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

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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)

If I Loved Not Honor More

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 October 25, 2018


Tal and greetings,

I am going to start off the class today by reading a love poem. I suspect that the girls will like that even as they wonder what the heck I am doing. Hopefully, by the end of the class, it will make some sense. (Takes a deep breath)

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
Lov’d I not Honour more.

This poem was written four hundred years ago, and the language is not modern, but what he said at the end was that he could not really love her, as a man should love a woman, if he did not love honor more. That is certainly a statement that would make a Gorean sit up and pay attention.

In book thirteen of the Gor novels, Explorers of Gor, there is a scene at the beginning of the story where Tarl Cabot and Samos are dining and talking in Samos’ holding. Samos has grown fond of a Earth girl slave named linda, and Tarl is teasing him about it. Samos is a bit embarrassed, because it is true. He knows she is getting a bit under his skin, and he insists that she will not have it easy as a slave girl because of it. After this banter goes on for awhile, Tarl decides it is time to get back to business and he makes this comment.

“But lets us not speak of slaves,” I said, “girls who serve for our diversion or recreation, but of serious matters, of the concerns of men.”
“Agreed,” said he.
There was a time for slaves, and a time for matters of importance.
Page 15 Explorers of Gor

This quote could easily be taken, by those who would attack Gor, as putting down females. It suggests, some might think, that slaves are not important. That they are worthless and no more than mere toys or amusements for men. It is a very misogynistic quote, some might think.

I think the problem is that we tend not to look at the quote from the other direction. Among the many complaints made about Second Life Gor, you will often find the statement that Gor is all about slave girls and Masters. It is all about sex. Men come here merely to chase pussy, and females come as slaves to be chased for their pussy.

In this seminar, we have often spoken of balance. The whole idea of Gor that we are espousing here is that it is a balanced approach to life. We see Earth society as growing to weak and soft, while the fictional Gorean world is portrayed as being on the other extreme. It is often too hard, and lacks basic human compassion. The characters in the novels that make the transition from Earth to Gor can do so by abandoning the weakness and foolishness of Earth, but also rejecting the extreme hardness of Gor. They find that middle ground.

So, when we apply this idea to the quote, we might see Samos and Tarl agreeing not that slaves are worthless, or that diversion and recreation is not essential to human happiness and fulfillment, but rather that, from time to time, there is something else that must be tended to, and if we neglect that something else, we fall hopelessly out of balance.

We always talk of how quotes are taken out of context, and this one is an example. Tarl and Samos are going to turn their attention from slave girls to discussing the score of the Monday night football game, or even talk about their next hunting or fishing trip. “The concerns of men” is the expression they use, but their conversation turns to important things, and not just the trivial. The second phrase nails it more correct. Matters of importance.

So, I see that quote as suggesting that there is a time for war and a time for peace. A time for planting and a time for harvesting what is planted. A time to play and a time to work. It is like Tarl and Samos are sending a message to us in Second Life Gor, that if we really are guilty of being here only for the relationship aspect of Gor. If we are only here to seek a slave girl for diversion and recreation, or only here to seek a boyfriend/Master for company and security, we are only getting half a loaf. You are not going to find balance, and you are not going to grow into the superior person that the novels are urging you to become.

As I was preparing this talk, I was thinking of the expression they used first, “Concerns of Men.” They changed that to matters of importance, and I think that is important. There is a slave girl named meira at my home who has been faithfully and loyally feeding the vast bosk herd that supports our tharlarion racing teams. She has been doing this for a long time, and with little recognition. Now, if you know meira, you would know she certainly could provide diversion and recreation to your hearts content, but from time to time, attention is turned from that aspect of her to the concerns of men, and the bosk get grain. So, I am almost seeing “men” in the quote, concerns of men, as being not gender specific. Like the concerns of people, or the concerns of human beings. Matters of importance is much more accurate. I could mention the slave who has tended my kalana fields for two years, or the one that updates my blog, and transfers these classes to it, or the one that checks lessons, or on and on. All these slaves are turning their attention to the matters of importance.

Another aspect of that brings us back to the poem. I will address it from the Master perspective. When you really understand the Master/slave dynamic as it is presented in the novels, you will understand that it is not based on the physical at all. John Norman made everyone of the Gorean slave girls beautiful. It was almost an unrealistic approach, and many have pointed it out when they were being critical about the books. “How can you follow a philosophy that is only for the physically perfect Barbie Doll slave and Conan the Barbarian Masters, when the truth is the majority of us are a little less than perfect physically?” Well, it is the great equalizer. When we are all Barbie Slave and Conan Masters, that does not matter anymore, and behavior, and what is inside, and your true soul, is what matters.

