(note on the digital version: Like the Principia I'm afraid this loses a bit in the conversion, the original is much more collage like. Someday if I have lots of time I'll convert it to hypertext.)
This story is brought to you by the page of cups.
I am not sure at all that I exist. Nonetheless I shall tell you the tale of my life so far. This story is true in some sense, false in some sense and meaningless in some sense. I shall tell you now that I have freely taken words and ideas from other sources without even giving you a clue as to what they are. A list of works that are not cited will be included in the appendix.
Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. - Emerson
This work is fiction, the people and places and events within are real. Any work claiming not to be fiction is lying.
If you practice being fictional for awhile, you will understand that
characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. -Messiah's Handbook
If organized religion is the opiate of the masses, disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe.
The time has come to speak of many things, of magic and Goddesses, of cabbages and popes. I shall tell you of my journey that has led me to Eris. Any Discordian is going to have a somewhat convoluted mind, but I shall try to straighten out my thoughts. Perhaps, so as to not confuse my readers utterly I should start n the beginning. The beginning and even the concept of time itself is currently under debate but my personal beginning clearly began with my birth. Or perhaps my parents births as they certainly had an important role in my life and in bringing about my own birth. I depend completely on them for any information about my earliest years. My parents were both born in Ohio, met in college, fell in love, married, moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and then I was born. My father was (and still is) a newspaper editor, my mother was finishing up college. Soon thereafter we moved to Milwaukee. My memories of Milwaukee are rather vague and jumbled so I shall move right along the conventional space-time continuum to when we moved to Oak Park, a quaint Chicago suburb, three years later. This brings us to the year 3144 (or 1978 by the Gregorian calendar).
I lived in Oak Park for 13 years, this being the bulk of my life so far I shall spend a bit of time on it. Someone in the 1800's once said you can tell when you've reached Oak Park when the bars stopped and the churches started. Hemingway called it a town of broad lawns and narrow minds. I call it home. If you are in downtown Chicago and take the now non-existent "L" straight west, the first suburb you reach will be Oak Park. Get off at Ridgeland and walk south and you're on your way to my childhood home. The Oak Park of today has about 54,000 middle-class people calling it home and is one of the half dozen racially integrated communities in Chicagoland and it was named Tree City USA in 1988. I grew up with block parties and ice cream trucks, skateboards and Michael Jackson. I must say that despite the idyllic setting, my childhood sucked. The reasons I was unhappy are shared by children across the world. I was unpopular, I was picked on, I could count my friends using the fingers on one hand (no using your thumb or tentacles, they don't count). Suffice it to say I was rather lonely. With this rather large void in my life I think it s fairly natural that I tried to find things to fill it.
I have spent much of my life searching for some meaning or purpose in life because it seemed so empty so often. In my childhood I found two main distractions. The first was reading. I was and still am an avid consumer of books. My father read me the Hobbit and Through the Looking Glass to me when I was still too young to read for myself. I have always loved fantasy. I knew all about Middle-Earth, Sherwood Forest, Camelot, Oz, Lilliput, Faerie, Prydain and many other fantastic places as well as the myths of Greece and the Tales of Aesop and the brothers Grimm before reaching the 6th grade. My other hobby that I began rather early was gaming. This is that oddity among hobbies that Dungeons and Dragons belongs to and attracts and accepts social misfits everywhere. It includes much more than just D&D though, there are literally thousands of games out there and my father introduced me to many. Mostly I play board games which don't require as many people or as much of an out-going personality as role-playing does. When one of my few friends wasn't around to play I resorted to solitaire games or making up my own. I've recreated thousands of hypothetical battles in my spare time. Along with this came a fascination with maps, both real and fictional. Creating my own world in fantasy and games helped relieve the isolation I felt from what many people call the real world.
Eris is the Greek Goddess of Chaos
Whom the Romans call Discordia
Childhood is a kingdom where no one dies. Nobody that matters, that is.
The 1983/84 school year is brought to you by the queen of pentacles.
