art by =saintchase

Theoryland Resources

WoT Interview Search

Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.

Wheel of Time News

An Hour With Harriet

2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

Theoryland Community

Members: 7611

Logged In (0):

Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,

Theoryland Tweets

Forums

Home | Chat | Old Forums(Yuku)


Go Back   Theoryland of the Wheel of Time Forums > THEORYLAND STEDDINGS > Forum Archives > Archived - WoT Discussion Boards > Book 12: The Gathering Storm
User Name
Password

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-12-2009, 09:08 PM
Seeker Seeker is offline
Hero: The Prophet of Moiraine
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,061
Seeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond reputeSeeker has a reputation beyond repute
Default It's a gap, not a barrier.

The other night, I had a long conversation with the Tworiverswoman. To summarize that conversation, she was insisting that there had to be something between Rand's living mind and his past-life memories. (And that the same was true for the other characters). As I explored the issue, I began to wonder precisely where a Randlander's past-life memories might reside. It occurs to me that the human brain simply doesn't have enough storage space to fit thousands of lives worth of memories. Maybe two or three. Maybe dozens, but not thousands. Brains have a finite number of neurons.

So, I believe the most logical place for a person's past-life memories to reside is in his soul. That said, a person's soul and his brain are fundamentally different objects; and there's a lot of guess work as to how information is pass from one to the other. A person's living mind is run from his brain. His past life memories are stored in his soul. So, then I asked myself, “what – if anything- is between a person's mind and his soul.”

A lot of people will say “a barrier.” But I do not believe that this is the correct word. When I critique the barrier-degredation theory, I am primarily nit-picking its wording. While I agree with the end result – the fact that Randlanders don't in general recall their past lives – I feel the barrier theory is worded poorly. And that this poor choice of wording has lead to unacceptable corollaries (secondary conclusions). “Barrier” is not the correct term to describe the space between the brain and the soul. The correct term is “gap.”

Why?

Let's start with the notion that Rand is supposed to remember his life as Lews Therin. He is the Dragon Reborn: this world's version of the second coming. He is the second coming of Lews Therin. So he has to remember being Lews Therin. That's what it means to be the second coming of a man: you have to be the same man who came the first time. And you can't be the same man if you don't remember being that man. That's what reincarnation means.

So now, let's compare “barrier” to “gap.”

If there is a barrier between Rand's living mind and his memories of Lews Therin, then the only way to access those memories is to smash a hole in the barrier.

If, on the other hand, there is a gap between Rand's living mind and his memories of Lews Therin, then the only way to access those memories is to bridge the gap.

So, why do I like gaps better? Because smashing a hole in a barrier is an inherently destructive act. Consider, for a moment, the mental image of a wall with a hole in it. The existence of the hole makes the wall flawed. Walls aren't supposed to have holes in them! So, by extension, Rand is flawed because his barrier has a hole in it! I mean just look at the name of the theory. “Barrier-degradation.” “Degradation” is a very negative term. A side conclusion of this theory is that Rand was never supposed to remember Lews Therin's life. It was an unfortunate accident. This is incompatible with the view that Rand was meant to remember being Lews Therin.

Bridging a gap, however, is not a destructive act. It's an act of creation. A bridge over a gap is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. The fact that Rand has this bridge to his past-life memories can be viewed as a positive thing! He's lucky enough to have knowledge that no one else has. It's perfectly compatible with the idea that Rand was meant to have this knowledge.

The barrier-theory states that Rand's past-life memories will naturally flow into his living mind and that an obstruction must be put in place to keep them apart. Therefore work needs to be done to keep the memories separate.

The gap-theory, however, states that Rand's living mind and his past-life memories are naturally separate and work needs to be done to bring them together. Same end-result, opposite means of arriving at it.

So, why is the gap-theory better? If work is being done to create barriers and keep past-life memories from flooding into a person's living mind, then a person isn't supposed to recall his past lives, or the Wheel wouldn't work so hard to keep those memories apart. Therefore, Rand situation is “wrong” or “unfortunate” in some way. He wasn't supposed to get his Lews Therin memories. He's an annomaly, an aberration, a flawed individual. You could say that Rand getting LTT's memories was “going against the divine plan.”

But if a person's past life memories are just naturally separate from his living mind, with no effort expended to keep them so, then the situation is devoid of moral judgment. Expending effort to access those memories is also devoid of moral judgement. A chasm is a naturally occurring object; but building a bridge over it isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, a wall with a hole in it is flawed by definition.

I refuse to accept the notion that Rand is flawed because he remembers his life as Lews Therin. To me, if a man is destined to be the direct rebirth of another man, then he is also destined to remember being that other man. You can't call him flawed for being what he is destined to be.

