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The nature of Rand Sedai


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Guest PiotrekS

(Shame how such a fantastic discussion about LTT/Rand gets stuck in an Egwene thread.)

 

I asked majsju to split it off, which he did (thanks!) - all 4 pages of it!

 

I guess we should return to discussing Egwene now... :tongue:

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I got to page three, but I have to go to sleep, don't blame me for repeating arguments or whatever.

 

Rand accepts that he is Lews Therin, we are all agreed upon that point. Now this is obviously a unique situation, with Rand breaking down the walls between the lives, therefore breaking the rules and all that stuff. He now has all the same memories and experience that Lews Therin did, and remember doing all of the thing Lews Therin did. Since he has accepted that they are the same soul, and in his own words the same person, this then means that he did do all of the things Lews Therin did, and he does accept responsibility for his successes, failures, as well as perceiving his experiences, learning, thoughts and relationships as his own. Whilst you al have valid arguments, the fact remains that a) he is the prophesised rebirth of the Dragon, not simply another Dragon (we know this for sure through LTT's memories, the Wheel's agenda etc), does that not imply they are the same person? b) Rand accepts now (with LTT's considerable intelligence and 400 years of experience) that he and Lews Therin are one and the same, would you even try to think about attempting to argue with a 420 year old? (yes yes, RJ wrote it, it's not real, but that imagined experience is real upon the WoT world! We are ignoring the fact that metaphysics and time work differently there, even if it is our world too)

 

I ask of you, after I have carefully taken in your arguments, to set aside your own decision and think about it. The textual evidence mainly points to Rand being the same person, whether you bring in quotes which may or may not be out of context, they were said at one point in the writing process, and thoughts may have changed. But the book has not, and will not.

 

Cheers.

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The voices in his head are not real. I never said they were. But if Rand _IS_ LTT and truly believes there was no other version of the man, that he is the direct and only continuation of the same person, as you suggest, then Rand would still feel just as strongly about what would be his kinslaying, and likely still be tormented, if not suicidal, about it. He doesn't. Clearly Rand at least thinks "That wasn't me, that was the former me". Which means despite what they share, they are two different people. One that's long dead, and Rand, with the recovered memories of when another person used his soul.

But someone has been lamenting Ilyena's death throughout the books. Someone has been suicidal. It's the Voice in Rand's head. So if the Voice isn't LTT, then it must be Rand.

 

If you are referring to post-VoG Rand, he has healed emotionally precisely because he has accepted that he is LTT, not that it wasn't him. Re-read VoG. Up to this point, he's been blaming LTT for killing Ilyena. But he can't maintain the denial anymore because he himself was one twitch away from obliterating his own father. He is on the verge of committing suicide (again, and taking the whole world with him this time) when he realizes why he wants to continue fighting (get your bags ready): Love. And this time, he wants to do them right.

 

 

 

Conclusive, you say? Hardly, the evidence of the books can be argued in multiple ways. Can you show that my lines of reason are invalid? And remember, Rand has a certain interpretation of things. That interpretation is not necessarily accurate. Further, we do not see his perspective on the matter directly, only him explaining to other people his interpretation of what happened. Even those explanations are not clear cut.

 

...

 

The books are third person, not first. Also, Rand never thinks he is LTT in TOM, nor in the first 11 books, nor in most of TGS. So you have the highly ambiguous VoG as your sole evidence - which goes back to a point I already made: that if LTT was a construct it could be argued that Rand and the construct are one man, and were never two, but that chapter thus says nothing at all about the real LTT, because he died and never came back - that wasn't his voice. You say if Rand wasn't familiar with LTT, but surely the construct argument is that he isn't, he's familiar with a construct. Also, are you aware of the concept of the unreliable narrator?

I said, "as conclusive as you can get..." This is a work of fiction so there may be creative ways to spin everything around in a consistent package. I'm not saying there aren't any other possible interpretation to specific events, but the overwhelming majority of evidence when taken at face value point to the conclusion that Rand is LTT.

