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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Some thoughts on strenght


Demiandre
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We see some times that the stronger you are in the One Power, the easier it is to learn new weaves, to live longer, and many other advantages. I wondered what provided the strenght. I thought for a while that it was related to the body, in contradiction to the soul determining the ability to chanel or not.

 

We also see that strong people in the OP tend to have clever minds, more wits, brilliant ideas. Cadsuane, Elayne, Egwene, Nynaeve all have innovations, are more thoughtful, Moiraine redicovered Balefire somehow, etc...

 

Third point, we see that something done with the Power the first time determine the next times. I take for example the Skimming platform Rand made to go to Shadar Logoth. He extended it to a big space, then couldn't expand it any further. I also believe that if you chanel for the first time under certain conditions, it creates a block on your ability (Nynaeve was angry when she healed Egwene, and protected herself with this limitation : having to be angry to be able to chanel).

 

So I wondered if it wasn't the contrary. What if strenght in the OP was determined by one's openmindedness? Or rather, by the capability of one person to question and wonder?

 

We see Daigian (the weakest Aes Sedai known), a shy person who doesn't question her situation, neither the system. On the other side, we have Cadsuane, who learned a big deal about the OP from a toothless wilder. Having to pasd a test after suffering her training. What could she have been trained too, we dont know, but it couldn't only have to do with the OP.

 

Thoughts? Or questions for clarification? I made it from rememberings, and didn't looked into the books much lately :)

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i would think possibly a combination of physical strength and strength of mind is what determines strength in the OP. Think of Rand he is both very strong physically, and very strong mentally and is the strongest channeler anywhere. Although that doesnt necessarily make that the direct link, im sure theres instances of strong channelers who arent very strong physically and mentally, another example is Alivia, who is the only freed damane who overcame the fear of being leashed.

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I'm not really speaking of mental strength, but rather of mental openness. What they believe could be possible, or not. What is feasible, what is a daydream.

 

Alivia overcoming the fear of being leashed is a proof of mental strength indeed. But I don't remember her being very imaginative... Sorilea, while very weak in the Power, is really strong willed. But at the same time, she is set in her path. ("This must be so, and I know better than you" genre, you see?).

 

So yeah, probably more a mix of criteria...

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I agree with that for the most part, though I'm having a difficult time reconciling some of the facts that we see in the books. It kind of comes down to the chicken and the egg, and nature vs nurture. Does their power determine their mindset and position? Or vice versa?

 

Myself, I think the pattern needed some strong people to make some changes, so that's what it did.

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I think it's likely more dependent on something physical (in the sense of "physicalism") than it is on psychology. Look at the way forkroot can diminish one's OP capacity without altering one's mental state overmuch (unless given in large doses) or how Siuan and Leane post-Healing were weaker due to their connection to the Source being improperly repaired. I highly doubt either could just alter their "mindset" and regain their original strength, nor do I think if one just believed enough that forkroot could be overcome. Mindset is way too vague, and what's more, too variable, to explain OP-strength and the ways in which we've seen it affected and it doesn't jibe the rather disparate personalities of the various uber-channelers, who can be and are just as close-minded as the "normals".

Edited by didymos
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No I'm not implying that changing mindset could change your strength, and I suppose mental state is not the correct word. But look at wilders, the ones who devellop a bloke. There is an Aes Sedai that couldn't chanel unless there was a pretty man in the room, or one that could chanel only when closing her eyes. Nynaeve only when angry. This is normally impossible to weave without seeing the flows, or without being calm. Clearly it's mental. Forkroot is different, as it is numbness that affect the ability, IMO.

 

And Cadsuane innovate with the One Power. As do Nyn, Eg, Elayne, Aviendha, Moiraine, Rand, Flinn, anf else. They aren't indoctrinated by "Traveling is lost forever, healing Severing is impossible, Cuendillar is lost, no Dreamer since Corianin Nedeal". This is close minded as I mean it. And Nyn has been told some thing were impossible. She tried nonetheless. And successed.

 

But he potential can be determined as soon as the spark appears, so it would mean the open mindedness involved would be judged from the 16 first years for women, and 20 first years for men. Which seems strange. And thr same wth potential Learner. They are old, and often strong/bending/acceptable. Which is strange as people tend to be more stubborn as timr goes...

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But he potential can be determined as soon as the spark appears, so it would mean the open mindedness involved would be judged from the 16 first years for women, and 20 first years for men. Which seems strange. And thr same wth potential Learner. They are old, and often strong/bending/acceptable. Which is strange as people tend to be more stubborn as timr goes...

We're not more stubborn. We're just less tolerant of the jump-to-conclusions short-sightedness exhibited by those younger than us.

