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Three oaths


callandor
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Guest Cadsuane

They are pretty reasonable oaths to take, I think they are a good way to somewhat circumscribe the unfair advantage channelers have without infringing too much on the ability so as to make it useless.

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Wow, six votes... that's IT?! I expected this to be more discussed/voted on. Well, I'll open. I think the three oaths should definitely be removed. (Btw, if someone can tell me how to make a paragraph break, I'll be overjoyed). First of all, we know they did not have the three oaths in the age of legends. Secondly, we know for a fact it reduces the lifespan of Aes Sedai who take them, perhaps permanently. I realize it was SUGGESTED that this would go away if a sister had it removed during retirement, but I've not read any absolute confirmation of this. Thirdly... what good are they? In CoS, Egwene mentions that men don't trust Aes Sedai any more simply because they can't lie, in fact, they are less trusting. The three oaths are what caused Aes Sedai to have to dance words they way they do. Perhaps if they didn't have this constraint, they would be more straightforward. (Admittedly, unlikely) As far as the use of the power and making of weapons... weapons are needed against the shadow, and the tower can effectively regulate a sister's behavior without the need for an unbreakable oath. Anyway, that's my two cents.

 

EDIT: I didnt open apparently, caddy posted while I was typing :P

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I Think they should stay as it makes everyone feel safe, trust them etc. Perhaps they should make a battle legion of kins woman (eventually this would be retired green sisters etc), that can channel without the three oaths but are under the direct control of the white tower.

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Guest Cadsuane
EDIT: I didnt open apparently' date=' caddy posted while I was typing :P[/quote']Neener neener. 8)
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Guest Cadsuane

I'm stalking you.

 

 

Actually, I just have NOTHING to do at work. And I really mean nothing. I have sent out a few emails last week and today trying to see if anyone has stuff they could use help on, but there just isn't a lot to do in our center right now. :?

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Wow, six votes... that's IT?! I expected this to be more discussed/voted on. Well, I'll open. I think the three oaths should definitely be removed. (Btw, if someone can tell me how to make a paragraph break, I'll be overjoyed).

 

Six votes in half an hour isn't half bad, really ;) You make a paragraph break by pressing the enter key twice. There's no special tag or anything.

 

I think that there is potential for the three oaths -- in conjunction with improved Aes Sedai behavior -- to raise public opinion and trust of Aes Sedai. Aes Sedai are currently far too obsessed with people showing them their "due" respect, far too obsessed with manipulating people rather than working with them, that the oaths (as reasonable as I think they are) have little chance of helping public relations.

 

As far as the point about shortening lifespan...I suppose that Aes Sedai should be more open to other channeler groups existing openly, such as the Kin, so that any woman who objects to the shortened lifespan of the oaths can simply give up being an Aes Sedai, and join another group instead.

 

Then again, Aes Sedai could take the Wise Ones' approach and remain part of their communities, and give up the oaths. After all, Wise Ones seem to get much more respect and trust than Aes Sedai.

 

Geh. I can't make up my mind.

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Guest Cadsuane
As far as the point about shortening lifespan...I suppose that Aes Sedai should be more open to other channeler groups existing openly' date=' such as the Kin, so that any woman who objects to the shortened lifespan of the oaths can simply give up being an Aes Sedai, and join another group instead.[/quote']

I think that if there are going to be groups of channelers such as the Kin that become large groups and living openly, then it doesn't make sense for one set to keep the oaths and the other not to. Any good things that come of the oaths come because of the circumscription of the uses of the OP. If one group doesn't have that, then it doesn't matter that the other does, since there will be large groups of channelers allowed to do whatever they like.

 

Then again, because of the way the Kin started, they may have more respect and trust from their communities, even without the oaths, and they may be the way that people begin to trust channelers again, even without the oaths.

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I just noticed:

 

if there is BA that has not yet removed the oaths, when (if) they get rid of the 3 oaths, they will then have a good reason for not having them. Then they will be able to do things a little less secretly.

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It's discussed several times throughout the series, pretty mmuch from the time Egwene, Nynaeve, and Elyane are set to hunt down the Black Ajah.

The circusmtantial proof is, I believe, in WH, though I can't remember where exactly, chapter-wise (and I'm too lazy to look right now).

