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Luckers
07-18-2010, 08:04 AM
Terez likes to say us realists have no arguments, so I figured I'd throw down my coverage of the issue. Enjoy, or not, as you would.








WAIT: Just realised this has tGS spoilers! I posted it here in a reaction to the New Faction Thread, but didn't notice.

Mods, please move or whatever.

Lews Therin—Our Friendly Neighbourhood Madman

Suggested to have begun as early as the Eye of the World, but certainly present by the Shadow Rising Rand has been experiencing the seepage of memory and knowledge from his past life as Lews Therin. At around the same time—though more heavily in the Fires of Heaven—Rand begins to hear a voice which has the mannerisms and knowledge of Lews Therin. Whilst the memories are without a doubt real, in older days there was considerable discussion about the voice. Currently that discussion revolves around the Real Madness Theory and the Construct Theory, which are as follows.

The Real Madness Theory: suggests that Lews Therin is a real and viable facet personality of Rand’s soul, and the one which ruled the soul during its incarnation as Lews Therin, which has manifested due to the Taint.

The Construct Theory: suggests that the Lews Therin voice and personality are not real. It suggests that Rand, emotionally stunted, desperate to harden himself, and receiving memories from the past has gathered those memories and created the LTT personality to hold them. That is where the name comes from—Rand constructed Lews Therin from memories and his own psychological issues.

Now I’ll expand on both of these in a second, but first let me explain a bit more about the history of theories on this subject.

A Brief History of Madness

Prior to KoD the landscape was very different, and three major theories predominated. For full details on these theories read 2.1.6: Is LTT for Real, or is Rand Insane? Where did LTT go in ACOS? (http://steelypips.org/wotfaq/2_nondark/2.1_taveren/2.1.6_lews.html) but here is a short run down of the theories.

The Rebirth Theory: suggested that Lews Therin manifested as a natural part of the cycle of rebirth. The support for this was that we’ve seen other sorts of manifestations in this form—the Old Blood, Birgitte, Mat’s memories. The problem with this was no where else do we see what occurs with Rand. Mat has memory seepage from other lives, without any LTT-type antics. Birgitte never struggles with Maerion. The counter argument was often, well maybe Rand is special—he is the Light’s Champion. This may be a natural weapon built into the Dragon’s Soul [This counter argument often revolved around the Third Man being a Dragon before LTT, but as we know he turned out to be Moridin].

The Taint Theory: suggested That the Lews Therin manifestation was a pure insanity. Just a normal schitzophrenic. The support for this theory was mostly in Cadsuane’s comments about men who can channel hearing voices. We're talking run of the mill normal madmen, no special ingrediants. As such the problem is that this didn’t explain why Lews Therin so often seemed to know things Rand had no way of knowing.

The Construct Theory: was the middle ground, and you can see why it’s appealing. This allows for the 'realness' of the memories suggested by the Rebirth Theory, but the insanity of the voice suggested by the Taint Theory. Rand’s mental instability and emotional regression causes the subconscious construction of a fake personality which wraps itself around the memories and serves as a mouthpiece for both them and Rand’s subconscious desires. I will expand more upon the Construct Theory in a moment.

The Premise Problem

Notice that all three pre-KoD theories presume that the voice is either real, and not a result of the Taint, or not-real and caused by the Taint. The concept that the voice could be both real, and a madness resulting from the Taint, was generally shut down. This is because of the perception that a madness or insanity involves delusions. In the real world if a man tells you he's hearing voices, he's delusional (unless its God. He has something of a get out of jail free card on this), and that perception transferred itself whole to the Wheel. If the voice were a madness, its a delusion, and not real--which is where the Construct Theory swept through to explain the very real memories.

The Real Madness Theory takes a different viewpoint.

The Real Madness Theory

Can An Insanity Be Real?

Funnily enough, the perception that an insanity involves only things which are not real is not even truly accurate in the real world—which is why psychologists speak of Abnormal Psychology and not of insanity—but in WoT we don’t even need a philosophical discussion on what is and is not real to answer it. We have this instead.

Support For The Real Madness Theory

Take it away Semirhage.

"He's insane," she said coolly. Standing there stiff as a statue, Min's knife hilt still sticking out beside her collarbone and the front of her black dress glistening with blood, she might have been a queen on her throne. "Graendal could explain it better than I. Madness was her specialty. I will try, however. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Lanfear claimed he knew things from our own Age, things only Lews Therin Telamon could know. Clearly, he is hearing Lews Therin's voice. It makes no difference that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse. Even Graendal usually failed to achieve reintegration with someone who heard a real voice. I understand the descent into terminal madness can be . . . abrupt."

[KoD; 27, A Plain Wooden Box]

In this world the manifestation of a real past life personality is a genuine mental illness, one which can cause a descent into terminal madness.

But Semirhage is an Evil, Filthy, Lumpy Forsaken!

I have seen it claimed often that Semirhage lied, usually for the purpose of spreading distrust in his followers with the suggested danger of Rand going terminally insane, and based on the evidence that she’s one of those untrustworthy Forsaken.

Alright then, lets consider her statements.

1. He hears a voice in his head. True.
2. That voice has the knowledge and personality of his past life. True.
3. The way to resolve this is reintegration. Seemingly true—this seems very much in tune with what we witness occur in tGS.
4. This voice can result into a descent into terminal madness. Uncertain, yet likely. Rand certainly was growing more unstable in tGS despite the Taint no longer existing.

Now, leaving aside the various arguments that might be offered to apply her words to the Construct Theory, there’s this simple fact—those are some damn good guesses if she was making it up. Consider, if Lews Therin’s voice is not real, her guessing that Rand constructed a voice to speak for the memory transfer (which should have been her assumption if voice manifestation were not real) is pretty out of this world.

Lews Therin agrees with this.

Rand tried not to think too hard about the things Semirhage had said on the day when Rand had lost his hand. She was one of the Forsaken; she would say anything if she thought it would bring her target pain.

She tortured an entire city to prove herself, Lews Therin whispered. She has killed a thousand men a thousand different ways to see how their screams would differ from one another. But she rarely lies. Rarely.

[tGS; 1, Tears From Steel]

So yes, for all that she’s a nasty Forsaken, her claims seem pretty on the ball. In any case you can see why this completely destroyed the Rebirth and Taint theories, at least in their distinct and pure forms. It also provides us with the idea that permits the Real Madness Theory. Specifically, the concept that just because Lews Therin is real does not make him any less of a madness.

The Taint

The next problem people seem to have is in the question of ‘if the Taint caused Lews Therin to appear, why aren’t other Asha’men displaying knowledge of super secret weaves’?

Taint Induced Madness

By the same note as the above question; why haven’t we seen other Asha’man display the reversion to childhood that Morr suffers? Why didn’t more have delusions of spiders crawling all over him as that other unfortunate man suffered?

The answer to all this lies in the fact that the Taint is not a type of insanity in itself. What the Taint does is destabilizes people’s mental states. It induces them to go mad—or perhaps pushes them away from being sane is a better way to look at it—but the type of insanity they then suffer is in their court. Predisposition to mental illness is not an unknown concept, and that's very likely the cause of the distinct differences between forms of mental illness. It's likely also the reason for the different time-frames in which men sucumb to the insanity. Some men would be more highly pre-disposed then others.

In any case the point here is that the Taint doesn't induce a type of madness, it simply breaks your sanity, and the madness you then fall into is any amongst the myriad of normal forms of insanity. Additionally, its more than possible that one of the other men who have gone insane due to the Taint did suffer this same form of insanity. Semirhage states its very rare, but it easily could have happened. Men hearing voices is a common form of Taint madness--any of them could have been hearing a past life voice, but not everyone has as epic a past life as Rand does. For instance if the last life you lived was as a baker, attaining those memories aren’t really going to make a splash in the world.

The Construct Theory

Ok, so you must have been wondering why I went into all that detail about dead theories. It’s because from a post KoD perspective its hard to explain why the Construct Theory was such a strong theory. Back then it provided a solid answer for how Rand could hear a voice, be insane from the Taint, and still have that voice be real. It combined the valid points from the Rebirth and Taint theories, and answered the flaws in both. From there it followed up with quotes which did suggestively sustain the idea that Lews Therin was a construct of Rand’s mind. Essentially Lews Therin expressing the emotions or ideas which Rand was refusing to let touch him as he endeavoured to grow stronger…


"In his room at The Counsel's Head, Rand sat on the bed with his legs folded and his back against the wall, playing the silver-mounted flute Thom Merrilin had given him so long ago. ... The tune was called 'Lament for the Long Night', and he had never heard it before in his life. Lews Therin had, though. It was like the skill at drawing. Rand thought that should frighten him, or make him angry, but he simply sat and played, while Lews Therin wept."

[WH: 25, Bonds, 481]:


You can see how this might be applied to the Construct Theory. The problem is KoD destroyed the need for the Construct Theories separation of memory and personality to explain how LTT was both madness and real, all the Construct Theory has left is vaguely suggestive quotes—ones which can be applied just as easily to Lews Therin being real. After all if it was a Lament, why shouldn’t Lews Therin cry to hear it? Especially since it was his memory.

Another, for instance: “A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool.”

Is this Lews Therin mouthing Rand’s subconscious concerns about his own inability to trust set against his fears of the dangers of trusting? Or is Lews Therin simply making an accurate observation about what he perceives of that confliction in Rand?

