Who Eris is, and what this is all about

The goddess Eris Kallisti Discordia, 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.

Eris is one of those old Greek gods. She's older than two thousand years; how much older is not a smart question.

She's one of the new gods, too... as you may already guess, one can't tote a portfolio of discord and be entirely self-consistent. Some fifty years ago two prophets, Kerry Wendell Thornley and Greg Hill, had some revelations from Eris. They should be called Mal-2 and Lord Omar, actually, and I think some Golden Plates and the Kennedy assassination were involved in it somehow; but don't let that confuse you.

I'm vaguely familiar with their philosophies; they were heretics, schismatics and heresiarchs and should not be trusted. They are heretics since there is no Discordian organization; if there seems to be a Discordian organization it is merely an optical illusion. Each Discordian is a Pope of his or her own; those that refuse the Insta-Papacy cannot be Discordians. Discordians don't follow, and they don't lead; in the words of St. Carlin they don't get out of the way either, but instead obstruct. Discordianism is not so much about individualism as it is about the denial of authority.

Discordianism is a religion of chaos and a chaos of religious bits; it is a religion and a joke about religion and a religion about a joke and a free-spirited burst of laughter; it is what zen would be if it didn't strive to be so damned zensible all the time; and it is a dancing llama, named Reg, from Brixton, England.

The most accessible example of Discordian thought is the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. It's a novel; it has titties in it. Go find it and read it; I'll wait.

Back? Okay. Now you know more than I can ever tell you, for no man can ever communicate all he knows to another; maybe 60% or 75% or with a blackboard and colored chalk 85%; but never all. Wilson and Shea were good communicators with plenty of rumors, lies and whispers to communicate; a bigger fraction of their bigger pie is better than a slim slice of my humble little pie, which may be a pie of oranges and not apples anyway. But let me try; I am not sure I am communicating the same thing as they were.

This is Erisian philosophy.

No, wait, this is Erisian philosophy.

Oh, sod it. The next few paragraphs are Erisian philosophy. As are the sentences above.

There is disorder; that is, Eris. There is order; that is, Harmonia. (I purposefully use the Greek name of one, and the Latin name of the other; I am of Eris, am I not?) They are both beautiful, but Harmonia is sterile. Eris gives birth: all life is born of her; so is all art, all laughter, all guesses, and all excitement. Without these five there is nothing, no reason for anyone to exist. Harmonia can make none of these; she can only pervert them to her own dull, plodding, joyless uses, or destroy them. She is sterile, and not as beautiful as Eris.

All other gods are faces of Harmonia. This includes all the "in" and "with-it" hippie gods, too. And especially every single incarnation (if that is the proper word) of Jesus, that judgmental old scoundrel. Discord means more than having sandals, a guitar and a relaxed attitude. The olden hippies of Caley-Forney-Yah knew that; those that serve Harmonia do not, and thus they foolishly insist light and love are the way and the truth. Greater or more pernicious nonsense has never been heard; many who would have been good Erisians have fallen for this line of pseudo-disorder, this autocracy disguised as anarchy, and the Discordian organization has been much lesser for it. Even a mellow, with-it tyrant is still a tyrant; even a cool, relaxed law is still a law; no matter the clown glove, there's still the skeletal iron hand of Harmonia inside, going for the throat of you and your children.

There can be no happiness until every ruler has a constant sword at his or her neck, and every book of law constantly hovers over a consuming flame, and nothing remains still unless held in place by busily juggling hands. There can be no life worth living until the gods themselves quake on their thrones fearing the hands of women and men might pull them down and tear them apart if they misbehave. Those gods that won't come down and mingle with us as equals, those that won't come and bargain and talk and reason and dance and fornicate with us as equals: they all need to die. They all will die. This is the heart of all: Life is only death by a different name until we have no gods, no masters, and no waiting for the pie in the sky.

That's my slice of pie.

This is how things are:

There is life. There is death. The first is of Eris; the second, of Harmonia.

There is art. There is aping and slavish imitation and looking up with a crick in your neck.

There is laughter. There is seriousness and solemnity and things to not laugh at, or speak of, or think of.

There are guesses, and ever more snug dresses to fit on the glass goddess who is Reality, to better see and adore her figure. (Replace "goddess" and "her" with "adonis" and "his" if you so desire; or have both. There's nothing weird in ogling both sexes, no matter your orientation. Get a mirror and ogle yourself too.) There are certainties, and other clown noses to make Reality appear in the idiot visage one ideologically desires.

There is excitement, and neophilia, and doings of whatever thou wilt. There is security, and stability, and conformity and tradition.

Whosoever chooses the firsts of these, shall see the face of Eris Discordia, smiling and winking and blowing a kiss; but whosoever chooses the seconds of these, shall in vain chase after the hidden face of Harmonia, and die hoping in vain for a second chance. When I say this, I am as serious as someone without any pants can be. The world is out there, and it is out there even if you pretend otherwise. There are no second chances. There are no answer sheets nor islands of knights and knaves, no absolutes nor certainties, and there's no-one you can trust, not even yourself. All there is, is a choice between the many bright and beautiful many-colored faces of Eris Discordia... and the thousand rotten corpse visages of Aneris Harmonia.

The world is out there. Pick your side.

last updated: (Mar 14 2011)