Re: Hunting Sayings

From: Argrath@aol.com
Date: Fri 16 Feb 1996 - 21:00:56 EET


I originally sent this four days ago, but it hasn't appeared. My apologies
in advance if it shows up twice.

John Hughes writes, apropos of his Far Point sayings and my criticism of
them:

>I think the first lesson is that every quote should have a context.

Absolutely. The FP context is of a struggle to survive (in a hostile
environment occasionally overrun by trolls and other monsters), struggle to
maintain clan and tribal unity, and struggle for meaning in a changing world.
 Plenty of grist for the mill. I'll try my hand at a saying abuut trolls:
"Strong as grim death,
"Cold as old snow,
"Cunning as ten foxes,
"Black as the Devil."
(Adapted from, of all things, a Cajun saying about their coffee.)

> The quotes come from a multiform I've
>written that dealt almost solely with emotional and (unpleasant) inner
>truths, and they were written for character sheets with that in mind. The
>aim, rather than to portray life in the forest, was to set the scene for
>what was to be a spontaneous descent/dismemberment heroquest (Musik of the
>Spears).

Now THAT sounds interesting (esp. the title).

>Though if by 'new age' you mean dealing with emotion in an open way, then I
>disagree, and will happily defend my pov. Different cultures will deal with
>emotional truths and there expression in a variety of different ways. And
>if Glorantha/Runequest has been a twenty year meditation on what it is to
>be a hero, then the emotional side of heroquesting/mythic spirituality is a
>valid topic for exploration.

It's true that Orlanthi men (but not women) are described (but not portrayed)
as being very openly emotional. However, I think this would not manifest
itself in sayings so much as in traditional exclamations to cover recurring
situations. Frex, shouting "I've found my lost brother!" whenever something
extraordinarily good happens. If there were sayings about the open
expression of emotion, they might be expressing things like the difference
between men and women (why the former cry more easily than the latter, if
that's true in Far Point). I.e., things what need explaining.

>Your concrete example was wonderful. Got any more?

Sadly, no. I'm not a hunter, and got that saying from a high school
student's story about deer hunting which I read when I was an editor of my
high school literary magazine. I DO read a hunters' magazine, though, which
gives me some ideas. Sayings should focus on the long waiting punctuated
with moments of extreme stress. Wonder and (alright, I admit it) oneness are
experiences found in hunting. So is coming home with nothing to show for a
day in the woods.

Of course, as the Far Pointers shift over to hunting, they will overhunt the
nearby areas and have to venture farther and farther all the time. So some
new sayings may come up about being far from home, or even lost.

>Hmmm. The quest for unity is a profound spiritual truth in my FP Orlanthi
>campaign, simply because it is so elusive. The Lunars rave about Healing
>the Cosmos, all the Orlanthi want to do is heal the tribe. ANY tribe.
>(Musik of he Spears was set in a place where kinstrife had LITERALLY
>destroyed nearly half the tribe in the last two generations). Such sayings
>are confronting and elicit denial, simply because they get to the root of
>the problem.

Now, that's a damn good theme for the game, and for sayings. "How many kings
must die?" and that sort of thing.

>Now as I understand it, Malkioni Oneness is a monotheistic construct that
>posits a Divine Unity SEPARATE and ABOVE creation. That right? - do any
>sects believe the Invisible God IS glorantha?)

Some of the Stygians do. Of course, the One taught that All is One, which
necessarily subsumes everything which is part of All. Rumors that the One
still exist in Fronela are groundless; pay them no mind.

>Thats a profound difference,
>in Terran religion, perhaps THE crucial difference, between tribal and
>monotheistic traditions (Yeah, yeah, I'm generalising :-)), and their
>resulting world views. In tribal traditions, divinity and the sacred spring
>from the land itself. Meaning is immanent. Good and evil (bizzarre,
>abstract concepts!) are less important than identification with the land
>and its values.

Don't forget that the social is the sacred, too, in traditional religions,
even some monotheistic ones. Only in later monotheistic traditions did
individual concerns get elevated to the level we now experience them.

>A concrete and expansive sense of unity with the land (with the Divine
>perhaps as a metaphoric justification) is a very common aspect of first
>world consciousness right across this planet. It goes to the heart of the
>hunter/gatherer mentality (of which spirituality is a an integral and
>undifferentiated part).
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I think this is the hard part for modern minds to grasp, of a "religion"
which is intimately bound up in a way of life. If you know anybody for whom
religion is the core from which ALL other things in life stem, you know how
different that mindset is from the compartmentalizing mindset of the typical
educated person of the 20th century in a European-derived culture.

>The second aspect, a related one, is identification with animal powers. ...

Yes! We should have sayings about animals. "Clever as the hedgehog," or
whatever. Some of these will be VERY short stories.

>The issues raised are essentially practical. What DO cults (any cults)
>actually teach in terms of coming to terms with the universe/human
>nature/daily survival?

I think you're showing that the cult (in the case of Far Point) IS the
culture. They're inseparable. One question is, do they think the stars and
other far-off things are uninvolved with their daily lives, or do they see
universal connections? I vote for the latter, however, erroneous such views
seem from our POV.

>BEING LUNAR MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY

Love it.

>'Hindu thought is without dogma, and dogged by Dharma.

Your karma ran over my dogma.

- --Martin Crim

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