Principia Discordia is a sacred text of Discordianism written by Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger) and Kerry Thornley (Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst). It was originally published under the title "Principia Discordia or How The West Was Lost With Explanations to Yellow Pages Use" in a limited edition of 5 copies in 1965; for years distributed as a humorous "underground classic" of absurdism, it became far more famous after being quoted extensively in The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.
Introduction by Kevin Thornley, Discordian Society Co-founderEdit
- Before I was a Discordian, I took life much too seriously. When you take life too seriously you start to wonder what the point of it all is. When you wonder what the point is in life, you fall into a trap of thinking there is one. When you think there is a point, you finally realize there is no point. And what point is there in living like that? Nowadays I skip the search for a point and find, instead, the punch lines.
THE PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA
or, How I Found the Goddess and What I Did To Her When I Found Her
THE MAGNUM OPIATE OF MALACLYPSE THE YOUNGER
Wherein Is Explained Absolutely Everything Worth Knowing About Absolutely Anything
- POEE is one manifestation of the DISCORDIAN SOCIETY about which you will learn more and understand less
We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns, and similar maniacs who are intrigued with ERIS GODDESS OF CONFUSION and with Her Doings.
- POEE (Pronounced "POEE") is an acronym for the PARATHEO-ANAMETAMYSTIKHOOD OF ERIS ESOTERIC. The first part can be taken to mean "equivalent deity, reversing beyond-mystique". We are not really esoteric, it's just that nobody pays much attention to us.
- Be Ye Not Lost Among Precepts of Order…-The Book of Uterus 1:5
- Some excerpts from an interview with Malaclypse the Younger by THE GREATER METROPOLITAN YORBA LINDA HERALD-NEWS-SUN-TRIBUNE-JOURNAL-DISPATCH-POST AND SAN FRANCISCO DISCORDIAN SOCIETY CABAL BULLETIN AND INTERGALACTIC REPORT & POPE POOP.
GREATER POOP: Are you really serious or what?
MAL-2: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant.
- GP: Maybe you are just crazy.
M2: Indeed! But do not reject these teachings as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true.
GP: Is Eris true?
M2: Everything is true.
GP: Even false things?
M2: Even false things are true.
GP: How can that be?
M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.
GP: Why do you deal with so many negatives?
M2: To dissolve them.
GP: Will you develop that point?
- GP: Is there an essential meaning behind POEE?
M2: There is a Zen Story about a student who asked a Master to explain the meaning of Buddhism. The Master's reply was "Three pounds of flax."
GP: Is that the answer to my question?
M2: No, of course not. That is just illustrative. The answer to your question is FIVE TONS OF FLAX!
THE LAW OF FIVESEdit
- Everything in the universe relates to the number 5, one way or another, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter.
- The Law of Fives is one of the oldest Erisian Mysterees. It was first revealed to Good Lord Omar and is one of the great contributions to come from the Hidden Temple of the Happy Jesus.
- POEE also recognizes the holy 23 (2+3=5) that is incorporated by Episkopos Dr. Mordecai Malignatius, KNS, into his Discordian sect, the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria.
- The Law of Fives states simply that: ALL THINGS HAPPEN IN FIVES, OR ARE DIVISIBLE BY OR MULTIPLES OF FIVE, OR ARE SOMEHOW DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY APPROPRIATE TO FIVE.
The Law of Fives is never wrong.
In the Erisian Archives is an old memo from Omar to Mal-2: "I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look."
THE FIVE COMMANDMENTS (THE PENTABARF)Edit
The PENTABARF was discovered by the hermit Apostle Zarathud in the Fifth Year of The Caterpillar. He found them carved in gilded stone, while building a sun deck for his cave, but their import was lost for they were written in a mysterious cypher. However, after 10 weeks & 11 hours of intensive scrutiny he discerned that the message could be read by standing on his head and viewing it upside down.
KNOW YE THIS O MAN OF FAITH!
- I - There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.
- II - A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.
- III - A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).
- IV - A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.
- V - A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing what he reads.
IT IS SO WRITTEN! SO BE IT. HAIL DISCORDIA! PROSECUTORS WILL BE TRANSGRESSICUTED.
- The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't.
- HBT; The Gospel According to Fred, 3:1
- IT IS MY FIRM BELIEF THAT IT IS A MISTAKE TO HOLD FIRM BELIEFS.