I want to talk about my year in sixth grade as it was absolutely critical in my own development of a self identity. Before then I was nothing, I was merely existing without really living. In the 6th grade I suddenly had friends, although I'm still not quite sure where they came from. My ego was born. The most important factor in this awakening was the two teachers I had that year. They had an enthusiasm which is largely absent in elementary school teachers. They didn't follow the textbooks and dared to treat their students as real people rather than targets for their lectures. We learned Swahili, recreated nuclear arms disarmaments talks, held our own presidential debate (Mondale won of course), had trivia contests (in which my geographical knowledge paid off) and a host of other fun activities. That learning could be fun, I think, was a revelation to many of their students, myself included. Two thing in particular stand out.
First, was the reading of The Bridge to Terabithia. With this book I felt much less alone in the world, I could relate better to Jess and Leslie than any 'real' people. Here were two people who found the fantasy world empowering, who didn't follow the stereotypes. My own unconventional interests were somehow validated. It may also have been the first evidence that magic and spirits are real (i.e. not relegated only to fantasy worlds but also present in this one). I shall return to the matter of magic later. The other life shaking happening was my introduction to theatre. The 6th grade produced two plays, the first was And Yet We Survived, a kind of documentary/musical about the role of African-Americans in our history. The other was a stage version of The Hobbit. Both were presented as professional theatre, not as cute kid's plays. We put far more work into these plays than is typical of an elementary school. I enjoyed both being on stage and the work that goes on behind the scenes. My introduction is important because it is the theatre that helped me survive the following two years.
Enough of this white paper and conforming to traditions
(note: after this point the original was written on
a variety of papers and backgrounds and had
symbols instead of page numbers)
My parents have always been a source of support for me. My mom especially has been one of the few constants in my life. She has loved me and encouraged me in everything I do. She also cultivated in me a love for nature. Every summer we went on several camping trips which are my happiest memories from childhood. My love affair with the outdoors has continually been strengthened throughout my life until it came to play the central role it does today. My father was a different matter, to be honest I think I may have given him more support than I've received. His life has been far from stable. I am thankful for the introduction he gave me to fantasy and gaming, but I consider him more like a close friend than a parent. It was when I was in 6th grade that they got divorced.
My mother had me baptized into the Roman Catholic Church when I was born. Since 1st grade I went to the Catholic equivalent to Sunday school, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. They made a noble attempt at brainwashing which either didn't work or worked too well. Fairly early on I recognized the hypocrisy which is an ailment common to most of Christianity. I understood the principles of the Church and saw that they were not being followed. People don't love their neighbors, forgive those who trespass against them or follow many of the Churches teachings. Catholicism amounted to a set of rules to follow which no one did. I accepted what I was taught as true because it was what everyone believed and I wasn't offered and real alternatives, but it felt hollow. I went to church, I believed but without conviction. My life did not hold any spiritual meaning.
Bullshit Makes the Flowers Grow
Many children find their parents' divorce a traumatic event. I didn't think it was a big deal. Maybe I could already tell that my parents didn't belong together. Perhaps my unusual happiness in school that year made me less dependent on my family. At any rate, my father moved to an apartment not too far away and my sister and I went to see him on the weekends. My sister, Lisa, is 5 years younger than me and has always occupied a special place in my heart. We enjoyed playing together more than any brother and sister I know of. She has grown to become one of my best friends.
All the world's a stage
And all men and women merely players
They have their exits and entrances
And one man in his time plays many parts.
I told you I began forming my self-identity in 6th grade. I nearly lost it again in the next two years. The teasing returned, if anything worse than before. Friends I had the year before disappeared. The teachers were almost universally awful. I remained a 'good' student out of habit rather than any interest in the subjects taught. I might have gone suicidal if it weren't for my secret. That secret was Jill and Michael Poehlman and the beginning of the theatre program. There were probably about 20 of us who went to the first informational meeting when Jill came to the school and decided to stick with her and form Studio 97.
