Discordian Metaphysics and the Five Realities


``The Truth is Five but men have but one word for it.'' -- Patamunzo Lingananda, from the Principia Discordia
1: The Region of Thud, a.k.a. The Abyss of Hallucinations, a.k.a. Reality
This is where we think we are most of the time. It's possible that we are all just programs in a huge computer, or disembodied hallucinating brains in jars or something equally weird; but since this can't be proven, we might as well stick with what we think we know. Some wise guy once defined ``reality'' as ``that which doesn't disappear when you decide to quit believing in it,'' which is about as accurate as we can get at our present stage of evolution.
2: Limbo, a.k.a. Nirvana, a.k.a. Olympus, etc.
``The place where the powers that be and a lot of their friends hang out,'' according to St. Zonker Harris. Actually, Limbo is a place of deities, demons and other theological types who are ``between jobs.'' One area, referred to as ``Limbo Peak,'' is home to the Greek gods, most of whom have been out of work for quite awhile now. At present, Eris is one of the few of this gang with steady employment, what with all the cutbacks and what-not...
3: Pre-Illusion, a.k.a. the Void, a.k.a. Preincarnation
Not much is known about this level of existence. Apparently, Pre-Illusion is the stage before ``Reality,'' but reality never completely cancels it out -- The two are at odds. (It has also been theorized that this is where the odd socks go from clothes dryers.)
4: The Afterlife, a.k.a. Hades
There are many different theories regarding what happens to you after you die. One thing most faiths agree on is that the nonexistence you experience when you die is not permanent -- after all, you didn't exist before you were born, and it didn't last then, either. We Erisians believe that when you die, you go to Hades. For those of you still recovering from other theologies, Hades is not the same as ``Hell.'' Granted, the evil are supposed to get back all of the crap they inflicted when alive, but the righteous (not the ``self-righteous,'' though, most likely) get to enjoy ``Paradise,'' which can vary between a serene garden and a wild party, depending on the residents' moods. The big debate is about whether you stay there or not -- there is violent disagreement between various Erisian sects about the existence or nonexistence of reincarnation. Personally, I like the idea -- but then I'm a proponent of other types of recycling, also. (Besides, it's fun to threaten non-believers with the possibility of being reincarnated as Veg-O-Matics if they don't repent of their ways.)
5: Beforelife, a.k.a. Spirit World, a.k.a. Platonic Ideal Realm
Discordia's present mailing address. ``We were all just ideas before we were born. All perfect. All so very beautiful...'' -- St. Arthur Dekker (M.A.) This level of reality is sometimes visited by dreamers, lunatics, shamans, acidheads and Discordians consulting their Pineal Glands (a category that quite often overlaps the other four). It acts as sort of a petri dish for meme cultures. The Akashic Records are stored here (I'd have more info on the Records, but my ``library card'' expired in a previous incarnation, and I've been too busy to get a new one). As far as it can be determined, any ``thing'''s path is as follows: first, it starts as an archetype in the Beforelife, then it becomes an idea in Pre-Illusion, then it ``exists'' in Reality, and then it comes to rest in the Afterlife; the whole process being guided and manipulated from Limbo. Data on the theoretical structure of the Pentaverse is available in Dr. W. Clement Cotex, PhD's paper, ``The Penta-heroidal Universe,'' Psychometronic Monthly, 5/17/77, pp. 23 to 42 fnord. Thanks also go to Shaii-Seamus Stone, W.H.M., for information on Pre-Illusion, and to the Church of the SubGeniusTM for the term ``Beforelife.'' Further information on Discordian cosmology can be found in the ``Book of the Uterus,'' parts of which were reprinted on the Principia Discordia.