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Lack of symbolism in regards to the Creator.


plague fiend
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I was just curious as to why there is very little symbolism regarding the Creator in the WoT books? No temples, idols, imitations or anything. The closest thing I can think of is possibly the whitecloaks sun burst. Every civilization we have discovered has created some type of symbol regarding their beliefs. I know there are a few other things, but I would like to hear from others.

Edited by plague fiend
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I think its cos everyone knows they will be reborn so there is no heaven they have to strive for, just a Dark one to avoid. I also think that instatutions have taken the symbols and made them their own. Like the white cloaks and maybe even the white tower. If the Black half of the Ying Yang (I cant remember what they call it in Randland) is the dark ones symbol then the flame, which the current aes seida use could have been the creator's symbol originally

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I think the lack of symbolism, or any real religous sect in randland. Is directly related to the fact that the whole world basically belives the same thing about the creator. With no schism's of religous thought, no one side has any actual need for a visual representation of there beleifs. It's also good to know RJ beleived that Men would find plenty of other reasons to kill each other.

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I was just curious as to why there is very little symbolism regarding the Creator in the WoT books? No temples, idols, imitations or anything. The closest thing I can think of is possibly is the whitecloaks sun burst. Every civilization we have discovered has created some type of symbol regarding their beliefs. I know there are a few other things, but I would like to hear from others.

RJ commented on this. There is no organized religion in Randlands because there is no need for it. There is ample proof of magic so there is no need to indoctrinate and convert. What proof is needed if merely saying the DO's name causes the room to shake. Hence no temples, idols etc.

 

here is the quote:

 

Gail Ann Shafton asks: I find it interesting that there is no formal theology in the series. Why is this?

RJ: This is a world where what might be called the proofs of religion are self-evident all the time. It seemed to me there was no necessity for the trappings of religion which by and large are to reinforce us in our faith and to convince others... if your beliefs are made concrete and manifest around you at any given time there is not the need for that.

Edited by herid
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Gravity? Things fall, because they want to be closer to the earth. :wink:

 

What's the point of believing in something that's right there in front of you. Like saying "I don't believe in trees." Course, for an Aiel that may be an actual statement. Probably a Shaido dog.

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This doesn't strike me as entirely true. The old Aes Sedai symbol, Light and Dark, and perhaps more specifically the Wheel of Time and the serpent biting its tail are certainly symbols of their religion.

I gave some thought to the Aes Sedi symbol, but I couldn't make a direct link(maybe an indirect link)to the Creator, only that the light and dark represented the male and female power. The ring with the serpent eating its own tail is one of the best symbols I could find as well. A thought, does the Wheel of Time represent the Creator or his creation?

Edited by plague fiend
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This doesn't strike me as entirely true. The old Aes Sedai symbol, Light and Dark, and perhaps more specifically the Wheel of Time and the serpent biting its tail are certainly symbols of their religion.

I gave some thought to the Aes Sedi symbol and the serpent ring, but I couldn't make a direct link(maybe an indirect link)to the Creator, only that the light and dark represented the male and female power. The ring with the serpent eating its own tail represents to me, unending time.

 

They're not direct symbols of the Creator, no, but they are direct symbols of their system of belief. The Wheel and Serpent both represent time unending and cyclical, while the Light represents the power of the Creator (saidin and saidar).

 

The Christian cross isn't a symbol of God the father, but of a sacrifice and grace. The Star of David is just that, the Jewish King's symbol. The star and crescent is a symbol long used but eventually adopted by the Ottoman Empire. The Taoist yin and yang is a symbol of a philosophy. Buddhism has a wheel of life.

 

I do agree that there's a lack of places of worship and stuff, though. That seems to be because Jordan seems to believe that churches are a necessity of a world of many faiths, though, in order to keep the faith going and expand. Jordan has mentioned that disparaging the Light or the Creator in some nations in the WoT can get you flogged or worse, though.

Edited by Agitel
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Many religions throughout the years have been used to control a population. The promise of salvation in the afterlife for instance. Used to bend the people a certain way. Here, everyone knows about rebirth. There is no "what is there after death?" question haunting the people.

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Many religions throughout the years have been used to control a population. The promise of salvation in the afterlife for instance. Used to bend the people a certain way. Here, everyone knows about rebirth. There is no "what is there after death?" question haunting the people.

Your statement about controlling the population is absolutely correct. Which is why I wondered, how come the Whitecloaks didn't take advantage of it more. In regards to the rebirth staement. We know that some people don't/didn't believe in Trolloc's or Ogier. Some don't/didn't believe in Aes Sedai or even Aielman. It seems to me that a lot of people know the stories, but that is all they are, for some of them.

Edited by plague fiend
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I don't really understand the reasoning that just because there is greater empirical evidence for a creator in tWoT that that leads to there being no organised religion.. it seems to me to create an environment where organised religion is even more likely to develop.

