The Vacuum And The Pendulum

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 February 7, 2019

Tal and greetings.
There are two things that I have often used to try to explain my feelings on Gor and on the idea of slave girls.  One is the pendulum and the other is the vacuum.  I realize that I have used these two concepts in many discussions and debates over the years, and I wondered if they really had their origin in the books of John Norman.
The pendulum idea says that often times movements start for very just reasons.  Powerful social forces begin to move to right wrongs and seek justice, and as they move, they pick up momentum like the giant swinging arm of the pendulum.  However, once they reach that balanced middle ground, the momentum is too much to stop it, and it swings right on to an equally unjust, but opposite extreme.
The vacuum idea is based on the scientific principle that “nature abhors a vacuum.”  It suggests to me that in any relationship there is a balance of power, and when one side abdicates their power, a power vacuum is created, and the other side will assume that power to fill it.
Both of these concepts are very clearly displayed in Outlaw of Gor when Tarl learns the story of Tharna and how it came to become a Gorean city controlled by females.   Outlaw of Gor is the second book in the series and a rather short one.  Tarl was returned to Earth after Tarnsman of Gor, and now has returned to Gor to find his city of Ko-ro-ba destroyed by the Priest Kings and he sets out for the Sardar to confront them.  On the way, he stops in the city of Tharna.
Tharna is described as a dull, gray city, where the normal color and excitement of Gorean life is missing, and the men act more like slaves than Gorean Free men.  The city is controlled by women known as the “Silver Masks” for the masks they wear to cover their faces.  Tarl gets in trouble here, and ends up as a prisoner in the Mines of Tharna.  He eventually escapes, and a revolt breaks out, that overthrows the Silver Masks, and restores Tharna to a more Gorean natural order.
Near the end of the book, Tarl is told the history of Tharna and how it came to be under the control of women.  It was not unlike other Gorean cities at first, and women were enslaved and dominated.  But, things changed.  The pendulum started to swing, and a power vacuum was created.  Interestingly, the change took place because the men came to care for their women.   Here is how Tarl hears the story.
“Over a period of time this cruel practice fell into disuse and the women of Tharna came to be more reasonably and humanely regarded.  Indeed, through their love and tenderness, they taught their captors that they, too, were worthy of respect and affection.  And, of course, as the captors came gradually to care for their slaves, the desire to subjugate them became less, for few men long desire to subjugate a creature for whom they genuinely care, unless perhaps it be they fear to lose her should she be free.Yet as the status of these women became more ennobled and less clearly defined the subtle tensions of dominance and submission,. instinctual through the animal world, tended to assert themselves.The balance of mutual regard is always delicate, and statistically, it is improbable that it can long be maintained throughout an entire population.”Page 205  Outlaw of Gor
He goes on to learn that gradually, women began to gain power.  They began to control more and more wealth, and most importantly, they played a large part in the education and training of the young.
“Eventually,largely via the conditioning of the young and the control of education, those superiorities which the female naturally possesses came to be enlarged on at the expense of those possessed by the male.  And just as in our own world it is possible to condition entire populations to believe what is, from the standpoint of another population, incomprehensible and absurd, so in Tharna both the men and women came eventually to believe the myths and distortions advantageous to female dominance.”Page 206  Outlaw of Gor
And at the end of this, Tarl makes this observation
“Should there ever be a revolution in the ways of Tharna I would pity her women, at least at first, for they would be the object of the pent-up frustrations of generations. If the pendulum should swing in Tharna, it would swing far.  Perhaps even to the scarlet rug and yellow cords.”Page 207  Outlaw of Gor
There is my vacuum and pendulum ideas in a nutshell.   If men abdicate their traditional role, even if they do it out of genuine care and affection for their females, they create a power vacuum that must be filled.  And it will be the women that fill it.
And if such an unnatural thing should occur, the pendulum will start to swing again back toward natural order, and will, at first, swing way to the other extreme on the pent-up frustrations of males.
This is my idea of Counter Earth, and my understanding of why Second Life Gor, and indeed, online Gor, has taken root and continues to grow and persist.
Two days ago, the President of the United States gave his State of the Union address.  In the assembled Congress were a large group of female representatives dressed in nearly identical white pant suits.  They sat silently and refused to applaud veterans, or economic gain, or even the saving of young girls from abuse and sex traffic.  They did not respond much at all, until it was pointed out that 58% of the new jobs created had been filled by females, and that a higher number of females sat in Congress than any other time.  Then, they jumped up and danced and cheered and high fived each other
I watched it, and those pages of Outlaw of Gor flashed through my mind.  It would not have been any clearer to me than if those ladies had all donned Silver Masks rather than white pantsuits.   That pendulum has swung dangerously toward insanity.
Women were given the vote over 100 years ago.  Our society has righted most of the wrongs that held woman back, and they have more freedom and opportunity than any women in any other time or place in the history of the world.  A mantra can be heard across news and social media.  Men bad, women good.  Men wrong, women right.   Men evil, women moral.  Men dishonest, women to be believed.
It is like Western culture is barreling toward a Tharna like situation, and the idea of there being a War of women is a joke.  There is a war being waged against Men, and manhood, and masculinity, and it grows worse and worse every passing day.
It is true that there is a lot that is unfair here in our Gorean world.  We are trying to recreate a more natural dynamic, but we are doing it with flawed men.  There are going to be some rough spots because of that fact.  The men that are assuming the roles of leadership in our Gorean world have to shake off the conditioning and pressure of a society that has made a mockery out of the very characteristics that are needed to assume leadership and exercise natural dominance.   Remember, none of us were born on Gor, and none of us breathed in the “air of Mastery” with every breath since we were children, as did the men in the fictional novels.
But, this is an explanation for our failure and not an excuse.  We have to be twice as strong, and twice as strict to swing the pendulum from weakness and shame, to strength and pride.
I understand this well.  You see, I care for the girls. I think I may care for them, and have affection for them more than most.  I am a romantic, and I love the idea of love.  I think the girls that I have met in my time in Gor are exceptional and beautiful creatures, and I feel strong genetic instincts to protect them and to pamper them.
Yet, I also think that if I abdicate my Manhood or allow my affection to create weakness, I am failing these girls completely.   We live in a world of vacuums being filled and pendulums swinging wildly, and more than ever we need a compass to guide us through the chaos. As the real world moves more and more to insanity, we need to move more and more toward rationality.  As the real world moves more and more toward softness and weakness, we must become more hard and strong.
We need to keep in mind one more important thing.   If, indeed, there is a war on men being waged on Earth, and we are here, even the role players, to swing a pendulum in the opposite direction, the females that are here with us, are not the enemy either.  They are as much victims of the insanity as we are, and are on our side.
Lara, the former Tatrix of Tharna, tells Tarl of her dream, and every time I read it,  I think how lucky and honored and content I would be, if a female slave were to ever say this about me.
“In his arms I learned what Tharna could not teach.  In his arms I learned to share the flaming splendor of his passion. In his arms I learned mountains and flowers and the cry of wild tarns and the touch of a larl’s claw.  For the first time in my life, my senses were kindled–for the first time I could feel the movement of clothing upon my body, for the first time I noticed how an eye opens and what, truly, is the feel of a hand’s touch–and I knew then that I was no more nor less than he or any other living creature, and I loved him.”Page 203  Outlaw of Gor

