Re: Enlightenment

From: Richard Hayes <richard_hayes29_at_4o94ModefaR_ME6Hed0haYyoUH04DWBI4i_yF0Blqz8hvendjVXkraHF9-jF>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 13:33:50 +0000 (GMT)

Agree that mysticism itself is a means rather than a goal -- but presumably the goal, as you yourself say, is some sort of union with the cosmic.

How does that goal differ from "enlightnement"? (This is an open question not a rhetorical one).

What you say about telationship an Enlightened person has with the world is like Kierkegaard's idea of the difference between the Knight of Faith and the Knight of Infinite Resignation, and maybe also the Buddhist ideal of avoiding extreme asceticism as well as avoiding worldly things, as borne out by the life of Gautama Buddha himself. Though whilst the means may be different, isn't the Buddhist Nirvana very, very similar to the Hindu moksha -- a union with the cosmic that takes the soul out of the trials and tribulations of rebirth? (My limited understanding of this Buddhist ideal is that it sort-of covers both things -- an enlightenment in life leading ot a union with the cosmic in death -- and, as Herve pointed out, a new way of finding peace even in chores in the interim).

However it seems to be an important part of Gloranthan mysticism that the mystic (or should that be orthodox mystic?) seeks to transcend reality by avoiding the world and seeking union with the cosmic.  For these mystics their "enlightenment" (maybe there is a better word for this?) is the union with the cosmic they achieve when they get retreating from the world right. 

Hero Wars spoke of another kind of Gloranthan mystic who did still engage with the world (the "manifest mystic", was it?) To me they are the interesting ones because they are the ones that might become player characters or major NPCs.

My understanding from the last couple of times this group has discussed mysticism in Glorantha is that the canonical view is that such characters are still part of 'contemporary' Glorantha but they should not be seen as belonging to a fourth major philosophy (except perhaps in parts of Vithela?) and they should no have game mechanics distinct from the three existing systems of advanced magic.(Presumably the end effect is something like essence plane magic in mechanics terms, but the means by which it is produced are very different). Though maybe if/when Heroquest and/or RQ 6 gets round to writing up Vithelan religion, there will be a fuller "official" answer?

The manifest mystic probably does seek an enlightenment in which they still engage with the world without being contaminated by it. The classic'manifest mystic' who might become a player character is the dedicated, ascetic martial artist, but there is a sagely archetype with potential too. 

In their way the Nysalorean mystic is 'manifest' rather than orthodox. They too engage with the world, and their illumination is a kind of enlightenment in which they still engage with the world, only without becoming engaged in the zero sum game of others' battles between  Cosmos and Chaos.

I agree with a lot of what you say about Sheng Seleris too -- hence my description of him as a sell-out rather than a failure. Though maybe an orthodox mystic would take a different view?

Richard Hayes

From: Lord Hennamono <> To: Sent: Monday, 12 March 2012, 23:25
Subject: Enlightenment

On 12/03/12 13:33, Richard Hayes wrote:

Incidentally I have some qualms about the equation of enlightenment and mystic experience. Whilst I love Glorantha and think Greg has created something wonderful, some of his writing on mysticism IMHO misses the point.

Mysticism is a retreat from the world to seek union with the cosmic.

This is not the same as enlightenment at all, albeit mysticism may be involved on the path. The enlightened transcend the worldly/unworldly dichotomy as they transcend all duality. The enlightened engage in the world, not hide from it, whilst not being contaminated by it.

I've never been convinced by "Sheng Seleris was a failed mystic" - I think he just left mysticism far behind. Whether he was fully enlightened is a different matter - and one that almost certainly could only be judged by the enlightened...

Mysticism is a question not an answer.

Enlightenment is an answer (though not necessarily to mysticism's question).

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