PDA

View Full Version : I have a theory! Opposite sexes can teach the other to channel


fdsaf3
01-20-2010, 06:00 PM
I'll sketch out my reasons here, but I want you all to understand that this is my first real theory, and that I'm at work and don't have any books or materials in front of me to reference. So be gentle!

I remember reading a few times throughout the series that various Aes Sedai referred to teaching men to channel was akin to a bird teaching a fish to swim, or some other such messed up metaphor. But I think that given recent developments, it's might be possible under very strict circumstances to have a woman teach a man to channel, or vice versa. All of this might be disproved with a simple RJ quote, and if so, I will be humbled and move on. :)

The first real evidence that I came across is when Semhirage channeled saidin in Gathering Storm through Rand while he was wearing the Domination Band. That wouldn't be much of a tip off except she made a comment about "the male way of doing this is so strange", or something to that effect. This implies that A) she has channeled, or at least knows how to channel, saidin before with a specific purpose in mind, and B) she is able to compare the way it is done with how she is familiar with doing it using saidiar. That comment, to me, says that she wasn't simply having Rand channel and just making him do something, she was in control of the weaves - albeit "through" Rand. Another point to make is that Semirhage seized saidin through Rand, so we know that it's possible for a female to seize saidin.

So what can we make of this? Semihrage has obviously used saidin before a sufficient number of times to be familiar with how to inflict pain upon someone else. That's not much of a stretch given her personality, but my point is that she must have had access to male channelers during her life in the Age of Legends. Let's posit that during her time as torturer during the Age of Legends, she had a supply of male channelers to use the Domination Band on. This would have given her sufficient practice and experience seizing and channeling saidin to warrant her comment in Gathering Storm when she had Rand torture Min.

Ok, you might be thinking "Semihrage is one of the most powerful channelers of all time, and when she channeled to torture Min, what she was doing was having Rand channel but guiding his weaves using her own instincts." Basically, he was the one supplying the power and her hands were on the steering wheel. But that's not how I remember the scene playing out. I thought I remembered LTT trying to grab saidin away from Semihrage, but he was unsuccessful. I could be wrong, but I thought she was the one in charge of the flows.

I know Domination Bands are in short supply, but I'm theorizing that a woman can be taught to channel saidin through extended exposure to it through a man wearing a Domination Band. Obviously almost no man would volunteer to wear one, even for research purposes, so this isn't a viable option. But I'm wondering just how far Semihrage's affinity for saidin goes. We'll never know now that she's been balefired, but it's interesting to speculate about.

Ok, here's my (admittedly loony) second possible way to get someone of the opposite sex to channel the other power. We know that channelers of the True Source are by definition channelers of the One Power (be it saidin or saidar), and we know that Rand was able to instinctively channel the True Source even though he had never been "trained" to do so. If we assume that his link with Moridin didn't give him the knowledge necessary to channel the True Source, we can therefore assume that his knowledge of weaving saidin allowed him to execute the same weaves using the True Source.

I don't know if channelers can see weaves of the True Source or not, but if they can I think TS weaves could act as a bridge, allowing men to learn how women make their weaves (or the other way around). I definitely need to look up quotes and references for this idea, but I am hopeful that there's something to it and not just my imagination. Obviously, this scenario would necessitate that the Dark One would allow men and women channelers to goof around and experiment with the True Source, and we know that's not going to happen, so this is what I would consider to be an "out there" theory. Something to think about and discuss, but that's what we're here for!

Thanks to nameless for making the other thread which got me thinking about this.

Terez
01-20-2010, 06:10 PM
I think you are mixing up the True Source (which is another name for the One Power) and the True Power (which is the Dark One's Power).

I've also wondered before why it can't be taught through a link. When Rand channels saidar through a link, he presumably does it in the male way, but is Nynaeve totally unaware of what he's doing with it? Or can she only sense/see what he is doing with saidar?

nameless
01-20-2010, 07:00 PM
It probably can be taught through a link. The man uses the link to create weaves of saidar that perfectly resemble the proper saidin weave in terms of location of Air, Earth, Water, Fire, and Spirit. Of course absolutely nothing happens because in terms of saidar the weave is pure nonsense, but the woman experiencing the link can see where the flows go and then try to recreate the same pattern with saidin as soon as she is given control.

