What About Trivia

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 May 2, 2019.


Tal and greetings,

It has been a matter of good timing that these seminars follow the Wednesday night discussion in Glorious Ar. Last night, my friend, Dark of AR made a comment that reflected a theme that I have been repeating for the last year, but with an added twist. He said that things were going in some bad directions in Western Culture on Earth, and Gor represented a logical counter direction. He said the philosophy behind Gor was too important to let it be forgotten and that we needed to get people to start reading the books again to learn it and understand it better.

That has certainly been the intent of this series of classes for the past three years, and I am both grateful to, and proud of, all the people who have participated and contributed.

There have been many who have neither understood nor supported what we do here on Thursday. And they have read the books! They often times know the books better than anyone, or at least can google up just about any quote to back up any question of trivia.

knowledge vs wisdom

I googled up a definition of trivia.
plural noun: trivia: details, considerations, or pieces of information of little importance or value

Well, this seemed to be a good topic for today. If we read the books and take from them only the trivia of Gor, we are certainly able to talk the talk. When we use Gorean greetings, order Gorean drinks, or any of the other trappings that make the Gorean world different than Earth, we are not necessarily accomplishing what Dark suggested was important last night.

I did not need to google the following quote from the books. I knew right where to find it. It is on page 348 of Beasts of Gor.

“None would know if you betrayed the codes,” she said.

“I would know,” I said, “and I am of the Warriors.”

“What is it to be a warrior?” she asked.

“It is to keep the codes, I said. “you may think that to be a warrior is to be large, or strong, and to be skilled with weapons, to have a blade at your hip, to know the grasp of a spear, to wear scarlet, to know the fitting of the iron helm upon one’s countenance, but these things are not truly needful; they are not, truly, what makes one man a warrior and another not. Many men are strong, and large, and skilled with weapons. Any man might, if he dared, don the scarlet and gird himself with weapons. Any man might place upon his brow the helm of iron. But it is not the scarlet, not the stell, not the helm of iron which makes the warrior.”

She looked up at me.

“It is the codes,” I said.

Page 348 Beasts of Gor

It is the codes. Everything else is trivia, and of little importance and value.

Integrity-is-doing-the-right-thing-when-no-one-is-watching.(1)

That does not mean the trivia is not essential in the big picture. It means that it is only the first step in the process. It is a good thing to look the part, and act the part.

That quote was not suggesting that it was not a good idea for the Warrior to be strong, and physically fit. He was not wrong to learn how to use his weapons, or to dress himself in armor. It just is not enough.

The discussion last night was asking if “Old Gor” was a better place than our modern Second Life Gorean community. One thing that was mentioned was that the chat based early Gorean chat rooms were not as focused on the trivia. Since it was not a visual world, attention was not as directed toward making sure everything looked right. This caused people’s attention to be more on personal interaction and less on appearances.

I think that when we became a visual oriented venue, we did lose sight of the message in the quote from Beasts.

It was a stage we had to pass through to get to where we are today.

Hockey coach, Herb Brooks, in his pep talk before the 1980 USA vs USSR Olympic game, said “Great moments are born from great opportunities.”

We have the trivia down pat now. We have had over a dozen years to fine tune it, and we got lucky that someone took the time and trouble to even create the G&S system based on John Norman’s books.

We are, to use Tarl’s words, strong, and large, and we can don the scarlet and put the helm of iron on our heads. This is a great opportunity, and from it could come a great moment.

It is time to move on to the next step and begin to walk the walk as well as we can talk the talk.

walk-the-talk

What are the codes? They are the higher standards we speak of here. They are the recognition that there are responsibilities and consequences. They are rules of civilized behavior that allow us to interact with others. They are what raise us above the animal.

We can be realistic for a moment. If John Norman had put out a book called. “A Good Philosophy” , we would not be here today. By putting it inside a strange and vibrant world that resonated with people in various very visceral ways, he created a great opportunity.

So, I am totally in favor of the trivia,

I encourage you all to bone up on it.. Learn of the geography of Gor, and take a class on recognizing its flora and fauna. Revel in it, and learn how to talk the talk so loud it is like a shout. The common alternative culture from the books can be like a glue that bonds us closer together, and creates a common comfort level to take the next step.

