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Juan
12-11-2010, 04:21 PM
I haven't seen this topic anywhere and this has been nagging at me ever since I started reading the WOT.

How does population ever increase in WOT? Meaning, we know that souls are constantly reincarnated. So everybody has lived past lives even if they don't remember them (in fact they're not supposed to). So if all souls are indeed souls that have been around before, how do new souls come into being? And that raises the question, how does the population increase?

If at the beginning of time, 2 people were created (kinda like an Adam and Eve thing) then that's two souls. If they reproduced and had kid(s) where did that soul come from? Bc assuming the parents are still alive, then it can't be one of their souls. So how did the population get to be so large during the Age of Legends and in our Age? It doesn't make sense to me, not with souls being constantly being reincarnated. And if that's the case, to increase population, there needs to be a way to create new souls, but how does that happen?

I understand you could say, time in WOT is not linear, and therefore there is no beginning. But at the same time, when we've heard a little about the Creator, we've heard, "at the moment of creation." So there had to have been one initial point that set this all forward. But anyway, I'm not trying to discuss about how time and works and about the actual creation and how it happened in WOT, but rather about the new souls and about the increase in population.

Hypothetical situation: Assume you could balefire most of the soul population without causing the Pattern to unravel or something. We're left with 100 souls in the world let's say. Will the population never increase above 100 people/souls?

morat'corlm
12-11-2010, 04:31 PM
We don't know and probably never will.
If at the beginning of time, 2 people were created (kinda like an Adam and Eve thing)What basis do you have to assume this?
then that's two souls.What basis do you have to assume this?

torquemada
12-11-2010, 04:39 PM
It took LTT 3000 years to be reborn so we know that souls don't need to be immediately reborn. If all souls have some kind of wait the answer could be simply that the population of souls waiting rebirth is much greater than the living population. When population goes up the ratio of waiting/alive changes a bit.

Jokeslayer
12-11-2010, 04:57 PM
I would imagine that tens of billions of souls were created when the world was (based on the idea that our world is WoT in adifferent age). There's lots in waiting right now, that's all.

Juan
12-11-2010, 05:08 PM
@morat'corlm
Just an example, my friend. We don't know if 1,000,0000,0000,0000,000,000 x # of your choice were created at the beginning or if just 2 people were.

@torquemada
Does it say LTT's soul came only now? Or did his soul come before that, but simply wasn't meant to be the Dragon at that point in time. For example Birgitte was reborn multiple times in a relatively short period of time. Mat's memories indicate being reborn several times as well. I don't see why LTT's soul would wait that long. I suppose it's possible that since his soul is so special, it waited that long. But from what Moridin has said, it's likely he was reborn multiple times as he has been throughout time, but was killed off or something multiple times before the current Age.

@Jokeslayer
I suppose that's feasible. It's an interesting concept. Then the population could never increase above those tens of billions. And why do some souls always seem to be reborn? I guess other souls aren't that special and have a super long waiting time..

Jokeslayer
12-11-2010, 05:23 PM
@torquemada
Does it say LTT's soul came only now? Or did his soul come before that, but simply wasn't meant to be the Dragon at that point in time. For example Birgitte was reborn multiple times in a relatively short period of time. Mat's memories indicate being reborn several times as well. I don't see why LTT's soul would wait that long. I suppose it's possible that since his soul is so special, it waited that long. But from what Moridin has said, it's likely he was reborn multiple times as he has been throughout time, but was killed off or something multiple times before the current Age.

At Falme, Hawkwing called Rand Lews Therin, sugesting Lews Therin was the last incarnation of the Dragon-soul. I think there's also some interview quotes supporting this.

@Jokeslayer
I suppose that's feasible. It's an interesting concept. Then the population could never increase above those tens of billions. And why do some souls always seem to be reborn? I guess other souls aren't that special and have a super long waiting time..

Yeah, it would suck to be that one soul that only ever gets to be born when the world population peaks. Twenthy thousand years of waiting around for seventy years of living in what is probably a crapsack world by that point. I bet that guy hates the hell out of the Heroes.

Weird Harold
12-11-2010, 07:20 PM
I haven't seen this topic anywhere and this has been nagging at me ever since I started reading the WOT.

I don't think this discussion has recurred since the change to vBulletin software. I'm sure that it was discussed a couple of time when the forums were hosted by ezBoard/Yukky. Perhaps you can find some of those past discussion there.

Many of the discussions on Souls are embedded within discussions on the mechanisms of Channeling.

However, you won't find the discussions my understanding of souls in the WOT because I'm pretty sure that none of the drunken philosphy/theology discussions and barracks bull sessions the formed my understanding were recorded. :D

How does population ever increase in WOT? ...

There is a "Soul Pool" that contains all souls that ever has and ever will exist. Each Soul is discrete and eternal, never splitting or combining in any way. That's the model WOT uses. There are an infinite number of Souls, so the the permanent death of a Soul in T'A'R or by being consumed by Mashadar or Machin Shin still leaves and infinte supply.

There were several other similar models involved in those all night bull sessions, but RJ didn't use them, so they're irrelevant.

If at the beginning of time, 2 people were created (kinda like an Adam and Eve thing) then that's two souls. If they reproduced and had kid(s) where did that soul come from? ...

The infinite supply of spare souls.


I understand you could say, time in WOT is not linear, and therefore there is no beginning. But at the same time, when we've heard a little about the Creator, we've heard, "at the moment of creation." So there had to have been one initial point that set this all forward. ...

Every Soul that is, ever was, or will be was created in the same stroke of the Creator's Forging Hammer that created the Wheel without begining or end.


Hypothetical situation: Assume you could balefire most of the soul population without causing the Pattern to unravel or something. We're left with 100 souls in the world let's say. Will the population never increase above 100 people/souls?

In order to come up with a finite number of souls, you'd have to destroy an infinite number of souls:

100 + Infinity = Infinity

(100 + Infinity) - Infinity = Infinity - Infinity

Therefore 100 = 0 and your scenario becomes impossible. :D (or something like that.)


Basically the only thing you need to remember about Souls in the WOT is that there are enough to provide the right soul for any given thread the Pattern needs to Weave. Each Soul is Unique and Discrete and is structured like an infinite string of Pearls with each incarnation's memory and personality encapsulated with its respective pearl.

It helps to know that Souls are also the archetypes for each different kind of thread the Pattern might need. Perrin, has the soul of a blacksmith and in every incarnation he will be drawn to the life of that era's equivalent of an archetypal blacksmith; Birgite has the soul of an archer/marksman and in every incarnation will be drawn to that era's equivalent of an archer/marksman; etc.

Souls are the metaphysical half of a complete person. The body comes with it's own set of memories, abilities and inclinations. When the Soul of a Blacksmith gets reborn into the Body of a Blacksmith, an archetypal blacksmith walks the world.

Squocka
12-11-2010, 10:56 PM
I though only the important ones got reborn not everyone just the cool people. so then it means everyone else does not have to be reborn.

Ultra cool people get bound to the Horn other important people get to be reborn when required by the pattern. The rest just die and live. Thats what i assumed.


Juan: As for Mat they are not his previous rebirth memories they are memories of people who visted the Finns through the doorway.

Weird Harold
12-11-2010, 11:25 PM
I though only the important ones got reborn not everyone just the cool people. so then it means everyone else does not have to be reborn.

Ultra cool people get bound to the Horn other important people get to be reborn when required by the pattern. The rest just die and live. Thats what i assumed.

Nope, that is a point RJ did address IIRC.(see Terz' signature link for the interview database if you don't already have it bookmarked.)

Everyone in the WOT is reborn, but only once a Turning or so is a specific soul reborn according to Prophecy. You might say that the WOT is the ultimate Green Tecnology, everything gets recycled. :D

RJ definitely confirmed that the Heroes of the Horn wait in T'A'R for their next incarnation or sounding of the Horn. Other souls wait "somewhere else" for rebirth.

Juan
12-11-2010, 11:47 PM
@Jokeslayer
hahaha yeah that sucks for that person

@Squocka
Yeah everyone's reborn. Btw, where does it say that Mat's memories are from people the Finn visited? I always assumed the Finns gave Mat access to previous memories of his own life. Maybe I missed this.

@Harold
Yeah I suppose the infinity concept makes sense, but then it seems like certain people are constantly reborn, like Birgitte, LTT, etc. etc. and yet others are not reborn nearly as much. I don't quite remember but Birgitte was reborn quite a few times since the formation of the White Tower or something like that. But assuming that the population of the world is say 5,000,000,000. And some of them are reborn fairly often... How about the other infinity number of people that can't possibly get reborn as much. They'll get reborn like once. Or never. They were just born once and haven't been reborn. And some who have never even been born before. The souls are just in this "soul pool" as you say and they're just hanging out, waiting.

Terez
12-12-2010, 12:14 AM
Juan: As for Mat they are not his previous rebirth memories they are memories of people who visted the Finns through the doorway.
With the exception of the memories he had before then of being Aemon. Those were either an indication that Mat is descended from Aemon (Old Blood memories) or that he is Aemon reborn. Either is believable.