And no slave, no real slave, is going to love and devote herself to an asshole. She is not going to be loyal and faithful to someone who consistently displays dishonorable behavior. And if you can think of examples of any that have in the past, stayed with abusive and dishonorable Masters, I assure you it was a reflection of dysfunctionality and not of the true dynamic. I know that the true slave girls, as much as they might moan and cry out for more attention, and the touch of their Master, feel their hearts beat with pride when they see him taking care of business, or behaving honorably with other Gorean men. Their submission grows more from their trust in his honor, belief in his goodness and decency, than it does from the touch of his hands on her naked skin.

Balance is a two sided sword. You are wrong, I think, if you do not look up from your diversions and recreations from time to time to tend to matters of importance. And you are equally wrong if you can never pull yourself away from business to devote a bit of time to diversion and recreation. Perhaps, this does not apply to everyone down there on Earth, or even to other parts of Second Life. It does apply to Gor though. It is the essential element of it.

When I have to leave a slave girl in the future to give a class, or attend a meeting, or deal with some crisis threatening our home, and I see that small tear trickle down her cheek, from eyes that seem filled with love and pride, I think this is what I might say to console her.

“I could not love you, slave girl, of mine, with the depth and passion of a Gorean Master if I did not love honor more.”

Gorean Compass – Materialism is Bad

This week’s offering from the Gorean Compass, a class that is taught at the Gorean Campus within Second Life every Thursday at 12pm (noon) and 6pm.  All are welcome to attend these classes.  There are always interesting discussions which follow each lecture.

Tal and Greetings

When we have done these seminars in the past, the concept of duality often arises.  With this duality is conflict as well.  By that I mean, it is our animal nature pitted against our rational nature as represented by the struggle of the Priest-Kings and the Kur for “the hearts and minds” of Earth and Gor.

Today, I have a few comments on a different duality and conflict.  A quick online search yielded two different definitions for the word, “materialism.”    The second one was a philosophical one that had to do with matter and its interaction in the physical world.

The first one, however, was the one I was seeking.

noun
noun: materialism
1.
a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

gravestone
When we look at the Gorean world as portrayed in the novels of John Norman, we can see that this conflict exists on Gor as it does on Earth.  Although the Goreans are restricted by technology, this does not restrict them in the quest for material possessions and they certainly have a high regard for physical comfort.

From a role play point of view, we can expect that the Goreans, being human, as the people of Earth, are just as likely to suffer from a tendency to consider wealth and comfort as more important than spiritual values.

Role play characters that are excessively greedy or overly hedonistic would be perfectly logical.  Examples of both are common in the books.  Although some of these characters meet bad ends in the books, this does not mean that others do not thrive.  I would suspect that many people on Gor live greedy and selfish lives and suffer few repercussions from society for doing so.

Gormain

However!

One of the things we have been doing in this seminar is to examine the message of the author and to see how this message was transmitted in the fiction of the novels.

We have talked about a message that actually calls the reader to a higher standard of behavior.   This was expressed in the idea of the “superior man” who takes the good from Gor while rejecting the wrong, and then does the same thing with Earth.  Put simply, as we have said frequently here:  Ask Gor, why so hard? and ask Earth, why so soft?

There is a definite anti-materialistic message in the novels.   This message is expressed again and again.

We discussed Tarl Cabot’s meeting with the Kur general in previous classes.  The Kur spoke of the humans of Tarl Cabot’s home world, Earth, in this way.

“And they put economic gain above all.  Their greed and their fevered scratching repulses me.”

Page 368  Beasts of Gor

It is interesting to note that Tarl responds to this by asking the Kur what he would “put above all else.”   The Kur responds, “Glory.”

I suppose that an argument could be made that “Glory” is not a spiritual value, but the Kur is the animal side and not the rational side anyway.

However, the idea of greed and fevered scratching is shown in more detail in Outlaws of Gor while Tarl is locked up in the Silver Mines of Tharna.

I am not sure how you can find a more symbolism loaded passage in the books.  As a fan of symbolism, I almost over dosed on this one.

Tarl is locked up in an underground mine, by dominating women, who wear masks, and he and his fellow prisoners are fed slops in a trough like pigs, and when they are given permission to eat, they rush to the trough and try to get as much as they can.  Tarl puts a stop to this with a simple word. “No.”    He says that even in the mines, they are “men.” and organizes an orderly distribution of the food.

