Gorean Philosophy in a Nutshell
What is Gor?
Well, the short version is that Gor is a fictional planet located directly opposite Earth on the other side of the sun in a series of Sci-Fi novels by Professor John Lange, writing as John Norman.
But if you're here reading, you're probably looking for the longer version. The best way to find that, of course, would be to go and read the books, but I will provide a summary here for those who are interested, but perhaps not quite ready to take the plunge and read all the books.
The story lines in the books are actually a platform for the presentation of a set of philosophical ideals. Professor Lange, after having his ideas highly criticized by his colleagues (remember, this was the mid to late 60s, when the feminist movement was just getting into full swing), went the route of others, such as Heinlein, Hubbard and Rynd, and turned to fiction to propagate his ideas.
The common themes that stand out in the books are ideas of casting off false societal teachings, living in cooperation and harmony with one's environment, being true to one's nature, understanding and embracing the differences between the sexes and people in general, personal accountability, honour, civic duty and respect.
Goreans revere nature and do not try to subvert or deny it.
Related to the above, much of the philosophy revolves around the idea that everyone is not equal to one another, but that we are all different, most especially males and females. Within the books, these differences are not suppressed, concealed or reviled, but rather, celebrated.
Honour is, perhaps, the most frequently touted Gorean trait in the books, and in discussions amongst Goreans. Obviously, the term and its meaning can be subjective, however, there are some fairly universal understandings about what is and is not honourable. Honesty, integrity, personal accountability, and doing the right thing, no matter who is or isn't looking are widely accepted as honourable behaviour among most Goreans - and people in general, for that matter. Personal codes of ethics/morals will differ, and each must, of course, follow their own beliefs. As long as those ethisc/beliefs aren't incompatible with Gorean philosophies, then personally defined honour is fine.
This is by no means an exhaustive study of what is Gorean, and it is only one person's take on the matter. There is absolutely no substitute for reading the books, to discover for yourself what they have to say. Remember, the philosophical points are woven within and against the backdrop of the story lines and allegorical scenarios. Just because "It is a common Gorean saying", or "Many Goreans contend" something does not mean it is an absolute. You have to read comprehensively, in context, and objectively in order to get the full picture. Or, at least the most full picture possible, to date.
© Khaos WolfKat 2006 ~2017
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