A Discordian was invited by some local pagans to lead an “Erisian” ritual for Eostre. I’m not sure they knew what they were getting into. If you wanted a serious ritual, you shouldn’t ask a Discordian. So the guy wants to turn it into a mindfuck. Here was my advice:
“I just want to remind you we’ve got a perfectly good Erisian Easter tradition - the Erister Egg Hunt. Hide a bunch of crazy crap in plastic eggs - the kind of stuff which you would not expect to find in a plastic egg (whatever that is)- and then let people discover them.
I think a good erisian ritual does the opposite of what these pagans might want. It unravels the tapestry. It intensifies the hollowness and meaninglessness of ritual. A good discordian ritual holds up a mirror, makes people question whether they ever want to do this stuff again.
I’d be tempted to just do something silly which only technically fits the ritual form. These pagans, they’ve got this fairly rigid sense of what a ritual is, what it’s for, and some of them probably consider themselves “experts”. Your job is to show them how meaningless it is, how they are playing childish games in the lap of Death. And that’s why I wouldn’t just do a ha ha silly ritual.
If I were you, I’d want to really shake these people up. Establish control of their bodies using Call & Response and Simon-Says type techniques. Then lead the group out into traffic and have everybody lay down in the road (you first!). The cars will be honking and it will feel dangerous. If possible, get a friend to SPEED up to the group and then slam on the breaks, screeeech.
As everybody flinches, as the discomfort and fear rises to the point that they physically resist your ‘ritual’ and walk away from it, you can tell them they have come through the eye of the needle. They have died and been reborn. They have taken control back from you. The Self which was willing to lay down in traffic because an “expert” or “priest” commanded it IS DEAD NOW. The robot is slain and the new self IS RISEN.
THAT’S a fucking Easter ritual.”
The question is not “Is someone lying to me?”
Someone is probably lying to you. A lot of people are probably lying to you. Heard an advertisement? There are probably lies, either explicit or implicit. The gadget advertised with yellow, sans-serif Arial Black on dead digital blue might not work at all. The beauty cream will not make you more sexually desirable.
So the question is not “Is someone lying to me?”
The questions you need to ask are “What am I being told? Why is it being told to me? What does the speaker hope to achieve by telling me this?”
Check the facts when you can. Understanding the facts helps you understand the reasons behind the lies, and behind the truths too. Understanding the reasons behind the lies you are told allows you to apply another grid to the chaotic reality you perceive, revealing to you new relationships between your data points.
Some lies are more useful than others. Some pointless lies can be enlightening, if you’re clever.
In short, bullshit helps the flowers grow, and that’s beautiful.
Saint Amir Zetathustra, Heretic
So Eris shewed me this book called the "The Garden of Cyrus" by a Sir Thomas Browne (a Christian of the Hermetic tradition). I haven’t had the time to read this fully, but the fifth and final chapter of this little book deals exclusively with the mystical significance of the Number Five. Apparently some also call this an early example of Stream of Consciousness (but I cannot confirm or deny this first hand).
In debating issues close to our hearts, its difficult to avoid projecting caricatured views upon our opponents. Cramulus caught me red handed doing this to one of his posts; in a state of ideological paranoia I projected upon his words a particular fallacy that frequently irks me. Indeed I often have an axe to grind. In debate, the common temptation is to make Straw Men out of our opponents’ positions. It seems there are countless creative ways of doing this.
I have been trying (with varying degrees of success) to implement a heuristic and projection that is the opposite of the Straw Man - something I call an Iron Maiden. The Iron Maiden is what you perceive to be the strongest possible formulation of the opponent’s position. You trap yourself in the Iron Maiden, and demonstrate you can escape its clutches, thus attempting to refute the strongest possible objection to your proposition. Great scholars seem to do this often.
Your proposition will not always escape unscathed. You will see the strengths of the opposing view, and the weaknesses of your own. The goal is to get the best of both worlds, and improve both positions as a result. Or maybe a new position will be formulated that is better than both. I often like to say that bridges are build from both ends.
I feel that for full effect the Iron Maiden must also be applied to the very value of different argumentation methods. Different traditions and cultures have different methods of argumentation, logics and values. For the sake of applying the Iron Maiden heuristic we may have to change our very values; to give increased weight to an argument or method we normally might take lightly.
Paul Feyerabend made an interesting distinction; he called a Guided Exchange a debate where one doctrine is presumed superior and if a participant does not abide by the Rules them they are derided as ‘Irrational’ (or whatever that doctrine calls its heretics). In contrast, an Open Exchange isa discussion where the rules and methods of the discussion are not fixed but evolve as participants immerse in each others worldviews and traditions. It seems to me that the Iron Maiden complements the Open Exchange nicely, and that both would help foster an atmosphere of mutual respect in discourse, one where we assume intelligence instead of stupidity in our fellow human beings.
Life hack: make your browser replace every instance of “Snowden” with “Scissorhands”.
Expert mode: use opencv to replace every pan of those two photos of him that they use on every article with a different Edward Scissorhands production still.
If you weird cunts haven’t been made aware already, it’s back.
If you can be bothered, have fun.