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 3, 2019
Tal and greetings,
I am excited to be back at the Campus to begin another year of seminars trying to make sense of our Second Life Gorean experience.
During the holiday, as I was preparing for the new year’s classes, I found myself returning to the slim volume 1, Tarnsman of Gor. I read again those first fifty or so pages that tell the story of Tarl Cabot coming for the first time to the planet Gor. He gets to meet his father, and hear a bit about Counter Earth, and the Priest Kings. He drinks his first glass of Ka la Na, and he sees his first female slave girl. I picked out three short passages that I thought might be of interest.
At the end of Chapter 2, on page 36, Tarl is telling us that he plans to record and share his experiences with us, and he states that he thinks the Priest Kings are allowing him to do this and he speculates on their reasons.
“It appears great efforts have been made to control the actual orbit and speed of rotation of Gor to keep it directly opposite of Earth on the other side of the sun where it can not be detected.”
Why then would Tarl be “allowed” to record his adventures and eventually get them back to Earth where they could be published and the secret exposed? After thinking of some possible reasons, such as vanity, he finishes with the following thoughts on the subject.
“After all, suppose you should accept this tale, should learn of the Counter Earth and the voyages of Acquisition, what could you do?
You could do nothing, you with your rudimentary technology of which you are so proud—-you could do nothing for a thousand years, and by that time, if the Priest-Kings choose, this planet will have found a new sun, and new peoples to populate its verdant surface.”
-Tarnsman of Gor page 36.
Indeed, in the year 1966, when those words were written, what could we do?
I have suggested that John Norman had seemed almost like a prophet predicting the increasing social problems that have inflicted Earth in the 55 years since that was written, but he clearly did not predict the one major technological advance, of which we are so proud, that changed everything. I do not think he knew that this amazing thing called the internet was looming in the near future, and it was going to be a game changer.
I remember when I read the first dozen books. I remember the reaction to them and how deeply they resonated with something inside me. Yet, what could I do?
I did not know a single person who had read them, with the exception of my nephew who gave them to me as he departe
d for the Navy. I knew that there had to be other like minded people out there, but I had no way to contact them, and certainly no way to interact with them.
Tarl suggested we could “do nothing for a thousand years.” He was quite a bit off. The internet was going to usher in the new age of massive connectivity and we were going to be able to do something about it in way less than a thousand years. I think this is an important thing to keep in mind as we interact with each other here in Second Life Gor. We weren’t suppose to be able to do this yet.
You almost wonder what might have happened if the books had been written with the knowledge that the internet would give us the ability to recreate Gor and, to some degree, actually live in it through the use of avatars.
A word that we in Second Life Gor hear often is “drama.” Drama has always been a part of our experience here. It is such a major part that most of us have recognized that the people who write in their profiles that they detest it and refuse to have anything to do with it because they are tired of it all the time, are actually, usually, the ones that cause the most of it.
When Tarl meets his father for the first time, they share this emotional moment.
“We met in the center of the room and embraced. I wept, and he did, too, without shame. I learned later that on this alien world a strong man may feel and express emotions, and that the hypocrisy of constraint is not honored on this planet as it is on mine.”
-Tarnsman of Gor, page 25
I love that expression. The hypocrisy of constraint.
Now, of course, since at least none of the people behind the keyboards here are native born Goreans, like Tarl, we all come from a planet that honors constraint and is not as open and free with emotion. Yet, there is some strange magic in Gor that seems to intensify emotion
Maybe it is just the idea of the Natural Order, or the redefining of Manhood, or the emotional power inherent in Dominant/submissive relationships, but whatever does it, emotions get intense here.
We might come to SL Gor for diversion and relaxation after hard RL days where those things are difficult to find, and we have mentioned how, here, we are all handsome and beautiful, and healthy, and can leap about like Tarl does when he first recognizes the lesser gravitational field on Gor. Yet, somehow, the very nature of this experience seems to draw many of us into a way deeper emotional involvement than we anticipated. All of the emotions get involved, too. We feel deeper attractions, stronger passions, more intense jealousy, and even more heated anger.
I think we feel these things because the inner design of the experience of Gor encourages us to do just what Tarl is saying in the quote. We are in a place where we may “feel and express emotion.”
But, we have a hard time giving ourselves totally over to this lack of constraint. We carry our Earth baggage with us, and that is what causes the thing we call “drama.” It is our inability to accept emotion with honesty and not shy from it, or fear it. Naturally, things are going to me more intense. Naturally, emotion is going to be raw and close to the surface.
Is it possible the people of Earth have become too sensitive, too victimized, too ashamed of their natural feelings and desires to be able to deal rationally with them anymore? Is this why our world is one of PC culture, and people getting offended over the most minor expression of emotion. When I play, “Get over it” by the Eagles, on my radio show, it always gets a strong reaction from Goreans. It is like their anthem.
It should be our standard here, to try to be more Counter Earth, to fight against the tendency to be ashamed of our own strong feelings, or offended by the strong feelings of others. We should show our passion, be honest about our feelings, unashamed of our beliefs and if that is seen as drama, so be it.
The final quote comes when Tarl’s father is speaking to him of the voyages of Acquisition.
“‘Yes,’ said my father. ‘And long ago, I made the same strange journey. As have others.’
‘But for what end, to what purpose,’ I demanded.
‘Each perhaps for a different end, for each perhaps, a different purpose, ‘he said.”
-Page 32 Tarnsman of Gor
For many years now in Second Life, I have heard people suggest the same idea.
I am a big fan of the Television show, Game of Thrones, and am looking forward to the coming season with great anticipation. And I know that there have been GOT sims, and GOT roleplay, and it was pretty cool for awhile, but I do not see it as anything but a passing fad. No other fantasy world has ever enjoyed the run that “Gor” has had, and we never had a popular show on Netflix to support us or gain recruits for our community. All we got were a couple of lousy movies and books that are still not available in the big book store shelves.
It is true that there have been almost as many ends and purposes, expectations and goals, as there have been people, but there seems to me that there has to be something to all this that has brought all of these ends and purposes to a more common expression.
I have suggested that Earth society is troubled, and those troubles were talked about and explored in the Gorean novels, long before they became as serious as they are today. Counter Earth continues to be a reaction to that.
Sure, Role play is fun. Yes, the overt sexuality of the kajira is a definite lure. I even recognize that the close relationship between the large and wide spread BDSM lifestyle and many elements of Gor helped it become popular in the early days of the internet.
Yet, still there seems to be something more.
Some deep truth about us, and about our world, that has drawn us to create this alternative world and invest so much of our time and our energy, and our emotion to it.
I love Gor, and like any true lover, I want to know the object of my love intimately. Even after more than two decades online involved in it, even after how deeply and personally, it has touched and shaped my offline life, I still do not know it or understand it as completely as I crave to do.
So, I am excited about this coming year, and grateful that the Campus allows this seminar and supports it as they do. I still do not have a lot of answers, but damn, if I don’t have a lot of good questions
This coming year, and in this seminar, I hope to get a chance to ask them.