From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_bigfoot.com>
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2001 13:55:05 +1200

Alex Ferguson:

> > >To be more precise, for the Kralori the ultimate goal is to become
> > >one with the Cosmic Dragon.

> > Which is the same thing, hence: "The ultimate goal of Kralori
> > mysteries is to become a dragon, a transcendent being who is
> > far beyond mortal comprehension" Glorantha: Intro p188.

>Well, with all due respect for your fondness for quoting yourself,

Oh please. I hate quoting myself and only quoted it because it was published. Furthermore the following sentences that expand and confirm the idea: "Some Monasteries teach meditative methods to do this directly, and occasionally a person succeeds and a dragon departs from the sacred grounds and departs entirely from glorantha. Some, on missions, remain behind" happens to be Greg's writing, not mine.

>that's not a very good definition of "a dragon",

Simply because I wasn't defining Dragon but providing a cite for the statement that Kralori seek to become dragons, something that you had denied? When writing "Dragonewts seek to become Dragons", nobody thinks I am defining what a dragon is. So why the need to provide a similar definition for the Kralori?

> > >Most Kralori aren't really trying to do this directly,

> > Which is no surprise as I never hinted that they did.

>Believe it or not, not all of my comments we All About You, Peter,

I do find it difficult to believe because it was a direct commentary on about a *single* sentence of mine, full of expostulations about other things that I had allegedly gotten wrong and actually avoided discussing the question at hand (except by way of launching a silly snit at the end).

>but some of them were trying to elucidate one of the subjects under
>discussion, to wit the Kralori religion.

I fail to see how an elucidation about the practice of draconism among the Kralori populace at large has anything to do with the actual question posed, namely "Why are the Dragonewts so incomprehensible if they and Kralori draconism spring from the same source"? A wide-ranging digression about who practices Kralori draconism does not shed any light on this.

> > There is no distinction between becoming a dragon and becoming
> > one with the Cosmic Dragon.

>That's incorrect. A True Dragon is only a tiny fraction of an
>Ancestral Dragon, much less of the Cosmic Dragon; they're not One
>in any useful sense.

No, it's not incorrect. The hierarchy of dragons has nothing to do with whether one has realized one's cosmic dragon nature. If I were to say that "I have realized my Buddha nature", Buddhists do not interpret as a statement that I have become completely and utterly identical with the Buddha. It is likewise is with Cosmic Dragon nature.

Moreover the earliest statement of Kralori metaphysics denies by implication the aim is to become the Cosmic Dragon.

         The venerable Cosmic Dragon was the sole inhabitant of the
         former universe.  In its inenarrability, it comprehended that
         the many is superior to the one, and it dismembered its
         sacred form.
                 Gods of Glorantha: What the Dragon Lord whispers

If the aim of the many is to become the Cosmic Dragon then what was the point of its dismemberment?

>If you want to bandy Buddhist analogies,

I bandy Buddhist analogies only because they are understandable and that the Kralori model of draconism was basically written using barely disguised buddhist analogies ("Everybody has cosmic dragon nature", the notion of delaying ascendence to the cosmic dragon to teach others etc). I do so with the intention of helping people to understand whereas...

>a better one would be that
>"becoming a (true) dragon" is comparable to having achieved
>uninteruptted meditation on an Insubstantial Deity, for example,
>to wit, an intermediate, important, but not ultimate objective of
>the practice.

>In illustration of this, Godunya, for example, is a true dragon
>(I'm tempted to say "at least a true dragon", but that's to open
>another worm can unnecessarily), but is not presently one with
>the Cosmic Dragon, having like the prervious Emperors delayed
>this for the mundane and spiritual benefit of empire and people.

He is one with the Cosmic Dragon but has accepted limitations on his being so that he can act in the mortal world.

>(Setting aside any other complication in G's case.)

The complication is of course that Godunya has gone to the Cosmic Dragon _and_ returned (only Daruda has done this before). Which refutes the contention that "becoming one with the Cosmic Dragon" should be interpreted as literally that.

> > While it is flawed in that it makes Dragonewts too
> > understandable, it still shows great commonalities between
> > them and Kralori draconism.

>This is a fairly direct contradiction;

Of your statement that we don't know how similar the 'newts are to the Kralori? I agree.

>if you agree that these
>sources give an erroneous impression of their comprehensibility,
>then you should acknowledge the unreliability of them as any sort
>of a basis for point-by-point comparison.

Since I don't believe that the conclusion is the only possible one from the premise, I find myself in the happy position of being able to have my cake and eat it. I find a better line of inquiry is to wonder what makes the dragonewts so incomprehensible if the Dragon Pantheon article presents an apt description of their beliefs. Several suggestions have been mooted in digests passim (they see in the Otherworld as well as the real world, they think in auld wyrmish, etc.) and I think all of them are true to varying degrees.

>Personally I'd
>suggest caution in interpretting the above information (and no,
>caution does not mean "bin it all"), as much of it may be EWF

Since the article actually calls the EWF and the Kralori Empire "degenerate", I do not find this plausible and hence see no reason for caution.

> > In which case, how do _you_ explain the similarities between
> > Kralori draconism and dragonewt religion if the dragonewts
> > are incomprehensible and the Kralori are not?

>At no point did I say that the one was entirely comprehensible, and the
>other entirely in-.

I never said you did. I was pointing what another person _asked_.

>Nor do I particularly want to even
>get into the question of how "deeply similar" the two are right now,
>beyond my observations about the (at least) superficial differences,
>by which I stand.

If you didn't want to get into the question of how deeply similar they are, you could have still answered the question of "why (if the dragonewts and Kralori draconism come from a common source), are the dragonewts so incomprehensible?" Observing superficial differences between the two doesn't address this question.

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