Re: RQ sight and stuff

From: Frank Rafaelsen <>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 15:10:08 +0200 (MET DST)

First of all Peter Metcalfe, Nick Brooke and Andrew Joelsen(?) all showed that my use of Occam's Razor was wrong. Ok guys, I'll go sit in the corner after having written this mail. Learn something new every day I guess :)

I suggested that Illumination was similar to RuneQuest sight and should expect the same fate in the long run. In other words I expect the 'rules of magic' to change so that the perspective becomes useless, or rather, harmless.

> From: "Nick Brooke" <>
> Being simplistic: the RuneQuest Sight of the God Learners worked
> "against" the Cosmos, as it allowed them to understand it in their
> terms.Illumination looks like the opposite: it forces the Illuminate to
> understand the Cosmos in its own terms. Other than a general dislike for
> being understood, I can't see why the Cosmos would necessarily want to
> get rid of Illumination, which is both more natural and less intrusive.

I'm not convinced you are right but even if you are both are extrems. And it seems like it is the extreme manifestations that bothers the compromise (se my comments about the similarities between Arkat/God Learnerism and Kralorelan/Lunar Illumination below).

The similarities don't come from the insight (God Learner objectivism or Illuminated subjectivism) it comes from the effect on those who achieve the higher perspective. Both perspectives claim to trancend cosmos, both put themself in a higher order, claim to be carriers of a higher truth. You say that apart from a dislike of being understood the cosmos shouldn't mind illumination. In a Power/Knowledge perspective both are very similar: both claim that knowledge about cosmos give them them power. On the other hand both draw their knowledge from power (power to ignore taboos, the power to shape gods) and it is this power that is the source of the knowledge they claim to have.

> Besides, the God Learners did really bad harmful stuff (like imposing
> short-form generic cult write-ups on Glorantha), while Illuminates do
> spiffy useful stuff (like founding the Lunar Empire and conquering the
> unwashed hordes of the Barbarian Belt). Again, one assumes Glorantha the
> Cosmos is more likely than not to be pleased with the latter development

I don't think the Crimson bat, the Monster Empire or chaos worship is very cozy either :) The Godlearners on the other hand gave us useful things like Trade talk, standarized cults, rules and regulations that fostered international trade and understanding :)

Andrew Joelsen on the same subject:

> Argrath destroying the Lunar Empire is not a parrellel case.
> Even if you do not ascribe to the RQS/Illm theory above, please note
> that the Kralorelan 'Enlightenment' is similar to Illumination, and
> we have no reason to beleive that this process (or even Illumination)
> was wiped from the world. Illumination goes back to the Godtime;
> Yelm was Illuminated.

Now this is an interesting question. I'll claim that the relationship between Kralorelan and Pelorian illumination is the same as the relationship between Arkats HQ'ing and Godlearnerism. Arkat is said to be the founder of many of the techniques used by the God Learners. The difference is that he did it with 'humility and respect' as shown in a recent thred on this digest. Now on the Q&A section on Greg writes about the difference between Kralorelan and Lunar illumination:

        "The practicing experts of Peloria, Koralorela and the East Isles all insist upon strict disciplines for those who seek the mystical path. They also have ways to quickly detect and destroy anyone who strays off the path.

Spontaneous Illumination is a greater threat, and apparently the Lunar Empire is less quick at detecting these, or just more tolerant. Such untrained illumination provides its bearer with a cosmic perspective which is devoid of any other perspective or connection with the world, and also access to tremendous cosmic powers. Without guidelines the temptation to use those powers is almost impossible to resist."

        -Is Humakt a Hypocrite? Greg Stafford.

On the point that Yelm is illuminated I think that it is a human term for something they don't understand. In the same Q&A article Greg clearly shows that gods don't need illumination:

        "Illumination is not a problem for gods. Certainly every deity which is the owner or source of a rune has obtained a state of consciousness which is their equivalent of Illumination, and probably many more as well, perhaps all of them."

        Is Humakt a Hypocrite? Greg Stafford

> (As to Enlightenment vs Illumination, I will stick with Sandy's
> explanation that each is a different path to the same destination.
> Each process yields the same results.)

Exactly! The very same results; arrogant people :)

As I have a soft spot for Michel Focault I would either add to that, or replace it, with: "Power Is Knowledge". Another candidate is: "We are Gods".

Frank Rafaelsen
Homo Ludens

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