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 Weekly Lesson #3 Introduciton to Gor

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PostSubject: Weekly Lesson #3 Introduciton to Gor   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:18 am


Lesson #3 – Introduction to Gor

Purpose: To teach the slave the basic background of Gor, the cities of Gor, the Pillars and Tenets. This is valuable information to know as it will be used over and over again.

Assignment:
Explain in 4-6 sentences what Gor is to you?
Which of the three pillars means most to you and why?
Which of the tenets is most meaningful to you and why?


Topic Information
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE PLANET GOR

Gor is a world not unlike Earth, though slightly smaller in size. It possesses three moons, and due to its different mass and size the world of Gor has a lighter gravity field than its counterpart, our Earth, making feats of seemingly superhuman strength into everyday occurances. Upon Gor a man can jump higher, lift more weight, and throw rather heavy objects with great speed and force. It is therefore quite understandable why Gor is a deadly place where single combat is swift and lethal. Despite all of this, Gor is a beautiful (if savage) planet, unspoiled by pollution and the terrible environmental damage caused by Earth's industrial age. The air is cleaner, the sky is a more brilliant shade of blue, and the whole planet is basically an unspoiled paradise. Gor exists, according to the "Sun Shield theory," in the same orbit as the planet Earth, and circles the same sun... It is therefore placed in such a way that the sun always obstructs direct view of it from Earth, though some Medieval Earth astronomers have theorized about its existence in ages past. It is postulated by those Goreans who have an understanding of such things that the Priest Kings actually utilized their super technology in the distant past to move Gor to its current orbit from one of the "blue galaxies," and that the Priest Kings use their high tech methods to conceal the planet from prying Earth eyes. If men of Earth believed in such a planet, it would be fairly easy to reach Gor...after all, one would only have to launch oneself into space in a space station, break Earth orbit, and wait. In six months, Gor would round the sun and come to the space station's current position. Because this has never happened, or been attempted, it is a fairly good assumption that Gor has not yet been discovered by the inhabitants of its sister-planet.

THE PRIEST KINGS

The Priest Kings are a race of super intelligent, insectoid beings with a highly evolved society and technology, who are rumored to reside in the rocky Sardar mountains in the northern hemisphere of Gor. It is their technology which controls the planet, even to its rotation and location in space. Through a millenia-long sequence of experimentation they have slowly selected and transplanted certain species of life to the planet, among them the species of Homo Sapiens, or man. For hundreds of centuries every part of the process of evolution was carefully controlled by them, including the cultural development of the transplanted humans. These humans, as well as all other life on Gor, were presumably transplanted to the planet by the Priest Kings through use of "the Silver Ships," disk-shaped vehicles which could make the long trip to other worlds and stars. These journeys are known as "Voyages of Acquisition" and it is unknown how frequently the Priest Kings authorize them, or to where. What is known is that many items of modern Earth culture periodically appear on Gor, supposedly from "Barbarian Lands," among them modern inhabitants of Earth who are brought to Gor at the Priest King's whim. Many of the slaves on the auction blocks of Gor are such people, kidnapped and brought to Gor against their free will. Because if this, Earth is widely regarded as a "slave planet" by those Goreans who know of its existence.

THE FLAME DEATH

The Priest Kings maintain a fairly tight net of control over the planet Gor, and have highly developed surveillence devices which allow such control. They are known to recruit human agents to serve their often incomprehensible schemes, and can even implant such humans with mind controlling devices when necessary. It is difficult to violate their rules and remain undetected. Those creatures who displease them are occasionally subjected to "The Flame Death," and are destroyed in an otherworldly flash of blue colored fire, reduced to ashes. This is a highly effective deterrant to those who would challenge the authority of Priest Kings.