359 Wrong Ways To Go

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 January 31, 2019


Tal and greetings
As I live my own life, I find myself holding to some very firm philosophical concepts.  Over the past few years, one of the strongest of these is the idea that things are not really as complicated as humans in this modern age are tending to make them.  Maybe, one way to express this is that there is an azimuth pointing to “the right way”, and all you have to do is hold the compass steady and see where it is pointing.
I have called this Course, The Gorean Compass, so obviously the analogy of a compass is very important in understanding what I am trying to say in these seminars.
I thought I would begin today with a brief refresher on how this azimuth business works.  A circle is divided into 360 sections, called degrees.  You have heard the expression, “he did a 360”, meaning he turned a complete circle.
 So, imagine yourself standing in a field.  There are 360 possible directions you could go to walk out of that field. If someone blindfolded you, and spun you around in a circle, and then when they stopped, you began to walk the direction you were pointing, you would be walking one of those 360 different directions, and that is called your azimuth.
When a person is following a compass, he sets in one of those 360 azimuths, and as he walks along he checks it from time to time to make sure he is following it exactly.  It seems fairly simple, but the problem with this analogy when you apply it to your philosophy, is that there are 359 wrong ways to go, and only one right way.    That is pretty strict.
In this age of diversity and inclusion, that is a pretty extreme stance.  Most people are going to argue that there are many different interpretations and things are not always black and white.
In Mercenaries of Gor, a fellow named Hurtha expresses this idea to Tarl.

