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.
This class given on April 19, 2019
It has been a constant theme of this seminar over the last couple of years to raise standards. We have talked about how the Gorean experience was intended by its author and creator to be a call to something higher. The idea of the superior man, hardened by Gor without yielding the compassion of Earth has been a constant theme of our study of the symbolism of the novels.
We have also spoken of the Gorean Compass, a set of ideals that points us on an azimuth leading to those higher standards and a way of life and a idea for male/female relationships that is more in tune with natural order, and that is more healthy and designed to fulfill our human needs without creating anxiety and frustration and poor mental health.
In the discussions following these seminars, there have often been questions from slave girls questioning how these things apply to them. “We are mere slaves,” they say, “just beasts with no rights and no value, how can we have honor?”
It was suggested in one discussion that the Gorean compass had to split somewhere along its spectrum because of the vast differences in Male and female, and in the status of Free vs the status of slave. There is certainly truth in this. Recognizing that there is a vast difference in the male and the female, and in the Free and the enslaved is a core part of understanding what Gor is telling us.
However, when we are talking about such things as honesty, and loyalty, and honor, and courage, and adherence to what is moral and what is right, we are talking about human interaction, and gender and status only alters the ways in which these things are expressed, but they do not alter the meaning of them or their universal application.
I have two stories from the books today that illustrate this point.
The first takes place in Raiders of Gor, book 6.
Tarl’s holding is under attack by a horde of enemies, and help is still far off. It does not look good for the defenders.
Tarl becomes concerned about the fate of three of his slave girls. Here is the story, right from the books.
” I took telima in my arms. “When they come again,” I said, “hide below. If you fight, you will doubtless be slain. When they come again, submit to them. They may spare you.” And then I looked to vina and luma. “You, also,” I said, “Do not mix in the matters of men.”
vina looked to the boy, Fish.
He nodded, “Yes,” he said, “go below.”
“I, for one, ” said Telima, “find it stuffy below.”
“I, too,” smiled luma.
“Yes, said vina, firmly, “It is very stuffy below.”
“Very well,” I said, “then it will be necessary, before the next attack, to bind you to the foot of the ladder below.”
“I think, ” said Samos, looking over the parapet, “you will not have time for that.”
We heard the trumpets, signaling a new attack. We heard the rush of hundreds of feet on the stones below.
“Go below!”, I cried to the girls.
They stood away, feet fixed apart, in the garments of slaves, obdurate, rebellious.
“We acknowledge ourselves your slave girls!” screamed Telima. “If we do not please you, beat us, or slay us.”
A crossbow quarrel swept overhead.
“Go below!” screamed Fish to Vina.
“If I do not please you, ” she screamed, “beat me, or kill me.”
He kissed her swiftly, and turned to defend a wall.
The girls took up stones and swords, and stood beside us.
Pages 298-299 Raiders of Gor.
The second story comes in the next book. Book 7, Captive of Gor. The girl elinor has been given a vial of ost poison and is told that she will be entered into the House of Bosk of Port Kar, (actually, Tarl Cabot) and put to work in his kitchen. When she is given a chance to serve him, she will slip the poison into his food. She is told that if does not do so, the Master she loves, Rask of Treve, will be killed. She is allowed to see him one time before she is sent on her mission. He is bound and bloody, but he tells her.
“I am of Treve. Do not stain my honor.”
But, she agrees to their plan and is sent to the House of Bosk.
Here is what happened.
“Elinor,” said Bosk, at the head of the table. “I want wine.” He was one of the few men, or women, on Gor who spoke my name as it had been spoken on Earth.
I slowly approached him.
“Wine!” called Thurnock.
I did not go to the peasant.
“Wine!” cried Tab, the Captain.
I did not go to him.
I went to Bosk of Port Kar. I would pour the wine. Then, I would be seized, and doubtless by nightfall, tortured and impaled.
He held forth the goblet. The eyes of Telima were upon me. I could not look in her eyes.
I poured the wine.
“I am of Treve, ” Rask of Treve had told me, in the warehouse, where he stood bound to the wall. “Do not stain my honor.”
“What is wrong, Elinor?” asked Bosk.
“I am all right, Master,” I told him.
“I am of Treve,” had said Rask of Treve. “Do not stain my honor.”
I hated then men, and their wars, and their cruelties and their frivolous honors. It was we, their women, who suffered in their madness. No, Rask of Treve would not purchase his life for the price I had agreed to pay, but the decision was not his, but mine, mine, and I loved him, and I could not let him die!
