objectively subjective

From: Jeff.Richard@metrokc.gov
Date: Wed 14 May 1997 - 20:59:23 EEST


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Howdy howdy.

>>Carl Fink posts his bimonthly demand for Similar Gods to be
Equivalent,
>>Equivalent gods to be Identical, and Identical Gods to be More
Similar.
>>(And implicitly, that they all be as Objectively Real as possible,
and
>>to desist with this aberrant similarity to RW mythology.)
>Yup, as far as Objectively Real. And again, why bother with
Glorantha
>if you want real-world mythology? The real world *already* exists.

Of course, it could be added that a world already exists that is
obsessed with Objective Realism - ie. our own. Very few
post-modernist scholars would be willing to suggest that the the
rituals and "magic" of by-gone ages were subjectively real to their
participants. Yet that is exactly the case in Glorantha - the
rituals, rites and beliefs of the Gloranthan cultures are subjectively
real to their participants. In Quiviniland, Boranthos the Varmandi
thane does throw Thunderbolts at his foe, no ifs ands or buts. I
doubt that even the most rabid revisionist historian believes that
boon companions of Irish petty kings subjectively believed that they
could throw thunderbolts as well!

What I strongly disagree with is Objectivist dogma that because
Boranthos invokes Orlanth as he throws the Thunderbolt AND because RQ
2/3 wrote that Orlanth is the god of thunder, that therefore Orlanth
is every Gloranthan's god of thunder. I further strongly disagree
with extendomg that false syllogism to conclude that Pentans who
worship the storm will share Boranthos' stories about Orlanth.

The Quivini have different myths about Orlanth than the Ralians and
the Wenelians, AND they associate Orlanth with different things as
well. However, all three cultures are right about their Orlanth.
  For the Quivini, Orlanth is the supreme god of Justice while Yelm,
if he is even known, is a symbol of impotent and arbitrary despotism -
while in the city-state of Raibanth, Yelm is the true sovereign, aided
by justice and might, while Orlanatus, if he is even known, is nothing
but a flunky of Rebellus Terminus. Guess what? Both are right about
their respective gods!

Since we all game in Greg Stafford's literary creation we operate
within the structure of his stories. Greg, like Carl Jung and Joseph
Campbell, does seem to have a number of archetypes and repeating
themes within his stories. Unlike our own history, Greg's Glorantha
has a few mythic themes that seem to exist for all its cultures. The
error, in my opinion, is to assume that an interpretation of these
themes developed by one small sub-group of a rather diverse cultural
group (ie. the Nochet Lhankhor Mhy/God Learner model found in RQ 2
supplements) is the One True Interpretation of these themes.

I guess I am not impressed by the complaint that this smacks of the
real world. I want my Gloranthans to be "real Gloranthans", with
uncertainty and ambiguity - not some sort of cheap Moorcockian
fantasy-hero dime novel cut-outs.
David Cake commented
>>Also, there's the Red Goddess and Nysalor, who obviously walked
around
>>physically.
>both special cases - partly because both had mortal parts, in the
>Red Goddesses case had a mortal body before she ever knew she was
the
>goddess (to put it in Lunar terms - others might put it less
charitably,
>but the basic facts remain). The Red Goddess reincarnating into a
mortal
>body was a means by which she gained free will (at least temporarily)
which
>the other gods do not have (according to Greg at the RQ Con DU
heroquest
>seminar), thus in Orlanthi terms evading the Great Compromise.

I'd like to add that the one Orlanthi-fellow who incarnated his god
like the Lunar Goddess ended up getting out-mythed and out-heroquested
by a rival Orlanthi. I am of course talking about Lokamayadon and
Harmast.

Jeff

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