Men eat like pigs
Men Eat Like Animals

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More Civilized eating

The entire theme of book 8, Hunters of Gor, deals with materialism.  After the events of Raiders of Gor, Tarl finds himself in a depression over his loss of honor and his betrayal of his codes, but ends up rich and powerful in the city of Port Kar.   He becomes consumed with materialism and self advancement.  When he is returning from his adventures in Torvaldsland in Book 9, and a couple of pages after he makes his famous declaration that he is now,finally, Gorean, Tarl says this about his experiences in Hunters of Gor.

“Incredibly, perhaps, the values, wealth and power, which had driven me in the forest, when I had sought Talena, no longer seemed of much interest to me.  The sky now seemed more important to me, and the sea, and the ship beneath my feet.  No longer did I dream of becoming an Ubar.  In the north I found I had changed. What had driven me in the forests seemed now paltry, irrelevant to the true needs, the concerns, of man.  I had been blinded by the values of civilization.  Everything that I had been taught had been false. I had suspected this when I had stood on the heights of the Torvaldsberg, on a windswept rock, looking upon the lands beneath, white and bleak, and beautiful.  Even Kurii, on its height, stunned, had stopped to gaze.  I had learned much in the North.”

Page 295  Marauders of Gor

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There are many other examples of this stance in the early books.  We are not only called to abandon the false values of wealth and power and appreciate the beauty of the world around us, but also we are called to a higher purpose than self interest.

It is my opinion that our Earth society has become overly materialistic and selfish.  John Norman was raging against this 40 years ago, and in the ensuing years, it has grown worse and worse.  The tendency to put material concerns above spiritual ones is running rampant and that is coupled with a tendency to lessen us and make us conform to a lower standard in the interest of “sameness” disguised as equality.

As Second Life Goreans, we can bring those tendencies to our online world along with our other Earth baggage, and we often do.   Within our role play stories, if such is our main interest here, there is nothing wrong with creating selfish and greedy characters.  They existed on Gor and so would be “by the books.”   In fact, without them as antagonists story lines would be a bit dull.

Yet, if we are to really understand what Gor was supposed to be teaching us, we need to call ourselves to a higher standard as Tarl did.   There is nothing wrong with wealth and there is nothing wrong with physical comfort, but if our tendency is to consider such things as the most important values, we are not being true to the spirit of the novels.

I am a bit haunted by the image of a world where men line up to take the slops from the trough, imprisoned by women whose masks cover their true natures.   I want to stand firm and say, “NO”, as Tarl did in the mines of Tharna.

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I believe we are given the chance to make that stand right here in Second Life Gor, by creating a world that rejects the materialism of Earth and replaces it with something so beautiful and spiritual that even Kurii, stunned,would stop to gaze upon it.

Gorean Compass – Balance (acceptance of the dark side)

Another in the continuing classes from Master Gorm Runo.  Further discussion on symbolism within the books and the topic of balance.  An acceptance of our dark side along with our good side.  Master Gorm offers these classes every Thursday at The Gorean Campus at 12pm(noon) and 6pm SLT.  All are welcome to attend and join in the discussion!

Tal and greetings

In our last session, we talked about the dark side represented by the Kur and our first introduction to them in Captive of Gor and Marauders of Gor.  They were the evil and animalistic beasts and we had to be strong to resist them.

It could be suggested, on a very simplistic level, that the Priest Kings represent the good guys and the Kur represent the bad guys.  The Priest Kings represent everything rational and spiritual about humans and the Kur represent everything evil and animal.

tarl-and-pk

Of course, anytime this is brought up in a discussion between people who have actually read most of the books, someone is going to insert a big, “but” into the conversation.  This happened last week when we were reminded about the friendship and mutual respect that developed between Tarl Cabot and the Kur general named “Half Ear” or Zarendagar.

The meeting that takes place between them in book 12, Beasts of Gor, is a major turning point in the plot of the series.  It might be argued that this marks the end of the transformation process turning Tarl into a full blown Gorean rather than the end of Marauders of Gor where he actually says, “I am Gorean.”

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At the end of Marauders, he is still viewing the Kur as an enemy.  At the end of Beasts, he has come to understand that, like pretty much everything else, this is not as black and white as it first appears.

If you have not read Beasts of Gor, here is a quick plot outline.  Most of the book is concerned with Tarl’s journey to the far north of Gor where is encounters a large Kur supply complex.  Tarl has many adventures on the way North which takes up the majority of the book, but at the end, he finally reaches the Kur complex where he defeats the Kur forces and takes control of the complex.

Rather than surrender, the Kur commander sets off a “self destruct” device, that will blow up the complex keeping the supplies and more importantly the codes and information on the Kur from falling into the hands of the Priest Kings.  Out of respect for Tarl and concern for the humans who fought under Kur command in the battle,the Kur uses a device with a time delay allowing the humans time to escape the blast.

