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Is Channeling Real?


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The funny thing is we all take it for granted that channeling is the way to get things done. But is it?

Hypothesis: Channeling isn't real. The only way to get things done is to bend the pattern to your will.

1 Nynaeve is capable of creating more complex weaves without training than women who were trained.

2 Egwene can convert millions of tons of iron into cuellidar instantaneously.

3 Rand can use tDO's power because he doesn't like what's happening when he is Adam-ed.

4 Taveren get what they want.

5 Elayne can recreate Terangreal without knowing how any of them were ever made. Even the one that unweaves weaves.

6 Rand no longer needs the illusion of weaves once he has seen beyond the curtain and manipulated the entire world to fit his vision.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think you may want to consider it like Marvel's mutant powers, or the meta-humans of DC.  It's the strength/affinity/powerset you were born with that effects such abilities.


Your idea is very interesting.  To quote Neo of the Matrix: Whoa.

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I would say Taveren do not get what they want, but get what they need.


Other thing we see with channeling, is people accepting limitations.  Aes Sedai are very set in their ways, novices etc are taught this is the way things are done.  The BWB even states the Yellow Ajah doesn't believe there is any better ways to heal.  So they don't try.  There is no urge to expand on what they know or experiment.  Since experimenting can burn you out, why accept the risk?  You see the newer channelers Nyn, ashaman, etc are the ones learning new things.  Where the newer channelers have the sky is the limit/there has to be a better way sort of attitude. 

Edited by Sabio
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  • 6 months later...

This is a question worthy of the greatest philosophers of the Age of Legends.


The the world of the Wheel of Time, we see many forms of "magic" quite apart from the ability to Channel:


- Min and her viewings

- Wolfbrothers

- Mat's Luck

- Padan Fain's Shadar Logoth abilities

- Tel'aran'rhiod and Dreamers

- Isam: two people in one and the ability to pop in and out of TAR

- The A/Eelfinn, the ability to feed from emotions and to implant memories in someone

- The Portal Stones (even though they seem to require channeling to activate)

- Shayol Ghul's reality warping, and the nature of the Dark One

- the Dead returning to haunt the living

- Bubbles of Evil

- the Horn of Valere


Is there a unifying theory that can reconcile all of those abilities?


It is said that the Age of Legends began when people discovered how to Channel. Prior to that, I imagine Channeling was done randomly and unconsciously. In tEotW, Rand was able to channel, and achieve tangible effects, without ever knowing about "weaves". Simliarly, Nynaeve had Healed many people before ever seeing what she did as a "weave".


Therefore, it can be argued that Channeling itself is a unifying theory of magical abilities. Weaves and flows are just constructs to control those abilities. After all, what weaves are used for Foretelling or seeing Ta'veren? In fact, are those Talents even tied to Channeling? Aes Sedai thought Dreaming was tied to Channeling, and the Aiel proved them wrong.


Just like our understanding of the universe is incomplete, I believe Channeling is an incomplete understanding of the universe/multiverse of the Wheel of Time. Just as we can use Physics and Chemistry to create wondrous things, the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends could use Channeling to create wondrous things. It doesn't mean either represent a complete understanding of their universe and its mysteries.


I believe it is quite possible that things like Isam's ability to pop in and out of TAR, Padan Fain's abilities, and even the nature of the Dark One, can be explained by a single, unifying theory. I very much like your idea that Rand has "shed" the illusion of Channeling. However, why stop at manipulating the Pattern? The Pattern itself is just a construct. In the Last Battle, the Dark One was able to shape worlds according to his will, and Rand was able to "counter-shape" them, for lack of a better word.


Perhaps the truth is that there is no Pattern, no One Source, no such thing as "reality", just Will.

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3 hours ago, greenman said:

What about the taint? The fact that it exists would suggest that saidin is also real.


Does it? It is said that the taint's madness is different for every man. There is no evidence that using saidin more or less affects the severity of the taint. Some Asha'man who had barely learned to channel succumb to the madness , while other men held if off for years.


Perhaps the taint is on men who could channel instead of saidin. Perhaps the act of channeling induces biological and/or spiritual changes that allows the taint to take hold. Or perhaps the taint is actually the Dark One personally touching every male channeler.

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