Spasmodean
01-20-2010, 07:33 PM
During Asmodean's teaching phase he mentions that Lanfear obviously didn't want Rand to learn too much otherwise she'd have stayed joined them in a link to assist with the teaching.

I think perhaps AOL AS learned alot about the power and linking as it was a very common thing before Saidin was tainted.

Although Asmo's teaching link may have been because you can't burn yourself out when joined in a ring.

I've also wondered before why it can't be taught through a link. When Rand channels saidar through a link, he presumably does it in the male way, but is Nynaeve totally unaware of what he's doing with it? Or can she only sense/see what he is doing with saidar?

When Rand cleansed the Source and used saidar to create the massive funnel he comments on how the weaves made a different shape than how he pictured it (as he was used to saidin weaving in a specific pattern perhaps?). Which also explains Semi's comment about the mae way of doing things.

Davian93
01-20-2010, 08:20 PM
Remember, it was Moiraine and Siuan that told Rand that and neither was probably trained to link with men...

I would think that linking would easily solve the training issue as we know for a fact that the linkee is aware of what the linker is doing with the True Source.

Terez
01-20-2010, 08:30 PM
During Asmodean's teaching phase he mentions that Lanfear obviously didn't want Rand to learn too much otherwise she'd have stayed joined them in a link to assist with the teaching.
Well, the only implied advantage there is that Asmodean would have been strong enough to demonstrate the weaves that he was ostensibly too weak to make. Since The Path of Daggers, we know that was a lie - Sorilea demonstrated Traveling to Cadsuane even though she didn't have the strength to make the weave work. Even Lanfear claimed she could not teach Rand, and I have no doubt that she would have tried if she thought she could have.

Davian93
01-20-2010, 08:31 PM
Well, the only implied advantage there is that Asmodean would have been strong enough to demonstrate the weaves that he was ostensibly too weak to make. Since The Path of Daggers, we know that was a lie - Sorilea demonstrated Traveling to Cadsuane even though she didn't have the strength to make the weave work. Even Lanfear claimed she could not teach Rand, and I have no doubt that she would have tried if she thought she could have.

Why would she want to? She wanted to control Rand, not make him her equal. There was no incentive to give Rand a true education in channeling...at least not until he was fully under her control.

Terez
01-20-2010, 08:34 PM
Why would she want to? She wanted to control Rand, not make him her equal.
She could have done the same with him that Asmodean did, and she would have had even greater reason to fudge than he would have. Having Asmodean 'teach' him was supposedly her idea after all. Also, Ishamael told Rand that he was the only one that could teach him, and I think there's another reference from a Forsaken along the same lines, verifying that the 2nd Agers at least believed that men could not teach women and v/v. I will dig later for it.

Davian93
01-20-2010, 08:41 PM
Well, just because 2nd agers think it to be impossible doesn't really mean anything.

See Bonding Warders, Healing Stilling, etc.

fdsaf3
01-20-2010, 08:45 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Terez. I wrote that in a hurry, so I did mix up some terminology. I'll fix it sooner or later; I just hope everyone got the main gist of what I was saying.

Regarding Lanfear teaching Rand, I think she would have had a vested interest in it given that if you teach someone something, you can guide their progress. In some ways, this is a form of controlling where the student is and what they will learn next. This reminds me of the plot of Mass Effect, for those of you who played that game.

Terez
01-21-2010, 02:42 AM
Well, just because 2nd agers think it to be impossible doesn't really mean anything.
In the context of whether or not it can be done, it doesn't. But that wasn't what the point of that little exchange was.

Also worth noting is that, in a link, even when Rand uses saidar in the male way, the weave seems to have a mind of its own, forming itself in ways that are unfamiliar to him.

Davian93
01-21-2010, 07:02 AM
In the context of whether or not it can be done, it doesn't. But that wasn't what the point of that little exchange was.