See the problem? Lews Therin is not oblivious to Rand’s situation—him commenting on problems Rand is facing and positions Rand has taken is not abnormal, nor is him having feelings about those problems.

tGS and the Construct Theory; The Proof of the Construct

Prior to tGS the evidence of the Construct Theory was fairly much in the manner listed above. Sequences of quotes with pointers made as to how they might relate to Rand’s subconscious desires or thoughts. Lacking the strength of the pre-KoD premise it was largely falling apart. In tGS, however, we gain some highly suggestive quotes which many constructionists regard as proof the Theory is correct. The first is as follows…

He knew—somehow—that he would never again hear Lews Therin's voice in his head. For they were not two men, and never had been.

[tGS; 50, Veins of Gold]

The inference Constructionists draw is clear--he and Lews Therin were not two men, therefore Lews Therin was Rand’s creation, a construct. However, to argue that LTT is not another man apart from Rand is not to state that he is not real.

Indeed, whether you look at it from a Construct or Real Madness perspective, Rand is quite correct—they were not two men. They were two facet manifestations of the same soul. We know this from RJ.

Q:The question is, with Rand and LTT, do they have 1 soul or 2 souls in the body?

A: They have 1 soul with 2 personalities. The reincarnation of souls does not mean reincarnation of personalities. The personality develops with each reincarnation of the soul. This is the cosmology that I [cobbled] together.
[New York Barnes and Noble signing on January 7, 2003]

Personality created from the experiences each underwent in their own distinct period of life, but still the same soul--and Birgitte makes clear that the facet personalities for all incarnations are still one person. She speaks of I and me, when referring to them.

Indeed, under the Real Madness Theory this is the crux of Rand's problem. Rand's ongoing refusal to admit that he and Lews Therin were the same was keeping them from intergrating. It is only now, with Rand coming to perceive a fact that he’d previously been denying, that intergration became possible.

So yes, not two men, but two personalities--and that is so under either theory.

The second quote is…

It will be a mercy, Lews Therin whispered. Death is always a mercy. The madman didn't sound as crazy as he once had. In fact, his voice had started to sound an awful lot like Rand's own voice.

[tGS; 49, Just Another Man]

The Construct implication is that it sounds like Rand because it is Rand. He constructed it, therefore under the mask its Rand all along.

Yet, again, the situation supplies the Real Madness answer—Lews Therin sounds like Rand because they are being brought closer together—integrating, in effect. When Rand becomes suicidal, he and Lews Therin are for the first time truly aligned. At all other times, even when he was working with Lews Therin, he kept his walls up.

And so Rand and Lews Therin, no longer keeping each other at arms length, follow their natural gravity and begin falling into one another--intergrating. That alignment allows them both to perceive the truth—that they are one soul.

As a result of integration of course they sound like one another. They are one another. Denying this is what put them in trouble in the first place.

Conclusions on the Construct Theory

Lacking the pre-KoD need to explain how the Lews Therin manifestation could be both a madness and real, the Construct Theory comes down to a sequence of interpreted quotes--quotes which lacking the Construct Theory we have no need to interpret because they make sense at face value.

It furthermore requires we dismiss Semirhage’s statements as lies, a suggestion which goes against her stated nature, and is made highly unlikely by the accuracy and details of her supposed lies in correlation with the state Rand happens to be in.

Lacking any reason or need or evidence to suggest that we should be doing either the interpreting or the dismissing, I'm not sure we have any reason to even look to the Construct Theory to begin with.

Final Thoughts

In many ways I think this issue is obscured by remaining arguments from when the whole question was more ambiguous. Looking at it afresh from a post-KoD perspective the simple sequence suggests cause and effect. Consider;

Premise
1. Rand is exposed to the Taint.
2. The Taint induces normal forms of madness.
3. In the Wheel hearing a real voice of a past life personality is a normal form of madness.
4. The voice Rand heard contains real knowledge, including knowledge beyond what has seeped through to Rand.

Conclusion
5. Rand was hearing a real voice induced by the Taint.

It's obviously not set in stone, and I doubt we'll ever get a resolution given Brandon's statement that RJ didn't want it answered, but thems be my thoughts on this issue.

Neilbert
07-18-2010, 09:41 AM
A guy named Callandor beat you to this one by like 7 years. I'm sure Terez will be along to elaborate. I didn't like it then I don't like it now, short version being that Rand had LTT memories before he channeled.

Lacking the pre-KoD need to explain how the Lews Therin manifestation could be both a madness and real, the Construct Theory comes down to a sequence of interpreted quotes--quotes which lacking the Construct Theory we have no need to interpret because they make sense at face value.

If you are taking quotes from the PoV of a character descending into madness at face value you are doing something wrong.

The inference Constructionists draw is clear--he and Lews Therin were not two men, therefore Lews Therin was Rand’s creation, a construct. However, to argue that LTT is not another man apart from Rand is not to state that he is not real.

If you are going to do this you need to carefully define "real".

Luckers
07-18-2010, 11:03 AM
:)

Weird Harold
07-18-2010, 12:40 PM
:)
http://www.smileyworld.com/dictionary/images/smileys/Actions/Yawn.gif

Terez
07-18-2010, 01:19 PM
Terez likes to say us realists have no arguments
Specifically, I mentioned two points from TGS that the real'ers have not adequately explained, aside from the fact that Rand makes it clear that they were not two men and never had been: the integration (which we accurately predicted by saying that Rand needed to accept Lews Therin's memories as his own before they would integrate properly, and that the only real thing keeping this from happening was the Kinslaying, and Rand's refusal to accept the guilt and grief associated with it), and the Tel'aran'rhiod phenomenon. Before TGS, the reason why the construct theory was more logical was because it was an explanation that actually touched on the themes of Rand's character, while the 'real' explanation was a purely supernatural one. The construct interpretation actually lent significance to Rand's internal struggle, as opposed to the real'ers' interpretations gave the phenomenon a rather random and insignificant cast.

Notice that all three pre-KoD theories presume that the voice is either real, and not a result of the Taint, or not-real and caused by the Taint.
As Neil tried to demonstrate (badly), this is not actually the case. It might be true if the FAQ were the only source of pre-KoD theorizing, but at Theoryland, it was a little more complex than that. And a little more simple. Most people argued only one of two theories: that Lews Therin was 'real' (as in, a separate consciousness with a will of its own), and that the 'voice' was a construct (while the memories were quite real, and very much a part of Rand no matter how he denied it). Many of those who believed he was real believed that the phenomenon was caused by the taint; many of those who believed the voice was a construct believed that the taint had nothing to do with why Rand was getting the memories. Callandor believed that the memories were caused by the taint, but that the voice was a construct.

In other words, the theories as to how the memories came to the surface and the theories as to the nature of those memories are different theories, though some theories assume that the two phenomenon are inseparable.

The concept that the voice could be both real, and a madness resulting from the Taint, was generally shut down.
In my experience, most real'ers deny that Rand was suffering from any madness at all. The construct argument was always that Rand's 'voice' was a result of the madness and his own denial (which, of course, furthered the madness), but that the memories were quite real, and very much a part of him.

This is because of the perception that a madness or insanity involves delusions.
Madness and insanity are two different things. The former implies any number of mental disturbances, possibly even debilitating, but 'insanity' is a legal term that psychologists have distanced themselves from rather emphatically, because it has no real meaning in the field. Insanity means that the person in question is incapable of determining the difference between right and wrong. Lews Therin was insane when he killed Ilyena; Rand was not, when he almost killed Tam. In the books, of course, the characters do not seem to make this distinction, but clearly RJ was aware of the academic objections to the term, and he incorporated that distinction into the story. Very likely he was of the opinion that the insanity plea was an overused loophole in the legal system; it's a fairly widespread opinion in the US, especially in the Red South, and the debate is controversial enough to have made a number of prominent appearances in popular culture.

In the real world if a man tells you he's hearing voices, he's delusional (unless its God. He has something of a get out of jail free card on this), and that perception transferred itself whole to the Wheel. If the voice were a madness, its a delusion, and not real--which is where the Construct Theory swept through to explain the very real memories.
We are very aware of the fact that Rand has a struggle with this very issue, especially in response to what Cadsuane told him. He believed that the memories were a sign of madness. The construct theorists do not. We believe that Rand's handling of those memories was a sign of madness. Whenever he had a memory that was not from this life, he sought to explain it away somehow. Whenever he discovered the source of the memories, he had a very violent reaction of denial, and continued to have that reaction for some time. The effort is clear; that's why it took two whole books for Rand to manage to have a 'conversation' with Lews Therin.

The next problem people seem to have is in the question of ‘if the Taint caused Lews Therin to appear, why aren’t other Asha’men displaying knowledge of super secret weaves’?
I'm hardly a passionate proponent of the taint barrier degradation theory, but I can explain this one easily enough from the theory's perspective: Rand has channeled far more of the taint than any other Asha'man, and his most obvious memories began to surface not long after he first used Callandor. They grew a little more intense with his second usage of Callandor, and the flood gate seems to have opened right after he first used the Choedan Kal. Only Narishma has also used one of those sa'angreal with the taint running through him (Asmodean was protected while he used the Choedan Kal), and that was Callandor, in a link with two women which theoretically would have protected him from some of the fallout (at least, from the flaw that magnified the taint).

