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.

 

What About Child Avatars; Where is the Brick?

The Gorean Compass is a class given every Thursday by Master Gorm Runo.  Classes are held at the Gorean Campus and are given at noon and 6pm SLT.  All are encouraged to come and join in the amazing discussions. This class was held on February 28, 2019.


Tal and greetings,

The old movie “The Ten Commandments” had a scene at the beginning that I have always enjoyed watching. Moses has been sent to supervise the construction of a new city and has been more sympathetic to the Hebrew slaves doing the work. The Pharaoh comes to investigate, and they set up a small scale. As each accusation is made against the kindness of Moses, a smirking Yul Bryner adds a small weight to the scale. It is a very rudimentary “pro and con” list, and the scale drops as the weights are added. When it is time for Moses to respond, he places a finished brick on the scale, which causes the other weights to go flying, and then he pulls open the curtain to reveal the new city taking shape.

I like this scene because it taught me, at an early age, to look for that brick. In many debates and discussions, there is a brick. It will be such an important consideration that it so outweighs all the other issues that it decisively tips the scale and sends all other lesser considerations flying.

In the past week, since my return from vacation, I have been engaged with a rather controversial issue involving child avatars in Gorean role play sims. As I have sought and listened to the opinions of trusted friends and fellow Goreans on this issue, I have been looking for that brick.

When we reviewed the history of role play in Gor, we saw that there had been a movement away from high adventure role play toward a more mundane re-creation of day to day life in a Gorean world. It was suggested that this was actually the exact kind of role play for which Second Life was ideally suited. Pure lifestyle Goreans, who claimed they did not “role play” at all were going to be happier in pure chat room venues, and role play Goreans who loved battles and constant competition and challenge would have been much happier in some X-box type gaming system.

But, the user created platform of Second Life was ideal for “lifestyle of Goreans” type role play, and there is no argument that the day to day life of a Gorean living on that distant planet would involve family and it would involve children.

However, the novels themselves, while very rich in detail to aid in the re-creation and role playing of daily life, were no help in the area of child rearing and early child education. It was as if John Norman had no interest in delving into this area and kept his focus on the more adult issues. It created a rather adult and lopsided view of his fictional world, and, perhaps, that was not an oversight, but intentional.

We have talked about a goal of our Gorean interaction. We suggest it gives us the opportunity to explore alternatives to the insanity of modern Earth society. This is the counter earth idea, that Gor does some things right, that Earth is doing wrong. Of course, in this seminar, I have always argued that we need to be aware that Gor does some things wrong that Earth still manages to get right, also.

However, to apply this method, we need to know what Gor actually does.

There is no question in my mind that the parenting and raising of children is a serious concern in Earth society, and might easily fall into the “Earth sucks” column. We constantly hear talk about how children have lost all concept of responsibility, respect, and discipline. Many people believe our educational system exists to indoctrinate rather than educate our children. All and all, many older people despair for the future when they view the antics of the young.

Although I am fairly certain that every older generation has always felt that way about the young, most likely all the way back to caveman days, I will admit the problem on Earth seems to be a serious one.

So, why not explore alternative parenting skills and methods of educate in our role play re-creation of Gorean daily life? It seems that there are some valid reasons and concerns for avoiding doing this type of role play. Here are a few of them, like little weights being added to the scale.

Since there is one thing we all agree on, and that is that real children should not be involved, we really have to get into “pretending we are something we are not.” We have spoken often of the idea of “pretending” when discussing other issues, such as the use of alts and gender bending in the role play. We would suggest that when a man creates a female avatar to try to experience what it might be like to be a female slave, for example, all he experiences is what it might be like to be a man pretending to be a female. He learns very little of how a female actually feels or might respond.

So, pretending to be a child gives us no real insight into how an actual child might feel or respond.

The issue of child abuse is a serious and emotionally charged issue. It is a major problem in Earth society. There are some that argue that it has always existed and has always been as bad as today, but we talk about it more now. I don’t think that is true at all. Sure, it has always existed, but I think it is a worse problem now, and for many of the same reasons that have led some of us to seek out Gorean role play in the first place.

Sexual abuse of the young is rarely about sex. It is more about power and control. Men, who feel powerless and out of control with females their own age, are often the ones driven to seek younger and younger companions just to restore a normal sense of control.