Also worth noting is that, in a link, even when Rand uses saidar in the male way, the weave seems to have a mind of its own, forming itself in ways that are unfamiliar to him.

Yeah, and Semi (just a bit more experienced) actually channels saidin the male way through Rand...so it would seem to imply that she'd be able to teach him if she were of a mind to do so.

Rand tried to force saidar to do it hte male way and it did it the female way (well sort of...the residue reading AS mention "alien" weaves that must have been weaved by a man as no woman would weave that way) I'm guessing Rand basically weaved a hemaprodite style weave in the end with Saidar fighting him.

GonzoTheGreat
01-21-2010, 07:17 AM
Perhaps if there had been at least two competent female AS who had had experience linking with men left, then they could have taught Rand. But there weren't any, and I seriously doubt Rand would have been willing to link with Lanfear and some random BA sister, so that Lanfear could have had control of his ability.

Bonzi77
01-21-2010, 10:06 AM
Perhaps if there had been at least two competent female AS who had had experience linking with men left, then they could have taught Rand. But there weren't any, and I seriously doubt Rand would have been willing to link with Lanfear and some random BA sister, so that Lanfear could have had control of his ability.

Exactly. It is physically possible for it to happen, but at the time Moiraine and Siuan were saying that, there was nobody alive who could have taught Rand. So the theory is true, but it's not groundbreaking.

I also think there's a difference between teaching weaves and teaching someone to embrace the source without killing their self.

Tree Brother
01-21-2010, 11:42 AM
When Rand was linked with Nynaeve, he could "see" saidar, right? At least to know it was working different than he was expecting.

If that is the case, and I am remembering correctly, I think if there are both men and women in a link, the one weaving can see both flavors. So someone from the AOL that is experienced in male/female linking will know how to weave both halves. So an AOL female chaneller could teach him, depending on how experienced she is, of course.

This is different from using the bowl of winds, where only females were in the link, so they could not see what saidin was doing, they just new it was there.

Mort
01-21-2010, 12:36 PM
Since members of a link is aware of each other, like Elayne and Nyneave noticed while they all linked in Salidar, it doesn't seem much of a stretch that a woman would be able to sense a linked man's Saidin, and vice versa.

There might a sort of interpretating factor involved in the link when using the opposite half of the source. Much like Rand, in the early days of channeling, only thought "Fire" and fire would come to him. To do something more complicated, you would of course have to know exactly what you are doing. A similar thing might be happening with a Saidin/Saidar link. A woman wants to do something, it gets interpretated in a way that a man would do it, since it's in actuality the man's OP being used.

It would all be happening subcounciously between the members of the link. How much that could actually be taught from that is unclear I think.
Does the weaver see how the weave actually gets built or does he or she see the completed weave when it's finished?

Like we've seen from Egwene for instance, it doesn't do much good only seeing a completed weave to know how it was made. You actually have to see it being made to be able to replicate it, unless you have a Talent for reading weaves or some such.

Also, I think a man already have to have been taught some at least before even joining a link. So the whole experiment might be a waste if you don't already have a man who can channel. If you do have a man that can channel, there isn't much need to have a woman teach either :)

Jemlin
01-21-2010, 04:24 PM
I also think there's a difference between teaching weaves and teaching someone to embrace the source without killing their self.

I think that is the key right there.

We have seen plenty of examples of, through links, men or women being able to weave the other Source. But, even Lanfear pointed out that Rand would need a male teacher, and this wasn't necessarily on how to weave, but how to Embrace and have initial control.

I don't see how, with out forming a link, a woman could teach a man any weaves...and you can't link with a man who does now know how to adequately embrace the source.

Maybe if a Ter'angreal is created just for the purpose, that works similarly to the A'dam. But otherwise, I highly doubt a woman could teach a man to embrace the source, aside from telling him what has to be done.