Now, if the barrier people come here and say “but we're not calling Rand flawed,” Yes, you are. The terminology you have created for your theory defines Rand's situation as a flawed one. It is a conclusion that your theory cannot avoid. If you want to avoid the implication that Rand is flawed, then you have to stop using the terms “barrier,” “hole” and “degradation.” (I mean, again, “degradation” is a kind of flaw).

Now, some obvious questions.
“But didn't Rand go insane for remembering Lews Therin? And therefore isn't it a flaw?”

NO!
Rand went insane from the amount of pressure that has been put on him since the very first book and from the fact that he had no means to cope with it. Rand went insane because he was told consistently that he was GOING to go insane. And when you convince yourself that you're going to go mad, you actually do go mad. And because he was exposed to the taint, which took his fears and anxieties and amplified them into outright paranoid delusions and schizophrenia. That's what LTT's voice was, a form of schizophrenia. Rand created that voice, but the taint probably helped.

But the taint did not cause the memories of Lews Therin's life.
And the memories of Lews Therin's did not cause Rand's insanity.

The memories are a good thing. The insanity is a bad thing. They didn't cause each other, they just happened at the same time.

“Well, if you need to 'build a bridge' to get at your past life memories, then how did Rand do it?”

Remember, that building a bridge is just an analogy. What I really mean is by “building a bridge” is developing a way to access the information in his soul. Rand is the only character to have direct contact with the people he knew and artifacts that he handled (or at least was in the presence of) in his past life. No other character can claim that for certain. I'm sure that talking to people that he knew as Lews Therin (Lanfear, Be'lal, Asmodean – who didn't really know him, but they'd heard of each other) was enough to start jogging his memory.

And finally – and I cannot stress this enough – RAND WAS MEANT TO REMEMBER LTT!

MEANT TO!

Because he's the chosen one. And being the chosen one means you are a special case and the rules are a little different for you. The general rules aren't necessarily thrown right out the window, but they are different. That's what it means to be the chosen one. That's what it means to be the second coming of a man. You are the SAME man who came the first time. And you can't be the same man if you don't remember being that man.

Nuff said.

Last edited by Seeker; 11-12-2009 at 09:14 PM.
  #2  
Old 11-12-2009, 09:32 PM
Matoyak's Avatar
Matoyak Matoyak is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas - USA
Posts: 1,355
Matoyak is a glorious beacon of lightMatoyak is a glorious beacon of lightMatoyak is a glorious beacon of lightMatoyak is a glorious beacon of lightMatoyak is a glorious beacon of lightMatoyak is a glorious beacon of lightMatoyak is a glorious beacon of light
Default

I agree with the majority of what you said, however I feel you probably should have left the Real vs. Construct debate out of it. Yes, it has implications in that debate, but really the actual Gap part of your theory here is more fundamental than that. It feels like you have more than one theory here.

Theory 1: There is a Gap rather than a barrier between Randlanders current lives and past lives memories. (I agree with this. It "feels" right compared to the Barrier theory.) I'd probably join a faction that stated this.

Theory 2: Rand created a bridge across this gap somehow. Here's how. (not sure just how much I agree on your interpretation on how this happened, but so far it seems like it has a nice start there)

Theory 3: Rand created a voice for these memories. (Meh. Totally apathetic on this one.)
__________________
*Official Labrat of the TCA*
The Red Hand of Devil's End, the Blight of Bayside, the Filer of Forbidden Texts

[Gawyn] probably pops his collar. - Kivo
Mat's hat is a Darkfriend. - Daekyras
  #3  
Old 11-12-2009, 10:09 PM
Ozymandias's Avatar
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
Ancient
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,838
Ozymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to all
Default

This seems perfectly obvious. In fact, its basically stated dozens of times by RJ.

Obviously memories don't pass from brain to brain. The physical bodies of Randlander reincarnations are unique. That much is obvious. So are the brains. No offense to Rand, but Lews Therin was clearly a more intelligent man than he is.

Which leaves the only vehicle for memory transport in the soul.

A more interesting and debatable question is whether each life influences the composition of the soul. As in, Rand's soul clearly has pieces of Lews Therin in it. Is this merely the same soul, passed down through successive Dragons as is? Or is there a small piece of individuality which gets blended into the melange of the Reborn soul each time? Do Rand's choices and experiences get factored into how the Dragon soul manifests itself next time around?
  #4  
Old 11-12-2009, 11:02 PM
Belazamon's Avatar
Belazamon Belazamon is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: West Springfield, MA
Posts: 2,309
Belazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant future
Send a message via AIM to Belazamon
Default

With one exception, I find no significant fault in this phrasing of the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker
Now, if the barrier people come here and say “but we're not calling Rand flawed,” Yes, you are. The terminology you have created for your theory defines Rand's situation as a flawed one.
This, my friend, is merely a matter of you interpreting the existing terminology in a negative way. Just because you look at it as a negative descriptor, that doesn't mean that the person who formulated the argument shares your view.
__________________
Stating your opinion as a fact doesn't make it any less your opinion.

