Gorean Compass – What distinguishes us from urts and sleens?

Gorean Compass class by Master Gorm Runo

Tal and Greetings,

I often times struggle with maintaining balance in this world of Second Life Gor.   When I first came to the online world, and Gor existed in the words of a book, or the written words of a post in a chatroom, it was not as hard.

Second Life Gor was an assault on the senses.  It introduced the visual, arousing the senses to a fever pitch, like a secret erotic fantasy coming to life.   The idea of “building” expanded the potential, and things like the G&S system, a system that used the Gor novels as its inspiration, made it possible to flesh out our fantasy in ways that would not have been dreamed of only a dozen years ago.

I am only human, and when the temptation to indulge in the sensual pleasures of the flesh and to sink down into the intellectual safety of the petty and the superficial beckons me, I have a couple of passages from the books that keep my Compass heading pointing uphill to higher ground.

Let me share them with you.

“I sat in the darkness and wondered on honor, and courage.  If they were shams, I thought them most precious shams.  How else could we tell ourselves from the urts and sleen? What distinguishes us from such beasts?  The ability to multiply and subtract, to tell lies, to make knives?  No, I think particularly it is the sense of honor, and the will to hold one’s ground.

Page 6, Marauders of Gor

man or animal

In previous classes, held in this seminar, we have spoken of the idea of a superior human being that maintains a balance between the “too soft” of Earth and the “too hard.” of Gor.  It is the basic division point, and has always been, between Role play and Lifestyle approaches and even reflects the debates over the true meaning of “BTB.”

And most importantly, it reflects the basic duality of man that is at the heart of the Gorean ethos. The symbolic battle that takes place in the first 18 or so books of the series between the Kur and the Priest-Kings is between our rational nature and our animal nature.  The rational side telling us to live each moment in such a way as to be able to live with it, without regret, for eternity, and the animal nature telling us to live each moment only considering our own lusts and desires.

The second quote takes this idea a step further.

“What is it to be a warrior?” she asked.
“It is to keep the codes, ” I said.  “you may think that to be a warrior is to be large, or strong, and to be skilled with weapons, to have a blade at your hip, to know the grasp of the spear, to wear the scarlett, to know the fitting of the iron helm upon ones’ countenance, but these things are not truly needful; they are not, truly, what makes one man a warrior and another not. Many men are strong, and large, and skilled with weapons. Any man might, if he dared, don the scarlet and gird himself with weapons.  Any man might place upon his brow the helm of iron.  But it is not the scarlett, not the steel, not the helm of iron that makes the warrior.”
She looked up at me.
“It is the codes, ” I said.

Page 340 Beasts of Gor


I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but I immediately think of Second Life Gor, when I read those two quotes.   I think of a place where for a small amount of money, one can dress himself in the most authentic of clothing, and use a few simple expressions, like “Tal” in place of “hello, and, if a man, arm himself with so many swords, spears, and bows, that he looks like a porcupine on steroids.

I think of amazingly talented builders who can create whole cities that make the books come to life before my very eyes.  The word, authentic, is often used.  It is a more forceful word than BTB.   And I watch role play stories unfold that suggest that in a short time, the Goreans would have become “woke” and realized the error of their ways, and would have began crafting their society to reflect the same false and unnatural ideas that were driving Earth society to chaos.

All of these thoughts are really good for me.  They remind me that the Gorean compass is pointing consistently to an azimuth that is leading to higher ground.

And one of those points is that it isn’t all that superficial and petty trivia that makes us authentic.

I know how “cool” our trivia is, and I know how John Norman seemed to have hit upon a fantasy that resonates with us on many levels.  People who hold beliefs that are totally contradictory to the underlying philosophical ideas of the books, still seem to love to come pretend here and indulge in the sensual, sometimes dark and forbidden, pleasures, or just groove around in the right clothes, saying the right things and serving drinks in the proper containers.

real slave

But, I can not do that myself without seeking that balance.  I know better.  I know it is not the color of the cloth that he wears that makes one man a warrior and another not.  I know it is the codes.  I know that we are not really above the urts and sleen because we can do math or tell lies, or make knives.  It is because of the higher things.  The spiritual things.

I know that I am not reflecting Gor when I focus myself outward and evade any attempts at self improvement by spending my time on how fucked up others are and how wrong they are doing everything.

I know I am not reflecting Gor when I lower my standards,  compromise my honor, betray my codes, or refuse to accept responsibility for my own actions, regardless of how authentic my clothing might be, or how effective my weapons system.

One of the most epiphany moments of my Gorean experience came when I finally understood a comment made by Bear of AR.  When I met him, he had two real life slave girls, one who lived with him, and one that came to visit one weekend a month.   He said. “It is not easy to be a Gorean.”  and I laughed at him.  No, I thought, it is not easy to have two females as your slaves.  “wow, how hard that must be.”

But, the epiphany moment came when I realized he was right.  it is hard.  You are held to a higher standard than most, and you keep raising the bar.   I realized it was a chicken and the egg questions, and I had it wrong.  He was not a Gorean man because he had two girls being his slaves, he had two slaves because he was a Gorean man.

self-discipline (1)

Balance is easy here in Second Life Gor, and I will have no trouble maintaining.  This campus offers classes and discussions every day.  All over SL Gor, there are discussions, seminars like this, libraries filled with informational notecards.    And the books are still there, like fields filled with hidden gems and clues that you might discover and savor if you just dig around in them a bit.