@JokeslayerBtw, where does it say that Mat's memories are from people the Finn visited? I always assumed the Finns gave Mat access to previous memories of his own life. Maybe I missed this.
He often has different memories of the same battles, so obviously they are not past life memories. But RJ has confirmed that in interview (see the Mat category).

Yeah I suppose the infinity concept makes sense, but then it seems like certain people are constantly reborn, like Birgitte, LTT, etc. etc. and yet others are not reborn nearly as much.
There's no evidence to support that non-Heroes are born less than Heroes. It's just that no one really cares about them; they're not reborn for a specific purpose like those who are tied to the Wheel.

I don't quite remember but Birgitte was reborn quite a few times since the formation of the White Tower or something like that.
Yet Rand has only been born once since the last Age. I think that might possibly have something to do with the fact that he can channel - it would make sense for channelers to be born less often since they live so much longer - but it might also have something to do with his particular role.

But assuming that the population of the world is say 5,000,000,000.
And that number has to be recycled fairly often - it's x at any given time, people always dying and being born.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 12:29 AM
@Squocka
Yeah everyone's reborn. Btw, where does it say that Mat's memories are from people the Finn visited? I always assumed the Finns gave Mat access to previous memories of his own life. Maybe I missed this.

The explicit answer that the memories came from "adventurers who visited the *finn" is in the interview database. The inferential answer is in the glimpses of the memories and the fact that some of them overlap.

@Harold
Yeah I suppose the infinity concept makes sense, but then it seems like certain people are constantly reborn, like Birgitte, LTT, etc. etc. and yet others are not reborn nearly as much.

Infinity is a concept that produces counterintuitive answers. :D Even if one soul spends only microseconds in the soul pool between incarnations and the next spends Turnings, both have an infinite number of memory pearls on their string. They were created that way at the moment of creation and will remain that way until Time itself ends.

Heroes, OTOH, are like movie stars that keep getting called and begged to take all the good roles while the supporting players and extras have to line up for a cattle call to compete with CGI effects for the little parts. Plus the HotH have to be on call for the HoV to sound; getting more incarnations than the souls kept in the freezer is the reward for being on call all the time.

(FWIW, the last paragraph is not completely in accordance with my personal theory of how and why the Heroes persist in T'A'R between incarnations, but that is a whole entire thread unto itself. :D)

The souls are just in this "soul pool" as you say and they're just hanging out, waiting.

The "Soul Pool" is a term that Tamyrlin came up with. I suggested "Cold Storage" instead because the time spent "somewhere else between incarnations is like suspended animation -- no sense of time passing or memories to accumulate.

In a way, "Hanging around" is as good a metaphor as any because they're kind of like clothes racked in a warehouse waiting for a requisition order for a specific size, style and color. Routine recycling of souls just adds the returned items to the back of the rack to push the next soul to be incarnated up to the front of the rack.

Unless a soul distinguishes itself enough for special requests to be made for it, it gets born the same number of times as any other soul with the same characteristics -- need a farmer-soul? They're on that rack over there; need a flyer? Don't get much call for them in this age, those racks are way over in the first age section. You'll probably want a Wilber or Orville model.

Juan
12-12-2010, 04:36 AM
@Terez
But if there are infinite souls. And we've seen some souls reborn a few times already, then it has to be that because the population of the world at any given point didn't exceed x, that certain souls are reborn less, others not at all.

Let me try to explain. I'm not sure how old the WOT world is like when the Creator created everything. Let's say it happened 10,000 years ago. If it happened 10,000 years ago, and generations last 20 years, then I believe there have been around 500 generations. It's 4:30 am so I could be babbling nonsense. But if that's the case, at any given point of those 500 generations, the population was roughly 5 billion people. In some time periods population was really low, in others really high. So let's say 5 billion. So 5 billion times 500= 2,500,000,000,000. So roughly, that's been the population throughout the WOT history. That's a lot of people... But.. If there are in fact let's say an infinite amount of souls that were created at creation... what about those other infinite amount of people? It's impossible that they have all gotten reborn. Especially if there are others like LTT who are reborn. It has to be that there are some who haven't been reborn yet and others who have never even been born and wouldn't be born until who knows how long.

@Harold
This infinity concept is what makes it tricky. It'd be much easier if there was an explanation as to souls were created in a certain way.. haha...

Jokeslayer
12-12-2010, 05:14 AM
Birgite has the soul of an archer/marksman and in every incarnation will be drawn to that era's equivalent of an archer/marksman; etc.


This has basically no bearing on your point, but since when has that ever stopped anyone around here?



Knife of Dreams book tour Santa Cruz, CA 29 October 2005 - Jeremiah reporting (http://www.dragonmount.com/News/?p=227)


A guy asked if Birgitte were to be born in an Age like today, would she still be an archer, or would she be an Anne Oakly type of a person – a great sniper. RJ said that she would always be an archer, no matter what.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 05:46 AM
Let me try to explain. I'm not sure how old the WOT world is like when the Creator created everything. Let's say it happened 10,000 years ago. ...

This is where you're having problems. In the WOT, since Time itself was created in a single event, 10,000 years ago, right now, and 12:07 AM GMT Next Tuesday were all created simultaneously. There is no "Moment of Creation" detectible from within the Pattern.

Consider the Creator wandering through nothingness, with a Die for stamping out universes and and one huge honking hammer. He picks out a likely looking patch of nothing and whacks his Die with his Huge Honking Hammer and a perfect coin-shaped universe is created complete with milled edges to prevent universe-shaving to devalue his universes.

Now which of the little ridges milled into the edge of that coin shaped universe is ridge number one? Which ridge was created first?

The WOT is the Pattern on the edge of that coin shaped universe and the Circumference of the coin is all of Time that is or ever Shall be. Each of the infinitely fine milled ridges on the edge is one moment in time. The moment in Time known as the "Present" is the moment currently lit by an infinitesimal point of light on the edge of the Coin/Wheel.


This infinity concept is what makes it tricky. It'd be much easier if there was an explanation as to souls were created in a certain way.. haha...

It really doesn't matter if there are an infinite number of souls or whether there is some trickle of fresh minted souls to top off the racks in the soul distribution warehouse There only needs to be enough souls to provide for the maximum carrying capacity of the planet/universe plus a reserve to provide some degree of flexibility in assignments. That would require some flexibility in Beliefs about death in T'A'R or death by metaphysical consumption -- a la grey men.

The "Final Death" would, in that particular model, not be destroyed, but permanently erased so that it has no past memories or predefined affinities, it becomes just a complete and total blank. There is some useful plots that can be built from such a clean soul, but I see no use for them in the WOT. They would be incompatible with the established conventions and beliefs of the characters.

padfoot89
12-12-2010, 05:59 AM
Assuming the infinite soul theory, there still comes a point in time when infinite souls get destroyed because the wheel has infinite turnings.

GonzoTheGreat
12-12-2010, 06:14 AM
Yes, but there will also be an infinite number of souls left waiting at that point, so no problem.

That's part of the fun with infinities: you can subtract them from each other as often as you want, and still have infinity left.

Seeker
12-12-2010, 01:21 PM
There is a "Soul Pool" that contains all souls that ever has and ever will exist. Each Soul is discrete and eternal, never splitting or combining in any way. That's the model WOT uses. There are an infinite number of Souls, so the the permanent death of a Soul in T'A'R or by being consumed by Mashadar or Machin Shin still leaves and infinte supply

If souls are discrete packages then you shouldn't call it a "soul pool." 'Pool' implies that the container is filled with liquid. Liquid implies the souls merge with one another each time a new one is added.

What you call a thing influences how you conceptualize it. This is especially important when trying to use physical concepts as analogies for non-physical phenomena.

Also, I must object to the idea of infinitely many souls.

If there are infinitely many souls than the vast majority of them will never, NEVER receive a body, merely lie dormant, in waiting.

I suspect the term that you are looking for is not infinite but "transfinite," which means an inexhaustible finite supply. A good concept of what it means to be transfinite is the number of players in a shooter game. Each time you kill an opponent, he respawns. At any given time there are a finite number of players in the game, but the supply is inexhaustible no matter how many times a player is destroyed. (in game. Obviously people leaving the game doesn't count).

So, in short, when Hopper's soul was destroyed, a new wolf soul was spawned to take his place.

Juan
12-12-2010, 03:29 PM
@Seeker
Thanks. That's what I was trying to say about if there being infinite souls there would be a much larger number of souls that would never be born.

The transfinite concept makes sense as well with your analogy, though still a bit tricky when applied to the WOT world.

@Gonzo
At the same time, though, you could say if the DO broke free as Ishamael believes he is bound to do (although I don't think so; that would make a bad story) then there will come a time when the DO will rule for a time and then destroy everything. So, there's a definite amount of time that the world was in existence for since that moment of creation. In that time, only a finite number of souls were born (as large a number as it may be). But the much larger number of souls (infinite supply) were never born.