Studio 97 was the silver thread that pulled me through the hell that was Junior High. I lived for the time after school spent in the auditorium rehearsing. I spent my lunchtimes with a small circle of friends in Jill's office, avoiding the lunchroom and recess and life outside the theatre. you must understand, I was unhappy with my life and acting gave me the opportunity to be someone else. Performing also gave me the chance to practice magic. Jill explained that the power of theatre is in its magic, the performers cast a spell over the audience and transport them to another world where the action on stage takes place. As any theatre critic knows, whether this magic works or not is the difference between a good play and the mediocre. Being able to pull off a good performance is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Many of the friends I made through Studio 97 I still have today. Together we helped start a program that today helps hundreds of students. Now called CAST, Jill and Michael (who was hired a year after she was) teach them how to believe in themselves and create beautiful magic. I am not sure how to express how thankful I am for them, I really don't know what would have become of me otherwise.
And the people bowed and prayed to the neon God they made
Enter stage left: St. Francis of Assisi
holding the two of cups
The first glimpse I received of true religion came with my confirmation in 8th grade. I had to choose a saint. Most people choose their saint based on how good the name sounds. I chose St. Francis because he loved animals. I wanted there to be some meaning behind my confirmation name. My grandmother, God bless her heart, gave me a biography of Francis' life. In reading about St. Francis I came to understand what religion was all about. The purpose of any good religion is (or should be) to bring meaning and happiness to your life. It adds a spiritual dimension to everything.
Many people these days divide religion, spirituality and 'real-life' into separate components. I believe that if one of these 'components' is missing than the other two are about as meaningful as whatever is on page 529 of the Dept. of Agriculture's guide to the pricing of cabbage. St. Francis combined these. He lived his religion, there was nothing that didn't fit into his spirituality. There are a few points that I was especially moved by. The first realization that Francis gave me was that the natural world was holy. A tree, every animal, the sun, moon and even the dirt itself is sacred. I had already preferred the outdoors to any church. That it was possible to commune with God through nature made me seriously reconsider religion and give it a chance. If I had not learned this I probably would have gone on to become a devout atheist.
The most important message I received is that religion should be fun. I did not realize how critical this is at the time I read it, but it has since become one of my central beliefs. "When religion becomes gloom it is dead." Go and look at the people at any church. How many of them do you think are actually enjoying it? If the minister still believes religion is fun then there is hope for that church, otherwise the parishiners might as well go home and watch football.
Happiness is not a
place to get to.
It's a way of getting there.
That is Oak Park and River Forest High School. High school was a wonderful change for me. Those who had previously taunted me disappeared from my live forever. High school was a fresh start after the depression of junior high. OPRFHS has about 2,300 students and is more diverse than Macalester College (my current home) can ever hope to be. That is not to say that it is harmonious, on the contrary it suffers for controversies galore. The wonderful thing was that there was no 'typical' student and little pressure to conform to anything.
I mentioned before how a good performance is magical. As I became more involved in theatre I became more fascinated by how this magic works than in actually performing. I stopped acting and joined the Props crew. The crews make everything run smoothly, they literally set the stage, transforming it into a sacred space. I was shop foreman for my last two years and I had the satisfaction that people depended on me. I enjoyed the responsibility, having a director tell you they couldn't have done the show without you and mean it is such a great power trip.
To backtrack a little, I still felt lonely and isolated upon entering high school, but I saw opportunities. I made new friends. Two groups in particular welcomed me. The first was the science-fiction/fantasy/gaming club. My father had opened his own game store during the summer at which I spent many hours of my time and met people of like interests. The same people hung out together in high school. Like any sci-fi club ours had the stigma of being a bunch of weirdos but I didn't really mind because I had a sense of belonging. The other wonderful group was the theatre people. My high school produces 11-14 excellent plays every year. I'm not sure how many of these I was a part of but I will assure you it was a lot of plays. I chose the Props crew because some of my friends from church were on it. Ironically these are the same friend that introduced me to the Goddess. Most of the Props crew my freshman year was a circle of Pagans. I did not join them (I didn't join a Wiccan circle until I got to Macalester) but Paganism gave me an alternative to Catholicism. The youth group at my church was (and still is) anything but orthodox. One of its primary activities is an annual weekend retreat, the 'Teen Takeover.' I had kept my distance from the Church until I attended my first retreat. It is the same friends I mentioned above that convinced me to go.
