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nameless
11-04-2009, 11:40 PM
Alright, so this is the first thread I've started and it will probably fail utterly, but I felt compelled to address some of the ideas being thrown around in the debate over how "real" the LTT voice in Rand's head was.

I'll start with the most contentious point: the taint on saidin had nothing to do with Rand's access to LTT's memories. I know Rand thinks it did, but he's wrong. Graendal treated patients suffering from past life regression as far back as the Age of Legends, when the taint didn't even exist yet. Therefore, something other than the taint must be responsible for this condition. QED. My own pet theory is that Rand remembers his past life because he has encountered an unusually large number of people and artifacts from the Age of Legends to jar his memory. First he has Ishamael, his nemesis from his previous incarnation, constantly harrassing his dreams. Then he goes to the Eye of the World and finds his previous incarnation's banner. From there he spars with Ishy some more, then goes on to meet the Heroes of the Horn, who refer to him by his past life's name. The turning point comes in Rhuidean, where he actually experiences the Age of Legends first hand. It is at this point that he begins to unwittingly use slang from the AoL, and LTT's voice grows progressively stronger from this point forward.

Secondly, the actual effects of the taint are far more subtle. RJ seems to have based these on the real-life model of cumulative brain damage caused by addiction to drugs or alcohol, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. You've got a powerfully addictive substance, in this case saidin, that damages your mind a little bit more each time you use it up until the Cleansing, at which point you're stuck with whatever damage you've already endured. In real life the first thing to go is your ability to regulate your emotions, followed closely by your ability to grasp subtle distinctions, and this is mirrored by Rand's increasingly violent temper and his more and more prevalent attitude of "if you're not with me you're against me."

Thirdly, Rand has some serious mental health issues unrelated to either the voice or the taint. There's his post-traumatic stress caused by being imprisoned and tortured by Aes Sedai, his newfound claustrophobia caused by the aforementioned imprisonment and torture, his survivor's guilt over all the women who died in his presence, etc., etc. His epiphany on Dragonmount suggests that he will finally be able to begin recovery from these mental scars, but he still has a long way to go. Reintegration with his alter ego was the beginning of this process, not the end of it.

Belazamon
11-05-2009, 12:02 AM
A good post, and a good look at substance abuse as it might relate to the taint. :) However, I still have to disagree with one point.

Graendal treated patients suffering from past life regression as far back as the Age of Legends, when the taint didn't even exist yet. Therefore, something other than the taint must be responsible for this condition. QED.
I'm afraid this is faulty logic. It can be accepted that past-life memories can leak into the present life by some means - however, we can't exclude the option that there could be more than one mechanism that allows this to happen. Simply put, several different diseases may share common symptoms.

And honestly I disagree with your "reminders" theory, but that's due to personal feelings, not necessarily flawed logic. :D

nameless
11-05-2009, 12:36 AM
Good point... I should have said "there is at least 1 cause of this condition unrelated to the taint." And I'm not entirely satisfied with the "memory jog" idea myself, but I can't come up with any other explanation. It's not ta'veren because it doesn't happen to the other ta'veren. It's not being reborn as a Hero because they keep their skills but not their memories. It's not the One Power because it doesn't happen to other men who can channel (Cadsuane mentions other men who hear voices but she was talking about hallucinations, not past lives). When I ask myself what's unique about Rand's situation, I keep coming back to the glass columns in Rhuidean. Too bad we never got a chance to hear Graendal explain what was going on with her other past life patients...

Terez
11-05-2009, 12:39 AM
Cadsuane's comment doesn't explain the memories, but it does explain the 'voice', at least partly.

I think that the memories result from taint barrier degradation, the things you mentioned (being reminded about the Age of Legends), his excursions to Tel'aran'rhiod, in dreams and in the flesh, 'the Wheel did it,' etc. Don't see the need to pick one.

greatwolf
11-05-2009, 12:45 AM
Oooooohhh.

I like this. Really refreshing.

Now let's wait for boys to do the dirty job.

Čkicks Terez awakeČ

greatwolf
11-05-2009, 12:48 AM
Wow. Superfast service from Terez. :p

Terez
11-05-2009, 12:53 AM
I have never been the voice of taint barrier degradation theory. Which, as Callandor just told you a few days ago, is not the same as construct theory at all. ;)

Belazamon
11-05-2009, 12:54 AM
When I ask myself what's unique about Rand's situation, I keep coming back to the glass columns in Rhuidean.
Another thing that is unique about Rand - and one that is pointed out several times throughout the series - is that he is a "specific man reborn according to Prophecy." Just another datum to add to your processing.