“Do not stain my honor,” he had said.
Bosk of Port Kar lifted the cup to his lips.
I put forth my hand. “Do not drink it, Master,” I said. “It is poisoned.”
Page 360-361 Captive of Gor.
So, these two stories have a common theme. The mere slave girl. The beast that is there to merely obey, in both stories, rises above that to do what is, in the first story, loyal and brave, and in the second story, just what is simply right and moral, despite being ordered in the one case, and emotionally blackmailed in the other.
I have often, jokingly, said that the Gorean female, and especially the Gorean kajira represented the finest example of womanhood to be found in the universe, and to prove that, I would say, Gorean men have chosen to own them. If they were not the best, we would get rid of them all, and go enslave the ones that were better.
Although I say , jokingly, there is that grain of truth in the saying. All of the haters of Gor, who see what we do here and how we go about expressing the M/s dynamic, scream that we are misogynists and the whole idea of Gor is demeaning to females.
The idea of demeaning females to make Men feel more like Men belongs to some other type of alternative lifestyle. It is not the message of the novels. Sure, we see in the books, the men of Gor constantly referring to them as beasts, animals with no rights, but we fail to see that as a reflection of “Gor is too hard.” On Earth, Men are the ones being splashed on the news each day as the serial abusers, the dead beats, the ones with no control of their lusts, who now must step aside and yield power to the super females who will lead humanity back to the golden age of the Goddess.
Of course, Gor is going to be the counter-Earth. This is another example of the “extreme” opposite of Gor. It is pointing out the wrong direction of Earth, but setting up the opposite extreme on Gor. If one view is “way too soft” , the other has to be “way too hard.”
In the balanced view that can be found by carefully reading and studying the novels, we find that the human female is the glory of our species. Amid the admittedly over harsh view of the female slave as a rightless animal, are passage after passage extolling the female. They are so desirable that men fight wars over them. We are so likely to love them and lust after them, that we must steel ourselves and be strict and uncompromising with them, lest we allow ourselves to become weak and by becoming weak, fail to both protect and fulfill them.
The three slaves standing on the parapets, ready to fight and die beside their Master represent a decidedly different take on the female slave. The girl, who can not bring herself to do an evil and wrong thing for selfish reasons,,,even the selfish reason of saving the man she loves, represents a decidedly different take of the female slave, also.
Sure, the azimuth of the Gorean compass often times will point a submissive female in a different direction. We are way too much the advocates of difference to think otherwise, but the compass is actually pointing to the same destination for all us. It is a place where we are actually behaving as superior human beings, dedicated to moving upward, dedicated to a world of honesty and bound by strict codes of morality. It is a world where we are dedicated to asking the hard questions about ourselves, and about life, and not being afraid or ashamed of the answers. It is a destination that brings us most in harmony with our true natures. It is also a place where we recognize that we are all connected, and when we do better, the human race as a whole is better,,,and when we fall short,,,the human race as a whole slides backwards.
You can’t escape this because of your gender, or your status. I have always spoken of Men and their responsibilities and their failures. I am the firm advocate of what I call the “Bane of Mastery” which says,,,,”if you are Master, and in charge, and anything goes wrong, it is your fault.” Period.
But, that is because I am male, and am limited in my understanding of that mysterious other gender.
But, that doesn’t let you off the hook. In one of the books, a Gorean is suggesting that there must be a “right way” because he has seen a lot of “wrong ways.” If there are obvious wrong ways,,,,it follows there must be a right way.
Does a slave have honor? Well, it seems she can act dishonorably. It seems she can behave disloyally. It seems she can be cowardly. It seems she can be immoral. Doesn’t that imply that she could chose to behave in the opposite, and then, she would be acting honorably, and loyally, and bravely, and morally.
I suppose there are some that see “surrender and submission” as laying down in the shade of the trees and avoiding the long high climb into the sunlight on top of the mountain. She is slave now, and someone else has the responsibility to raise her up, and keep her moving forward.
Don’t make that mistake. As I said, that sort of “slave means giving up and being a doormat to others” thinking belongs to other lifestyles.
Becoming a Gorean kajira is all about upping the ante. You are expected to be something very special, unique, and priceless. You better have honor. You better be brave. You better worship honesty, and you better understand basic morality, or you aren’t going to cut it in the end.
You are expected to be the absolute best females in the universe.
If you aren’t, we are going to get rid of you, and go looking for the better ones.