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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Thoughts on personality and its connection to the soul


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Hi there, i decided to sign up for this question but have been reading for some time.

 

So here it comes:

Is each person in each of his lifes able to develop a new personality or is the character tied to the soul? (Imho there must be an influence else whats the point of reincarnation

 

Our only source (I think) are the heroes tied to the horn, as they are, Rand including, the only ones of which it can be figured out whom they rebirthed in.

 

A few clues i have been able to gather from my memory:

 

- In TAR the heroes, at least Brigitte and possibly Gaidal as we meet only those, do have a certain character (she helps the girls on occassion because she thinks it important and despite the fact that it's forbidden [by whom by the way?])

 

- Ishamael claims that the Dragon has joined the Dark Side in the past revolutions of the wheel which indicates a quite different character than that of even DarkRand.

 

- Hawking saying that "they have fought together and against each other many times" (not the exact quote) to Rand in the second book. This to my mind is rather weak of an argument as not all war are that of beliefs and principles.

 

- Everything LTT does or says^^. The fact that they, while having differences also share many aspects of personality provides good evidence. (Think of Rands list or on the other side their disagreement on how to treat ashaman)

The problem here is obvious: LTT is insane, so while one could try to figure how he was before his picknick in SG, it's more based on assumptions

 

Some approaches to the subjects which arent based on the book:

 

- It is illogical if a certain person is not influenced by occuring events (eg. for picking a terrile example, one being raped will certainly change) and it is hardly believable (plus LTT provides good evidence) that every reincarnation doesn't lives through the same things.

 

I'm not sure how fare biologists got there in the last couple years but i think i remember that your charater both depended on your upbringing and your genom.

Which leads to the question how much impact the reincarnated soul in Randland would have if we assume the above to be true.

 

I'd like to comment a bit on Brigitte as she's a veeery special case.

When Moghedien tears her out of Tar she's given a body which looks exactly the same as in TAR. Obviously there was no change in character through uprising and a very difficult situation on her body. If we believe it to be the one she had in some/one of her former reincarnations we do not exactly see the "essence of her soul" so to speak.

As she keeps forgetting more and more of her former lifes, the events which (imo again) carved her personality in TAR vanish out of her memory. Still I'd argue that she remains more or less the same person.

 

 

Well i guess that was it from me, Id really like to hear your oppinions on this point.

 

(If this point was brought up in another thread i really apolgize as i was not able to find it and would then kindly ask you to point me to said thread and close this one)

(Im german atually so please try to ignore my englisha s best as you can [i tried to wright understandable]

 

 

 

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I think there's probably certain personal characteristics that come again quite often during a soul's different reincarnations. Though I guess upbringing could have a considerable influence as well.

 

I would have thought certain skills come again as well. But then there's LTT being skilled at drawing/painting (if I remember correctly?), while Rand wasn't.

 

I think the Forsaken are likely to become darkfriends next time around.

 

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Well, don't Birgit and Gaidal do about the same stuff in every cycle? Go on adventures, and stuff like that ... Which seems to indicate that certain traits are carried across various incarnations. Still, I believe that it must be possible to change, depending on circumstances. And that it might be possible that changes to the soul take time, so that one incarnation has a similar basic personality that the last incarnation had - or at the least a strong possibility to be similar, unless circumstances such as upbringing prevent it. Small changes will undoubtedly occur, and those would then be transferred to the next incarnation ... and so the soul would change a little (or much) every time it's spun out into the world.

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We should remember that "free will" isn't the biggest player in the WoT.  Yes people respond to external stimuli and it can be expected than the reincarnation of Shivan will experience different things than her previous incarnation.  But!  It's important to take into account that all are spun into the pattern for a specific reason.  Randland and the entire world are part of the wheel of time, and are thus part of a "plan" so to speak.  A person when weaved back into the pattern will no doubt face many things that will challenge them to rise and fulfill their destiny.

 

It is only our modern western culture that has become so fixated on nature vs. nurture. (i'm talking like Renaissance and onward.)