Predisposition to mental illness is not an unknown concept, and that's very likely the cause of the distinct differences between forms of mental illness.
Sure. And we have a great deal of evidence that Rand was predisposed to denying inconvenient truths, such as the truth that Tam was not his father, and the truth that he was the Dragon Reborn. He eventually accepted those two things, but his denial of his past life memories was something that he did not feel obligated to discontinue. He felt it wasn't necessary to fulfill his responsibilities, and he thought that it was dangerous, as if acknowledging those memories would consign him to Lews Therin's fate.

Additionally, its more than possible that one of the other men who have gone insane due to the Taint did suffer this same form of insanity. Semirhage states its very rare, but it easily could have happened. Men hearing voices is a common form of Taint madness--any of them could have been hearing a past life voice, but not everyone has as epic a past life as Rand does. For instance if the last life you lived was as a baker, attaining those memories aren’t really going to make a splash in the world.
Agreed. There is no evidence of other men hearing past life voices, but it is certainly possible. Most of them would not really have the means of determining that those memories are real, like Rand does (he realizes the truth when he has memories of Lanfear, for the second time). That Rand knew for certain that he was the Dragon Reborn - Lews Therin reborn - when those memories began to surface should have made it much easier for him to accept than it is for those who have no knowledge of their past lives, but the Kinslaying instead made it more difficult for him to accept.

Indeed, whether you look at it from a Construct or Real Madness perspective, Rand is quite correct—they were not two men.
From the real perspective at Theoryland (again, not sure about anywhere else), they were two separate men. The tune didn't change until after TGS. They asserted that Rand's denial had nothing to do with why he perceived Lews Therin as a separate person. They had vague notions of it being Lews Therin's choice, a result of Lews Therin's madness, but this makes no sense for many reasons, foremost that Rand was the one that had the motive to deny the connection. Rand was the one that did not want to face what he had done in the past.

Lacking the pre-KoD need to explain how the Lews Therin manifestation could be both a madness and real, the Construct Theory comes down to a sequence of interpreted quotes--quotes which lacking the Construct Theory we have no need to interpret because they make sense at face value.

It furthermore requires we dismiss Semirhage’s statements as lies, a suggestion which goes against her stated nature, and is made highly unlikely by the accuracy and details of her supposed lies in correlation with the state Rand happens to be in.
I have never asserted that Semirhage's statements were lies. I have stated that it is possible, but never necessary for the construct theory. Semirhage obviously had a fundamental misunderstanding of what was going on, since she assumed that Lews Therin 'told' Rand who she was. But there was no need for that - in fact, Rand confirms that the voice seldom shares any relevant information - because Rand remembered it directly. Graendal herself has stated that she is skeptical of the concept of rebirth - that would make sense actually, for a Darkfriend - and considering her high failure rate with patients like Rand, it's no surprise.

Again, I'm not a passionate supporter of the taint barrier degradation theory, but the existence of such patients before the taint does not necessarily rule out the taint as the cause. The phenomenon could have multiple causes, including brain damage or hallucinogenic drugs (which can open up some strange paths in the brain...why not real memories?), and there is no reason why the taint could not be one of these causes.

greatwolf
07-18-2010, 01:27 PM
Premise
1. Rand is exposed to the Taint.
2. The Taint induces normal forms of madness.
3. In the Wheel hearing a real voice ofis a normal form of a past life personality madness.
4. The voice Rand heard contains real knowledge, including knowledge beyond what has seeped through to Rand.


You put all this really nicely Luckers, so its a shame you came to the conclusions that you did. Madness is a very wide field, big enough that one could attempt to pass off almost anything under the cover of madness and near madness.


Neilbert has already given 3 reasons why your conclusions aren't valid. I could follow with more, but what do we gain from repeating things that we've repeated time and again?


But what I want to point out now is that the "real" camp covers a lot of differing opinions. Mainly because there are a lot of things that RJ has left us guessing at. Its certain (IMHO) that we cant have a single theory with all the answers right now, unless we speculate about some things.


For instance what qualifies as madness in the WoT world? Is it the same as ours? You've already pointed out yourself that in terms of having "real" voices from past lives the WoT has differed significantly our forms of madness.


That means anything we take for madness could be wrong by Randland standards. That could invalidate practically any discussion!


Rand has a soul and two personalities. That raises questions. How and when did he get that way? Some use semirhage as a shield. But how did semirhage make a diagnosis of a patient she has had no contact with? Or any opportunity to examine? That itself is curious.

To move on, semi claims he's hearing voices from past lives making the clear insinuation that this occured as a result of the taint. But we've seen Rand with memories from before he started channeling, and even his earliest use of saidin indicates that LTT must have been available. Semi knows none of this.


Think of it. We know Rand has been gaining strength since the series started. But in EotW, Rand bests one of the strongest channelers in the aol in pure brute force. Rand was able to channel an amount of saidin that burned Aginor to ashes. HOOOOOOOOW?


LT is not a figment of Rand's imagination. But his presence there is a mystery. And that's why the "real" camp is so fragmented. Personally, I think all the pointers indicate that it occured on Dragonmount. But how remains a mystery.

crue
07-18-2010, 02:02 PM
But we've seen Rand with memories from before he started channeling, and even his earliest use of saidin indicates that LTT must have been available.



What memories are these? I can't think of any LTT thoughts during TEotW.

Terez
07-18-2010, 04:21 PM
What memories are these? I can't think of any LTT thoughts during TEotW.
In chapter 9, he recognized Shayol Ghul in a dream (which was contrasted with him not recognizing Dragonmount, which of course he wouldn't, since he was dead before it was formed). Some would say that anything remotely fancy in his channeling (like the end of the book) is suggestive of memories, but they need not be, since other untrained channelers come up with complex weaves on their own, like with Nynaeve's Healing, and Aviendha's Traveling. Aviendha had had some training at the time, but not much, and she certainly wasn't taught Traveling.

I don't really think the dream memory is all that significant, either. Vague past life memories might actually be common - it would make sense, in a way, and we've seen other things that might be past life memories or at least old blood memories in Perrin and Mat - and even if they are not common in the waking world, it would make sense that they would be more common in dreams, especially in the dreams of a reborn Hero.

greatwolf
07-18-2010, 05:47 PM
What memories are these? I can't think of any LTT thoughts during TEotW.

Right now I'm not going to reread the whole book to answer that question but I'll give you a couple of instances. Remember you've restricted this to EotW.

The evidence includes Rand's memories before he even began to channel, the abilities and skill he exhibited from the earliest channeling, his strength, and the sword familiarity.

I'll start with the memories:

From the center of the furious vapors a mountain thrust upward, a mountain taller than any he had ever seen in
the Mountains of Mist, a mountain as black as the loss of all hope. That bleak stone spire, a dagger stabbing at
the heavens, was the source of his desolation. He had never seen it before, but he knew it. The memory of it
flashed away like quicksilver when he tried to touch it, but the memory was there. He knew it was there.


Rand recognised S.Ghul, and also knew that stray thoughts could be harmful in TAR. This example doesn't demonstrate that too clearly but it brings up an important fact. Rand knows here that he has certain "other" memories. He wasn't guessing!


Two. Rand takes out Ishamael all by himself, notice that he uses weaves that are so far unique to the series but very very effective for their intended purpose. Note also that this is only the third time Rand has channeled and he's using untainted saidin. (which should protect against the taint!)


"I deny you. You have no power over me, and I will not kneel to you, alive or dead."
"Look," Ba'alzamon said. "Look." Unwilling, Rand yet turned his head.
Egwene stood there, and Nynaeve, pale and frightened, with flowers in their hair. And another woman,
little older than the Wisdom, gray-eyed and beautiful, clothed in a Two Rivers dress, bright blossoms
embroidered round the neck.
"Mother?" he breathed, and she smiled, a hopeless smile. His mother's smile. "No! My mother is dead,
and the other two are safe away from here. I deny you!" Egwene and Nynaeve blurred, became wafting mist,
dissipated. Kari al'Thor still stood there, her eyes big with fear.
"She, at least," Ba'alzamon said, "is mine to do with as I will."
Rand shook his head. "I deny you." He had to force the words out. "She is dead, and safe from you in the
Light."
His mother's lips trembled. Tears trickled down her cheeks; each one burned him like acid. "The Lord of
the Grave is stronger than he once was, my son," she said. "His reach is longer. The Father of Lies has a
honeyed tongue for unwary souls. My son. My only, darling son. I would spare you if I could, but he is my
master, now, his whim, the law of my existence. I can but obey him, and grovel for his favor. Only you can free
me. Please, my son. Please help me. Help me. Help me! PLEASE!"
The wail ripped out of her as barefaced Fades, pale and eyeless, closed round. Her clothes ripped away
in their bloodless hands, hands that wielded pincers and clamps and things that stung and burned and whipped
against her naked flesh. Her scream would not end.
Rand's scream echoed hers. The void boiled in his mind. His sword was in his hand. Not the heron-mark
blade, but a blade of light, a blade of the Light. Even as he raised it, a fiery white bolt shot from the point, as if
the blade itself had reached out. It touched the nearest Fade, and blinding candescence filled the chamber,
shining through the Halfmen like a candle through paper, burning through them, blinding his eyes to the scene.
From the midst of the brilliance, he heard a whisper. "Thank you, my son. The Light. The blessed
Light."
The flash faded, and he was alone in the chamber with Ba'alzamon. Ba'alzamon's eyes burned like the
Pit of Doom, but he shied back from the sword as if it truly were the Light itself.
"Fool! You will destroy yourself! You cannot wield it so, not yet! Not until I teach you!"
"It is ended," Rand said, and he swung the sword at Ba'alzamon's black cord. Ba'alzamon screamed as
the sword fell, screamed till the stone walls trembled, and the endless howl redoubled as the blade of Light
severed the cord. The cut ends rebounded apart as if they had been under tension. The end stretching into the
nothingness outside began to shrivel as it sprang away; the other whipped back into Ba'alzamon, hurling him
against the fireplace. There was silent laughter in the soundless shrieks of the tortured faces. The walls shivered
and cracked; the floor heaved, and chunks of stone crashed to the floor from the ceiling.
As all broke apart around him, Rand pointed the sword at Ba'alzamon's heart. "It is ended!"
Light lanced from the blade, coruscating in a shower of fiery sparks like droplets of molten, white metal.
Wailing, Ba'alzamon threw up his arms in a vain effort to shield himself. Flames shrieked in his eyes, joining
with other flames as the stone ignited, the stone of the cracking walls, the stone of the pitching floor, the stone
showering from the ceiling. Rand felt the bright thread attached to him thinning, till only the glow itself
remained, but he strained harder, not knowing what he did, or how, only that this had to be ended. It has to be
ended!
Fire filled the chamber, a solid flame. He could see Ba'alzamon withering like a leaf, hear him howling,
feel the shrieks grating on his bones. The flame became pure, white light, brighter than the sun. Then the last
flicker of the thread was gone, and he was falling through endless black and Ba'alzamon's fading howl.