“Right,” said Hrutha, ” if that is what you are interested in, seems to me a very hard thing to understand. I am not sure if there is really any such thing, at all.  I have never tasted it, nor seen it, nor felt it. If it does exist, it seems likely to me that it would be on both sides, like sunlight and air.  Surely no war has been fought in which both sides have not sincerely claimed, and presumably believed, for one reason or another, that they were “right.”

Page 45 Mercenaries of Gor

It seems likely that right would be on both sides.   This is the anti-compass view point in a nutshell.  It suggests that there are many different ways to reach your destination, and it really does not matter all that much which one you chose.
This is the lesson that I learned when I was a compass man for an Infantry unit. As soon as the azimuth pointed to a direction that was hard, this was the time when people would begin to argue the merits of a “different way to reach your destination.”  I came to understand that the arguments to embark on one of those 359 other directions and abandon the azimuth were really excuses and justifications designed to cover up weakness and laziness.
It is important to remember when trying to understand this concept, that 99% of our decisions do not require the use of this “Compass.”   There is no “right” thing to chose for dinner tonight, or “right” time to go to bed.   Almost everything is an individual choice and people have a tremendous amount of freedom  The secret is to identify that 1% and then take out your compass, hold it steady, find the azimuth pointing to truth and reality, and follow it no matter how hard or inconvenient it might be.
In a recent seminar, we talked about the “ad hominem” problem. That was judging the merits of a thing based on the people involved and our opinion of them, rather than on the rightness or wrongness of the thing itself.  This is also the reason, I have consistently bashed the idea of intersectionality and victimization.  They are the ultimate ad hominem argument. They give us more moral standing and make us more “right” based on our skin color, or religion, or gender, or any other number of factors that have no relationship to truth or reality.
Truth. Reality. Right.      I have come to feel that the core Gorean experience is always about a search for truth, and an acceptance of reality, and a fanatical devotion to finding and doing what is right.
This is why it is so important not to dilute Second Life Gor with the baggage that is destroying the moral fiber of Earth culture.  If we are going to get anything at all from our time here, it is important that we do it right.  Most of the time we do “do it right.”  It is always easy to follow an azimuth over level and open ground. In our role play, and in our structure and behavior, we create a version of Gor, the Counter Earth and it is usually done very nicely.
But, then we come to the woods.  Or the azimuth points right into a swamp.  Things are not so easy anymore.  The excuses and justifications begin to fly like gnats around our heads, and we slip back into the cultural conditioning that many of us come to Gor to escape. Truth is offensive, and reality consists of fifty shades of gray.  We even wallow in ad hominem prejudices that totally obscure our ability to see what is right and what is wrong.

Once again, this is the time that you need to stop and take out the compass .  You need to point it toward truth and reality and follow where it points, even if you have to wade neck deep into the swamp.

Anyway, in a rambling sort of way, that expresses a philosophical approach to Gor that seems to have become firmly entrenched in my mind, and I sometimes wonder how in hell I ever got so enamored with it.  Then, I pick up one of the books, and thumb through it, and find a passage like this one.

 

“Culture decides what is truth, but truth, unfortunately for culture, is unaware of this. Cultures, mad and blind, can die upon the rocks of truth.  Why can truth not be the foundation of culture, rather than its nemeis? Can one not build upon the stone cliffs of reality rather than dash one’s head against them?  But, how few humans can think, how few dare to inquire, how few can honestly question. How can one know the answer to a question which one fears to ask?

Page 11  Explorers of Gor

It is scary stuff.  If you realize that there are 359 wrong azimuths, and only one right one, it seems really, really, hard to stay on course.  That is why it is so comforting to have a compass that you can trust.  I got my compass from reading John Norman’s novels, and thinking about what he said in them.
 I spent years discussing with others the meaning of his words and his ideas, and I looked honestly at the other side of the arguments.  I learned to stop caring so much about what others thought and said and did, and focus inwardly on my own behavior.   I still go astray from time to time, and tend to wander off course a bit, but I have my compass, and more and more it seems things are not so complex, and even from time to time, I get to taste right, and see it, and feel it.
  And it is at times like that I feel the most Gorean, and less a man of Earth.

