The Book Sessions – Part 4 – The Slave Books (2 )

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gorean Philosophy Class Lecture (6.25.15)

Ok,,,we can go ahead and begin.  As usual in these seminars, I will give a short talk, to introduce the topic and hopefully stir up some discussion.  When I finish, we will have plenty of time for questions and comments, so please hold them until I finish. (picks up his notes)

Tal and greetings Goreans.

I think that this second of our two sessions on the Slave Girl books is the perfect time to present a concept that I think often is missed by the readers of the Gorean novels.  Especially by those disturbed by certain aspects of the Master/slave dynamic that is so much a part of them, and even usually a bigger part of the Second Life role play world.  When taken alone, and not in the whole context of the series, these ideas were very radical and also impossible to defend against the critics of Gor.  Also, sadly, they were accepted blindly by many readers as representing either the philosophical ideas of the author or adapted by people claiming to adhere to Gorean philosophical ideas outside of role play.  I think that if Gor had been created as a role play game on the internet in the first place, this would have never become that much of an issue, but such was never its intent.

Imaginative Sex

So, in discussions and chat room debates, never envisioned in the author’s wildest dreams as he wrote them in a pre-internet world, people have tried to defend these false and inaccurate statements trying to justify or explain their feelings with the aid of the novels.  Many people are aware of John Norman’s book, “Imaginative Sex”, in which he suggested that the relationship between a couple could be enhanced by role play scenarios that added zest and titillation to their sexual activity.  Being the slave of a strong man from another planet was only one of many such scenarios.  It was, however, the one that he chose to base a whole series of novels on and the one that with the advent of the internet, grew into Online Gor.

Last night, I came across a girl that I have known in the past that was exploring the Gorean world, and did not have a very smooth experience in it as a Gorean slave girl, on her profile, she had written: “Do not attempt to give me any direction based on Sci-Fi books.”  I have spoken in previous sessions on the idea that the Gor Novels were not really classified as Science Fiction, but more in the genre known as “Fantasy.”  This is more compatible with the idea of the Master/slave on another planet sexual fantasy of “Imaginative Sex.”

All through the novels, Tarl Cabot, refers back to his old planet of Earth in very critical ways.  He speaks often of how people on Earth are like sheep being led by slogans and platitudes and half truths that pervert truth and allow people an easy way out because they can just foolishly follow and not question.

“I envy sometimes the simplicities of those of Earth, and those of Gor, who, creatures of their conditioning, are untroubled by such matters, but I would not be as either of them.  If either should be correct, it is for them no more than a lucky coincidence. They would have fallen into the truth.”  Page 7  Marauders of Gor

an_inconvenient_truth_vs_a_reassuring_lie

This quote, and others like it, are the warning labels of the Gorean novels.  You notice that Tarl is saying clearly in that quote that he envies the simplicity of the Goreans as well, and would not be like them either.  But, critics of Gor ignore these warning labels and attack such generalizations as:  “Goreans say all women are slaves.”  or  “Gorean say that there are two kinds of females, slaves and slaves.  For years, lovers of the Gor novels have tried to defend such inaccurate statements and ignore the truths that Online Gor, and, indeed, the study of human nature, have so clearly pointed out to us.  Whenever, I believe, that Tarl says,,,,”Goreans say” he is throwing out the “simplicities of their conditioning” having been born and raised in a society that uses such things in the same way Earth uses slogans and conditioning to subvert truth.

The four slave girl novels follow a simple pattern.  They are romantic love stories set against the back drop of a world that is as cruel and barbaric and in many ways misguided as Earth itself.  The basic truths that we might get from reading them, and that seem to be supported by the popularity of kajira role play in online Gor, as well as by many other scientific disciplines, is that many females are genetically wired to respond to strong and honorable men, and being in their presence causes strange feelings of submission.  These feelings of submission, perhaps, the result of millions of years of evolution when females depended on strong men for protection and attracting them was their own means of survival, have not been, and can not be, erased in a couple of generations of technological explosion.

