Monomyths

From: James Polk (jpolk@explorer.csc.com)
Date: Thu 18 May 1995 - 02:35:18 EEST



Paul Reilly wrote:

> One of the things I LIKE MOST about Glorantha is the conceit of a world
> where the mythology is "true". The current efforts to make Glorantha into
> an Earth-clone (different mythologies in different areas with no underlying
> "truth") sometimes annoy me... Yes I think different areas have different
> mythologies BUT I also like the idea that THE SUN has a form of consciousness
> and it's not just due to the stories people tell. Of course Truth can be
> complex and manifold - but I think it is there.

My understanding (which is admittedly not as great as I would like) about the search for a single, underlying Truth (for or about anything) in Western Society stems (primarily) from the teachings of Aristotle. And since Aritstotle came from our planet (at least I hope he did), doesn't the effort to have an underlying Truth in Glorantha also make it an Earth-clone? (grin)

So what is the problem with having multiple truths which exist simultaneously and which might contradict each other? Glorantha had them even before Yelmalio was "reformed". Orlanthi saw Yelm in one way; Yelmalians saw him in another. And both groups also disagreed about Orlanth! But I submit both views could be true at the same time because whole groups of people (players and characters) thought they were.

I guess my point is (finally, eh?) that a world based on the Truth/Not Truth model ("bivalent" thinking) is less likely to be as complex and rich a place in which to exist as a world based on multiply-existing truths ("multi-valent" thinking). Some of the long "discussions" Harald Smith and I have had about aspects of Imtherian dieties (notably Orlantio) have led to a much richer creation than would have existed had only one of us created the "real" Orlantio. (That's only because Harald doesn't understand him as well as I do, of course. grin) But even our "truths" about Orlantio are only what a certain group of people "know". That leaves room for other players and characters to keep their own firm opinions.  

Of course, my non-illuminated Gloranthan characters don't feel this way. They know what is Good and what is Not Good. So I get to play in a multi-valent world with a character who has a bi-valent mindset. What could be more fun?!!!

james polk



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