Defense of Slavery

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 January 24, 2019


Tal and greetings
A couple of years ago, at this seminar, I was going to present a defense of slavery. I pointed out that I recognized that I had an inherent disgust at the concept as it had existed in human history, and as a man from Earth, it would be impossible for me to defend  involuntary servitude.  I was very much aware that the word had no positive connotations.  Even when the word was used as a verb, it was still negative.  “The man slaved away at his job.”   From the time I was a young boy, many of my favorite heroes were those who fought to set men free.
Even the books seem to support my dislike for forced slavery when applied to males.  In a well known scene from Beasts of Gor, Tarl confronts a Free woman who gets a little mouthy, and after overcoming her guards, he enslaves her, but quickly frees her male slaves that were serving as bearers. He even sends the Free Woman’s two slave girls to submit to the newly free men.
At the beginning of Hunters of Gor, he frees a male slave in the House of Samos that he needs for a guide, and also quickly gives the man a slave girl that had been laughing at him while he was in chains.   Clearly, Tarl does not like seeing men forced into slavery, and has some personal experiences with it.  But, he always manages to fight his way to freedom.
So, I came up with the idea of inviting a “real Gorean” to the class.  I said he was a Gorean slaver living on Earth, and although he had a SL account, he did not come online often, and had only agreed to a twenty minute talk and a couple of questions.  It turned out to be a fun class and an interesting discussion.
However, in the two years of study since that event, I have managed to come up with a defense of female slavery in the online Gorean world without having to call upon a resident of a fictional planet to help me out.
We always go right to “consensual slavery.”  That idea says that it isn’t involuntary servitude if the person volunteers for it.  That is usually enough for us, but trust me, it is not a good answer for our critics, and it doesn’t make it easier to explain “slave girls” to our families and friends.  They see it as like bank robbers saying they just rob banks for fun, but don’t plan on really keeping the money, so it isn’t a bad thing.
It is easy enough to fall back on the “its just an online game” excuse, too.  After all, as I have pointed out many times,  people can love to play Grand Theft Auto, without being supporters of murder, mayhem, and theft.  After all it is just a computer game, what is the harm?
Our harshest critics, and especially given the political climate on Earth today, do not buy either of those excuses.  And actually, they shouldn’t.   Consent is seen as manipulation or brainwashing, or a misuse of authority, power, or emotional blackmail.  The girls are seen as victims, and their consent is only a visible symptom of some deep and untreated mental illness.
The game idea does not excuse us either.  Unless you are brand new to Gorean role play online, you know that this is no game to many of the girls involved.   Three slave girls live in my real life household, and they are not the only ones in such a real life situation.  Even girls that are unable to express their “consent and slavery” outside of the internet world, approach it with a seriousness that makes a mockery of any attempt to write it off as a game.
So, why are we engaged in this horrible, and demeaning practice.  Why aren’t we “woke” enough to see how we are advancing the Male Patriarchy and Toxic Masculinity with our playing around with Master/slave dynamic.
The answer is simple.  We are the Counter-Earth   If we are going to be true to what John Norman was trying to get across, we are going to have to be the opposite of what is happening in Earth society, especially if we see that the direction is wrong.  If the idea of females as “slave girls” is the extreme opposite of what is happening in western society, then we should be all for it here in our Counter Earth approach.
The following is from an article by a man called Robert Jensen called  “Some Basic Propositions about Sex, Gender and Patriarchy.”   I will provide the link for those with a strong enough stomach to read the entire article.

“In short: males and females are far more similar than different.

Patriarchy

Today’s existing sex-role differentiation is the product of a patriarchal society based on male dominance. In that system, males are socialized into patriarchal masculinity to become men, and females are socialized into patriarchal femininity to become women.

In patriarchy, sex-role differentiation supports male power and helps make the system’s domination/subordination dynamic seem natural and normal. Moral, intellectual, and emotional traits are assigned differentially to each sex, creating what we today typically call gender roles. This patriarchal system of control—which is complex, adapting to changing conditions and to resistance—is designed to justify and perpetuate male dominance.

The gender roles in patriarchy are rigid, repressive, and reactionary. These roles constrain the healthy flourishing of both males and females, but females experience by far the most significant psychological and physical injuries from the system.

In patriarchy, gender is a category that functions to establish and reinforce inequality.

Well, there we go.  The idea is that females and males are more the “same” than they are different, and we do things as we do because of a social construct that perpetuates the system.  The idea of this is that if it is a “social construct”, it can be easily changed by constructing something different.
Near the end of Hunters of Gor, on pages 310-312,  John Norman gives his most detailed repudiation of this idea.  He tells us we are not a social construct at all, but a biological reality.