 

Earlier societies had a much stronger sence of fate, and divine will.  Randland is not a modern society.  Concepts of "freedom" are much different than my concept or your concept of freedom would be probably.

 

Yes, people change, but they will still fulfill their purpose in the pattern.  If that means being strong and courageous and learning how to kick ass with a Bow like Birgitte then that is what will happen.

 

~~~~~~~

 

Also not every soul is created equal, I personally think only certain souls retain their individuality and are thus weaved into the pattern as heros.  Everyone else is more a shadow, they appear briefly respond to their environment then return to the true source and are absorbed.  Their energy would then be used in the rebirth of another soul, that soul could then in it's lifetime have a strong enough impact on the pattern to be tied to it and thus become a hero but only if the pattern needs a hero.

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Well, don't Birgit and Gaidal do about the same stuff in every cycle? Go on adventures, and stuff like that ... Which seems to indicate that certain traits are carried across various incarnations. Still, I believe that it must be possible to change, depending on circumstances. And that it might be possible that changes to the soul take time, so that one incarnation has a similar basic personality that the last incarnation had - or at the least a strong possibility to be similar, unless circumstances such as upbringing prevent it. Small changes will undoubtedly occur, and those would then be transferred to the next incarnation ... and so the soul would change a little (or much) every time it's spun out into the world.

 

I might be wrong but when Nynaeve and Birgitte first talk does Birgitte not say that sometimes they don't fall in love?

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Everyone else is more a shadow, they appear briefly respond to their environment then return to the true source and are absorbed.  Their energy would then be used in the rebirth of another soul, that soul could then in it's lifetime have a strong enough impact on the pattern to be tied to it and thus become a hero but only if the pattern needs a hero.

Everybody would have been reborn at some time or another, whether they are a hero or not.

 

DragonCon 4 September 2005 - Emma reporting

 

Question: Previously you have made it known that an individual who is severed will retain the ability to channel in his or her subsequent life, which connects the ability to channel with the soul. How does burning out affect ones ability to channel in the next life? Specifically, will an individual born with the spark but who burns out during his or her life have the inborn spark in a subsequent life?

 

Jordan: I don't think I have said if you are born with the spark you would have the have the spark again. I have said if you were born with the ability to channel, to learn or with the spark, you will, when your soul is born again, you will have the ability again, whether with the spark or without. And neither burning out or severing affects that except in this lifetime, your current lifetime.

(Not "if".)

 

Kurafire: What happens to the soul of someone when he becomes a Gray Man? Is his thread removed from the Pattern, or are threads and souls different things altogether?

RJ: Err, they are . . . Oh, uhm, no, it is gone. It is gone. And it ceases to exist in any form that you could of as real.

Kurafire: So threads and souls are the same thing?

RJ:  Err, not the same thing, but they must coexist. The thread can be removed; you die in this world. You die and the soul remains to come again and begin another thread. The soul disappears from this Gray Man, it's gone. Think of the Dark One as having eaten it. It's a fiction, but a convenient fiction for the moment. The thread of the Gray Man remains until the Gray Man dies, physically.

(It remains to come again.)

 

 

RJ's blog 4 October 2005 "ONE MORE TIME"

 

- Everybody fears death because the being that is reborn, while possessing the same soul, will not be the same person.  The fear is simple.  I will cease to exist.  Someone else will exist, bearing my soul.  But I will cease.  I have met many believers in reincarnation, and most of them seem to fear death just as much as anyone else.

(They should fear death when they don't get reborn again at all.)

 

In the series:

and may I shelter in the Creator's hand in the sure and certain hope of salvation and rebirth

...

and may she shelter in the Creator's hand until her rebirth

...

The Light send her a radiant rebirth

 

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scifi.com chat 1 January 2000

 

Linda: Since the ability to channel seems to be primarily linked to the soul, if a Channeler is gentled/stilled, will this affect his/her soul in a [future] life as well, as in, will the ability to Channel still be lost? 

RJ: No.

 

Moderator: Is the soul immortal in WoT? 

RJ: Yes, the soul is immortal.

 

 

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