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View Full Version : Speculation on the ability to channel to be lost


looqas
12-31-2010, 07:51 AM
I've been thinking during the years about this. And I'm fairly certain that this has been discussed already to some extent.

The supposition is that one of the Ages is the age we live in after which comes another Age etc. and there has been hints towards it. If one of the Ages is indeed anything like we live in the ability to channel goes on and off.

Before I read ToM I even entertained a notion the ability to channel is lost during what ever Rand does, but Aviendha's little vision of the future bunked that idea. And this piece of info is why I placed this discussion here instead of general WoT.

What are your thoughts about this? What could cause the ability to be lost? I find it hard to speculate that the source itself is destroyed/rendered neutral since the series clearly establish that the source is what makes the merry wheel go around, i.e. without it there would be no time itself.

TankSpill
12-31-2010, 03:20 PM
It could be something as simple as 'people forget about the Power.' Basically, the genes grow week, due either to evolution, culling, or something else, and fewer and fewer channelers are born. Which could take anywhere from 1000 to 10,000 (or more) years, and means that it could still be several Ages before that happens.

Weird Harold
12-31-2010, 09:43 PM
What are your thoughts about this? What could cause the ability to be lost? I find it hard to speculate that the source itself is destroyed/rendered neutral since the series clearly establish that the source is what makes the merry wheel go around, i.e. without it there would be no time itself.

My personal theory for when and why Channeling is not a feature of Our Age is tied to the "Island Stedding Theory" -- which I don't believe has ever been assembled into a single coherent formal theory; I might be wrong about that, though.

Basically it starts with the idea are that Steddings are places that rise above a metaphusical "ambient sea level" of the One Power.

In the AOL and Third Age, that "sea level" is high enough to submerge almost the entire world and only Stedding rise above it so that Channeling isn't possible.

In Our Age, the "sea level" has fallen to the point where the OP is only accessible in the trickles along the bottom of valleys in the Metaphysical Landscape or in the depressions and seeps where it collects -- Places known in RW Mythology as "Places of Power" and "Ley Lines."

The loss of Channeling could therfore be explained as the result of natural tides or cycles in the OP "sea level." I don't think it is quite that simple, though. I think the changes in "sea level" are related to the "thin spot" in the Pattern that Meirin, Beidomon, and Co drilled through to create the Bore.

Consider what would happen if the re-weaving/Healing of the Bore uses something that functions like the BotW, in that it draws whatever power it needs to complete the task it is set to perform, but unlike the BotW in that it doesn't perfrom the task and then shut down. A weave or process that starts drawing on the OP to feed a loose network that fills out and expands as time goes by -- drawing just a bit of the OP to start with and gradually drawing more and more until the Bore is completely hidden and forgotten -- AND most of the accessible OP is bound up in the structure of the DO's Prison.

Channeling is never really gone, the OP sea level is just gets so low that only the very Strongest and most Talented of Channelers can reach it and use it. Channelers that strong are never very numerous and at low ebb there isn't enough OP accessible for consistent and flashy results, so real "magic users" get lost in the fog of charletons and swindlers.

Since nothing made by man is infallible or eternal, at some point, the weaving over the Bore must slowly fail and release the bound-up OP back into the "sea" and Channeling slowly becomes more accessible and less stregth and Talent is required to use it -- Tamyrlin is reborn, Channeling is "Rediscovered," and the Age Of Legends comes again.

looqas
01-04-2011, 01:36 AM
You got a pretty interesting theory there Harold ;)

Fie
01-18-2011, 01:47 AM
If I were an author designing this whole wot, one power,channelling, alternating ages etc. -concept, channelling in our or any age wouldn't be lost, just wouldn't be visible on the surface, but I'd use it to explain things we cannot really explain like spontaneous healing, superhuman strength in pulling your car off of your kid,people being able to find penicillin or electicity etc. while others wihout the spark barely able to bind their own shoes ;)
Well, ok, of course you can explain discovering penicillin in other ways but you could also argue that, if all people were like, say, Britney Spears, it never would have been found and that all the people who do bring mankind a great step forward are channellers :)

Weird Harold
01-18-2011, 03:42 AM
... channelling in our or any age wouldn't be lost, just wouldn't be visible on the surface, but I'd use it to explain things we cannot really explain ...

That is basically what the island stedding/tidal OP concept does -- not so much explain the things you mention, as put a grain of truth to old beliefs about Magic.

