Illuminated God Learners?

From: David Cake (
Date: Thu 05 Feb 1998 - 11:42:11 EET

Illumination and God Learning

>The God Learners were certainly aware of illumination, but I don't think
>they pursued or disseminated it widely. I think the answer is simply
>that the two mysteries of illumination and God Learning are basicaly

        The question is not if the God Learners knew of it, or used it
widely. They almost certainly knew of it (they plundered the inner secrets
of the Arkat cult), and they certainly did not widely disseminate it. And
certainly I agree that the two are more or less unrelated.
        But the two questions of are the two compatible in the one
individual, and did the God Learners abhor or tolerate or not understand
Illumination are all important.

        I find that Nick also believes them to be incompatible
>And, indeed, incompatible (in my own view). An Illuminate can't see
>the world with the RuneQuest Sight any more: it isn't as simple as
>that, once you get beyond surface appearances.

        I disagree - I think Illumination allows you to CHOOSE to see the
world with the RuneQuest Sight, and to see that its not the whole story.
Illumination is inward focused, the RuneQuest Sight is outward focussed.

        I do think that Illumination can be a powerful underminer of the
entire God Learner philosophy, though. An Illuminated God Learner starts to
realise the limitations of the RuneQuest Sight, though, so I doubt it was
ever popular, and may even have been officially discouraged.
        An Illuminate can be a worshipper of more than one religion,
reconciling the irreconcilable differences in their mind. A God Learning
Illuminate can be both a devout theist, and a 'skeptic' at the same time,
reconciling the irreconcilable world views.

>Greg and Sandy haven't bothered spending much time sorting
>out a precise answer between them because it just isn't that important.

        Its important to understand the history of the God Learners,
especially the various God Learner renegades, and its important to
understanding the RuneQuest Sight.

        Personally, I think I am siding with Greg on this issue, partly
through my own (difficult to explain) intuitive understanding of what the
two represent, and partly because it helps me make sense of the late God
Learner period.

        Aside: I think Kethaela, in the late God Learner period, was one of
the greatest hotbeds of weird philosophies ever seen in Glorantha. We have
EWF magics, God Learning, Zistorism, Illumination plus all the variant
theist beliefs, including Storm and Troll pantheons, and various GLised
theist cults as well.

        Of course, as most of us do not claim to be Illuminated (Greg
might), we are but blind men discussing television in some senses. I don't
think these issues will ever be settled. I am quite interested in talking
about Illumination, but it can get out of Gloranthan territory very quickly.




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