[Glorantha]Mystic Stuff

From: <greg_at_glorantha.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 09:56:26 -0700


Hello,

> From: Mikko Rintasaari <rintasaa_at_mail.student.oulu.fi>
asks:

> Nice to see Greg dipping in.

I wish Time an Place offerred me more opportunity to do so.  

> Nils writes:
> :mysticism at the same time. However, the magic comes
> :from the same places that common magic, theist magic,
> :animist magic etc. does, _not_ from the mystic practice.
>
> Ok, but what on earth is the mysticism supposed to acheive?

Nothing that is measurable in game terms. Maybe this is the source of the problem? People think that mysticism has some sort of practical effect?

> And how is it
> reflected on the character.

See the end of this note.

> Obviously a true mystic is mostly collecting a
> single huge skill, of no immediate value. I wonder if the original Hero
> Wars description of the "refute" ability holds any true clues?

Maybe.
But my own perspective is that mysticism is its own objective,its own power, and really has little or any play value.
That said, some insights on this mystifying aspect of non-magic being used in the world will be in the ILH2, whever that eventually comes out. I can only beg your indulgence and patience.  

> : ...mysticism can only experienced directly, not
> :described or made comprehensible by metaphor.
>
> I'm reminded of things in my copy of the "Bluff Your Way in the Occult".
> Mysticism is the catch-all, deny-all-definitions basket.

Well, despite the humor and frustration involved, it is just that. Nils was right.

Here is how to imagine it and drive yourself crazy. I have written this before.

Everything which people can know is in one of three categories. The physical, which includes all things that can be perceived with any of the senses. Seometimes called things with form. The non-physical, which includes all things that can be perceived without any of the phsyicl senses (courage, numbers, thoughts, dreams, etc.) Sometimes called things without form.
The things which are neither physical nor non-physical. In Gloranthan terms, the mystical.

So look, I go and sit in the desert without food or water for days on end and am rewarded with a vision of God. I know what it is, I have experienced it. I come back and you say, "What was it like?" and I say, "It was beautiful" I have already diminished it into being in the non-physical realm: I have limited the experience with being an "it" and "beautiful." I can be poetic and say, "The formless wind swept the world away," but this is still within the nonphsyical.
The fact is, this kind of experience occurs to people throughout Time and across Place, provokes a near-universal reaction in those who experience it, and drives anyone who has not had the experience a bit nutsy to try to understand it.

BTW, I do not intend to begin arguing this, or defending it, or even trying to explain it at length here. This is not the time or place for that. It's a Gloranthan discussion list.

In Glorantha the people who have had this experience and try to express it and use it end up cloaking their expresion in terms of magic. Thus the martial artists or Jedi knights or however you perceive this to be epxressed are using animist, wizardly or theist powers. Not mystical ones.

> Let's hope it doesn't became a new Gloranthan McGuffin and elude
> definition forever.

Of course it will! There is no mysticism. There is no Way. :)

--__--__-- Received on Wed 21 Apr 2004 - 06:30:03 EEST

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