Fifth Month
Passage Hand
Year 10,170 Contasta Ar


by Caprus

We see it all the time, men who enter a room and sooner or later address another there as brother. More often than not, the two men have never met off line. Still, others use the term "Blood". To date, the only explanation I have received regarding this term, from men who use it, is that the speaker and the man he addresses in this fashion are "Blood Brothers". Other men that the same speaker simply calls brother, are addressed in this fashion because they are "Fellow Masters". Or, in other words, an expression of fraternity.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the words brotherhood, fraternity, and the term blood brother this way:

Main Entry: broth·er·hood
Pronunciation: bruhth-er-hood
Function: noun
1: the quality or state of being brothers
3: an association (as a labor union) for a particular purpose
4: the whole body of persons engaged in a business or profession

Main Entry: fra·ter·ni·ty
Pronunciation: fruh-tur-ni-tee
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
Date: 14th century
1: a group of people associated or formally organized for a common purpose, interest, or pleasure: as
a: a fraternal order
c: a men's student organization formed chiefly for social purposes having secret rites and a name consisting of Greek letters
d: a student organization for scholastic, professional, or extracurricular activities (a debating fraternity).
2: the quality or state of being brothers : BROTHERLINESS
3: persons of the same class, profession, character, or tastes (the racetrack fraternity)

Main Entry: blood brother
Function: noun
Date: 1890
1: a brother by birth
2: one of two men pledged to mutual loyalty by a ceremonial use of each other's blood

The classic understanding of the first two definitions, brotherhood and fraternity, is that when one is a member of a labor union, college fraternity, or other such society based group, one takes an oath. This oath, whether actually stated or simply implied by membership, confers upon the member certain rights and responsibilities. Foremost among these is the unwavering support of fellow members of the organization. In the case of labor unions, it is expected that members will also support the causes of other trade unions in times of strife. This support is most often expressed in the form of boycott of a business' products or services during strikes or other labor disputes. There was a time in western society when these forms of brotherhood or fraternity were weighty matters. Today one need only take a quick look around to discover that, to a large extent, the meaning of brotherhood and fraternity, as they apply here, are greatly diminished.

That having been said, each of these definitions will still add to the argument that Gorean men, based on their shared philosophy, are in fact brothers. There are, however, other considerations. The first of these being that the definitions supplied by the dictionary do not take into account the implications of the words they define. The second, and most important to those of the Gorean mind set, is that they do not address the source text from which the philosophy is drawn.

"What," I asked Kamchak, "would you do if you thought the message were truly from Priest-Kings?" "Nothing," said Kamchak, gravely. "You would risk," I asked, "the herds the wagons the peoples?" Both Kamchak and I knew that Priest-Kings were not lightly to be disobeyed. Their vengeance could extend to the total and complete annihilation of cities. Indeed their power, as I knew, was sufficient to destroy planets. "Yes," said Kamchak. "Why?" I asked. He looked at me and smiled. "Because," said he, "we have together held grass and earth."
Nomads of Gor - Page 52

"What madness do you contemplate?" he whispered. "Surely Zarendargar must be warned," I said. "No!" said Samos. "Let him be slain as expeditiously as possible!" "Once," said Samos, "he sent you forth upon the ice, to be slain by another Kur." "He did his duty, as he saw it," I said. "He might slay you, instantly, if he saw you," said Samos. "It is true he is an enemy," I said. "That is a risk I must take." "How is it that you could even think of doing this?" he asked. "Zarendargar may need my assistance," I said. "I may be able to aid him." "But why, why?" he asked. I shrugged. "Once," I said, "we shared paga."
Savages of Gor - Pages 66 through 71

Cuwignaka's knife moved on his own forearm, and then on mine, and then on Hci's. Cuwignaka held his arm to mine, and then I held my arm to that of Hci, and then Hci, in turn, held his arm to that of Cuwignaka. Thus was the circle of blood closed. "It is done," said Cuwignaka. "Brothers," I said. "Brothers," said Hci. "Brothers," said Cuwignaka.
Blood Brothers of Gor - Page 475

The first two quotes above show men willing to risk literally everything rather than betray what they believe to be a sacred bond, the bonds of brotherhood. The third quote, while not directly showing this willingness does indeed imply it. What could possibly be more profound than for men to inflict wounds upon themselves and then mix their blood?

"He is my sword brother. I can deny him nothing."
Marcus of Ar referring to Jakil in a post on the Gorean Public Boards

I include this last quote to both tie the source text to our reality, and to show the level of commitment expected of Gorean men to those they call brother. A Gorean man will indeed deny his brother nothing. This is balanced by the fact that his brother would not ask for that which he cannot give. Better to do without than risk causing a brother harm.

How many in the cyber community can honestly say that they are willing to make such commitments to the man or men sitting at their keyboards on the other end of a chat screen? If a man has not so much as sat at table, shared food, drink, and conversation with another man how can he call him brother? If a man has not actually looked into another man's eyes and seen himself, if a man cannot look at others and say without hesitation; "Everything I have belongs as well to this man." How then can he call him brother?

For Gorean men the bar in these matters is set incredibly high. It is set high for a purpose; it is there to elevate the Gorean man above the quagmire that modern society has become. For men who would call themselves Gorean to enter chat rooms and use such a title when addressing another, without the relationship having first met the criteria, is to cheapen and degrade it. For these same men to toss this sacred title around as they would the word paga is to lower themselves into the quagmire.

"Truth not won is not possessed. We are not entitled to truths for which we have not fought."
Marauders of Gor - Page 7

The bar awaits you.


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