Gorean Compass – We Are Only Human

The Gorean Compass is a class given every Thursday by Master Gorm Runo.  Classes are held at the Gorean Campus and are given at noon and 6pm SLT.  All are encouraged to come and join in the amazing discussions.

Tal and Greetings

I want to start off today with one of my favorite book quotes.  It comes from the end of the book, Raiders of Gor, and has always been of interest to me because the Speaker is Samos of Port Kar. Now, Samos is one of the few characters that we get to see often in the book series who is actually born and raised on Gor.

Most of the people in the books who give us long and detailed philosophical musings are not native born Goreans, but were raised and conditioned by their Earth culture before discovering Gor.  Despite what our role play back stories might claim in our “Picks”, all of us have had the same pathway.  We see the Gorean world through Earth conditioned lenses, like Tarl Cabot, and Jason Marshall, and the pretty young girls who narrate the “slave girl” books see it.

So, Samos is an exception, and when Samos speaks, I listen closely.

“The human being,” he said, “is a chaos of cruelties and nobilities, of hatreds and loves, of resentment and respect, of envies and admirations. He contains within himself, in his ferments, much that is base and much that is worthy.  These are old truths, but few men truly understand them.”

Page 308   Raiders of Gor

and a couple of pages later, he continues:

“When you lost your images of yourself, 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 be nothing less than the worst; if there was not 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 the sniffling of beasts.”
“What?” I asked.
“Man, ” he said.

Page 311 Raiders of Gor



I guess among the reasons this quote is one of my favorites, especially when preparing classes on the “Philosophy of Second Life Gor”, is the fact that it encapsulates the Nietzche influence in the Gorean novels perfectly.   The pathway, he argued, to the superior human began with the rejection of “myth”, which would be followed by nihilism.  Exactly like Samos is expressing it here.  When you no longer believe that moral authority comes from some supernatural higher order, than the next step is to believe that there is no such thing as moral authority at all.  Nothing has meaning

And then, comes the Gorean realization, that moral authority doesn’t necessarily come from commandments written in holy scrolls.  It comes from inside each individual.

I often struggle how to explain this idea especially to people who hold religious beliefs.

They might tell me that I should behave a certain way because “the good book” tells me I should behave that way, and I tell them it is like a chicken and the egg thing, because I think I should behave that way because it is the “right” way to behave.    The Codes, we talk of so much in Gor, are much the same way.   The Warrior does not adhere to the Codes, for example, because they are the Codes, he adheres to them because they are proper way for a warrior to behave.   Of course, it is always good to have the “rules” match one’s own perception of what is right and wrong.


Now, this is all very simple and straight forward, but the problem comes when we fuck up.

And we all do, sooner or later.  For Goreans, it is usually sooner, because we are told to set high standards, and adhere to strict Codes, and behave in an unselfish manner that advances the entire human race, and for males to accept the responsibility for the fulfillment of our females even, and with all that pressure on us, we are going to eventually slip up.

This is where our Earth conditioning is hurting us, and we would be wise to listen closer to Samos’ words.    The advancement of victimization and the abandonment of personal responsibility so common in modern day Earth culture leads us to react to our own failures by placing the blame on something other than ourselves.   The sinner is quick to deny God, and the coward mocks the Codes.  If the rules are broken, it must be because the rules were wrong.

I always say that we should not use “we are only human” as a justification for failure and especially not for bad behavior.   But, “we are only human” is an explanation for why it happens.  There is much in all of us that is base and much that is worthy.  There is something between the fictions of perfection and myth, and the rooting of beasts.


Many years ago, when I got my first understanding of this concept, it had to do with the “failure of slave girls” which had become an online Gor issue.  A website had been started where ex-online slave girls who had “failed” could go to heal or something, and as I thought on it, the light bulb went off.    That website should have been called “The Quitters” or maybe, “Exit Here”, because the only way a slave girl could fail was to quit.  She could make a million mistakes, and many of them might come close to that mark, but they could only “fail” if they quit.

This applies to us all.  We are all going to screw up and fall short of standards.  We are especially susceptible to it because we do set our standards high and have Codes that are strict and unselfish.  Resist the urge to attack the Song, when the problem is the singer.

When I look back on my life, this lesson resonates very strongly.  I have done much I am ashamed of having done, and I have fallen short of my own codes and standards more times than I like to admit,  But, I have not given up.

A winner is

Second Life Gor fits into that first quote.  There is much in it that is good and much that sucks.  There is much to admire and much to abhor.  Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing though.  Maybe that is what makes Second Life Gor so real, and so addictive to us.   We would love to see the myth, a perfect world filled with extraordinary people doing amazing things, but many of us fear it is a cesspool filled with the dregs and predators of the internet.  I would like to think it is actually hanging in a balanced middle ground, and maybe that is where it not only should be, but realistically, it is the only place it could be.

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