The Gorean Compass – Gorean Campus Class Intro

We mentioned in a previous blog post that Master Gorm Runo was changing the name of his class at the Gorean Campus.  Previously known as Philosophy of Gor, the name has been changed to The Gorean Compass – a philosophical guide to Second Life Gor.  The reason for the name change was to more accurately reflect the content of the class and Master Gorm’s teachings.  It also is the name of his radio show on Gorean’s Portal Radio and has been for years.

Now without further ado, let’s get to the content of this week’s class!

Tal and greetings

This is the first session of a new section of our seminar.  The name has been changed from the rather boring “Philosophy of Gor” to “The Gorean Compass.”

In my time in the military, I developed a reputation as an extremely reliable compass man, and in my unit was often given the responsibility of leading us from point A to point B, many times through very rough terrain and usually at night in the dark.

Land navigation using a compass is actually a very simple skill.  I remember teaching it to groups of Brownie Girl Scouts seeking to earn some sort of badge, and they usually had little trouble grasping it.

It is simply a matter of determining a direction.  When a person is standing facing one way, you can imagine a circle drawn around him representing the possible ways he can turn. Each of these possible directions he can turn is given a number.  The full circle consisting of 360 degrees, and each one is called an azimuth.  So, you simply determine the proper “azimuth” from point A to point B, set it on the compass and off you go, sure to reach your destination.

compass-map

So, why was I good at it when others were not, especially if it was so simple?  The answer lies in the fact that the ground between Point A and Point B was never, or rarely, just open flat ground.  It was filled with obstacles and hazards.  They were even more confusing in the dark of night time. You had to know how to go over and around them without losing your azimuth.  You also had to beware of the constant barrage of conflicting signals and doubts that created fear that you were not on the right path.  Fear that you had lost your way.

I was a good land navigator simply because I never took counsel of my fears.  I was stubborn and refused to believe all the signs and indications that I was going wrong, and trusted totally in the azimuth and the compass and most of my fellow soldiers couldn’t muster that same confidence, and would try to adjust or alter things by looking for an easier path, or sometimes turning around and going back to start over.

I have called this course, “The Gorean Compass” as I did my long time radio talk show on Goreans Portal Radio, because I believe the Gorean novels and the vision of the Gorean ethos created by John Norman contains an azimuth.  There is a direction, straight and true, that takes us from Point A….which is where we begin, to Point B.  where we arrive at an understanding of what it really means.

the-time-to-take-counsel-of-your-fears-is-before-you-make-an-important-battle-de-403x403-nk1rpi

The bad writing, and the apparent contradictions, and the negative aspects of the Gorean world are like the obstacles that must be crossed or gone around, and the social conditioning of our Earth world is like the darkness that creates fear and doubt in our minds and causes us to want to deny we are on the right path, or to turn around and head back to safety.

There are many people here that come to Second Life Gor to escape from the world of Earth, and to indulge in a fantasy world free from the restrictions and concerns of their first life.  Online Gor has always had that ability.  To create escape, to live out something different; to have adventure.  John Norman, without even knowing about the internet, or envisioning Second Life Gor in his wildest dreams understood this.

In Marauders of Gor, Tarl Cabot is laying on a hill with the men of Torvaldslands waiting to attack the camp of the Kurri when he makes this observation:

“On another world, lit by the same star, in another place, dawn, too, drew near.  The distant light in the great cities, unknowing, soon to be occupied with the concerns of their days, piercing the haze of the daily, customary poisons, first struck the heights of the lofty buildings, reflecting from the rectangular windows, like sheets of burnished copper reflecting the fire of the sun.  Men would soon be up and about their duties, hurrying from one nothing to another, to compromises, to banal degradations, anxious lest they fail to be on time. They would not care for the blackened grass growing between the bricks; they would take no note of the spider’s architecture, nor marvel at the flight of the wren darting to its nest among the smoke-blackened , carved stones.  There would be no time.  There would be no time for them, no time for seeing , or feeling, or touching, or loving or finding out what it might be to be alive.  Clouds would be strangers to them; rain an inconvenience; snow a nuisance; a tree an anachronism; a flower and oddity, cut and frozen in a florist’s refrigerator.  These were the men without meaning, so full and so empty, so crowded, so desolate, so busy, so needlessly occupied..  These were the gray men, the hurrying men, the efficient, smug, tragic insects, noiseless on soft feet, in the billion iron hills of technology.”

pages 238-239  Marauders of Gor

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This is one of many passages where we turn around and look back on Earth.  The idea of Gor as “counter Earth’ seems to require us to not only attempt to understand what Gor was representing, but just as importantly, how if differed from Earth, and why.  It seems very clear that even if “escape” is our only motivation and fanciful role play our only goal, we can not achieve this if we bring Earth values, Earth conditioning, and especially Earth’s flaws with us on the journey.

And oh how overwhelming it all seems.  Because one of the major things that makes Gor different than Earth is the control and restriction of technology.  Gor accomplished it via the intervention of the Priest Kings, who did not allow it to proceed in certain areas, funneling the inventive energy of man into more constructive efforts like medicine and engineering, where the Goreans were not “backward’ but far more advanced.

And yet, here we are, attempting to recreate this world in the midst of one of the most amazing bits of technology ever.  I have understood “pace” as one of the azimuths on my own Gorean compass.  Everything we do here in Second Life Gor seems to be sped up.  Like the natural cycles of day and night which move so much faster than even our own 24 hour rl cycle, we are recreating a world where we are really supposed to be slowing down and smelling the flowers with such things as teleporters that move us instantly from place to place, and im’s that allow us to send our thoughts like telepathic messages to the most remote corners.

slow-down

As this class was intended as an introduction to the “Compass” idea and a warning that it will, in the coming weeks, often contrast the Gorean way with the contemporary Earth way to search deeper into the meaning of the Gorean experience, I do not have time to really explore this issue today.

