Discordianism, A Brief Explanation by Professor Cramulus
If I ever have to explain Discordia really briefly,
I’ll say something like “Taoism in a clown suit.” – that’s MY Discordia, at least.
In Zen without Zen Masters, the About the Author section for Camden Benares (The Count of 5s) has a good one-line historical description:
“The Discordian Society was a San Francisco-based dadaist, aesthetic-theological society whose stock in trade was esoteric satire.”
If I have to be really really straightfaced about it, which happens occasionally (like when my office building manager sat down with me to find out WHY I wanted to hang a sacred chao and golden apple on the office x-mas tree), I explained it like:
“It’s a religion which finds religious thought profane, we think dogma and religious hierarchy short circuit critical thinking and independent thought. Our concept of “holyness” generally refers to something that transforms Bureaucracy into whatever comes after Bureaucracy, ideally through humor and creativity. We are post-modern; by that I mean our Goddess is of no help in understanding things, we do the heavy-lifting work of generating meaning ourselves. Eris is just a story that helps explain Discordianism in a mythological context. More or less, we think most of the world’s problems could be solved if humanity stopped taking things so seriously.”
To this, the building manager said, “Hmmm” and sat with me in silence for about 30 seconds. Then he said, “Well I think it’s good that you believe something, whatever it is.”
That seemed like a challenge to prove him wrong, but I decided that discretion is the better part of being-allowed-to-do-crazy-things-at-work.