[Glorantha]Re: Myth-making

From: simon_hibbs2 <simon.hibbs_at_marconi.com>
Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 16:19:13 -0000


Simon Phipp:

>Anyone can perform a HeroQuest in the mundane world and it will make
not ajot
>of difference to the myths. These are the normal, commonplace
HeroQuests that
>most people do.

They're realy just ritual magic, we're in agreement on these I think.

>The other kind of HeroQuest is the type that changes or creates
myths. This
>kind of HeroQuest is only carried ut by Heroes, Demigods and
Deities. Such a
>HeroQuest will allow others to coy the HeroQuest and gain benefits
from doing
>so.

Also agreed, such myth-making events cannot occur in the mundane world, with the caveat that sometimes the mundane and otherworlds sometimes intersect. Nevertheless such events are supra-historical.

>HeroQuests that were performed within History but have changed Myths
include
>The Creation of Nysalor, Lightbringers Quest, much of the Arkat
HeroQuesting,
>Creation of the Red Goddess, Castle Blue and First Battle of Chaos,
although
>there are many, many more. These all took place during Time but had a
>substantial part outside of Time.

Here I think we begin to diverge. I do not believe that the Lightbringer's Quest itself occured 'before' History. It seems likely that the LBQ we know today was unknown before Harmast, and was 'recreated' or 'synthesised' by him from other myths and so had no 'historical' existence before him. In which case, it's no different in orrigin from the Castle Blue, and other lunar quests in this respect.

That's not the same as saying that the LBQ was invented at that point in history, rather it was discovered by Harmast. You can never realy talk about anyone 'creating' a heroquest or a myth - they simply are. They describe natural phenomena and processes in the world in symbolic terms, and in that sense are simply true or false just as a scientific theory is either true or false. Newton did not 'invent' gravity, and neither did Harmast 'invent' the LBQ as a historical act, he discovered mythic correspondences and religious truths that are inherently timeless.

>There is no difference between these Mythic Events and the Mythic
Events
>before Time.

What does that tell you about the notion of 'before time'?

>...Things that happened in GodTime are historical in that they have
happened.
>They are not part of Time, but that doesn't make them any less
historical.
>Perhaps the myths are cylical, non-linear or otherwise outside of
Time,
>but they have had an impact on the world.

They are are part of history because they human beings interact with them in history, but thay are just as much part of the present. Yelm dies every day, and is resurected every morning. These events are exactly the same as, and are indistinguishable from the 'orriginal' mythic event - they are the same thing. They have an impact on our experience of life because they _are_ the world.

>But, in Glorantha, there were events that happened and were recorded
as
>having happened, before Time started.

talking about anything 'before' time is an obvious nonsense. It's a fictional convention we adopt for convenience, nothing more.

>Time is only 1600-odd years old,

Some gloranthans think time is only 1600 years old, others don't.

> ....No Orlanti would dout that Orlanth compleed the
Lightbringers
>Quest, for instance, and they would know that this happened in the
past. The
>fact that you can HeroQuest to that place and take part in it
doesn't change
>the fact that it happened.

It's happening right now, it happened yesterday, and the day before that. The fact that it's a true account of the nature of the world is not in dispute. What I am saying is that presenting it as a historical event that happened in a lost age is a narative convention by which the myth is preserved in Orlanthi culture, but that the immanent experience of heroquesting proves that it is no mere story about the past. It is true here and powerful now because it describes the world as it is.

Simon Hibbs

--__--__-- Received on Fri 07 May 2004 - 06:56:46 EEST

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