When we forget the “Goreans say ALL” simplicity that the author warns us about again and again, we have a much stronger defense of Gor.  Ever since, the Gorean novels were introduced, the fantasy in them has touched many females.  They have identified with these four girls to one degree or another, from the few girls who get into it deeply in a alternative lifestyle in real life, to the thousands of females that simply enjoy role playing them and their adventures while keeping their real life separate and trying to convince us they spend hours and hours role playing slave girls without a single twinge of connection between the role and real life feelings.  And how much easier is our job in defending Gor, when we are not the ones dealing in absolutes.  When we try to make the claim that….”in every single female there is a slave girl waiting to come out”, we look as stupid as the critics of Gor, who say…”there is really no such thing as a submissive female, and anyone who takes this stuff seriously is sick in the head.” The Gorean novels try to teach us this lesson.

gor earth balance

Truth is not found on the extremes, but rather in the middle somewhere. We can learn to role play this Gorean extreme for fun, but if we want to discuss it seriously, we need to do like Tarl says in the quote, and be like neither of them.  Not all Gorean, and certainly not all wimpy politically correct unthinking Earthmen, because if either of them are right, it is only a lucky accident.  The four slaves girl books show us a fairy tale that we could wish for all females.  Stripped of the world where it takes place, the story tells us that if a girl is strong, brave, unafraid of risk, and able to bounce back from disappointment, perhaps, she might find her true soul mate.  Perhaps, when Men do learn to behave like men, females are drawn to them at an almost genetic level?

When we read them, and study them, and discuss them, these are the things we should be speaking about, the universal truths in them unsullied by the extremes of fictional Gor or the social conditioning of modern Earth. To get the most of these four books, we must get past the surface into the deeper issues.  They are not sacred scrolls as some have spoken of them in the past, nor are they immature sexual fantasy by a rejected suitor.  The experience of online Gor, the large numbers of girls who have been touched by them to the point they would identify as “slaves” in real life, let alone the larger numbers of girls that role play it, point to the fact that something is there.  Something beside sci fi.  That “something” is where serious students of these books should be looking and even what our role play should be exploring. (puts down is notes)

The Book Sessions – Part 3 – The Slave Books (1)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

 

Gorean Philosophy Class Lecture (6.18.15)

As usual for this seminar, I will give a short opening talk to introduce our topic, and then will open the floor for questions and comments.  So, if you will hold the all until I finish, I will make sure everyone has a chance to speak.  Smiles and reaches for his notes.

Tal and Greetings Goreans,

Today in the third session of this ten session seminar, we will begin our discussion of a four book group of the classical Gorean novels.  This group is without a doubt extremely popular with female readers, and they are often the first books read, and sometimes the only books read by them.  I call them “The Slave Books” and they differ from the other 21 novels in that the narrator is a female.  The four books are as follows with the publishing dates:

Captive of Gor,   1972
Slave Girl of Gor, 1977
Kajira of Gor,        1983
Dancer of Gor,      1985

I put the last group of books into Second Life Gor terms to give a brief summary of the plots, so will do so again with these four books.  Put in the most simple SL terms, four girls hanging out in Earth sims, suddenly find themselves kidnapped and bought to Gor.   They go through various adventures, hang out at the Gor Hub, experiment with different cities, attend a school, and then begin to interact with Gorean Masters.   They get lied to, played, ignored, and even abandoned, before finally ending up with a great Gorean Master, who takes them off to his private Homestead Sim where they live happily ever after.   And that is pretty much the plots in a nutshell.

Noob @ the hub...Good Lawd!

When we talked about the early Tarl Cabot novels, we discussed the idea of progression from fantasy to reality; from a less serious ambiance to a much more serious one.   The Slave books do this even more so.   I have sometimes referred to them as steps in the understanding of Gorean slavery almost like the same math analogy we used with Tarl’s story.

Captive of Gor is arithmetic, Slave Girl is math, Kajira is Algebra, and Dancer is Advanced Calculus in that analogy.   Of course, if this is true, then the same problems exist for rp as with the Tarl books. Which level of Gorean slavery are you rp’ing?   The attitudes and behaviors and expectations of a Captive reader would differ muchly from a Dancer reader, if they were using those novels alone as the basis of their rp.   Just to illustrate this idea even more, lets look at the girls themselves.  Here is a quick look at the four girls and their backgrounds.