Three. Rand realizes himself that he wasn't the one deserved the credit and Moiraine acknowledges the fact:

. "But it wasn't me," he finished. "The Light . . . pulled me along. It wasn't really me. Doesn't that
make any difference?"
"I had suspicions from the first," Moiraine said. "Suspicions are not proof, though. After I gave you the
token, the coin, and made that bonding, you should have been willing to fall in with whatever I wanted, but you
resisted, questioned. That told me something, but not enough. Manetheren blood was always stubborn, and
more so after Aemon died and Eldrene's heart was shattered. Then there was Bela."
"Bela?" he said. Nothing makes any difference.
The Aes Sedai nodded. "At Watch Hill, Bela had no need of me to cleanse her of tiredness; someone had
already done it.


Rand, unlike Mat and Perrin who were also stubborn 2R products, resisted Moiraine. That was enough to tell hint Moiraine that he was a man that could channel. But we've seen enough in later books to know it takes more than the potential to channel to resist compulsion. There was a stronger personality at play here.


"There was a vast amount of the One Power in the Eye. Even in the Age of Legends, few could have
channeled so much unaided without being destroyed. Very few."


Again I've already mentioned this, Rand was only using saidin for the third time. He couldn't have gained even half his strength. Even if he is LT reborn, he cannot yet hold so much. The forsaken however are returned usually at full strength and Aginor had just defeated Moiraine and her angreal. Yet Rand defeated him! That can only mean that Rand was stronger than Aginor at that point!


That tells us that LT wasn't only present, but that there was more than LT's memories at play here! Memories cannot hold saidin!!!


Four - Rand's skill at swords is remarked upon by Lan. Rand learnt the sword very quickly and easily. In fact Lan began talking about taking him to blademaster level in less than three months or so. We find out later in the series that LT was a blademaster.


One little thing I'll mention is the voice that Rand hears in EotW. While it could be the creator or whatever we want it to be, the fact is that it occured when Rand had actually barely beguin to channel. If it is a "real" voice, then it is further evidence of real voices in the WoT.


There's probably even more, and a bit more through the rest of the series, but I haven't enough time to do that kind of research. But the conclusion of these is all quite clear: LT was there from the start.

nameless
07-19-2010, 12:57 AM
In any case the point here is that the Taint doesn't induce a type of madness, it simply breaks your sanity, and the madness you then fall into is any amongst the myriad of normal forms of insanity. Additionally, its more than possible that one of the other men who have gone insane due to the Taint did suffer this same form of insanity. Semirhage states its very rare, but it easily could have happened. Men hearing voices is a common form of Taint madness--any of them could have been hearing a past life voice, but not everyone has as epic a past life as Rand does.

The problem here is that you're conflating two separate pieces of data: Cadsuane states that taint-afflicted men often hear voices and Semirhage says that madmen who hear voices very, very rarely are coming into contact with their selves from a past life. How can we know there's no overlap between Semi's madmen and Cadsuane's? Simple: chronology. Semirhage gets her information Graendal as well as her own clinical experience in the Age of Legends, which predates the existence of the taint. Whatever past-life regressions she studied were not caused by the taint on saidin.

Neilbert
07-19-2010, 03:37 AM
I have never asserted that Semirhage's statements were lies. I have stated that it is possible, but never necessary for the construct theory. Semirhage obviously had a fundamental misunderstanding of what was going on, since she assumed that Lews Therin 'told' Rand who she was.

Well, she could also be simply phrasing things to best validate Rand's insanity. She knew enough to say re-integration, so "LTT told him" and "He knew from being LTT" might be a semantics game for her.

One Armed Gimp
07-19-2010, 02:20 PM
I have never understood how 'realers could continue to believe after TGS. Especially with talk of reintegration.

Reintegration with construct theory:

Hey, I am this Dragon Reborn guy and these are memories of my past life, I don't need to form a construct with which to commune with these past memories any more since I no longer frightened of them. Whew.

Reintegration with He is Real theory:

LTT: I am a completely distinct personality that can communicate with you and wrestle with you for control of your actions.

Rand: Dude, I got it, we are the same soul.

LTT: Oh, yeah, tell you what, I'll shut up now, my bad.

If it were a matter of distinct personalities butting heads, why would this stop simply because of a revelation on Rand's part? Since he has now "seen" these past lives, I would expect the problem to worsen if LTT being "real" were correct. Rand would suddenly be vying with every personality from his soul for control.

As for everything else, Terez has prety much covered it. But this statement stood out to me as entirely flawed:

It furthermore requires we dismiss Semirhage’s statements as lies, a suggestion which goes against her stated nature, and is made highly unlikely by the accuracy and details of her supposed lies in correlation with the state Rand happens to be in.

That is entirely false.

Isabel
07-19-2010, 02:25 PM
If it were a matter of distinct personalities butting heads, why would this stop simply because of a revelation on Rand's part?


Did you miss the part in which LTT realizes that he could have a second chance? LTT didn't have a good reason to hang on anymore. Plus Rand accepting him also helped to create the normal status quo. (both personalities be integrated)

Terez
07-19-2010, 02:43 PM
Did you miss the part in which LTT realizes that he could have a second chance? LTT didn't have a good reason to hang on anymore.
Actually, it was the other way around - he found a reason to live. He didn't go away. The integration really started when Rand almost killed Tam, though...and he realized that he could no longer pretend that Lews Therin was the murdering madman, and he the sane one.

One Armed Gimp
07-19-2010, 04:18 PM
Actually, it was the other way around - he found a reason to live. He didn't go away. The integration really started when Rand almost killed Tam, though...and he realized that he could no longer pretend that Lews Therin was the murdering madman, and he the sane one.

Exactly. If LTT were real I would expect him to now take control, win the LB so the Wheel can turn and either make sure Rand dies or promptly kill him off so as to have as little "alert" time as possible before he reunites with his beloved Ilyena.

GonzoTheGreat
07-19-2010, 04:26 PM
Alternatively the real LTT could now sink into oblivion (the long sleep), knowing that he will wake up out of the dream again some day in the future.

If he were a construct, on the other hand, then Rand would now know that it had been his own madness all along, and he would only be more suicidal as a result.

Terez
07-19-2010, 11:01 PM
Alternatively the real LTT could now sink into oblivion (the long sleep), knowing that he will wake up out of the dream again some day in the future.
But that's not what happened. Lews Therin is just as much a part of Rand as he was before; the memories didn't go away. The only difference is that Rand accepts his past life now, so his memories are integrated (and presumably he'll have less trouble accessing them).

If he were a construct, on the other hand, then Rand would now know that it had been his own madness all along, and he would only be more suicidal as a result.
That's a rather silly assumption to make.

Isabel
07-19-2010, 11:16 PM
That's a rather silly assumption to make.

That is the same silly assumption as you make ;)

Terez
07-19-2010, 11:48 PM
No, it isn't.

Neilbert
07-20-2010, 02:10 AM
If he were a construct, on the other hand, then Rand would now know that it had been his own madness all along, and he would only be more suicidal as a result.

How could he possibly be more suicidal?

Nazbaque
07-20-2010, 03:29 AM
My two cents on the whole LTT/Rand business:

1. LTT is an echo of Rand's past life. His personality is very real and very mad.

2. Rand is blaming all the bad stuff (well most of it anyway) on LTT. So in a sense there are two LTTs. The true echo of his personality and the part of Rand's personality that he hates and tries to dump on LTT. Rand denies these parts of himself and since he blames it all on LTT he denies him too.

3. We haven't yet seen what Rand's mental state will become. TGS ended before we could. My guess is that Rand now accepts himself and as a result can truly become one with LTT. LTT doesn't take over or disappear, but is absorbed by Rand.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 04:09 AM
How could he possibly be more suicidal?Well, he could have charged into the Pit of Doom, this time without any hundred companions. I'd say that would have counted as "more suicidal".
Alternatively, he could have not pulled back from the brink of destruction he found himself on while he was having his mid-life crisis*.