 

It's the scene after they discover that one of the Green Sitter's (Telene, I think her name is) is of the Black Ajah, when a few sitters and other Aes Sedai are all huddled in the White Tower basement. When they have her forswear old oaths, she's raked with pain - as it's described, more pain than forswearing a single oath would bring. While not definite proof, we could assume that only forswearing oaths - made on the oath rod - with the oath rod would cause that kind of pain.

Did that make any sense?

Also, that fact that they swear new oaths as Black Ajah is brought up again by those sisters, so we can also assume that they got the truth of it out of Telene.

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The Three oaths are not neccesary.

 

The Wise Ones live together with thier communities without being feared or abusing thier power. And although the Kin channel in secret they do channel & they are respected by thier community.

 

And think about the new Black Tower. Men channeling without oaths who happen to be fathers & husbands, living with thier families.

 

The question of AS abusing thier power is already moot as we know that the BA are not bound by them, so the people who are most likely to abuse thier power are already doing so, without constraint.

 

My thoughts on this are that the AS should stop secluding themselves. Start taking an active role in Tar Valon and the rest of Randland. (Especcially the Borderlands with thier constant battle against the Shadow). When the AS stop being the Shadowy figures pulling the strings of power from thier Ivory Tower. they will stop being mistrusted and feared.

Its hard to see the woman who healed your child or helped you build your home with the OP as being a "Tar Valon Witch"

 

The White Tower has a role to play as a controlling or policing entity, preventing individual or groups of channelers from abusing thier ability but the Oaths are not needed.

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I believe that is in the latter books, where Pevara? and some others in the tower found one or a few of the BA sisters and made them remove all oaths, reswear the three oaths..plus an added one that makes them tell them what they want to know..what the BA oaths where are mentioned.

 

 

I dont care if the three oaths stay or go, but I feel that the Aes Sedai need to reenter teh community. that is why they are needed, they act so aloof from society that society doesnt trust them to start with, so they picked up the oaths to calm that some, and in some respects, has only made it worse...either in the double talk of A.S. or in likes of the whitecloaks naming them all DFs when something like Falme shows channelers using the power as a weapons (I know the whitecloaks did that before, but even normal people will begin to wonder..)

 

the Athan'Miere and wise Ones do it right btw. They are completely trusted by their societies, and respected always.

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For the Aes Sedai to remain as they are, a separate, politically independent entity, the Three Oaths would have to stay. Otherwise, the inevitable result is war between the nations and the Tower.

 

To get rid of the Oaths, they would have to reintegrate with society, becoming part of the nations and communities of the world, making the Aes Sedai back into what they were in the Age of Legends: truly servants of all. The White Tower would have to become something like a university for using the Power, but the people within it would have to maintain other allegiances. That will never happen with the current crop of Aes Sedai ... Egwene might begin to facilitate it if she truly ties the Kin to the Tower but spreads them through the nations.

 

Overall, I think it would be healthier, both for the channelers and the nations, for channelers to remain part of society, and forsake the Oaths, much as the Windfinders and Wise Ones do. Egwene desired that, when she was among them, because she saw the benefits. But Siuan is entirely right too: the Oaths are the heart of what it means to be Aes Sedai now. Separate. Only when channelers are reintegrated with society will it be safe to get rid of the Oaths.

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I said no, and this is why.

 

First of all there is the issue of image. The use of the oaths imply directly that without them Aes Sedai would by lying, murdering, weapons-runers. Now, I'm not actually suggesting that this is what people think exactly when they meet them, but the presense of the oaths makes them aware. It creates a degree of wariness from the very beginning.

 

Secondly, it gives Aes Sedai the false impression that what is allowed, is right. Aes Sedai have lost all real respect for the truth because speaking the truth is no longer their choice--which seems ok until you remember that the oaths are far from perfect, and lies by ommision, and half-truths occur commonly.

 

Thirdly, it plays to a mindset of inequality. Only people who stand far above anyone around them has the ability to take such oaths. And again that was fine so long as the Aes Sedai had no peers--the only issue being that now they do. The Wise Ones, Windfinders, Seanchan, Asha'men... even some of the Kin and Wilders are now playing at a level of power that puts them equal with Aes Sedai. It contributes both to the arrogance of Aes Sedai (which is their greatest weakness) and to their actual weakness when they find themselves standing face to face with these groups--concider Dumai's Wells, or the attack on the Black Tower, or current Aes Sedai relations with the Sea Folk. I think this issue here will play a large part in the Seanchan assault on the tower.