Two meetings take place between Tarl and the Kur.  A translator is used so they can communicate as the Kur language is a series of grunts that are totally alien to human hearing, and I suppose vice versa for human language.  But, the translator makes a conversation possible.  The first conversation begins on page 364 of the book and includes chapters 31 and 32.

Among other things, we learn a bit about the evolution of the Kur species and some details concerning their genders and reproduction as well as mating and other rituals.  We also learn that long ago, they destroyed their beautiful home world and now live in massive steel spaceships.

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People wishing to indulge in the “search for symbolism” game can have a field day with these two chapters.  I have always shown a bit of restraint, unusual for me, here as I see much of it as plot advancement and the fleshing out of the major antagonist in the story.  There is also a prime example of how the books were used as a mirror to look at Earth.  The Kur tells Tarl the following:

“I know little of humans, ” it said,  “but it is my understanding that most of them are liars and hypocrites.  I do not include you in this general charge.”

I nodded.

“They think of themselves as civilized animals, and yet they are only animals with a civilization. There is quite a difference.”

“Admittedly.” I said.

“Those of Earth, as I understand it, which is your home world, are the most despicable.  They are petty.  They mistake weakness for virtue.  They take their lack of appetite, their incapacity to feel, as a merit.  How small they are. The more they betray their own nature the more they congratulate themselves on their perfection.  And they put economic gain above all. Their greed and their fevered scratching repulses me.”

page 368  Beasts of Gor.

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This betrayal of our basic nature and patting ourselves on the back for it is a theme repeated over and over in the early books, usually coming from Tarl’s own reflections back on Earth, but now it comes from the Kur general.

From the very beginning of the conversation between Tarl and Zarandagar , it is easy to see the mutual respect.  The Kur has even gone to the trouble of getting Tarl’s favorite brand of paga , proudly pointing out the label that shows it to be bottled in AR by a brewer named Temus.

This all makes a great deal of sense in the overall symbolic understanding of the books.  Our own nature can not be made into our enemy.  It is something that must be controlled and even fought against at times, but it can never be an enemy.

After Beasts of Gor, and Tarl’s meeting with the Kur general, the stage is set for the balanced Gorean mindset.  it is a merger of the rational and the animal.  It is a call to counter the accusation of the Kur that we are, indeed, despicable and petty.

Zarandagar’s little critique of humans can be reversed to give us what might be called the Gorean perspective on what makes a “superior” person.  We should never be petty.  We should never mistake weakness for virtue.  We do not deny our appetites or celebrate an incapacity to feel.  We do not congratulate ourselves for betraying our true natures, but rather aggressively seek them out and celebrate them.  And we are not materialistic above all else, but rather see other qualities besides the size of bank accounts as the true measure of worth.

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I have always seen this merger of the rational and the animal as the true attraction of our online Second Life Gorean world.  And yet, I think we continue to bring too much of Earth culture to it even in our attempts to role play it and create stories about it.  The conditioning is sometimes way to strong to easily cast it off and we are, as Second Life Goreans, weak, petty, and despicable just as the Kur general describes us.

Despite this, and especially, in Second Life Gor, there has always been a core of dedicated people that have tried to move beyond the conditioning to create a world that is alive and vibrant.  It is a world full of passion and feeling and beauty.  A world where we seek out truths and savor life to the fullest.  That is our Gor.

But, I want to conclude this talk today with a warning.  Near the end of this first talk in Chapter 32, the Kur makes this comment.

“I am not fond of modern weapons,” it said. “An egg-carrier or even a nondominant could use them.  They put one at too great a distance from the kill.  They can be effective, and that is their justification, but they are, in my opinion, boring.  They tend to rob one of  the joy of the hot kill. That is the greatest condemnation of them.  They take the pleasure out of killing” It looked at me. What can compare, ” it asked,  “with the joy of real victory? of true victory? When one has risked one’s life openly and then after a hard-fought contest, has one’s enemy at one’s feet, lacerated and bleeding and dying, and can then tear him in victory and feast in his body, what can compare with the joy of that?” – page 377 Beasts of Gor

It is a reminder of what Tarl realized in Marauders of Gor. we can no more yield totally to the animal than we can totally yield to the unfeeling rational side.  We may share paga with the Kur and embrace much of what our instincts tell us is our true nature, but we must be aware of the dangers and the harm and hurt we are capable of inflicting when we have totally surrendered ourselves to the darker side of our natures.  There are two concepts that we must cling to as humans and Goreans and those are balance and more balance.

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