As the high school years rolled by I continued to gain self-confidence. I took on more responsibilities, my interest broadened, I even gained some popularity. I allowed myself to be happy. A large part of this was due to my spiritual growth at the same time. My current embrace of Discordianism is a synthesis of my interest in fantasy, theatre, religion (Catholic and Pagan), nature and life in general. I shall go into these in a bit more detail so you can see how I went from being nothing to becoming a Pope.
What a caterpillar calls
the end of the world
the master calls a butterfly.
I spent my summers working at a game store. My dad worked for several game companies after his own store failed. I gained some practical business knowledge and will forever be part of the gaming industry. When we put on our own high school convention, I was the business contact. Games continue to provide an endless fascination to me. Through them you can recreate any event in history from the rise of the Roman Empire to the last presidential election.
The three of swords is lurking around here somewhere
One's 1st Teen Takeover is a life changing event for most people, it certainly was for me. Unlike many retreats its goal is not to make you believe in Jesus, repent your sins or in any way instill any Church doctrine in you. Its purpose is to force you to examine your life and especially your spirituality without trying to tell you that one view of God or way of life is 'correct.' You focus on relationships with your friends, family and the Divine with several students giving personal witnesses. The whole retreat is incredibly empowering and encourages a celebratory attitude towards religion. It also supports the idea that religion is personal, that is no one can tell you what to believe. This simple idea is the force behind Discordianism.
At my 2nd Takeover I was one of the witnesses. I spoke about my personal religion. In my mind the Goddess replaced Yahweh but I still believed in the teachings of Jesus. Add a healthy dose of respect for the Earth and that was my religion. At the time I borrowed ideas liberally from Paganism and the Native Americans and two books I had recently read; The Prophet by Kahil Gibran and Illusions by Richard Bach. These books made me rethink my world view. It had to be more flexible. There is no reality except the one within us. Truth is for the individual, good and evil are not absolutes. For that matter there are no absolutes. The Bible tells us that we are the sons and daughters of God, but few people dare to think about what this implies. In my witness, after describing my religion, I encouraged people to invent their own.
Everything in life is a hallucination
Everything in death, too.
In reality I hadn't invented a religion, but merely defined my own spirituality. I think of religion as a framework in which to practice your beliefs. I didn't really have a religion I was happy with until I joined other Pagans at Macalester. I still have some twisted loyalty to the Church however. I disagree with many of its practices; I think its role in history is one of the primary reasons our world is as messed up as it is. And yet it is through the Church that I came to find my own beliefs. Masses don't have much meaning for me, but the youth ministries efforts help innumerable teenagers be comfortable with who they are. Well I can't go rambling on forever, I have a couple of major topics to cover and I still haven't told you about Eris.
Brought to you by the Hermit, although I honestly don't know why he would care.
In high school many of my friends became interested in politics. These are the friends from Studio 97, not the religious ones. I suppose I could use names but I enjoy being abstract. Anyway, I got somewhat dragged along and was convinced of the need for action on many issues. I became your standard liberal. I suppose I still am, none of my political positions have changed but Eris has given me a different perspective on politics in general. I was convinced by the evidence around me (this is Chicago remember) that our society had some serious problems with it and I joined in protests, wrote Amnesty Intl. letters and tried to educate others in my school about various issues in an attempt to do what I could to save the world. Environmental issues were (are) the most important to me, try and find a Pagan who isn't worried about the health of the planet. This is all well and good but I didn't feel that I was having much of an impact.
Soon to be remedied
Many of my descriptions are very intellectual in nature. I fear this may give you the wrong impression of my religion. I know that there is a spiritual force around everything in the world. This knowledge comes from personal conviction, at times I can feel this force, it can be almost tangible when strong enough. This may be called the Holy Spirit or the Tao, or the Oversoul or whatever; it is impossible to define. People have auras, certain places are more magical than others. I define magic as any manipulations of this force, this rather broad definition would include such simple acts as praying to whomever. It is a quest to understand this force that drives my religious searching.