* Is Rand now going to buy a Harley Davidson?

Terez
07-20-2010, 04:26 AM
1. LTT is an echo of Rand's past life. His personality is very real and very mad.

2. Rand is blaming all the bad stuff (well most of it anyway) on LTT. So in a sense there are two LTTs. The true echo of his personality and the part of Rand's personality that he hates and tries to dump on LTT. Rand denies these parts of himself and since he blames it all on LTT he denies him too.
And this is where Occam's Razor comes in.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 04:34 AM
And this is where Occam's Razor comes in.Yep, that allows us to throw out the second option, as the first one is simpler* and fully in accordance with all the evidence.

* It would not be simpler in a world without reincarnation, of course. But that is not a limitation here at all.

Terez
07-20-2010, 05:42 AM
Yep, that allows us to throw out the second option, as the first one is simpler* and fully in accordance with all the evidence.
Only in accordance with some evidence. The construct theory actually covers all of it. To assume that Rand's past life was actually conscious inside his head is unnecessarily complicated, when the evidence suggests that he was simply remembering his past life, and reacting to it badly.

One Armed Gimp
07-20-2010, 05:46 AM
Alternatively the real LTT could now sink into oblivion (the long sleep), knowing that he will wake up out of the dream again some day in the future.

What, and leave Rand to saving the Wheel? LTT only knows that if Rand wins and he has done such a bang up job so far, right?

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 06:22 AM
Yep, so far Rand has eliminated quite a few more Forsaken than LTT ever managed. He has also gotten rid of the Taint which drove LTT mad, and he is getting along very well with the female AS as well.
All in all, no worries.

Nazbaque
07-20-2010, 07:44 AM
And this is where Occam's Razor comes in.
Occam's Razor does not apply here. This is not a general problem to which there are several solutions and all we need to do is find the best one which according to Occam's Razor is almost always (I hate it when people get it wrong) the simplest. This is a brain teaser to which there is only one true answer. Simplicity is certainly the easiest guess, but it is only one guess among many.

In general it annoys me when people parrot Occam's Razor as if it were somekind of cast iron rule when it is only a guideline. It shows laziness of mind. In fact it annoys me when people parrot anykind of rules and guidelines without understanding them. When they just try to seem clever instead of trying to actually be clever.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 08:12 AM
Good point.

In this case, what we have to do is not find a "law of nature". For such a law, the simplest solution which actual works with all relevant cases is the one to be preferred, and that's an application of Occam's Razor.

Here, however, we are dealing with Intelligent Design. That means that a creator has deliberately made something true, and all alternatives false. This true solution need not be the simplest one at all, instead it is the one that appealed to the creator (on whatever grounds he used).
What we try to do is figure out which explanation RJ had picked.

Thanks, Naz. I should have thought of this myself.

Nazbaque
07-20-2010, 08:44 AM
*Bows deeply*

Gonzo, you are too kind.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 08:56 AM
Gonzo, you are too kind.I know. It may very well be my biggest flaw.

Terez
07-20-2010, 09:46 AM
I never started using Occam's Razor in Lews Therin debates until I got sick of the real'ers parroting it. :D If I weren't lazy, I'd go find a link of Gonzo doing just that.

One Armed Gimp
07-20-2010, 09:58 AM
All in all, no worries.

You know, minus the fact that the Shadow is winning.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 10:03 AM
You know, minus the fact that the Shadow is winning.The Wheel weaves as the Great Lord wills.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 10:14 AM
I never started using Occam's Razor in Lews Therin debates until I got sick of the real'ers parroting it. :D If I weren't lazy, I'd go find a link of Gonzo doing just that.I don't think I have done that, at least not for the whole of the debate. For sub topics it is possible, though.

For quite a long time now, I've had the idea that RJ very deliberately kept both possibilities (real and construct) open. That would mean that the truth is some quantum superposition of the two extremes. Not something I really like in this case, but definitely another reason why the Razor is not a good tool.

My main reason for arguing against the construct idea is that I just plain do not like it. It is a bit of cheap pop psychology, not something that would deserve to be at the core of a thousands year old prophecy.
But I am well aware that it may be one of the components out of which RJ made Rand's mental state, together with the real personality of LTT preserved by his soul until his rebirth and Rand's discovery of the OP.

When it comes to the construct theory, I am positive that it should be wrong, but I am a lot less positive that it is wrong.

Perhaps, if I convince all of you, it will magically go away. That'd be quite an improvement, in a way.

Terez
07-20-2010, 10:21 AM
For quite a long time now, I've had the idea that RJ very deliberately kept both possibilities (real and construct) open.
I have been saying that for years, but the real'ers were insistent that the constructors were making things up out of thin air.

My main reason for arguing against the construct idea is that I just plain do not like it. It is a bit of cheap pop psychology, not something that would deserve to be at the core of a thousands year old prophecy.
What, exactly, is cheap about it? I am aware of your distaste for real world psychology in general, but it seems to be a prejudice on your part. I imagine that RJ was just as skeptical as you are when it comes to the voices that real world madmen hear, especially things like MPD and schizophrenia. I think he was exploring the kind of extreme circumstances that he thought would be necessary to make that sort of thing believable, just like he was exploring the extreme circumstances necessary to create real legal insanity, where the defendant is truly innocent of any crime because of his mental state. And of course, even then Lews Therin takes responsibility for his actions when his sanity is returned.

GonzoTheGreat
07-20-2010, 10:45 AM
I have been saying that for years, but the real'ers were insistent that the constructors were making things up out of thin air.Well, obviously. That's what the construct theory is all about, after all: that the voice of LTT is made up out of thin air. :D

What, exactly, is cheap about it?The idea that merely realising that in a past life he'd done bad things, so now he was going to invent an imaginary friend (all right, imaginary self) to blame so that he would not have to admit that it hadn't really been him anyways.
Plus the fact that it requires one to assume there is a total separation between personal identity and memories.

I am aware of your distaste for real world psychology in general, but it seems to be a prejudice on your part. I imagine that RJ was just as skeptical as you are when it comes to the voices that real world madmen hear, especially things like MPD and schizophrenia.Those voices can be quite real, for a certain value of "real". With fMRI and such it is possible to show that those voices are generated in the "other" (I think the right one) brain half than were speech is ordinarily produced. This means that while it may seem to make sense, the patient has absolutely no control over it at all.
At least some patients already found it an improvement to know this, and to see in real time the activity of their brains when the voices were talking. In that way, they knew that it wasn't some outside voice, but just a bit of faulty wiring in their brain.

My objection to (a lot of) psychology stems from the fact that very often psychology is no more than ideas which seem reasonable to whoever comes up with them, without having those ideas being put to the test to see whether or not they actually do what they claim to do: describe real humans.

I think he was exploring the kind of extreme circumstances that he thought would be necessary to make that sort of thing believable, just like he was exploring the extreme circumstances necessary to create real legal insanity, where the defendant is truly innocent of any crime because of his mental state. And of course, even then Lews Therin takes responsibility for his actions when his sanity is returned.Frankly, I think that Padan Fain is a better example of this, and I haven't really caught him taking responsibility for his actions. Though it is true that your description of LTT here is quite accurate.

Neilbert
07-20-2010, 10:47 AM
Well, he could have charged into the Pit of Doom, this time without any hundred companions. I'd say that would have counted as "more suicidal".
Alternatively, he could have not pulled back from the brink of destruction he found himself on while he was having his mid-life crisis*.

So he would be dead, and therefore not suicidal.


The idea that merely realising that in a past life he'd done bad things, so now he was going to invent an imaginary friend (all right, imaginary self) to blame so that he would not have to admit that it hadn't really been him anyways.

It's not that he'd "done bad things" it's that he tried his hardest; his best attempt led to his murdering his family, the breaking of the world, the tainting of Saidin, and the descent form the pinnacle of civilization to the barbarism of today. He knows this. He knows that his attempt to save the world will likely break it worse than before. He knows that his destined defeat of the Dark One will probably go incredibly badly for him and really badly for the world. He isn't eager to try it again. He'd much rather just lay down and die than shoulder that burden, but he doesn't want to give up on the world, so he will fight, no matter how much he doesn't want to. His realization that he does have another chance, that it's possible to do it right, that he desperately wants to do it right, is what saved him.

One Armed Gimp
07-20-2010, 11:10 AM
The idea that merely realising that in a past life he'd done bad things, so now he was going to invent an imaginary friend (all right, imaginary self) to blame so that he would not have to admit that it hadn't really been him anyways.
Plus the fact that it requires one to assume there is a total separation between personal identity and memories.

I never saw it as a cop out to rid himself of guilt, but as a mechanism to deal with the sudden influx of memories Rand could not attribute to his life span. Contrast that to the acceptance that Mat shows to the memories in his head, different as they are. Then again Mat seems to be more accepting of his fate, actions and consequences in general then Rand does. As was pointed out before, Rand fought hard to deny certain truths until forced to accept them.

