Olli Toivanen's pagething


I am a Discordian. Discordians are believers in the ancient Greek goddess Eris, known to Romans as Discordia, one of the small gods, the divinity of disorder, discord, chaos and problems. She is the daughter of Night and Void, the mother of all manner of ills, the origin of the Trojan War, the goddess of Discord and Confusion, and the unofficial goddess of Chaos, Shock, Awe and Sudden Delight, that's who Eris is.

Her gifts are as her titles: discord, confusion, chaos, wildly cachinnating laughter and the sort of ineffable and improper acts you were always, circumloquaciously, warned about. As with all gods and all gifts of gods, there are some who willingly accept those gifts, and find comfort and wisdom in them. Then there are the pricks who do not; but Discordians wage no holy wars. We merely declare a catwa, and go on. (catwa: a ceremonial burial of the offending object or a representation of it in the nearest litter box. Afterwards, an apology to Bast, the goddess of cats, is muttered.)

So am I serious?

Firstly, that's a rude question to ask someone about their religion.

Secondly, yes and no. Let me put it like this: there are Christian atheists; that is, people who don't believe in the Christian God (as in, don't think Him real), yet believe in the Christian tradition (as in, think it's a good thing). (In most cases most of these people would never admit to being atheists, but that's just PR.)

Me, I don't believe in the Christian God, or the tradition. I don't like them, and because of my philosophical kinks and perversions they do nothing for me. But the Erisian tradition of treating serious things jokingly, and jokes seriously? Being in the camp of the doubters, the uncertain ones, the jesters and the skeptics and the wearers of other people's clothes?

That's the way I can talk about things.

There are many Discordians, but we're not big on congregations and churches. It's difficult for everybody to be a Pope if you clump together. (Oh, and every Discordian is a Pope. Obviously. We don't fool around with a lay priesthood.) There's no Discordian central dogma either; Discordians (says me) dislike certainty, and embrace doubt, uncertainty, many-valued functions and, well, discord.

In zen terms, when the world asks you a yes-or-no question, Discordians can answer with a “mu”. (Or a “wuh”; depends on how you transliterate your terminology. It just means “not applicable, cannot be determined, is not known, is not a sensible or well-formed question; is a philosophical trick question”.)

What I would recommend is the foundational bible-bable of Discordianism, Principia Discordia, available here in a handy web form, in its full illustrated 60s glory. After that, read whatever ha-ha-hadith strikes your fancy.

You may have noticed that this homepage (http://olli.mirrorsoferis.com/) is a subdomain of something called Mirrors of Eris. It should not be surprising by now that that's an instance of Erisian theology and/or entertainment.