 

Fourthly, it plays to the issue of institutionalisation. Aes Sedai have in many ways become pupets of what they think Aes Sedai should be like. They play at presenting the traditional mystique of the Aes Sedai and expect instant respect. What they dont understand is that it is the woman that brings respect to the title, not vice versus. The establishment of what makes an Aes Sedai in the minds of Aes Sedai are what causes this. And the most powerful instrument of that is the Oaths.

 

Finally, with an entity such as the Black Ajah amongst the Aes Sedai it presents a false sense of security amongst the people--though in truth this is becoming less and less of an issue.

 

So... no oaths. Silly, silly things.

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First of all there is the issue of image. The use of the oaths imply directly that without them Aes Sedai would by lying, murdering, weapons-runers. Now, I'm not actually suggesting that this is what people think exactly when they meet them, but the presense of the oaths makes them aware. It creates a degree of wariness from the very beginning.

 

And while I agree that, over time, they should be done away, you've just pointed out the reason that reintegration has to take place BEFORE the Oaths are done away.

 

Imagine the thoughts that will go through the average person's mind, much less the minds of leaders of nations, if the Amyrlin Seat were to suddenly announce "No more Oaths." At a minimum, any Aes Sedai (heck any female channeler who MIGHT be Aes Sedai) would be treated with 10 times the suspicion she is now. At worst, and this is not out of the realm of likelihood, the nations would see it as a prelude to war. "After all, why get rid of the Oaths if you don't intend to lie and use the Power as a weapon?" would be the line of reasoning used. And the extending of life would never fly as a reason. Aes Sedai still live hundreds of years with the Oaths.

 

If the Oaths had never been established, that would have been all right. But with things as they are now, they'll have to be done away with slowly. They'll have to fade, more than be "done away with". Frankly, in 100-150 years, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Egwene to simply disband the Aes Sedai as her last act as Amyrlin, dissolve its membership completely into the Kin. The practice of unswearing will be established by then, and the Kin will seem much less threatening. During that time, the integrated influence of the Kin can be played up through the nations (there will be plenty of rebuilding to do). If larger and larger numbers of sisters "retire" into the Kin as the years go by, then when 150 or so years have passed, the relatively small number of remaining Aes Sedai can retire their organization.

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Frankly' date=' in 100-150 years, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Egwene to simply disband the Aes Sedai as her last act as Amyrlin, dissolve its membership completely into the Kin. The practice of unswearing will be established by then, and the Kin will seem much less threatening. During that time, the integrated influence of the Kin can be played up through the nations (there will be plenty of rebuilding to do). If larger and larger numbers of sisters "retire" into the Kin as the years go by, then when 150 or so years have passed, the relatively small number of remaining Aes Sedai can retire their organization.[/quote']

 

A very good idea, provided, of course that there is sufficient cohesiveness left among the forces of the Light to allow for this kind of deliberate, gradual ebb. If we have the problem of another Breaking (the Aiel Ocean, etc.) then there just might not be enough society left for it to work.

 

Personally, I don't think the Aes Sedai are going anywhere (even if they SHOULD). Nicola's Fortelling seems to imply that "The Guardians balanc[ing] the Servants" will occur after "[the last battle done,] but the world not done with battle." Of course, this by no means precludes an Aes Sedai dissolution centuries down the line. I just personally think it seems unlikely, no matter what Egwene wants.

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Should the three oaths be removed from Aes Sedai?

 

It's kind of sneaky to ask that question and then have the options to answer "yes, they should stay" and vise versa ;)

 

Any way I think that in order to separate them selfs from other channelers and to keep the appearance of elitism, they need to keep the oaths. One can argue that it's in the best interest for randland to integrate the AS in the general society, but you all have to agree that a semi secret world domenating mystical organization is much more fun.

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The idea behind the oaths is flawed.

 

not being able to lie does not guarantee honesty

 

not being able to make weapons--ok that's great, but ppl will always find weapons

 

not using the OP as a weapon except for a few exceptions means that you always have to be on your gaurd, because the person that can attack has a split-second advantage.

 

over all, the oaths do not grant the right to power or leadership, they are simply an illusion that has backfired. Aes Sedai are not trusted by most and the few that do lose their trust slowly but surely.

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