Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31st - Syaday

Story – Sometime around 1958 or 1959 Malaclypse the Younger, AKA Greg Hill, wrote a book called the Principia Discordia, thereby founding the religion Discordianism. The Principia Discordia is a masterpiece of silly nonsense and profound philosophy. It is often taken as a joke, and it is a joke, but it is also far more than a joke. I will have to wax rhapsodic about it’s brilliance some other day. For now suffice it to say that it is an excellent introduction to Zen aimed at Americans, and a good example of high grade traditional Crazy Wisdom mysticism, wrapped up in late 50s pop culture.

One of the many jokes in Discordeanism is the creation of an intentionally absurd calendar system, whereby May 31st is the 5th day of the month of Confusion, and is called Syaday in honor of the Patron Apostle Sri Syadasti, who is the patron of Confusion.

Sri Syadasti is one of the 5 apostles of Eris (the Greek Goddess of Discord worshipped by Discordeans), and thus a 5 star saint in their system (a rank “reserved for fictional beings who, not being actual, are more capable of perfection”).

His full name is SRI SYADASTI SYADVAKTAVYA SYADASTI SYANNASTI SYADASTI CAVAKTAVYASCA SYADASTI SYANNASTI SYADAVATAVYASCA SYADASTI SYANNASTI SYADAVAKTAVYASCA which is supposedly Sanskrit for “All affirmations 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.”

That affirmation right there provoked me for many years. I have engaged in much contemplation of the roots of logic, both formal and informal. And I am still to this day in awe of this affirmation. Much of whatever enlightenment I have comes from the deep realization that this claim is true. Well, in some sense. And of course false in some sense, and meaningless in some sense, and both true and false, and true and meaningless, and false and meaningless, and true and false and meaningless. Well, in some sense …

I am grateful that confusion isn’t always a bad thing.
I am grateful for crazy wisdom
I am grateful for silliness in the cause of the greater enlightenment of humanity
I am grateful for multivariate logic, especially the dialethisms of the Indian tradition
I am grateful for skepticism’s constant reminders of the limits of our understanding

Other Notables for me for this day:
The death of Joseph Grimaldi, in some sense, the inventor of clowns (whose traditional feast day is the first Sunday in February, at All Saints Church in Haggerston, Hackney)

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