Terez
07-20-2010, 12:59 PM
The idea that merely realising that in a past life he'd done bad things, so now he was going to invent an imaginary friend (all right, imaginary self) to blame so that he would not have to admit that it hadn't really been him anyways.
But that's not what happened at all. He realized that people were telling him that he was the most hated, the most feared man in the history of the world, reborn. He didn't like it. He'd made up his mind before he ever realized where his memories were coming from that he would accept the responsibility, but that he would NOT end up like Lews Therin, who he saw as being another man, rather than himself. All Rand did was deny the connection; the imaginary friend was something that developed over time, subconsciously. But you know all that, so I can't imagine why you phrased it like you did.

Plus the fact that it requires one to assume there is a total separation between personal identity and memories.
No, it doesn't. Quite the opposite.

This means that while it may seem to make sense, the patient has absolutely no control over it at all.
Direct control, maybe not. Rand had control over his 'voice' - he was often able to mute it - and the 'voice' was created because of actions on Rand's part, such as the denial.

My objection to (a lot of) psychology stems from the fact that very often psychology is no more than ideas which seem reasonable to whoever comes up with them, without having those ideas being put to the test to see whether or not they actually do what they claim to do: describe real humans.
Well, it's a good thing we're not dealing with real humans then, isn't it? ;)

I believe that Fain knows the difference between right and wrong, and simply chooses wrong. He's not legally insane in the same way that Lews Therin was.

ckparrothead
07-20-2010, 02:48 PM
I could swear RJ directly addressed this issue once, and as I recall it was to suggest that LTT was a construct.

Terez
07-20-2010, 02:57 PM
Do you really believe we would miss something like that? LOL. The wording of everything gets nitpicked to death; some feel like some of RJ's quotes confirm 'real'. Maybe you are thinking of the one soul/two personalities quote?

ckparrothead
07-20-2010, 03:26 PM
Possible.

Q: The question is, with Rand and Lews Therin, do they have one soul or two souls in the body?
RJ: They have one soul with two personalities. The reincarnation of souls does not mean reincarnation of personalities. The personality develops with each reincarnation of the soul. This is the cosmology that I [cobbled] together.

Terez
07-20-2010, 06:18 PM
Yeah, everyone knows that quote. A lot of the real'ers used to be two-soulers; Isa has said before that she thinks that quote proved that the two-soulers were right, lol. That still makes me laugh every time I think about it.

ckparrothead
07-21-2010, 09:18 AM
If they're not two souls, I don't even know why there's a schism.

GonzoTheGreat
07-21-2010, 09:29 AM
The discussion is over whether Rand is just an ordinary, run of the mill, Taint riddled madman, or whether he is the one single exception to the rule that RJ gives of "reincarnation of souls does not mean reincarnation of personalities".

Neilbert
07-21-2010, 10:39 AM
Not exactly, but we should expect that from you at this point.

GonzoTheGreat
07-21-2010, 10:51 AM
Not exactly, no, the construct theory is a bit more involved than the parody I just gave.

But the real side does boil down to "Is Rand the (an) exception to this rule, or are there no exceptions?"
If it can be shown that the quote is absolute, then that's that for the realers. LTT's personality would not have been preserved, and the discussion would be over.
Of course, that raises the question of what Birgitte is, if she does not have a personality at all. But that's another issue, in this case. (If the quote is not absolute truth, then there is no problem with Birgitte, of course.)

Neilbert
07-21-2010, 11:41 AM
I've heard it's possible to develop personality. Look into it. :)

sometimes I really can't resist

ckparrothead
07-21-2010, 12:48 PM
This whole argument strikes me as based on semantics.

Terez
07-21-2010, 01:15 PM
This whole argument strikes me as based on semantics.
It often appears to be, but at the core, it isn't because the various definitions of personality and soul and real don't matter. Either the voice was a psychological defense mechanism to deal with past life memories, or it was a purely supernatural phenomenon.

Crispin's Crispian
07-21-2010, 03:01 PM
It often appears to be, but at the core, it isn't because the various definitions of personality and soul and real don't matter. Either the voice was a psychological defense mechanism to deal with past life memories, or it was a purely supernatural phenomenon.

The semantic part comes in, I think, when you talk about Luckers's theory. That is, Luckers is defining the Voice as a type of madness found only in the world of the Wheel. In our world, you can hear voices and be called delusional. In WoT, you can hear a voice and that voice might actually be your past life's incarnation talking.

It's still madness, and probably brought on by the Taint. I'm not sure it Luckers thinks it's related to the memory leakage or not, as opposed to a construct based upon those memories.

Or maybe I butchered it, I don't know.

Neilbert
07-21-2010, 05:33 PM
In WoT, you can hear a voice and that voice might actually be your past life's incarnation talking.

The problem with this whole idea is that there really isn't any evidence for it. Semerhage's statement and Rand's thoughts, the only indications that this is possible, really can't be taken at face value.

Semerhage's statement is useless, aside from the obvious reasons, because it doesn't go into why they hear a voice, instead of just having memories. Considering that reintegration is possible, it seems likely that the voice is a construct, and that (nice)Graendal would help someone realize that. Semerhage's admitted ignorance also means that we can't trust her interpretation of events.

Rand is useless here, because of course the crazy person hearing voices in his head thinks the voices are real.

So the evidence that there is a phenomenon within the WoT that would allow a past life incarnation to speak and have it's own will is, at best, incredibly shaky, and at worst non-existent.

Terez
07-21-2010, 08:15 PM
I forgot about Luckers' theory. He posted it to try to make some point or another with our Lews Therin debate, but it didn't really have anything to do with our debate at all. It seems to me to be an attempt to play both sides of the debate.

Neilbert
07-22-2010, 12:47 AM
Not to mention that "it's a type of madness unique to WoT" would be a pretty lame cop out.

GonzoTheGreat
07-22-2010, 04:12 AM
So the evidence that there is a phenomenon within the WoT that would allow a past life incarnation to speak and have it's own will is, at best, incredibly shaky, and at worst non-existent.Well, there is also Thom's testimony, which may lend some extra weight to the notion:
"Aemon's warcry, she said – right? Maybe you're Aemon come back again. The way you go on about how dull Emond's Field is, I'd think you would like that – being a king and hero reborn."
"Don't say that!" Thom drew a deep breath; everybody stared at him now. "That is dangerous talk, stupid talk. The dead can be reborn, or take a living body, and it is not something to speak of lightly." He took another breath to calm himself before going on. "The old blood, she said. The blood, not a dead man. I've heard that it can happen, sometimes. Heard, though I never really thought ... It was your roots, boy. A line running from you to your father to your grandfather, right on back to Manetheren, and maybe beyond. Well, now you know your family is old. You ought to let it go at that and be glad. Most people don't know much more than that they had a father."

Terez
07-22-2010, 06:22 AM
Lews Therin was reborn as Rand; Mordeth took over Fain's body. Two totally different things, and Thom's comment lends no weight to anything.

Neilbert
07-22-2010, 10:19 AM
Well, there is also Thom's testimony, which may lend some extra weight to the notion:

There's also fire-eagles you can ride to the moon, and Giants with flaming lances that can strike anywhere in the world.

Aran-gar Osan-gar Morridin

GonzoTheGreat
07-22-2010, 10:23 AM
There's also fire-eagles you can ride to the moon, and Giants with flaming lances that can strike anywhere in the world.[/spoiler]Which, though a bit garbled, do seem to have a firm basis in reality. Which seems to suggest that the other stories Thom is telling are also supposed to have such a real basis.
That is not conclusive, I admit, but it is definitely more than just blind guesswork. Especially given the fact that later on in the series, we do see someone get into trouble with a previous incarnation that is trying to take over his own body.

Luckers
07-22-2010, 10:30 AM
I forgot about Luckers' theory. He posted it to try to make some point or another with our Lews Therin debate, but it didn't really have anything to do with our debate at all. It seems to me to be an attempt to play both sides of the debate.

It wasn't playing both sides--it was looking at both and dismissing the Construct Theory as baseless, post-KoD.

Neilbert
07-22-2010, 10:58 AM
Which, though a bit garbled, do seem to have a firm basis in reality. Which seems to suggest that the other stories Thom is telling are also supposed to have such a real basis.

Read the spoiler you twit.

Terez
07-22-2010, 03:22 PM
It wasn't playing both sides--it was looking at both and dismissing the Construct Theory as baseless, post-KoD.
Maybe that's what you were trying to do, but you sure weren't successful, and your entire post showed a pretty marked ignorance about the fundamentals of the debate, quite aside from the huge logic leaps you took to try to make your point.

Luckers
07-23-2010, 11:41 AM
Whatever you say, champ.

Tamyrlin
07-23-2010, 11:48 AM
You guys should host an internet video blog about the Wheel of Time where you disagree about everything - CNN could pick it up. Just imagine the controversy.

Terez
07-23-2010, 01:21 PM
At least I can make an argument. Luckers is just trolling; he didn't even attempt to engage after the OP.

ckparrothead
07-23-2010, 04:41 PM
It often appears to be, but at the core, it isn't because the various definitions of personality and soul and real don't matter. Either the voice was a psychological defense mechanism to deal with past life memories, or it was a purely supernatural phenomenon.

I dunno I guess I don't see those as mutually exclusive. And when we get that explanation from Semirhage (who 'rarely' lies, evidently), I kind of take that as the author trying to explain something through her, to us readers.

I think it's probably a psychological defense mechanism that is unique, not just to the world of the Wheel but also to Rand himself and some others in the past like him, where an actual personality from a past life can manifest in your head as a defense mechanism. I doubt it could just happen to anyone. Semirhage used the word 'reintegration' and that was significant to me, she said that even Graendal couldn't always achieve reintegration when the voice was actually real.

