There are as many interpretations of Discordianism as there are Discordians, and several definitions of Discordianism on which center around the words Ancient Greeks, Chaos Worship and Anarchism. It is also difficult to estimate the number of followers and correctly identify Discordian groups. DIscordianism is a growing form of ritualism and a modern form of pagan, allthough that might be up for debate by the Discordians thenselves.
Discordianism as a religion centered on the idea that chaos is all that there is, and that disorder and order are both illusions that are imposed on chaos. These are referred to, respectively, as the Eristic and Aneristic illusions. Discordianism recognizes chaos, discord, and dissent as valid and desirable qualities, in contrast with most religions, which idealize harmony and order. And Discordians often refer to Eris, the Greek mythological goddess of discord, who has also become the matron deity of the religion Discordianism.
Discordianism was founded circa 1958-1959 by its progenitor Malaclypse the Younger with the publication of its principal and sacred text, the Principia Discordia. This is a brief summary of part of the Discordian philosophy which appears in the Principia Discordia:
" Here follows some psycho-metaphysics.
If you are not hot for philosophy, best just to skip it.
The Aneristic Principle is that of apparent order; the Eristic 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 "the brain" 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 at 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.
Reality is the original Rorschach. Verily! So much for all that. " - Malaclypse the Younger,
Principia Discordia, Pages 00049-00050
Principia Discordia, Pages 00049-00050
At least a half dozen Discordian based groups exist somewhat secretly in the Phoenix, Arizona area alone. The largest worldwide organization for Discordian concepts is probably The Temple of Psychic Youth ( or as it is usually refereed to, in abbreviation TOPY).
To some, Discordianism has been said to be a parody religion, but if so, publicly. it is a parody in the sense the Scientology is in being unorthodox. But its membership holds very serious views and considers themselves on of the most modern offshoots of neo-paganism on the planet.
Discordians are all around us, this examiner intends to study this form of paganism more in the future.