@Harold
In context of looking at the souls as a group then, rather than individuals, and ignoring the fact that it strains and can break the Pattern, balefire isn't that bad. Because even if you balefire a bunch of people out of existence, there will always be more to replace them. Unless the world ends.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 06:38 PM
If souls are discrete packages then you shouldn't call it a "soul pool." ...

Argue that point with Tamyrlin. It's HIS term for the souls held in reserve. It is, I think a serviceable term, though, because it is a "Pool" in the sense of a "reserve force" like a "secretarial pool," or "motor pool" etc.

If there are infinitely many souls than the vast majority of them will never, NEVER receive a body, merely lie dormant, in waiting.

And this is a problem?

Since souls are non-physical, there should be no problem with running out of storage space.

The Souls-in-waiting aren't aware of the passage of time or other souls getting spun out ahead of them, so ther's no jealousy issue to deal with. Even if they are awake, they have an infinite number of past memories to console themselves with to prove to themselves that they have been spun out multiple times.


"Transfinite" is a possibility; it would be functionally equivalent to "Infinite" but all that really matters is that the Wheel was Designed and Created with sufficient souls to populate all human habitable space within the WOT universe -- including "terraformable" in the definition of "habitable."

I suspect that the proper adjective is simply "Endless" because any number beyond any conceivable population of a closed system like the WOT is covered; If the Pattern needs another soul, there are still "uncountable" souls to choose from.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 06:50 PM
...even if you balefire a bunch of people out of existence, there will always be more to replace them. Unless the world ends.

Per RJ, and contrary to a couple of in-world assertions, Balefire does NOT destroy souls. The straight poop is in Terez' Interview database somewhere.

The only effect mass balefire would have on the supply of Souls is to overwork the cleaning and refurbishment department by sending the souls in before they were scheduled for recycling.

Juan
12-12-2010, 07:07 PM
If I read your post correctly when you said, "they have an infinite number of past memories to console themselves with to prove to themselves that they have been spun out multiple times," you're saying that every soul has been reborn multiple times. That's impossible, which is what Seeker and I are saying. Creation happened at a specific moment, and since then time has passed, and human population as high as it has been, in no way can match the infinite amount of souls. Clearly, most souls have not even been born once.

Really? I guess I'ma have to look that up.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 08:34 PM
If I read your post correctly when you said, "they have an infinite number of past memories to console themselves with to prove to themselves that they have been spun out multiple times," you're saying that every soul has been reborn multiple times. That's impossible, which is what Seeker and I are saying. Creation happened at a specific moment, and since then time has passed, and human population as high as it has been, in no way can match the infinite amount of souls. Clearly, most souls have not even been born once.

Really? I guess I'ma have to look that up.

You're still not understandingthat when Creation happened, everything that is, ever was, and ever shal be came into being simultaneously. If ANY soul has an infinite number of past lives, then EVERY soul has an infinite number of past lives because they were created with those past lives included.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

Any time you start thinking, "There had to be a first Turning," or "before the moment of Creation" you're rejecting the very first thing we're told about the WOT Cosmology and the entire philosophical basis for the Wheel of Time.

morat'corlm
12-12-2010, 09:21 PM
No, he isn't. "There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time" is not inconsistent with there being a Moment Of Creation, nor does that imply that the Age Laces for each turning were created deterministically. Jordan has said people have free will.

What you are doing is denying the reality of time at all.

Juan
12-12-2010, 10:37 PM
Right. Creator created the WOT world at a specific moment x amount of time ago.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 10:57 PM
No, he isn't. "There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time" is not inconsistent with there being a Moment Of Creation, nor does that imply that the Age Laces for each turning were created deterministically. Jordan has said people have free will.

What you are doing is denying the reality of time at all.
If the moment of Creation is indistinguishable from every other moment that was created at the same time, how can it be THE moment of Creation? If you can't identify it or define it, how can it be said to exist?

Creation could be said to have happened at Right Angles to Time, except what was Created was Time itself and there is no referents to "in the direction of not created" inside the framework of Time itself.

Simultaneous Creation of every moment in Time does not necessarily eliminate Free Will all it does is limit the choices presented to the exercise of Free Will: If every possible exercise of Free Will is allowed for at the moment of Creation and individuals are allowed to choose their own path through the available options, how is that not Free Will.

It isn't like even Rand can holler "Stop The World! I want to Get Off," and expect it to happen; Free Will is constrained by the Pattern and the Pattern olny allows a limited set of options.

Weird Harold
12-12-2010, 11:23 PM
Right. Creator created the WOT world at a specific moment x amount of time ago.
Ok, just how long did Creation take? There is no Big Bang in the WOT Universe and the Sun is never going to go Nova. (Per RJ)

If the Wheel was Created x amount of time ago, what caused Time to fold back on itself after the first Seven Ages had gone past. Why do each of the Ages follow the same script as every other age in that position of the rotation? (with minor interpretive variations by the actors, which is called Free Will.)

A Circular Time Cosmology MUST be created as a complete, closed system -- or provide some elaborate mythology to explain how the Circle was closed. The WOT doesn't include any closing of the loop mythology.

morat'corlm
12-13-2010, 12:09 AM
If the moment of Creation is indistinguishable from every other moment that was created at the same timeFrom whose point of view?
A Circular Time Cosmology MUST be created as a complete, closed systemWell of course it does. But creating the territory does not mean the territory has been explored. The Wheel of Time's ages are cyclical but not truly looped.

Your point about the Creator having created infinite deterministic Mirror Worlds simultaneously is an interesting one but I'm not sure it's consistent with what we're told.

I'll have to wait to continue this conversation until I sift through the primary sources for the interview database to find this:
There is no Big Bang in the WOT Universe and the Sun is never going to go Nova. (Per RJ)since I have vague memories of seeing something that implied the opposite of it.

Weird Harold
12-13-2010, 01:04 AM
From whose point of view?

Anyone's. But especially from the POV of anyone inside the Pattern.

But creating the territory does not mean the territory has been explored. The Wheel of Time's ages are cyclical but not truly looped.

How do you draw that conclusion? RJ said every Turning was slightly different, but that doesn't mean Time is not circular -- as in spiral or layered, or whatever. All of those alternatives have beginnings and endings of some sort, which is NOT what the beginning of every book states from the Creator/Omniscient Narrator POV.

Your point about the Creator having created infinite deterministic Mirror Worlds simultaneously is an interesting one but I'm not sure it's consistent with what we're told.

I do believe that the mirror worlds being created simultaneously with everything else is compatible with most other explanations that don't included beginning and endings. :D

If the Present Moment is a point of light illuminating the rim of the Wheel -- like a laser reading a CD -- then all the other unilluminated points on the CD are still there; whether they represent the past, future or an alternate present is irrelevant to the structure of the Wheel.

since I have vague memories of seeing something that implied the opposite of it.

I know the point about the Sun not going Nova is
explictly stated as such -- in those quotes collected from Thus Spake the Creator, IIRC. I'm not as sure about an explicit, unambiguous, statement about the Big Bang.

Fie
12-13-2010, 03:04 AM
This has basically no bearing on your point, but since when has that ever stopped anyone around here?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
Birgite has the soul of an archer/marksman and in every incarnation will be drawn to that era's equivalent of an archer/marksman; etc.
This has basically no bearing on your point, but since when has that ever stopped anyone around here?


[ Quote:
Originally Posted by https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcjspjqg_73dz7wfhgt
Knife of Dreams book tour Santa Cruz, CA 29 October 2005 - Jeremiah reporting


A guy asked if Birgitte were to be born in an Age like today, would she still be an archer, or would she be an Anne Oakly type of a person – a great sniper. RJ said that she would always be an archer, no matter what. ]


This is interesting. I definitely remember Birgitte saying that in one life she and Cain were, like, some random couple with a boring life growing old peacefully together. Didn't sound like the archer soul did manifest itself in the slightest bit in that life, but well.

I'm afraid ;) we have to acknowledge that the WoT's soul, rebirth etc. concept depends wholly on Mr. Jordanś thoughts and sayings and I very much suspect he didn't think so much about it as the AoN theorists, as he didn't have only to speculate about WoT but write it as well, so I do not expect some complex concepts like this to be fully thought out and developed.
Having mentioned this,of course, I'm theorizing myself nonetheless.

So I like to think that the Creator put an infinite number of lego bricks, lego souls, lego anything on his playing table and blew everything into the air with his creational odem to form a whirlwind out of everything and this formed into the Wheel, a perpetuum mobile; some souls did hit, some did miss, and of course, he made sure, that his favourite bricks were in the game. A little bit of free will mixed in as well, so not to get the game too boring. Out of his infinite supply there are always bricks floating around the Wheel and can be sucked into the game. Maybe he occasionally pushes some really nice brick closer to the Wheel, when, for instance one of his favourite bricks, like an especially sympathetic wolf, get's itself killed one time too much and he can't do anything about it, because it would be so unfair to change the rules of the game just for his pets, and sees to it that a really cute squirrel of which he does expect great deeds and entertainment, gets in.

