More thougths on Illumination

From: Curtis Shenton (
Date: Wed 17 May 1995 - 06:54:59 EEST

I like the idea of an Eastern god of Illumination who doesn't do anything. Seems like their typical reaction to anything really. Coopt it and stick it someplace where it can't DO anything. No doubt followers of the god sit around thinking about how free they are to do anything and end up not doing anything at all. I vaguelly recall that there is a Zen term for this state in fact but damned if I can remember the name, or even the exact context I heard it in.

Someone else mentioned Solar concept of illumination which is an area I'm sketchy on. I haven't read GRoY or whatever it's called but I do recall someone explaining the Dara Happen view of Yelm's death as him going to hell to meet his shadow and that Yelm(or whatever they call him) is the first illuminate. Was this an off the wall concept or is this the solar view of things?

And I can't find much of any information on illumination amongst the other races. The elves apparently adopted Nysalor but this way back when Yelmalio was more than just the Sun Dome god out in Prax so I'm not sure just what if any light gods the Aldramyi are supposed to worship. And is their any indication of illuminated elves outside of the Gbaji types in Dorastor? I like the suggestion someone once made that Arkat may have bumped into Chark the liberator(that is the name of the Mostali who started the individualism heresy) perhaps Chark was illuminated. Though I think illumination would mean something very different for Mostali. More like switching to fuzzy logic instead of binary. And what about Trolls? They worship Arkat as the troll who stole sorcery but it's unclear if there is anything more to Arkat worship amongst the trolls. For that matter has there EVER been an illuminated Uz in Glorantha?

On another note I've been thinking about the idea of illumination and meeting your shadow. I like the idea that the solar take on things is that Yelm went to hell to meet his shadow and was thus enlightened. I see the conflict in the first age much the same way. Perhaps because the trolls pulled out of the Broken Council Nysalor had no understanding of darkness. Hence he could never have predicted what would happen to his teachings when his followers went beyond his influences and went to the dark side. The fact that Arkat has assumed the form of Darkness before he faced Nysalor is quite interesting. Whoever walked out of the fight was more illuminated than when they went in I think. Suppose Nysalor actually won and the pieces of Nysalor "Akrat" locked away were Arkat's companions. It would be safe to say that the conflict had finally shown Nysalor the dark side of illumination.

And what's with all the multiple personalities these illuminated types have? Arkat has a bunch of almost clones, Nysalor has pieces that have to be seperated, Razalkark has his groupies. I had a theory that originally there wans't an Arkat, or if there was he was only one of several heroes. Each of these heroes had been a mighty hereoquester in his own cult but while they had done well against Nysalor in the end the Bright Empire was winning and about to crush them. Arkat, or someone, came up with the rbight idea that if there had been ONE hero who had done all of the heroquesting would have been able to defeat Nysalor and Heroquested to make it so. I don't really like this theory though and am sure I'm missing what this multiple body bit is all about.

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