However, I will close by giving you an example of how my own understanding of “pace of life” and my decision to use it as an “azimuth” in Second Life Gor might work.

This morning, when I logged in, I was in my home.  I slowly walked my avatar down to the front porch and stood a moment, looking at the green hills of my home estate, almost as if I was breathing in the clear ,fresh, unpolluted air.  I decided to go across the island to check the ka-la-na barrels aging in my warehouse.  I could have “flown” there, or could have jumped on the round teleporter pad and instantly been there.  But, instead, I walked.  I paused a moment to admire the bright pink blossoms of a ka-la-na tree planted by the bank of the clear, clean stream cutting across the island.  Then, I climbed the high hill, taking another moment to admire the view from among the ancient stones that crown its summit, before continuing.  Across the swinging bridge, through the pass cut into the hills, and finally to my warehouse.

(take a walk with Master Gorm Runo through Caer Cadarn.  Click below)

When it was time to come to class, I had to give in and tp, to the campus dock.  One of the helpful class helpers immediately sent me a “teleport” to save me from having to walk the short distance from the dock to the classroom, but I ignored it, and walked along slowly, admiring the trees and the flowers, and collecting my thoughts to present this lecture.

This is a world where we have brought our technologically driven need for instant gratifications.  It is a world where great cities can be built in a week, and destroyed and disappear entirely even faster.  It is a world where slaves beg release from collars after two days, because the “relationship” doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.  It is a world of rapid movement , and where we are often lost in im’s so deeply that we come to resemble the young people of Earth walking around with their heads lowered , as if in submission, to the “smart phones” in the palms of their hands, while no words are spoken in local chat.

But, there is an azimuth.  A direction we can follow to navigate through this tangle.  It is telling us to slow down, be less shallow, dig into things deeply and not superficially.  It doesn’t matter how difficult the terrain is, the azimuth points toward the destination.

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When I did my radio show, I made more enemies than friends.  People were clinging to Earth fiercely and did not want to let go.  The topics we need to examine are controversial and my views were often rejected, and even at times mocked.  Natural order, male dominance, female submission, anti-technology, evolutionary fitness, “Gor evolved” gender fluidity, and a host of other hot topics are going to be the course syllabus , and I am sure I am never going to be invited to give any of these talks to college kids in California or Wisconsin, who would be running to their safe spaces to cuddle a puppy if they knew what I was going to say.

if my personal experiences in online Gor over the past dozen or more years had convinced me that everything was running smoothly; that there was no confusion, frustration, damaged people, and wasted tier fees, I would most likely thank Lady Jan, and krista, for the invitation to hold this course, but I do not think we all have really made it comfortably to Point B yet.

I think it is time to look at the compass again, and check the azimuth.

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Thank you Master Gorm Runo for another enlightening class.  For those who want to continue following this discussion the next class will be held at The Gorean Campus on Thursday at 12pm (noon) and 6pm.  Hope to see you there!

Slave Positions Class

Lovely, Rhiannon, slave of Master Gorm Runo, presented a magnificent class on slave positions.  The class was held in the village of Tosar in the slave kennels.  Rhiannon covered five of the most common slave positions.  Not only did she teach the position, but she taught the emoting of the position.

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Following are transcripts from the class along with examples of emotes written by members of the class.  Positions covered were tower, nadu, heel, bracelets and obeisance.

As each position was introduced Rhiannon gave quotes from the Gorean novels to support her teaching.  She then had each student write out emotes for each position.

In attendance at this class was tabi, sarah and misty.  Rhiannon gave 3 other classes on the same topic throughout the day so that all the girls would be able to attend at least one class.

Tower

rhiannon: The NC i handed out has book descriptions of each position. What i would like for each of you to do, is write out an emote, for the position Tower .. after reading the book description.

rhiannon: we are going to go through each position like this, and if you need help just ask .

rhiannon: while ya’all are writing out the emote i am going to give you circumstances that the position tower would be used here on Gor.

rhiannon: It is commonly the first position learned. A white silk slave that has not been opened will kneel in tower. The thighs pressed together firmly indicate that she is not be used sexually.

rhiannon: Slaves that belong to FW will commonly kneel in tower.

rhiannon: When in service to a FW, one will often serve in tower.

“You kneel,” he said, “with your knees closely together.”
That was commonly referred to, for some reason, as the position of the tower slave. Girls, of course, may be commanded to one position or another. I did not know, at that time, why the position was referred to as the position of the tower slave.
Plunder of Gor Book 34 Page 86

Sarah lowers herself to the gound, resting on her heels, back straight, knees together hands placed on her thighs palms down, head down eyes lowered

TABI lowers to her knees gracefully, placing thighs carefully together, palms upon the thighs in relaxed position, head slightly lowered and back ramrod straight, buttocks resting upon sturdy heels.

Misty: Sinking to her knees, she glanced around the room counting in her head all the Free in attendance. Noting several Free Women present, she gracefully closed her knees
into a Tower position, pressing her thighs together, so that none of them would be offended.  As her legs closed together, she no longer felt the cool breeze from
the Thassa, and her heat cooled.

Nadu

rhiannon: Nadu is probably the most common position i have ever used on Gor.
rhiannon: it is also known as the position of the pleasure slave.

rhiannon: Thighs spread, the slave is in a sense indicating that she has been opened and understands her place as a slave on Gor.