CULTURES

The Priest Kings have picked and chosen the human inhabitants of Gor, seemingly at random. Each such new arrival brought with him or her the various cultural trappings of his/her home on Earth, resulting in a strange and wondrous cultural mish-mash among Gor's human inhabitants. Basic Gorean society seems to be built upon the foundations of Ancient Greece, and the City-State is the primary political structure upon the planet. Civilized Gor is a planet of walled cities, each in constant conflict with the others. Large Empires or alliances are discouraged by the Priest Kings, and so warfare among humans tends to be a relatively small-scale affair, usually involving mere thousands instead of hundreds of thousands. Warfare, however, is allowed to exist since it provides an effective means of capping the planetary population. Some of the other human races and cultures found on Gor include the Wagon Peoples (a Gorean variant on ancient Mongol Horsemen), the Torvaldslanders (a Gorean variant of the Norse Vikings), the Red Savages (a large population of formerly Native American Indians who now live in the vast untamed wildernesses of Gor), the Tribesmen of the Tahari (A Gorean Arabic culture), The Red Hunters of the North (A Gorean eskimo culture), such small tribes as the Alars (who seem similar to the Huns of Earth), and the Tribesmen of the Southern Forests (A Gorean variation of black African tribal culture). Many of the languages, manners of dress, weapons and customs of these peoples can be traced directly back to Earth, and have been assimilated into Gorean culture over the centuries.

TECHNOLOGY

The Priest Kings have carefully restricted the development of human technology in certain areas, while allowing it to flourish unchecked in others. The most carefully restricted areas are weapons technology, communications technology, and transportation. The areas of medicine and basic physical comforts have been allowed to compete with, and in some cases surpass, equivalent areas of study upon Earth. No weapons are allowed to exist upon Gor beyond the complexity of a crossbow or catapult... Personal armor is not allowed in any form, nor are complex chemical weapons, including, of course, gunpowder. The Goreans have wisely adopted these restrictions into their own cultural codes, and use of banned weapons and armor is universally regarded both as sacriledge against the Priest Kings and a measure of personal cowardice on the part of the user. Medicine, however, is highly advanced... it would not be unusual for a Gorean Warrior to sustain a serious sword or spear wound, only to find himself upon a highly modern Gorean operating table, lit by electric illumination globes. So advanced is Gorean medicine that diseases are rare upon that planet, and "Stabilization Serums" have been developed which allow each relatively wealthy Gorean to possess a virtually limitless lifespan. Because of this, as stated above, warfare is a VERY important means of controlling Gorean population levels, particularly among the upper castes. Nevertheless, because of the lack of communication and the restricted modes of planetary travel, such technology remains well beyond the reach of the average Gorean.

GOREAN CULTURAL NORMS

Because of the odd mixture of cultures so abundant on Gor, certain customs and practices have been adapted and accepted by most of the inhabitants of the planet as the "status quo" of Gorean society. Gorean society is, for the most part, strictly caste-oriented. A person is born into a particular "caste," or trade, and remains within the confines of it for life, abiding by its accepted laws and rules. Each caste has its codes of conduct, and by violating those codes a caste member effectively relinquishes his or her rights to be considered a law-abiding participant of Gorean society. Such a person is typically branded outlaw, and is shunned by those of his or her family and caste. Among the principle "traditional" Gorean virtues are strength of character, loyalty, skill and ability in the appropriate trade dictated by your caste, and love of personal freedom within the boundaries of your social position. Both men and women are expected to show their emotions outwardly, for all to see... the sight of a Warrior openly weeping at his loss of a comrade is not uncommon... in fact, such openness is expected. The only emotion which is actively repressed by Gorean culture is that of pity. To pity another openly is considered both a sign of weakness and a personal insult. Gorean caste codes are typically rather detailed and a bit harsh. Gor is a cruel world, and Gorean society mirrors that fact.

SLAVERY

Perhaps the most commonly misunderstood social institution upon Gor is that of human slavery. A sometimes cruel practice, though seemingly a necessary one on Gor, slavery takes many varied forms in Gorean culture. The psychological effects of such imbonditude are well understood by Goreans, even taken for granted. To the Gorean school of thought, slavery is not bad; it is a part of life. Few people are born to slavery upon Gor; most who are slaves upon that planet are slaves because they were actively enslaved. Goreans feel that to be enslaved is to be humbled, to be forced basically to acknowledge the fact that someone who was stronger than you exists, and has stripped your freedom from you. Women, being smaller and less physically adapted to warfare and self-protection, are naturally the beings most often enslaved upon Gor. There are male slaves as well, but they rarely last long. Most Gorean males will not suffer slavery for very long before they die resisting or are worked to death in the attempt to subdue their spirit. Females, on the other hand, are generally treated better and require less effort to subdue than males. This is also true because most Goreans regard beautiful, intelligent women as a highly valuable commodity for trade purposes. They are treated as what they have become, according to Gorean law: someone else's property. In effect, most Goreans tend to believe that if you are a slave, you deserve to be one. Either you were too weak to remain free, or you did something foolish to lose your freedom. Slavery, upon Gor, is a highly-regarded institution and is not merely psychological... it is a fact of nature, and has the total weight of all Gorean custom and practice to support it. To be a slave on Gor is to be totally enslaved, and there is simply no avenue of recourse to one who is no longer free. Gorean slavery is then, in effect, total slavery. Only freepersons are protected under Gorean law, and only freepersons have any say in the dealings of Gorean government and civil administration. To the Gorean way of thinking, this state of affairs is perfectly acceptable and even proper.

