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The Flame & Void... On the evening news!

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This was so random and crazy and awesome, I have to share.


Was watching the news this evening... er, a news-like program thing... and a reporter or whatever was interviewing this world-renowned archer.  When he asked about the archer's technique and how he is able to hit his target so accurately, before he begins to explain, the video clip jumps to the man in a darkened room with the guy sitting on a chair and a candle at the other end of the room.  I immediately jump up off the couch and exclaim, "the flame and the void!!", while my husband and his friends look at me like I've just gone nuts.


Sure enough, the archer explains how he sits in a dark room and focuses on the flame of the candle.  He then says that he focuses his energy and silences his mind by 'losing himself in the flame'.  He said that he feels a heightened sense of awareness and relates it almost to meditation of sorts and by focusing on the flame and flame only, the accuracy of his aim increases.


He then demonstrates and shoots the arrow toward the candle.  He hits the wick so precisely (and into the wall beyond) that when he and the reporter inspect his shot, they find that the wick was cleanly nicked/chopped by the arrow.  It was the most amazing shot I've ever seen.


Now, when I say that it's the most amazing shot I've ever seen... I'm no archer.  I have no idea if this is a technique used by other master archers or what but just the fact that this guy mentions the flame and void moments after I called it, was super cool.  It made my night.


And then of course, my husband and his friends ask me how I knew about the flame and void to which I began explaining (or attempting to, at least) tWoT.  I say attempt to because the moment the words WoT came out of my mouth, my husband's eyes glazed over and told his friends not to go there with me.  (My husband hears about these books on a regular basis even though he can't care any less.)





p.s.  To redeem my husband a little bit, I do have to give him some credit even though he refuses to read the books or even try to understand them -- when KoD came out, I scored one of the last available tickets for a local appearance/book signing with RJ.  I was going to be one of the last people out of a couple hundred to have their book(s) signed but to my surprise, I saw out of the corner of my eye that my husband was talking to a random fan nearby.  Actually, the fan approached my husband and rambled on and on about the books (not noticing that he really didn't care)...


The awesome thing about that situation was that this particular fan had reserved more than one ticket for himself because he thought he needed a ticket for each book he wanted signed. So, he gave my husband one of his extra tickets and who then handed it over to me.  To my surprise, the number on the ticket was one of the very first to be called (the guy was one of the first to reserve a spot, apparently).  I ended up being the fourth person to have their book signed which meant that RJ was interested in a little bit of small talk as well as the fact that his hand was still fresh and I got a perfect, legible signature.


I later learned that my husband was outside smoking a cigarette just a little while prior, when RJ was being escorted inside (he was very late that day) and my guy, being the obnoxious person he is, called out to RJ and asked, "Who killed Asmodean", and he said that RJ shot him a look like, 'You idiot'.  I gotta love my guy for that one because it just goes to show that my endless prattle about the WoT doesn't go unnoticed, no matter how much he claims not to care.  ::)

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Lol. Maybe RJ got this idea for the series from archery... I guess it would take a lot of concentration, the other reason could be that the archer had read WoT lol


BTW: thats a cool story about your Husband! I don't think RJ ever came to my country let alone my book store, but I would have yelled something along the same lines for sure lol

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I heard the same on a frech TV documentary. I tried.the void and the flame for the first time then. And tried again while reading WoT.


Love your story and the "who killed Asmodean". For someone bothered by discussions about WoT and other WoT-related things, he recognized the author and immediately found the best question to ask^^

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I've heard a myth, which I thought was the source of the void. It goes like this :


A warrior was in charge of teaching two sets of brothers. One, a group of 5, who were virtuous and were children of the Gods. The other a group of 100 (or 101), all evil and arrogant. The day of testing comes. Each student was given a bow and an arrow, and was asked to shoot at a bird in a tree a couple of miles away. Just before shooting, the teacher asks the student, 'What do you see?'


The evil brothers all answered I see a tree on which a parrot is sitting.


The teacher says that they've already failed the exam.


Two of the good brothers also fail. One says 'I see a branch on which a parrot is sitting.' and is failed promptly.

Another says 'I see a parrot' and is also failed promptly.


The last one, who was the best archer ever born, said 'I see an eye'. The master then let him shoot, and he hits the parrot in the eye.


They were all princes, and later fought a fearsome war between each other, which I think is a foreshadow of M'Hael and the 100 companions fighting Rand and his brothers.


This concentration technique is also similar to Indian meditation 'yoga'.

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