No one cares, no one sympathizes
You just stand around and play synthesizers
  #5  
Old 11-12-2009, 11:06 PM
Terez's Avatar
Terez Terez is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Corn
Posts: 21,127
Terez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond reputeTerez has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to Terez
Default

Like Rand said - the Dark One sealed his own defeat by tainting saidin, as the taint gave Rand access to Lews Therin. That might not be true, but if it is, then there's a certain amount of poetic justice there. Just because the taint is a corrosive and destructive force doesn't mean that it can't have ultimately positive side-effects.
__________________
Qui nos rodunt confundantur, et cum iustis non scribantur.
@Terez27
  #6  
Old 11-13-2009, 01:10 AM
Ozymandias's Avatar
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
Ancient
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,838
Ozymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terez
Like Rand said - the Dark One sealed his own defeat by tainting saidin, as the taint gave Rand access to Lews Therin. That might not be true, but if it is, then there's a certain amount of poetic justice there. Just because the taint is a corrosive and destructive force doesn't mean that it can't have ultimately positive side-effects.
Which to me, brings up the inevitable question of predestination.

There are two basic theories of destiny in Randland; either the Pattern is omniscient and incorporates everything possible into its plan, including Shadowspawn, the Dark One, etc, or the Pattern has a set course which the Dark One can twist.

I've always subscribed to the second variation, but how can you argue for anything other than total predestination when even the actions of the Dark One are a part of the plan? If Rand can't beat Shai'tan without the Taint, and the Taint is caused by Shai'tan, then it stands to reason that the Pattern knew ahead of time that Shai'tan would Taint the Source. And if it knew that, then Rand must win, because the Pattern will never plan for its own demise, and if it can plan for the actions of the DO, the Light can never lose
  #7  
Old 11-13-2009, 02:09 AM
Lord Bloodpath's Avatar
Lord Bloodpath Lord Bloodpath is offline
Elder
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 71
Lord Bloodpath is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Rand is human, therefore he is flawed. There, I said it!

Mountains are barriers. Mountains have passes. Naturally. I mean, you can blow a hole in one, build a tunnel, whatever, but the older they get, the more passes. Passes are not flaws. Neither are tunnels.

Good walls have holes in them. We call them windows or doors. Sometimes vents. The less holes a wall has, the more it suffocates us. 'S better for defense tho.... there's always an upside.

A friend of mine always used to complain, "Why is it, that whenever someone is 'horribly cursed' in a story, it's always with immortality, claws, and the strength of twenty men? Or the ability to see into other people's thoughts. When I become an Evil Overlord, I'm going to curse all my enemies with Instant Death..... No all-powerful mummies vying for world conquest 600 years down the line for me, thanks." Sometimes, Curses/Flaws are Boons/Virtues. Pretty much every single time, actually. There's a mystical idea in Judaism that all curses are actually blessings that overflow the ability to receive or make use of them. Think about it and you'll realize it's true.

Also: LTT could've been reborn, grown up and saved the world, all w/o having any of his memories from the previous life. I do not for a second buy the idea that it was actually necessary at all. Fated? Sure, it happened didn't it? Essential to the plan? No. It's only much, much easier if you have more experiences to draw on (especially when they're immediately and directly relevant to your current situation.)

Which leads me to the LTT smarter than Rand question..... IQ (the most commonly agreed measure of intelligence) measures how well you answer based on your age. Older people are expected to know more facts and more ways to correctly solve problems quickly. Rand was how old when the books began? And LTT was how old when he died? A believe multiple centuries are in it.

Rand had all the powers of LTT's soul once he hit maturity, all he was missing were the skills and some facts. I think even the skills would have come quickly this life because of how habitual they were by the point death came last time. It probably would've depended on how in touch he was with his own subconscious (which I think is the foot of the bridge or the opening of the tunnel.)

All that said, Seeker, I think you're right. From a certain POV Although with the number and types of reincarnations apparent in WoTverse, I lean towards the barrier idea because to me it explains better if there are numerous breaches and integration happens because of a passive process. And our rl world has more of a gap, which would explain why it seems so rare here. Weird idea: I wonder if Rand won't do something to make this victory of the Light less transient by finding a way to make time more of a line or a spiral instead of a loop.... Meh. Prob'ly not since he broke the CK.