Terez
01-21-2010, 05:09 PM
Well, technically, I don't see a problem there either. Rand and Elayne and Egwene managed to learn in a simple page-or-so dialogue that there was a difference between the way men and women control the Source, and what that difference was at a base level. With a little bit of persistence, they could have learned more, and it's hard to believe that Second-Agers didn't delve into the subject thoroughly. Rand figured out at the Cleansing how to fight saidin and surrender to saidar at the same time - it was required for him to learn that to use both at the same time, and the leader of the circle always uses both, so I'm sure it was common knowledge in the Age of Legends.

Rand's Void is emotionless, and the girls say that's not how they do it. RJ's reasoning here seems to be simple: the women have to embrace their emotions, all of them, to achieve the Oneness; men have to separate themselves from their emotions to achieve it. Lanfear called it that, and Rand, Lan, Galad and some others have spoken of it that way, as being one with everything that you can sense. For channelers, that includes the Power, but men must fight the Power to control it, and women must surrender.

Moiraine said that it helps if the channeler can be guided through their first touching of the Source, as she did with Egwene, and as Taim did in the testing of the Asha'man. Even though the spark doesn't usually manifest until puberty at the earliest, in the Age of Legends, the ability could be detected at the age of ten years. The Wise Ones get all of their sparkers because every clan has Wise Ones that can channel, and most septs as well; they make it a point to know every girl in those years where her spark can be first detected, and everyone is accounted for. The Sea Folk are much the same as the Aiel in that regard. The Seanchan get them all by thoroughly testing for marath'damane.

It could be that, in the Age of Legends, Aes Sedai never tried to teach members of the opposite sex because it wasn't necessary - there was never a lack of teachers in the late years of the Age, and society was highly organized - but it's still hard to believe that the scholars of that Age wouldn't have understood enough to teach each other how to touch the Source safely, though they wouldn't be able to guide them through it with resonance. Rand (Lews Therin) takes it as a given that he can at least help a woman learn to do something with the Power, when he tells Nynaeve how to remove Graendal's Compulsion. He tells her the underlying principles of how the weave works, but makes no attempt to tell her how he would do it with saidin. Granted, he has faith in the fact that Nynaeve is better at figuring stuff out than most folks.

It's not the same as showing someone a weave to copy, but it works to a degree. Perhaps the resonance is what is required to guide someone through the wilding safely. Rand had that at the Eye of the World, if not with Ishamael, then at least with Aginor and Balthamel. He had only channeled three times before then, and that's when he stopped experiencing the channeling sickness. But perhaps he survived because he was one of the lucky 1 in 4.

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2010, 04:13 AM
In order to link, one has to be on the verge of getting hold of the OP already. If you can't do that in the first place, then how can you get into a link?

DeiwosTheSkyGod
01-22-2010, 08:28 AM
A woman who had linked with a man could theoretically teach a man to channel, but I get the impression that each sex uses the opposite Power really clumsily. And if a new channeler first learned an ability in a clumsy way, they'd never be able to learn it correctly and make it work very well, right? Like Aviendha's gateways? (Not that a man taught her, just that she had already done it one way and can't do it another.)

I guess in theory, though, a man could teach a girl to embrace the Source if he knew how women did it. He'd be able to feel when she succeeded.

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2010, 09:08 AM
In both cases, the standard method seems to be to present a very little bit of One Power as a template, which the student then can match. That won't work for mixed gender couples*.
On top of that, it seems that the more power a woman is holding, the farther away a man can feel it. Which would mean that the very minute amount a first time channeler can manage could go undetected even when they're face to face.
And finally: how to decide who to teach? The teacher won't even know whether or not the pupil could learn until that pupil actually manages on his or her own.

* Do I now have a "gay marriage only" argument? :confused:

fdsaf3
01-22-2010, 09:16 AM
Another thought I just had was that if there existed a Well like the Eye of the World of either power, maybe that would get around the need to embrace/seize the OP. Rand channeled a lot of saidin when he used the Eye, but then again he's an incredibly powerful channeler. My thought was that maybe the Well would be more easily accessible, but that's really just random speculation.

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2010, 09:42 AM
Using a Well is just like linking. And linking is sort of an advanced channeling technique. Which might just possibly make it hard on novices to have to start with that.