I am convinced that Clark Schultes is the greatest teacher that ever lived. He taught geology at OPRFHS, which I took my junior year. The class was a college level class that was outside the school's tracking system, done intentionally by Clark because he didn't want only honors students in his classes. Actually saying he taught geology is misleading, I should say that he taught everything. He told lots of stories, he took us on week long field trips, he freely assigned college level reading and he had the audacity to treat high school students as not only intelligent, free thinking people but also as friends. Much of my drive to help the environment came from learning more about it in his class. He fills people with an insatiable curiosity about the world.
More importantly he taught us a couple of important things. I say us because it is inevitable that his students become friends. First, he taught us how to think. This may seem like a simple thing but so many teachers neglect it. He told us to think in different channels. Don't look at anything from only one angle, don't assume things you don't know. Everything has more than one meaning, more than one effect and an infinite number of questions that can be asked. Say you have a tree, I'll give you just a sample of questions. What kind of tree is it? How long has it been there? Where is it getting its water? How much carbon does it add to the soil when it's leaves decompose? How many birds and insects live in it? How much would it be worth as lumber? What effect does acid rain have on it? How many of it's seeds will ever sprout? Can you eat it? Is it blocking the sun from other plants? Is it pretty? Does it rustle in the breeze? Would the rustling make a good new age album? I could go on forever. One channel of thought can be considered one perspective, for example ecology, geology, economics, history, art and geography would all be different channels. If you think along these lines it quickly becomes apparent how complex the world really is which brings me to the other major point Clark instilled in my brain. Everything in connected. While this is a central belief of Paganism, the practical applications of this truth hadn't dawned on me. Every action I make has an infinite number of ramifications. Such much for the feeling of helplessness.
Clark trains missionaries. He exposes students to as many different things as possible. He exposed me to the country, we spent a summer in Montana which was the longest time I had been away from the city and I loved it. His students leave the school better equipped to cause positive change than most. They have a basic understanding of how things work and feel a duty to fix problems when they encounter them. Clark has been teaching since 1968. He died last spring. I suspect he has had (will have) more impact on the world than anyone else who has been in my life. We celebrated his death, he forbade a funeral, knowing that he lives on in thousands of students carrying out his legacy.
Somewhere along the way here I stopped telling you what is going on in my physical life. I stopped trying to educate people and concentrated on learning. I seek out knowledge wherever I can find it. I want a wide variety of experiences. My politics have become more personal. I'm more concerned about what is going on at Macalester than the Congress, not that I've stopped sending letter to my senators and representative. "Thank you once again Mr. Musser for letting me know your views on this important subject. . ." When the high school decided to include sexual preference in it's non-discrimination policy I went to the trustees meeting to support their decision. Seeing the Christian fundamentalists come out in all their wrath on this issue was very disturbing to me, especially since I had several lesbian friends and had seen what they have to put up with from their high school peers. To see blatant homophobia in teachers I had respected confirmed the need for fundamental change.
The only winning move is not to play.
Weyerhaeuser Chapel actually an interdimensional gateway!
3. We've got you surrounded; you might as well give in.
In my junior year the sci-fi club decided to have a convention. We managed to pull it off with some success and OPRFHS has had a sci-fi/fantasy convention every year since, but that is not the point. The point is that one of the authors we convinced to come and speak was Robert Shea, one of the authors of the Illuminatus! trilogy. Seeing as he was coming to our convention we decided it would be a good idea to read this. It is in this book that I met Eris.
Illuminatus! is a satiric novel about conspiracies trying to dominate the world. One of these groups (loosely portrayed as the good guys) are the Discordians, the followers of the Goddess of chaos. The theory is that aneristic forces, those in favor of
Everything possible to be believed in
is an image of truth
establishing more order and control over society (read: military, police, most politicians, most scientists, bureaucrats, conservatives, orthodox religions, etc.) were becoming too strong and the Discordians arose to try and balance things out a bit. The goal of the Discordians (an oxymoron if ever there was one) is to get people to think for themselves and to increase creative chaos in the world.
