THE CHURCH OF SISYPHUS
Sisyphus, an ancient Greecian king who fettered
and cheated Death, was doomed in Hell to push a huge boulder up a
hill. Once he reached the top, it would roll down the other side,
whereupon he would push it up again; and so on into eternity.
Indeed, he is still doing it even as you read this. This is a very
stupid way to spend your time.
But notice! even as he repeatedly carries out his
meaningless task, even as his muscles strain and sweat pours off
his shoulders in rivers, he still takes mighty
strides as he ascends and descends that hill!
Inasmuch as all of life in this vale of years
consists metaphorically of continuously pushing rocks of varying
sizes up various inclines, we Sisypheans feel great camaraderie
with Sisyphus, and empathize with his plight. Can we do less than
take big strides in our own lives?
Thus, those who follow the way of Sisyphus always
TAKE BIG STRIDES WHILE CLIMBING STAIRS, striving to
cover at least two steps with every stride we take. In return for
this simple task, Sisyphus promises us ETERNAL SALVATION
and release from the cares and worries of this earth!
(Mathematically, this true path to salvation
is expressed by the ratio x/S
where S = Number of strides you have taken while
climbing or descending stairs, and x = Number of
steps on those stairs. The count begins when you first become
aware of the Sisyphean religion, and continues until your
Example: Sisyphean Linda
has walked over 2,905,427 steps in her life. 1,764,738 of these
were crossed after she first heard the call of Sisyphus. The
total number of strides she took in climbing and descending
those stairs was 882,372. This gives her a Step / Stride ratio
of 1.9999932 — .0000068 away from the high holy ratio of 2! At
her death, Sisyphean Linda finds Eternal Salvation, and is
canonized as a Saint.
But what if your ratio falls to 1.5 or below?
(One and one half strides to one step.) Then, Eternal Salvation is
denied you! But there is still hope, for all those who fail are
REINCARNATED here on Earth. This cycle of failure and
rebirth shall continue until you learn the way of Sisyphus, follow
it, and find Salvation!
ANSWERS TO COMMON THEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS
Do escalators count?
Escalators are an abomination, and anathema to
the true Sisyphean. Of course, if the escalator is not moving,
it counts the same as a normal flight of
Doubtful. Use with extreme
And what about
Stairmasters are a dangerous lure. They
produce the illusion that one is climbing stairs, in like manner
to an escalator, but Sisyphus is not fooled.
Let's get one thing straight. A stair is a stair in the
eyes of Sisyphus. Don't come to us whining "Well, what about
landings?" or "Does a curb count?" or "What happens if I rip the
stairs out of a doll's house and jump back and forth over them?"
or "What if I stand at the base of an escalator all day with my
foot poised over the emerging steps?" Stairs are stairs. Don't
be an ass.
What if you're
physically disabled, and cannot use stairs?
Then you must use your imagination. Dream
about taking mighty strides up and down stairs. Sisyphus will
recognize that you're doing your best, and give you
Well, suppose you had a
Sisyphean on an infinite, perfectly flat plain, and the only
stairs around had steps that were six feet high?
If the Sisyphean lacks equipment of any sort,
he / she / it must use the dreaming strategy described above.
Otherwise, the Sisyphean should make or obtain mountaineering
equipment and a hang glider. The Sisyphean then climbs the side
of the steps, and jumps down the stairs, using the hang glider
Doesn't it disturb
you that the Sisyphean religion makes no account for personal
responsibility, ethics or morals — that a condemned mass murderer,
rapist, and traitor could receive Eternal Salvation by just taking
big strides up the steps to the gallows?
Nope. Not a bit. Just as long as that person
doesn't come back down and bother us
I'm a former Catholic,
and I don't feel comfortable without a rosary. Is there a
Some Sisypheans carry miniature staircase
ornaments on bracelets or necklaces, claiming that it's easier
to "let your fingers do the walking." However, others feel (with
much validity) that such a token effort is not likely to please
long-suffering Sisyphus. Until we work this out, you're probably
better off just taking big strides — but carry a rosary if it
makes you feel better. Just don't expect it to
The practice of selling Indulgences (known
among Sisypheans as "buying a stairway to heaven") is not
permitted. No donations of any sort are accepted by the Church
of Sisyphus. We exist to spread the word, not to make
I don't think Sisyphus
is pushing that boulder anymore. Hercules smashed it on his visit
to hell and freed him.
Maybe so. However, the metaphysical boulders
that Sisyphus struggles with are more significant than any
physical ones. We have but our simple faith in the face of
sneers and mockery.
Sisypheans (i.e., nearly everyone on Earth) reincarnate as babies,
why is Earth's population steadily increasing? Where are all the
new souls coming from?
Good question. We're working on this
HEROIC SISYPHEANS OF LEGEND
St. Edwin Merish, who was
converted to Sisypheanism just prior to walking off a 13 story
fire escape, thereby achieved a ratio of one stride (and extended
fall) to 156 steps! By far our holiest Saint.
Superman is an honorary
Sisyphean, most notably for his ability to leap tall buildings
(containing many stairs) in a single bound. If we consider a
skyscraper built in the shape of a capital "T" to contain stairs,
Letterman also deserves this honor. Indeed, by extension, any
Superman-like hero (e.g., Underdog, Mighty Mouse, Captain Courage,
etc.) is an honorary Sisyphean.
The Biblical Jacob, in
addition to being a trickster of Sisyphus's caliber, is also
credited with receiving the first divine vision of a "Stairway to
Heaven," for which he is venerated. Many Sisypheans also
mystically intuit that Moses took great strides up and down Mt.
Sinai, and is thus deserving of sainthood.
Many Sisypheans have glorified the Ancient
Peruvians and the Egyptians for developing the stepped pyramid.
However, the steps in question are very large, and would have
resulted in a disappointingly small ratio, unless hang gliders
were also in common usage — a supposition cast into grave doubt by
IT'S EASY TO JOIN THE CHURCH!
In fact, it's involuntary. The count begins once
you HEAR THE WORD — and you've just read this pamphlet! Your
clock is already ticking!
For more information,
But relax. You needn't abandon your current
belief system to adopt the way of Sisyphus. After all, the only
duty required by Sisyphus is to TAKE BIG STRIDES WHILE CLIMBING
STAIRS. What other deity could be jealous of such a small
(If your own god prohibits having "other gods
before me," go ahead and put Sisyphus after. He doesn't mind — AS
LONG AS YOU TAKE THOSE BIG STRIDES.)
And it's healthy for you. The added exercise will
strengthen your leg muscles, increase your red cell count, and
provide greater stamina for your everyday life!
So how can you lose? You've already taken that
all-important first step by reading this pamphlet. Now, just put
one foot in front of the other, and start that climb to ETERNAL
Lady of the Perpetual Reascension
536 Green Village Road, Green Village, NJ 07935
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scalious praise to Cardinal Darren Shalich for
receiving the primal vision that engendered the Church of