Sodas
11-05-2009, 01:02 AM
Alright, so this is the first thread I've started and it will probably fail utterly, but I felt compelled to address some of the ideas being thrown around in the debate over how "real" the LTT voice in Rand's head was.

I'll start with the most contentious point: the taint on saidin had nothing to do with Rand's access to LTT's memories. I know Rand thinks it did, but he's wrong. Graendal treated patients suffering from past life regression as far back as the Age of Legends, when the taint didn't even exist yet.

I thought that too. But Semirhage lied. She was *&$#ing with Rand.

Secondly, the actual effects of the taint are far more subtle. RJ seems to have based these on the real-life model of cumulative brain damage caused by addiction to drugs or alcohol, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. You've got a powerfully addictive substance, in this case saidin, that damages your mind a little bit more each time you use it up until the Cleansing, at which point you're stuck with whatever damage you've already endured. In real life the first thing to go is your ability to regulate your emotions, followed closely by your ability to grasp subtle distinctions, and this is mirrored by Rand's increasingly violent temper and his more and more prevalent attitude of "if you're not with me you're against me."

Only problem is that brain damage is irreversible. Nothing an abuser says or believes will bring those brain cells back.

Thirdly, Rand has some serious mental health issues unrelated to either the voice or the taint. There's his post-traumatic stress caused by being imprisoned and tortured by Aes Sedai, his newfound claustrophobia caused by the aforementioned imprisonment and torture, his survivor's guilt over all the women who died in his presence, etc., etc. His epiphany on Dragonmount suggests that he will finally be able to begin recovery from these mental scars, but he still has a long way to go. Reintegration with his alter ego was the beginning of this process, not the end of it.

I can see where you are going with this.

Personally, not from the construct side, I'd say I like your interpretation over that of Terez. If only because I can't see something "permanent" being cured by a thought. It should be a steady process of recovery and nurture.

but I've been saying that for years, before TGS, so I'd have to agree with you in some fashion.

Terez
11-05-2009, 01:05 AM
This has nothing to do with real/construct, Sodas. Also, nameless voted construct. ;)

Sodas
11-05-2009, 01:10 AM
This has nothing to do with real/construct, Sodas. Also, nameless voted construct. ;)

Good job Sherlock.

Belazamon
11-05-2009, 01:53 AM
Personally, not from the construct side, I'd say I like your interpretation over that of Terez. If only because I can't see something "permanent" being cured by a thought. It should be a steady process of recovery and nurture.
I have to admit, I'm somewhat bemused by your repetition of this stance. No one who argues construct theory (that I know of) is even hinting that there wasn't a "steady process" involved.

Sodas
11-05-2009, 01:55 AM
I have to admit, I'm somewhat bemused by your repetition of this stance. No one who argues construct theory (that I know of) is even hinting that there wasn't a "steady process" involved.

Yes, but didn't you say in the other thread that it was a process that ended with tGS? I thought nameless was talking about a continuing process.

If not, then I could be mistaken.

nameless
11-05-2009, 02:36 AM
Yes, but didn't you say in the other thread that it was a process that ended with tGS? I thought nameless was talking about a continuing process.

If not, then I could be mistaken.

Well, yes and no... the reintegration itself is complete in that Rand will no longer hear voices, but that was just one problem among many and his overall recovery is still in the early stages. Now that Rand is no longer trying to shut out all of his feelings he has a chance to make some headway with his PTSD and his crippling guilt complex. The damage caused by the taint to his emotional responses, etc., will likely be permanent, unless Nynaeve can pull another miracle out of her sleeve.

Mort
11-05-2009, 03:16 AM
Apart from not hearing voices anymore, I think Rand has taken down some of his cuendillar walls around him, if not all. That does not imply that he is now gonna run around being meak though.
Cadsuane might still get her bacon fried if she continues to push him around for example.

GonzoTheGreat
11-05-2009, 05:58 AM
One more item that undoubtedly screws around with Rand's sanity is his link with Moridin. I don't think that one has been cured on Dragonmount, so he will still continue to be unbalanced by this.

Davian93
11-05-2009, 07:38 AM
The sad thing is that I really wanted to see Rand kill someone just by looking at them and Willing it...now it looks like that won't happen.

Good first post. I'm too tired right now to respond intelligently.

Terez
11-05-2009, 07:41 AM
Apparently also too tired to notice that he has 15 posts already. :p

Davian93
11-05-2009, 07:46 AM
Apparently also too tired to notice that he has 15 posts already. :p

He said "First post" as in first thread. That's all I meant. I'm not that tired, T. Speaking of which, do you ever sleep? You were posting at like 2 am and you're back on now at 7 am.

Terez
11-05-2009, 07:46 AM
I sleep sometimes. I might take a nap soon.