Oh, my god, and to think I really don't have that much time. I better stop here :o

morat'corlm
12-13-2010, 04:13 AM
Anyone's. But especially from the POV of anyone inside the Pattern.But the perspective of someone in the Pattern is not that of, say, Shai'tan.How do you draw that conclusion? RJ said every Turning was slightly different, but that doesn't mean Time is not circular -- as in spiral or layered, or whatever.Well, there are enormous differences between a circle and a spiral. A spiral can be projected onto a circle, but it fundamentally has a linear axis which it traces along.
I know the point about the Sun not going Nova is explictly stated as such -- in those quotes collected from Thus Spake the Creator, IIRC. I'm not as sure about an explicit, unambiguous, statement about the Big Bang.
You were correct, though there's something about this I don't like. I'll have to think about it.

Question Part 1: In the Wheel of Time there is focus on events occurring again and again throughout history. Is it just history which is circular, or is it time itself which is in a loop?
Jordan: If you think of history being in a loop, then time must be in a loop. The Greeks were the first, as far as we know, to think of time being linear which allows for change. Almost every other culture prior to them had believed in circular time. If time is a wheel there is no possibility of change. Whatever I change now, whatever injustices I correct, the wheel will inevitably return, the inequities will return, there is no possibility for change, therefore there is not impetus to change. So time and history are in a loop in this world (https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcjspjqg_74xw3j58sj), a large enough loop . . . that it is really quite immense.
Question Part 2: So, the sun will never go nova, will never die?
Jordan: In this universe, no.

Weird Harold
12-13-2010, 08:39 AM
I'm afraid ;) we have to acknowledge that the WoT's soul, rebirth etc. concept depends wholly on Mr. Jordanś thoughts and sayings and I very much suspect he didn't think so much about it as the AoN theorists,

This is why I pointed out in my first post on this thread that my understanding was based on drunken barracks bull sessions -- a popular pastime for Vietnam era servicemen; like RJ.

I don't think he consciously recalled those drunken philosphy discussions when he designed the Wheel of Time, but the imprint of common themes of those discussions is evident in the structure and cosmology.

But the perspective of someone in the Pattern is not that of, say, Shai'tan.

But Sha'tan is outside of Time and therefore can perceive the Wheel as a coherent whole. Someone constrained by Time or just aware of Time, perceives the one infinitesimal illuminated point that is the Present as being separated from the line of points that are the Past and the line that is the Future.

There is no frame of reference for describing what is outside of Time from inside Time and there is also no frame of reference outside of Time for describing what is inside Time. Everything has to be "translated" from one frame of reference to the other before communication or interaction can happen.

Well, there are enormous differences between a circle and a spiral.

To bad we're not theorizing about "The Spiral Of Time" isn't it. :D

One reason that R/W theologies/Mythologies that feature circular time don't mesh well with modern science -- Big Bangs, et al -- is that there are certain logical inconsistencies inherent in the basic premise.

RJ commented very early on that the greatest gift the Ancient Greeks gave the world was linear Time. The Wheel of Time's cosmology includes the inherent implication that the Greeks were wrong -- Time is not Linear, Spiral, or even simply cyclical; Time in the Wheel of Time is a Wheel with Seven Ages.

Juan
12-14-2010, 01:50 AM
@Harold
Here's what I think. It'd be much easier if I could draw it, but sadly, I can't here. So this time is like a wheel here. Obviously. So it's circular. But. There is a moment of creation, as we are told on various occasions, and the fact there is a Creator already seems to be enough evidence for this. Therefore, creation had to happen at a specific moment. "moment of creation" is a phrase used in the White Book as well, I believe. So here's my analogy.

Imagine a blank sheet of paper. There is nothing. The creator, the artist, has a pencil. The moment the point of the pencil touches the sheet of paper, that's creation. It happened at a specific moment. Then, he goes on to draw a circle from that initial point. Let's say clockwise. That is time. Therefore, you can see that AFTER that initial point in creation, time repeats itself after 7 ages or whatever for eternity. Time goes in a circle for eternity. But there WAS an initial point from which after that time was set in motion. After that, although time is circular, it only rotates clockwise. It can never go counterclockwise, therefore invalidating the belief that time goes both way because it's circular. Yes it's circular, but it doesn't go both ways, only clockwise. Meaning, only forward. That's the way I see it.

@Fie
haha squirrels again?

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 02:36 AM
Imagine a blank sheet of paper. There is nothing. The creator, the artist, has a pencil. The moment the point of the pencil touches the sheet of paper, that's creation. It happened at a specific moment.

Where then is the Wheel (and DO's Prison) that was created "at the moment of Creation."

What you describe as the "moment of Creation" is "The Beginning Of Time" and that is an entirely different model of how the universe began -- the current variation on that theme is the Big Bang. There's nothing particulary incorrect about that model, except it isn't the model RJ designed the Wheel of Time from.

After that, although time is circular, it only rotates clockwise. It can never go counterclockwise, therefore invalidating the belief that time goes both way because it's circular.

Interview database. RJ's answers about the only difference between past and future being the direction you're facing and other answers regarding the nature of the Wheel. Look 'em up.

It is not a "belief" that time goes both ways in the WOT, it is the Word Of The Creator. :D



The Wheel/Pattern is like an old vinyl record of a monochromatic tone with one groove. Like a Vinyl Record, the Wheel was Created with a single Impression that created the single Groove complete and unalterable allin the same moment. There is both "NO Moment of Creation" and EVERY moment that ever was or will be is the Moment of Creation.

It is the only way that a circular time Cosmology can have A moment of Creation. Any other model of Circular time leaves an "adam and eve" that woke up without a past, and that leaves legends and myths that persist forever; Especially in a universe with periodic access to the immortal Heroes of The Horn who remember ALL of their lives while in T'A'R.

To a Modern, Scientific Big Bang trained mind Circular Time makes no rational sense -- But the Big Bang Theory didn't exist when I took general science back in the 50's. What I learned about the origins of the Universe back then wasn't a great deal changed from the 17th Century RJ modeled WOT technology on. (That's not to say that geniuses like Einstein weren't making great strides in understanding the origins of the universe, but most of their bleeding edge theories weren't taught in public schools.)

However, the WOT isn't based on even the limited understanding of the origins of the universe I learned in school, it's based on a world that works the way far older beliefs understood the world to work. If you try to describe the WOT Cosmology with modern thinking, you're wrong right from the first word.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 03:09 AM
PS: (had to do some searching to find one of the references.)

There is a moment of creation, as we are told on various occasions, and the fact there is a Creator already seems to be enough evidence for this. Therefore, creation had to happen at a specific moment. "moment of creation" is a phrase used in the White Book as well, I believe. So here's my analogy

The other man made a sign to ward off evil, as if Lan had spoken the Dark One's true name. Shai'tan. They had both seen the misfortune that followed speaking that name aloud, and Bukama was one of those who believed that merely thinking it drew the Dark One's attention. The Dark One and all the Forsaken are bound in Shayol Ghul, Lan recited the catechism in his head, bound by the Creator at the moment of creation. May we shelter safe beneath the Light, in the Creator's hand. He did not believe thinking that name was enough, but better safe than sorry when it came to the Shadow.

Clearly not all references to the "Moment of Creation" are accurate because we know the DO was NOT sealed in Shayol Ghul by the Creator. We aslo know that the Forsaken weren't sealed in Shayol Ghul by the Creator either -- by his avatar LTT, maybe, but even that is a tenuous connection and they weren't sealed at the Moment of Creation.

"Moment of Creation" is a handy phrase to designate something that has always been, but it is pretty much meaningless in explaining the WOT Cosmology. "Since the Beginning of Time" is a similarly useful phrase in the real world, but my search function says it has been used twice by Ishamael and once by Couladin. I wouldn't trust Couladin's grasp of Cosmology, so his use is strictly hyperbole.

The context of Ishamael's use (tEotW Prologue to LTT, and TGH Ch 15) could be construed as evidence of a cosmological beginning, but Ishamael IS dedicated to bringing about an Ending so he pretty much has to believe in a beginning, doesn't he.

To balance that, we have thirteen -- soon to be forteen -- instances of omniscient narrator POV saying "There are no beginnings or endings" in the WOT.

Fie
12-14-2010, 03:28 AM
Weird Harold, thanks. Most interesting, especially for someone without barrack bull experiences :)

Juan, I told you I'm fond of them, they are bound to play an important part in each of my theories or ramblings ;)



So, regarding the original question of the thread : Is it so, that the Creator throws in infinite souls / bodies and the game / wheel starts with a certain random or set number and then evolves of it's own ? or is increase / decrease of population his doing? And did he personally pick certain items out of his infinite pool and set them in ? Because if it were just chance, out of an infinite soul pool there could surely be too many "ordinary" people, the dragon never showing up etc. ? Or does the pattern call the Creator or the pool and ask for specific souls to show up ? Like "Hey, I've got 13 forsaken here soon showing up and causing mayhem, could you please put an extra few channellers into The Two Rivers ?" And what about the Trolloc "population"? They do have souls, don't they. Are those pool souls, which happen to be "chosen" to inhabit a body of population increase all predetermined good or bad or maybe ?or are they "neutral" when becoming bodied and when they happen to be inside of a trolloc become bad? And the reborn souls ? When a soul was previously good, does it get matched with a new "person" which is supposed to be / become / stay good ? Or could it be that for example a soul that just had it's first body and was a "good person", get in it's next incarnation into a "person" that the pattern needs to be bad and then becomes bad as well? Or would the person do bad things, but the soul internally suffering, I mean, be bad though always in the back of their mind being remorseful and hateful of themselves and when the current incarnation dies go back to the pool being still regarded as a "good" soul ? This is spinning my head...
(for Juan: ...even so that I leave out the squirrels for once to not make it even more complex ;) )
And I apologize, it's hard to word some thoughts aptly.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 04:07 AM
Weird Harold, thanks. Most interesting, especially for someone without barrack bull experiences :)

It's more than just the barracks bull sessions, really. Those just happened to be when deep philosophical subjects got brought up most often.

