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Luckers 07-18-2010 08:04 AM

Lews Therin--Real or Construct?
 
Terez likes to say us realists have no arguments, so I figured I'd throw down my coverage of the issue. Enjoy, or not, as you would.








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

Mods, please move or whatever.

Lews Therin—Our Friendly Neighbourhood Madman

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

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

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

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

A Brief History of Madness

Prior to KoD the landscape was very different, and three major theories predominated. For full details on these theories read 2.1.6: Is LTT for Real, or is Rand Insane? Where did LTT go in ACOS? but here is a short run down of the theories.

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

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

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

The Premise Problem

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

The Real Madness Theory takes a different viewpoint.

The Real Madness Theory

Can An Insanity Be Real?

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

Support For The Real Madness Theory

Take it away Semirhage.

Quote:

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

[KoD; 27, A Plain Wooden Box]
In this world the manifestation of a real past life personality is a genuine mental illness, one which can cause a descent into terminal madness.

But Semirhage is an Evil, Filthy, Lumpy Forsaken!

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

Alright then, lets consider her statements.

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

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

Lews Therin agrees with this.

Quote:

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

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

[tGS; 1, Tears From Steel]
So yes, for all that she’s a nasty Forsaken, her claims seem pretty on the ball. In any case you can see why this completely destroyed the Rebirth and Taint theories, at least in their distinct and pure forms. It also provides us with the idea that permits the Real Madness Theory. Specifically, the concept that just because Lews Therin is real does not make him any less of a madness.

The Taint

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

Taint Induced Madness

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

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

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

The Construct Theory

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


Quote:

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

[WH: 25, Bonds, 481]:
You can see how this might be applied to the Construct Theory. The problem is KoD destroyed the need for the Construct Theories separation of memory and personality to explain how LTT was both madness and real, all the Construct Theory has left is vaguely suggestive quotes—ones which can be applied just as easily to Lews Therin being real. After all if it was a Lament, why shouldn’t Lews Therin cry to hear it? Especially since it was his memory.

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

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

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

tGS and the Construct Theory; The Proof of the Construct

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

Quote:

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

[tGS; 50, Veins of Gold]
The inference Constructionists draw is clear--he and Lews Therin were not two men, therefore Lews Therin was Rand’s creation, a construct. However, to argue that LTT is not another man apart from Rand is not to state that he is not real.

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

Quote:

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

A: They have 1 soul with 2 personalities. The reincarnation of souls does not mean reincarnation of personalities. The personality develops with each reincarnation of the soul. This is the cosmology that I [cobbled] together.
[New York Barnes and Noble signing on January 7, 2003]
Personality created from the experiences each underwent in their own distinct period of life, but still the same soul--and Birgitte makes clear that the facet personalities for all incarnations are still one person. She speaks of I and me, when referring to them.

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

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

The second quote is…

Quote:

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

[tGS; 49, Just Another Man]
The Construct implication is that it sounds like Rand because it is Rand. He constructed it, therefore under the mask its Rand all along.

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

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

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

Conclusions on the Construct Theory

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Neilbert 07-18-2010 09:41 AM

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

Quote:

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

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

Quote:

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

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

Luckers 07-18-2010 11:03 AM

:)

Weird Harold 07-18-2010 12:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers (Post 104031)
:)

http://www.smileyworld.com/dictionar...tions/Yawn.gif

Terez 07-18-2010 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers (Post 104020)
Terez likes to say us realists have no arguments

Specifically, I mentioned two points from TGS that the real'ers have not adequately explained, aside from the fact that Rand makes it clear that they were not two men and never had been: the integration (which we accurately predicted by saying that Rand needed to accept Lews Therin's memories as his own before they would integrate properly, and that the only real thing keeping this from happening was the Kinslaying, and Rand's refusal to accept the guilt and grief associated with it), and the Tel'aran'rhiod phenomenon. Before TGS, the reason why the construct theory was more logical was because it was an explanation that actually touched on the themes of Rand's character, while the 'real' explanation was a purely supernatural one. The construct interpretation actually lent significance to Rand's internal struggle, as opposed to the real'ers' interpretations gave the phenomenon a rather random and insignificant cast.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
Notice that all three pre-KoD theories presume that the voice is either real, and not a result of the Taint, or not-real and caused by the Taint.

