[Glorantha]Hope, faith, and fellowship

From: Julian Lord <jlord_at_free.fr>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 01:58:46 +0100

Andrew & Peter :

> >> >To restate a question of mine from another post in this thread, did all
> >> >(even Orlanthi or Yelmic all) of the Tlaxcallans, Christian Spaniards,
> >> >Lutherans, etc. cross over to the Other Side several times during the year
> >> >and reenact the myths of their religions?
> >>Short Answer: Yes.
> >Please do tell.

IMO, the short answer is the right one, even though a longer answer would *look* more like a "no, but" than a "yes, but".

In the RW spiritual gifts and/or magic often manifest in this world, rather than we manifesting ourselves on the Other Side, and returning.

OTOH I know precious little about shamanism ...

> I'm afire with the desire to discover the real world
> >religion that
> >offers something more than hope, faith, and fellowship.

What more could a man want ?


Personally, I *needed* more, and received more ; but simple people with simple faiths are far better off, IMO.

> Why is faith not sufficient?


> Your whole argument is essentially that since RW
> people didn't experience magic, they had a much freer reign to disobey the
> dictates of their faith than would gloranthans. IMO this is a
> nonsense.

Exactly !!

Multi-storey nonsense, to boot, if Peter's analysing your argument correctly.

Wonders surround us, and everything we can possibly experience is essentially Mysterious ; our technological abilities to cast light in our homes at will, engage in instantaneous communication with distant friends and family, to fly through the air at high speed, et cetera et cetera et cetera are inherently no more marvellous than a Gloranthan's ability to do magic. The prime causes of our existence and lives are no less ineffable (from a materialist POV) than those of a Gloranthan's existence and life.

A Heortling using Storm magic needs to put as much faith in the act as any RW liturgical celebrant needs to place in the ceremony, and in the bonds that tie him and the other worshippers to the Act of Faith.

The key is in the *meaning* IMO, and a Heortling will certainly have as much difficulty as we do in gaining any real relationship with that meaning.

Ye olde FRPG chestnutte about there being no atheists in worlds where the Gods provide actual magic and miracles to their faithful is quite ridiculous, given that in all cases, even dread cliché ones, the mind of the worshipper is inherently incapable of understanding the worshipped entity (in HQ terms), so that most of his relationship with that entity must *necessarily* be focused on Faith. With the associate Doubt that inevitably accompanies all Faith, so that actual men can reach all sorts of variable conclusions about the nature of the cosmos.

> In the
> Good Old Days without Science-to-explain-Everything, people lived in a world
> of Thunderstorms, Plague, Famine, Evil Stars in the Heavens, Sun Darkenings,
> Moons turning Blood Red, two-headed calves being born, roosters laying eggs
> etc. They didn't ascribe to a belief that these were purely natural events but
> believed these were evidence of the supernatural.

And, more simply, the Sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening, the growth of the plants and the life cycles of the beasts ; the beauty of a summer sky, the fresh, vital feeling of clean air in the lungs and sweet water in a parched throat. People worship the good in life, and shun the evil ; so whilst I agree with Peter, I feel that his examples might skew the thread away from its core.

> Despite this background, many people (even those that
> had religious visions)

*especially* those who have religious visions, IMO.

> still worked with their theological opponents from
> time to
> time and even the oldest gloranthan sources mention gloranthans doing similar
> things.
> >I'm going to be very disappointed if someone insists that a mass or other
> >Christian
> >church service (communion services are not masses) involves crossing over
> >to the
> >Otherside to reenact myths.
> I dunno why you consider communion services not to be masses

Some forms of Christian liturgy aren't masses, it's true.

You're being disingenuous, Andrew ;
Gloranthan mythic reenactment is a metaphor, in FRPG terms, of our life cycles, habits, and RW Quests.

A pilgrimage to a holy place is the reenactment of a myth.

Going to University and getting a degree, ditto.

Getting up in the morning, same time every day ; going to work, same place every day ; doing your job, same every day ; etc. ; ditto.

The question is, in both RW and Glorantha, that of meaning.

i.e. one of Faith.

> but it is a good example of a RW magical event

Actually, they're most pointedly NOT magical, given that "magic" is defined as being outside the province of God's direct action, and that of His Saints and Angels.


In HeroQuest terms, though, Peter would be correct.

> and an inspiration for Malkioni
> religious practices. It is the real presence of magic that validates most
> religious teachings in glorantha, not the otherworld trips that are performed
> by the pious (and the Orlanthi).

Even more important IMO are the shared beliefs, practices, rituals, community bonds, questions, and doubts.

Julian Lord

"Hmmm, I've heard of other powers.
Can you tell me about ...

... Real Life ?"

Received on Wed 18 Feb 2004 - 06:10:25 EET

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