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On 8/9/2020 at 12:34 PM, Darius West said:
On 8/6/2020 at 10:40 AM, Nick Underwood said:

Isn't God Learnerism kind of a joke on munchkins gaming the rules?

Yes is definitely is a joke of that sort... But do you seriously think that Illumination isn't also Munchkins gaming the rules?

Not at all. Illumination can be gamed by munchkins, but that doesn't make it the authors' intention. I suspect (without the slightest evidence) that Illumination was intended by the authors to offer more opportunity for role-playing. It can be monotonous playing your third living embodiment of Orlanth... 

On 8/9/2020 at 12:34 PM, Darius West said:

Consider... You transcend cultural determinism, rejecting the implicit cultural limits you have been taught to accept, and are now spiritually immune to the repercussions of breaking them.  This leads to moral relativism, supported by casuistry, that forsakes all limits in the pursuit of power. 

That's bleak. We have to choose between adopting the inculcated values of our culture and becoming megalomaniac narcissists? I reject both those options and so might my characters. I suspect you do too.

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I would have abandoned the Tarot scheme.  The major framing device for the organization of the Arkati cults (Arkat the Destroyer etc) I would have attributed to Halwal (in order words, the cults of Ar

When making sweeping statements like this, please tag as an opinion rather than as a statement of fact. For example: HQ is a sloppy system. vs HQ feels like a sloppy system to me

I apologize for the length of this reply in advance.    It's hard to take this post seriously at all. "Chaos is definitely objectively the death of the world, or else Gloranthans would rev

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To hit at this topic from another angle - 

We've mainly considered this from the angle of Theism.

But what about the Sorcerous and Spiritual cultures?

What's the difference between being a man-of-all and being illuminated?  Could someone actually tell the difference?  (Is there a difference?)

What does it mean to a Shaman if he is illuminated?  

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Other than the occasional person who got hit with a traumatic experience that created spontaneous illumination, I'm not sure if illumination "schools" really took off in the West from a purely Malkioni POV, or if they were always of Nysaloran or Arkati origin.

 

Being a man-of-all could be a path to illumination, because such a person would necessarily have known the world from the POV of all castes.  Perhaps instead of assimilating all the caste knowledges into a single experience, the hypothetical Man Of All would accept irreconcilable differences between the various caste "truths."  ...The problem with this idea is that we have no evidence Hrestol was illuminated to my knowledge.  (This MIGHT be a description of the Cult of Silence)

 

That being said, I think it is in principle possible to get to something like illumination from Malkioni religion.  There's a line somewhere about how Nysalor taught Malkioni that there was truth beyond thought, or something like that.  If that's the case, then we're basically dealing with a version of  apophatic theology ("What can we not say about the Ultimate / Ferbrith?"), as illuminated Malkioni accept that intellect is only 1 of three elements of reality, and then there's the even more unsettling question of knowing the Invisible God at rest before the 1st Action.  Malkioni illumination, if it ever existed, was about using reason to identify the edge of rational thought.

 

I'm not qualified to say anything about animism.

 

 

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2 hours ago, John Biles said:

But what about the Sorcerous and Spiritual cultures?

What's the difference between being a man-of-all and being illuminated?  Could someone actually tell the difference?  (Is there a difference?)

What does it mean to a Shaman if he is illuminated?  

I've speculated that the illuminated Arkati can use their illumination to avoid spirit magic cramping their Free INT.

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9 hours ago, John Biles said:

What's the difference between being a man-of-all and being illuminated?  Could someone actually tell the difference?  (Is there a difference?)

A man of all is not illuminated but one who has experienced Joy or the wizardly state of Henosis (unity with the one mind, a key part of learning sorcery, RQG p384). There are some spells that can only be cast while in such a state (mainly of the Hrestoli school).  One could presumably substitue one's illumination for Joy etc.  But these spells would be largely limited in scope and dedicated to enhancing Joy rather than being of any practical significance.