GOREAN POLITICAL DIVISIONS

The most often utilized political division and structure upon the planet of Gor is the free City-State, similar in most respects to the famed city states of Ancient Greece. Each city state considers itself to be an island amongst enemies... competition for territory and agricultural product is high, and each city considers its citizenry to be a separate people. Simple terminology like the names of the Months of the year, for example, and even the measurement of years themselves, varies from city to city. During times of peace, most free cities of Gor are governed by a democratic ruling council made up of notable citizens culled from the five High Castes, and ruled overall by an elected city administrator. During wartime a Ubar, or military ruler, is often chosen; occasionally the Administrator and the Ubar are one and the same. The Ubar is customarily expected to relinquish all power once the present crisis has been averted, and allow the administrator to resume his duties. This sometimes does not happen, in which case the city-state in question remains indefinitely under a condition of martial law. The offending Ubar might be dethroned by force, or a coup d'etat might be staged to wrest the reins of government from the Ubar and his supporters and return control to the civilian government. Certain cities upon Gor are governed by a female ruler, a Tatrix or Ubara, as the case may be, though only occasionally is an entire Gorean city ruled by a gynocracy. Typically the female ruler serves in much the same capacity as the city administrator or Ubar would. Outside the great walled cities, however, there are as many political systems upon Gor as there are upon her sister planet Earth. These odd alliances, leagues and hegemonies control various portions of civilized Gor... some consist of simple tribal groupings, while others may grow beyond that, expanding even to the brink of Empire; typically the major city-states will take action to halt such an external amassing of power long before it becomes a threat to their own sovereignty, however.

CITIES

Many of the great Gorean City-States date from antiquity; of the largest and most ancient, Ar in the north and Turia in the south immediately come to mind. Nevertheless, despite their massive wealth and influence, as well as their superior armed forces, both of these great cities has fallen to invaders; Turia to an invading horde of Tuchuk warriors in the summer of 10,119 C.A, and mighty Ar herself to a monumental force of Cosian warriors and mercenaries twenty years later. Like most Gorean settlements, these two huge cities are (or were, in the case of Ar) surrounded by a set of high defensive walls of stone, designed to repel attack from invasion. In addition, certain northern cities such as Ar have created and maintain a "zone of devastation" beyond the territories directly controlled by the city, a wasteland some 200-300 pasangs wide over which an invading army cannot easily cross. Inside the walls a typical Gorean city is comprised of many hundreds (or thousands) of small flat-roofed, multi-storied structures, shops and houses, apartments and public buildings. The greatest of all structures in a city, however, are her cylinders... huge, towering monoliths, cylindrical in shape, sometimes rising as high as a thousand feet into the air. Many of the higher cylinders are connected one to another by means of a series of foot bridges. These bridges customarily have no handrail or safety guards, and are rarely traversed by the faint of heart. Each Gorean city literally bristles with cylinders and outthrusting tarn perches to accommodate the needs of her warriors and citizenry. Each city also commonly possesses a "Street of Brands," a particular district of the city environs in which can be found the houses and pens of the city slave traders. Most of the inhabitants of any major Gorean city dwell either within the lofty cylinders, if they are wealthy enough to afford such, or within an apartment of one of the city's many insulae, or inns. Certain of the wealthiest citizens of a Gorean city often dwell in personal holdings, well-fortified villas typically located on the outskirts of the city, though occasionally existing within the city walls. Each such villa is designed to be a virtual fortress in the event of enemy attack. Also nestled amidst the many structures of a Gorean city are pleasure gardens of infinite variety, walled away from unwanted visitors, in which the wealthy free women of the city pass their hours in gossip and idle play. It is also typical for a city to possess several public bathhouses of varying size and quality to serve the needs of her citizens. Water is transported throughout the city through a series of well-engineered aqueducts, and all trash and daily waste is removed to a series of carnariums, or waste pits, beyond the walls, where it is composted and buried. News about matters of public importance is distributed to the citizenry through means of a series of "public boards," large notice boards normally found near the city center or marketplace. Stadiums and arenas are also to be found within the larger Gorean cities, in which her champions may do battle in gladiatorial games or airborne tarn races. It is customary, in some Gorean cities, for the citizens to possess a small chit-like token called an ostrakon, which they carry upon their person, and which proves their citizenship. The widespread practice of counterfeiting such ostraka often precludes their general usefulness, however. Citizenship is a very important part of Gorean culture... to be without it means that you have no recourse in the legalities of the Gorean social system. Bereft of a city to call your own, you are automatically categorized by other Goreans as being an outlaw, and therefore an enemy.

