Last Thursday Master Gorm Runo presented a most interesting and informative class at the Gorean Compass which focused on the slender thread of discipline. The class was well attended and the discussion continued even after the class at both times it was given. This was a class which seemed to generate quite a bit of interest.
A reminder that Master Gorm Runo presents his class, The Gorean Compass, every Thursday at the Gorean Campus within Second Life at 12pm (noon) and 6pm. All are welcome to attend.
Tal and Greetings
In the class last week, we were focusing on a meeting that took place in Beasts of Gor, book #12 of the series. It was a meeting between Tarl Cabot and the Kur General named Zarendagar, or Half Ear.
In the discussion, Zarandargar was speaking of the early pre-historic development of the Kur civilization.
“Surely, in ancient times, Kurii came together,” I said.
Yes,” it said, “in the matings and the killings.” It looked at me, chewing. “But that was long ago,” it said. “We have had civilization for one hundred thousand years, as you would understand these things. In the dawn of our prehistory small bands emerged from the burrows, and the caves and forests. It was a beginning.”
“How can such an animal have a civilization?” I asked.
“Discipline, ” it said.
“That is a slender thread with which to restrain such fierce, titantic instincts.”, I said.
The beast extended to me a thigh of the lart. ”
“True,” it said. “I see you understand us well.”
Page 367 Beasts of Gor
Applying the symbolic approach to this quote and seeing the Kur and its “civilization” as representing the animal side of the human’s dual nature, the question of Tarl Cabot and the Kur’s response take on a great deal of significance.
How can we entertain animal like passions and instincts and appetites and still function in a social civilization?
The answer was given in one word. “Discipline.”
When Tarl suggests that is a “slender thread to restraint such fierce, titanic instincts”, the Kur assumes that Tarl understands him. What he understands is that since discipline is a slender thread, it better be a very, very strong one. Discipline, to the Kur, is not a matter of something applied from time to time or in a half ass manner. It is the absolute essential element to maintaining the balanced superior man.
Discipline is a word with a lot of different meanings. For example, a body of work or branch of study might be called a discipline. Discipline also implies controlled and acceptable behavior as in “the class is very disciplined today.”
However, the meaning we are using here tells us that discipline is the adherence to a “code of behavior designed to produce a favorable result and make one stronger or in someway better.”
Throughout the early Gorean novels, discipline is often a theme. It is not one that jumps out and hits you in the face, like much of the discussion of such things as slave girls and their uses.
It is often just mentioned as an aside as in this example:
“Ashore my crews were roisterous and brawling, but on the ships, strange as it is to relate, they were serious and disciplined men.”
Page 139 Raiders of Gor
People with experience in the military know about discipline, and its importance. Everyone has seen the situation where a soldier is asked why he failed or fell short, and standing stiffly at attention, he replies, “No excuse, Sir.”
The truth is that he actually has many excuses, some of them legitimate, and some not so much, but, discipline requires that we abandon excuses and focus on producing the favorable result and making things some way better.
In the early days of Gor, almost every Gorean website had a big banner that proclaimed Gor as harsh and unfair. This was because from the very beginning, there seemed to be an understanding that Gor was a disciplined world with little patience with excuses.
When Second Life Gor began and emerged as an interactive online community, the need for this Gorean concept of discipline became essential to its success. Using the “Counter-Earth” approach, we could see that Earth society had become a society of excuses. Personal responsibility seemed to be a lost concept. Nothing was really anyone’s fault, there was always a reason and an excuse for why favorable results were not always produced and why things seemed to rarely get better.
The very nature of the Second Life platform and how it differed from “games”, made discipline essential in creating a Gorean community. Games came with built in rules and restrictions. There was only so much the game allowed you to do and most people were comfortable within the restraints imposed on them. If something did not work, it was the fault of the game.
A prime example of this was the G&S system. When I think of the G&S system, I am still sometimes just blown away that the creators focused totally on Gorean trivia to design the system. It is a role play enhancement system that is unprecedented and mind boggling in its complexity and accuracy. The creators even seemed to have a rudimentary understanding of the Gorean sense of discipline. Things had to be done a certain way, and the very real restrictions of time and energy limited production as would befit the technological limitations of Gor.
However, the G&S system did not produce the great role play enhancement it was capable of because the users lacked the discipline and restraint to use it properly. People found ways to get around the technological restrictions with some imaginative scripting. Gorean G&S farms were created that were such technological marvels and made the modern Earth farm look like something out of the middle ages.
It has been a common theme in Gorean discussions over the years, that the fault with Second Life Gor is that everyone else is somehow screwing things up and doing things wrong. We have brought the Earth’s custom of pointing the finger at some excuse or the other as justification for failure.
And this brings us back to the statement we began this seminar with weeks ago. The part from Marauders of Gor where Tarl says Earth asks “why so hard” and Gor replies, “why so soft.”
The Earth approach is “hey, we are only human.” Of course, we are going to make mistakes and fall short of expectations. The real problem is those guys over on the other sim don’t really know what they are doing. You have no idea of the problems and bad things that happened to me in the past.
The Gorean approach is. “Hey, we are humans.” We are going to never make the same mistake twice and we are going to exceed anyone’s wildest expectations.. Fuck the guys over on the other sim, we are going to do it right here. You have no idea how much I am going to accomplish in the future.!
The slender thread that makes the Gorean approach possible is discipline. It is all that stands between us and the beast. It implies a complete understanding of the idea that there is a time and a place for being rowdy, as Tarl said of his crew, and a time for being serious as they were on the ship on Thassa.
When we want to be serious about this online community that we all love so much, and ask why it is not better or why it does not seem to be making us all better and stronger humans, and when we look at the large number of unsatisfied people, and failed Gorean sims, and ask the question, why?
The answer, as Goreans, should always be.
“No excuse, Sir.”