Things like finding penicillin are more a function of genious, and -- as Aes Sedai and the Forsaken illustrate -- it doesn't take genious to be able to Channel. :D

One thing to remember is, "History fades to Legend, Legend fades to Myth, and Myth is forgotten in the mists of Time." Part of the design of the WOT is that Channeling must be "forgotten" before it can be "discovered" -- but the True Source is what powers the Wheel and logically cannot disappear completely; it can only become inaccessible.

The True Source/One Power can "disappear" in only one of two ways:


It can retreat out of reach of any but the strongest/most talented of Channelers, OR

The Pattern can simply refuse to spin out channeling souls into channeling bodies.


Of course all of the above is an option, also

Enigma
01-19-2011, 04:16 PM
Given that the One Power turns the wheel one would think that its level or mass would always remain the same otherwise the wheel would spin faster/slower/grind to a halt at times.

Weird Harold
01-20-2011, 02:59 AM
Given that the One Power turns the wheel one would think that its level or mass would always remain the same otherwise the wheel would spin faster/slower/grind to a halt at times.

What is to say the Wheel does NOT spin faster or slower -- It probably doesn't periodically come to a complete stop, but Time isn't fixed in this Cosmos because Mirror Worlds and T'A'R Time doesn't flow at the same rate as the "Prime Reality."

In a closed system -- like a closed loop steam turbine -- the amount of energy transfer medium ahead of and behind the actual point of work can vary without any change in the total amount of energy transfer medium.

IOW, the level of the True Source accessible to Humans could well be the equivalent of the water level in a millrace below the water wheel, awaiting recycling back above the water wheel.

Whatever True Source is accessible by humans pretty much has to be the sump or outflow of the True Source's main purpose; what is left over after the Wheel And Pattern have first dibs.

GonzoTheGreat
01-20-2011, 03:43 AM
In a closed system -- like a closed loop steam turbine -- the amount of energy transfer medium ahead of and behind the actual point of work can vary without any change in the total amount of energy transfer medium.Assuming, of course, that there is an actual Law of Conservation of Energy, and that that law has a universal validity.
This does not seem a very safe assumption in the WOT universe, I have to say.

Simple perpetuum mobile:
Build a windmill in a cave, or a big room or something like that. Make a big gateway in front of it, with the other end 10 miles up in the atmosphere. Now you have a continuous air stream going on, driving the windmill and thus generating power for ever (or until you forget to properly grease the bearings, and the thing falls apart because of wear and tear).

Weird Harold
01-20-2011, 09:17 AM
Assuming, of course, that there is an actual Law of Conservation of Energy, and that that law has a universal validity.

This does not seem a very safe assumption in the WOT universe, I have to say.

It doesn't seem like the difference between conserved energy and an endless supply of would be very easy to detect. IIRC, RJ said Saidin was infinite but had a finite surface.

If Saidin has a surface, as Moiraine described in tEotW, then it has a "level." If the OP has a "level" then that "level" can, in theory, change like a flood or tidal cycle -- whether the Saidin surface is the ONLY surface to the True Source, is irrelevant -- if it has a surface, it can ebb and flow even if it has to ebb below the bottom of the Saidin half and make only Saidar accessible in minute amounts at ebb tide.

(that's not very likely unless Merlin and all of the other legendary male wizards and mages in myth and legend are all cross-dressing females in disguise.)

Simple perpetuum mobile:

Build a windmill in a cave, ...

That's an endless supply of energy, not perpetual motion in a closed system. Something has to keep replenshing the atmosphere at altitude to create your endless wind -- solar heating, expansive cooling and gravity all combine to create the energy you're extracting with your windmill.

GonzoTheGreat
01-20-2011, 09:24 AM
Gravity would bring back the air, eventually. Of course, you could suggest that gravity gets used up, but there is no evidence to support that idea at all.

Weird Harold
01-20-2011, 09:57 AM
Gravity would bring back the air, eventually. Of course, you could suggest that gravity gets used up, but there is no evidence to support that idea at all.

I suspect that you'd run out of air before you ran out of gravity.

I'm not quite sure what your point is, though.

The Wheel is, of necessity a perptual motion machine AND a closed system. It wil run until th end of time and the True Source that powers it is all the power it is ever going to get.

Looney Theory: Perhaps the Wheel's "Turning" isn't an endless uni-directional rotation, but a "turning over" -- Rand has to decide whether to turn the hourglass so that the measured flow of the OP and start the wheel back around to the other end of it's back and forth rotation? Like an Escapement wheel in a watch spin to the stop in one direction and them spin back to the same stop in the other direction.

That would explain RJ assertion that past and future is amatter of which way you're looking.