“The Goreans do not believe, incidentally, that the human being is a simple function of the independent variables of his environment.  They have never endorsed the “hollow body”, theory of human beings, in which a human being is regarded as being essentially a product of externalities.  They recognize the human being has a genetic endowment which may not be , scientifically, canceled out in favor of the predilection of theories developed by men incompetent in physiology.”

Hunters of Gor, page 311

So, the essential question is “social construct vs. genetic endowment.”  Our side says that for millions of years, females that displayed certain traits, tended to survive because Men protected them.  It was the only system that would have worked, and to deny it is to deny evolution theory itself.  So, buried in our genes are these traits.
We accept the nurture argument up to a 50/50 split.  The author of that article is not going to go 50/50.  It is not the other side that is willing to compromise on this.  There is something strong and animal inside many of us, and it is different.  For many females, it is the desire to submit, and for many males it is the instinct to protect women.
Here is our defense of slavery, right from the books.

“Further, in the Gorean view, female slavery is a societal institution which enables the female, as most Earth societies would not, to exhibit, in a reinforcing environment, her biological nature.  It provides a rich soil in which the flower of her beauty, and nature, and its submission to a man, may thrive.”

Page 311 Hunters of Gor

Her biological nature.
So, here is my reason for using “slavery” here in Second Life Gor, fully understanding it is consensual, and not a “legal” term outside of the role play arena.
If Earth Society is going to keep fucking up and endangering females to one extreme, the Counter Earth people are going to go to the other extreme to try to protect them, as is our instinct, and as a side benefit, we can try to “provide a rich soil in which the flower of her beauty,,,may thrive.”

Boldly With My Deed, Without Regret

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 January 10, 2019


Tal and greetings,

Last week, I said that we would be asking questions this year in this seminar. I said that I did not have a lot of answers.

The advertisements for this course, that the campus is nice to provide for the seminar, sometimes refer to me as “an experienced educator”, and I think that actually suggests that I know the answers and people should come here and learn them from me.

When a class is given on just about any other topic here at the Campus, it is important to do what is called “citing from authority.” That is when we use a book, or the words of someone qualified and educated, to back up the facts that we are presenting. This method works well, and is essential when the subject is any of the trivia that makes the Gorean world so rich and unique.

When you are teaching the geography of Gor, or the customs of the people of the Tahari, you are presenting facts and you need to be prepared to back these facts up, usually with the appropriate book quote. The idea of a seminar on the philosophy underlying Second Life Gor, and our participation in it, does not work that way. In fact, it is fairly important that I avoid “citing from authority.”

authorityI think it is also wrong to try to pretend to some special insight or secret knowledge, or even worse, to some authority of my own, to attempt to impose my beliefs or interpretations of Gor on the people that attend.

In the third book of the Counter Earth Saga, Priest-Kings of Gor, there is a scene at the end that serves as a bit of a guide to this approach.

Tarl has spent most of the book in the Nest of the Priest-Kings, high in the Sardar Mountains, and is involved in the Nest War, and arguably understands more about the true nature of things there than just about any other man on Gor. When he leaves the Sardar, the gravitational field of Gor has been weakened, and of course, this is felt, but not understood, by the Goreans below, and the High Initiates from the various Gorean cities, and thousands of worried people, have gathered to perform sacrifices and rituals to appeal to the “Gods/Priest-Kings” to have mercy on them, and save them

Tarl, for a moment, is tempted to use his position as one who has “seen the Priest-Kings in person” and knows their will, to try to instill some positive values in the people.

Every time I read that part, I think of our Earth culture and its insane habit of thinking that there are people who have wisdom and should be listened to based on something other than displaying wisdom. For example, if a person can throw a football well, he obviously is an authority on which razors shave best, and which jeans are the most comfortable.

BrettFavreAd

Perhaps, the most insidious example is that if a person is a good actor, he must be an authority on politics and we should listen closely to his opinions.

In any case, Tarl says he is tempted. This is the quote.

“I had hoped that might have used these moments, that priceless opportunity, before the men of Gor realized that the restoration of gravity and normal conditions was occurring, to command them to give up their warlike ways and turn to the pursuit of peace and brotherhood, but the moment, before I realized it, had been stolen from me by the High Initiate of Ar, and used to his own purposes.”

Priest Kings of Gor, page 297.

Tarl had just come “from the Gods” so to speak, and thought to take advantage of this situation to command people to behave the way he thought they should behave. He watches as the Initiates steal the spotlight, and even clearly try to prevent the people from knowing the truth that Tarl had actually emerged from the Sardar.