I always kind of took it that Lews Therin was kind of a recepticle...like your appendix. Rand was being poisoned every time he channeled but it was convenient for this personality from a past life to show up and for he to accumulate and suffer the ill effects of the poison. But, you know...appendixes rupture. Then they need to be cut out. Cutting out a real voice like Lews Therin is impossible. All you could do is hope to reintegrate, and according to Semirhage that's an extremely difficult thing to see happen.

But that sort of fits in with what RJ was trying to set up in his world which is Cassius Clay on the ropes, broken, bleeding, needing a miracle, fighting overwhelming odds against Sonny Liston.

I think his moment on Dragonmount was supposed to be a little of that miracle...reintegration with a real voice in his head where nobody thought that possible or likely.

Terez
07-23-2010, 05:50 PM
I dunno I guess I don't see those as mutually exclusive.
They are. If the 'voice' is at all influenced by Rand's psychology in its development, then it is not purely supernatural.

And when we get that explanation from Semirhage (who 'rarely' lies, evidently), I kind of take that as the author trying to explain something through her, to us readers.
Again, no one ever said she lied.

Semirhage used the word 'reintegration' and that was significant to me, she said that even Graendal couldn't always achieve reintegration when the voice was actually real.
Again, that's probably because Graendal is skeptical of the idea of reincarnation, and therefore didn't have a very good grasp on the phenomenon at all.

I think his moment on Dragonmount was supposed to be a little of that miracle...reintegration with a real voice in his head where nobody thought that possible or likely.
The constructors knew it was likely, and we even predicted that Rand would need to admit to himself that the Kinslaying was his own crime and come to some sort of peace with it before his memories could be properly integrated.

JaconKin
09-06-2010, 07:23 PM
Actually, it was the other way around - he found a reason to live. He didn't go away. The integration really started when Rand almost killed Tam, though...and he realized that he could no longer pretend that Lews Therin was the murdering madman, and he the sane one.

It could almost be stated that the reintegration process began when he almost killed Min. Notice that in many ways this is also the point when in the story he begins to let slip more and more of Lewis Therin's Memories. It's when he first calls Aes Sedai Little sisters. It is later that he brings up an Aes Sedai from the Age of Legends who must have been known for making a mistake, but Nyneave and Min have no idea who he is talking about. It is also during this time that one of the things that Caduasne notices about him is a serenity. Yet, there is still obviously something wrong with him.

I'm of the belief that of course with the integration of Lewis Therin with in himself and coming to peace with this aspect of himself, that he will regain this serenity now with out the adverse effects of Shadar Logoth, and I don't mean the Dagger slice here as well.

Has there actually been an extensive post done exploring not this aspect of Rand, but just the madness altogether. I'm of the opinion first, the madness has nothing to do with the taint nor does his sickness. The sickness has more to do with a Soul Wounded and divided as well as the madness that consumes him and nothing to do with the bit of time he was exposed to the taint.

One Armed Gimp
09-06-2010, 07:33 PM
... It's when he first calls Aes Sedai Little sisters...

I thought in another post you said you did a re-read? Anyway, he first calls an Aes Sedai a "little sister" in TFoH.

A soul wounded and divided? Rand's soul? How is the soul wounded and how is it divided?

JaconKin
09-06-2010, 07:48 PM
I thought in another post you said you did a re-read? Anyway, he first calls an Aes Sedai a "little sister" in TFoH.

A soul wounded and divided? Rand's soul? How is the soul wounded and how is it divided?

So what are you the confrontational devil's advocate of these boards?

I did do a reread, and If I'm mistaken as to when he first called an Aes Sedai little sister, well it's an easy mistake to make figuring all the details that are covered in the books to forget a certain aspect. Especially when looking at the congruent whole of the story, and not just the piecemeal of each book.

Regardless of when he first says this the meat of the post as a whole is the same. It is during this time that in some ways that an integration process begins. It is Tam's almost Killing that shatters everything else though and finally brings the final confrontation before Rand's eyes. Min's almost Death begins the process, Tam's almost being killed is the one that finalizes it so to speak.

As far as the soul divided aspect, I'm not sure about all these theories concerning Lewis Therin and the like. Yet, basically, I just look at what I read in the books and what we know. With Rand being the Dragon REBORN, that means more than just a person who will fulfill prophecy. It means as far as I'm concern exactly that. That in him the Dragon Lewis Therin was reborn. As such it is when Rand begins to deny this aspect of himself, that Lewis Therin isn't actually a part of himself and he begins to fight and oppose Therin that we eventually begin to see the sickness, first just dizziness, then the physical aspects of later as he continues to fight this aspect that the sickness worsens. As long as he continues to deny this and fight who he is, then his soul is divided and is sickened.

At the end of TGS he finally accepts all aspects of his soul, and as such is healed.

Tamyrlin
09-06-2010, 08:01 PM
So what are you the confrontational devil's advocate of these boards?


Be nice OAH - don't make make me change your title to Confrontational Devil's Advocate. (Although that would be kind of funny.)

One Armed Gimp
09-06-2010, 08:12 PM
Couple of things:

Are you saying that the integration began when Rand starting having access to LTT's memories, mannerisms ("little sister"), etc? For most the integration is the acceptance, which took place only on Dragonmount. As you pointed out Rand fought that acceptance the whole time up until then.

As for Rand's inability to accept that they were never two men causing the sickness and madness, its an interesting theory. The madness is stretching it imo. We know that the Taint causes madnesses and that time with which it can set in can very, its also the simplest explanation. In regards to the sickness, well, he was definitely "fighting" LTT well before the sickness appeared and only shortly after the crossed BF streams and also the encounter with Fain's dagger, components of two of the more popular theories.

Confrontational? Maybe, could just be my mood for the day, sorry. But I saw two inaccurate posts (Noal, "little sisters"). I do not understand that when there are so many resources available to you. A little research goes a long way.

Devil's Advocate? Definitely, if you can't be bothered to defend what you post, why bother posting it?

One Armed Gimp
09-06-2010, 08:17 PM
Be nice OAH - don't make make me change your title to Confrontational Devil's Advocate. (Although that would be kind of funny.)

Hehe, I think Terez would prefer Contrarian.

Bryan
09-06-2010, 08:32 PM
When is LTT generally accepted to appear through Rand for the first time? I've always thought that in TEotW, Rand's encounter with the Whitecloaks in Baerlon and his hijinks on the mast of the Spray were the Lews Therin side of his personality making an appearance.

JaconKin
09-06-2010, 08:39 PM
Sorry, I'm fine with being confronted with possible mistakes, just prefer them to be done with a bit better of a tone so to speak, or as Caduasne puts it civility. :p

Anyway, no I'm saying the PROCESS of integration in many ways began when he almost killed Min, yet the buffer he puts in front of this so to speak is that he doesn't view it as himself, but as Semirhage almost killing her, this prevents full integration. Then him almost killing Tam is the finalization of the process eventually, because now there is no longer a buffer for him or anyway to avoid the fact that he almost did this act himself of his on volition, taking place on top of Dragonmount. Remember it is Lewis Therin that adds Min's Name to the list. I'm not saying that integration begins when Lewis Therin character some slips through though, on the contrary, its when it becomes increasingly more difficult to differentiate between the two. For instance, I can't recall if it is before or after this event of almost killing Min that he at a few times says We are okay, but iirc this takes place afterwards and is the Scene before he meets with Tuon.

As far as the Sickness, it is double fold in my estimation. First, the double soul aspect has some sort of adverse effect on him. Next, it is this aspect and his beginning to go down the path of madness that intensifies the sickness.

Also the madness that I'm speaking of has nothing to do with the taint, and Verin Sedai confirms this in many ways with Mat. Having personally gone through some experiences and being on the cusp of losing it so speak, the mind is very powerful. Also, at times when one begins to keep things in and holding things back, this can begin to effect a person physically.

One of the common aspects for example of depression is a sore back. While I was going through my own issues, I would actually have heartburn so bad that I was actually neaeauted, experienced severe chest pain, and I mean seriously almost lose my lunch as it came back up.

As I said, I intend to sit down in the next week or so to work this out in more detail, and as I said, its also difficult for me to remember X book certain matters begin at times because once I'm done with them all, I view the story in its entirety.

Also, it isn't that I'm unwilling to look things up, yet, in simple posts such as this and above I guess you could say I don't feel the need I need to be as precise as I could be with say the exact book something occurred. Forgive me for this aspect of my personality so to speak. In a much lengthier discourse and when I work on this more detailed account and review of Rand's Character, I will be using and quoting the books profusely to back up my theories.

As far as the little sister quote in in TFoH, I think I now remember when this takes place and simply forgot this instance, since I only finished reading TGS the other day, the Caduasne part is more fresh in mind.

JaconKin
09-06-2010, 08:46 PM
When is LTT generally accepted to appear through Rand for the first time? I've always thought that in TEotW, Rand's encounter with the Whitecloaks in Baerlon and his hijinks on the mast of the Spray were the Lews Therin side of his personality making an appearance.

No, that is just the effects of channeling for the first time.

He is first recognized as Lewis Therin, by Lanfear in The Great Hunt, though that can be construed by her desire for him. Yet, in the same book the Dead Heroes that come back also call him Lewis Therin, in this there should be very little doubt.