“Nadu!” he snapped.
She swiftly turned, facing him, and dropped to her knees. She knelt back on her heels, her back straight, her hands on her thighs, her head up, her knees wide.
It was the position of the pleasure slave.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 77
“Nadu!” he cried, loosening the whip coils on her throat. She swiftly knelt, back on her heels, back straight, head high, hands on her thighs, knees wide.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 80

Sarah lowers herself to the floor, resting back on her heels, rasies her head looking straight ahead, opens her thighs wide displaying herselt, places hands palms up on her thighs, keeping her back straight, holdiong her chest out

TABI bends knees lowering buttocks to heels, back straight as thighs part widely exposing the moist inner core of the slave, breasts lifted and available to his touch, hands rested on thighs awaiting the command of the Master

Misty: Her Master, coming up behind her unexpectedly, always invoked an automatic response from her–that of kneeling legs spread wide apart, hands on her thighs with her head up.  For her Owner, a perfect nadu kneel was always the right thing.

rhiannon: okay so no questions about nadu?

TABI: palms up or down?
rhiannon: ahhh, now back in the old days
rhiannon: when we didn’t have avatars

rhiannon: that was a sign to others whether or not we were available for sexual use or not.
rhiannon: palms up
rhiannon: meant that we were basically begging silently to be made of use

rhiannon: or in other cases, even a silent plea to speak if they had been commanded to silence.
rhiannon: in other words, palms up were seen to be a way of a slave to beg silently. So, i would say hands down is the common way of it .. but if you like to use the little signals you can kneel with palms up or turn them up on your thighs and see if the Master understands what you are doing and recognizes it for what it is.

Heel

rhiannon: Heel is pretty self explanatory.  A Master wishes you to follow him.  So commands you to heel.  Doing so with grace here on SL seems to be the trick.

slave-heel

“You will be well taught to heel and obey,” said he.
Marauders of Gor Book 9 Page 118

“I now carried his shield. I walked behind him, and to the left. I suppose I should have minded. I knew, of course, that I was heeling him.”
Slave Girl of Gor Book 11 Page 31

“I strode toward the market. I must leave soon. The girl stumbled after me, weeping. “Please, Master!” she wept. I did not tell her to heel. It was not necessary. She was slave.”
Beasts of Gor Book 12 Page 140

I extended my hand. I would snap my fingers. When I snapped my fingers she would rise to her feet and follow me, heeling me, like the sleek domestic beast she was, to her master’s lodge. One of the first things a girl is taught to do is to heel.
Blood Brothers of Gor Book 18 Page 108
A man’s slave usually heels him, following behind him, or behind him on his left.
Blood Brothers of Gor Book 18 Page 299

Sarah at the command to heel, rising from the floor to stand, moving to the left of the Free, two steps behind, waiting to be led away

Misty: As the Master took hold of her leash, there was no question in her mind about how
she would be required to follow him. Two paces behind on his left, so as not to encumber is use of his weapon, always in a deferential stride. When he stopped, she stopped, being careful not to bump into him but to always be aware of her place and her desire to serve him, even when she was just walking.

TABI hears his command and quickly rushes to his left side, kneeling in usual pleasure slave fashion prepared to follow as he leaves, careful to remain just to his left and slightly behind, sapphire eyes upon him constantly to follow his movements carefully.

Bracelets

rhiannon: What I was gonna say about bracelets is that the position can be done, kneeling or standing. I was taught that if you were told to go into bracelets and you were kneeling, you did so by lifting head to the left and placing hands behind your back, ready for the bracelets.
rhiannon: But, if standing, you should turn your back to the Master and cross your arms behind your back.

rhiannon: you can get really old school and emote that you place your weaker wrist upon your stronger one if you like.
rhiannon: So… those all looked great. Basically you are preparing to be braceleted.

“Bracelets,” he snapped. She put her head in the air and placed her hands behind her back.
Hunters of Gor Book 8 Page 146

Sarah  lowered to the floor, resting her butt on her heels, pushing her knees together, back is straight, raising her head for access, placing her hands behind her back

TABI kneels, thighs part widely, back slightly arched lifting ample breasts as hands crossed neatly behind her back ready to be bound if Master should so choose,  head lifted her gaze upon the Master.

Misty: His preference for her kneel was in the bracelets position–arms behind her back,
legs spread as in a nadu kneel and chest thrust forward. She kept her eyes down until he spoke to her, truly a sign that she was listening and perched ready to  serve him well.

Obeisance

rhiannon: Obeisance.

rhiannon: yes.  Obeisance is a position that all slave girls should know.  It is commonly used to show ultimate submission to the Master.  it is also a position that a slave may beg from.  Even if it is for her life.

rhiannon: Now .. again, just cause i have to throw in .. that if you want to go really old school …
rhiannon: from that position

rhiannon: if you are begging for mercy .. especially if it is for your life
rhiannon: you can reach forward, grab hold of the Masters boot, turn your face and place the Masters boot upon your head.
rhiannon): and then beg.

rhiannon: yes, you are saying
rhiannon: i surrender to your will Master, i know you can crush my skull if you wanted to right now.

“Obeisance!” snapped the guardsman.
Instantly Ellen, and her sister slaves, went to first obeisance position, head down to the cement.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 234
When we appeared before her cage, she put her head down to the blanket, the palms of her hands on the floor of the cage, beside her head, It is a lovely gesture of obeisance, and required by many masters of their women.
Mercenaries of Gor Book 21 Page 340
I pointed to the sand before me.
She immediately, frightened, dropped to her knees and again put her head down to the sand, the palms of her hands, too, on the sand.
Vagabonds of Gor Book 24 Page 205

Sarah: me hearing the commad to Obeisance she dropped to her knees, placing her head on the floor raising her butt in the air, her hands palms down placed on the floor beside her head, back arched

Misty: Being new in the kennel, she relied on the other kajira and closely watched their
behaviors so that she would not feel the sting of the whip. As a Free entered the space, she noticed in turn that each girl put her head down to the ground, palms down flat and knees
tucked under. Slaves remained in the obeisance position until ordered by the Free to move. It was a bodily way to express silent submission, she thought.

