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The God Learner Secret

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I don't think the Arkati necessarily surrendered, but just may have hidden deeper.  As it was the God Learners did several really bad things and the world clearly struck back and wiped out knowledge of the RuneQuest Sight.

Maybe the God Learners actively hunted down all the Arkati guardians, and the survivors had to resort to guerrilla warfare or hide away as hermits in Tatoo... I mean, in Pavis.

If there are more intersections than Arkati guardians, then the ones they do guard must be key. 

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On 5/12/2020 at 12:02 AM, David Scott said:

I just came across an update to this:

Charles on “why the diagram is wrong”

by Greg and Charles, has even more info...

Because of my history of working in this area, Jeff asked me to get involved while he was writing the Guide. The pic on page 161 of the GtG Volume 1 is the result of our discussions.

What the pic means to me to me is that the different mythical perspectives see the same world in different ways. Each of these views is useful and can be used to affect the world and each are complete enough to set the practitioner on the road to Transcendence.

In the centre of the pic is the vista of Kero Fin, looking west from across the CreekStreamRiver valley. Across the top are the three magical perspectives of the same landscape, as would be seen by extremely proficient sorcerers, theists or animists using their respective magical visions. What this means to a Gloranthan is that the HeroPlane and GodPlace are here and now if you have the magic to access them. The Gloranthan's magical approach does constrain what they can see and what they can do. Basically, you can get to the HeroPlane if you are magical and can get to the GodPlace with more magic (or Essence or Spirit, depending on your approach).

The borders between the mundane world and the HeroPlane are fuzzy and deliberately so. For example, I believe that if a Gloranthan travels far enough from home, then eventually they start to operate as if permanently on the Hero Plane. This is what happened, as an example, to Harrek, Argrath and their companions as they circumnavigated the Homeward Ocean. And this becomes even more extreme as one travels further from the centre. Eventually, a sailor can choose whether to sail up into the Sky or down into the Underworld.

Some effects of the magic of the HeroPlane, GodPlace etc, mean that some places are more aligned to a perspective than others and are easier to get to for the respective magical approach. This means that they tend to see their magical worlds as separate, but to a God Learner or strong Illuminate, or demiGod, they are One.

And underpinning them all is the Underworld, which not even the greatest can fully understand.

Edited by Charles
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BTW, all of the above only matters to a few of us Gloranthaphiles. For all but a few Gloranthans, they see the magical worlds exactly as their priests or sorcerers or shamans teach, and those rules work for them, and well enough that they need no more.

And for players in a game, each of the games systems set in Glorantha have rules that guide how it all works. And that works too.

Edited by Charles
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On 5/11/2020 at 6:02 PM, David Scott said:

I just came across an update to this:

Charles on “why the diagram is wrong”

by Greg and Charles, has even more info...

The biggest mistake I can see is that in relation to "the" magical worlds (spirit world, theistic, etc) (itself a doubtful artefact of the Hero Wars game era), the Underworld is either a part of the Material realm ; or it is something that has been called the "sub-underworld" which is in relationship with Creation and Chaos and the Gods War, and is a genuinely terrifying place even for Darkness creatures and other inhabitants of the "normal" Underworld. (it is made of shattered and broken pieces of the rest of Glorantha, and it is the cosmic rubble left over from the destructions of Chaos and the Gods War and the Greater Darkness)

But this depiction of the Material realm as being separate from the Underworld is generally incorrect -- even though most gateways to the Hero Planes do seem to lead through manifestations of the Underworld. Though I don't know if Greg ever made any maps of the "Inner Underworld", i.e. the material Underworld as it exists in material Glorantha.

The second biggest mistake is that Chaos is not even represented.

There is also direct contact between the Inner World, the Underworld, and Creation (and, shush, Chaos) and the transcendental, instead of only via the Other Side.

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On 5/12/2020 at 10:54 PM, EricW said:

If Arkat knew how to do Godlearner stuff, why was the Dark Empire so vulnerable to God Learner manipulation? Did Arkat keep this secret to himself? Did God Learners discover a few new tricks? Or did the Arkati deliberately surrender to limit the damage, because if they had continued to resist the God Learners would have done something really bad?

In short, yes.  Arkat mainly kept the info to himself.  The God Learners later found Arkat's notes in an otherwise innocuous text with a misleading cover they had imported accidentally from a Stygian Empire deceased estate library sale (if memory serves me correctly).

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17 hours ago, Darius West said:

In short, yes.  Arkat mainly kept the info to himself.  The God Learners later found Arkat's notes in an otherwise innocuous text with a misleading cover they had imported accidentally from a Stygian Empire deceased estate library sale (if memory serves me correctly).

Ha. I was expecting you to go for option 3 🙂

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13 hours ago, EricW said:

Ha. I was expecting you to go for option 3 🙂

I don't think option 3 is correct given how the canon lines up.

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3 hours ago, HeirophantX said:

Does anyone play Glorantha as an advanced simulation? The “gods” being program routines and runes being command prompts?

I mean, Mysticism isn't necessarily too far away from that. Not literally, but virtualism, etc.

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45 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I mean, Mysticism isn't necessarily too far away from that. Not literally, but virtualism, etc.

It's frankly the diametric opposite of Mysticism as such.

It is an entirely materialistic approach to Magic, appropriate to Western and Mostali Sorcery certainly, including some types of God Learners and Outer Atomic Explorers etc, and there can be no manner of Mysticism as such that is purely materialist in form nor ideology.