A more pressing issue for the Man or All is that they have been practically God Learnered (ie undergone HeroQuests while blessed with sorcerous spells and picked up awesome magics as a result (like acquiring rune magics).  In order to ensure that they do not fall into the Great Error and lose contact with the Invisible God, the Man of All must follow certain rules and strictures.  For example, if a Man of All has humakti magic, he might choose not to fight with a sword (an example pulled out of the top of my head) so as to maintain a distance between himself and the God of Death.  If the Man-of-all was Illuminated, such rules and strictures can be ignored.

That just leaves the Rokari which probably suits them.

 

9 hours ago, John Biles said:

What does it mean to a Shaman if he is illuminated?  

Shamans can ignore their taboos.

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I believe that one of the insights of Illumination is that there are no incompatibilities between the 3 major approaches to magic. Illuminants may learn any type of magic and can ignore any restrictions, taboos and rules. And this includes combining the casting and results. Their only limitations are their imaginations and their access to means to learn the alternative approaches to magic.

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Of course the down side is they only have one lifetime to do all this in, then they're gone. The personal self is an illusion so no afterlife, no resurrection, no spiritual progression through incarnations. This here, now, is all you will ever have.

Unless you can hero quest yourself into immortality. Better get on that then.

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9 hours ago, simonh said:

Of course the down side is they only have one lifetime to do all this in, then they're gone. The personal self is an illusion so no afterlife, no resurrection, no spiritual progression through incarnations. This here, now, is all you will ever have.

Unless you can hero quest yourself into immortality. Better get on that then.

The Kralori Dragon Emperors are Illuminated, aren't they? They allegedly go to the Summerland Heaven - though whether this is literal or allegorical I don't know. 
The EWF also had some strange draconic otherworlds, and utuma can result in reincarnation, can't it? Even for Illuminated beings (such as the Red Emperor)? 

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Does anyone ever come back from the summer land heaven? I think not but I don’t know much about it particularly, it sounds like a metaphor for transcending to join the cosmic consciousness.

Basically post illumination there are three possible outcomes. One is you transcend personal consciousness and join with the great self. Cool.

Alternatively you take the Sheng Seleris option and use your illumination to fast track to immortality, permanence in the universe and material power, all those cool abilities you get such as ignoring taboos and cult restrictions are really helpful for this.
Mostly though your average illuminate simply wipes out. They don’t achieve either and then they’re done.

Of course the annihilation of the personal self is what Chaos is. That’s it right there. So the thing with truly attaining ultimate transcendence, actually joining with the Great Self, and leaving behind the material cosmos means reconciling with the annihilation if the personal self. Giving up identity. But it’s more even than that, it’s giving up the material world  to chaos too. It’s leaving everything you ever knew and loved and letting it become nothing. So there is no ultimate transcendence without accepting the true and essential nature of Chaos. Without it there is no transcendence.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The Kralori Dragon Emperors are Illuminated, aren't they? They allegedly go to the Summerland Heaven - though whether this is literal or allegorical I don't know. 
The EWF also had some strange draconic otherworlds, and utuma can result in reincarnation, can't it? Even for Illuminated beings (such as the Red Emperor)? 

According to the Guide, the Summerland Heaven is where souls rest between lives before reincarnation and it's where the Kralorelan Emperors go since the reign of Thalarni; Daruda, the first Dragon Emperor, turned back from entering the Summerland Heaven to bless the people for a time.  

This is pretty clearly intended as a parallel to Pure Land Buddhism.

 

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On 8/13/2020 at 12:07 PM, simonh said:

Of course the down side is they only have one lifetime to do all this in, then they're gone. The personal self is an illusion so no afterlife, no resurrection, no spiritual progression through incarnations. This here, now, is all you will ever have.

I don't believe this, personally. If anything, being Illuminated would mean your god can't slap you into a hell for misbehaving.

Arkat clearly apotheosized, and was earlier resurrected through the LBQ, plus also getting reborn in the HeroWars. 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I don't believe this, personally. If anything, being Illuminated would mean your god can't slap you into a hell for misbehaving.

