I am not a God Learner

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Thu 08 Feb 1996 - 07:58:58 EET

I blithely tossed off
>> But remember, the God Learners where partly right.
and Steve Lieb
>EEEK! Aside from the BLATANT heretical pro-godlearner leanings displayed
>here, i'd point out one thing that almost all sages agree on: The
>godlearners, while they may, admittedly, have been right when they found out
>the things they found out, screwed around with the metaverse SO much that
>many of these things are no longer true, nor ever were, now. (if that makes

        Firstly, I deny all accusations of God-Learner sympathies - they
were bad, by golly, and I wouldn't want to associate myself with them. No
way. Especially not where anyone can hear me. No, they were bad and
disrespectful to the gods.

        No, I was merely pointing out that many of the basic discoveries
(in some cases rediscoveries of secrets of others, Arkat notably) of the
God-Learners that they built their theories on - that you can restructure
the myth of a cult by heroquesting, that similar gods of different pantheons
can sometimes have worshippers move between them, etc. are still true, and
just as valid. You can still change the nature of a cult by heroquesting (as
Monrogh did), you can still move worshippers between similar cults sometimes
(confirmed in the introduction to the Entekosiad recently, but I always
assumed it still works).

        The God-Learners at their most basic level were correct in their
observations. They were incorrect in many of their attitudes and theories,
but I don't think the universe has changed all that much, and I think many
of the ways it has changed are to do with the loss of the God-Learners
themselves (ie the universe changed because the God-Learners are no longer
there to believe that it was the way it was - which is exactly why you want
the Gift-Carriers and so on - to wipe out bad beliefs about the hero-plane,
so that those beliefs are effectively no longer true).
        I think you could still, if you managed to find some God-Learner
secrets, start performing most of the same acts. You would find it more
difficult without the magical support of an empire behind you, in some cases
virtually impossible, but in theory I don't think things have changed much.
        Of course, if anyone did do this they would attract the attention of
things like the Gift-Carriers much more quickly than the God-Learners did,
because they are alert now. In fact, its probably happened several times.
And even if you didn't, inevitably similar problems to the ones the
God-Learners caused would occur.
        In fact, this is probably what starts to happen at the end of the
Third Age. There is not a resurgence of God-Learnerism exactly, but a
resurgence of creative heroquesting, most of it poorly understood in its
effects. Rather than a bunch of God Learners messing with the structure of
the hero-plane because they think they know what they are doing, you get a
whole bunch of separate heroquesters messing with the structure of the
heroplane who know they don't know what they are doing, but think it will
help their side/ harm their enemies. The threat is not as pernicious or
organised (and so the Gift-Carriers don't need to appear) but you still get
the heroplane so messed around that gods stop responding, crops fail, the
weather goes crazy, and the heroplane starts to leak through into the world,
as described in Argathsaga.
        But I say to you all - don't ignore the God Learners, or think that
everthing they learnt was bad. Rather, learn from their mistakes and treat
the gods and the heroplane with respect and humility.


Computing Officer |"Our machines are disturbingly lively,
Arts Faculty UWA |and we ourselves frighteningly inert."
davidc@cs.uwa.edu.au | -Donna Haraway
>Microsoft, meanwhile, denies that the problem exists.


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