Later, however, Tarl discovers a strange truth about the High Initiate. Here is their conversation.

“And how do you differ?” I asked.
“I –and some others—” he said, “wait for man.” He looked at me. “He is not yet ready.”
“For what?” I asked.
“To believe in himself,” said Om, incredibly. He smiled at me. “I and others have tried to leave open the gap that he might see it and fill it—and some have–but not many.”
“What gap is that? I asked.
“We speak not to a man’s heart,” said Om, “but only to his fear. We do not speak of love and courage, and loyalty and nobility–but of practice and observance, and the punishment of Priest-Kings–for if we so spoke, it would be much harder for man to grow beyond us. Thus, unknown to most members of my caste, we exist to be overcome, thus in our way pointing the way to man’s greatness.”

Page 300-301 Priest Kings of Gor

That quote captures the experiences of many of us that come to Second Life Gor. We do not always come here worried about love, and courage, and loyalty, and nobility. We get wrapped up in trivia, practice, and observance, and rules. Even most of our best role play sims have focused on getting details right at the expense of the big picture.

This was the problem with the BTB approach to Second Life Gor. It was not speaking to man’s heart either, but only to his fear. It was a fear of not doing the little things the way the books were written.

RulesAreRulesYet, this kept our eyes focused on little things, and not on the deeper truths, and hidden meanings found in the books. Perhaps, the BTB movement, like the Initiate Caste that Om spoke of, existed to eventually be overcome, too. Maybe it was there only to point the way to man’s greatness?

I, personally, believe Gor is very much about believing in yourself, and being true to yourself. It is an extremely individual journey into an alternative way of thinking. This is why I have never found anything of benefit in creating alts, or in establishing a role play persona where my attributes are determined by choice, or the role of dice.

What was I going to learn about myself by pretending to be someone else? Or by changing the reality of who I was, day to day, with the fluidity that is so popular in our modern day society?

I wanted to address those more important things. My experiences in first life, on Earth, had only created confusion about the meaning of love, and what true courage was like. I had seen way more displays of disloyalty than of loyalty, and I thought much of what constituted nobility was slowing seeping from out culture.

Identity

What if “Counter Earth” had some insights into what was going wrong, and how I might, as an individual, take a stand, and not be swept up into the increasingly foul cesspool of a failing society on Earth?

So, jumping into an online world of Gor made a lot of sense to me. Despite the demands on my time, and despite the handicaps of an online world, I thought and hoped to find something different here, and maybe some insights. I was willing to learn the trivia, and the practices, and the observances, but I did so with the idea of eventually “overcoming” all that and finding the greatness of man.

Many of the past seminars have focused on how bringing the baggage of Earth to Second Life Gor has messed up that process. Way too often, we are men of Earth with all our warped ways of behaving, dressed in Gorean clothes, and observing Gorean customs, while making the same mistakes that have marred our First life experiences.

Baggage

I have been listening to people urging that we need to take a much harder approach to Gor. If we are going to be a true Counter Earth, we have to leave the baggage behind, and, perhaps, be much harder, much more demanding of excellence, and much more aware of the importance of Honor.

The problem is that a lot of people take the other side of the issue. They claim that online Gor is nothing more than a game, or a way to relax after the hard daily struggles of real life. They view it as pure recreation and do not buy into the idea that there could be something more.

At the end of Priest Kings, Tarl is in a symbolic way, in that same position. He is being asked to go to the land of the Wagon Peoples and search for the last egg of Priest Kings. The mission is going to be dangerous, difficult, and with little chance of success. The alternative is to continue his search for his true love, talena, and to enjoy the physical pleasures available in the wild and primitive world.

So, I guess I really did identify with him, when long ago, I sensed something deeper in this Gorean thing than simply the flesh of women, and the intoxication of paga. Why embark on a journey to the difficult, dangerous, and little chance of success land of self discovery, and honest reflection? Why not just lighten up and enjoy it. So, what if you didn’t really understand love? Or knew what it was to possess true courage? What did it matter if you had never really had your loyalty tested? Who cared if your existence was more base than noble?

You could have fun, focus in on little by the book technicalities to prove how cool a Gorean you really were.

Challenge

But, when Tarl is standing talking to Misk at the close of the book, Misk suggests this idea of recurrence. What if existence was a recurring cycle, and we found ourselves facing the same choices again and again. Here is what he said.