I think he first, I could be wrong, sort of senses the presence in TSR and actually takes control of him when He spits in Lanfear's Face, And you Merin Always desired power, or something to close to this wording. Yet we as readers don't actually hear the voice till TFoH.

Yet, before this Lewis Therin's presence is at least hinted at in The Dragon Reborn, Rand all a sudden able to Weave Balefire, and like wise in TSR when he Weaves the Lighting Bolt thing that kills all the Trollocs.

Terez
09-06-2010, 09:34 PM
It could almost be stated that the reintegration process began when he almost killed Min. Notice that in many ways this is also the point when in the story he begins to let slip more and more of Lewis Therin's Memories. It's when he first calls Aes Sedai Little sisters.
The first hint of Lews Therin's memories is in TEOTW ch. 9, 'Tellings of the Wheel', when Rand recognizes Shayol Ghul in a dream, and seems to remember Ishamael. The first for-certain indication we have of Lews Therin's memories is in TSR ch. 9, 'Decisions', when Rand is talking to Lanfear. In the next chapter, the weave he uses seems a great deal more complicated than anything a noob should have been able to come up with, and he also talks to himself. Granted, this is not long after he killed his first woman (the Darkfriend on the way to Tear), and also not long after he started smooching with Elayne.

The memories start coming on strong at the beginning of TFOH, with three examples in Rand's first chapter (2: Rhuidean), including 'little sister'. Rand first realizes the source of the memories in TFOH ch. 6, 'Gateways'.

Has there actually been an extensive post done exploring not this aspect of Rand, but just the madness altogether. I'm of the opinion first, the madness has nothing to do with the taint nor does his sickness. The sickness has more to do with a Soul Wounded and divided as well as the madness that consumes him and nothing to do with the bit of time he was exposed to the taint.I don't know that the madness and the Lews Therin aspect are truly separable. Also, Brandon confirmed that the taint was a contributing factor, but certainly not the only thing going on. I have analyzed it to the point that everything in this post is from memory. And finally, I don't believe that 'presence' is a very good word to describe what's going on here, but of course some would disagree. Lews Therin is only 'there' insofar as he is Rand. The appearance of Lews Therin being a separate person is a delusion on Rand's part.

So what are you the confrontational devil's advocate of these boards?Supposedly, that's me. :D

JaconKin
09-06-2010, 10:00 PM
I don't know that the madness and the Lews Therin aspect are truly separable. Also, Brandon confirmed that the taint was a contributing factor, but certainly not the only thing going on. I have analyzed it to the point that everything in this post is from memory. And finally, I don't believe that 'presence' is a very good word to describe what's going on here, but of course some would disagree. Lews Therin is only 'there' insofar as he is Rand. The appearance of Lews Therin being a separate person is a delusion on Rand's part.

The Madness so to speak depends upon how you view it coming about I suppose. As I stated I will be working on rather lengthier discourse on this subject in the coming week or more. I'm not saying that you can separate Lewis Therin from Rand's Character completely or even in explaining the madness. What I'm saying is that the madness comes from completely different sources and aspects of Rands character that has nothing to do with the Taint or Lewis Therin in his mind. The moment I realized this though is easy to point out, it's when Rand takes Loial's Mother and the Elder to Shadar Logoth to close it's way gate.

As far as far Lewis Therin being a separate person from Rand? What is the basis of this Delusion to begin with? The fact that neither him nor others seem to truly understand what it means when the Dragon get's Reborn.The fact that he is all of sudden remembering and saying things scares the crap of out him and he doesn't want to lose himself. Hence, he separates his soul into two distinct personalities, His Rand al Thor side and his Lewis Therin side. I think this is something in some ways we agree on, just using different terminology to express the same concept. Robin Hobb actually deals with this in one her own books Renegade's Magic.

Also,I wasn't aware of Brandon's quote about saying that the Taint does have some contributing factors. Of course, shortly after posting that statement you could say I came to regret it as I'm of the mind that if the separate aspects of his personality and the soul divided doesn't have some adverse effects then saying the taint doesn't is like wise ludicrous. Yet, in the same aspect it can also be said that in this same quote or statement by Brandon, that it is a confirmation that there is a deeper side to his madness than just the taint as well and Lewis Therin being in his head.

Terez
09-06-2010, 10:04 PM
I will be working on rather lengthier discourse on this subject
I shall await it with bated breath.

JaconKin
09-06-2010, 10:17 PM
I shall await it with bated breath.

You being sarcastic:confused:?

Tamyrlin
09-07-2010, 12:18 AM
You being sarcastic?


It's one of Terez's favorite subjects. I would say, she and Callandor are the most well read, regarding book material, on the subject of LTT and Rand in regards to all WoT fandom I have either met or conversed with over the last twelve years, but I'm sure I could call on a couple of people to dispute that claim.

So - as to her reply, I'm guessing only sarcastic in the sense that she believes she will be surprised if you come up with any arguments she hasn't seen. However, I'm sure she'd love to see someone come up with some good ones and she'll argue them with you to death.

But what do I know...ok, back to collecting new failed Hunt codes!

JaconKin
09-07-2010, 01:45 AM
It's one of Terez's favorite subjects. I would say, she and Callandor are the most well read, regarding book material, on the subject of LTT and Rand in regards to all WoT fandom I have either met or conversed with over the last twelve years, but I'm sure I could call on a couple of people to dispute that claim.

So - as to her reply, I'm guessing only sarcastic in the sense that she believes she will be surprised if you come up with any arguments she hasn't seen. However, I'm sure she'd love to see someone come up with some good ones and she'll argue them with you to death.

But what do I know...ok, back to collecting new failed Hunt codes!

Ah a I see a Gauntlet. Basically what I'm proposing is more of a character study overall though, having basically a degree in English and the desire to become a writer myself, studying and analyzing characters and their progressions is a field I find most interesting.

I will say the scope of my actual project now thinking of it will be rather large and extensive and honestly can't even begin to estimate how many Word pages it will consume.

I will probably begin taking some serious notes and outlining in the next several days though.

Bryan
09-07-2010, 08:30 AM
No, that is just the effects of channeling for the first time.

He is first recognized as Lewis Therin, by Lanfear in The Great Hunt, though that can be construed by her desire for him. Yet, in the same book the Dead Heroes that come back also call him Lewis Therin, in this there should be very little doubt.

I think he first, I could be wrong, sort of senses the presence in TSR and actually takes control of him when He spits in Lanfear's Face, And you Merin Always desired power, or something to close to this wording. Yet we as readers don't actually hear the voice till TFoH.

Yet, before this Lewis Therin's presence is at least hinted at in The Dragon Reborn, Rand all a sudden able to Weave Balefire, and like wise in TSR when he Weaves the Lighting Bolt thing that kills all the Trollocs.

Not trying to be argumentative about this, but has it been explicitly stated that those were simply the effects of his first channelings? My impression was that generally that left the channeler feeling sick, not acting like his alter ego. He seemed to act like Lews Therin in those scenes, and I don't think it's a stretch to think that channeling for the first time(s) could have stirred up those characteristics in a subtle way.

GonzoTheGreat
09-07-2010, 09:38 AM
Not trying to be argumentative about this, but has it been explicitly stated that those were simply the effects of his first channelings? My impression was that generally that left the channeler feeling sick, not acting like his alter ego. He seemed to act like Lews Therin in those scenes, and I don't think it's a stretch to think that channeling for the first time(s) could have stirred up those characteristics in a subtle way.On what do you base that impression, pray tell me?
"Perhaps as much as eight or ten years ago – the age varies, but always comes young – there was something you wanted more than anything else in the world, something you needed. And you got it. A branch suddenly falling where you could pull yourself out of a pond instead of drowning. A friend, or a pet, getting well when everyone thought they would die."You felt nothing special at the time, but a week or ten days later you had your first reaction to touching the True Source. Perhaps fever and chills that came on suddenly and put you to bed, then disappeared after only a few hours. None of the reactions, and they vary, lasts more than a few hours. Headaches and numbness and exhilaration all mixed together, and you taking foolish chances or acting giddy. A spell of dizziness, when you tripped and stumbled whenever you tried to move, when you could not say a sentence without your tongue mangling half the words. There are others. Do you remember?"

JaconKin
09-07-2010, 10:25 AM
He gets sick later after he channels to escape the backroom of that inn when cornered by the Darkfriends. It is detailed more in a flashback than when he is actually sick.

GonzoTheGreat
09-07-2010, 11:12 AM
Yep, but the point is: the strange behaviour is also a common feature of this affliction, so this is not at all a clear indication of the emergence of LTT. It may be, but we have no reason to think it is.

Bryan
09-07-2010, 11:21 AM
Fair enough, obviously I forgot about the other possible side effects. I've been doing my second read through recently and thought, well maybe that's Lews Therin poking out, and I thought it was kinda cool that Jordan threw that in there so early. But I guess it's probably not the case.

JaconKin
09-07-2010, 11:35 AM
Funny how 2 songs can sum up the case of Rand in many ways.

Alice In Chains Nutshell Lyrics
We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

Oooh... Oooh...
Oooh... Oooh...

My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can't be my own
I'd feel better dead

Oooh... Oooh...
Oooh... Oooh...

After Dragonmount:

Pink Floyd Coming Back To Life Lyrics

Where were you when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by from my window watching
Where were you when I was hurt and helpless
Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words
Dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun

Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And headed straight..into the shining sun