Elinor Brinton:  wealthy, beautiful, enjoying all the privileges of her sex and social position

Judy Thornton: an excellent student at an elite girl’s college

Tiffany Collin: works in a large department store

Doreen Williamson: a quiet and shy librarian

Although all the girls are described as attractive,  you can see how there is a change from an almost fantasy women to a more average women as the books go along.   Elinor Brinton, of Captive of Gor, is a fantasy character that women can not easily identify with, but would make the kind of avatar and back story that many new girls would choose.   It is unlikely, that many girls in SL Gor, being realistic, would be wealthy, beautiful women enjoying all the privileges of her sex and position.   I am sure there are some who are college students, even more that work in Walmarts, or other department stores or even more normal professions such as nursing and teaching.

slave pride

By Dancer, many, many, girls in SL Gor can identify with a quiet and shy librarian with erotic nighttime fantasies.   I have, of course, no statistical backing for this, but my experience in online Gor would indicate the truth of it.   The books are attacked often by critics of Gor as being demeaning to women, as being simply erotic college boy fantasies created by someone who was unable to get dates and so created this sex slave fantasy to get back at the girls that rejected him.   I have never gotten a sense of this from the readings of the books.   Although I admit to being prone to seeing hidden meaning, and symbolic examinations of failed Earth society on every page of the Gor novels, in the case of these books, it seems more clear than ever.

Here is what Tiffany has to say in Kajira of Gor, upon meeting her first Gorean man, in her department store on Earth:
“It was very strange.”
“I have never met a man of this sort before. Surely I had met many boys, and men, but this was the first time I had ever been so acutely aware of the difference, this special sort of difference, between women and men, or between women, and certain sorts of men…”
“He was different from the men with whom I was familiar.”
“He looked down upon me, and I felt very female before him. Perhaps that was what was so strange, my sudden disturbing sense of the radical difference between us, my sudden, alarming understanding of the momentous physical , psychological, and emotional dichotomy dividing us, dividing the sexes.”
“We are so different from them!”
“Can these radical disparities be truly meaningless?”
“And if they are not meaningless, what might they mean?”
“He was at ease with his sex, and his strength, and power.  There seemed a primitive, barbaric, unassuming lupine naturalness in him.  How uneasy I was.”
“Had he not been properly enculturated?”
“It seemed he had not been suitably socialized, reduced, crippled, tamed.  What right had he to exist in my culture?”  “I wondered if once, long ago, men had been such as he.”  Page 11 Kajira of Gor

tarnsman-of-gor

I am sorry, but this does not seem to be really concerned with demeaning women as much as demeaning the men of Earth, a much more constant theme in these novels and in all the Gor books.   Of Course, there is much about reducing women to property and beasts with no legal rights, but this is all done to create a paradigm totally different than Earth’s, a counter Earth view.   The Goreans had assholes, and jerks, and brutes, and bullies, and they did not really have to learn to deal with women for the most part, they simply enslaved them.

But, sorry, peeps, the message of the Gor novels, and of these four in particular, is not that this is a better way to deal with females/male relationships, but rather that certain truths exist and they apply to Earth where men are weak, and females tend to dominate most relationships, just the same as they apply to a barbaric world where men enslave women.   These Slave novels are not intended to be realistic stories.  They are modern fairy tales, where the girls show amazing flexibility and adaptability, overcoming increasingly hard and often unpleasant situations to eventually find their place at the side of a Man that embodies the qualities of maleness suitably strong to match their own female strengths.   The word “love” figures prominently in the final page of all of them.   All of them end with “lived happily ever after” endings.

Love slave quote 1

Of course, in Captive, these hardships are adventures, and often kinky and erotic, and are much like the Capture Sims here in SL, where men chase girls shooting arrows at them, and then drag them off for an hour or two of sexual rp.   While later, in Dancer, these hardships involve being owned by disgusting men or in Slave Girl, where they involved being raped by asshole young boys.

In book after book, the girls are the real heroes.   They are pulled out of their comfort zones, thrown into desperate situations, and somehow they fight through it to find their true loves and end up cuddled up at their feet.  Fairy Tales.  And yet, the women of online Gor have, over the years, told me of their real life stories, full of cheating men, liars, and abusers, and men who act like little boys, and fail again and again to act with basic honor.   Many of the girls who have been in online Gor for some time have similar stories here, of deceit, and abandonment.   They struggle to find their place in a strange society and yet, like the girls in the novels, they never give up the search for that “right Man.”   So, are the books really demeaning to women?  Or are they actually demeaning to men.   The idea that if men would ever finally act like men, girls do not need months of classes to learn how to act like females, is a theme repeated again and again in these novels.   Many might view these four books as demeaning to women, but when you finally come to understand the message of them, they are much more demeaning to men.  And like all the Gor novels, are really a call to Men, to man up, and then , you might be surprised at what you might find at your side, or for some, even at their feet.

Love Slave

Next week, we will continue on this discussion of the Slave novels.  Puts down his notes.