I'm a contemporary of RJ's and although we grew up on opposite sides of the country, many pop culture and other influences were experienced in common with almost anyone who grew up in that time frame.

For example, I don't have much trouble understanding inheritance without resorting to DNA because I was already in high-school when DNA was discovered.

I don't have much trouble understanding the phenomenon of "Old Blood" because MY grandmother believed in inheritance through blood, which was still a (barely) viable theory of inheritance when she died in 1969.

Although I never knew him, my maternal grandfather was a Blacksmith and I got to explore his forge when I visited my grandmother.

So, regarding the original question of the thread : Is it so, that the Creator throws in infinite souls / bodies and the game / wheel starts with a certain random or set number and then evolves of it's own ?

The Wheel was created whole and complete with past present and future fully formed -- like impressing a vinyl record or molding a tire; everything there is to that record or tire is present when the mold opens and the record/tire is released from its creation.

or is increase / decrease of population his doing? And did he personally pick certain items out of his infinite pool and set them in ?

The best anology for the Seven Ages of the Wheel is a neverending Shakespearian Festival that performs seven of his plays in rotation without pause. There is a script detailing how many players of what types are required. Each iteration of a play is slightly different from every other iteration of that Play, but there is only so much room for intepretation of any part.

Some plays require a cast of thousands of extra's and some only require a few significant players. Players who aren't needed for the play in progress are placed in suspended animation until they're needed except for a few "prompters" who can be inserted into the play to get it back on track when somebody doesn't get their part right.

When the Wheel was Created, every actor (soul) it might need were created with it, whole and complete. Whether that pool of actors is infinite or transfinite, or simply "Endless" is undeterminable -- there are enough that every part that comes up can be cast, every time they come up.

Or does the pattern call the Creator or the pool and ask for specific souls to show up ?

Every soul is spun out into a specific role in the Pattern. There are essentially no random births. Even the village idiot and town drunk are born to fit those roles and only an extraordinary exercise of free will can change the role assigned at birth.

I've noticed a couple of peoplecomplaining about everybody seems to be pairing up -- that's the Pattern's "carrot" for following one's destiny without making trouble -- or at least no more toruble than the role calls for. :D

And I apologize, it's hard to word some thoughts aptly.

Not a problem. I find I have to try several different ways of saying something before I either give up in disgust or get the point across. Geenration gaps don't help either. :D

Fie
12-14-2010, 05:04 AM
I see. A nice analogy really. I guess I just don't like the predetermination , so my brain starts to complicate things because I just don't want it to be as I in fact see it is but don't hope it is ... :rolleyes:
Offtopic, personally, I think the "age gap" is one of the more awesome points of the internet, I'd never get to have the views of and have discussions with as wide a variety of people in age (and culture, nation, language etc) in real life. That's really cool. :)

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 05:30 AM
I see. A nice analogy really. I guess I just don't like the predetermination , so my brain starts to complicate things because I just don't want it to be as I in fact see it is but don't hope it is ... :rolleyes:

I don't think anybody likes the predetermination, but it is inherent in a cosmology that repeats itself endlessly. Whatever has happened is, looking the other direction, what will happen. Free Will might have shaped things in iether direction, but Free Will has already done it's thing so all anyone can perceive is the end results.

Mat is a good example of free will vs destiny: His free will choices led to almost everything that ended with the fulfillment of Prophesy. The one major free will choice that didn't lead to his marriage to Tuon -- to leave Ebou Dar -- caused a wall to fall on him and hold him in Ebou Dar long enough to freely choose to follow his destiny. EG Following his destiny everything was easy; make a choice that goes against destiny, and things get difficult and/or painful.

Every time Mat tried to avoid his fate, the pressure of events left him with choices he had no option but to make -- he theoretically could have made other choices, but his essential nature wouldn't let him make the wrong choices.

GonzoTheGreat
12-14-2010, 06:12 AM
So here's my analogy.

Imagine a blank sheet of paper. There is nothing. The creator, the artist, has a pencil. The moment the point of the pencil touches the sheet of paper, that's creation. It happened at a specific moment. Then, he goes on to draw a circle from that initial point. Let's say clockwise. That is time. Therefore, you can see that AFTER that initial point in creation, time repeats itself after 7 ages or whatever for eternity. Time goes in a circle for eternity. But there WAS an initial point from which after that time was set in motion. After that, although time is circular, it only rotates clockwise. It can never go counterclockwise, therefore invalidating the belief that time goes both way because it's circular. Yes it's circular, but it doesn't go both ways, only clockwise. Meaning, only forward. That's the way I see it.All right, now consider another analogy, one that takes Weird Harold's objection into consideration:

Suppose the Creator has a rubber stamp of a circle. He uses this to stamp a circle on the paper. That's the moment of creation.
Now, though, the entire Wheel (with an infinite number of points in time) has come into existence all at once, and thus no point in Wheel Time is any more "the moment of Creation" than any other.

Juan
12-14-2010, 05:14 PM
@Harold
"There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time."

To the wheel of time. But when the DO breaks free he can end all time. Whereas the Creator started time. He created the wheel. So there was a beginning.

Right and Ishamael was quite the prominent philosopher of his time. Doesn't mean what he thinks is right and fact, obviously, but I mean, you can't discard it completely.

I really liked the 7 plays analogy. Helps me understand your point a bit better. But I still hold to the belief that you had to start with that first play. I have to think on this a bit more.

@Fie
Of course bro. And good call on the Trollocs. They were created by Aginor... so I don't know.. but at the same time they're mixes betweens humans and animals.. so I suppose it's a possibility. And about the soul always being good or bad. It seems that way doesn't it? The same souls do the same thing.... or so it seems. I don't think they do. And my little piece of evidence for this is Rand's epiphany where he keeps getting reborn to get a another chance.

@Gonzo
Good analogy. I think I see what you are trying to say... but I still think the moment the Creator stamps the paper, that's the moment of creation, all Time follows after. Although at the same time, I see what you're trying to say... In this case the whole circle would be the moment of creation... Hmmm....

morat'corlm
12-14-2010, 05:35 PM
To bad we're not theorizing about "The Spiral Of Time" isn't it. :D

One reason that R/W theologies/Mythologies that feature circular time don't mesh well with modern science -- Big Bangs, et al -- is that there are certain logical inconsistencies inherent in the basic premise.

RJ commented very early on that the greatest gift the Ancient Greeks gave the world was linear Time. The Wheel of Time's cosmology includes the inherent implication that the Greeks were wrong -- Time is not Linear, Spiral, or even simply cyclical; Time in the Wheel of Time is a Wheel with Seven Ages.That is possible. It's also completely inconsistent with other things Jordan said, e.g. in the differences between the same Age in different turnings of the Wheel, are that.. as for an analogy: imagine two tapestries hanging on a wall, and you look at them from the back of the room to the front of the store. And to look at them, they look identical to you. But as you get closer, you begin to see differences. And if you get close enough, they don't look anything at all alike. That is the difference between the Ages. Between the Age in one Turning and the Age in another.The inconsistency is with what he said, not with the idea of a Wheel of Time itself. A record-like Wheel in which Rand is his own grandfather and grandson and such every single rotation identically could be constructed; it's just a lot less interesting. What Jordan describes in most of these quotations and what we can piece together from the books, whether you want to call it a spiral or a spool or what, has an element of linearity.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 07:21 PM
@Gonzo
Good analogy. I think I see what you are trying to say... but I still think the moment the Creator stamps the paper, that's the moment of creation, all Time follows after. Although at the same time, I see what you're trying to say... In this case the whole circle would be the moment of creation... Hmmm....


Oh great. You can understand a rubber stamp analogy, but whacking a coin die with a huge honking hammer is beyond you. :rolleyes:

The whole circle would be the moment of creation is what I've been trying to get through to you from the start of this discussion.

Juan
12-14-2010, 07:25 PM
Haha Harold I apologize. I believe I said in one post of mine, I don't remember in which.. nor do I know if you read it, but I'm currently very sick, and my head is not as sharp as I'd like it to be. As morat'corlm said, though.. there does seem to be linearity to time.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 07:52 PM
What Jordan describes in most of these quotations and what we can piece together from the books, whether you want to call it a spiral or a spool or what, has an element of linearity.