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I don't really understand the reasoning that just because there is greater empirical evidence for a creator in tWoT that that leads to there being no organised religion.. it seems to me to create an environment where organised religion is even more likely to develop.

 

Why? When that same evidence tells us that the Creator does not intervene. It's up to us to deal with our own messes. There is plenty of spirituality rather than religion. There are festivals, holidays and traditions. Times of remembrance and celebrations of life. You even have Wise Ones, Windfinders and Wisdoms who "interpret the signs" for their people. The world of The Wheel of Time is more Pagan than anything else.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't really understand the reasoning that just because there is greater empirical evidence for a creator in tWoT that that leads to there being no organised religion.. it seems to me to create an environment where organised religion is even more likely to develop.

 

Why? When that same evidence tells us that the Creator does not intervene. It's up to us to deal with our own messes. There is plenty of spirituality rather than religion. There are festivals, holidays and traditions. Times of remembrance and celebrations of life. You even have Wise Ones, Windfinders and Wisdoms who "interpret the signs" for their people. The world of The Wheel of Time is more Pagan than anything else.

 

I put no stock in religion, too much death, destruction and selfishness. This does raise the question of why no one used it to assert themselves or their cause. There is some Peganism represented with tWoT, but not to the point one could call tWoT Pegan. It seems to me that very little attention is being paid to the Creator, but a lot of attention is given to the DO. This shows no balance and takes some believability from the books.

Edited by plague fiend
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What an interesting thing to notice! I love these forums lol.

 

Symbolism can indeed be a way to show thanks ans gratitude instead of a means of worshipping a deity. People say Light if something is outrageous and they express a hope of rebirth when they swear certain oaths. Im not sure though regarding the Dark One. Do bad things really happen when you say Shai´tan or do people interprent certain situations and events following that as the Dark One giving attention to that person?

 

Plague Fiend: About balance and the DO. I do agree with you that, that seems out of balance. If calling the Dark One by name does indeed bring attention to you in a bad way, then there should be some kinda opposing force that does good when invoking the Creator. One could argue and say that when the Pattern needs fixing she spits out ta´veren.

 

But here is another question... If the Pattern spins (not spits lol) out ta´veren then there is no Creator doing the ta´vereness. I read somewhere that the Creator is like a clockmaker. He designed the clock, wound it up, and it keeps ticking, but as soon as the Creator made that clock he abandoned it to go create another one, thus leaving the clock to fend for itself against... rust. aka DO. So if it´s not the Creator that is spitting out the ta´veren but the Pattern, should the people worship the Pattern or the Wheel? This is making me confused. Where is :loial: when you need him?

 

And another thing. People in Randland say that when the World/wheel needs the Dragon, that he is the Creator´s Champion. Does that mean that it´s the Creator that chooses when he is reborn, or does that mean that in the beginning (there are no beginnigs to the Wheel) the Creator made a soul with the affinity to become the Dragon in times of need and then just left?

Edited by Logains Pet
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I think its cos everyone knows they will be reborn so there is no heaven they have to strive for, just a Dark one to avoid. I also think that instatutions have taken the symbols and made them their own. Like the white cloaks and maybe even the white tower. If the Black half of the Ying Yang (I cant remember what they call it in Randland) is the dark ones symbol then the flame, which the current aes seida use could have been the creator's symbol originally

 

Dragon's Fang is the black half, but it's really just ancient symbol of male Aes Sedai, not really Dark One's symbol.

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The answer is simple.

 

They do not worship the creator. They acknowlege that he created them, but mostly all cultures in WOT also beleive that the creator abandon man to fend for himself after creating him.

 

But shouldn´t they worship something somehow... I mean, it is NOT like they all believe the same thing. Some believe the True Source (saidin/saidar? yes?) is a good force, which it is cause it turns the Wheel I think. Then we have those evil fanatic dogs that think all Aes Sedai are Darkfriends and should be killed, Seanchan that think channelers are lower then dogs and, we have the Asha´man that are feared cause they are gonna go insane and kill everything, and the other side that think that now that the taint is gone Asha´man and male channelers can do good...? All conflicting ideas and views that should create... something!

 

What I´m saying is... there should be little cults worshipping the ever pure power atleast, or the Light, and some secret cults that worship one special Asha´man cause he Healed someone and did good, where is the diversity?

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I was just curious as to why there is very little symbolism regarding the Creator in the WoT books? No temples, idols, imitations or anything. The closest thing I can think of is possibly the whitecloaks sun burst. Every civilization we have discovered has created some type of symbol regarding their beliefs. I know there are a few other things, but I would like to hear from others.
The Dragon symbol and/or Aes Sedia symbol used in Age of Legends might be closer than Whitecloaks' symbol.

 

idols, mainly pagan cultures have those; no character/group in this series seems "pagan".

 

temples, those seem mainly for like scheduled times of worship and/or of discussing/teaching doctrine. worship & doctrine seems mostly implicit.

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