The following letter was kindly written by John Norman in March, 2007, for the opening of the Chronicles of Gor website.
How astonishing is the world-wide Gorean phenomenon!
How unexpected, certainly to me, that anything so different, and so remarkable, could occur.
It was not suspected, it was not sought, it was not envisioned.
I sometimes think of myself as some fellow wandering about, say, a thousand years ago, in some wilderness, who might by accident have discovered magnetism, or some new force of nature, one he did not understand, but one whose reality, once glimpsed, was as undeniable as that of iron ore, or rain, or wind, or lightning. He brings his discovery to the halls of indoctrination, mistakenly, and learns to his surprise that reality may not exist without permission and approval. It is permitted to exist only selectively, and then must be authorized, even licensed. The unlicensed reality is to be denied, or, at least, discreetly concealed.
Exploration, accordingly, is perilous.
And discovery seems to be worse.
One can live a three-quarters existence, of course. Most people do, or less. Certainly the nest is cozy; why leave home; the horizon is faraway; maybe it's cold out there; it is different, at least; but one grows weary of worms; and one suspects wings have a purpose.
Is reality so terrible? That does not seem clear. We have been living with it for fifty thousand years, and sometimes we have even acknowledged that fact.
In any event, iron ore, and rain, and wind, and lightning are not voted on; they are not forwarded out of committees; they are part of the fabric of things, and intrude, however inexcusably; they seek no permissions, no approvals.
There is such a thing as human nature, the human heart, the human mind, the human body.
At any rate we did not invent the biotruths of human nature, no more than we invented vision, speech, the circulation of blood, the beating of the heart.
We did not invent men and women.
They are what they are, and what they are not is hollow vessels to be filled with whatever sugars and syrups their betters, the anointed cooks of humanity, the intolerant coveters of power and would-be imposers of values, see fit to pour into receptive, neutral containers, containers empty in themselves. How fortunate are the containers to be labeled from the outside by strangers who do not know them, or themselves, and to be filled with whatever contents these outsiders might deem in their own best interests! Too, the human being is not a social artifact, but a living thing, a remarkable animal; he is not a manufactured product, not a paper knife or can opener, not a party hat or rubber stamp, designed for purposes other than his own, though surely the original animal can be twisted and tortured into a variety of unusual forms. Is there any fact more visible on the assembly lines of society? The fact that a tree can be denied minerals and water, that its roots can be poisoned, its branches and bark torn away, and its leaves removed, delicately, one by one, alters nothing. The fact that the tree is not allowed to flourish, to fulfil its genetic destiny, does not prove that it cannot flourish, nor that it lacks a genetic destiny. Indeed the subversion of such truths presupposes their existence. The modern human is too often a bonsai human, cropped, stunted, and potted. The fact that a living thing can be twisted, torn, and pruned into a diversity of madnesses, depending on the ideology of power-seeking establishments, political, religious, and otherwise, alters nothing.
The dictators of values are short on credentials; their self-certifications are pompous and vacuous; the papacies of their self-canonization are suspect. Sometimes I think they suffer from brain damage; perhaps their halos are too heavy.
With all due respect one might offer the test of life consequences. Is it not worth considering?
If an ideology produces unhappiness, misery, grief, division, sickness, boredom, and hatred, surely this is not a commendation but an indictment.
Let men and women be themselves.
Do they not deserve the opportunity to inquire into their own natures, as they are, not as they are told they should be?
In any event, the Gorean civilization suggests that civilizations need not be prisons, suppressing, injuring, and minimizing their victims, but might be enhancements of nature, indeed, a part of nature, in her development, not her antithesis, not her adversary.
And so, what would be the great harm if, here and there, there might be occasional enclaves of rationality, and honesty, a few scattered pockets of health and sanity?
That does not seem so terrible.
So let the Gorean experiment continue.
And so I herewith welcome, and most heartily, a new, remarkable venue, a new harbor in Gorean waters, a new fortress in her mountains, a new, defiant city to be recorded on her maps, the Chronicles of Gor.
I wish it well.
Copyright © 2007 by John Norman - All Rights Reserved.
Published with kind permission of the author.