Consider something else... Right now, there is a decent distance between our physical locations. We're communicating using methods that overcome a number of obstacles that could function as barriers while simultaneously bridging a large gap. I submit to you that there was more than a temporal distance traversed by the Dragon soul between incarnations.

Lastly, nice one Ozy. I'm not sure where I stand on some of those ideas (and I've gone on too long here as it is) but good conclusion
__________________
Batya: Shared pain is halved. Shared joy is doubled. Shared evil...
Missy: ...increases exponentially in a geometric progression not definable by modern mathematics.

Berelain: You were frozen, so I helped you by taking off your clothes and putting you in my tent.
Perrin: You have a unique way of helping people. I feel strangely satisfied.
Berelain: Oh, I helped myself too. Abracadabra.
*By ISAM*
  #8  
Old 11-13-2009, 02:12 AM
Weird Harold's Avatar
Weird Harold Weird Harold is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: "Lost Wages," NV USA
Posts: 5,001
Weird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias
I've always subscribed to the second variation, but how can you argue for anything other than total predestination when even the actions of the Dark One are a part of the plan?
But the actions of the DO Himself aren't part of the Pattern, just the actions of his mortal minions. The Wheel can't predict or control the actions of anyone/anything that is outside of the Pattern -- the Creator, The Dark One and maybe Padan Fain.

The Pattern can and does try to make the options available to the DO as limited as possible, but there would be no story if it had absolute control over T'G. There must be a chance for the DO to win that is beyond the Wheel/Pattern's control or the whole premise of the series breaks down.
__________________
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just figure out which questions they go to. )

I met you in a past life. You were wrong then, too.
  #9  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:23 AM
Lord Bloodpath's Avatar
Lord Bloodpath Lord Bloodpath is offline
Elder
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 71
Lord Bloodpath is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Maybe the wheel just likes drama....
__________________
Batya: Shared pain is halved. Shared joy is doubled. Shared evil...
Missy: ...increases exponentially in a geometric progression not definable by modern mathematics.

Berelain: You were frozen, so I helped you by taking off your clothes and putting you in my tent.
Perrin: You have a unique way of helping people. I feel strangely satisfied.
Berelain: Oh, I helped myself too. Abracadabra.
*By ISAM*
  #10  
Old 11-13-2009, 10:27 AM
Crispin's Crispian's Avatar
Crispin's Crispian Crispin's Crispian is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 4,069
Crispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond reputeCrispin's Crispian has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
“Well, if you need to 'build a bridge' to get at your past life memories, then how did Rand do it?”

Remember, that building a bridge is just an analogy. What I really mean is by “building a bridge” is developing a way to access the information in his soul. Rand is the only character to have direct contact with the people he knew and artifacts that he handled (or at least was in the presence of) in his past life. No other character can claim that for certain. I'm sure that talking to people that he knew as Lews Therin (Lanfear, Be'lal, Asmodean – who didn't really know him, but they'd heard of each other) was enough to start jogging his memory.

And finally – and I cannot stress this enough – RAND WAS MEANT TO REMEMBER LTT!

MEANT TO!

Because he's the chosen one. And being the chosen one means you are a special case and the rules are a little different for you. The general rules aren't necessarily thrown right out the window, but they are different. That's what it means to be the chosen one. That's what it means to be the second coming of a man. You are the SAME man who came the first time. And you can't be the same man if you don't remember being that man.

Nuff said.
It's not really "nuff said," because you didn't answer the question.

How did Rand build a bridge to his previous life's memories? Saying his "memory was jogged" isn't an answer, because it doesn't mean anything to this discussion. May as well say, "he built a bridge because he had to."

And saying he was predestined to build the bridge also doesn't answer the question. That may answer the question of why he built it, but not how.

Even if you say, "the Taintdidit," you still need to provide a mechanism for how the Taint could bridge the gap between current brain and ephemeral soul. (Give the Barrier Degredation theory some credit in that it at least attempts to provide a mechanism--the Taint corrodes the Barrier--though it still doesn't explain how the memories got from the soul to the brain.)

I like the idea that the brain can only retain so many memories at once. This makes perfect sense to me, as the brain/mind is the corporeal manifestation of the soul on earth.
__________________
"Pizza topped with justice." -Liz
  #11  
Old 11-13-2009, 11:00 AM
Neilbert Neilbert is offline
Ancient
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,057
Neilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant futureNeilbert has a brilliant future
Default

I've always thought the how question was unimportant. We know that the Wheel has mechanisms for providing people with memories of the dead. Mat gets memories from someone who may have been an ancestor, or maybe a past life, but the point is that the memories themselves are preserved across time, and are able to jump across whatever barrier or gap may exist.