TABI falls quickly to the ground, shame evident upon her features, folding over pressing breasts to sand, knees bent underneath and arms extended with palms pressed downward, head lowered between her palms, breath quickened and ragged begging mercy for having been displeasing.

Thank you Rhiannon for this very excellent class on basic slave positions.  Also thank you to the Village of Tosar for allowing us to hold the class within the kennels there.

Watch this space for many more slave classes and instructions yet to come!

 

Gorean Philosophy class 3 – Eternal Recurrence

Just an FYI… the Gorean Philosophy Class at Gorean Campus has changed names.  Name has changed, but teacher and amazing content is still the same!  The class is now call The Gorean Compass – a Philosophical guide to Second Life Gor.

This is the transcript of this weeks class.  If you would like to join in some amazingly interesting discussions then be sure to attend.  Every Thursday at The Gorean Campus at 12pm (noon) and 6pm second life time.

Now… on with the class!

Tal and greetings Goreans.

Welcome to the third session of this seminar, and the good news is that we will finish up our discussion with that boring old Earth fellow, Nietzsche today.

In the previous session, we discussed the idea that the plots of the early novels were following a pattern from Nietzsche’s idea of abandoning otherworldliness and seeing it replaced with nihilist ideas.

If we had not been passed down a moral code from on high, then we had no moral code. This was reflected in the thoughts of Tarl Cabot in the Port Kar tavern when he saw only the negative and evil side of that city.

Although this was only a side light of Nietzsche’s solution, and he was often very vague about it, one of his ideas on how to move past this stage was called “eternal return.”

Wikipedia gives this definition of the concept:

“Eternal return (also known as eternal recurrence) is a hypothetical concept that posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form for an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. It is a purely physical concept, involving no supernatural reincarnation, but the return of beings in the same bodies.”

eternal-return

First, lets see how John Norman works this idea into the story.

At the end of Priest Kings of Gor, Tarl meets Misk the Priest King while he is traveling away from the Sardar Mountains. Misk discovers that Tarl has been given the information on the location of the last egg of the Priest Kings. It is somewhere, he has been told, in the Land of the Wagon People.

With only that small bit of information, a trip to the land of the Wagon Peoples to seek it out would be difficult, dangerous, and most likely futile, and Tarl refuses to do so. At first.
“The affairs of Priest Kings are not my affairs” , he tells Misk
He even thinks to himself that the saving of the Priest King race is not even in his best interest as a human being. Free from Priest Kings, and their restrictions on technology, the humans on Gor are free to develop weapons and the other things denied them.

tarl-and-pk

Misk accepts Tarls decision, and does not push him, but as they talk, Misk finally makes this speech, laying out the idea of “eternal return.”

“But in the end, ” said he, “life is as real as death and there will be a return of the ultimate rhythms, and a new explosion will cast forth the primitive particles and we shall have another turn of the wheel, and someday, sometime, in eons which defy the calculations even of Priest-Kings, there may be another Nest, another Earth, and Gor, and another Misk and another Tarl Cabot to stand upon a windy hill in the moonlight and speak of strange things.”
Misk’s antennae looked down at me.
“Perhaps, he said, ” we have stood, on this hill, thusly, together, unknown to either of us , already an infinite number of times.”

Page 315 Priest Kings of Gor

Tarl sudden feels the wind blowing very cold and he asks Misk, “and what did we do?”

This gives Misk a chance to lay out a new moral code to guide men. With an understanding that “otherworldliness” must be overcome and man lifted to something higher, and a further understanding that this will not be done without some sort of meaning to our existence or guidelines to our behavior, Misk replies:

“I do not know what we did,” said Misk, “But I think I would now choose to do that action which I would be willing that I should do again and again with each turning of the wheel. I would choose so to live that I might be willing that should I live that life a thousand times, even forever, I would choose so to live that I might stand boldly with my deed without regret throughout eternity.” -page 315-316 Priest Kings of Gor

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Tarl claims to be horrified by these words, but notes that Misk, representing the rational side of our nature,

“—-stood, the wind whipping his antennae, as though he were exalted.”

I have come to call this the “moral high ground” theory for my own personal process of decision making.

It is a very hard and demanding approach to life and to morality which is why it horrified the human with his split animal/rational make up, and exalted the Priest King with his purely rational approach.

It does not really involve a discussion of the concepts of right and wrong, especially as those concepts are often vague and filled with gray areas. They are, also, often again a reflection of society’s norms and other people’s interpretations, and even of laws and moral codes passed down from on high and enforced with the fear of punishment.

This is more like the United State’s Army’s recruiting slogan, “Be the Best that you can be” or even the simple Boy Scout slogan of ,,”do your best.”

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It really puts it all in our laps and makes it our personal responsibility to decide what course of action, in any given situation, is the course of action that we would be able to live with “boldly and with no regrets” even if the same situation repeated itself a million times in an endless cycle.

Tarl Cabot says his farewells to Misk, and rejoins his companions, who in an ironic twist, not understanding who or what Misk really is, are busy praying to the Priest Kings to save them.

Then, he asks for directions to the Land of the Wagon Peoples, thus paving the way for the next book, “Nomads of Gor.” and the introduction of some memorable characters, such as Kamchak of the Tuchuks.

I have been speaking of some of the ideas from the philosophy of Nietzsche that obviously influenced John Norman as he crafted his Gorean world and related the adventures of Tarl Cabot.

As my good friend, Zembel, pointed out last week, I might have over done the use of the term, “Ubermensch” in this discussion, as the term as Nietzsche used it is a vague one and does not fit this model perfectly, especially in the idea of “taking the best of both worlds” as John Norman seems to use it in the Gorean novels.