Terez
01-22-2010, 11:41 AM
In order to link, one has to be on the verge of getting hold of the OP already. If you can't do that in the first place, then how can you get into a link?
Why do you ask?

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2010, 12:15 PM
Because linking is a necessary part of teaching someone of the opposite gender how to channel, it would seem. At least, I haven't yet heard a scheme that could work without.

Terez
01-22-2010, 02:01 PM
Because linking is a necessary part of teaching someone of the opposite gender how to channel, it would seem. At least, I haven't yet heard a scheme that could work without.
Because you haven't been reading what we've been saying? Because we already discussed that, outside of the context of the link - it should be easy enough to teach someone how to tap the Source using words only. Enough is known about the differences between the male and female ways of doing it to describe it accurately enough.

Mort
01-22-2010, 03:00 PM
The problem left would be that if there aren't another same-sex channeler present to give feedback and advice when someone tries to reach the OP for the first time.

If there aren't anyone present to stop a first-time channeler if they draw on too much of the power when they finally get a hold of the source, the risk of burning oneself out or causing damage to others or oneself could be very high.
At the least a first-time channeler might build a block around themselves without proper guidance.

To have that guidance, you really need someone who can sense what you are doing while you are doing it.

And even after that, if a channeler learns how to draw on the OP, they still need proper training for how to do things. "Simple" things like putting out a fire. The saidar way would be to disperse the heat in the surroundings. The Saidin way would be to draw the fire into yourself.

Doing it the wrong way may have big consequences.

GonzoTheGreat
01-23-2010, 03:47 AM
Because you haven't been reading what we've been saying? Because we already discussed that, outside of the context of the link - it should be easy enough to teach someone how to tap the Source using words only. Enough is known about the differences between the male and female ways of doing it to describe it accurately enough.A description is not always quite enough to learn how to actually do something.

Consider this: based on a description from a non-musical person (like me) only, could you first build a piano and then learn how to play a Bach piece?
You can assume that I've once or twice heard some Bach, and I've read Gödel, Escher, Bach too. Oh, and I've seen pianos. You should also assume that if you assemble the piano improperly, then you won't be able to touch the Source at all, and if you ever hit the wrong key, then you risk killing yourself. To help give you confidence: I have once upon a time had lessons to play recorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recorder), though I never was any good at it.

Terez
01-23-2010, 03:50 AM
A description is not always quite enough to learn how to actually do something.
In this case, it should be enough at least in some cases, since it's the sort of thing you can figure out on your own. No one ever claimed it would be foolproof - just that it could be done. ;)

GonzoTheGreat
01-23-2010, 04:07 AM
I haven't seen any evidence that suggests it would be possible to get a sparker through the dangerous period merely by providing written (or spoken) instructions. And I definitely haven't seen anything to suggest that a non-sparker could learn how to channel from a book.

If Moiraine had just given Rand a copy of Channeling For Dummies, then a lot of trouble might've been averted.

Terez
01-23-2010, 04:09 AM
I haven't seen any evidence that suggests it would be possible to get a sparker through the dangerous period
We're not talking about getting them through the dangerous period in this instance. Pay attention! I said earlier that it might be that the resonance is a necessary component of survival for the 3 in 4. In this case we're talking about teaching someone to touch the Source.

GonzoTheGreat
01-23-2010, 04:15 AM
Which is apparently done by providing a Source to touch. Which can't be done by someone who can only reach it from the other side.

Terez
01-23-2010, 06:09 PM
Which is apparently done by providing a Source to touch. Which can't be done by someone who can only reach it from the other side.
Stop being an idiot, Gonzo. You don't have to provide the Source for them, just tell them how to find it. :rolleyes:

GonzoTheGreat
01-24-2010, 03:42 AM
Stop being an idiot, Gonzo. You don't have to provide the Source for them, just tell them how to find it. :rolleyes:Which should mean that it is possible to learn how to channel from a book.
Hence my suggestion that Moiraine should have loaned Rand Channeling For Dummies.

However, I don't think it would be possible to learn how to do it from a book, which would thus also scuttle the other ideas for learning it from a "wrong gender teacher".