In my mind there doesn't need to be an unnatural explanation.
  #12  
Old 11-13-2009, 11:19 AM
Weird Harold's Avatar
Weird Harold Weird Harold is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: "Lost Wages," NV USA
Posts: 5,001
Weird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant futureWeird Harold has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Bloodpath
Maybe the wheel just likes drama....
I think it's that the Wheel periodically has to release pressure built up over a Turning; More like a Steam Engine's safety valve than anythin Wheel-ish.
__________________
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just figure out which questions they go to. )

I met you in a past life. You were wrong then, too.
  #13  
Old 11-13-2009, 11:24 AM
Ozymandias's Avatar
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
Ancient
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,838
Ozymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold
But the actions of the DO Himself aren't part of the Pattern, just the actions of his mortal minions. The Wheel can't predict or control the actions of anyone/anything that is outside of the Pattern -- the Creator, The Dark One and maybe Padan Fain.
But, if we use the assumption that the Taint is what gave Rand access to LTT, then the Pattern DID plan for one of the Dark One's actions. Not his minions, his action. The only direct action he takes in the entire series, in fact.

Quote:
The Pattern can and does try to make the options available to the DO as limited as possible, but there would be no story if it had absolute control over T'G. There must be a chance for the DO to win that is beyond the Wheel/Pattern's control or the whole premise of the series breaks down.
I happen to agree with you, but this isn't necessarily the case. I think it was Callandor who was arguing the opposite position (maybe not) but that other person's view was something along the lines of:

Firstly, we know Rand wins anyways, so there isn't much a story. There is a Fourth Age, and thus the Light wins at Tarmon Gai'don.

Even if this were not the case, a story with total predestination can still be enjoyable to read for the very fact that its a story filled with growing up, intrigue, politics, war, madness, baths, and having sex in blizzards.

Again, I think the story is less fun without some element of doubt, but the whole "we don't know what happens" line is already bullshit because we know Rand wins. So as a reader, it almost doesn't matter whether there is predestination or not. We know the result, we're just waiting for the details.
  #14  
Old 11-13-2009, 11:41 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,821
GonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias
But, if we use the assumption that the Taint is what gave Rand access to LTT, then the Pattern DID plan for one of the Dark One's actions. Not his minions, his action. The only direct action he takes in the entire series, in fact.
Not necessarily. It is possible that all the Prophecies of the Dragon (and the accompanying things the Dragon had to do, and hence the Dragon Reborn as such) only emerged after the Taint appeared.
  #15  
Old 11-13-2009, 02:48 PM
AbbeyRoad's Avatar
AbbeyRoad AbbeyRoad is offline
Elder
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Posts: 625
AbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
There are two basic theories of destiny in Randland; either the Pattern is omniscient and incorporates everything possible into its plan, including Shadowspawn, the Dark One, etc, or the Pattern has a set course which the Dark One can twist.
Ah, but the Dark One is outside of the Pattern. Therefore, the Pattern is omniscient in all matters except for the Dark One (and most Shadowspawn as well, as they have no souls and therefore are not a part of the Pattern), hence why the Last Battle is such a big deal.

Quote:
If Rand can't beat Shai'tan without the Taint, and the Taint is caused by Shai'tan, then it stands to reason that the Pattern knew ahead of time that Shai'tan would Taint the Source.
I'm of the belief that Rand can figure out how to reseal the bore without the memories of LTT. Min will help him out there. Lews Therin's memories just made it a lot easier. Rand has a chance either way, but a much better chance because of the corrosion of the barrier. Also, he could have tainted the male half of the Source without the Pattern's influence. Just because you tell me to take a drink of Gatorade doesn't mean you made me take a drink of Gatorade. I could have just been thirsty.

Another interesting thought is what if the Dark One did not intentionally taint the male half of the Power, but merely LTT sealing the bore as he did touched saidin to the Dark One and the taint that followed was just automatic causation. This would explain how the Pattern influenced both Rand's memories and the end of an Age (as the tainted Power caused the breaking of the world, which lead to the Third Age), without having to predict the actions of an unpredictable Dark One.

Quote:
Because smashing a hole in a barrier is an inherently destructive act. Consider, for a moment, the mental image of a wall with a hole in it. The existence of the hole makes the wall flawed. Walls aren't supposed to have holes in them! So, by extension, Rand is flawed because his barrier has a hole in it!
You can think of it like Neo from the Matrix if it helps. Sure he is "flawed", but that gives him a huge advantage over everyone else. The term flawed is subjective here. I view the barrier as an integral factor designed by the Creator to make each incarnation of a soul unique, so that the same exact person is not reborn repeatedly over time. Obviously the soul 'remembers' (for lack of a better word) all of its past incarnations (as evidenced in T'A'R with the heroes), but the barrier makes each personality completely new, which is pretty amazing.

