The Myth of Starbuck
|The Myth of Ichabod (The Myth of Starbuck) (1960s)
|This story was named The Myth of Ichabod when it appeared in Principia Discordia (the first edition, which was a rough draft), and possibly in Summa Universalia. The fourth edition of that work did not include the story, but an interview with Greg Hill (Malaclypse the Younger) in the Loompanics edition referred to it as The Myth of Starbuck.
There once was a huge boulder, perched precariously, on the edge of a cliff. For hundreds of years this boulder was there, rocking and swaying, but always keeping its balance just perfectly. But one year, there happened to be a severe windstorm; severe enough it was, to topple the boulder from its majestic height and dash it to the bottom of the cliff, far far below. Needless to say, the boulder was smashed into many pieces. Where it hit, the ground was covered with a carpet of pebbles--some small and some large--but pebbles and pebbles and more pebbles for as far as you could walk in an hour.
One day, after all this, a young man by the name of Ichabod happened on the area. Being a fellow of keen mind and observational powers, naturally he was quite astounded to see so many stones scattered so closely on the ground. Now Ichabod was very much interested in the nature of things, and he spent the whole afternoon looking at pebbles, and measuring the size of pebbles, and feeling the weight of pebbles, and just pondering about pebbles in general.
He spent the night there, not wanting to lose this miraculous find, and awoke the next morning full of enthusiasm. He spent many days on his carpet of stones.
Eventually he noticed a very strange thing. There were three rather large stones on the carpet and they formed a triangle--almost (but not quite) equilateral. He was amazed. Looking further he found four very white stones that were arranged in a lopsided square. Then he saw that by disregarding one white stone and thinking of that grey stone a foot over instead, it was a perfect square! And if you chose this stone, and that stone, and that one, and that one and that one you have a pentagon as large as the triangle. And here a small hexagon. And there a square partially inside of the hexagon. And a decagon. And two triangles inter-locked. And a circle. And a smaller circle within the circle. And a triangle within that which has a red stone, a grey stone and a white stone.
Ichabod spent many hours finding many designs that became more and more complicated as his powers of observation grew with practice. Then he began to log his designs in a large leather book; and as he counted designs and described them, the pages began to fill as the sun continued to return.
He had begun his second ledger when a friend came by. His friend was a poet and also interested in the nature of things.
"My friend," cried Ichabod, "come quickly! I have discovered the most wonderous thing in the universe." The poet hurried over to him, quite anxious to see what it was.
Ichabod showed him the carpet of stones...but the poet only laughed and said "It's nothing but scattered rocks!"
"But look," said Ichabod, 'see this triangle and that [square] and that and that." And he proceeded to show his friend the harvest of his many days study. When the poet saw the designs he turned to the ledgers and by the time he was finished with these, he too was overwhelmed.
He began to write poetry about the marvelous designs. And as he wrote and contemplated he became sure that the designs must mean something. Such order and beauty is too monumental to be senseless. And the designs were there, Ichabod had showed him [that.]
The poet went back to the village and read his new poetry. And all who heard him went to the cliff to see first hand the [carpet] of designs. And all returned to the village to spread the word. Then as the enthusiasm grew there developed a group of those who love beauty and nature, all of whom went to live right at the Designs themselves. Together they wanted to see every design that was there.
Some wrote ledger about just triangles. Others described the circles. Others concentrated on red colored stones--and they happened to be the first to see designs springing from outside the carpet. They, and some others, saw designs everywhere they went.
"How blind we have been," they said.
The movement grew and grew and grew. And all who could see the designs knew that they had to have been put there by a Great Force. "Nothing but a Great Force," said the philosophers, "could create this immense beauty!"
"Yes," said the world, "nothing but a god could create such magnificent order. Nothing but a God."
And that was the day that God was born. And ever since then, all men have known Him for His infinite power and all men have loved Him for His infinite wisdom.
Exerpted from a treatise concerning The Nature of Gods and The Eristesque Movement, to be found in the SUMMA UNIVERSALIA, the Holy Work of MALACLYPSE (THE YOUNGER), K.C., Omniscient Polyfather of Virginity-in-gold, and High Priest of The Heretic Fringe and Protestant Persuasion of the ERISIAN MOVEMENT of the DISCORDIAN SOCIETY ----- Hail Eris
Official Discordian Document #TD 1-1.2.2-4:11:64
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