FILE THIS UNDER “PERSONAL”
I’ve been blathering on at this blag about Detachment, Slaying the Ego, Changing your Life, yadda yadda yadda. This is largely because I’ve been projecting the kind of advice I needed to hear. I’m changing gears. Shedding my skin. Becoming a new feathered serpent. Escaping my black iron prison.
My goal has been to annihilate all the things I identify with …and see who emerges.
You don’t have an identity without a community to reflect it. So my first move was to step away from the PD forums, the addictive Internet community I used to post at every day. There are some great people there and I miss them terribly, but I had to get away from that network of influences. It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t having fun there anymore, and I was spending too much of my life interacting with a screen. (There are other reasons too, but that’s immaterial for now.) The main thing is that I had become hooked on the identity I created by posting 15 times a day for four years. So I decided to abruptly stop being Cramulus.
Springtime — specifically Lent — is a time for sacrifice. If you give up something that you love, it makes for a bountiful fall harvest. I am not Christian, so I don’t celebrate Lent. But I figured I’d give it a try, if only because it’s so out of character for me. For Lent, I gave up Discordia and my mental relationship with Eris.
What does this even mean? There are no rules about what makes somebody a Discordian, so severing my ties to Discord was as simple as saying “I’m not a Discordian” out loud. It was harder than I thought. I’ve been a Discordian since I first read the HTML copy of the Principia at age 16. It took some patience and discipline to force myself to think about things in different ways, but in time, it happened.
And that was probably for the best. Discordia is not meant to be a real religion, but it had come to occupy that slot in my life. You can get intense about it, you can keep it in your heart, but it should still be something that you can laugh off or throw away at a moment’s notice. Mal and Omar warned us about letting some silly old book drive our lives. In the last years, I’ve taken Discordia very seriously, I’ve put a lot of effort into Eris’ society, and somewhere up on Limbo Peak, Eris was laughing at me. So screw that crazy bitch! Class dismissed.
The next part of my identity was wrapped up in my appearance. I’ve had long hair since I was like 15 years old. What would I even look like with short hair? It was time to find out. I took a big breath and got it chopped off. My Nafs, that tricksy demon, loved having long hair. The little bastard is more attached to who I am than who I could be. Fuck him too.
Freedom is invigorating! For the first time in years, I felt like I had new kinds of freedom. With my new hair cut, my new attitude, my new identity, I have different options. I can apply for different jobs, I can talk to different girls, and I can tell an entirely new story about who I am. I had slain most of the things I identify with. So who will emerge from the smoke and wreckage and aftermath? I erased personal history, I banished the Nafs, I escaped the Black Iron Prison.
Don’t worry, cats. With laughter, I let Eris back into my heart. But now the self is tempered, it’s been reforged in the fires of self destruction. It was scary, but I told you it could be done! I wish I could adequately describe how exciting it is to have this opportunity. It’s 9 months pregnant with uncertainty. I’m on the edge of my freaking seat.
My name is Dan and you still know nothing about me.
Except that I’m a total spag.