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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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!