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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Are people rewarded/punished in an afterlife or the next life?


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As I understand it after death the soul is reincarnated after an unknown time into a newborn with no memories of earlier lives. So is there or not a reward/punishment system for moral/immoral behavior?

 

1. Between "real" lives the soul is placed in a heaven or hell depending on its prior conduct.

2. Kharma based reincarnation where the pleasure in the next life is based on moral conduct in the prior. So if you have been bad your next life will be miserable.

3. Prior moral conduct is ignored and the soul is randomly assigned to a newborn.

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In the case of this series, a combination of 1 and 3. As long as you don't submit to the DO then you get reborn irrelivent of previous lives (unless your one of the special few such as the heroes of the horn or the Dragon), however, those who have commit less moral behavior are more likly to try and cut a deal with the DO and thus, go to some sort of hell.

 

As for heaven, it's not really been mentioned much within the series. If we were to look at the heroes and the Dragon, they spend their offtime in the World of Dreams which is at least partly controlled by thought. So if I were to assume that the soul of any person still existed in a sense after they died, we could guess that a similar thing would happen to them, but less tied to the wheel, such as being unable to remember previous lives.

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Jordan mentioned that he used a lot of the Eastern cultures beliefs in the cyclical view of time, ie: the wheel of time.

 

if we look at those cultures (hindu, buddhist, etc), then there is not so much "reward" for a good life, but that the better lives get recycled in better roles as you get reborn.  Think of it as promoting your top employees.  Sort of.

 

As the next age comes around, the lives are re-spun into the pattern.  Those lives (again, taking from ancient Eastern cultures) get slotted according to their best fit in the pattern.  Those who lived "good" lives will get used in higher beings.  Those who don't will get recycled as lower lives.  Sort of.

 

Very, very, very stripped down version... but it kind of fits. 

 

If we look at the books, several characters mention "hope of rebirth", thus proving (to me, anyway) that the characters in Randland believe in reincarnation.  Whether or not they move up or down the "social ladder" or even the "evolution ladder" is not really mentioned.  So, yes, someone could be a king or queen in one age, and nothing more than a beggar in another. 

 

Maybe their life choices dictate... maybe they don't.  I would wager, though, that living in a time like that, there would be "religous" philosophies that teach exactly that.  ie: Be good in this age, and in the next you'll be queen!  If you don't eat your spinnach like a good boy, you'll be reborn in the next age as a slug!  Follow the Light and you will be reborn in the next age!

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