If I Loved Not Honor More

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 was held on October 25, 2018

Tal and greetings,

I am going to start off the class today by reading a love poem. I suspect that the girls will like that even as they wonder what the heck I am doing. Hopefully, by the end of the class, it will make some sense. (Takes a deep breath)

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
Lov’d I not Honour more.

This poem was written four hundred years ago, and the language is not modern, but what he said at the end was that he could not really love her, as a man should love a woman, if he did not love honor more. That is certainly a statement that would make a Gorean sit up and pay attention.

In book thirteen of the Gor novels, Explorers of Gor, there is a scene at the beginning of the story where Tarl Cabot and Samos are dining and talking in Samos’ holding. Samos has grown fond of a Earth girl slave named linda, and Tarl is teasing him about it. Samos is a bit embarrassed, because it is true. He knows she is getting a bit under his skin, and he insists that she will not have it easy as a slave girl because of it. After this banter goes on for awhile, Tarl decides it is time to get back to business and he makes this comment.

“But lets us not speak of slaves,” I said, “girls who serve for our diversion or recreation, but of serious matters, of the concerns of men.”
“Agreed,” said he.
There was a time for slaves, and a time for matters of importance.
Page 15 Explorers of Gor

This quote could easily be taken, by those who would attack Gor, as putting down females. It suggests, some might think, that slaves are not important. That they are worthless and no more than mere toys or amusements for men. It is a very misogynistic quote, some might think.

I think the problem is that we tend not to look at the quote from the other direction. Among the many complaints made about Second Life Gor, you will often find the statement that Gor is all about slave girls and Masters. It is all about sex. Men come here merely to chase pussy, and females come as slaves to be chased for their pussy.

In this seminar, we have often spoken of balance. The whole idea of Gor that we are espousing here is that it is a balanced approach to life. We see Earth society as growing to weak and soft, while the fictional Gorean world is portrayed as being on the other extreme. It is often too hard, and lacks basic human compassion. The characters in the novels that make the transition from Earth to Gor can do so by abandoning the weakness and foolishness of Earth, but also rejecting the extreme hardness of Gor. They find that middle ground.

So, when we apply this idea to the quote, we might see Samos and Tarl agreeing not that slaves are worthless, or that diversion and recreation is not essential to human happiness and fulfillment, but rather that, from time to time, there is something else that must be tended to, and if we neglect that something else, we fall hopelessly out of balance.

We always talk of how quotes are taken out of context, and this one is an example. Tarl and Samos are going to turn their attention from slave girls to discussing the score of the Monday night football game, or even talk about their next hunting or fishing trip. “The concerns of men” is the expression they use, but their conversation turns to important things, and not just the trivial. The second phrase nails it more correct. Matters of importance.

So, I see that quote as suggesting that there is a time for war and a time for peace. A time for planting and a time for harvesting what is planted. A time to play and a time to work. It is like Tarl and Samos are sending a message to us in Second Life Gor, that if we really are guilty of being here only for the relationship aspect of Gor. If we are only here to seek a slave girl for diversion and recreation, or only here to seek a boyfriend/Master for company and security, we are only getting half a loaf. You are not going to find balance, and you are not going to grow into the superior person that the novels are urging you to become.

As I was preparing this talk, I was thinking of the expression they used first, “Concerns of Men.” They changed that to matters of importance, and I think that is important. There is a slave girl named meira at my home who has been faithfully and loyally feeding the vast bosk herd that supports our tharlarion racing teams. She has been doing this for a long time, and with little recognition. Now, if you know meira, you would know she certainly could provide diversion and recreation to your hearts content, but from time to time, attention is turned from that aspect of her to the concerns of men, and the bosk get grain. So, I am almost seeing “men” in the quote, concerns of men, as being not gender specific. Like the concerns of people, or the concerns of human beings. Matters of importance is much more accurate. I could mention the slave who has tended my kalana fields for two years, or the one that updates my blog, and transfers these classes to it, or the one that checks lessons, or on and on. All these slaves are turning their attention to the matters of importance.

Another aspect of that brings us back to the poem. I will address it from the Master perspective. When you really understand the Master/slave dynamic as it is presented in the novels, you will understand that it is not based on the physical at all. John Norman made everyone of the Gorean slave girls beautiful. It was almost an unrealistic approach, and many have pointed it out when they were being critical about the books. “How can you follow a philosophy that is only for the physically perfect Barbie Doll slave and Conan the Barbarian Masters, when the truth is the majority of us are a little less than perfect physically?” Well, it is the great equalizer. When we are all Barbie Slave and Conan Masters, that does not matter anymore, and behavior, and what is inside, and your true soul, is what matters.

And no slave, no real slave, is going to love and devote herself to an asshole. She is not going to be loyal and faithful to someone who consistently displays dishonorable behavior. And if you can think of examples of any that have in the past, stayed with abusive and dishonorable Masters, I assure you it was a reflection of dysfunctionality and not of the true dynamic. I know that the true slave girls, as much as they might moan and cry out for more attention, and the touch of their Master, feel their hearts beat with pride when they see him taking care of business, or behaving honorably with other Gorean men. Their submission grows more from their trust in his honor, belief in his goodness and decency, than it does from the touch of his hands on her naked skin.

Balance is a two sided sword. You are wrong, I think, if you do not look up from your diversions and recreations from time to time to tend to matters of importance. And you are equally wrong if you can never pull yourself away from business to devote a bit of time to diversion and recreation. Perhaps, this does not apply to everyone down there on Earth, or even to other parts of Second Life. It does apply to Gor though. It is the essential element of it.

When I have to leave a slave girl in the future to give a class, or attend a meeting, or deal with some crisis threatening our home, and I see that small tear trickle down her cheek, from eyes that seem filled with love and pride, I think this is what I might say to console her.

“I could not love you, slave girl, of mine, with the depth and passion of a Gorean Master if I did not love honor more.”

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