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

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
The concept that the voice could be both real, and a madness resulting from the Taint, was generally shut down.

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
This is because of the perception that a madness or insanity involves delusions.

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
In the real world if a man tells you he's hearing voices, he's delusional (unless its God. He has something of a get out of jail free card on this), and that perception transferred itself whole to the Wheel. If the voice were a madness, its a delusion, and not real--which is where the Construct Theory swept through to explain the very real memories.

We are very aware of the fact that Rand has a struggle with this very issue, especially in response to what Cadsuane told him. He believed that the memories were a sign of madness. The construct theorists do not. We believe that Rand's handling of those memories was a sign of madness. Whenever he had a memory that was not from this life, he sought to explain it away somehow. Whenever he discovered the source of the memories, he had a very violent reaction of denial, and continued to have that reaction for some time. The effort is clear; that's why it took two whole books for Rand to manage to have a 'conversation' with Lews Therin.

Quote:

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

I'm hardly a passionate proponent of the taint barrier degradation theory, but I can explain this one easily enough from the theory's perspective: Rand has channeled far more of the taint than any other Asha'man, and his most obvious memories began to surface not long after he first used Callandor. They grew a little more intense with his second usage of Callandor, and the flood gate seems to have opened right after he first used the Choedan Kal. Only Narishma has also used one of those sa'angreal with the taint running through him (Asmodean was protected while he used the Choedan Kal), and that was Callandor, in a link with two women which theoretically would have protected him from some of the fallout (at least, from the flaw that magnified the taint).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
Predisposition to mental illness is not an unknown concept, and that's very likely the cause of the distinct differences between forms of mental illness.

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
Additionally, its more than possible that one of the other men who have gone insane due to the Taint did suffer this same form of insanity. Semirhage states its very rare, but it easily could have happened. Men hearing voices is a common form of Taint madness--any of them could have been hearing a past life voice, but not everyone has as epic a past life as Rand does. For instance if the last life you lived was as a baker, attaining those memories aren’t really going to make a splash in the world.

Agreed. There is no evidence of other men hearing past life voices, but it is certainly possible. Most of them would not really have the means of determining that those memories are real, like Rand does (he realizes the truth when he has memories of Lanfear, for the second time). That Rand knew for certain that he was the Dragon Reborn - Lews Therin reborn - when those memories began to surface should have made it much easier for him to accept than it is for those who have no knowledge of their past lives, but the Kinslaying instead made it more difficult for him to accept.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers
Indeed, whether you look at it from a Construct or Real Madness perspective, Rand is quite correct—they were not two men.

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

Quote:

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

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

I have never asserted that Semirhage's statements were lies. I have stated that it is possible, but never necessary for the construct theory. Semirhage obviously had a fundamental misunderstanding of what was going on, since she assumed that Lews Therin 'told' Rand who she was. But there was no need for that - in fact, Rand confirms that the voice seldom shares any relevant information - because Rand remembered it directly. Graendal herself has stated that she is skeptical of the concept of rebirth - that would make sense actually, for a Darkfriend - and considering her high failure rate with patients like Rand, it's no surprise.

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

greatwolf 07-18-2010 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers (Post 104020)
Premise
1. Rand is exposed to the Taint.
2. The Taint induces normal forms of madness.
3. In the Wheel hearing a real voice ofis a normal form of a past life personality madness.
4. The voice Rand heard contains real knowledge, including knowledge beyond what has seeped through to Rand.


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

crue 07-18-2010 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greatwolf (Post 104036)

But we've seen Rand with memories from before he started channeling, and even his earliest use of saidin indicates that LTT must have been available.

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

Terez 07-18-2010 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crue (Post 104037)
What memories are these? I can't think of any LTT thoughts during TEotW.

In chapter 9, he recognized Shayol Ghul in a dream (which was contrasted with him not recognizing Dragonmount, which of course he wouldn't, since he was dead before it was formed). Some would say that anything remotely fancy in his channeling (like the end of the book) is suggestive of memories, but they need not be, since other untrained channelers come up with complex weaves on their own, like with Nynaeve's Healing, and Aviendha's Traveling. Aviendha had had some training at the time, but not much, and she certainly wasn't taught Traveling.

