27 September 2017

Discordianism Vs Alchemy

A bout I'd like to have ringside seats for, as two almost totally unrelated philosophical constructs go head to head in a thrilling fight to the finish. The chances of definitive resolution are low, but it's the experience of fight that gets you there that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

As you may know I am putting out a book in about a month and, hence, my posts leading up to that are looking at some of the major themes of this work. Although Starfall is not explicitly Discordian (not like some other novels I may be finishing in due course) I did know about Discordianism when I wrote it and I think that my latent Discordianism pokes through if you care to look for it.

Discordianism, after all is big on iconoclasm and the male line of my family have been pretty iconoclastic for about three generations now in their own way. If you're going to be completely contrary in your world view in the current times it's not enough to, for example, attack religion, you also have to attack atheism as well because the atheist mainstream is where a significant number of non-religious types are at.

It's also not good enough just to be a "Default Agnostic". Not knowing enough about anything to commit is not a position, it's just lazy. No, you have to be an active agnostic, the type that says: "Not only do I not really know, but neither do you and nor do the people who hate you, or anyone else. Some things in the universe, probably most things, are completely incomprehensible to us, so stop being such a dick about stuff and accept your status as a cosmic fucking insect".

Take, by way of example, the existence of dark matter and dark energy. Approximately 5% of the known universe can be accounted for by what we can "see" from Earth. All those galaxies and nebulae we have detected with radio telescopy is a tiny scraping of what we know must be in the universe, there's nineteen times more stuff we can't interact with than we can even take a quick peek at.

Beings of vast power and incomprehensible intelligence could hide in that 95% really easy, so easy that they're probably not even amused by how they've rendered themselves invisible to us. To claim we know anything about the great metaphysical beyond is insanity, plain and simple.

Which is where alchemy comes in. The villain of Starfall is an alchemist, I consciously picked on him and his mode of thought as something I really wanted to pull down. Alchemy is, in some ways, like the opposite of Discordianism. Discordianism is a religion disguised as a joke, or a joke disguised as a religion, depending on how many hot dogs you ate in the last month and whether or not the month has a "Q" in it. Alchemy is insanity disguised as natural philosophy. A particular type of insanity also enjoyed by "science" and atheism.

The insanity whereof I speak is simple to state, it posits as a central position that the human meatganism is capable of knowing everything. It is phobic of the notion that the meatganism simply hasn't the equipment to comprehend the true nature of reality. It is dismissive of all mental attempts to integrate and harmonise with the idea that there's a bunch of stuff we're just never going to know.

The opposite mental ailment of alchemic insanity is any religious insanity which includes most religious thought. This insanity can be parcelled up as: You don't need to know everything, there are some things being taken care of by the great bearded sky daddy and anyone who interferes with those things must be stopped at all costs.

The Holy Chao of Discordianism can be thought of representing these two opposites, aspects of the Eristic and Aneristic principle, locked in an eternal self-defeating struggle. So if this model is complete, showing all the polar opposites where the hell is Discordianism?

Discordianism, my friends, is the diagram itself, existing in the lines that make up the false-image matrix. Any Discordian will tell you that arranging lines and boxes to make meaning is, itself, meaningless. Discordianism is about striving to be optimal while accepting that we have limits, so no passive acceptance of other people's half-chewed reality-cud and no insane belief that we will ever have the ability to conquer reality from the cradle of our stewed meat prisons, just a commitment to not believe what we read and attempt to bring everyone into harmony through active disruption.

Like I said before, it's a tricky balance to strike.

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