This, then, is a brief introduction to the Planet of Gor, the Counter-Earth of John Norman's invention.

• Map of Gor - http://jozie.net/Gor/MapofGor/

• Three Pillars –

Home Stone - Home Stone (noun):1) a stone, often circular and flat, that is sacred to each dwelling, and is to be defended ferociously by even the meanest peasant;
2) a similar stone that represents the soul of a city;
to be without a Home Stone is to lack citizenship

Indeed, there is a saying on Gor, a saying whose origin is lost in the past of this strange planet, that one who speaks of Home Stone should stand, for matters of honor are here involved, and honor is respected in the barbaric codes of Gor. Tarnsman of Gor page 27

Gor, literally, means Home Stone.

This love of their city tends to become invested in a stone which is known as the Home Stone, and which is normally kept in the highest cylinder in a city. In the Home Stone, sometimes little more than a crude piece of carved rock, dating back perhaps several hundred generations to when the city was only a cluster of huts by the bank of a river, sometimes a magnificent and impressively wrought, jewel-encrusted cube of marble or granite-the city finds its symbol. Yet to speak of a symbol is to fall short of the mark. It is almost as if the city itself were identified with the Home Stone, as if it were to the city what it is to a man. The myths of these matters have it, that while the Home Stone survives, so too, must the city.But not only is it the case that each city has it's own Home Stone. The simplest and humblest village, and even the most primitive hut in that village, perhaps only a cone of straw, will contain its own Home Stone, as will the fantastically appointed chambers of the Administrator of so great a city as Ar." Outlaw of Gor, Pg. 22-23

Caste –

Gorean society is divided into "Castes." Each profession or occupation comprises its own caste,
and each caste is ranked according to its place in Gorean society.

Caste Codes

Each caste maintains a series of beliefs and rules for its members, which are followed when one
is practicing one's profession. These are called the caste's "codes" and deal mainly with matters
specific to that particular profession; i.e, a member of the caste of merchants would follow his or
her caste codes in regards to maintaining a profitable trade, presenting merchandise in an honest
fashion, haggling, etc. Each caste's codes are different.

Caste Colors

The major castes of Gor have their own unique "Caste Color." This color is used by members of that
caste to display their are association with the caste which that color represents. Such things as
banners, flags, and even buildings will often be colored to show caste alliance. Goreans will often
wear clothing of their caste color which making it known at a glance their Caste membership. A
widely recognized symbol for a member of the Gorean warrior caste is a scarlet tunic, for example,
while a scribe would wear robes of blue, his own caste color.

Gorean castes are divided into two categories, High castes and Low castes. There are only Five
High Castes. At the government building there are five stone chairs, one for the head of each caste.
There is a wide band of the caste color going from the floor to the ceiling six stories high behind
each chair.

High Castes

Caste of Initiates
First of the High Castes. The supposed representatives of the Priest-Kings in Gorean society.
They are responsible for guiding the spiritual life of Goreans through their rituals and prayers to
the Priest-Kings. Some are rumored to have the ability to call down the wrath of the Priest
Kings, or the dreaded "Flame Death," upon those who commit blasphemous acts or who
conspire against the Priest Kings. They are recognized by their white robes, their shaven heads
and faces, and their refusal to eat meat or imbibe alcohol. They are also required by their caste
codes to be celibate. They tend to be learned and well-read, although they are feared and often
distrusted by those of the lower castes. Caste color: White

