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 December 6, 2018
Tal and greetings,
When I first began this seminar, I called it the Philosophy of Second Life Gor. This was done to try to keep my focus on the Community that was developing in Second Life, and the people who would be likely to attend the seminar in the first place. We were lucky, in our early days, to have people with enough time and motivation to create detailed breakdowns on what John Norman had painted into his fictional world. Luther’s Scrolls went into incredible detail, and there were web sites that have served for years as a rich source of information and trivia. Other Men gave thought to the symbolism and the underlying message and created beautiful essays that still make almost every lover of Gor nod and say, “that’s it exactly.”
However, something strange happened. It was something no one could have predicted. Second Life gave us the ability to actually recreate the fictional world and make it real. For many years, a debate even raged about this. Is it real, or is it a game? There are still people around who say, “in game” to mean logged into Second Life. But, that argument is over now, and has been for a long time. Second Life Gor is real now, and as a real thing, it has the power to impact us in either a positive or a negative way.
Even those who rather blindly stumble into it and think it is kinky, but cool, and begin to role play it out like some great final fantasy adventure, or World of Warcraft quest, are often drawn into it deeper than they ever expected, because it is also the big kids playground, and some serious emotional and biological issues were going to be exposed. For years, we have watched people come to play, and get addicted and drawn into things they would never have imagined. We have seen people leave, and then come back, as if drawn by some unseen magnetic force.
We have suggested in this seminar that Gorean role play should carry a warning label like a pack of cigarettes.
So, if this world of Second Life Gor was real, and we knew it wasn’t really the fictional world that was, well, fictional, it seemed we needed to study it separately from the book world. The books would give us clues and guidance, but they couldn’t be a user manual in the purest sense. It was going to be necessary to explore what was the same, and what was different between Fictional Gor, and Second Life Gor.
When I was doing my radio show this week, I picked up a book to read some random passages, and ended up with Tribesmen of Gor. I wanted to use this whole quote today, so that even if you heard me read it on the air, you can read it slowly now and think about what it said.
…indeed, femaleness in a woman of Earth, as I recalled, was societally discouraged, it complicating the politically expedient neuter like relationships valuable in a technologically sophisticated social structure, to which sexual relationships were irrelevant, if not inimical. Western industrialized societies on Earth optimally would be manned by metal creatures, sexless, smoothly functioning, programmed to tend, preserve and replicate the metal society. Man, on Earth, had finally succeeded, after long centuries, in creating a society in which he had no essential place; he had, at last, built a house in which he could not live, in which he had left not one room suitable for human habitation; he called it a home; in it he was a stranger; his habitat, by his own efforts, became inhospitable to himself; his efficiencies, his machines, his institutions, in his hands, had at last succeeded in evicting himself from his own realities; women were shamed to be women; men terrified of listening to their blood, and being men; in their plastic cubicles, amidst the hum of their machineries, men at night squirmed and wept, hating themselves, castigating themselves for not meeting the standards of a world alien to their sensate truths; let robots weep for not being men, not men weep for not being robots; the strong, the fine, the mighty, is not wicked; only the vile and small, incapable of power, speak it so; but there was little hope for the men of Earth; they feared to listen, for they might hear ancient drums.
Tribesmen of Gor, page 10
I was very strongly struck by this passage. “he had, at last, built a house in which he could not live.”
I told the story during that show, of how I had been given a cardboard box containing a dozen paperbacks as a going away present by my young nephew, who was leaving for the navy. The books were books 1-12 of the Gor series, and that was the first time I had ever heard of them. I did not mention that I met with my nephew years later, and asked him why he had given me the books that day, and he said he thought I was the kind of man who would understand them. Perhaps, one of the best compliments I have ever received. But, after I read those books, and set them aside, my ex-wife, affectionately known as “demon spawn from hell” threw them away because of their trashy covers. I had no idea that the internet was going to be coming along, and I was going to be drawn into a recreation of the world of those “trashy” novels.
If we had known, back twenty years ago, that such a thing as Second Life would exist and we could do the wonderful things we do here, we could have built the house a bit different. In those first books was a clear message, and it was meant for men to hear. The fantasy was clear all the way back to when it was a bedroom fantasy in John Norman’s “Imaginative Sex.” Women, shamed on Earth to be women, would escape to an alien world where real men lived. These men would liberate the females, by enslaving them, and forcing them to be female. It would be easy pesy to do because they were “Real Men.”
I suggested that if we had known what was going to happen because of the internet, we would have held a meeting and developed a plan for how we were going to build the Gorean House. The first step was obvious. We needed to start working to develop real men. We should have set up online Gor, and banned women from it for the first eight years or so. All of our efforts, all our attention would be on shaking off the guilt and conditioning of Earth and becoming something better, stronger, more confident, more masculine, more proud.
Then, we could have taken the bars off the door and let in the girls.
It was scary to me, reading that passage. It said man had succeeded, “after long centuries” to mess society up Have we messed up in just two short decades? Did we bring so much baggage with us when we came that this house is going to be the same as the real life house?
I don’t think so at all. On either front. John Norman was not making a prophecy of doom. He was pointing out that there could be an alternative way. It was a warning. A warning that is needed more today than when he wrote it thirty years ago. The House is getting worse and worse on Earth, but it is not hopeless at all. Human history is a constant struggle and if you study it, you see the pattern. Two steps forward, a big step backward, and then stepping forward again.
Second Life Gor is the same. We have done an incredible amount of things wrong. We have failed to get it over and over. But, we have accomplished miracles. We have a vibrant community that spans the globe, and we are still here fighting to get it right. We didn’t start out with a crew of strong confident Gorean men, we had to birth and develop them as we went along. We weren’t ready for the influx of frustrated females looking for something different, and so they had to be patient, and sometimes hurt and disappointed while we went through the growing pains.
The House is not finished yet. All the rooms are not complete, but it is a place where we can live. There is no reason for excessive doom saying. The last twenty years of online Gor have been like a road trip where you somehow wander off the interstate and travel endless back roads and detours before you finally get where you are going. We didn’t go the best way, and we weren’t sure most of the time where we were going in the first place, but damn, if we have not arrived at a nice destination.
Second Life Gor seems to be gaining some momentum now. This Campus is one example. There was an expression down on Earth where a company was said to be “too big to fail.” Second Life Gor is too big to fail now. When the Campus faced a crisis that a few years ago would have ended it, people stepped up and kept it going. We are too big to fail now.
So, this seminar, after the new year, will continue to explore Second Life Gor, and what it means, and how it works, and could work, and even should work. Hopefully, we will continue to tear out the bad rooms and remodel them to a higher vision of how human society should be structured, and how human beings can find fulfillment and happiness.
Maybe all this can ever be is an escape; an escape from the plastic cubicles and hum of machinery, but if that is all it is, we have to make sure it is a valid escape and not just more of the same. We need to make this experience and our time here, exceptional.