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.

 

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.

Who is the Master?

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 18, 2019.


Tal and greetings,

I was reading chapter 10 of Captive of Gor on my radio show this week. In this chapter, Elinor Brinton has a meeting with the slaver who had been involved in her abduction on Earth, and she learns, for the first time, the horrible reason for which she had been brought to Gor.

She has been brought to Gor to murder Tarl Cabot. However, the slaver makes it clear that if she would not have been selected for that job, she would have been brought to Gor anyway to serve as a common pleasure slave.

“I looked at him. “Why was I brought to this world?” I asked.

“We bring many women to this world, ” he remarked, “because they are beautiful, and it pleases us to make them slaves.”

I regarded him.

“Also, of course, ” he said, “they are valuable. They may be distributed or sold, as we please, to further our ends or increase our profits.”

Page 147 Captive of Gor

This would have been a useful quote to use in my class entitled, “They sell well.”

The slaver also tells her that she was first spotted when she was 17 years old, but she was watched for five full years before she was selected for abduction. This would have been another useful section to support my points in the class entitled, “You are how young?”

It was nice to see this consistency in the books. Here was a chapter I had not read for years, but it had two nice supportive sections to my overall Gorean Compass interpretation of the books.

But, the real reason Chapter 10 is important is because it marks the first point in the novels where we begin to understand the true nature of the Kur. This is obviously important to a symbolic interpretation of the conflict between the Priest-Kings and the Kur.

To me, this whole chapter reeks with symbolism. Even the slaver is not described as your typical Gorean man that overwhelms a female with his mere physical presence.

“Across the room, his back to me, bending over a shallow pan of water, with a towel about his neck was a small man. He turned to face me. He face was still the painted clown’s face, but he had put aside his silly robes, the tufted hat.”

Page 141 Captive of Gor

He was a small man, with his face painted as a clown. He is the mountebank that was displaying the Kur like a trained dancing bear for entertainment. He is the same man who tells Elinor that he engages in kidnapping young women for the noble reasons, of his own personal pleasure, and the furthering of “their ends, and the increasing of their profits.”

In another words, he is a scum bag. There are so many ways to describe this basic duality of man when you think of morality. We call things right or wrong, or good and bad, and we even acknowledge the dark side, and suggests it has cookies, to further lure us into its grasp.

The Gorean novels suggest that we see it as a conflict between the rational and the animal.

When we start out, being guided by our parents and then our teachers, we are introduced to the world of the rational first. Sure, little babies only want to eat and poop, and toddlers are little beasts, but the process begins to teach them basic human behavior.

The real dangerous animal nature is there though, inside them. In the books, Tarl goes through this process. He meets the Priest-Kings first, and comes to a full understanding of them and their nature in book 3. We first become aware of the animal side as “the others”, mysterious, but obviously evil. We know that some humans are serving them, without even understanding who or what they serve. And these humans usually come to a bad end, for example Saphrar of Turia, in Nomads.

Here in Chapter 10, the reader is introduced to the true nature of the others, and it is through the eyes of Elinor, a female slave, that it is done.

“Stop!” cried the man.

The beast looked at him, eyes blazing, its face drenched in blood.

“Obey your master! I cried. “Obey your master!”

The beast looked at me. I shall never forget the horror I felt.

“I am the master.” it said.

The man cried out and fled from the hut.

page 156 Captive of Gor

So, lets put my idea of this whole thing in its most simple form. The small man represents someone not in control of himself. He is not following a rational moral compass, and he isn’t pursing happiness by setting individual moral purposes and communal moral purposes. He is not bound by codes, and he certainly isn’t viewing his actions as having consequences that reach beyond his own selfish desires. Because of these weaknesses, he is not the master.

The idea that he dresses like a clown and he keeps the Kur in chains that the Kur can easily break when it gets into a feeding frenzy, shows how easy it is to fool yourself into thinking you are in control, when that is not the truth at all.

Those who know of what is called the “12 step” program, know that the first step is recognizing that the beast is, indeed, the Master. Until you recognize that, you can’t proceed any further down the path to recovery.

There are so many things that can be seen as “the Kur.” Addictive behaviors of all kinds are one example, and simple emotional impulses, such as anger, jealousy, selfishness, and lust are others. Even things that we normally view as positive are included in the animal side of our nature.

Love is a good example. Even though it is a non-cognitive word, we can argue that most of the emotions that we give that name to stem from deep rooted biological impulses, that were most likely evolution’s way of giving us some reason to stay as a mating couple long enough to raise this young human animal with such a large brain capacity.

So, there is a progression in the novels, as Tarl comes to understand the true nature of the Kur, and when he is in control of himself, he calls himself “Gorean”, and then he is ready to actually find common ground with the Kur, and “share paga.”

So, I wonder why John Norman chose to have this most revealing section in Chapter 10 take place in front of Elinor Brinton, and not Tarl Cabot.