 

If you accept that the Voice is a construct of Rand's own thoughts, then the natural conclusion is that Rand thinks he's LTT. Why? Because the contruct thinks he is LTT. Is there an alternate explanation? Yes. Rand was insane, therefore the Voice thinking he is LTT was just a crazy thought. But this interferes with other details that need to be further pushed aside. Rand possesses the memories and he possesses the emotions of LTT. When Lanfear tries to tempt Rand to join her, he retorts "You loved power" with emotion and in a way that convinces Lanfear she was talking with LTT. And what about LTT's ability to draw. Rand can't draw. Rand can't suddenly be a competent artist just because he thinks LTT can.

 

As another example, Rand tries to describe to Min how he and LTT are one and the same because she's freaked out by how he talks and acts like he's LTT. Why is Rand doing this? The obvious answer is that he thinks he is LTT. Why does he think so? Because he is. One could argue that he is wrong. But if he is wrong, how can anyone in the book short of the Creator and the Dark One tell? It's also possible that he's just pretending to be LTT and that he's lying to her--eventhough he had trouble lying to her even before they were bonded. Or maybe Rand just meant they share the same soul (duh!) or that he just has the memories (awkward).

 

 

 

(Shame how such a fantastic discussion about LTT/Rand gets stuck in an Egwene thread.)

I asked majsju to split it off, which he did (thanks!) - all 4 pages of it!

I guess we should return to discussing Egwene now...

Two thumbs up for FSM and Majs.

Two very different fingers for Piotreks. :tongue:

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The philosophical problem reminds me a bit of the Ship of Theseus paradox. The basic idea of the paradox is that you have a ship that's kept up in good repair over centuries, by replacing the parts of the ship as they age and crack and rot. Eventually, the original parts of the ship have been entirely replaced. Is it still the original ship? And Thomas Hobbes made the problem even more fun, by proposing that you take the original parts and build a ship out of them - which ship is then the Ship of Theseus?

 

We fortunately don't have to worry about Hobbes further dilemma here - no one is rebuilding Lews Therin to his original specifications. At least, not that we know of. However, neither does Rand have Lews Therin's body himself. He has a body, but it's not Lews Therin's. Different materials, but can it be referred to as the same ship nevertheless? After all, the only thing that Rand is lacking that was Lews Therin's is Lews Therin's actual mortal coil.

 

Looking a bit further into the universe, we've seen at least four other people who've received new bodies: Ishamael, Lanfear, Balthamel and Aginor. In each of these cases, they've taken new names but have apparently retained their knowledge of who they were in their previous incarnation. While the methodology of their transference differs from that of the Dragon's, the effect is identical. Rand has the soul of Lews Therin, and the memories of Lews Therin, but not the body of Lews Therin. Moridin has the soul of Elan Morin, and the memories of Elan Morin, but not the body of Elan Morin. Again, the methodology by which they've arrived in their circumstances differs immensely, but the resulting effect is identical.

 

So, does Moridin have the right to call himself Elan Morin? If so, then by logical extension Rand al'Thor has the right to call himself Lews Therin. If not, then Rand does not. Personally, I'm going to go with the belief that "if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."

 

 

Finally, there's another way to look at it. Whether or not Rand al'Thor is Lews Therin or Lews Therin is Rand al'Thor, Rand al'Thor is the Dragon and Lews Therin was the Dragon. If the Dragon has earned the right to call himself Aes Sedai, then the Dragon has the right to call himself Aes Sedai.

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We fortunately don't have to worry about Hobbes further dilemma here - no one is rebuilding Lews Therin to his original specifications. At least, not that we know of. However, neither does Rand have Lews Therin's body himself. He has a body, but it's not Lews Therin's. Different materials, but can it be referred to as the same ship nevertheless? After all, the only thing that Rand is lacking that was Lews Therin's is Lews Therin's actual mortal coil.