However, there is little doubt that John Norman is crafting an idea of a “superior man.” He is going to have to be humbled a bit, as most of us are at one time or another, to recognize his humanity, but ultimately, he will emerge stronger, more human, more aware of his animal nature, but with more respect for rationality.

It is a hero model that I see reflected in the books again and again. I even see it in popular fiction and even movies. For example, I recently watched “The Outlaw Josie Wales” a Clint Eastwood film. At the beginning of the movie, Redlegs from Kansas have burned his home, killed his wife and child, and left him for dead. When a band of pro-southern men come along, they tell him they are going up North to “set things aright.” And Josie says, “I reckon I will be coming with you.”

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Tarl , in the books to come is always heading off on an adventure to “set things aright” Like Josie, he is often hard, and deadly, but never is he unfair, cruel or sadistic. No one is going to mistake him for a goody-goody, or even a Social Justice Warrior. He is not concerned with Politically Correct behavior, or terrified of giving offense to anyone.

However, he is brutally honest, and seems to face each decision by asking himself one quick question. “Will I behave now , in such a manner, as I may stand boldly with my deed, with each turning of the wheel.”

This idea , to me, permeates the early Gorean novels. It has led many people who have encountered Goreans who understand it and practice it, to see us as snobs. People who look down on others and sneer at weakness.

In the early days of my online experience, I used to defend against these attacks and criticisms. Now, I no longer do so.
I tell people that our point of view is not about making judgement calls about them, or worrying muchly about their weakness or their acceptance of mediocrity..

It is all about us. Individuals, facing decisions and challenges in our life and facing them with the tough and scary mandate that we will act in a manner that is as correct, honorable, courageous, and moral as we can possibly comprehend it to be. content with our decisions, willing to make them again and again with each turning of the wheel.

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To my lifestyle friends, I tell them that the Gorean lifestyle is not about wearing tunics, carrying swords, and leading naked girls about Walmart on a leash. It is about living to that higher standard of behavior regardless of the pressures of the society around us to alter it, weaken it, or betray it.

To my roleplay friends, I tell them that I understand the ‘fun” in role playing the evil and wrong of Gor. To pretend to be the bad guys instead of pretending to be the good guys, but you need to understand that this is not really what BTB ought to mean. I encourage more storylines that are about ‘setting things aright”, more storylines of people holding themselves to the highest personal standards of behavior. More storylines about searching for, fighting for, and defending the moral high ground, and fewer about wallowing in the depravity and cruelty of Gor.

However, in the end, like Tarl when he realizes that he can not use his escape from the Sardar to push his own agenda on the Goreans, and he realizes that Man will only pull himself up if he does it by pulling himself up by his own bootstraps, I realize I can not use my position as instructor to push my own agenda on the students. That is why I like to call this a seminar and not a “class.”

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I have found these ideas useful to me in my role play, in my real life, and in my understanding of the Gorean world I love so much. If the wheel, does indeed continue to turn, and we do indeed find ourselves back here at this classroom again and again an infinite number of times, I will stand boldly with the words I speak today, and with no regrets.

Thank you again, Master Gorm.  Much to think about and apply to our roleplay and our every day lives!

Be sure not to miss Master Gorm’s next class.  Thursday at 12pm (noon) and 6pm SLT at The Gorean Campus

HOR Birthday Celebrations

The House of Runo consistently asserts that we are not out-of-character, nor are we in-character.  We assert that we are Second Life Goreans.  We follow the Gorean Philosophy as closely as possible all the while recognizing that we are, in reality, on earth.

As such, The House of Runo does celebrate many earth holidays and maintains many earth customs.  One of those customs is the celebration of birthdays.  One might make the claim that in the books the Goreans didn’t celebrate birthday, especially the birthdays of slaves.  However, they did celebrate the monthly anniversary of the collaring of the slave.

“A slave girl is a delight to a man; she is extremely prized and precious; that the day of her acquisition should be celebrated each month with special ceremonies and rites is not surprising. These numerous anniversaries are deliciously celebrated, as they may be with a girl who is only a slave, and seldom forgotten; should such an anniversary be forgotten, should it be such that it is commonly celebrated, the girl redoubles her efforts to please, fearing she is to be soon sold.” –Slave Girl of Gor

This in a sense could be similar to a girl’s birthday since one could make a case that the collaring of the girl by her Master is the beginning of her life (her birth day) with that Master.  Now, The House of Runo doesn’t take it quite that far as to hold monthly celebrations.  However, we do celebrate the yearly birthdays of each member of the House of Runo.

Two such celebrations were recently held.  The slaves tabi and rhiannon recently had birthday celebrations at Caer Cadarn.

Tabi’s birthday had a theme of cats since Master often calls her “tabicat” or even has been know to shorten it to just “cat”.  Rhiannon took to the radio on a private radio stream.  Everyone came over to the winter wonderland which is still to be found on Caer Cadarn and we danced, drank, ate and just generally made merry.

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About a week later the same happened for Rhiannon.  This time the party took place in the pleasure garden at Caer Cadarn.  The theme was fairies and the garden was decorated beautifully to look like a fantasy fairy garden.  Everyone wore wings and dressed up as fairies.  Tabi took the stream this time and provided the music as everyone dance, drank, ate and had a great time.  This theme was chosen because Master often calls Rhiannon “bug”.  Rather than all be bugs, we decided we’d be fairies.

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As the year goes on look for more birthday celebrations at The House of Runo on Caer Cadarn!  All are welcome to come and join in the festivities.  They will be announced in the HOR chat and notices will be put out.  Goreans love to celebrate and won’t often miss a chance to make merry for almost any reason, including birthdays.

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Gorean Philosophy Class 2 – Overcoming Otherworldliness

Once again presenting the transcript from Master Gorm’s class on Gorean Philosophy at Gorean Campus.  This class was held on 1/12/2017.