The fact that the Dark One tainting saidin allowed Rand to remember things from his previous life that will help him re-seal the bore is poetic justice at its best.

Quote:
I refuse to accept the notion that Rand is flawed because he remembers his life as Lews Therin. To me, if a man is destined to be the direct rebirth of another man, then he is also destined to remember being that other man. You can't call him flawed for being what he is destined to be.
Ah, but Randland is all about reincarnation. Most souls are reincarnations of past lives (or "men", as you put here), and the Dragon soul has lived hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of lives. So, technically, Lews Therin was the "Dragon Reborn" as well. All people (or at least most; the Creator can always create new souls to the soul pool) are reborn souls with different personalities; that's how Randland works. It's a blessing that the barrier exists, as it allows people to be different with each turning of the wheel.

Quote:
Now, if the barrier people come here and say “but we're not calling Rand flawed,” Yes, you are. The terminology you have created for your theory defines Rand's situation as a flawed one.
Well, what does "flawed" mean, but different? Of course Rand is very different than most souls. However, Rand being different allows him the nifty ability to access knowledge from a more enlightened age.

Quote:
Which leads me to the LTT smarter than Rand question..... IQ (the most commonly agreed measure of intelligence) measures how well you answer based on your age. Older people are expected to know more facts and more ways to correctly solve problems quickly. Rand was how old when the books began? And LTT was how old when he died? A believe multiple centuries are in it.
Actually, the IQ doesn't measure much factual information and tends to remain constant over time. Once you turn about 10 years old, your IQ is generally more or less stable over your lifetime. It is very rare indeed that men in their 40's score higher on IQ tests than they did in their teens, and even if it does go up, it is almost never by any significant factor. And yes, I'll agree that LTT was more intelligent than Rand, from what we've seen in the books.

Quote:
Firstly, we know Rand wins anyways, so there isn't much a story. There is a Fourth Age, and thus the Light wins at Tarmon Gai'don.
It's a fantasy series. Obviously Rand and co. win. The drama is in how they win, and at what costs, what it means, etc. I am of the belief that the One Power will no longer be channeled after aMoL (evidenced by RJ's quote saying that organized religion may be a part of the next age, but not this one as miracles are commonplace). However, the premise of the books are that the Dark One can theoretically break free, causing Min's visions not to come true.
__________________
“I would not mind you in my head if you were not so clearly insane.”
— Lews Therin Telamon to Rand al'Thor

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met."
— Abraham Lincoln

Draw a crazy picture, write a nutty poem. Sing a mumble-gumble song, whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance 'cross the kitchen floor. Put something silly in the world that ain't been there before.

Last edited by AbbeyRoad; 11-13-2009 at 03:19 PM.
  #16  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:07 PM
Ozymandias's Avatar
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
Ancient
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,838
Ozymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeyRoad
Ah, but the Dark One is outside of the Pattern. Therefore, the Pattern is omniscient in all matters except for the Dark One (and most Shadowspawn as well, as they have no souls and therefore are not a part of the Pattern), hence why the Last Battle is such a big deal.
Shadowspawn do have souls.

Quote:
Q: How does the idea of souls apply to constructs such as Nym and Trollocs? Could either of them be reborn?
RJ: To whoever put this one forward, this is one of the best questions I've ever gotten! Nym and Trollocs both have souls, and either could be reborn, but since Nym were a pure construct (i.e. each of them was individually made, like hand-crafting) a Nym would not be reborn as a Nym. You might say that a Nym's soul was borrowed temporarily from the supply of souls awaiting rebirth. A Trolloc, however, bears a twisted, or corrupted soul, and would be reborn as a Trolloc. Though frankly, a Trolloc's soul is such a pitiful thing, it hardly seems worth calling a soul.
Quote:
You can think of it like Neo from the Matrix if it helps. Sure he is "flawed", but that gives him a huge advantage over everyone else. The term flawed is subjective here. I view the barrier as an integral factor designed by the Creator to make each incarnation of a soul unique, so that the same exact person is not reborn repeatedly over time. Obviously the soul 'remembers' (for lack of a better word) all of its past incarnations (as evidenced in T'A'R with the heroes), but the barrier makes each personality completely new, which is pretty amazing.
If each incarnation of the soul is unique, then it is not a soul Reborn... its a completely different soul, which defeats the point of being spun out again. Logically, this idea can't work in a world with souls being Reborn. It seems infinitely more likely that each soul is impact in some small way by each incarnation; thus, its the amalgamation of every Dragon that has come before. Rand has LTT's soul, plus little bits of his own life experiences, morals, and whatnot thrown in there. LTT had the guy before him, plus little bits of his own. And the guy after Rand will have Rand's soul, which is the culmination of countless Rebirths.

