the welfare of the nation that he was prince of. And when given the opportunity to end the affair instead decided to unhonorably attack Agamemnon.

And there’s the petty bickering of both Agamemnon and Achilles, both more concerned with their pride and their little prizes and renown than actually leading their armies into battle. And Odysseus, favored by Athena, who could not help but boast about every feat he accomplished, which in turn brought the death of his crew, the loss of his riches, and left him lost at sea for ten years.

The Epic Cycle is full of characters, many of which were considered the finest specimens of humanity, that were vain and petty and selfish. And they were exposed, and allowed to be as they really were, and because of it many soldiers perished, great heroes died, nations and cities were destroyed, and tragedy struck all but a handful of the participants. No tragedy that befell within the Epic Cycle was undeserved.

And Eris told me that all of this may be useful to some other people, and so I should tell it to whomever I felt like telling it to if I wanted to. All of this was told to me in a different order however. And in writing this, I’ve noticed some subtleties in what was told to me, and some questions I’ve been wondering about have actually been answered.