 

But Rand is not just LTT in a new body. He is Rand al'Thor with LTT's memories. Two very separate people, born thousands of years apart, whose memories have merged into one body. LTT and Rand al'Thor were still two different people.

 

Looking a bit further into the universe, we've seen at least four other people who've received new bodies: Ishamael, Lanfear, Balthamel and Aginor. In each of these cases, they've taken new names but have apparently retained their knowledge of who they were in their previous incarnation. While the methodology of their transference differs from that of the Dragon's, the effect is identical. Rand has the soul of Lews Therin, and the memories of Lews Therin, but not the body of Lews Therin. Moridin has the soul of Elan Morin, and the memories of Elan Morin, but not the body of Elan Morin. Again, the methodology by which they've arrived in their circumstances differs immensely, but the resulting effect is identical.

 

The Forsaken are a different case and the effect is not identical. They are one consiousness transferred directly into another body, with no other consiousness' thoughts, memories, or personality in the space with them. LTT's consiousness was killed. Three thousand years later Rand al'Thor was born with his own separate consiousness. This is not a transfer of LTT's consiousness to a new body but the birth of someone else. Who later gets LTT's memories merged into his head.

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We fortunately don't have to worry about Hobbes further dilemma here - no one is rebuilding Lews Therin to his original specifications. At least, not that we know of. However, neither does Rand have Lews Therin's body himself. He has a body, but it's not Lews Therin's. Different materials, but can it be referred to as the same ship nevertheless? After all, the only thing that Rand is lacking that was Lews Therin's is Lews Therin's actual mortal coil.

 

But Rand is not just LTT in a new body. He is Rand al'Thor with LTT's memories. Two very separate people, born thousands of years apart, whose memories have merged into one body. LTT and Rand al'Thor were still two different people.

 

Looking a bit further into the universe, we've seen at least four other people who've received new bodies: Ishamael, Lanfear, Balthamel and Aginor. In each of these cases, they've taken new names but have apparently retained their knowledge of who they were in their previous incarnation. While the methodology of their transference differs from that of the Dragon's, the effect is identical. Rand has the soul of Lews Therin, and the memories of Lews Therin, but not the body of Lews Therin. Moridin has the soul of Elan Morin, and the memories of Elan Morin, but not the body of Elan Morin. Again, the methodology by which they've arrived in their circumstances differs immensely, but the resulting effect is identical.

 

The Forsaken are a different case and the effect is not identical. They are one consiousness transferred directly into another body, with no other consiousness' thoughts, memories, or personality in the space with them. LTT's consiousness was killed. Three thousand years later Rand al'Thor was born with his own separate consiousness. This is not a transfer of LTT's consiousness to a new body but the birth of someone else. Who later gets LTT's memories merged into his head.

 

I see this (which occurred on Dragonmount in VoG) as a sort of rebirth, the appearance of a new merged entity who calls himself Rand Sedai, who is neither LTT nor TR Rand but a synthesis of the two.

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We fortunately don't have to worry about Hobbes further dilemma here - no one is rebuilding Lews Therin to his original specifications. At least, not that we know of. However, neither does Rand have Lews Therin's body himself. He has a body, but it's not Lews Therin's. Different materials, but can it be referred to as the same ship nevertheless? After all, the only thing that Rand is lacking that was Lews Therin's is Lews Therin's actual mortal coil.

 

But Rand is not just LTT in a new body. He is Rand al'Thor with LTT's memories. Two very separate people, born thousands of years apart, whose memories have merged into one body. LTT and Rand al'Thor were still two different people.

 

Looking a bit further into the universe, we've seen at least four other people who've received new bodies: Ishamael, Lanfear, Balthamel and Aginor. In each of these cases, they've taken new names but have apparently retained their knowledge of who they were in their previous incarnation. While the methodology of their transference differs from that of the Dragon's, the effect is identical. Rand has the soul of Lews Therin, and the memories of Lews Therin, but not the body of Lews Therin. Moridin has the soul of Elan Morin, and the memories of Elan Morin, but not the body of Elan Morin. Again, the methodology by which they've arrived in their circumstances differs immensely, but the resulting effect is identical.