THE CURSE OF GREYFACEEdit
In the year 1166 B.C., a malcontented hunchbrain by the name of Greyface, got it into his head that the universe was as humorless as he, and he began to teach that play was sinful because it contradicted the ways of Serious Order. "Look at all that order about you," he said. And from that, he deluded honest men to believe that reality was a straightjacket affair and not the happy romance as men had known it.
It is not presently understood why men were so gullible at that particular time, for absolutely no one thought to observe all the DISORDER around them and conclude just the opposite. But anyway, Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were not unknown even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own.
The unfortunate result of this is that mankind has since been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now.
It is called THE CURSE OF GREYFACE.
THE CURSE OF GREYFACE AND THE INTRODUCTION OF NEGATIVISMEdit
- To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. To accomplish this, one need only accept creative disorder along with, and equal to, creative order, and also willing to reject destructive order as an undesirable equal to destructive disorder.
- The Curse of Greyface included the division of life into order/disorder as the essential positive/negative polarity, instead of building a game foundation with creative/destructive as the essential positive/negative. He has thereby caused man to endure the destructive aspects of order and has prevented man from effectively participating in the creative uses of disorder. Civilization reflects this unfortunate division.
- POEE proclaims that the other division is preferable, and we work toward the proposition that creative disorder, like creative order, is possible and desirable; and that destructive order, like destructive disorder, is unnecessary and undesirable.
The Parable Of The Bitter TeaEdit
- FOR YOUR ENLIGHTENMENT by Rev. Dr. Hypocrates Magoun, P.P. POEE PRIEST, Okinawa Cabal When Hypoc was through meditating with St. Gulik, he went there into the kitchen where he busied himself with preparing the feast and in his endeavor, he found that there was some old tea in a pan left standing from the night before, when he had, in his weakness, forgot about its making and had let it sit steeping for 24 hours. It was dark and murky and it was Hypoc's intention to use this old tea by diluting it with water. And again in his weakness, chose without further consideration and plunged into the physical labor of the preparations. It was then when deeply immersed in the pleasure of that trip, he had a sudden loud clear voice in his head, saying: "It is bitter tea that involves you so." Hypoc heard the voice, but the struggle inside intensified, and the pattern, previously established with the physical laboring and the muscle messages coordinated and unified or perhaps coded, continued to exert their influence and Hypoc succumbed to the pressure and he denied the voice. And again he plunged into the physical orgy and completed the task, and Lo! As the voice had predicted, the tea was bitter.
The Golden SecretEdit
- NONSENSE AS SALVATION
The human race will begin solving its problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously.
To that end, POEE proposes the countergame of NONSENSE AS SALVATION. Salvation from an ugly and barbarous existence that is the result of taking order so seriously and so seriously fearing contrary orders and disorder, that GAMES are taken as more important than LIFE; rather than taking LIFE AS THE ART OF PLAYING GAMES.
To this end, we propose that man develop his innate love for disorder, and play with The Goddess Eris. And know that it is a joyful play, and that thereby CAN BE REVOKED THE CURSE OF GREYFACE.
- If you can master nonsense as well as you have already learned to master sense, then each will expose the other for what it is: absurdity. From that moment of illumination, a man begins to be free regardless of his surroundings. He becomes free to play order games and change them at will. He becomes free to play disorder games just for the hell of it. He becomes free to play neither or both. And as the master of his own games, he plays without fear, and therefore without frustration, and therefore with good will in his soul and love in his being.
- And when men become free then mankind will be free.
May you be free of The Curse of Greyface.
May the Goddess put twinkles in your eyes.
May you have the knowledge of a sage,
and the wisdom of a child.
Official POPE CardEdit
- THE BEARER OF THIS CARD
IS A GENUINE AND AUTHORIZED
~ POPE ~
So please Treat Him Right
Genuine and authorized by The House of Apostles of ERIS
Every man, woman and child on this Earth is a genuine and authorized Pope
-Reproduce and distribute these cards freely-
POEE Head Temple, San Francisco
A =POPE= is someone who is not under the authority of the authorities.
- External Link to scan of Official POPE Card
THE SACRED CHAOEdit
- THE SACRED CHAO is the key to illumination. Devised by the Apostle Hung Mung in ancient China, it was modified and popularized by the Taoists and is sometimes called the YIN-YANG. The Sacred Chao is not the Yin-Yang of the Taoists. It is the HODGE-PODGE of the Erisians. And, instead of a Podge spot on the Hodge side, it has a PENTAGON which symbolizes the ANERISTIC PRINCIPLE, and instead of a Hodge spot on the Podge side, it depicts the GOLDEN APPLE OF DISCORDIA to symbolize the ERISTIC PRINCIPLE.
