I don't 'live' Gorean. I 'am' Gorean.
Stating it like that means no more or less than that I tend to follow a Gorean style (as described in the books) code of ethics and morals. The statement is meant for those who understand what it means to hold such a code of ethics and morals in contrast to the more common -in the West- Western morality most other people I deal with hold. It's a description of how I tend to look at the world, so that those who know what the description means, can start off by making a set of assumptions about how I feel, think and react to certain things, with a fairly high degree of accuracy.
I could hang out with certain (old) members of this board, and they could make fairly accurate guesses about what my position on certain topics would be, and how I would ethically handle certain situations, by the fact that I stated that I was Gorean, without us having to go into a great deal of detail discussing all those potential scenarios. Likewise I could do the same about them.
Stating that I'm Gorean means that, when deciding right from wrong, I take a very different path than most people I encounter take, to reach my conclusions on what's right and what's wrong. It's a statement that contrasts me against Western, and other, moralities.
I don't really care about 'being' Gorean. Claiming that I am is nothing more than a tool to ease communications with certain types of people. A shorthand, if you will.
I don't roleplay, because I have no interest in pretending that I actually AM Gorean in any meaningful way. And yes, I just first said that I am Gorean, and then said that I am not Gorean. Which makes perfect sense when you consider that claiming that I am Gorean is nothing but a shorthand to describe the way I think, but that I'm not Gorean, in the sense that I don't care about pretending like I'm from Gor. I don't copy customs out of the books, it's not about what Goreans, ate, did, wore, used, or about Gorean social customs for me.
What I do is think-as-Norman-described-Goreans-to-think-in-contrast-to-how-Western-people-think-about-things.
I'd be happy to give up the descriptor, if there was a different one around, but as long as there's not, Gorean is the easiest and the most convenient one.
And I wouldn't consider SCA knights to be the same thing, unless they actually held to a medieval knight's code, ethics, and way of thinking. And even if they claimed they did, I would be hesitant about actually believing them, until I've talked with them about the topic in more depth, considering that most of what modern Westerners think they know about medieval knight's codes is highly romanticized and for the most part completely made up. Not that them holding to a made up code of ethics would invalidate that code. It's just a matter that if the code they hold to is romanticized and made up, they're not really communicating to me exactly what that code is by saying they're a knight.
The reason I don't consider SCA knights to be the same thing as claiming to be Gorean, is because the statement "I am a SCA knight" doesn't really tell me anything about that person, other than what they do. It doesn't tell me how they think, or why they think that way, or what their ethics and morals are.
In the case where a SCA knight claims to 'live' as a medieval knight, the statement becomes a little more meaningful, because now the person is at least implying that I can infer certain things about them (other than stuff they do). Whether those inferences I'm going to make when somebody claims to 'be' an actual knight are correct all depend on whether they and I are on the same page of what it means to 'be' a knight.
Which is a problem you have with claiming to be Gorean as well, considering that for some people 'being' Gorean means 'thinking as a Gorean' and for some people it means 'acting like a Gorean'. However, regardless of that problem, it's still a useful tool, because once we mutually make the distinction about which one the other one means, inferences can still easily and safely be made.
< Message edited by UllrsIshtar -- 3/16/2016 9:21:17 AM >
I can be your whore
I am the dirt you created
I am your sinner
And your whore
But let me tell you something baby
You love me for everything you hate me for