Mysticism seeks the transcendental, which is not defined by matter nor by logic.

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12 minutes ago, Julian Lord said:

It's frankly the diametric opposite of Mysticism as such.

It is an entirely materialistic approach to Magic, appropriate to Western and Mostali Sorcery certainly, including some types of God Learners and Outer Atomic Explorers etc, and there can be no manner of Mysticism as such that is purely materialist in form nor ideology.

Mysticism seeks the transcendental, which is not defined by matter nor by logic.

Well, it depends on which aspect you focus on: if you focus on the fact that it's a logic-determined script that controls everything, then yes, it's clearly more sorcerous and Western. 

But if you focus on that it's showing that material reality is actually only virtual then it can lead to a mystic line of thought. There's a reason why the Matrix draws on Buddhism and Taoism so much.

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The Matrix is flawed philosophically from the Sci-Fi VR conceit of its narrative premise. But such solipsistic notions lead to a rather short dead-end street.

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That's fine and all, but there are still interesting ideas with regards to virtuality, such as the Buddhist anatta, which I've mentioned before in a Mystic-themed thread (basically it's the refutation of an essential or core self. Rather, it holds that the self is just as ephemeral as everything else, just a constellation of thoughts and impulses just as loosely tied together and fleeting as anything else. The soul and mind are delusions.), or Zhang Zu's butterfly conundrum (ie. the inability to differentiate real from sufficiently accurate virtuality - in his case a dream).

A mystic might say that the sufficiently convincing nature of the "virtual" Glorantha as an ephemeral bubble in the Void (structured by Runic categories) is one of the main obstacles to achieving Illumination, for example. A mystic teacher's job might be helping their students experience the "cracks" of the cosmos, ie. the inconsistencies, faults, etc., so as to bring them further to Illumination, and to give up the intense obsession with the limited self as the core and centre of everything (in essence, the opposite of solipsism, perhaps having to do with Unbeing or Unbecoming or whatever it's called in Revealed Mythologies, I forget) One can spin further on this, of course. 

Or, as you say, you can go into the different direction and emphasise the rigid rules and mechanistic nature of it all for a more Mostali perspective (though I suspect that if you go far enough in either direction, one will find that the difference is a bit of a false dichotomy, but that might just be me).

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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24 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

"virtual"

Now that you mention it the metafictional properties of Impossible Landscapes probably helped drive the materialists mad in a direction often associated with the "mystic."

“What we see or what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream" - from Samin's Song (apocryphal)

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21 hours ago, HeirophantX said:

Does anyone play Glorantha as an advanced simulation? The “gods” being program routines and runes being command prompts?

I did run a scenario where Glorantha was  revealed to be a 'map' on a RingWorld ocean where the gods were AIs.  Uzuz as Protectors. 

Bad move.  Almost wrecked the wider campaign. 

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15 hours ago, scott-martin said:

“What we see or what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream" - from Samin's Song (apocryphal)


Zhuangzi: "Once upon a time, I dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi. Soon I awakened, and there I was, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things..."

It'd be hard to get less God Learnerish than that, in my opinion. Those crude materialists really couldn't handle metaphors, dreams, multiple overlapping identities...

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15 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I did run a scenario where Glorantha was  revealed to be a 'map' on a RingWorld ocean where the gods were AIs.  Uzuz as Protectors. 

Bad move.  Almost wrecked the wider campaign. 

Elrik, Michael Moorcock's inhuman monster with a conscience, was once transported to the end of time. He met a group of people whom Elrik claimed were his chaos gods, but the people he met didn't know what he was talking about (except maybe one of them). They thought they were human, but possessed technology so advanced they could pretty much do anything, manipulate the fabric of the cosmos in ways which were indistinguishable from magic.

There was another story I once read in which people marooned at sea managed to imagine their own reality, and make it so real they finally escaped the mundane world. One of them somehow became part of their new cosmos, because their new reality was so weak there was a continuous threat they would suddenly find themselves back on the boat, so he kind of faded way, went full time repairing breaches and inconsistencies, to firm up their salvation.

On our world we have computer games so immersive, people give up on their real lives to participate full time in virtual reality, at least until their health fails.

There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy [science] - Hamlet

Edited by EricW
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On 5/13/2020 at 2:58 AM, Charles said:

The borders between the mundane world and the HeroPlane are fuzzy and deliberately so.

Really, each of the borders between each of the 'planes' are fuzzy. And are fuzzy in several different ways. Below, barrier means magical border between planes, often but not always between the Mundane and the HeroPlane.

  • On one day, it may be harder to cross a barrier and on another easier. Holy days are known to influence this, as are the phases of the moon and wanes for Moon worshippers.
  • In some places or regions, a barrier is stronger or weaker and in some very magical places, a barrier does not exist or completely changes form, e.g. Hellcrack to the Underworld.
  • Certain areas have a lesser barrier to the GodPlane for aligned worshippers, e.g. the region around KeroFin for Orlanth worshippers; Temples of the Reaching Moon.
  • Some magical tools change the strength or nature of a barrier, e.g. the Eye of the Halfbird.
  • Being in the presence of a Demi-God erases the barrier between the mundane and the HeroPlane, e.g. Moonson, Belintar, Harrek, Ralzakark and many more.
  • There's likely several other influences that I can't recall or half recall as a write this: community support; the needs of a story; and more.
Edited by Charles
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