Caste of Scribes
Second of the High Castes. They are the scholars of Gorean society, the writers and the
historians. In their keeping is almost all of the accounting, record-keeping, and writing upon Gor.
They tend to be serious and studious, with an attention to detail and a passion for knowledge.
Sub-classes of this caste include the caste of Mapmakers (explorers), the caste of Magistrates
and the caste of Litigators. Caste color: Blue

Caste of Builders
Third of the High Castes. This caste includes architects, engineers, draftsmen, stonemasons,
and many other professions which concern themselves with the creation of the physical and
engineering marvels of Gor. Also among the caste of Builders are the inventors and technicians
who develop such works. Caste color: Yellow

Caste of Physicians
Fourth of the High Castes. This is the caste of those who concern themselves with the healing
arts. Surgeons, apothecaries, medical researchers and health practitioners are all members of
this caste. Universally recognized as non-combatants during time of war. Caste color: Green

Caste of Warriors
Fifth and lowest of the High Castes. This caste includes infantry, tharlarion cavalry, and
tarnsmen. They are known to have one of the strictest sets of caste codes in use on Gor.
Members of this caste comprise the military branch of Gorean government. Caste color: Scarlet


I have little doubt but what the caste structure contributes considerably to the stability of the Gorean society. Among other things, it reduces competitive chaos, social and economic, and prevents the draining of intelligence and ambition into a small number of envied, prestigious occupations. If one may judge by the outcome of Kaissa tournaments, amateur tournaments as opposed to those in which members of the caste of Players participate, there are brilliant men in most castes. Explorers of Gor page 209

Slavery - On Gor, slavery is a complex institution, with its hundreds of aspects and facets, legal, social, economic and aesthetic. It is an ancient institution with a lengthy history of development. Gorean mythology even provides a story justifying the creation of slavery. Long ago, there once was a war between the men and women of Gor. The women were defeated. But, the Priest-Kings did not want all of the women killed so they made them beautiful. But as a price for their beauty, the Priest-Kings decreed that they would forever be slaves to men.

Long ago, there were a series of wars called the Slave Wars. They occurred among various cities in the middle latitudes, off an on, for over a period of about a generation. Though the wars involved large-scale slaving there were other causes too, like the levying of tribute and control of trade routes. Much of the merchant law about slaves grew out of these wars. The wars also developed some of the standardization of the slave as a commodity.

Goreans view slavery as a natural institution. Slavery has its basis in the biological differences of men and women. Male dominance is pervasive among mammals and universal among primates. Men see it as their right to be dominant. Many women also feel that is true. Female slaves are normally very satisfied in their bondage. Though initially they may rebel at the idea, they eventually grow to revel in their slavery. Feminism does not really exist on Gor. There are very few Goreans who wish an end to slavery.

Slavery is an important part of the economic fabric of Gorean society. The business of slavery keeps many castes working. From Metalworkers who create slave steel to Perfumers who make slave perfume, almost every caste benefits from slavery. Even Peasants benefit by using slaves as beasts of burden. Slaves perform many tasks on Gor, from the fields to the cities. Without the institution of slavery, there would be a vast economic hole in Gorean society.

The primary thing to consider is that slavery was not instituted solely to bring pleasure to men. Slavery has many other effects throughout society. Do not think only about paga slaves. Think of the many kettle and pot girls out there working. Think of the slaves to peasants toiling in the fields. Think of the state slaves cleaning the streets and working in the public laundries. Slavery is a vast entity with many aspects. Slavery is about far more than just sex.


Slavery is a large institution on Gor. A boon to trade and economic development recognized within as natural on the World of Gor. In a world clearly dominated by strong men, the weaker of the sexes find themselves often enslaved. Though widely frowned upon on Earth, in Gor it is seen through different eyes. It is the sharp contrast to the harshness. It accentuates the rawness complimenting it with its beauty. Gor is a world where flesh is bought, sold, enslaved, owned and eventually mastered. It is a part of the natural order, though slaves are seen as weak, it is a different kind of strength that they must pull from, a strength that shines through acknowledging them to be the kajirae of Gor. They recognize and accept their lot in life, relishing it hungrily. They are property and nothing more, no longer once collared is their fate in their own hands. They live to please as if their very life depended on it, which most often it does. There were male slaves though they were an exception. When cities and villages were raided or looted usually the men were slain and rarely brought into slavery whereas the slave girls were thought to be prize booty. Many an acquisition ship was sent to earth to bring back girls and introduce them into slavery. Careful selection occurred through this process.