Time necessarily must be perceived as sequential -- not linear -- because humans are not equipped to perceive the entire Wheel as a whole. Whether Time is Linear, Cyclical, Spiral, or Circular, it will always be sequential as perceived from inside a Cosmos ruled by Time. Even Heroes of the Horn in T'A'R remember a sequence of past incarnations through multiple Turnings to prove Time is Circular in the WOT. Only someone outside of Creation can perceive Time as it actually exists.


The variations RJ talks about with his (outstandingly bad) tapestry analogy are the equivalent of the actors in my Shakespearian analogy being a second or two off on their cues one performance or fluffing their lines in the next.

A better analogy than either of those for the variation between Turnings is that one groove recording of a monochromatic tone -- The variations in each iteration are the random pops and hisses heard during playback any vinyl record no matter how perfect the impression of the record might be. The underlying contours of the groove are the same, but the the playback at any point in the groove will never be exactly the same.

Even digital media is subject to playback distortion to some extent and the actual variation in the WOT is probably closer to the error rate of digital playback than it is to the limitations of analog media like vinyl or wax records.

Juan
12-14-2010, 08:39 PM
Hmm sequential makes sense.. Good call my friend. Thanks for the insight on time.

In terms of population and soul creation though I'm still not convinced on how that actually works.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 08:53 PM
Hmm sequential makes sense.. Good call my friend. Thanks for the insight on time.

In terms of population and soul creation though I'm still not convinced on how that actually works.
Bottom line: When the Pattern needs a particular Soul, that soul is ready to hand, with all of the characteristics and inclinations required for the role it is destined to play -- including a history of past incarnations, because History is a function of Time.

Past Present and Future were created simultaneously and EVERYTHING was/is created with an appropriate history so every soul MUST have that history embedded in it.

The concept of a new soul with no history embedded in it is meaningless in a circular time universe -- if it will ever accumulate a history, it already has a history, even if it is only reborn once every other Turning.

morat'corlm
12-14-2010, 09:13 PM
Time necessarily must be perceived as sequential -- not linear -- because humans are not equipped to perceive the entire Wheel as a whole. Whether Time is Linear, Cyclical, Spiral, or Circular, it will always be sequential as perceived from inside a Cosmos ruled by Time.That's a cop-out. Sequential time is linear time, which is only circular if the sequence is exactly repetitive, and then only arbitrarily so. This analysis, in attempting to suppress the linear aspect by altering perspective, doesn't result in a circle but in a one-dimensional point.
Only someone outside of Creation can perceive Time as it actually exists.By comparison with their own internal sequential clocks which are not circular? :p The aether lives!
The variations RJ talks about with his (outstandingly bad) tapestry analogy are the equivalent of the actors in my Shakespearian analogy being a second or two off on their cues one performance or fluffing their lines in the next.

A better analogy than either of those for the variation between Turnings is that one groove recording of a monochromatic tone -- The variations in each iteration are the random pops and hisses heard during playback any vinyl record no matter how perfect the impression of the record might be.This is a better example, yes, an excellent one, but it is those very distortions that prevent it from describing a true circle. So while it is cyclical, and looped in the sense that the needle traverses the entire groove, the output is not a repeating function of the input, and so the stamped-die eternal moment is not quite an adequate representation of what's going on here. The needle does not create the same distortion twice, nor simultaneously. Sequence plus direction plus individuality of iterations inescapably leads, in my mind, to a first rotation of the Wheel.

I dunno, the entire thing about time being circular seems to be based on this rather dubious logic:If you think of history being in a loop, then time must be in a loop.If he wants to say that's authentic medieval thinking that I'm contaminating with my dirty Greek thought, OK, I'll back off.

Weird Harold
12-14-2010, 11:45 PM
That's a cop-out. Sequential time is linear time, which is only circular if the sequence is exactly repetitive, and then only arbitrarily so.

How is Time measured?

It is Measured in Hours Mod 12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_arithmetic), Minutes Mod 60 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_arithmetichttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_arithmetic), Seconds Mod 60 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_arithmetic) and decimal fractions of a second. (That last is a concession to modern measurements of Linear time, BTW -- the ancient world had no terms for dividing Time smaller than one second.)

"Modular Aritmethic" is sequential but NOT linear -- Just as Time in the WOT is.


By comparison with their own internal sequential clocks which are not circular? :p The aether lives!

No, If a being exists outside of the framework defined by Time, they have no "internal sequential clocks" -- or as described by R.A.H in Number of The Beast (and other novels) their sequential clocks run "at right angles to all four dimensions of Space-time."

I dunno, the entire thing about time being circular seems to be based on this rather dubious logic:

If you think of history being in a loop, then time must be in a loop.

If he wants to say that's authentic medieval thinking that I'm contaminating with my dirty Greek thought, OK, I'll back off.

No you're getting the point I made very early on: If you're thinking the WOT works in terms of Modern, Scientific, understanding (of Linear Time or almost anything else) then You're Wrong.

But it isn't "medieval thinking" -- even as late as my high school textbooks (ca 1965-1968) many of the arguments you're making were strictly theoretical. My grandparents woud accuse you of "trying to refute common sense with high-faluting ideas and big words." :D

morat'corlm
12-15-2010, 09:59 PM
How is Time measured?In multiple periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the Cs-133 ground state. Or equivalent. Neglecting relativistic effects.

And "periods" is the key word, because ultimately it is periodic. Or would be, if time were truly cyclical, which it isn't, as the Heroes and any number of things show–your distortions on each revolution of the record. If Perrin and all his descendants were to keep tying knots every day in that rope of his until the next Third Age, it wouldn't up and vanish.No, If a being exists outside of the framework defined by Time, they have no "internal sequential clocks"Science-fiction is a bit outside my purview, but I cannot imagine a way in which that's possible.No you're getting the point I made very early on: If you're thinking the WOT works in terms of Modern, Scientific, understanding (of Linear Time or almost anything else) then You're Wrong.Purest nonsense. Not from you, from Jordan. And especially disappointing given the relative systematicity of the rest of his worldbuilding. If that's what he meant, he should have declined to answer questions about the mechanism.

Weird Harold
12-15-2010, 10:18 PM
Purest nonsense. Not from you, from Jordan. And especially disappointing given the relative of the rest of his worldbuilding. If that's what he meant, he should have declined to answer questions about the mechanism.

:confused:If you won't or can't accept the basic premise of the universe RJ created, why do you bother reading it?:confused:

The "systematicity' follows from the basic premise -- the WOT works the way the cosmos would work if Time was circular. Which is not really all that different than the real world works in MOST cases. It's just that theories and beliefs discredited in the real world are the way the WOT works, but it all stems from that basic premise that thhe ancient greeks were wrong and time is NOT linear.

morat'corlm
12-15-2010, 11:37 PM
:confused:If you won't or can't accept the basic premise of the universe RJ created, why do you bother reading it?:confused:It isn't the premise I object to. I don't have a problem suspending disbelief for the books themselves.
The "systematicity' follows from the basic premise -- the WOT works the way the cosmos would work if Time was circular. Which is not really all that different than the real world works in MOST cases.Ah, but it doesn't, because circular time would work profoundly differently than linear time does. What I'm gathering Jordan described was a sort of naturalistic understanding that was fused to the concept of a wheel in a haphazard way, the way primitives would do so; as you describe itIt's just that theories and beliefs discredited in the real world are the way the WOT works, but it all stems from that basic premise that thhe ancient greeks were wrong and time is NOT linear.This whole conceit doesn’t make sense; you said it a few pages ago, I agree, and while it’s been too long to remember what the pre-Socratics believed if Jordan praised the ancient Greeks for inventing linear time he must as well. And it’s all very well for this cosmology not to make sense, but Jordan intended the story itself to. So in this case less explanation is better; he ought to have stopped answering questions about the Wheel at the level he stopped answering questions about the One Power or his weird beliefs about sex, namely that that’s just the way his world works.

But, and I suspect this might have been the reason I started arguing in the first place, all deduction, all our theories, about e.g. how souls manifest under that flawed cosmology is going to be tainted by contradiction and paradox.

Sodas
12-16-2010, 12:02 AM
Ah, but it doesn't, because circular time would work profoundly differently than linear time does.

Why? I don't understand the reasoning behind this statement.

morat'corlm
12-16-2010, 12:19 AM
Truly circular time is a loop: it has no differences from one iteration to the next. There are no individual variations, no flaws, no distortions in the sound of the record, no changes in the weave of the Pattern.

It's really a particular kind of linear time, one in which, as Weird Harold said earlier, you can just take a multiple and modulate it to produce an identical result; but it is unlike any other kind of chronology because it is repetitive. Absolutely repetitive. 2000 is followed by 2001 is followed by 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, followed by 2006 is followed by 2000 is...

Or within the context of the series A smiling, bald-headed man in rough clothes laid a slice of meat on a plate held by a woman with a worn face. She was smiling, too, though. She added peas and turnips to the plate and passed it to one of the children lining the table. There were half a dozen children, boys and girls, from nearly grown down to barely tall enough to look over the table. The woman said something, and the girl taking the plate from her laughed. The man started to cut another slice.