And that next step is to dig deeper now.

dig deeper

We are going to part company with a lot of people when we take this step. The trivia part was fun and did not challenge us hardly at all. In fact, many people took a pick and chose buffet approach to Gor, that allowed them to take the book actions of bad apple protagonists like Surbus, and Thorn of Tharna, to justify being pricks and assholes.

The Gorean compass, or Higher Standard, or Codes, or walking the walk, approach does not allow that, and in fact, should be calling people out for it.

There is something in Gor that is of importance and of value, and as Dark said last night, we should do everything we can to keep it alive and spread it to others who arrive here disgusted by the events of Earth.

And by definition, that can’t be the trivia.

Personal Center

These are some of Master Gorm Runo’s first classes at the Gorean Campus that were recently discovered.

Gorean Philosophy Class Lecture (5/21/15)


Tal and Greetings Goreans,

I am going to give a short talk, and then we will have time for questions and comments, so please hold them until I finish.  I am a bit frustrated today because I cannot find a quote in the books that illustrates today’s concept.  Perhaps someone in the class with a good handle on the books will be able to help me with it.

In this part of the books, either Tarl Cabot or Jason Marshall is asking a slave girl what country she is from on Earth. He then gives one of those annoying little side comments that so often break up the action in the books.  He tells us why the Goreans do not have countries.  It has to do with the idea of borders as arbitrary lines on the map.  I thought of this quote during my trip to Earth last week.  I was driving along on one of those massive Earth interstate highways, and suddenly, a sign announced that I had just passed from one State to another State, and yet, as a Gorean, it was pretty clear that nothing had really changed.  They had drawn an imaginary line on a map.  We are told, however, that Goreans think in circular terms.  They would not understand how someone would claim that territory belonged to them unless they actually had full control of it.  Circular thinking begins with a single point.  For example, the Home Stone of the city would represent this central point, and the influence of the city would radiate out from this point, and the city consists of what is directly influenced by the city.  This influence would extend in all directions creating a circle of influence and that circle of influence would define the border, not a line drawn on a map.

no borders

In Earth history, there are many examples of wars and conflicts over disputed pieces of land, or border excursions.  One time, the United States and Great Britain almost went to war over where the border between Washington state and Canada would be drawn.  The disputed land consisted of forests that were, at the time, actually controlled by an Indian tribe anyway.  In the Gorean way of thinking, this land belonged to that Indian tribe because they were on it and they controlled it, and all the imaginary lines any scribe cared to draw on a map would not change it.

This idea is a bit more than just another interesting bit of trivia about Gor and how it differs from Earth.  It reflects a totally different mindset that permeates Gorean philosophy and thinking.  On Earth, we think in terms of borders in terms of boxes.  Of lines that hem us both mentally and physically.  We also have a tendency to focus our interest and our concerns outward and away from the center.  The pervasive media on Earth and the connectivity that it gives us is restricted on the Gorean world, because of the control of the Priest-Kings.  When there is an earthquake in southern Gor, for example, the men in Torvaldsland are not glued to their tv sets following the story instantly.

And why is this really important?  This idea of circular vs box thinking is reflected in the personal approach to life and not just the political approach.  A person has a center, too.  This is why a Man has a personal Home Stone, also.  In the books, we hear the term, holding.  Tarl speaks of his holding in Port Kar, for example, and this is a good example of the circular idea.  It is his because he actually holds it, protects it, and defends it, not because he has a piece of paper or deed that says it is his.  A Gorean man would see himself at the center of a circle and he would see the things that are most important to him, his family, his slaves even, making up the inner rings of his circle, and his influence, and with it, his concern and his first attention are most directed thusly. When all is well there, he becomes concerned with his neighborhood, and then his city, and then, maybe, he might take some interest in events taking place in another city 50 pasangs away.

spheres

Putting his idea in Earth terms, my primary concern as a Gorean is what is happening in my own home first and foremost, and then, I worry about the apartment complex, and then the neighborhood around it, and then, the part of the city that neighborhood is in and then the city, and then the State, and then the country, and then finally, I might have some concern about something taking place on the other side of the world.  Earthmen, due to their lack of this solid sense of center, often are more concerned with the problems of others than with their own issues.