• Tenets of Gor –That is a difficult question to answer; there are as many philosophies upon Gor as there are people to embrace them. Rather than ask what is the philosophy of Gor, perhaps it is better to examine ALL of the philosophies of Gor, and try to discover the unifying factors which they have in common. These, then, are the basic tenets upon which Gorean philosophy is based.

Throughout the 25 books which make up the chronicles of the Counter-Earth, certain principles and beliefs are often repeated, which the narrator proclaims are widely held by Goreans in general. I have selected several of these, the principles which in my opinion seem to be the foundation for the basic Gorean system of ethics:

1) Be WHAT you are: Similar in many respects to a tenet set forth by the Earth philosopher Marcus Aurelius; namely that each thing which exists possesses its own unique singularity. When a thing attempts to be something it is not, problems arise. A man is a man; a woman is a woman; a tree is a tree; a flower is a flower. To the Gorean mind, it is foolish for anything to assume the properties of another thing.Therefore, each person is required to understand his or her basic nature, and to abide by it. According to such a tenet, therefore, it is assumed that there are needs, desires and activities which are specifically masculine, and those which are specifically feminine. Though the lines may blur at times, when all things are reduced to their basic forms, each thing is appreciated and celebrated for its own uniqueness, and is not forced to assume properties of another, different, thing.

2) Be WHO you are: This tenet applies in regard to a person's existence in society and the caste structure. It takes into account the fact that everyone possesses certain talents and abilities from birth, regardless of their familial caste. Therefore, upon Gor a person is free to alter or raise his or her caste on the basis of ability, though it is rarely done, since most Goreans value their familial caste as a badge of their clan identity. But the above principle also applies in regard to freedom and slavery. To the Gorean mindset, each person is born with a desire for freedom, and an innate slave nature. A person's proper place in society is dependant upon how these two factors are balanced within the personality of that particular Gorean. Most Goreans believe that anyone who has within them a burning desire to exist free of strictures will not suffer slavery, dying rather than submitting to bonditude. A person who has within them a strong slave nature, the desire to be controlled and commanded, will eventually succumb to their inner need to serve others, free of all responsibility to things other than themselves and their service.

3) Obey the Natural Order of things: This tenet applies to the way Goreans view the world around them. They feel it is futile to attempt to disregard the effect of hundreds of generations of evolution. If a creature is naturally genetically equipped to fulfill a specific function in relation to another, then it is considered fitting and proper that such a creature be allowed to do so, even when such natural predisposition might result in stratification. In regards to human beings, it is understood that stronger, more intelligent, and more ambitious human beings will naturally assume a higher social strata in regards to their interaction with the less strong, less intelligent, and less ambitious. In regard to male/female sexual relations, it is therefore the right of the male, who is genetically predisposed for physical dominance, to control the physical aspects of his relationship to the female. In return, he is expected to behave as the hunter/provider, seeing to the protection of the female to insure the propagation of the race. Females, meanwhile, who tend to be smaller and less physically powerful, are expected to respect the biological truths of their lesser physical stature, while making the most of their genetic predisposition to serve and aid the male, and utilizing their superior emotional empathy and long-term endurance to do so while surviving and advancing the species. Not all women, therefore, are slaves, though the female sex is often referred to by males as "the slave sex." Gorean females are simply expected to respect and understand that they are less able in areas requiring raw physical strength than their male counterparts, and adjust their behavior accordingly. When one considers the fact that personal combat to the death is a daily occurrence throughout Gor, such behavior among Gorean women is a wise practice to say the least.

4) Advancement of the Strong: This tenet is similar to that described above; it simply refers to the common Gorean belief that strength, whether it is physical strength, mental strength, or strength of will, should be celebrated and set forth as an example. In this way the Gorean feels he advances the human race, adding to its chances for survival and continued existence.

5) Diminishment of the Causes of Weakness: This principle acts as the inverse to the tenet described above. In order that the human species may grow stronger, it is necessary that the weaker and lesser adaptive elements of Gorean society be carefully controlled and encouraged to grow in strength and adaptability. Anti-social elements are to be excised from society through restriction of citizenship, or confined and rehabilitated. Warfare and enforced captivity are two methods by which this last end is accomplished upon the surface of the planet Gor.