 

The Forsaken are a different case and the effect is not identical. They are one consiousness transferred directly into another body, with no other consiousness' thoughts, memories, or personality in the space with them. LTT's consiousness was killed. Three thousand years later Rand al'Thor was born with his own separate consiousness. This is not a transfer of LTT's consiousness to a new body but the birth of someone else. Who later gets LTT's memories merged into his head.

 

I see this (which occurred on Dragonmount in VoG) as a sort of rebirth, the appearance of a new merged entity who calls himself Rand Sedai, who is neither LTT nor TR Rand but a synthesis of the two.

 

And I can understand that position. My main point though is that there were originally two separate people. You have to have two different people in order to have a merger. LTT and Rand are two separate people. Perhaps these people have now merged into a new entity. I view it more as Rand al'Thor just receiving LTT's memories which of course have an impact on his personality as memories, knowledge, etc have a large impact on our personality and how we view ourselves, hold ourselves, our confidence, etc.

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ToM "The End of a Legend"

What she could draw from her previous lives now was a boon, yes, but she had no right to those memories

 

&

She'd been forced into this life, shoving other threads aside, taking an unexpected place. The Pattern was trying to weave her in. What would happen when all the memories faded? Would she remember waking up as an adult with no history?

 

So as the Pattern weaves her in the memories fade. She very clearly thinks she has no right to them in this life. Mr. Ares brought up a great question that no one has touched. What of Birgitte's lost memories? Does she cease to be those people?

 

Would really like to see someone take a crack at the above...

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Rand's thread in the pattern is continuous from when he was born ~20 years ago. LTT's thread is separate and long terminated back at the end of the AoL. That's a distinct difference between Lanfear and the other Forsaken who were put into new bodies. They are still the same thread, the DO stopped it from ending. That's why he can't save them from balefire, instantly burns the thread back a bit in time. Given that Rand and LTT have their own threads, that seems pretty conclusive that they're two separate people, despite what they share. Rand is a continuation of LTT, but while he's one with LTT's memories, that doesn't make him LTT.

 

Rand saying he and LTT are the same person and always have been is about the voice in his head. It has nothing to do with the original LTT who's long dead.

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I'd like to quote VoG here:

 

Rand:"Why do we have to do this again" he whispered. "I have already failed. She is dead by my hand. Why must you make me live it again?"

 

For me Rand and LTT are the same person.

 

Birgitte's situation is actually opposite to Rand's. In the beginning she has all the memories of her past lives. Now she is losing them and she will (if time allows) lose them all and will not have any memories of them. Like ordinary folk. But Rand is different. He doesn't remember his past life in the beginning. Then he starts to remember bits. And now he has all the memories from when he was known as LTT.

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Rand's thread in the pattern is continuous from when he was born ~20 years ago. LTT's thread is separate and long terminated back at the end of the AoL. That's a distinct difference between Lanfear and the other Forsaken who were put into new bodies. They are still the same thread, the DO stopped it from ending. That's why he can't save them from balefire, instantly burns the thread back a bit in time. Given that Rand and LTT have their own threads, that seems pretty conclusive that they're two separate people, despite what they share. Rand is a continuation of LTT, but while he's one with LTT's memories, that doesn't make him LTT.

 

Rand saying he and LTT are the same person and always have been is about the voice in his head. It has nothing to do with the original LTT who's long dead.

 

Think of it as a blanket, put yourself in the creator's shoes... You're weaving a blanket, and you have need of a red stripe. You pick up the red thread, and put it in your weave right where you want it. When your need for the red stripe is finished, you snip the red thread and put it aside. Later, when you need the ride stripe again, you pick up the red thread. The same red thread as before. And weave it back into the pattern you're making.

 

 

 

Which is not to say I think Rand has the right to act as First Among Servants, I think that would be silly.