Arkat clearly apotheosized, and was earlier resurrected through the LBQ, plus also getting reborn in the HeroWars. 

Joining with the All and going away is probably peak illumination, requiring several stages to reach.

 

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I don't believe this, personally. If anything, being Illuminated would mean your god can't slap you into a hell for misbehaving.

Arkat clearly apotheosized, and was earlier resurrected through the LBQ, plus also getting reborn in the HeroWars. 

I did point out the loophole. He achieved immortality, as did Sheng Seleris.

The dissolution of the personal self has nothing to do with gods or hell. It’s simply what illumination means. Its why illumination powers work. The consequences of breaking taboos are a backlash from the macrocosm (as manifested in the gods) on the microcosm (the mortal, personal being) for violating the bonds, relationships and pacts between microcosm and macrocosm. Establishing and empowering those connections is what makes magic work. But if there is no personal self, there’s nothing to backlash against for violating those taboos. There’s nothing there to detect as chaotic, etc.

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19 minutes ago, simonh said:

The dissolution of the personal self has nothing to do with gods or hell. It’s simply what illumination means. Its why illumination powers work. The consequences of breaking taboos are a backlash from the macrocosm (as manifested in the gods) on the microcosm (the mortal, personal being) for violating the bonds, relationships and pacts between microcosm and macrocosm. Establishing and empowering those connections is what makes magic work. But if there is no personal self, there’s nothing to backlash against for violating those taboos. There’s nothing there to detect as chaotic, etc.

Hmm... if there's no personal self, how come so many Illuminates are such total narcissistic egomaniacs? 🙂

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25 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Hmm... if there's no personal self, how come so many Illuminates are such total narcissistic egomaniacs? 🙂

Because if their self has been subsumed into the cosmic self then they are "obviously" acting on behalf of the All, and therefore all *their* motivations are the motivations of the cosmos.

Hence my mention of solipsism earlier. 

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7 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Because they are obviously acting on behalf of the All, and therefore all *their* motivations are the motivations of the cosmos.

Hence my mention of solipsism earlier.

Right, I think that’s occlusion in Lunar terms. Identifying the personal self with the All. Kind of the inverse of transcendence.

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19 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Because if their self has been subsumed into the cosmic self then they are "obviously" acting on behalf of the All

We can conclude that the cosmos is schizophrenic, considering how all of these Illuminates disagree with each other.

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4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

We can conclude that the cosmos is schizophrenic, considering how all of these Illuminates disagree with each other.

There's a well of deep thought to expand upon here. Many blind men describing an elephant by touching different parts. People trying to remember and agree on a dream they all had, but can't quite remember. The left hand not knowing what the right one does. Different wavelengths coexisting, but not easily accessible together to mortals, etc. etc. 

Or maybe the All is a bit like the Dark Side cave on Dagobah:

"What’s In There? Only What You Take With You." 

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I think what we have to think here is an onion theory of enlightenment.

The outmost layer of the onion is what society has covered you with.  What is normally called Illumination gets rid of this layer of the onion and frees you from some things, but you still have layers of onion.

A true mystic gradually peels away the layers of onion and avoids layering more onion on himself.,  But a lot of people don't realize there is more onion to remove and even impose new onion layers on themselves, like deciding it's time for Genertla to turn into a dragon.  Or the kind of entanglements Draconic mystics have to remove to grow.

Those who actually pursue the mystical path instead of just using their new freedom to rampage gradually strip away more layers of illusion of self and grow closer to dissolving back into the cosmic all.  When the last layer of onion comes off, they cease to exist / fuse with the cosmic all.

Most illuminates, in Glorantha, though, fail to fully pursue the path and at some point, go out and tangle themselves up in reality again.

IE - any illuminate who doesn't pursue more illumination over pursuing other goals will, to some greater or lesser extent, stall out spiritually and possibly corrupt themselves into something worse (occlusion)

So anyone who is illuminated and runs around stabbing people, etc, has basically stalled out at least for now.  

 

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