Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "Nothing is true, all is permitted": so said I to myself. Into the coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand there naked on that account, like a red crab!" --Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Like Aleister Crowley's "'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law", this phrase is often interpreted in its most literal sense to mean that objective reality does not exist (see relativism) and therefore that free will is unlimited. However, "Nothing is True and Everything is Permitted" is more widely interpreted to mean "there is no such thing as an objective truth outside of our perception; therefore, all things are true and possible". It is a basic tenet in chaos magic and a core concept in discordianism and pirate utopias.
It is used as a credo on Axiom, Bill Laswell record label and alluded to in the title of Isis's album In the Absence of Truth. Brion Gysin's biography is titled Nothing Is True - Everything Is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin. In film, Turner mumbles those words to Chas in Performance.