Some say that Discordianism (the worship Eris, the Goddess of chaos, discord, confusion, bureaucracy, and international relations) is a joke disguised as a religion. Some say it is a religion disguised as a joke. Discordians say it’s both, as the mood suits, and that may be one of the key stones to the freedom it provides. Be that as it may (or may not) I’d like to share another little gem from Eris’ treasure chest.
Reality is… something, or other. When we try to say more about it, we run into problems. Whatever is going on, we don’t have the sensory equipment to perceive all of it. Our eyes only perceive a small portion of the light spectrum. Our ears have a limited range. It’s the same with all of our senses. On top of that, of the millions of signals per hour that arrive at our sensory apparatus, only a very small portion of these signals make it into our awareness. The nervous system in general and our brains are built to sort out signals that might be superfluous, or not urgently important. What we call reality, and the only thing we can call reality is a pared down version of actual reality. This reality then gets assigned meaning, and relation, according to the distinctions we’ve been conditioned with via culture and education.
In Discordianism, we use the metaphor of windows. It’s as if there is a permanent window in front of us, through which we view reality. Of course, since the window is always there, it’s not possible to know how it may be tinted. Onto that window is painted a grid. This grid is made of the rules, beliefs, ethics, and habits that we carry with us. These, of course can be modified. We can always learn new lessons, question old beliefs, or suffer head trauma. In fact, a lot of what we spend our time doing is just that. We change our grid as life demands, limited by how attached we are too particular portions of our grid, and/or how deeply the grid is ingrained.
All of this creates what we see of reality, and how we label reality. We never see reality as it actually is. We can accept this, or we can fight against it. The extent to which we fight against it is the extent to which we are being dishonest with ourselves. If we can accept this notion, then we get the chance to recognize our grids as grids, and that means we get the chance to adjust them.
In case you feel some struggle in coming to terms with this notion (which I know I have!), there is a helpful little teaching from the Principia Discordia for keeping this notion fresh. It’s a little mantra, “All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.”