Illumunation through power

From: Frank Rafaelsen (
Date: Fri 15 May 1998 - 17:26:41 EEST

Peter Metcalfe:
> >And if you turn to the Oddi saga, in Lords of Terror, you'll se how this
> >works: Oddi is illuminated by some tricksters and he doesn't realize what
> >has happened to him. What makes him realize what has happened? His sense
> >chaos skill failes to warn him of the presence of the Crimson Bat.
> And I would conjecture that this is the moment of Illumination for
> Oddi. He has instinctly comprehended that Law and Chaos are but two
> sides of the same coin and he is profoundly disturbed (above and
> beyond the condition normally found in Storm Bulls).

This is obviously a case for my pocket razor (I'll try it again, without
cutting myself this time I hope :). Your claim depends on his intinctively
comprehension, a comprehension we can't detect or see. And I claim that
the text in fact leans in the direction of my position (of course). You
see, even when it is made clear to him that he is illuminated he doesn't
realize the implications. Implications that you claim are the essence of

Now I don't argue that illumination doesn't change Oddi, I only claim that
the change comes from the powers and not the other way around. And I also
claim that the changes of personality comes from Oddi's interpretation of
the implications. Of course in the saga his interpretation is helped by a


> OTOH One could argue that since the Crimson Bat itself is illuminated,
> it doesn't register on Sense Chaos. But I have cold feet about this.

Is it illuminated? I can't remember. But I would think that if it didn't
register on the senses of The Bull it would be a well known puzzle. I

can't remember ever reading anything that implies this. A second point is
that the Bat is hardly unknown in Talastar. This fact along with with the
reactions of Renekot and the rest of Oddi's household, when Oddi's sense
fails, is a strong indication that the bat does indeed register as
> There _are_ schools of illumination and there are cultural understandings
> of illumination but it is a mistake IMO to say that the Illuminated
> Viewpoint is solely coloured by the beliefs of these schools or cultures.

Of course you could say this, and it is the state-supported view of an
empire. In glorantha this is a question of faith. Much like the question

of the existence of the Invisible God it is a question that cannot be
proven. Outside glorantha, on this digest, I claim there is no support for
the view. Now we could debate the usefullness of having any views
'outside glorantha' but that is the way illumination is being discussed
here on the digest.

To bring this thread back to the beginning, the question of Yelm's
illumination: my original point was that saying Yelm is illuminated
doesn't say much. Illumination is what you make it, and it seems that
illumination is _The_ Dara Happan word of a higher consciousness (which
isn't that revolutionary since that is exactly how it is used in english).
And with the rather strict consensus about the usefullness of divination
there isn't much hope in asking him about it, now is there.

I think, and in this I believe I'm supported by the article on about Humakt, that there isn't one illumination, there are

many states of illumination (RQ sight was one, I believe). Of course my
definition of an universal consciousness is knowledge generated by power,
so ther is bound to be a large body of such knowledge.

The only thing I have to figure out now is whether this is a Godlearner
view or a illuminate view. :)

- ----------
> From: Simon Hibbs
> Power is Knowledge? I could make endless examples of power that has
> nothing to do with knowledge, usch as the power of the strong over the
> weak. The only way this would work is if you arbitrarily define power in
> such a way that it is true, however that would hardly lead to a generaly
> usefull definition of power.

You are touching the essential here, but fail to realize that this is
exactly what power does: Power defines, and it defines in the way you
outline. Now this isn't that revolutionary: who is Orlanth? Orlanth is the
guy your Storm Voice tells you he is. Why, because he is the storm voice
:) And if you say that the Storm Voice knows these things better than a
mere initiate I'll just point out that he knows things better because he
has the power to get the knowledge. And the power to assert his world
view. Isn't this the core of the subjectivist argument in glorantha?
> In Glorantha, illumination is defined as an insight which gives the
> illuminate a number of powers. That's implicit in the sources. How can
> answering riddles give you powers independently of any insight required
> to produce the answers? Also, the same insight can lead to different
> powers, unless you are saying that many powers can give their wielder
> the same insight?

How can a man make a lightening bolt hit his enemy only by shouting a
prayer? Same thing. The ability to throw lightning bolts give a lot of
'knowledge' about the order of things too. I am saying that the same

powers can be interpreted in different ways.

> Riddles stretch the intelectual, imaginitive and emotional faculties of
> the subject. By presenting the subject with conundrums that cannot be
> resolved or analysed through normal mental processes, the subject
> realizes the limitations of those processes. The subject becomes aware
> of the internal architecture of her mind and becomes able to percieve
> the structure of her own conciousness, ultimately transcending it.

That's what the examiners tell you. And why do you believe them? Because
you'd like to be an examiner yourself :) Or at least you don't want to be
crucified. I'd love to take this discussion, but perhaps it is better
outside the digest?

> Your game may, of course, vary.

Of course.

Frank Rafaelsen
Homo Ludens


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