The Books Sessions – Part 2 – From Earthman to Gorean Master

Gorean Philosophy Class Lecture (6.11.15)

Ok, we will get started. This is the 2nd class in a series of 10 classes focused on the first 25 Gorean novels. This is the second one speaking of the first 13 novels, with the exception of book 7 and 11 which go in the slave book group.  Our format is that I will give a short talk on the topic, and then we will open up the floor to questions and discussion. so, please hold your comments and questions until I finish.  Picks up his notes.

Tal and greetings

Last week, when we began our discussion of the early books in the Gorean series, I referred to them as a maze. This was not quite accurate.  Rather than think of them as presenting a maze, there are actually three or four clear cut progressions. You might refer to them as growth progressions, or even maturation progressions.

The first and major progression follows Tarl Cabot himself as he arrives on Gor and gradually goes through a process that converts him from a man of Earth to a man of Gor.  In Tribesmen of Gor, the final book of this group, he muses on this journey and uses the term romantic idealism to describe himself in his early days on Gor. This is a pretty good way to put it, too.  He is the typical hero of fantasy. He performs great feats, and is very consistent in his heroic behavior. He overcomes great obstacles and seems to always to be in the typical helpless and doomed situations of fantasy, and yet, like a sort of Gorean Indiana Jones, he manages to save himself, the girl, and all of Gor at the very last moment.  His quests involve great battles involving the whole planet, and he consistently does things no man has ever done before from saving Ar from Pa-Kur in Tarnsman of Gor to saving the Priest Kings in the book of that name and in Nomads.

Donky Kong Gor

In every book, he is involved in mighty struggles with planetary implications like a typical fantasy hero.  He does have a personal journey of disillusionment and subsequent redemption, but the scope of his adventures never seems to lessen with the exception of Hunters of Gor, book 8, where his adventures, exciting and heroic as they are, involve a much smaller scale.  I think of this journey as a maturation process as he goes from an almost naive youthful idealism to a personal low point where he has lost his honor and his self respect due to his submission to slavery in Raiders of Gor.  Hunters of Gor, the one book in this group where he is not saving the whole planet is a result of a more selfish and much less idealistic self image.

Although I have stated many times that the Gor novels are not meant as guides for Gorean role play in Second Life Gor, this journey has an uncanny resemblance to the journey of many new Gorean role players here, and indeed even seems to predict the flow of Second Life Gorean role play over the last ten years.  The high adventure of raids and captures represents the early idealistic Tarl and in the early days of SL, and indeed, online Gor itself, we saw almost every male as a Warrior with very few people showing any interest in any other caste.

At the present time, there are certainly as many scribes, Greens, merchants and even lower castes as there are warriors in many of the more settled sims.  At the same time, his attitude on females, submission, and slavery change as well. Elizabeth Cardwell is a good example.  Her submission and slavery as depicted in Nomads of Gor is almost silly and romantic as compared with later novels.  When you read their interaction it is almost as if she is going ooc in ims at times as she becomes playful and teasing, behaviors not seen in kajira even a few books later.  After she shares Tarl’s high adventure in Assassin of Gor, Tarl decides to send her back to Earth for her own safety, but she will not go.  She runs away and falls into a much more serious slavery as a paga slave in a small tavern in the North.  One might view this as a symbolic representation of the concept of consensual slavery and submission held by many more serious online Goreans.  Whereas the new girls, with this is just a fun and romantic game pick in their profiles represent the early Elizabeth Cardwell, they eventually face a consensual decision, as did she, to move to a higher and more serious level of involvement in Gor.

71104505_551550355587808_2310926938505406995_n (1)

The attitude of Tarl toward Free Woman is another example of this progression.  Most Free Woman are going to be pretty pleased with his early attitude, and most of the quotes you will find on their picks come from these earlier novels.  One might argue that his feelings toward Free Women are strongly influenced by his Earth conditioning, and his respect and even admiration of them is more a result of that than a true reflection of how they are viewed by native born Goreans.

The fourth major progression involves the Kur.  The struggle between the Priest Kings and the Kur for control of Gor and Earth is a symbolic representation of the struggle inside each human between his animal nature and his rational spiritual nature.  The very method in which we are introduced to the Kur seems to represent growth and maturity in understanding this critical fact about our dual nature. In Nomads, they are the mysterious others.  We do not even get a clear look at one until book seven, and it is not until Book 12 that Tarl recognizes the connection between them and humans.  I have always thought the title Beasts of Gor does not refer to all the animals depicted in the book, or even to the Kur alone, but to the fact that humans are rational beasts as well.  I will speak more of this symbolic element of the novels in a later class in this series.