Just are reminder, these classes are held every Thursday at The Gorean Campus in Second Life at 12:00pm (Noon) and 6pm SLT.

Tal and greetings Goreans.

Today, we are going to continue laying the groundwork for a new look at the message of the Gorean Novels, and how an understanding of some of the underlying themes of the novels can enhance our experience in Second Life Gor.

In last weeks introduction to this seminar, I attempted to make two major points.

The first was that the Gorean novels in no way were intended to be a utopian view of a counter earth.  The whole Counter Earth idea was opposition. The things that were the most wrong on Earth were better on Gor, and the things that were right on Earth were really wrong on Gor.  I suspect, in my own humble opinion, that the author never doubted that the readers would get this, but he also never dreamed of the internet, and the online community and role play, and lifestyle Goreans. I wonder if he had known these things, would he have written the novels differently?

earth-to-gor

The second idea that I introduced was something strongly influenced by the writing of  Friedrich Nietzsche.   The discussion in the second class session was useful in clarifying that the Gorean philosophy had only borrowed a few things from Nietzsche, while discarding other elements, and in no way held up the entirety of his work, or his personal behavior as a role model for us.

We did speak of his idea of the Ubermensch.  The superior man that blends the very best of both worlds and rises to a much higher standard as a result.   It was suggested that Tarl Cabot’s journey showed how the two extremes eventually found balance and that a superior man had emerged.

Today, I want to touch on two more elements from Nietzsche that influence the Gorean novels.

The first concerns religion.  It is one of those topics that, along with politics, we are warned to avoid in polite discussions.   Nietzsche’s views on religion were very complex and were a major theme of much of his work.  One thing that it is very safe to conclude is that he was very negative on what we would call organized religion, more specifically Christianity.

I found it of interest that the idea of opposition in the Counter Earth model missed out in this area.  The main religion of Gor and its adherents were painted in a totally negative way.  All that was wrong with organized religion on Earth was “wronger” on Gor.  The Caste of Initiates was constantly painted with a very negative brush ranging from absurd rituals and practices to the wicked and corrupt Initiates that dabbled in politics and sought personal enrichment.

initiatesgr

Friedrich Nietzsche spoke of “otherworldliness.”  He said that it had been holding back the real advancement of the human race with its focus on reward and punishment, and a moral code passed on to man and enforced by a higher power not of Earth.   In Tarl Cabot’s famous comparison of Earth and Gorean morality, the slave morality is a reflection of this idea.  That morality is the morality imposed on us by the higher power, and not a morality with its origins in the hearts and souls of man himself.

In Priest Kings of Gor, we see this Nietzsche idea guide the plot.  Tarl Cabot emerges from the Sardar at the exact moment all the Gorean religious leaders are burning a bosk thigh to appease the “gods.”   For a moment, he thinks to use this event to push his own morality on the Goreans.  After all, in Earth terms, he has just returned from Heaven where he had an adventure with God himself, and he figures people will do what he tells them.  The moment is lost as the Initiates use the events to fit their own agenda.

But, this story ends with Tarl having a talk with the High Initiate of AR, who tells him that not only does he have some knowledge of the reality of Priest Kings, and the foolishness of the rituals and beliefs of his own caste, he is an enlightened one, a budding Ubermensch himself, who realizes that religion exists to be overcome.  That man will never rise to his full potential unless he does it by pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.

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Here is the very heart of the exchange from the book.

“We speak not to man’s heart, ” said Om, “but only to his fear.  We do not speak of love and courage, and loyalty and nobility, but to practice and observance and the punishment of Priest Kings—-for if we spoke so, it would be that much harder for man to grow beyond us.  Thus, unknown to most members of my caste, we exist to be overcome.  Thus in our way, pointing the way to man’s greatness.”
Pages 300, 301  Priest Kings of Gor.

Tarl’s affirmation of his release from the slave mentality of otherworldliness comes in Marauders in the Tomb of Torvald, when he says,

“”If the land is to be saved, it is by us, and others like us, that it must be saved.  There are no spells, no gods, no heroes to save us. In this chamber, it is not Torvald who must awaken. It is you and I.
Page 235 Marauders of Gor

The Nietzszsche influence should be clear in both quotes.   The idea that otherworldliness is holding us back and must be overcome.

I can not recall a single time that religious belief as it pertains to Gor was ever the topic of a single public discussion.  However, I have engaged in many private discussions with concerned and confused individuals who were having trouble reconciling their own beliefs with the Gorean morality or lack of it in certain cases.

It is obvious that such things as slavery, paga sluts, brutal forced collarings, and a host of other Gorean blemishes would cause such trouble, and for those people the answer would be found in the “theme of the Gorean novels , #2” from last week.  Gor sucked, but for different reasons.

Yet the UberMensch idea rejects the same things, lumping them in  the “why so hard” bin.  The true conflict that they face is the Gorean rejection of slave morality.  When the negative aspects of Gorean culture are viewed as fodder for nothing more than game type role play, they create little or no conflict.  When confronted with a culture that is focused on love, courage, loyalty, and nobility, rather than practice, observance, and the punishment of Priest-Kings as Om puts it, they are at the point where they have to decide how that jives with their own individual beliefs.

Put another way, the personal spiritual beliefs of Friedrich Nietzsche and John Norman have very little to do with our own spiritual beliefs.  If we listen to what they are telling us, we would know they would be the first to affirm that.  We are supposed to be out searching for our own truths, fighting for the understanding of them.  Freeing ourselves from the slave mentality that forces us to behave out of fear rather than enlightenment.

wholedude-wholenihilism-nietzsche

In Nietzsche’s time, and in European culture especially, religion was waning and being replaced with the idea of nihilism.  This is a belief that life has no real meaning.  There is no longer a set of moral codes passed on in holy books, or in any other form, and so there is no real morality at all.

