[Glorantha]Mysticism again...

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_cs.ucc.ie>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2004 06:56:18 +0100


> From: "Kevin P. McDonald" <paul_mcdonald_at_ncsu.edu>
> Once the master has achieved enlightenment, however, all bets are off.
> After his enlightenment the Buddha remained in the world out of selfless
> compassion. He trained others in the path he (re)discovered, and used
> his magical powers when appropriate to that goal. Because he had no ego
> remaining that might suffer temptation, there was no reason to avoid
> using his powers. Now it is certainly possible that from a gloranthan
> POV the Buddha is a failed mystic, but his followers would certainly not
> see it that way!

Certainly _a_ Gloranthan perspective -- but not IMG _all_ such, certainly. Indeed I think Gloranthans have just such debates have have raged in the RW over such issues. Or in especially benighted corners, as have raged on this list. ;-) To take another point from Tibetan Buddhism (and enraging Terra some more, I don't doubt), their form of the bodhisattva concept in effect means that _no_ monk will achieve liberation, under it's realized for the entire world. Which is a pretty extreme case of "impeding one's own mystic progress", but not "failure", at least not in their own terms.

In Glorantha, Daruda's story has very much this character. (This is in Revealed Mythology, right?) Daruda uses his powers out of compassion for the suffering of the world, and his followers, following his example, do likewise in myriad different ways. I'm sure non-Darudan "mystics" condemn them for this (Mashunasan's lot, frex). Come to that, I'm sure they regularly condemn each _other_ for doing so erroneously and misguidedly -- and what's worse they're probably very often right. What's a selfless sacrifice, and what's an illusion and a trap of your own making is a potentially subtle, and clearly vastly perilous, distinction to make. (One starts to begin to answer the parable of the boat by saying, "... but I'll just nip back over the other side to help a few more people over", and it ends up with, "Ah-hah, I am become a crack mystical amphibious assault unit!", lemme tell you.)

> And who ultimately knows for sure? I don't think
> carving the answer in stone helps gloranthan storytelling get any easier
> or better. I much prefer to leave such issues open.

Hear, hear.

Cheers,
Alex.

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End of Glorantha Digest Received on Sat 01 May 2004 - 06:24:36 EEST

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