I think it was because he recognized the importance of gender. We have talked about this before here. The moral Gorean compass works well for both males and females most of the time. What is the right azimuth for one, is usually the same for both, but not always.

There are times when we must look at things from the perspective of a female, and recognize the differences. This is why there were “slave girl” books in the series.

Elinor Brinton was battling her own demons in Captive of Gor, and she needed to learn some hard lessons, but she was also very much in a submissive situation. Aside from her own struggles, she was subject to the control and whims of Men. In fact, she was subject to the control and whims, in Chapter 10, of a small man, with the face of a clown, who fled in terror when he realized the beast had grown dangerous.

Here is a connection to Second Life Gor for us. Ever since the internet opened up the world of online Gor, females, much like Elinor, have been subject to the control and whims of small men. They are not always dressed as clowns, but they might as well be, and they do tend to run away and disappear at the first sign of trouble.

Here is the deal. If Gor is supposed to be a world dominated and run by males, those males need to be of a whole different type then the slaver in the hut.

I think every potential slave girl in Second Life should be required to read Chapter 10 of Captive of Gor.

The small man could talk the talk. He slapped her around, and made her lick his feet. She was like putty in his hands then, and she knew herself a slave.

But, when that beast was taking control, the little prick ran away in terror, and left her to deal with it. I know many who hear those words will be able to identify with the experience.

It really isn’t that bad a book as a Gorean morality tale. Elinor starts off as a bit of a spoiled bitch, too, but she meets real Gorean men such as Rask of Treve, and also, Tarl Cabot, himself. She learns to tell the difference between true dominance, and pretend dominance, and she is prepared to make the right moral choice when her time of testing comes.

The Men need to be able to look that snarling beast in the eye, as scary and large as it might be, and tell it that it is not the master. The females need to be watching these exchanges carefully, even if from their knees, and deciding who really is in control.

If you desire to be the slave of a Gorean man, make sure he is one, and not the kind that will flee the hut in terror when he realizes there is danger, or that everything does not happen solely to give him pleasure, or to further his ends, or to increase his profits.

In other words, hold us to High Standards. I don’t think any Kur is going to growl at me, and tell me he is my Master, and when not only my friends, and fellow Free hold me to high standards, but also the girls kneeling at my feet, that gives me the weapons I need to prove to him that, actually, I am the Master.

Walking the High Bridges

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 11, 2019.


Tal and Greetings,

Last week, we talked about the necessity of individual moral purpose, and individual moral capacity in the pursuit of true happiness.

Conservative author, Ben Shapiro, in “The Right Side of History” tells us that there are two further elements that must be considered. He calls them Communal Moral Purpose, and Communal Capacity.
In the Wednesday night discussion from Glorious Ar, that I moderated on Gorean’s Portal Radio, the topic was community and was a sense of community important to finding happiness in Second Life Gor. Now, of course, that discussion was attended by a group of people with a very strong sense of community. They, after all, were giving up their evening to engage in a discussion designed to better understand and improve their Gorean community.

This is what we call, “preaching to the choir,” and much like this seminar, we rarely get the selfish and self-centered taker here.

Yet, despite that fact, it was amazing how person after person last night expressed the idea that it was the community involvement and interaction with like- minded Goreans that had enhanced their time here.

One female told of a year and a half involvement with a Second Life loner, who did not want to be involved with anything community related, and she said it was the most disconnected and unhappy period in her over one dozen years in Second Life Gor.

So, it seems Ben has a point when he suggests a communal purpose is essential to the pursuit of happiness. However, he is talking about the real world, and he is able to go back thousands of years to establish the history of community and discuss what might be, and what might not be beneficial communal moral purposes.

Obviously, any discussion of communal capacity is skewed by the differences between a real life community and an online community. I think we can put Ben’s book away after acknowledging the need for individual purpose and communal purpose, because the online community differs so drastically from the real life community.

We do not have thousands of years of history to study. We are basically making this up as we go along. Many younger people seem to have lost sight of that fact, and having been raised in the Age of Connectivity, they assume it has always been this way. I am sure that groups of early hunter/gatherers would access Google Maps on their ipads before setting out to hunt Wooly Mammoths, and most inter-tribal marriages were arranged on Caveman.Match. com.

Even though the internet has been around several decades now, it is still brand new stuff, and we aren’t really completely sure of its potential benefits, or of its potential dangers

Here are a few examples. We hear a lot about the idea of a new global world. In a real life situation, this is a dividing point. We have spoken in this seminar of the rise of tribalism in the RL world, and how the conflict between tribal and global thinking is a major issue.

Second Life Gor can best be described as a Global Tribe. In the past two weeks, listeners have tuned into GPR from 87 different countries around the world, and I would venture a guess that the majority of them would consider themselves “Gorean.”

