Sighs and Enlightenments

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Sat 01 Mar 1997 - 10:57:57 EET

A couple of sighing posters, this time around.

Andrew Joelson writes:

> Sigh. Go attend the rituals of the Storm Bull cult during any
> Sacred Time and you will see it with your own eyes (if you are
> sufficiently religiously enlightened).

This is like saying that if you study Marxist dialectics, or Old Testament
prophecy, or libertarian economic theories, for long enough and with
sufficient fervour, you'll see their self-evident truth wherever you look.
Being religiously enlightened allows you to perceive the truths your
religion possesses. These can't be seen by anyone "ideologically neutral"
(i.e. uncommitted to the religion) -- only persons who have gone through
the personally-transformative rites of initiation into the cult see the
stories the way they're meant to. (Remember KoS: to the uninitiated, the
"four-ways" and lay members, a ritual looks like priests, acolytes and
initiates dressing up in strange costumes and reenacting one of their
myths. Only the initiates see the divine reality behind the mundane

The only people who will see the Storm Bull at those rituals are the Storm
Bull's fervent followers. QED? I think not.

> as one becomes more learned in cultic lore, one becomes better able
> to see & interact with the Gods & the God Plane.

If one's cult directs one to do so, perhaps. What of mystics, animists,
shamans, monotheists, sorcerers? They are seeing and interacting with
significantly different entities and spheres, and their 'perception' or
'reality' is equally valid, and is non-disproveable within Glorantha.
Whatever the Storm Bulls say they are undergoing, the alternate
philosophies or world-views can explain away in their own terms.

Nils adds:

> {Sigh} Glorantha is _not_ the real world. And it would be more mundane
> and a lot less interesting if Storm Bull didn't whack the Devil, if
> Waha wasn't a big god who travelled about Prax etc.

Yep, but that's the Glorantha that the (more mundane, less interesting)
wizards of the West live in. When they come to Prax, they make *exactly*
the observations you object to. It's a matter of taste, as you say. Like
you (and, I believe, most of us), I prefer the mythic view as being
inherently more satisfying; but it would be unfair to a major Gloranthan
philosophy and worldview to deny the possibility that Euhemerism (etc.),
aetiological myth, etc. could have existed in Glorantha and shaped the
stories of ancient times.



End of Glorantha Digest V4 #230

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