- The Sacred Chao symbolizes absolutely everything anyone need ever know about absolutely anything, and more! It even symbolizes everything not worth knowing, depicted by the empty space surrounding the Hodge-Podge.
- HERE FOLLOWS SOME PSYCHO-METAPHYSICS. If you are not hot for philosophy, best just skip it.
- The Aneristic Principle is that of APPARENT ORDER; the Erisitic Principle is that of APPARENT DISORDER. Both order and disorder are man made CONCEPTS and are artificial divisions of PURE CHAOS, which is a level deeper than is the level of distinction making.
With our concept making apparatus called "mind" we look at reality through the ideas-about-reality which our cultures give us. The ideas-about-reality are mistakenly labeled "reality" and unenlightened people are forever perplexed by the fact that other people, especially other cultures, see "reality" differently. It is only the ideas-about-reality which differ. Real (capital-T True) reality is a level deeper than is the level of concept.
We look through the world through windows on which have been drawn grids (concepts). Different philosophies use different grids. A culture is a group of people with rather similar grids. Through a window we view chaos, and relate it to the points on our grid, and thereby understand it. The ORDER is in the GRID. That is the Aneristic Principle.
Western philosophy is traditionally concerned with contrasting one grid with another grid, and amending grids in hopes of finding a perfect one that will account for all reality and will, hence, (say unenlightened westerners) be True. This is illusory; it is what we Erisians call the ANERISTIC ILLUSION. Some grids can be more useful than others, some more beautiful than others, some more pleasant than others, etc., but none can be more True than any other.
DISORDER is simply unrelated information viewed through some particular grid. But, like "relation", no-relation is a concept. Male, like female, is an idea about sex. To say that male-ness is "absence of female-ness", or vice versa, is a matter of definition and metaphysically arbitrary. The artificial concept of no-relation is the ERISTIC PRINCIPLE.
The belief that "order is true" and disorder is false or somehow wrong, is the Aneristic Illusion. To say the same of disorder, is the ERISTIC ILLUSION.
- The point is that (little-t) truth is a matter of definition relative to the grid one is using at the moment, and that (capital-T) Truth, metaphysical reality, is irrelevant to grids entirely. Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered.
- Before he became a hermit, Zaruthud was a young priest, and took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his followers. One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and there he confronted the Sacred Chao while She was contently grazing. "Tell me, you dumb beast," demanded the Priest in his commanding voice, "why don't you do something worthwhile. What is your Purpose in life, anyway?" Munching the tasty grass, the Sacred Chao replied "MU". Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened. Primarily because no one could understand Chinese.
THUS ENDS PRINCIPIA DISCORDIAEdit
- This being the 4th Edition, March 1970, San Francisco; a revision of the 3rd Edition of 500 copies, whomped together in Tampa 1969; which revised the 2nd Edition of 100 copies from Los Angeles 1969; which was a revision of "PRINCIPIA DISCORDIA or HOW THE WEST WAS LOST" published in New Orleans in 1965 in five copies, which were mostly lost.
- If you think the PRINCIPIA is just a ha-ha, then go read it again.
- If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe.
- Introduction to 5th Edition by Kerry Thornley, Discordian Society Co-founder
- Phrases posted at various points in the publication.
- Remember: KING KONG Died for your Sins
- Momomoto, famous Japanese, can swallow his nose.
- Bullshit makes the flowers grow & that's beautiful.
- One day, I came upon a man urinating in a bus station. When I confronted him about his action, he turned to me, without stopping, and said:
- "Keep in mind that the universe is in constant flux, nothing that occurs one moment has any relevance to anything else. Everything you believe, feel, or think is based on the false assumption that truth exists. Thus, you are free to do any action which brings you pleasure. That humanity feels restricted by morals is one of the funniest jokes I've ever heard."
- So I beat the shit out of him and took his wallet.
- From the Steven Jackson Games edition of the book.
THE LAST WORDEdit
- The foregoing document was revealed to Mal-2 by the Goddess Herself through many consultations with Her within his Pineal Gland. It is guaranteed to be the Word of Goddess. However, it is only fair to state that Goddess doesn't always say the same thing to each listener, and that other Episkoposes are sometimes told quite different things in their Revelations, which are also the Word of Goddess. Consequently, if you prefer a Discordian Sect other than POEE, then none of these Truths are binding, and it is a rotten shame that you have read all the way down to the very last word.