As I always say at the end of my radio show, “Its your world now, Goreans, Use well the time.”

I know that I am going to continue to ask questions, fight for truths, set high goals and maintain high personal standards of Honor and courage.  I am not going to be distracted from basic truths by trivia or pretty builds.  And then I am going to indulge myself in healthy, lusty, virile, and animal pleasures.   Balance is everything.

I can encourage you all to do the same, and I can wish you well.    But, in the end, that is all I can do. The rest is on you.

your world

Gorean Compass – Most Likely Our Fault?

Gorean Compass class offered at the Gorean Campus in Second Life every Thursday at noon and 6pm SLT

Tal and Greetings

Whenever people are discussing the origins of the Gorean Novels and their underlying themes, they will usually mention a reaction to the rise of the movement known as Feminism.

The wiki definition of Feminism is rather short and simple.

the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

However, that simple statement does not come close to explaining the true agenda of modern Feminism.   A writer named Suzanne Weiss, wrote in 2016,  that:
“I’ll admit this definition leaves something to be desired; modern feminism, for example, acknowledges more than two genders, so the movement is not just about advancing women. In addition, many have critiqued the notion that marginalized genders should aspire to assume the male gender role in our current society, since much of it is built around toxic masculinity and exists within a patriarchal system that should perhaps be dismantled altogether.”


Whereas, the simple definition is one of those “duh” types of statements even to thinking Goreans, who would agree that the female gender is equal, and should enjoy equal legal protections and the enjoyment and safety of equal rights, but stress the “differences between the genders.    An oft used example of the Gorean thinking would ask, “Is a steel bar equal to flower?”

If you see the genders as that different, obviously any discussion of equality is foolish, although you might entertain an argument that both should be accorded equal legal rights and protections.

But, a careful reading of that second statement shows a decided anti-male sentiment that has been carefully denied by the first and second generation feminists.   When the movement accepted the modern idea that there are actually an infinite number of possible genders in the human race, they were quick to suggest that as each new gender is identified, they need to strive to avoid the “male gender role in our current society” because it is built around “toxic masculinity” and “exists within a patriarchal system” that is the cause of all of our problems.

Here is John Norman’s take on this, written 32 years ago before feminism had taken such an anti-male turn.

“At the moment, of course, she had no real idea of what female needs could be.  As with most free females they were doubtless far below the surface and seldom directly sensed.  Their effect upon conscious life, because of her conditioning, would normally be felt in such transformed and eccentric modalities as anxiety, uneasiness, misery, discomfort, ill temper, imaginary complaints, frustration, and loneliness.  These things would be connected with her lack of feminine fulfilment, she not finding herself in her place, in her natural biological relationship, that of submissive to dominant, to the male of her species.  These things, the result of her loss of sexual identity and fulfillment, too, often produce a sense of emptiness and meaninglessness.  Too, they sometimes produce an envy and resentment of men, whom she then, perhaps with some justice, would blame for this lack of fulfillment.  When one sex needs the other to fulfill it, and the other refuses, what is to be done?   One way of striving for vengeance, of course, is to attempt, socially and politically, to bring about the debilitation and ruination of anatomical males, whether they be men or not.”

Page 363   Mercenaries of Gor

'You remind me of my ex-wife. She lives an empty existence, too.'

I am fond of that particular passage because it supports the idea that the Gorean novels are recognizing some serious problems in male/female relationships, and even making dire predictions about the dangers these problems present to society, but they are squarely placing the blame on the males, and not the females.   “When one sex needs the other to fulfill it, and the other refuses, what is to be done?”

Lets take a look at a basic fact about our world of Second Life Gor.    Regardless of motivation, or expectations, or real life beliefs, or any other differentiation of reasons for being here, there is now, and has always been a much higher percentage of females here wanting to express or even role play submission than there are males who wish to dominate.

And even more depressing, I aver, based on my own experiences in online Gor, for every female that was dishonest, evil, or just plain fucked up, that came along, there were five or six of the numerically inferior group of males that were dishonest, weak, or just plain fucked up.

How do we view these facts?    32 years ago, John Norman predicted that the balance of power between the genders would shift drastically, but that it was going to shift out of the natural biological order and the results might not be so good.    Was he right?

Is the strange attraction that online Gor has for so many, a reaction to this shift in balance?

found myself

And why have not scores and scores of men flocked to Gor and taken advantage of the opportunity to celebrate and express their masculinity and get in touch with their ancient dominant cores?

And why are more and more females, and younger even, coming to online Gor, complaining of those “modalities” listed in the quote that signaled their frustration at not having basic needs met.

And even the purest of role players, who have never once seen anything but pure imaginative fantasy in the Gorean ethos, why are they getting attracted to and often addicted to, a fantasy like this one, with the millions of alternative games and rp venues to chose from?

Is it possible that we are seeing acted out the very things that John Norman had Tarl Cabot musing about in a dingy tavern in the city of AR?

I am sometimes torn between the idea that we are over thinking these things, and should just relax and go with the flow.  It is what it is, and will be what it will be, so have fun and try to stay afloat in the currents.

fulfilled woman

Or maybe we are not thinking of these things enough.  Maybe we are not taking Second Life Gor as seriously as we should be taking it.   Maybe we are not digging deeply enough into the issues to be able to have some basic truths guide how our community interacts.

I hope that these seminars are giving us some freedom of choice in considering these questions.   After all, no one is forced to come, and attendance is not a requirement for anything, but here we can speak openly about these things should we chose to  do so.

I give you that opportunity now.