“Perhaps,” he said, “we have stood here, on this hill, thusly together, unknown to either of us, already and infinite number of times.” The wind seemed now very cold and very swift.
“And what did we do?” I asked.
“I do not know what we did,” said Misk, “But, I think I would now chose to do that action which I would be willing that I should do again and again, with each turning of the wheel. I would choose so to live that I might be willing that I should live that life a thousand times, even forever. I would choose to so live that I might stand boldly with my deed without regret throughout eternity.”

Wow. That is a pretty high standard.

I think from the first time, I read this passage, my decision was made on how I was going to approach Second Life Gor. It is something so different, so unique, so full of potential, that to waste it was going to be a shame.

Yet, what a standard.

Each action I took, would be taken in such a way, that if I was to find myself in some loop, facing the same circumstances again and again, I would always behave the same. I would take the high ground, and behave so that if I did find myself repeating events in some future cycle of life, I would act the same always, standing boldly with my deeds, and without regret.

Obviously, I have fallen way short of such lofty goals, many times. I have a whole lot of regrets, and would act differently if given another chance. But, that does not matter, and as we read the books, we are told again and again that failure and falling short is not the end, but just a lesson and a learning experience on the way. It is holding up that standard and striving for it that really matters in the end.

Perseverance

But, my friends, this is me.

I am not speaking from any position of authority. I am not advising people how to approach Second Life. I am not sure my way is not a waste of time, and maybe I have missed out on some physical pleasure, and hedonistic joy, by pursuing it. I think looking for something more in the Gorean experience has enriched my life, and that has made it worthwhile to me. I can only hope, whichever course you all chose to follow here will do the same for you.

I wish you all well on that personal journey.

The Hypocrisy of Constraint

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 January 3, 2019


Tal and greetings,

I am excited to be back at the Campus to begin another year of seminars trying to make sense of our Second Life Gorean experience.

During the holiday, as I was preparing for the new year’s classes, I found myself returning to the slim volume 1, Tarnsman of Gor.  I read again those first fifty or so pages that tell the story of Tarl Cabot coming for the first time to the planet Gor. He gets to meet his father, and hear a bit about Counter Earth, and the Priest Kings.  He drinks his first glass of Ka la Na, and he sees his first female slave girl. I picked out three short passages that I thought might be of interest.220px-Tarnsman_of_gor_vallejo_cover

 

At the end of Chapter 2, on page 36, Tarl is telling us that he plans to record and share his experiences with us, and he states that he thinks the Priest Kings are allowing him to do this and he speculates on their reasons.

“It appears great efforts have been made to control the actual orbit and speed of rotation of Gor to keep it directly opposite of Earth on the other side of the sun where it can not be detected.”

Why then would Tarl be “allowed” to record his adventures and eventually get them back to Earth where they could be published and the secret exposed? After thinking of some possible reasons, such as vanity, he finishes with the following thoughts on the subject.

“After all, suppose you should accept this tale, should learn of the Counter Earth and the voyages of Acquisition, what could you do?

You could do nothing, you with your rudimentary technology of which you are so proud—-you could do nothing for a thousand years, and by that time, if the Priest-Kings choose, this planet will have found a new sun, and new peoples to populate its verdant surface.”

-Tarnsman of Gor page 36.

Indeed, in the year 1966, when those words were written, what could we do?

I have suggested that John Norman had seemed almost like a prophet predicting the increasing social problems that have inflicted Earth in the 55 years since that was written, but he clearly did not predict the one major technological advance, of which we are so proud, that changed everything.  I do not think he knew that this amazing thing called the internet was looming in the near future, and it was going to be a game changer.

I remember when I read the first dozen books. I remember the reaction to them and how deeply they resonated with something inside me. Yet, what could I do?

I did not know a single person who had read them, with the exception of my nephew who gave them to me as he departe

 

d for the Navy. I knew that there had to be other like minded people out there, but I had no way to contact them, and certainly no way to interact with them.

future internet

 

Tarl suggested we could “do nothing for a thousand years.” He was quite a bit off. The internet was going to usher in the new age of massive connectivity and we were going to be able to do something about it in way less than a thousand years.  I think this is an important thing to keep in mind as we interact with each other here in Second Life Gor. We weren’t suppose to be able to do this yet.

You almost wonder what might have happened if the books had been written with the knowledge that the internet would give us the ability to recreate Gor and, to some degree, actually live in it through the use of avatars.