The point is that the first group of books is not only painting a picture of and fleshing out the details of Counter Earth, but it is also taking us through several progressions as if preparing us for the much more serious and difficult philosophical messages to come.  It has always seemed to me that the books are presenting this philosophy in the same way students learn math.  They learn basic arithmetic, which sets the stage for more complex math, which paves the way for classes in Algebra or Calculus.  The first 13 novels start off with simple numbers, and have reached the advanced math stage by Explorers of Gor.  I do not know if the author of novels outlined this whole series in advance. Certain elements of the series would indicate that he did not, but in the end, his intentions are not important. Perhaps, he changed and matured in his thinking in the years that the novels were written, and since he clearly was speaking on current social issues, the turbulent social changes of the 60s, 70s and early 80s most likely had much to do with the progressions in the early novels.

Regardless of his intentions, a careful study of the first 13 novels will show the changes clearly.  The problem with this is that we are seeing Gor through the words of Tarl Cabot.  His own romantic idealism and unrealistic immaturity makes its way into the Gorean World he describes:

As he grows, so does Gor.  As he changes, so does Gor.

master
“The men of Gor,” she said, “are strong. They are not weak and divided against themselves. They are not tortured. They are integrated and coherent, and proud. They see themselves in the order of nature. They see females as females, as slaves, and themselves as men, as masters. If we do not please them they punish us, or slay us. We quickly learn our place in the order of things. Only where there are true men can there be true women.”
Rogue of Gor 

When someone tells me they have read only one or two of these books, and learned of Gor from a friend or from a website, I wonder which level of Gor they have learned.  They often seem to me to be much like a child walking into a High School algebra class and claiming they already understand everything because their second grade teacher taught them arithmetic, and they saw a website that taught them to count all the way to 20.

I do not want to sound overly pessimistic about all this, however.  Despite this, we have built quite a large and diverse and interesting and fun Second Life Gor, but to understand that Gor changed and matured along with Tarl Cabot, and along with Elizabeth Cardwell might help make a bit more sense in what is often rp chaos here.  Although this is not really what the GE people mean when they speak of Gor evolved, it is helpful to understand that Gor evolved in the first 13 novels from idealistic to realistic, from childish to mature, and if you read those books in order with that understanding, I think you will get much more out of them.

Puts down his notes, and looks up.

The Book Sessions – Part 1 – The Gorean Journey

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

The Rule Books of Gor?

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

Gorean Philosophy Class Lecture (5/28/15)

 

Preface:

[I had an interesting discussion with a young slave girl this week that led me to think it was time to have a series of discussions that focused on the books themselves and some of the problems and perceptions of them.  (smiles at the intelligent young slave in his audience tonight)  As I began preparing for them, I realized that I had enough material in that subject to last us well into the summer. (laughs)  But, we have to start someplace, so, today, we will sort of introduce some of the topics that we will cover in the coming weeks.  So, as always, I will give a short talk, and then open the floor for comments or questions, so hold them until I finish.]

Tal and Greetings Goreans!

This week, I was in a discussion with a girl who has often attended this class. She is a very bright young lady, and I value her insights quite highly.  She made the comment that the books are an unchangeable and consistent rulebook for Gorean role play.  I argued that they are not that, however, for several reasons.  I thought today that it might be a good idea to begin a general discussion of the books and draw some conclusions about just how efficient and sensible are the rules for role play that we find within them.

Gorean Role play

From the very beginning of online Gor, as soon as fans of the novels began to gather in chat rooms and on message boards to discuss them, it became very common to suggest to new people that they read the books.  If you want to understand Gor fully and, later, if you want to role play it correctly, we were told, you had to read the books.  It was repeated so often it became a mantra, and also became dangerously close to becoming one of the non-cognitive slogans that the books actually warn us about and tell us are the banes of Earth society.  Let’s take a general look at the series.

