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Principia Discordia Paperback – July 1, 1994
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This book is the bible of Discordianism...the worship of Eris, the goddess of Chaos. This book contains subversive truths, absurd lies, guerilla philosophy, and several naughty words. Open mind before reading!
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Back when paganism wasn't even a recognized word (it was either coined or popularized by Thornley aka Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst) and when "feminism" was a word rarely heard outside of a college lecture, it presented a pagan goddess. But not as goddesses had been presented before; this one was less an icon of fear and salvation and more an object of fun and salivation. Eris Discordia is shown as the personification of the forces of chaos and disorder that any open-minded observer would see are as fundamental--and as desirable--in our universe as system and order.
This is a book of humor, irony, twisted logic (I have ceased raping little children--answer yes or no), and also of a real philosophical system that touches Zen Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Christianity, Existentialism, and things that others left untouched.
It may amuse, confuse, and astound you. Greg Hill aka Malaclypse the Younger with Omar, Robert Anton Wilson, and other cohorts created this mind-blowing work and religion in the late 1950s and 1960s when America had settled down from WWII and was just opening up its mind to be blown.
Ironically, Thornley was investigated for the event that blew American into the 1960s movement, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For more on Thornley and Lee Harvey Oswald, see The Idle Warriors and The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture. But the roots, the peace sign, the philosophical movement, the challenging the establishment, are in this book. Just when it gets you laughing, it slaps you in the face, and then laughs at you.
Some have called the work as dated. In this day of goddess-linked Wiccan symbols appearing in military cemeteries, The Church of the SubGenius, and The Flying Spaghetti Monster, a humorous goddess doesn't seem nearly as radical. It is a product of its time, but then again so is everything. But some of what might have been missed by earlier readers can be seen more clearly now.
And the world today still needs to learn the lesson of the Golden Apple. Eris did not cause the Trojan War by tossing the golden apple marked, "To The Prettiest One" in the midst of three vain goddess. Their own vanity, fighting over which of them qualified for the title, created the war, the first among humanity. If those goddesses sound really foolish by modern standards, think again. Vanity and pettiness are still causing wars.
This edition adds material at the end, which proved to be controversial among Discordians. But it's very clear where the original ends and the new begins, and the new material is some of the best.
Two things to keep in mind when reading the book, both coming from the end of the tome itself:
Eristotle's unattributed quote, "May you have the knowledge of a sage, and the wisdom of a child."
And the handwritten marginal note, "If you think the PRINCIPIA is just a ha-ha, then go read it again."
Not all of the books listed are available through Amazon. Some you'll have to look for elsewhere.
Certain passages inspire more than others, like The Enlightenment Of Zarathud and Lord Omar's Epistle To The Paranoids of which only the orthodox version appears here. According to the Samaritan Codex (jealously guarded by a heterodox Discordianist cult) and the Octuagint there is an additional verse which reads: "Ye erect tall buildings, only to cast yerselves from the rooves."
The same Codex - but not the Octuagint - also contains The Epistle To The Neurotics by St. Euthanasius which regrettably didn't make it into this edition. For nearly 3000 years scholars have been debating its authenticity. The editors could at least have added it as an appendix.
A welcome improvement over earlier editions is the inclusion of the variant reading of verse 4 of the Epistle To The Paranoids from the Codex Sinaiticus: "O how the darknesses do crowd up, one against the other, in ye hearts! What fear ye more than [not "that"] what ye have wroughten?"
Despite the aforementioned omissions, the familiar exegeses of the thoughts of Eris, Greek goddess of Chaos, by Malaclypse & Omar continue to illuminate, enlighten and comfort millions. If you appreciate these insights, you will love the work of Robert Anton Wilson.
If you buy this book:
You will become a completely confused believer of the non-faith "Discordia", you will act as the antithesis to all organization. You do not need to open this book or read it, because you cannot use this text as a guide for living life. Additionally, you must become fully dedicated to not understanding or interpreting this holy manuscript. You will not be able to live by the tenets of Discordia, nor should you listen to the guidance of other non-spiritual leaders of Discordia.
Discordianism is the great superpositioned, negatively charged, non-religion. As such, it completes the synthesis of polarity. A black hole has formed and a center is created. This is the event horizon, from which there is no return, yourself and all things will be pulled into gravitational singularity.
As a devoted Christian, I did not consider a creative writing project with a few dirty jokes taboo per say. I wrote a sort of initiation at the end of the Individuate Bible to try to loosen myself up a bit - whatever irrational taboo reaction I had to themes only superficially in conflict with true christianity, I wanted to shake.
Stranger in a Strange Land and Illuminatus Trilogy both had that impact on me. Both seemed to me to present rational world views in conflict with my religious sentiments, yet aligned w/ my spiritual predispositions. Principia Discordia was no different.
I think I may have went a little overboard, being pushed by extreme circumstances.
-> O- o-
<---------------------------------------------------------(look for the treasure chest)
& it rained fruit from the sky