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

greatwolf 07-18-2010 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by crue (Post 104037)
What memories are these? I can't think of any LTT thoughts during TEotW.

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

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

I'll start with the memories:

Quote:

Originally Posted by EotW ch 9
From the center of the furious vapors a mountain thrust upward, a mountain taller than any he had ever seen in
the Mountains of Mist, a mountain as black as the loss of all hope. That bleak stone spire, a dagger stabbing at
the heavens, was the source of his desolation. He had never seen it before, but he knew it. The memory of it
flashed away like quicksilver when he tried to touch it, but the memory was there. He knew it was there.


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


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


Quote:

Originally Posted by EotW ch 51
"I deny you. You have no power over me, and I will not kneel to you, alive or dead."
"Look," Ba'alzamon said. "Look." Unwilling, Rand yet turned his head.
Egwene stood there, and Nynaeve, pale and frightened, with flowers in their hair. And another woman,
little older than the Wisdom, gray-eyed and beautiful, clothed in a Two Rivers dress, bright blossoms
embroidered round the neck.
"Mother?" he breathed, and she smiled, a hopeless smile. His mother's smile. "No! My mother is dead,
and the other two are safe away from here. I deny you!" Egwene and Nynaeve blurred, became wafting mist,
dissipated. Kari al'Thor still stood there, her eyes big with fear.
"She, at least," Ba'alzamon said, "is mine to do with as I will."
Rand shook his head. "I deny you." He had to force the words out. "She is dead, and safe from you in the
Light."
His mother's lips trembled. Tears trickled down her cheeks; each one burned him like acid. "The Lord of
the Grave is stronger than he once was, my son," she said. "His reach is longer. The Father of Lies has a
honeyed tongue for unwary souls. My son. My only, darling son. I would spare you if I could, but he is my
master, now, his whim, the law of my existence. I can but obey him, and grovel for his favor. Only you can free
me. Please, my son. Please help me. Help me. Help me! PLEASE!"
The wail ripped out of her as barefaced Fades, pale and eyeless, closed round. Her clothes ripped away
in their bloodless hands, hands that wielded pincers and clamps and things that stung and burned and whipped
against her naked flesh. Her scream would not end.
Rand's scream echoed hers. The void boiled in his mind. His sword was in his hand. Not the heron-mark
blade, but a blade of light, a blade of the Light. Even as he raised it, a fiery white bolt shot from the point, as if
the blade itself had reached out.
It touched the nearest Fade, and blinding candescence filled the chamber,
shining through the Halfmen like a candle through paper, burning through them, blinding his eyes to the scene.
From the midst of the brilliance, he heard a whisper. "Thank you, my son. The Light. The blessed
Light."
The flash faded, and he was alone in the chamber with Ba'alzamon. Ba'alzamon's eyes burned like the
Pit of Doom, but he shied back from the sword as if it truly were the Light itself.
"Fool! You will destroy yourself! You cannot wield it so, not yet! Not until I teach you!"
"It is ended,"
Rand said, and he swung the sword at Ba'alzamon's black cord. Ba'alzamon screamed as
the sword fell, screamed till the stone walls trembled, and the endless howl redoubled as the blade of Light
severed the cord. The cut ends rebounded apart as if they had been under tension. The end stretching into the
nothingness outside began to shrivel as it sprang away; the other whipped back into Ba'alzamon, hurling him
against the fireplace. There was silent laughter in the soundless shrieks of the tortured faces. The walls shivered
and cracked; the floor heaved, and chunks of stone crashed to the floor from the ceiling.
As all broke apart around him, Rand pointed the sword at Ba'alzamon's heart. "It is ended!"
Light lanced from the blade, coruscating in a shower of fiery sparks like droplets of molten, white metal.
Wailing, Ba'alzamon threw up his arms in a vain effort to shield himself. Flames shrieked in his eyes, joining
with other flames as the stone ignited, the stone of the cracking walls, the stone of the pitching floor, the stone
showering from the ceiling. Rand felt the bright thread attached to him thinning, till only the glow itself
remained, but he strained harder, not knowing what he did, or how, only that this had to be ended. It has to be
ended!
Fire filled the chamber, a solid flame. He could see Ba'alzamon withering like a leaf, hear him howling,
feel the shrieks grating on his bones. The flame became pure, white light, brighter than the sun. Then the last
flicker of the thread was gone, and he was falling through endless black and Ba'alzamon's fading howl.