Imagine, if you will, a commune set up , oh, maybe, on an island in the Florida Keys. People come there to recreate a Gorean society, and they come from 87 different countries. The logistical, communication, and cultural problems that would have to be overcome to make that work are immense, but this is what we have done here in Second Life Gor. We have shrunk the Earth to the size of our computer monitors, and we chat and interact each day with people that are not just far away physically, but sometimes on the other side of the planet. Automatic translators help with the language issues; the cultural differences exist mostly on the other side of the monitor, as we embrace a shared culture here, and we can exist here without food, or with “nam/nam” of G&S meals.

The ability to create this kind of Tribal/Global is unprecedented in human history. We have no frame of reference to study. As I said, Real life communities can look back on thousands of years of recorded history, and millions of years of unrecorded history to discover what worked and what did not work, but Second Life Gor has a mere dozen years of history to study to discover its mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.

Time is another problematic element of our community. In our Florida Keys commune, at least everyone would be in the same time zone. Sure, there would be night shift workers, and such, but, basically, the sun will rise and set at the same time for the whole community. The Internet community does not have that advantage, and time zones create a constant challenge to community building here.

Another problem we face here is a sense of entitlement. How many times have you heard the profile statement: “This is my SL, and I will do whatever I want.” This is a totally inaccurate statement, in the first place. It is Linden Labs’s SL, actually, and they could turn it off if they wished to do so. And unless you are a sim owner, paying Linden Labs, it still isn’t your Second Life Gor. Can you imagine a person arriving on our Florida island commune and claiming it was “His Gorean Island, and he will do whatever he wants?” We would throw him to the sharks without hesitation. Our internet community has to deal with those selfish people in a different manner.

Which leads us to the other problem. Dishonesty, deceit, and the fake courage of the online warriors sitting safely in front of their monitors safely insulated from any consequences for their behavior. Although lying and dishonesty could exist on our island community in real life, people simply would not be able to get away with what they do in Second Life. You could not be three people there at once, and you would not get very far pretending to be a female, if you were not one, and when you insult someone or act like a complete asshole, there might be some consequences that could not be avoided by clicking on a red X, and going about your business.

I think the important thing here is that we have done it anyway. Despite the problems of creating something totally new, and having to overcome language, time, and honesty problems, we have managed to create a community that is meeting many of the social and communal needs of people here, and helping them pursue that elusive happiness.

It is not an easy community to embrace. The standards are high, and excuses that work well in our rl lives do not carry as much weight here. Despite the fact that we bring our baggage from Earth with us here, we are slowly creating a Counter Earth approach to community building, and based on the discussion last night, many of us are realizing that some sense of communal purpose is essential to happiness.

It is, however, still the big kids playground. Second Life Gor is slowly evolving into a totally new and amazing creation. It has floundered around for a dozen years trying to find itself. We have approached it much as kids being given free rein in a candy store. We try this and we gouge on that, with no thought to what is good for us, and what might not be so good.

Now, we are starting to get some historical perspective. We can look at what has worked and what has not worked. We can examine the stories of those who came here, got it wrong, and left unhappy and frustrated with the experience.

There is a small and highly symbolic event in the book Outlaw of Gor that comes to mind this morning. Tarl mentions, early in his visit to Tharna, that unlike most Gorean cities, the high bridges of Tharna have guard rails. Tarl, still fresh from Earth, thinks this is one of the good things about the city. It is important, he thinks, that people be safe, and that they take no unnecessary risks, and the guard rails make sense.

Later, when the revolt takes place, and Tharna is restored to being a Gorean city, the guardrails are removed.

“One change that I find of interest, though I cannot heartily approve, is that the rails have been removed from the high bridges of Tharna. I had thought this pointless, and perhaps dangerous, but Kron had said simply, “Let those who fear to walk the high bridges, not walk the high bridges.”

Page 248 Outlaw of Gor

Entering our online community of Second Life Gor can be very much like walking the high bridges of Tharna. We are seeing that we must come here with not only an individual moral purpose, but with a communal one. We are being told that it is a place where we do not tolerate a lot of the weak and excuse ridden behaviors permeating our real life communities. It is being suggested that we can not just log on here, fuck around with people, and log off, and be happy. We hear people constantly calling us to a higher standard. Now, we are even suggesting that if you are not spending some of your time here working for the good of others, and creating a capacity for the community to grow and expand, you are not going to be really happy either.

I can very well see that entering online Gor, at this time of our development into something totally new and unique in human history, is a bit like walking those high bridges without guard rails, and I am growing a bit less patient, and a lot more hard, and I am thinking like Kron. I think those who are here with no moral purpose, and who reject the notion that they are part of the community and thus owe an obligation to it, and especially those fearful or reluctant to raise the bar, should not even be bothering to walk these high bridges with us. The first little bit of wind that comes along is going to blow them right off, and they are not going to find the happiness we are here pursuing.