Odaylan Campfire Wisdom

From: Argrath@aol.com
Date: Mon 12 Feb 1996 - 00:00:25 EET


I was intrigued and, simultaneously, a bit disappointed with the Odaylan
sayings. My first impression was that they were way too New-Agey, like a
cross between Carlos Castaneda and monotheistic neo-paganism. I think that,
with some judicious pruning and editing, they can be made to be less
jarringly anachronistic.

One category that seems to be missing is the concrete-saying-with-
metaphorical-application, such as the following:

Breathe through your mouth when you gut a deer. The smell will make you
sick.

Of John's sayings, I liked the following best:

>A hunter must have hungry eyes - eyes that get hungry before the stomach.
>A man's soul can only travel as fast as his feet can carry him.
>The Goddess made time, and she made plenty of it.
>The hunter never makes excuses for death.
>...Two bears live in your stomach. ....

(The last of these I think could lose the first sentence, instead starting
where I've started the quote above.)

Of the Hearth Wisdom, I liked the following best:

>[To an Orlanthi,] mistakes are *sacred*.

I'd lose the part I've bracketed, though.

I don't think the Odaylans would have a view of the Oneness of the Divine and
its corrollary of Love with a capital L. ("All the tribes are one." "in the
gors, you must love one another or die." "Survival is the second law. /The
first is that we are all one.") Rather, I'd think they'd be immersed in Its
multiplicity (not to say multifariousness). A belief in Oneness, in
Glorantha, is the province of the Malkioni and their offshoots, who are
pretty far (geographically and religiously) from the Far Point Odaylans. For
this reason, I much prefer sayings like "The mountains circle their sacred
arms around me. ... The Four Winds provide." and ""The plants, rocks, fire
and water all are alive. ..."

I don't think the Odaylans would directly state things like "Things belong to
the universe." Metaphor and parable are much better ways to express such
sentiments. The mind has to work at a metaphor or parable, so when it gets
the answer, it is more likely to accept the answer--the principle of "what
you have to work for is more valuable than what is given to you." Also,
metaphor and parable are more memorable than bald statements. And metaphor
and parable pack a lot of meaning into a small space, more tightly even than
aphorism.

Another saying that could use a pithier, less Girl-Scoutish presentation is
"We can never dominate this land. We can participate in its bounty if we
revere and respect it." Anybody want some toasted marshmallows?

Paradox is a good way to convey wisdom, too, but I saw little of this. The
one "How do you see a power animal? By not seeing it" sounds like a direct
quote from Castaneda. (I should admit here that I'm prejudiced against
Castaneda because he presents his fiction as non-fiction. The guy's
basically a fraud.) "The hunter is always the hunted" is a bit flat.

Though this criticism may sound harsh, I make it because I feel the project
is worth it. Authentic-sounding Gloranthan sayings are one major reason I
participate in the Gloranthan community.

Hey, John, how about some Far Point riddles? Don't make 'em as hard as the
Doraddi ones, though, Jeez.

- --Martin Crim

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