A word that we in Second Life Gor hear often is “drama.” Drama has always been a part of our experience here.  It is such a major part that most of us have recognized that the people who write in their profiles that they detest it and refuse to have anything to do with it because they are tired of it all the time, are actually, usually, the ones that cause the most of it.

When Tarl meets his father for the first time, they share this emotional moment.

“We met in the center of the room and embraced. I wept, and he did, too, without shame. I learned later that on this alien world a strong man may feel and express emotions, and that the hypocrisy of constraint is not honored on this planet as it is on mine.”

-Tarnsman of Gor, page 25

I love that expression. The hypocrisy of constraint.

dont show emotion

Now, of course, since at least none of the people behind the keyboards here are native born Goreans, like Tarl, we all come from a planet that honors constraint and is not as open and free with emotion.  Yet, there is some strange magic in Gor that seems to intensify emotion

Maybe it is just the idea of the Natural Order, or the redefining of Manhood, or the emotional power inherent in Dominant/submissive relationships, but whatever does it, emotions get intense here.

We might come to SL Gor for diversion and relaxation after hard RL days where those things are difficult to find, and we have mentioned how, here, we are all handsome and beautiful, and healthy, and can leap about like Tarl does when he first recognizes the lesser gravitational field on Gor. Yet, somehow, the very nature of this experience seems to draw many of us into a way deeper emotional involvement than we anticipated.  All of the emotions get involved, too. We feel deeper attractions, stronger passions, more intense jealousy, and even more heated anger.

I think we feel these things because the inner design of the experience of Gor encourages us to do just what Tarl is saying in the quote. We are in a place where we may “feel and express emotion.”

But, we have a hard time giving ourselves totally over to this lack of constraint. We carry our Earth baggage with us, and that is what causes the thing we call “drama.”  It is our inability to accept emotion with honesty and not shy from it, or fear it. Naturally, things are going to me more intense. Naturally, emotion is going to be raw and close to the surface.

No drama

Is it possible the people of Earth have become too sensitive, too victimized, too ashamed of their natural feelings and desires to be able to deal rationally with them anymore?  Is this why our world is one of PC culture, and people getting offended over the most minor expression of emotion. When I play, “Get over it” by the Eagles, on my radio show, it always gets a strong reaction from Goreans. It is like their anthem.

It should be our standard here, to try to be more Counter Earth, to fight against the tendency to be ashamed of our own strong feelings, or offended by the strong feelings of others.  We should show our passion, be honest about our feelings, unashamed of our beliefs and if that is seen as drama, so be it.

The final quote comes when Tarl’s father is speaking to him of the voyages of Acquisition.

“‘Yes,’ said my father. ‘And long ago, I made the same strange journey. As have others.’
‘But for what end, to what purpose,’ I demanded.
‘Each perhaps for a different end, for each perhaps, a different purpose, ‘he said.”

-Page 32 Tarnsman of Gor

For many years now in Second Life, I have heard people suggest the same idea.

I am a big fan of the Television show, Game of Thrones, and am looking forward to the coming season with great anticipation. And I know that there have been GOT sims, and GOT roleplay, and it was pretty cool for awhile, but I do not see it as anything but a passing fad.  No other fantasy world has ever enjoyed the run that “Gor” has had, and we never had a popular show on Netflix to support us or gain recruits for our community. All we got were a couple of lousy movies and books that are still not available in the big book store shelves.

It is true that there have been almost as many ends and purposes, expectations and goals, as there have been people, but there seems to me that there has to be something to all this that has brought all of these ends and purposes to a more common expression.

yourjourney

I have suggested that Earth society is troubled, and those troubles were talked about and explored in the Gorean novels, long before they became as serious as they are today. Counter Earth continues to be a reaction to that.

Sure, Role play is fun. Yes, the overt sexuality of the kajira is a definite lure. I even recognize that the close relationship between the large and wide spread BDSM lifestyle and many elements of Gor helped it become popular in the early days of the internet.

Yet, still there seems to be something more.

Some deep truth about us, and about our world, that has drawn us to create this alternative world and invest so much of our time and our energy, and our emotion to it.

I love Gor, and like any true lover, I want to know the object of my love intimately.  Even after more than two decades online involved in it, even after how deeply and personally, it has touched and shaped my offline life, I still do not know it or understand it as completely as I crave to do.

deeper truth

So, I am excited about this coming year, and grateful that the Campus allows this seminar and supports it as they do.  I still do not have a lot of answers, but damn, if I don’t have a lot of good questions

This coming year, and in this seminar, I hope to get a chance to ask them.