Since the Master/slave dynamic, or even the Male dominance dynamic is often addressing similar kinds of issues in a major Counter Earth manner, it does seem to be a good idea to avoid any perception of actual wrong doing, or even the perception of lending philosophical support to it.

I can relate a personal experience to this idea of perception. My brother, in rl, had no idea of this “Gor thing.” He was aware, however, of a visit by a German girl, who was my “slave girl” to Las Vegas, and as it was her vacation, she brought her fourteen year old daughter with her.

Although the presence of the young girl definitely impacted the visit, everyone involved was a responsible adult, and the girl was exposed to nothing that would be considered even remotely inappropriate. A year or so after this visit, my brother got his first look at SL Gor, and saw a typical tavern scene. His reaction was immediate and severe. He made a connection between the young girl’s visit and what he saw portrayed in pixelated form on his computer and became quite upset and convinced that we were all going to end up in jail.

I can only imagine his reaction if he had seen child avatars playing outside the tavern.

We want to think our world here represents a higher standard. We want to believe that Gorean’s would be so honorable and so moral that they would be staunch protectors of children and not their abusers. We want very badly to see ourselves as the strong and confident ones that would never be drawn into that kind of personal weakness and shame.

It took me a long time to convince my own brother of our higher standards, and our sense of age appropriateness, however, and so I despair at the idea of trying to convince strangers of our motives when the door seems open to activities that, to use the words of several people at last night’s discussion in Ar on this very topic, seem very creepy and make them uncomfortable even when they acknowledge that no actual wrong doing is taking place.

We have issues, adult issues, galore to explore in our role play here. The complex dynamics of male/female interaction is one example. We need to learn how to do a better job in understanding how Men need to react and communicate with each other. We need to deal with the issues of jealousy and envy in our personal relationships. We need to work on personal responsibility and a myriad of other things that are going wrong on Earth and can be improved by taking a Counter Earth approach.

Many of the things common in our SL Gorean world, such as female slavery, or even the violence of the Gorean world, create public relations nightmares for us with most mainstream non-Goreans. We are certainly not the poster children of a “woke” society, and that negative perception is a major problem for many of us who are already forced to hide our Gorean leanings from our families and make sure it is not known in our work place environments.

Why would we take on an issue that we can not really explore without making a great leap into pretending? Why would we, when we have so many other perception problems with the outside community, deliberately introduce something that can easily give a distorted and even more serious perception of wrong doing?

Where is that “brick” that would make this all a slam dunk issue? I do not think it exists, and so the scale simply moves back and forth as the various arguments are presented and people view this issue from their own positions and based on their own personal prejudice.

And we need a brick to justify this type of role play. There are too many weights piled up on the other side of the scale. It is already too tilted to the side of caution, and the feelings are running too hot and intense. If there is one single all consuming argument to justify it, like Moses’ finished brick, to tilt the balance, I am unable to find it.

Without that absolute argument, I have to conclude that this is an area best avoided. Of course, we are Goreans, and as such mostly concerned with making rules for ourselves and for those that look to us for leadership, and not for everyone. So, I will take a stand that child avatars should not be allowed on my Gorean sim, nor will I , in anyway support, child based roleplay. I hope that by doing my weekly radio show this week on the topic, and making it the discussion topic at Ar last night, and doing this class on it, sets an example. It should show that Goreans are not close minded, and unlike the people down there on Earth, are willing to tackle the serious issues head on, and can respect and entertain disagreement without anger or without running away and hiding.

That is something that should make us all proud of ourselves.

Boldly With My Deed, Without Regret

The Gorean Compass is a class given every Thursday by Master Gorm Runo.  Classes are held at the Gorean Campus and are given at noon and 6pm SLT.  All are encouraged to come and join in the amazing discussions. This class was held on January 10, 2019


Tal and greetings,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BrettFavreAd

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

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

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

Priest Kings of Gor, page 297.

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

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

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

Page 300-301 Priest Kings of Gor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Identity

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

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

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

Baggage

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

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

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

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

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

Challenge

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

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

Wow. That is a pretty high standard.

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

Yet, what a standard.

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

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

Perseverance

But, my friends, this is me.

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

I wish you all well on that personal journey.