We bring this baggage with us into Second Life Gor where discussions are often based on how badly others are messing up and rarely on how we are messing up ourselves.  We can easily abdicate responsibility for anything, because it is the fault of someone else, somewhere else, that is doing everything wrong.  When we adapt the Gorean circular idea, we are more likely to take personal responsibility.  When our focus turns inward to the center of the circle, we tend to what is not only important to us, but to those things we actually can control and influence.  We might sit in front of our tv sets, or surf the internet, to find problems to worry about all over the world, but we really can do little about any of it.  But, we can influence our own home, our own neighborhoods, our own holdings.   I think this might explain why second life Gor is so rift with confusion and chaos.  It is based too much on sims, that are boxes with defined borders and not as much on groups or families, or holdings, that reflect the more circular idea of Gorean thinking.

thinkoutsidethebox_newthumb

Maybe, it is time to start thinking a bit out of the box.

 

The Promise Keepers

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 April 24, 2019.


Tal and greetings,

I got the inspiration for this session from the Wednesday night discussion last night at Ar. A Free Woman, who has attended this class from time to time, and who has my respect for her intelligent comments and well articulated opinion, made a comment that bothered me a bit.

She said that although there was much about Gor that she loved to role play, it bothered her about the attitude that men were somehow, “better” than women. She pointed out that male domination had been the norm for all of human history, and women were still struggling to overcome their inferior position.

men better than women

 

Most of the Goreans at the discussion were very quick to point out that “better” was inappropriate, and that it was the fact that the genders are “different” is the real philosophical thrust of Gor. It assumes that you can not compare things that are fundamentally different. We like to use the anvil and the rose as our example. is an anvil better than a rose?

I think we like that one because you get the image of the male as strong, unbendable, and able to take some punishment, while the female is beautiful and fragrant, but extremely delicate. It is an example that supports the gender sterotypes.

However, the point is that it is foolish to attempt to say one is better than the other when they are so different. This argument does have a few flaws, because, after all, we are all human beings, but given the modern confusion on gender and its flexibility, this fact does not favor a comparison between males and females anyway. How can we say males are “better” when they can not only be females if they so identify, but a whole host of other genders that are neither male or female?

The modern woke idea of gender as a mere social construct is not only the Anti-Gor, but makes comparing them nonsense. How can you argue that “males” have dominated the history of the world when there really isn’t any such thing as “male?”

gender fluid

This has made me think of some of the other paradoxes of Earth that are making it harder and harder for young people to find sensible relationships with the opposite sex.

I was raised to be a classic gentleman. You opened doors for women, and you gave up your seat on the bus to a woman. One of the most important roles of a male was to protect females. Women and children to the lifeboats first made perfect sense to me. This was based on the idea that women insure the survival of the species and are weaker than men physically. We were supposed to be the anvils, and we needed to protect the flowers.

In our modern society, this kind of behavior is considered by some women to be insulting. They can open their own doors, and they can serve in combat units, and be fireman. They don’t really need our protection anymore?

We are not supposed to objectify them either. They are more than just bodies and sex objects. Yet every morning, when I log into facebook, I am greeting by picture after picture of females so beautiful that it almost hurts to look at them, posed in positions and wearing clothing all designed to arouse the most basic sexual instincts in me. (I think they are actually all Italian girls, and I have no idea how I got added to a “hot Italian girl” group.)

It is pretty clear where Gor comes down in these paradoxes. Women are beautiful and desirable beasts, and we crave them so much that we totally enslave them and force them to serve our every whim. We create a Man’s world making ourselves the decision makers and the movers and shakers, undoing a century of progress, and pushing females back into a sort of second class “barefoot and pregnant” mode.

superman-lois-lane

This is definitely some Counter Earth thinking. I can imagine posting that as an opinion on facebook.

