Now that I’ve gotten Adam Gorightly’s excellent Historia Discordia (Amazon), I’m starting to see some really intriguing parallels between the Discordians and the Gnostics (the latter of whom I’ve always been very interested in).
One of the central principles of Discordianism is that “the only thing you can know is that you cannot know anything…” reminds me of the gnostic concept of the nature of the “Source” or “Pleroma,” which was also ultimately unknowable as well. The Pleroma created from pure thought Sophia, or “knowledge,” the source of enlightenment for humans, who through the medium of the “fruit of the tree of knowledge” causes Adam and Eve (mankind) to become self-aware. Now it’s interesting that Sophia uses an apple, or that the fruit of the tree is most often represented as an apple; and the “original snub” of Discordianism is a golden apple with the word “Kallisti” (to the most beautiful) which Eris tossed into the wedding feast of Thetis and Peleus, and eventually would lead to the Trojan War as a result of a jealous tiff among the Greek Goddesses. Sophia was usually associated with the soul by the gnostics, and the soul was often thought to have its seat in the pineal gland. The Discordians speak to Eris via the pineal gland (coincidence? I think not…).
Old Greyface of the Discordians is really parallel with the demiurge, who the Gnostics associated with Jehovah or YHWH. Both of them try to convince mankind that there is an “order” to the cosmos, and they were responsible for creating it (which they were) but being imperfect themselves, their creation was inherently imperfect (thus, we get cruelty, ignorance, hot dog buns, and chiggers). What they really don’t want mankind to know is that Sophia actually created us (or our soul personalities), and that we are in fact closer to the Pleroma than they are. Of course, there were those who wanted to stick to orthodoxy, and for them the Church of the Sub Genius was created by Bob Dobbs, with JHVH-1 being essentially the embodiment of Greyface.
Then again, both the Discordians and the Gnostics may simply have been insane… but Eris tells me otherwise.