6) Do what you will: This is one of the key principles to Gorean philosophy; basically, it means that every Gorean is expected to strive within the limits of his or her existence to achieve self-fulfillment and lasting happiness. A Warrior may draw his sword and lead an army to conquer a city, if he is strong enough and fit enough to do so. A free woman may attempt to contract a profitable companionship or to build a financial empire, if she is strong enough and clever enough. Even a slave is expected to seek her deepest self-fulfillment within the bonds of her Master's chains. In such a manner, each Gorean is expected to strive and achieve something for the collective
Gorean society, and struggle to attain perfection within the structure of that society. To the Gorean mind, there are always possibilities for advancement no matter what the situation.

7) Responsibility for One's Actions: This tenet is based upon the Gorean concept of basic "cause and effect." It is through the practice of this principle that the rest of the tenets listed above make sense, and function. This is the belief that everyone, no matter how great or humble, chooses the course of his or her destiny. When a warrior
draws his sword, he can expect to suffer the consequences. When a Gorean submits to the bonds of slavery, he or she is expected to acknowledge and accept what occurs afterward. In such a way every choice made by every single Gorean is inextricably bound together with the choices of his or her fellow Goreans in a great interlinking web of cause and effect, a massive net of fate which moves the race forward into the future like an unstoppable juggernaut. Do whatever you want to, but expect it to effect you, either for good or ill. You are responsible for yourself.

Excuses are futile and no one wants to hear them anyway. If you screw up, take your medicine, deal with the situation and move on to the next thing. The basic rules and maxims of the various caste codes and the fundamental principles of Gorean interaction seem to be based mostly upon this concept; this, in effect, is the explanation for
Gorean "cruelty." Goreans are not cruel, they are practical. "That which does not kill them makes them stronger," to paraphrase from Nietzsche. If you wear the collar of a slave, look like a slave, act like a slave, and do not either fight your way to freedom or die in the attempt, then you must really be one. In any case, you most probably
were free at one point... so what happened? You either needed to be a slave, were too weak to stay free, or screwed up really badly somewhere along the way. Whatever the case, deal with it. Life is not fair, and most Goreans are far to practical to try to make it so. Life sucks. If you get hit on the head, don't waste time crying about it... accept it and next time wear a helmet.

Cool Stratification by Natural Process: Superior strength-- be it strength of will, strength of body, or strength of mind-- will tend naturally to manifest itself among ordered human groupings. Even particulars such as sexual gender do not universally define how matters of strength are involved in the stratification process. Anyone who is stronger will naturally assume a position of dominance, be it mental or physical, over those weaker or less willing to match themselves in human dominance struggles. Therefore, it is categorically incorrect to assign presumed dominance or blanket superiority over anyone, or any one grouping, within the human condition, since these matters tend to be somewhat situational. While human beings are defined to a great extent by their sex, there is no "dominance gene" nor is there any "submission gene." There are only combinations of heritable genes, each of which will render the individual more prone to certain behaviors than others. These genetic leanings can be circumvented, though typically the act of doing so is costly, both to the individual involved and to the system in which he or she functions.

The final tenet, listed above, has only one interpretation: if anyone, be they male or female, possesses the ability to dominate others, he or she will naturally tend to do so when the opportunity presents itself, even against his or her preexistent genetic propensities. It is when the dominance factor clashes with the biologically engrained sexual selection pressures, and circumvents preprogrammed sexual-based survival behaviors, that the human being becomes, to paraphrase Norman, "a mass of conflicting drives and emotions, more prone to heightened mental stress, physical illness, psychological disease and a substantially shortened lifespan."

Gorean philosophy is, in many cases, a zero-sum equation. A Gorean must look within himself for the strength to contain his emotions, so that he may see with objectivity what is needed and required to bolster the Gorean philosophies and maintain his honor through positive action.

This, then, is my perception of basic Gorean philosophy. It may not seem fair to you, or perhaps even make much sense from your particular point of view, but I doubt most Goreans care. They have little time for debate, as they are too busy living.

To paraphrase the words of a well known Gorean author: An Earthling might very well examine the principles of Gorean philosophy and ask the question: "Why so hard?"

A Gorean would probably shrug, examine the principles of modern Earth philosophy, and answer with the question: "Why so soft?"

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Weekly Lesson #3 Introduciton to Gor
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