Suddenly another girl screamed, pointing at the door to the street. The man dropped the carving knife and whirled, then he screamed, too, face tight with horror, and snatched up a child. The woman grabbed another, and motioned desperately to the others, her mouth working frantically, silently. They all scrabbled toward a door in the back of the room.

That door burst open, and—

Blink.

Weird Harold
12-16-2010, 12:35 AM
It isn't the premise I object to. I don't have a problem suspending disbelief for the books themselves.

Suspending disbelief is adequate for enjoying the story. I'm not sure that it is enough to understand the cosmology.

Ah, but it doesn't, because circular time would work profoundly differently than linear time does.

How so? The differences between circular Time and linear Time-Space are only detectible on micro-measurement scales. The "newtonian" macro functions will still work just as they always have.

What I'm gathering Jordan described was a sort of naturalistic understanding that was fused to the concept of a wheel in a haphazard way, the way primitives would do so; as you describe it

No, RJ took science as it existed no later than Newtonian Physics and made the cosmos work the way that level of science described it -- and added a few paradox fixes. There are atoms, but there is no nuclear physics because atoms in the WOT are indivisible -- thus the sun will never burn out or go Nova.

Everything in the WOT is composed of the four Classical Elements plus Spirit. Your derisive gibe about the Aether living again was pretty cose to the mark, except in the WOT, Aether -- or some things very similar: T'A'R, the Skimming Space, The Gap Of Infinity where individual dreams are found, etc -- embody most of the attributes attributed to "Aether."

This whole conceit doesn’t make sense; you said it a few pages ago, ...

What I said is that if you persist in trying to explain the WOT with modern Science, you're automatically wrong. The WOT does NOT work according to modern science, it works on 17th century any earlier science; Newtonian or pre-newtonian.

So in this case less explanation is better; he ought to have stopped answering questions about the Wheel at the level ... that’s just the way his world works.

I suspect RJ began resorting to that answer because our generation doesn't share enough common referents to explain things. I know I have that problem quite often.

The WOT makes sense to me, but I get frustrated trying to explain my understanding of why things work the way they do.

But, and I suspect this might have been the reason I started arguing in the first place, all deduction, all our theories, about e.g. how souls manifest under that flawed cosmology is going to be tainted by contradiction and paradox.

I think RJ did a fairly good job of resolving the contradictions and apparent paradoxes in his Cosmology. There are still a few left that require a suspension of disbelief, but given the number of contradictions and paradoxes the real world models he borrowed from I think he did an outstanding job -- Even an Omniscient, Omnipotent Creator misses a few details now and then. :D

Sodas
12-16-2010, 02:54 AM
Truly circular time is a loop: it has no differences from one iteration to the next. There are no individual variations, no flaws, no distortions in the sound of the record, no changes in the weave of the Pattern.

It's really a particular kind of linear time, one in which, as Weird Harold said earlier, you can just take a multiple and modulate it to produce an identical result; but it is unlike any other kind of chronology because it is repetitive. Absolutely repetitive. 2000 is followed by 2001 is followed by 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, followed by 2006 is followed by 2000 is...


1. Truly circular? As opposed to ... ?

Maybe "truly" is really a way to say a perfect circle? Of course, a perfect repeat would have to be a perfect match in every way. So that's just circular logic. :D

2. My question was why is circular and linear have to be so profoundly different. And yet, you basically say they are both repetitive. How is that so "profoundly" different?

3. How you manage to extrapolate that any kind of linear time can repeat. By it's very definition, it doesn't.

CreationEdge
12-16-2010, 10:07 AM
I don't like the soul pool idea.

"Oh, I need a farmer. Better get one from the farmer racks."

Eh. How about "I need a farmer, so I'm going influence events in the world to lead a soul to be a farmer."


I was under the impression the wheel only spun out a specific type of soul when it needed to have certain important events pass. IE, Birgitte, Hawkwing, Rand.

"I need the Archer. I need the King. I need the Dragon."


I suppose, with infinite racks of people you have a rack of souls labeled "farmers who drop everything on a dime to become warriors"


But then you have ta'veren. They come in the world and the change events, and can change people.



If you get to dealing with infinities, then why would the pattern be so generic with it's labels? "I need a farmer."

It has a INFINITE number or souls to choose from. And apparently has such specific plans... Well...

Maybe it needs a farmer that leaves his land to help his sister, and also because his own county is going through civil unrest due to a failing ruler, and becomes a man in charge of an apple orchard. It has an infinite supply of souls, so why couldn't it just say "I need Almen. He exactly fits what I need in this instance."


It doesn't work.


"I need a male. I need a female. I'm an immense, cosmic force, and I can work with whatever I'm given." That seems more like the Wheel to me.

GonzoTheGreat
12-16-2010, 10:44 AM
Based on how Birgitte has had lots of different beginnings, I don't think it is a case of the Wheel filing a "farmer soul request form" in triplicate with the soul pool dispenser unit. An even better example would be provided by all the different types of lives Rand et al had during the Portal Stone incident.
So, it's just a basic "female required", or, even simpler: stuff potential souls into the fetus until one sticks. Only for rather special cases would things be done differently, if then. It is also possible that when it is time for such a special case to appear, he or she is simply shuffled to the front of the line of waiting souls, so that that one is the first tried with every new baby to be. Then, the Dragon soul could have been rejected by thousands of bodies until it finally stuck in the one lying in the snow*.

* Or at whatever point it does enter the body. If I were a self aware soul, I probably would opt to avoid birth.

Weird Harold
12-16-2010, 07:40 PM
I suppose, with infinite racks of people you have a rack of souls labeled "farmers who drop everything on a dime to become warriors."

Maybe I need a turnip farmer with uncomoon good sense. :D

I agree, a reincarnation universe could do quite well with general purpose souls who could just get shoved into any fetus and be forged by the pressure of events into whatever role the universe might need.

However, rebirth in the Wheel of Time is controlled by the weaving of the Pattern; a weaver doesn't just sweep the racks of thelocal thread merchant into one big basket and grab thread randomly to weave a tepestry. Each and every thread is chosen for color, texture, material, and strength to be woven into the tapestry; why should Wheel of Time be any less choosy about the threads it weaves into the Great Pattern?

The Pattern doesn't need to keep track of Almen's soul to spin him out to play the role of the concerned farmer because any one of an endless supply of Bit-Part-Farmer-souls would play the part of Almen with just enough variation that the endlessly repeating plays don't get terminally boring.

Have you encountered -- in real-life or fiction -- someone reffered to as, "That poor man, he has the Soul of a Ballet dancer in the body of a Gorilla" or "He has the soul of a poet in a longshoreman's body" or other similar explanations for a personality that fit the physical stereotypes? Those cliches are the model for my explanation of what Tamyrlin calls the 'Soul Pool.'

Cliches like that are NOT just figures of speech in the WOT, they're the way the world works -- assuming the Pattern might actually make a mistake; in the WOT they'd most likely be applied to someone fighting their destiny.

(They are also, in theory, what might happen if the "endless" supply of souls turned out to not be endless and was stressed by to many bodies needing souls so that there was a shortage of longshoreman or gorilla souls and substitutions had to be made. :D)

CreationEdge
12-18-2010, 09:42 AM
An endless supply of souls can't have every soul reborn in every turning, unless that endless supply is spread out amongst endless worlds.

And RJ said most souls are reborn once a turning, some more often as the wheel needs.

Well, most of infinity is infinity. And we know there's not an endless population.


But this soul pool idea seems to imply that there is an endless supply of souls for Randland Prime, the world where the stories take place.

If that were the case, an infinite number of souls to supply Randland Prime, then even if the Wheel turns throughout eternity, never ceasing, then not all of the infinite souls will be born. While an infinite amount WILL be born, an infinite amount will also NEVER be born, because the the possible living population at any one time is NOT infinite.

But having souls that are never born is, well, pointless.

Having a finite, but large, amount of souls, seems to fit the universe better.



It can't get to the point the the Wheel runs out of souls to Weave into the Pattern, because it's not its Will. Chances are, by the time the supply is running low the end of an age comes and a population decimation occurs.

Weird Harold
12-18-2010, 10:08 AM
And RJ said most souls are reborn once a turning, some more often as the wheel needs.

Got a citation for that? I thought I'd seen everything RJ had to say about souls and rebirth and I don't recall that point.

Having a finite, but large, amount of souls, seems to fit the universe better.

The only problem with not having an endless supply is the past life, string-of-pearls, structure combined with the possibility of a "final death" -- a la of Heros and Wolves in T'A'R, Mashadar, or the making of Grey Men. (Machin Shin theoretically doesn't destroy souls, it just steals them; when Machin Shin dies then the souls get a delayed trip through the refurbishment shop.

Since every soul has a built-in past, replacement for final death losses must either already exist or be newly created with appropriate past lives already installed.

That means "endless supply" == Infinite or Transfinite. "Simple Finite" won't work for infinite numbers of "final deaths." So the Wheel has to have whatever supply it is ever going need from Creation. There is no in-book evidence for a "Young Soul" as would be expected from a transfinite model, which just leaves Infinite.