In high school I enjoyed Illuminatus! for its humorous content. It wasn't until I reread it in college that I noticed the insights it offered between the jokes. It wasn't until last year that I found and read the Principia Discordia.
The best thing you ever did for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It's only life after all
- Indigo Girls
I chose Macalester because it has geography, geology and theatre programs and a good reputation. Not an especially common combination. I also liked the liberal atmosphere of the place upon visiting it. Despite the problems here I think I made a good choice.
Knowing that everything is connected doesn't give one the ability to see all of these connections. Karen Warren, right here at Macalester helped me open my eyes a little wider. I took her Peace, Ecology and Feminism class which had the purpose of showing just how connected everything really is. She demonstrated that most of the world's problems stem from a few common sources in the underlying beliefs in our society. Violence racism, sexism and environmental degradation come from people believing in absolutes. Believing in an absolute right or wrong gives one the ability to pass judgement, to prove one thing superior to the other. This leads to beliefs that one sex, race, religion or way of life is better than all the others. We need to increase mutual respect between people and try to avoid linear thinking which implies that there is only one possible conclusion (or indeed that there even is a conclusion) to a given situation. Creativity and individuality should be encouraged and the maintenance of order for the sake of order is dangerous (as it implies that deviations are wrong).
Believing this gives one a profound sense of perspective. No wonder that my actions seemed to have so little impact, I'm trying to change the foundations of our civilization. Furthermore it promotes the 'personal is political' idea as the way I choose to live my life will affect the world. If I refuse to accept the erroneous assumptions that the society lives by others will eventually follow suit.
No one is willing to take on the
formidable task of changing the
structure just because it is meaningless
The summer after my freshman year at Macalester I spent doing construction work in Oak Park. There is something very satisfying about producing something that you can actually point to later. I enjoyed transforming a burnt out building into nice apartments. Needless to say I learned a lot. Macalester simply doesn't have any courses on roofing or putting up drywall. It also dispelled the construction worker stereotype in my mind. I think any stereotype tends to fall apart when you actually meet someone that it is supposed to describe.
If you would be loved, love and be lovable.
I couldn't trust the thinking of a man who takes the universe -if there is one- for granted
Isn't technology wonderful? (picture a floppy disc with the Sacred Chao on it here)
God created the world in six days and
on the seventh day he was arrested.
- Bill Keane
For the most part I already believed in Discordia when I discovered it was for real. Many people who read Illuminatus! assume that Discordia is just another joke. But I assure you we are here and our numbers are growing. If you can find a copy of the latest edition of the Principia (the purple one) it has a nice history of Discordianism in the introduction. The principles of Discrodia I have already told you in bits and pieces. Think for yourself. You are the only authority that matters when it comes to spiritual matters. From this comes the Discordian use of the title Pope. The Catholic Pope is supposedly the highest authority when it comes to God, he is the sole interpreter of God's will. According to Discordians there is no religious hierarchy, every individual is free to interpret God's (or Eris') will, therefore every individual is a Pope. Everything is connected, linear thinking will often miss the point. There are no absolutes, nothing is wrong with chaos, it is not the evil that it is often portrayed as in our culture. Every human is a divine individual and should be treated as such.
This does not include cabbages
Don't forget to laugh.
The truth is we don't know anything - TMBG
I bless Ra, the fierce sun burning bright
I bless Isis - Luna in the night
I bless the air, the Horus hawk
I bless the earth on which I walk
Last summer I was a gift shop cashier and resident Christian minister at a small resort in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A Christian Ministry in the National Parks was my means of the job. I figured the chance to work in a park was worth having to lead a service each Sunday and it was. I preached those parts of the Bible that I agree with and conveniently ignored the rest. In the meantime I enjoyed being so far away from the cities. Again the Church helped to advance my own spirituality by putting me so close to the natural world. I could sit and watch the buffalo and prairie dogs for hours. Once I went on a long hike and a deer followed me home. The other workers named him Taco and he allowed the children to come and pet him. One afternoon I spent playing tag with a red-tailed hawk. It would let me come within about 20 feet before it would fly to another tree where it would sit and stare at me until I got close again.
