30 August 2017

Don't Believe Everything You Read

"So, what, this is a Discordianism blog now?" the voice asked.

My response is thus:

Two sequential posts on a topic do not a theme make. However, I think that what's surfacing in my consciousness is a recognition and appreciation of what Discordianism has done for me, what it could do for others, why it's so relevant in 2017 and why it would seem someone needs to attempt to make sense out of the whole thing.

The hilarious thing is that Discordianism exists in a soup of zen paradoxes. Discordianist dogma teaches that seeking to increase order merely increases chaos and that the good Discordian does not believe anything they read.

I can't disagree with any of that. So I provide, for your reading pleasure, a short piece that attempts to make sense of this paradox problem that appears to defeat Discordianism even as it begins.

Let's begin with the problem that, if you consider yourself Discordian, or "possibly" Discordian then, by default, you shouldn't believe this post, because you are reading it. That's actually pretty sound advice. If you believe something because you have read it you need some kind of psychological intervention, or to read the next sentence. You really should send me a couple of hundred quid, it's the right thing to do.

The point is that it is essential not to read something and incorporate it automatically into the body of your world view as if it automatically has a right to be there. If the thing you have read makes you angry, it is because you believe it. If the thing you have read makes you scared, it is because you believe it. If the thing you have read makes you happy, it is because you believe it.

It is outside of your immediate emotional response that you will find the worth of the written word. If you have that emotional response it means that there is a part of you that believes it, but it also means that there is a part of you that thinks it has understood what it has read.

Discordians know two things here. One, is that understanding does not equal belief. The other is that one pretty good indicator that you haven't understood the message put out by another is that you believe you have understood it.

Once you have run the material you have read through the process of:

a) understanding that you don't understand it and that therefore
b) you cannot possibly believe it

you have left only one thing. That thing is the degree to which the thing which is written is harmonic with your own set of beliefs. The safer a written thing makes you feel the more sympathetic you are to it. All this means is that you should attempt to disbelieve it even harder than the things that you find easy to be disbelieved.

Whatever you actually cannot get rid of, no matter how hard you try, is part of your personal truth. If you feel that this discovery is worth sharing go ahead and write it down safe in the knowledge that no one will really understand it.

Note that after reading my thorough decomposition of the notion of not believing everything you read you may feel too confused to now read anything at all. This is the second paradox at work. My article seeks to increase order, but in doing so it has just deepened your own inner chaos. This is to be expected.

If one can call to mind that chaos and order are both illusory perceptions of a single continuum you will understand that the more confused you feel the less confused you actually are. The fear you feel is exactly identical to the momentary sinking sensation you get when you wake up in the morning and remember who you are.

If time mattered then in the next article I will take a look at why time doesn't matter. I hope you enjoyed it and will enjoy the upcoming article about disbelieving everything you read, which you just read.

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