[Glorantha]Some Mysical nOtes

From: <greg_at_glorantha.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 08:31:04 -0700


I have been watching this discussion of Gloranthan mystical practices with a combination of dismay, alarm and amusement.

Various folk have ventured opinions that are based on misunderstanding of both Terrestial and Gloranthan concepts. For instance, people appear to have mistaken Buddhism in all its forms for mysticism, which just is not so. The Jedi are not mystics. A lot of the discussion is about stuff that is simply not mystical ACCORDING TO THE DEFINITION I HAVE GIVEN IT. Nils recent post is quite good s a focus.

I am not gong to try to define it here, because it is in the works and will be revealed slowly at my own pace. But the agony of watching so much ignorance bandied about has provoked at least this short reply.

Kevin McDonald has some salient and positive points, around which I will reply.

> From: "Kevin P. McDonald" <paul_mcdonald_at_ncsu.edu>

> A couple of things came up in private email that I might not have
> stressed enough:
> 1) There are two main branches of Buddhism - Mahayana (the Great
> Vehicle) and Theravada (Doctrine of the Elders?). Crudely put, Mahayana
> buddhism emphasises compassion and holds the ideal of the Bodhisattva
> (an enlightened being that refuses to go on to nirvana until all beings
> are enlightened) as the ideal. Theravada stresses an individual's quest
> for personal liberation, and has an outlook that more closely resembles
> Greg's posts on mysticism in Glorantha.

Both concepts IN THEIR MYSTICAL FORM, have their place in Glorantha.

> 2) The magical powers of an advanced practitioner are thought to come
> from the mind training practices rather than mystical insight,

My point as well. There are not mystical powers.  

> So, returning to Glorantha... I would say that the practitioner of a
> mystic order could develop magical powers along the way that are not
> actually "mystical" in the sense that Greg seems to be using the term.
> Powers gained through mind training might be Talents. Powers gained
> through the worship of meditational deities might be Affinities. I can
> imagine others that work with spirits or manipulate sorcerous power.
> Some sects might mix any or all of these together, as seems to be the
> case for Teshnos and Kralorela.


> I think Simon and Peter both have good points.

Agreed. And some other folk too, mixed in with so much garble!  

> One last point that I would like to add is that most people in a society
> that reveres mysticism still have the same fears and desires that other
> people do, and they deal with these in much the same way - they just
> cloak it in different terms.

This is why a lot of things that have called mystical, both in this discussion and outside, are not really mystical at all.

> Common folk in Tibet pray to meditational
> deities to bless their homes, families, and livelihoods in a similar way
> to other cultures' worship of gods or spirits. I know that the
> traditional Tibetan mythological landscape is filled with a lively array
> of colorful gods and spirits, some helpful and others harmful. The
> Tibetans appear to have integrated native beliefs (and imported Indian
> myths) into their Buddhist cosmology.

ACtually, Buddhism was incorporated into their naive beliefs. The story of Padma Sambhava and Gesar are wonderful myths of the wise men going and converting various native entities to Buddhism.

> In other parts of the world, the
> separation between the beliefs of monks and the lay community is more
> starkly separate. Sometimes to the point that the villagers are hardly
> Buddhist at all, but still support the monks because their culture
> believes that is what good people do. I am sure it works the same way in
> Glorantha.


Nice work Kevin.

--__--__-- Received on Mon 19 Apr 2004 - 06:25:53 EEST

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