Re: Illumination through power (Longer & more boring)

From: Simon Hibbs (
Date: Thu 21 May 1998 - 12:31:01 EEST

Frank Rafaelsen :

Hi Frank..... Engarde!

>If the changes are not determined by the insight then what is
>illumination? The only thing you are left with are the powers. How are
>insights it gives any different from any other insight into the
>of Glorantha?

Given knowledge of nuclear physics some people build X-Ray machines to
diagnose sickness, some people bild power stations to provide light and
heat, and some people build nuclear bombs. The same is true of insights
into conciousness. Some people use it to cure the mentaly ill, some
people use it to conduct effective advertising campaigns and others use
it to wage psychological warfare. Why should illumination determine what
kind of person you are?

Illumination isn't just an insight into the workings of Glorantha, it's
an insight into the workings of your own conciousness, the architecture
of your intelect.

>How is illumination different from the knowledge generated by the
>hero who HQs to the Hill of Gold so many times that he ends up changing

>the myth, and thus reality and truth?

Why would a Yelmalion want to change his own myth? Surely if he does
that then he's cast aside any lessons he might have learned from it? In

order to complete the Hill of Gold quest the Yelmalion must personify
the ideals of his culture, sticking to Right Action despite every
insult, defeat and humiliation inflicted upon him. It is a trial by
ordeal and nayone who completes it successfuly has proved their devotion
to Yelmalio under the most extreme of circumstances. It's a lesson of
obedience and duty and is of a wholly different order to Illumination.

>And in this sense illumination is no different from RQ sight, or even
>different from initiation into a cult.

Are you saying that "Initiation into Orlanth is like initiation into
Yelm, in the same way that initiation into Orlanth is like

Initiation into a cult imerses you more deeply into your culture. It
commits you to the ideals of your society and it's moral order.
Illumination dislocates you from your culture's moral order.

>If it did differ in quality the illuminate would cese to be a man since
he has >trancended everything that is human, he would be a god. Perhaps
more than >a god.

I don't follow your train of logic here. You are sayin that if
Illumination is not like gaining a hero power, then it must therefore be
like attaining divinity? Learning a language is unlike gaining a hero
power. Does someopne who leans a language therefore become divine? I'm
sorry, I don't see what you're getting at.

>No, I'm saying that it is impossible since power _is_ knowledge.

If I have a gun in my hand, then I have the power to kill the person
sitting in the chair opposite me. What knowledge does that give me? On
the other hand, having the knowledge of how to use the gun gives me the
power to use it to kill him. I don't see how muddling up knowledge and
power in this way is usefull.

>Having powers will change this profoundly. As seen in Oddi's
depression. >The point is that the insight comes from how you interprete
your powers; >their effect on your identity.

Having the insighs and powers of illumination are undoubtedly likely to
have a profound impact on your personality. You seem to be conflating
concsiousness with personality. Oddi worships the Bull and is proud of
his divinely inspired chaos sense ability which has served him so well
over the years. Losing it depresses him. He is cought in a moral dilema.
He has gained the insight of illumination, but that doesn't mean he
becomes instantly aware of all it's consequences.

>Strange. I would say that Glorantha is the only world that open up for
>this view to any degree. Where else can you change ancient history if
>are a powerfull HeroQuester?

Name one instance of ancinet history being changed by Heroquesting.

>Chaos is, as I pointed out in another post, in effect an AD&D
alignment, >while illumination have monopolized objective truth.


Where do I start. AD&D alignments are opinions, like political
affiliations. A chaotic in glorantha cannot wake up one day and decide
'I don't fancy being chaotic anymore, I think I'll just stop having a
chaos taint and go and join Storm Bull', it is beyond free will. Being
chaos tainted in glorantha doesn't even determine your pattern of
behaviour. Broo are chaotic and anarchistic. Krarshti are chaotic and

Who says illuminates have a monopoly on objective truth? Surely their
insight is into the subjective nature of conciousness? It's not as
though illuminates even agree on everything, hence the Nysalor/Gbaji

>Only the illuminates have access to the world 'an sich', truth that is
>independent from culture or interpretation.

Surely the illuminate perspective is that such absolute truth is

>Independent from humanity.

Why so?


Simon Hibbs


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