Quote:
The fact that the Dark One tainting saidin allowed Rand to remember things from his previous life that will help him re-seal the bore is poetic justice at its best.
Right. But in a universe where there is a Wheel that Weaves the Pattern of lives and ages and everything in between, there IS no poetic justice. Or rather, all poetic justice must be planned. Put it this way. The Wheel has had an image of what the Last Battle will look like since the moment of Creation; we know it has a celestial design and is just weaving it out, which means that it knows the entire future from the moment of its conception. Therefore, if Rand is destined to beat the Dark One through the memories that seeped through the barrier, it means that was the original plan. Which means the Dark One is subject to the Pattern. Unless you want to subscribe to the belief that the Pattern merely incorporates the shocks the DO gives it into a new design.

Quote:
It's a fantasy series. Obviously Rand and co. win. The drama is in how they win, and at what costs, what it means, etc.
Obviously we go in expecting a victory for the good guys. But there is a difference between that expectation, and an in-story philosophy that dictates that there is no chance for the Light to lose. The tension in these books is made by the seemingly impossible circumstances the protagonists face; if we KNOW those will all fade away, the story becomes marginally less interesting.
  #17  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:29 PM
AbbeyRoad's Avatar
AbbeyRoad AbbeyRoad is offline
Elder
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Posts: 625
AbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant futureAbbeyRoad has a brilliant future
Default

Do gray men have souls?

Quote:
If each incarnation of the soul is unique, then it is not a soul Reborn... its a completely different soul, which defeats the point of being spun out again. Logically, this idea can't work in a world with souls being Reborn. It seems infinitely more likely that each soul is impact in some small way by each incarnation; thus, its the amalgamation of every Dragon that has come before. Rand has LTT's soul, plus little bits of his own life experiences, morals, and whatnot thrown in there. LTT had the guy before him, plus little bits of his own. And the guy after Rand will have Rand's soul, which is the culmination of countless Rebirths.
There is a distinct difference between a soul and a personality. The soul is the core of a person, the personality is how that soul takes shape in each lifetime due to experiences. We're basically saying the same thing, but with different terminology. I think that all souls are reborn into new bodies (vessels) with a barrier in place to keep our their past memories. However, the personality that each soul develops is due to unique experiences, which explains why each incarnation is different. The soul is more or less the same soul of their past incarnation (and the culmination of all of their past incarnations), and the personality that develops is based on the new experiences that incarnation faces. This is the fundamental concept of Hinduism, which RJ based his series on.

Quote:
Right. But in a universe where there is a Wheel that Weaves the Pattern of lives and ages and everything in between, there IS no poetic justice. Or rather, all poetic justice must be planned. Put it this way. The Wheel has had an image of what the Last Battle will look like since the moment of Creation; we know it has a celestial design and is just weaving it out, which means that it knows the entire future from the moment of its conception. Therefore, if Rand is destined to beat the Dark One through the memories that seeped through the barrier, it means that was the original plan. Which means the Dark One is subject to the Pattern. Unless you want to subscribe to the belief that the Pattern merely incorporates the shocks the DO gives it into a new design.
I edited my above post to include the following, which I will repost for coherence:

Another interesting thought is what if the Dark One did not intentionally taint the male half of the Power, but merely LTT sealing the bore as he did touched saidin to the Dark One and the taint that followed was just automatic causation. This would explain how the Pattern influenced both Rand's memories and the end of an Age (as the tainted Power caused the breaking of the world, which lead to the Third Age), without having to predict the actions of an unpredictable Dark One.

It would also explain that the Creator created the Pattern to cleverly use the Dark One's very nature to keep him perpetually imprisoned, as well as be the catalyst by which each new Age ends/begins.
__________________
“I would not mind you in my head if you were not so clearly insane.”
— Lews Therin Telamon to Rand al'Thor

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met."
— Abraham Lincoln

Draw a crazy picture, write a nutty poem. Sing a mumble-gumble song, whistle through your comb. Do a loony-goony dance 'cross the kitchen floor. Put something silly in the world that ain't been there before.

Last edited by AbbeyRoad; 11-13-2009 at 03:35 PM.
  #18  
Old 11-13-2009, 05:24 PM
Ozymandias's Avatar
Ozymandias Ozymandias is offline
Ancient
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,838
Ozymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to allOzymandias is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeyRoad
Do gray men have souls?
Well thats a matter of some debate. I'm sure your referring to the following passage (as well as their nickname as the Soulless) as evidence for their lack of soul.