 

In my experience as a parent well over 30 (don't ask), 16 to 20 year olds are some of the most hasty, know-it-all, idealistic idiots around. Real open-mindedness often doesn't start until the mid to late 20s. It happens after the real world has punched you in the gut a few times. Do you remember how rich you thought you were when you got your first job and earned your first paycheck? Did you change your mind when you realized how expensive the real world truly was, and there were valid reason to earn enough money so that you could afford a car that was in good working order and live in a neighborhood that wasn't crime-infested?

 

Even when the aspiring open-minded person grows beyond the hastiness of young adulthood, it still take a while. Before you can make rational choices between alternative ideas you still have to develop that set of alternative ideas, along with an understanding about the advantages and flaws of those ideas.

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We see some times that the stronger you are in the One Power, the easier it is to learn new weaves, to live longer, and many other advantages. I wondered what provided the strenght. I thought for a while that it was related to the body, in contradiction to the soul determining the ability to chanel or not.

 

We also see that strong people in the OP tend to have clever minds, more wits, brilliant ideas. Cadsuane, Elayne, Egwene, Nynaeve all have innovations, are more thoughtful, Moiraine redicovered Balefire somehow, etc...

 

Third point, we see that something done with the Power the first time determine the next times. I take for example the Skimming platform Rand made to go to Shadar Logoth. He extended it to a big space, then couldn't expand it any further. I also believe that if you chanel for the first time under certain conditions, it creates a block on your ability (Nynaeve was angry when she healed Egwene, and protected herself with this limitation : having to be angry to be able to chanel).

 

So I wondered if it wasn't the contrary. What if strenght in the OP was determined by one's openmindedness? Or rather, by the capability of one person to question and wonder?

 

We see Daigian (the weakest Aes Sedai known), a shy person who doesn't question her situation, neither the system. On the other side, we have Cadsuane, who learned a big deal about the OP from a toothless wilder. Having to pasd a test after suffering her training. What could she have been trained too, we dont know, but it couldn't only have to do with the OP.

 

Thoughts? Or questions for clarification? I made it from rememberings, and didn't looked into the books much lately :)

 

i find that age and the strength in one power have no coorelation. but instead it is something like the block on wilders the more open minded the more the one power can afect your age and looks

Edited by The Light Incarnate
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i find that age and the strength in one power have no coorelation. but instead it is something like the block on wilders the more open minded the more the one power can afect your age and looks

 

The way you look is entirely unaffected by "open mindedness". That's purely a function of how early you start channeling. So long as you do it semi-regularly, you will slow. The amount of slowing is related to strength: more strength, more slowing.

 

Also, OP strength follows a standard bell-curve distribution:

 

For Papazen, while I have spoken of souls being born with the ability to channel in response to questions, I think of it as being genetic also. In the Age of Legends, between 2 and 3% of people had some ability, following a bell curve distribution in strength. For over 3000 years, though, Aes Sedai have been removing men who actually learned to channel from the gene pool. They have been very efficient at this. As a result, the “present day” sees about 1% of the population who can learn to channel, with a much, much smaller percentage of that being born with the spark.

 

 

That's a bit too regular, and combined with some fairly old Novices who are learners (e.g. Sharina) being very strong, the effects of stuff like forkroot and fatigue on effective strength, and what happens to Siuan and Leane, we're looking at something that has no meaningful connection to "open mindedness" or "mindset" or whatever it is you call it (this is exactly why I said such a vague concept was not much use as an explanation). Not to mention things like angreal, which are just hunks of mindless matter and yet still able to have many degrees of strength.

 

ETA: Oh yeah. How does this...whateverness...explain the fact that men have a greater strength cap than women?

Edited by didymos
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I dont think the actual abilty to channel is based on the mind and its flexability. But I do think that what you can do with the power you have is affected. This is supported by rand's inability to create a larger area for skimming then his first attempt. Or Aviendha's difficulty with gateways because of using a slightly different weave during her flight from rand into seanchan. Also the need of a "crutch" for some like arm waving or a throwning motion for a fireball. That is why "forcing" someone, while dangerous, produces such great results. If a student was told to try to form the largest gateway possible in there first attempt, would this change thier future abilites? Or the limits of how much you can "lift" with the power, if asked to lift a large rock (as say the black tower does) instead of a tea cup or book (as the white tower likely does) would they then have greater strength?

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No, I just assumed it would be the general belief ^^

 

BTW, men are stronger, but women are subtler with the OP. This could well be mental also. Women think men are only good for choping trees and lifting heavy loads. Abd they think they are subtle, intelligent, and shall control everything.

 

Men think women are only good for giving orders, for plotting and driving a man crazy. And they believe they are strong, hard, and so on.

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