Tarl Cabot passes through the nihilism stage beginning in Raiders of Gor, when he loses his honor, and actually continuing on through book 8, Hunters of Gor.  He admits to seeing no good in anything, (Port Kar becomes a sort of nihilistic city symbol)

In Raiders, he tells us this:

“I hated Port Kar, and all that was of it.  And I hated myself, for I, too, was of Port Kar. That I had learned this night. I would never forget this night.  All that was in Port Kar was rotten and worthless.  There was no good in her.
The curtain from one of the alcoves was flung apart. There stood there, framed In its conical threshold, Surbus, he who was a captain of Port Kar.  I looked at him with loathing, despising him.  How ugly he was, with his fierce beard, the narrow eyes, the ear gone from the right side of his face.  I had heard of him, and well, I knew him to be pirate; and I knew him to be slaver, and murderer, and thief; I knew him to be a cruel and worthless man, abominable, truly of Port Kar and, as I looked on him, the filth and rottenness, I felt nothing but disgust.”

Page 120-121  Raiders of Gor

My understanding of both Nietzsche and Norman was that they welcomed the onset of nihilism because it signaled the abandonment of otherworld driven morality and paved the way for the advent of the Superior man.  In the following passage, Samos, a native born Gorean, and at this stage still Tarl’s mentor, speaks to this.

“When you lost your images of yourselves, and learned your humanity, in your diverse ways, and shame, you abandoned your myths, your songs, and would accept only the meat of animals, as though one so lofty, as yourself must be either Priest-King or beast.  Your pride demanded either the perfection of the myth or the perfection of its most villainous renunciation. If you were not the highest, you would demand to be the lowest; if you were not the best, you would be nothing less than the worst; if there was not the myth there was to be nothing.” Samos now spoke softly.  “There is something,” he said, “between the fancies of poets and the biting and the rooting and sniffing of beasts”
“What?” I asked.
“Man, ” he said.
Page 311 Raiders of Gor

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“If there was not the myth there was to be nothing” says Samos.

“After the abandonment of otherworldliness comes nihilism”  says Nietzsche.

Over the years that a Gorean community has flourished here in Second Life, this same drama has played out numerous times. Otherworldliness has been represented by those people who have seen the Gorean novels as sacred writ. To my embarassment, the Wikipedia article on “Gor” mentions that many Goreans refer to the novels as “The Scrolls.” Many of our sims focus everything on what Om called practice and observance, and fear of the wrath of Moderators telling you that you have a minor detail wrong.
They miss the underlying message of individualism and do not listen to Tarl Cabot’s message that we are not entitled to truths for which we have not fought, and blindly follow websites and struggle to get the smallest detail exactly right “by the books.”

Mixing with them, and often in conflict with them, are the nihilists. They tell us the books have no meaning at all, and we are taking the whole thing way too seriously, as we were told by a student in last weeks discussion. The nihilist like to tell us that the books are poorly written, make no sense, are full of contradictions, and are just poor sci fi anyway. Sometimes they go as far as Tarl in Port Kar and tell us that Gor is actually a stupid, evil, totally disgusting thing, that they enjoying role playing, but can not accept that anyone would see any worth to it beyond that.

So, in the writings of Nietzsche, and in the plot structure of the early novels there is, represented by Tarl Cabot’s adventures, a movement from otherwordliness to nihilism, and a conflict looking for resolution. Perhaps, in the solution found in the books, is a clue to the solution for the conflict and division in Second Life Gor. Next week, this seminar will delve a bit further into this idea and hopefully, we will find some clues that might help us better understand not only the themes of the novels, but the root causes of the chaos of Second Life Gor.

Thank you Master Gorm for offering such interesting insights into the Gorean novels and how they relate to Second Life Gor.

We welcome all to come to these classes and give us your input.  Classes are held at The Gorean Campus in Second Life every Thursday at 12:00pm (noon) and 6pm SLT.

The HOR grows…

The House of Runo is proud to announce the addition of two more slaves.  Misty and Ashlynn.  Both girls bring plenty of experience and, of course, sensuality to the House of Runo.

Misty was actually collared a couple weeks ago.  She had belonged to Master Gorm Runo once before and we are thrilled that she is back.  All we can say is, “Welcome Home, Misty!”

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Ashlynn is also a very experienced Gorean slave.  She can often be found hidden among the wool spinning it into thread.  We are excited to have Ashlynn join the HOR and expect much from her!

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As has been discussed previously, within Second Life submission is voluntary.  It is a girl’s choice to give her life over to a Master.  This is not an easy thing to do and requires trust, love and much strength on the part of the girl.  We are so very proud of our new additions and hope you come visit us and meet all the HORS, but especially the two newest!

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The road to The Black Tarn Tavern and Caer Cadarn can be found HERE!

 

Philosophy of Gor – Intro

Master Gorm Runo has re-started his Philosophy of Gor series at The Gorean Campus in Second Life.  He will be there on Thursdays at 12pm (noon) and 6pm sharing his insights and wisdom on Gorean Philosophy.

Master Gorm has offered these classes before and they were very well received.   He is back now with more knowledge and insights into the Gorean novels and our Gorean roleplay within Second Life.  These classes will be presented, with his permission, on this blog.

This was the introductory class presented on January 5th, 2017:

Tal and Greetings

Welcome to the first session of a new seminar called the philosophy of Second Life Gor.

The seminar will be conducted in the following manner:  I will begin with a short prepared lecture introducing the topic and when I finish, the floor will be open for questions, opinions, arguments, or comments from everyone.  I will ask you to hold these until I finish, however.