Quote:
TITLE: Dragon Reborn
CHAPTER: 15 - The Gray Man
"The Soulless?" Egwene said, a tremor in her voice, at the same time that Nynaeve said, "A Gray Man?" Sheriam glanced at them, a look as penetrating as it was brief. "Not a part of your studies, yet, but you seem to have gone beyond the rules in a great many ways. And considering you found this . . . . " She gestured to the corpse. "The Soulless, the Gray Men, give up their souls to serve the Dark One as assassins. They are not really alive, after that. Not quite dead, but not truly alive. And despite the name, some Gray Men are women. A very few. Even among Darkfriends, only a handful of women are stupid enough to make that sacrifice. You can look right at them and hardly notice them, until it is too late. He was as much as dead while he walked. Now, only my eyes tell me that what is lying there ever lived at all." She gave them another long look. "No Gray Man has dared enter Tar Valon since the Trolloc Wars."
The bold passage being the crucial one. However, semantically, its important to note that at no point does Sheriam say that have no soul, merely that they gave it up. Which very well could be a metaphorical term for giving over to the Shadow.

Quote:
The soul is more or less the same soul of their past incarnation (and the culmination of all of their past incarnations), and the personality that develops is based on the new experiences that incarnation faces. This is the fundamental concept of Hinduism, which RJ based his series on.
I agree with this wholeheartedly... but its important to differentiate between the terms "soul" and "personality". Though you have to expect that being the Dragon Reborn, and having that particular soul, predisposes Rand to some traits; leadership, channeling (obviously), and a few other personality items.
  #19  
Old 11-13-2009, 07:33 PM
Belazamon's Avatar
Belazamon Belazamon is offline
Hero of the Horn
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: West Springfield, MA
Posts: 2,309
Belazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant futureBelazamon has a brilliant future
Send a message via AIM to Belazamon
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozy
There are two basic theories of destiny in Randland; either the Pattern is omniscient and incorporates everything possible into its plan, including Shadowspawn, the Dark One, etc, or the Pattern has a set course which the Dark One can twist.
Just a quick aside - sorry if someone else said it, I admit I skimmed the last few long responses.

I think there's a very important point that we must keep in mind. The Pattern isn't woven already; the Wheel weaves, present tense emphasised. Yes, there's a design that is planned into the Pattern, and that Pattern is what is being followed by the Wheel - this is why Min can have her viewings, and Dreamers can dream what will happen, etc. But just because there's a preexisting pattern doesn't mean the final product will follow that pattern perfectly. This, IMHO, is where the Dark One comes in; his actions are attempts to foul the threads, to jostle the Wheel itself, so that the Pattern is altered in his favour. And the Wheel is forced (metaphysically, of course) to take corrective action to return to the pre-designed Pattern that it is meant to follow.

TL;DR - the two theories are not incompatible (for a given value of "omniscient").
__________________
Stating your opinion as a fact doesn't make it any less your opinion.

No one cares, no one sympathizes
You just stand around and play synthesizers
  #20  
Old 11-14-2009, 08:33 PM
Lord Bloodpath's Avatar
Lord Bloodpath Lord Bloodpath is offline
Elder
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 71
Lord Bloodpath is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by abbeyroad
Actually, the IQ doesn't measure much factual information and tends to remain constant over time. Once you turn about 10 years old, your IQ is generally more or less stable over your lifetime. It is very rare indeed that men in their 40's score higher on IQ tests than they did in their teens, and even if it does go up, it is almost never by any significant factor. And yes, I'll agree that LTT was more intelligent than Rand, from what we've seen in the books.
Actually, IQ tends to go down slightly as one gets older. I think you misunderstood what I said ealier. Let me be more clear, a ten year old is only expected to get a certain number of correct answers in under a certain time. The same is true of a 40 year old. I believe the increments are yearly but I could be mistaken. If your IQ is 200, that means that at whatever age you took the test, you scored as if you were twice that age. The fact is that there is a significant gap between a little kid with an IQ of 150 and an adult with an IQ of 150. If LTT were around 400 years old when he died, that would still mean he had a tremendous lead on Rand.

The fact that some of you think LTT is smarter than Rand is good evidence of the 'realer' theory, but we won't go into that here
__________________
Batya: Shared pain is halved. Shared joy is doubled. Shared evil...
Missy: ...increases exponentially in a geometric progression not definable by modern mathematics.

Berelain: You were frozen, so I helped you by taking off your clothes and putting you in my tent.
Perrin: You have a unique way of helping people. I feel strangely satisfied.
Berelain: Oh, I helped myself too. Abracadabra.
*By ISAM*
 

Tags
barrier degradation, lews therin


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.