The first book, Tarnsman of Gor, was published in 1966, and there were roughly one novel a year until Magicians of Gor was published in 1988. These 25 books represented what I call the classic age of the novels.  There was then a gap of 13 years before Witness of Gor was released, and has been followed by 7 other novels all written after the advent of online Gor.  The first 25 novels could be divided into several groupings.  The plot line of the novels in the beginning followed the adventures of an Earthman named Tarl Cabot, as he underwent a transition in his thinking from man of Earth to Man of Gor.  These novels were interrupted from time to time by what we might call slave girl novels.  Whereas the narrator of the main line novels was Tarl Cabot, the slave girl novels were narrated by females, also of Earth origin, captured and taken to Gor for one reason or another.

All of the novels, of course, contain the words of Gor in their titles, ie. Tarnsman of Gor, Slave Girl of Gor.  So, I will emit that phrase in discussing them here.  These transitional novels of Tarl’s journey from Earthman to Gorean are as follows: Tarnsman, Outlaw, Priest-Kings, Nomads, Assassin, Raiders, Hunters, and Marauders.  In Marauders, Tarl claims, I am Gorean, so many consider that the turning point novel, although others include, Tribesman, Beast, and Explorer in this group. Either way, by book 13, he has made the transition completely.

gorbooks

book11

 

These 13 novels included two slave girl books. They wereCaptive, and Slave Girl.  To those who might be interested in collecting these novels in their original editions rather than the new E-books, or online notecards we have today…I should note that you should not get too excited about the words, “first edition” on any of the novels after book 13.  When the novels number 14-28 were offered on ebay, for example, people would proudly proclaim their copy to be a coveted “first edition,” not realizing that sales of the books were so bad that no second editions were ever published, whereas Tarnsman had many editions.

The Tarl Cabot story is interrupted by a three book group telling the story of another Earthman named Jason Marshall who is brought to Gor as a slave along with a sort of girlfriend, and who gains his freedom, seeks out his girlfriend, and ultimately enslaves her before, I suppose, living happily ever after in a kind of M/s bliss.  The story of Tarl is picked up again in several longer, more detailed novels that follow the adventures of a more Gorean man. In 1988, this group ended with the publication of Magicians of Gor, and then came the long gap during which online Gor was born. This group also contained two slave girl books, Kajira and Dancer.

Since 2001, 8 new novels have been released. The 13 year hiatus in writing has led many to speculate that the new novels are not being written by John Norman at all, but by someone else, with his permission, and using his pen name.  People have noticed a different writing style and subtle differences in the philosophical offerings, as well as more attention to plot.  There is some debate on this. Does it reflect the change that would naturally take place in a man’s style after 13 years or is there really a ghost writer penning the novels now.  In any case, what is important to note, is that there was a writing change and a subtle chance in philosophical offerings right from day one, and book one.

The world of Gor we are exposed to in the first six or seven novels, as seen through Tarl’s eyes, differs greatly from the world we see in books, 21, 23, 24…for example.  Even the slave girl books change.  In Captives of Gor, for example, the girl is exposed to a world much less harsh and demanding than the average BDSM Friday night play party in Austin , Texas.  But, by Dancer of Gor, the poor slave finds herself in a very harsh, uncompromising, dangerous, world that is as unlike the experience in Captive that you could hardly tell the difference.  This increase in intensity as the books progress, most likely the result of the fact the series has been written over close to 50 years, in a rapidly changing Earth environment makes it a very poor “rule book” for role play.

200912-omag-beck-blue-clocks-600x411

Which Gor are you RP-ing? The harsh uncompromising world of Magicians or the almost childlike, by comparison, world of Outlaws?  This coupled with the fact that the novels are not focused on one city or region or culture, but paint a broad picture of a diverse world, as different and diverse even as our own Earth.

I am afraid the poor young lady is going to become very confused if she attempts to use the books as “rulebooks” for her Gorean role play.  The attitudes of the author were impacted by the reaction of the publishing industry to his novels.  They had early success, and popularity, but as his message became clearer in the 70’s and 80’s, they came increasingly under fire.  This at a time when I would not be surprised to find children’s books using “fuck” on every page, and graphic porn a mainstay of even mainstream novels.  The Gorean novels, were clean books by that standard, but the message was terrible and violated our growing sense of political correctness.  They were banned from many libraries and bookstores until I believe John Norman stopped writing them out of disgust in 1988. Maybe he had said all he had wanted to say…the last books were often repetitive, more so than the earlier ones even.

gorrpguide

Then came, online Gor…an increased demand, and acceptance, and thus the new books still being released.  In the coming weeks, we are going to break down these various groupings of novels in more detail and look at how they evolved, and how their message changed and how valuable a resource they really are…or are not, in our Second Life Gorean world.

 

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.

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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.

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