I have been studying and discussing and teaching about the Gorean novels for many years now.  I have focused this study on the first group of novels because I believe John Norman laid out his philosophy very clearly in those early novels fleshing out a fictional world and the later novels were just fan fiction having fun with that world.

The author hasn’t commented much on his works and the philosophy behind themThe author hasn’t commented much on his works and the philosophy behind them,, but he did comment some , and one of the things he has told us was that one of the major influences in the shaping of the “philosophy” behind Gor was the work of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, the German philosopher who lived in the 1800’s.

Anyone familiar with Nietzsche’s work can recognize many of his themes in the early Gorean novels.  In Marauders of Gor, the famous passage comparing Gorean and Earth moralities comes almost word for word from Nietsche.

One of the major themes of Nietsche was the idea of the “UberMench”   This has been mistranslated into “superman” by some, but means more “The Superior Man.”

nietzsche-overman

I think that I really needed to learn more of the idea of the UberMench before I had a major insight into the message the books were trying to impart..  I realized that the message of those early books could be summed up in three major points.
1.) Earth Sucked
2.) Gor Sucked just as bad only for different reasons
3.) The ideal , the superior Man, existed between both worlds.

It was very much evident in the plot structure of the novels that Tarl Cabot, the main voice and the eyes through which we view Gor, went through a transformation.  It was important that the character pass through both worlds, taking the good from each and recognizing the bad and discarding it, and by doing this he becomes the UberMensch.

Here is a quote supporting this idea from Marauders of Gor,  Page 7
“I sometimes envied the simplicities of the men of Gor and those of Earth, creatures of their conditioning, they are untroubled by such things, but I would not be as either of them. If either should be correct it is for them no more than a lucky coincidence.  They would have fallen into the truth, but to take truth for granted is not to know it. Truth not won is not possessed. We are not entitled to truths for which we have not fought”

The key words here are, “I would not be as either of them”   Of course not, he must rise above them both and be the superior man.

He also expresses this desire to merge the two cultures in this quote from the same section in Marauders.

“Earth moralities encourage tenderness, pity, and gentleness, sweetness; Gorean Morality encourages honor, courage, hardness, and strength.  To Gorean morality many Earth moralities might ask, “why so hard?”  To those Earth moralities, the Gorean ethos might ask, “why so soft?”

three-bears

“I have sometimes thought the Goreans might do well to learn something of tenderness, and perhaps, that those of Earth might do well to learn something of hardness.” – page 8
Although most people have usually taken that “too soft/too hard” passage to be mainly an indictment of the weakness of Earth, it is just as much an indictment of the brutality of Gor. Again, remember Tarl says, “I would be like neither of them.”
When you read the books, there are a host of native Gorean anti-heroes that serve to represent the negative aspects of the Gorean side.  One feeds girls to urts for not be pleasing.  Others mock a disabled man in a paga den.  There are bullies and cowards and dishonorable men galore, and we are supposed to see them, and the flaws of the Gorean culture as clearly as we see the blemishes of our Earth culture when Tarl looks back and reflects on his Earth up bringing.

The philosophical message of the books is very much tied to the idea of UberMensch, and rising above the shackles of the extremes.  Tarl , like all of us here that come to Second Life Gor to learn of these things, is a man of Earth.  He never gives up the basic decency and compassion of Earth, and , the idea of the strong existing to protect the weak, not exploiting them.  But, he does give up the wussiness of Earth.  He starts acting like a Man should act, and in fact, as we go into the fan fiction stage of the novels, he is often the superior man that has merged both of these worlds perfectly..

One example of this growth and change is his relationship to his Gorean born friend, Samos.  In the beginning , Samos is his mentor, and clearly a superior man, but by the end, Tarl has moved past him into a higher standard of honor and moral strength.

These are some examples of how Nietsche’s UberMench idea shaped the plots of the Gorean novels.  Tarl had to pass through many stages of growth to finally become “Gorean”  But, here is a major contradiction.  He says he feels the “power of the unified Gorean will, not divided against itself”  but, really he is using Gorean now as not the native born Gorean, not the brutes and bullies, and assholes that he had overcome, but the superior Man.  Forged on Earth, Hardened in Gor, and superior and free.

tarnsman-of-gor

I think this idea is important to Second Life Gor, and that is why I speak of Second Life Gorean Philosophy.  We are talking of “By The Book” role play sims here in Second Life that are attempting to recreate the negative aspects of Gor.  This is exactly like the sims that are recreating “Rape alley” or “The Crack Den” to show the negative side of Earth culture. No one would question their right to run their own sims as they wish,. If people find it fun and entertaining to explore the seedy side of Earth, or the brutal nature of Gor, that is understandable. Much of the good role play in Second Life Gor is based on sudden raids, capture, force, or other negative elements of Gorean culture. These role play sims commonly call themselves “BTB” and encourage people to “read the books” to better understand the concept, but often times reading the books becomes confusing and people see contradictions.

From the very beginning of the online Gor experience, there have been people who saw something else in the books. They heard John Norman painting a picture of a Gor that did not exist so much in the words of a book or on a planet on the other side of the Sun, but rather that lived and existed in the hearts of Men. It was a vision that pulled us back a little from the technological and social chaos of our modern world, and into a much more primitive world that we could pass through and experience to harden ourselves and begin questioning “the simplicities and conditioning” of Earth.

This seminar is designed to look into some of these higher ideals and how they apply to the community that has grown here in Second Life Gor and how an understanding of them might enhance our experience here and answer the question of why we have so much confusion and misunderstanding often runs rampant and unchecked.

Be sure to stop by the Gorean Campus at 12pm (noon) or 6pm and catch the rest of the classes in the series.  Not included in this blog are the wonderful discussions which follow each class.  They will be well worth your time!

Gorean Campus