Lack of evidence is not proof, but the functional difference between infinite and transfinite is miniscule, anyway.

CreationEdge
12-18-2010, 10:54 AM
A finite number only fails because of Gray Men/Women if there's not means to create more souls.

"So the Wheel has to have whatever supply it is ever going need from Creation."

That is a false statement.

The Creator did not cease to exist at the moment of Creation. While he doesn't interfere with the workings of the wheel, I don't see how adding a batch of new souls to a finite supply (where ever they are that's not T'A'R) is interference. The idea of a Creator that's only needed for 1 moment, to do 1 thing (Create EVERYTHING) seems silly. Well, maybe he's out there making more Wheels all the time, but... Eh.

Or, he could have set up a system of regeneration.

If you go through infinite turnings, but have a few souls reborn and infinite number of times, and there's a chance that those souls could be destroyed, then eventually those souls will be destroyed. So, eventually Artur, Rand, Birgitte, etc. will have souls that cease to exist. Or, you could say that as corrective mechanisms of the Wheel it'll never LET them get permadestroyed. Add another exception to the rule, then.


But, I don't know. It doesn't make sense to just have infinities like that. Like I said, it would have to mean an infinite number of souls don't get born, or reborn.


----

I can't find that citation now. I might have imagined it, but I thought I read it the other day, in an interview quote. Someone was asking how often souls are reborn. The answer was along the lines of "typically once a turning" but some were more often, like Heroes. I could swear I read it, but I didn't bookmark the website. I might actually be confusing it with someone's speculation that I read in a post here! O.O My bad!

Weird Harold
12-18-2010, 07:17 PM
The Creator did not cease to exist at the moment of Creation. While he doesn't interfere with the workings of the wheel, I don't see how adding a batch of new souls to a finite supply (where ever they are that's not T'A'R) is interference. The idea of a Creator that's only needed for 1 moment, to do 1 thing (Create EVERYTHING) seems silly. Well, maybe he's out there making more Wheels all the time, but... Eh.


Irritably, Rand pushed his sleeves down and dropped into a chair. What he had done made no matter to Logain. The man knew saidin was clean, but he could not believe Rand or any man had actually done the cleansing. Did he think the Creator had decided to stretch out a merciful hand after three thousand years of suffer*ing? The Creator had made the world and then left humankind to make of it what they would, a heaven or the Pit of Doom by their choosing. The Creator had made many worlds, watched each flower or die, and gone on to make endless worlds beyond. A gardener did not weep for each blossom that fell.


That's Moridin's thought, but the next paragraph has "But he could feel Lews Therin nodding in approval, a man listening to someone else."

Arguable the two personalities in the series that know the most about how the Wheel really works consider it a closed system left to survive or not on the resources provided at Creation.

If it is a closed system intended to run for Endless Turnings then it requires an Endless supply of Souls, and anything else that is allowed to be depleted in the normal functioning of the system.

Think of the WOT as like a "generation-ship" launched without a specific target/destination; intended to run indefinitely without recourse to the builder for replacement parts. That's not a completely accurate analogy, because proposed generation ships do have outside input in the form of "hydrogen collection" or "intersteller dust collection" to replace reaction mass.

"Transfinite," as proposed by Seeker, (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=135214&postcount=18) works as well as infinite as a solution to lost souls, but it would have to work with whatever supply of ectoplasm or Aether souls are made of that was provided by Creation.

A start trek style replicator where souls are created by direct energy-to-ectoplasm technlogy would also explain the endless supply of souls -- but would conflict with RJ's answers about souls.

CreationEdge
12-19-2010, 09:06 AM
The Creator left Humankind alone to do what it wanted, yes. It doesn't say that he stepped aside and stop do ANYTHING.

It merely says that he's not going to be there to hold your hand or help you up when life sucks, or when the world is about to end.

He's going on to make endless worlds, so we KNOW he didn't stop doing anything.

----
So having a transfinite amount really does work better. Having a finite # of available souls, (like 10 billion or something). But having an infinite supply of soul "matter." (Which can be the foundation for any type of soul in any universe that the Creator makes.)

If a system of regeneration is set in place, then any time the collective number of souls (whether in a body or in waiting) would drop below X amount, then some of the soul material from the collective pool would move in the fill the void. Just like

Then you don't run into the problem of having an infinite number of souls that never get born or reborn (which seems counter-intuitive).

Juan
12-19-2010, 03:59 PM
Does balefire destroy souls? We sort of addressed this earlier, but I'm not completely sure.. I always figured balefire destroyed soul as it was the final death and that's why the DO couldn't transmigrate the body and all that.

Weird Harold
12-19-2010, 08:57 PM
Does balefire destroy souls? We sort of addressed this earlier, but I'm not completely sure.. I always figured balefire destroyed soul as it was the final death and that's why the DO couldn't transmigrate the body and all that.
No, Balefire does NOT destory souls -- despite in-books (BWB) statments to the contrary. RJ said that the Soul is just sent back to be reborn before the DO can respond to the death and transmigrate the victim.

The fact that Balefire prevents the DO from intercepting a Forsaken's soul and transmigrating it is where the mistaken assumption that the soul is destroyed comes from -- among the readers.

Juan
12-19-2010, 10:33 PM
Ah. Is the quote in the interview database?

EDIT: Never mind. I found the quote. It's not a direct quote from RJ though... but I suppose it's the best thing we have.

Res_Ipsa
12-19-2010, 11:03 PM
No, Balefire does NOT destory souls -- despite in-books (BWB) statments to the contrary. RJ said that the Soul is just sent back to be reborn before the DO can respond to the death and transmigrate the victim.

The fact that balefire prevents the DO from intercepting a Forsaken's soul and transmigrating it is where the mistaken assumption that the soul is destroyed comes from -- among the readers.

Do you have his words on that, I believe you but I would like to see his entire words on it.

Juan
12-19-2010, 11:05 PM
The Path of Daggers book tour 21 November 1998, VA - John Novak reporting

Balefire: If someone is balefired, the Dark One can't reincarnate them. But they CAN be spun back out into the Pattern as normal. Balefire is NOT the eternal death of the soul. He also made a comment to the effect that even in the absence of balefire, there may be circumstances where the Dark One cannot bring someone back. There was a long line, so I didn't press.

Also

Neptune: I think Linda is asking if the soul is immortal in Jordan's world.
Moderator: So...is it??
RJ: Yes, the soul is immortal.

Res_Ipsa
12-20-2010, 01:29 AM
Also

But at what point is the soul conferred?

Juan
12-20-2010, 01:55 AM
What do you mean by conferred?

Weird Harold
12-20-2010, 05:27 AM
But at what point is the soul conferred?
Per RJ, The soul is attached to the Fetus.

I'd look it up in the interview database, except I can't -- there is something about Google Docs that crashes my system. It has been quoted in a recent thread.

CreationEdge
12-20-2010, 08:56 AM
H: When a soul is reborn, at what point does it enter the body?
RJ: Hmm . . . I’d have to say as a fetus. When the body becomes capable of sustaining life.
H: Ok. In The Eye of the World, Thom said that the dead can take over a living body. If this happened, what would happen to the original soul?
RJ: Read and find out.

Here ya' go.

Weird Harold
12-20-2010, 09:09 AM
Here ya' go.
Thanks.

Juan
12-20-2010, 01:35 PM
Right. I wasn't sure if that was what was meant. But yeah. And souls are immortal, so I guess there's no way to kill them. For sure there's not any known way at least, since immortal means live forever. Although you could argue that just means without being attacked... And if you believe the latter, then the most logical way to kill a soul would be with balefire, but even that doesn't do it.

CreationEdge
12-20-2010, 01:54 PM
The exception, for sure, is Gray Men. The DO "eats" their souls, which don't exist at all, anywhere, after that. (There's another RJ quote for that.)


Which, knowing what we know about TP/DO... The TP unravels the pattern.

Yadda yadda, DO undoes Souls, which are part of the Pattern (which the Wheel Weaves.)

Wheel Weaves new souls when needed.

>_>

Weird Harold
12-20-2010, 02:00 PM
Right. I wasn't sure if that was what was meant. But yeah. And souls are immortal, so I guess there's no way to kill them. For sure there's not any known way at least, since immortal means live forever. Although you could argue that just means without being attacked... And if you believe the latter, then the most logical way to kill a soul would be with balefire, but even that doesn't do it.
There is the minor glitch that both Heroes of the Horn and Wolves believe death in T'A'R is forever -- as in nobody has ever come back with recogniseable memories of past lives.

Both Heroes and Wolves basically exist in T'A'R as pure souls with meories of all incarnations and none of them apparently can remember dying in T'A'R or meeting any other soul who had.

Juan
12-20-2010, 03:02 PM
Right. Since Slayer can kill the wolves and make them die that final death (whether it means souls or not).. then I wonder how he would fare against the souls in TAR against heroes of the horn... for example Artur Hawking, Gaidal Cain, etc.