The Black Hills are the holy lands of the Lakota people and I can understand why. The natural spirits can be felt everywhere. Speaking of the Lakota I took some time to learn more about their religion, only fair considering I was working on their land. I watched a pow-wow which was interesting. I think the Lakota are much better at explaining the spiritual world than Christianity is.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.
- the Little Prince
I realize I haven't mentioned a single girlfriend yet. A couple of them in particular meant a great deal to me. I think I should take the time to tell you about the great sex and sordid affairs.
This paper is rated G for general audiences. This material was deemed inappropriate. Done by the authority vested in the fundamentalist Christians - we are not cabbages!
The only beginning is birth and the only end is death -
If you can't count on that, what can you count on?
Discordianism makes for a wonderful world view but for some reason doesn't really work well for me as a complete religion. It is missing spirituality. I don't have the imagination or the faith to make up my own beliefs from scratch. Fortunately Paganism, especially Wicca, and Discordianism complement each other well, with Eris being a Greek Goddess and all. Wicca adds rituals and a basis in tradition. While this may seen anti-Discordian it makes it more tangible. It makes it easier to throw out old beliefs if you have something concrete to believe instead. I enjoy celebrating with other Wiccans in a circle far more than any mass. Yet, even as I write this I am still searching as I find small problems in Paganism. Perhaps I will eventually find a truly unique Discordian spirituality as I continually fine tune my own beliefs. The problem I have with Wicca is that it doesn't always correspond with my personal spiritual experiences. While I enjoy being in a circle I don't feel any closer to the Goddess or that the ground I'm on is especially sacred. I can feel the Divine at its strongest when I am alone, far away from any human dwelling and at peace with myself. People make jokes about 'communing with nature' but it works for me. This is more in line with Lakota beliefs than with Wicca. In most Native American religions the spiritual journey is an extremely personal one. I hate to take religious ideas from a race I don't belong to; but they explain my experiences better that any Western based religion does. I visited Bear Butte in South Dakota to ask the Lakota God, Wankantanka, if I was on the right track and Raven came and circled overhead. I took this as a good omen as Raven is a spirit of both wisdom and mischief which could easily describe Discordianism.
Only the children know
what they are looking for
I am now majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies. I found a use for that childhood love of maps. Geography is one of those disciplines which combines elements from many others. I just finished an internship with the National Park Service here in St. Paul updating maps. I hope I can continue with the park service because there I can pursue my interests in maps while helping the environment while being close to the elements of nature while enjoying myself.
Laughing on the way to your execution
is not generally understood by less advanced
life-forms, and they'll call you crazy
Is Eris true?
Everything is true
Even false things?
Even false things are true
How can that be?
I don't know, I didn't do it
We shall end with the three of cups
I sank Macalester!
(Notes on the digital edition: I originally wrote this for a class and except for correcting some spelling and grammar I have left it as I wrote it - except for having to take out the graphics of course. There are parts that are dated or that I no longer agree with but they are pretty minor. I hope you enjoyed it. Comments are welcome. )
(links provided in association with Amazon.com)
which either were or were not quoted
Bible - various authors
St. Francis of Assisi - ?
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Illusions - Richard Bach
Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
The Prophet - Kahil Gibran
Chorus of Stones - Susan Griffin
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
Job: A Comedy of Justice - Robert Heinlein
Siddharta - Herman Hesse
Principia Discordia - Malaclypse the Younger
(also available online).
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig
everything - Tom Robbins
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Illuminatus! - Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
Spiral Dance - Starhawk
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkein
Seventh Son - Orson Scott Card
countless fairy tales, myths, folk tales and legends
special thanks to my pineal gland which I consulted frequently during this project. Thank you Eris. ALL HAIL DISCORDIA!!!!!
A note on tarot: The references to tarot cards apply to cards I drew while in the process of writing this, if you want meanings find a book of tarot to consult.
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