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

Quote:

Originally Posted by EotW ch 52
. "But it wasn't me," he finished. "The Light . . . pulled me along. It wasn't really me. Doesn't that
make any difference?"
"I had suspicions from the first," Moiraine said. "Suspicions are not proof, though. After I gave you the
token, the coin, and made that bonding, you should have been willing to fall in with whatever I wanted, but you
resisted, questioned. That told me something, but not enough. Manetheren blood was always stubborn, and
more so after Aemon died and Eldrene's heart was shattered. Then there was Bela."
"Bela?" he said. Nothing makes any difference.
The Aes Sedai nodded. "At Watch Hill, Bela had no need of me to cleanse her of tiredness; someone had
already done it.


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


Quote:

Originally Posted by EotW ch 52
"There was a vast amount of the One Power in the Eye. Even in the Age of Legends, few could have
channeled so much unaided without being destroyed. Very few."


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


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


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


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


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

nameless 07-19-2010 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckers (Post 104020)
In any case the point here is that the Taint doesn't induce a type of madness, it simply breaks your sanity, and the madness you then fall into is any amongst the myriad of normal forms of insanity. Additionally, its more than possible that one of the other men who have gone insane due to the Taint did suffer this same form of insanity. Semirhage states its very rare, but it easily could have happened. Men hearing voices is a common form of Taint madness--any of them could have been hearing a past life voice, but not everyone has as epic a past life as Rand does.

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

Neilbert 07-19-2010 03:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 104035)
I have never asserted that Semirhage's statements were lies. I have stated that it is possible, but never necessary for the construct theory. Semirhage obviously had a fundamental misunderstanding of what was going on, since she assumed that Lews Therin 'told' Rand who she was.

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

One Armed Gimp 07-19-2010 02:20 PM

I have never understood how 'realers could continue to believe after TGS. Especially with talk of reintegration.

Reintegration with construct theory:

Quote:

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

Quote:

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

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

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

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

Quote:

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

That is entirely false.

Isabel 07-19-2010 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by One Armed Gimp (Post 104119)
If it were a matter of distinct personalities butting heads, why would this stop simply because of a revelation on Rand's part?

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

Terez 07-19-2010 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Isabel (Post 104121)
Did you miss the part in which LTT realizes that he could have a second chance? LTT didn't have a good reason to hang on anymore.

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

One Armed Gimp 07-19-2010 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terez (Post 104123)
Actually, it was the other way around - he found a reason to live. He didn't go away. The integration really started when Rand almost killed Tam, though...and he realized that he could no longer pretend that Lews Therin was the murdering madman, and he the sane one.

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

GonzoTheGreat 07-19-2010 04:26 PM

Alternatively the real LTT could now sink into oblivion (the long sleep), knowing that he will wake up out of the dream again some day in the future.

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

Terez 07-19-2010 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat (Post 104135)
Alternatively the real LTT could now sink into oblivion (the long sleep), knowing that he will wake up out of the dream again some day in the future.

But that's not what happened. Lews Therin is just as much a part of Rand as he was before; the memories didn't go away. The only difference is that Rand accepts his past life now, so his memories are integrated (and presumably he'll have less trouble accessing them).

Quote:

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

That's a rather silly assumption to make.

Isabel 07-19-2010 11:16 PM

Quote:

That's a rather silly assumption to make.
That is the same silly assumption as you make ;)

Terez 07-19-2010 11:48 PM

No, it isn't.

Neilbert 07-20-2010 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat (Post 104135)
If he were a construct, on the other hand, then Rand would now know that it had been his own madness all along, and he would only be more suicidal as a result.

How could he possibly be more suicidal?


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