Even something as basic as looking at a female is a bit of a paradox now. I see females grooming and dressing to look beautiful and desirable and then feeling uncomfortable because creepy old men like me are ogling them as they walk down the street. There is an interesting paragraph in Renegades of Gor that addresses this paradox.

SONY DSC

“Little on Earth has prepared them to be so looked upon by men, so forthrightly, so unabashedly, so honestly, as females, as desirable females, as creatures of considerable sexual interest. This is a new and at first frightening experience for many of them. Why are the men of Gor so different from the men of Earth? Why are they not diffident, not apologetic? Why do they not turn their eyes aside, lest they cause the smallest modicum of unease to the fair? Why do they not pretend not to notice? Why are they not like the typical man of Earth? But soon, as they become accustomed to the values and ways of what was formerly perceived as an alien culture, and they begin to see it as it is, as a zestful, complex, colorful, natural, and vial way of life, excitingly, grandly, and gloriously so, and they discover themselves becoming beautifully ingredient within it, indispensably and thrillingly so, find themselves now esteemed and profoundly savored, find themselves now valued, praised, prized and sought, doubtless for the first time in their lives, they begin to relish the absence of the veil. They come to understand themselves at last as what they are, as what can no longer be denied, as living, desirable females, as sexual creatures, and that they are , perhaps for the first time in their lives, as such, of great interest and importance.

Page 416 Renegades of Gor

 

Now, if you read that closely, you see no suggestion that Gorean men are “better” then females, but they certainly feel themselves better than males of Earth!

There is a sort of battle of the sexes going on down on Earth. I suppose it has always gone on, and I also suppose, as the Lady suggested last night, that men have used natural order to keep women down and that they have abused their power often. However, if I were to view this battle as it has played out, not in the 1800’s or the dark ages, but in my lifetime, as a football game, I would say the score was “Females ahead 35-0. late in the fourth quarter.

Look at the perception of men. We are speaking of toxic masculinity in colleges, and I was greeted with an article this morning claiming that “Deadbeat males are the ones most supportive of abortion because it lets them off the hook.” Almost every major male politician is actually a sexual abuser, and even such main stream outlets as advertising, and prime time sitcoms consistently portray males as bumbling, if not well meaning, and totally dependent on females for direction. In a large part of our society, the term “baby daddy” has come to replace father. Sperm doner has replaced Man.

This seminar has been pushing an idea for the last three years now. It applies to all of us here, regardless of labels such as lifestyler or roleplayer. The idea is that John Norman crafted his world of Gor as a Counter Earth. This would mean things are usually opposite there. So, the bad things of Earth would be good things on Gor, and the good things of Earth would be bad on Gor. Good Gor and Bad Gor.

When we can see the extremes on both side, we can more easily find the middle ground

So, this would mean it is necessary that on Gor, the Men be winning the game 35-0, in order to show the opposite extreme, and thus we have non-consensual female slavery and a male dominated society.

Some years ago, I became aware of a movement that was beginning in the Christian world. It was called “The Promise Keepers.” The idea was it was a group that would empower men to help them become the leaders of their families. It would allow them to be positive male role models for their children, and to keep their promises to guide and protect.

Promise_Keepers_Logo

Sadly, it appears to have not caught on, and I don’t hear of it anymore.

I have found something else that empowers men. It should have the same goals as the Promise Keepers.

I do not think Goreans think men are better. And if they do, they have wandered into the wrong place, and are not really reading the books or attempting to understand what is really happening here. Females are not coming here, in my opinion, even to role play submission to strong dominant men because they want to feel inferior. They want us to keep our biological promise. They want us to man up, while at the same time not forgetting they need to feel esteemed, valued, prized, desired, sought after. They want us to use our leadership abilities to help them create a world that is glorious and a life that is full of zest. They want us standing proudly, with themselves at our sides, not watching us hiding behind them with our heads averted with shame.

I think Gor makes a promise to females. It is a promise that they will thrive in an environment that is more conducive to human nature and natural order. It is a promise that when they associate with real men, they will become more real as women. It is a promise that they will not be “less” than men, but will always be recognized as being different than them.

And the Men need to be the Promise Keepers.