Edited by RyanL24
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Hmm... I´ve read this entire thread and I must say I am confused... what a surprise, lol. What are you arguing about exactly?

That Rand is Lews Therin reborn as a person or that Rand has the same soul as LTT but is a different person?

 

For me there is no question about it. Rand has the same soul as LTT (Rand is just another reincarnation of the LTT soul,) but he is another person. When he gains the memories of LTT- his soul in a previous incarnation- he realizes that their soul was the same, and that what LTT has done, so has he, cause they are the same soul, but they are not the same person. The core soul remains what it is, but the personality changes depending on where you grow up, social setting, what you experience and so on.

That Rand can draw at the same level as LTT did is because he tapped into the soul-bound memories of when he was LTT, and he could bring them forth into his current incarnation subconsiously. This is ofc frightening because the ego-Rand as a farmer, Dragon Reborn in this time thinks he is the only one and the ego wants to be the only one cause on death the ego will die but the soul will continue to live, so he thinks he is going crazy and thinking that he hears LTT in his head. But LTT is just him remembering past actions in a past life.

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ToM "The End of a Legend"

What she could draw from her previous lives now was a boon, yes, but she had no right to those memories

 

&

She'd been forced into this life, shoving other threads aside, taking an unexpected place. The Pattern was trying to weave her in. What would happen when all the memories faded? Would she remember waking up as an adult with no history?

 

So as the Pattern weaves her in the memories fade. She very clearly thinks she has no right to them in this life. Mr. Ares brought up a great question that no one has touched. What of Birgitte's lost memories? Does she cease to be those people?

 

Would really like to see someone take a crack at the above...

 

Well, fair is fair, I used to think Rand being the Dragon Reborn meant he and Lews Therin were the same person, but the RJ quote says two incarnations are not the same person. So that describes a normal case rebirth. So in my oppinion, Mr Ares would be right if he were referring to standard case rebirths. Mat, for example, is not a rebirth of those he has memories of, nor is he the same person as anyone he might have actually be reborn of.

 

So it has to be said, when Rand was born, he was not the same person as Lews Therin, just a rebirth of the soul.

 

But I think for whatever reason, they did become one person, in every sense. Thats what the mental struggle has been all about. It took until VoG to complete the change, until Rand really accepted it, or stopped resisting it, however you want to word it. Admittedly, this change could very well be the one in the prophecy/Mins vision or whatever where Rand will merge with another man. Because the RJ quote means they were two men, but the books show them become one.

 

So I think Rand and Lews Therin were not originally the same man, but they did BECOME one person.

Edited by Drekka Mort
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Hmm... I´ve read this entire thread and I must say I am confused... what a surprise, lol. What are you arguing about exactly?

That Rand is Lews Therin reborn as a person or that Rand has the same soul as LTT but is a different person?

 

For me there is no question about it. Rand has the same soul as LTT (Rand is just another reincarnation of the LTT soul,) but he is another person. When he gains the memories of LTT- his soul in a previous incarnation- he realizes that their soul was the same, and that what LTT has done, so has he, cause they are the same soul, but they are not the same person. The core soul remains what it is, but the personality changes depending on where you grow up, social setting, what you experience and so on.

 

 

But now Rand has memories and experience from when he grew up and his social setting both in AOL and present time. He grew up more than 3000 years ago and he remembers that experience. Then he grew up again in modern times. But he has memories of both, he remembers the social settings of both, he has the experience of both men. Iliyena is as much part of his world as Min. For Rand Sedai Lanfear is Mierin. Rand would not call her that only because he knows that was her name. He calls her that, because for him she is Mierin. Sharing the same memories+sharing the same soul should mean that The Dragon and The Dragon :wink: are one person.

Examples with amnesia from other members are quite on the point.

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Hmm... I´ve read this entire thread and I must say I am confused... what a surprise, lol. What are you arguing about exactly?

That Rand is Lews Therin reborn as a person or that Rand has the same soul as LTT but is a different person?

 

For me there is no question about it. Rand has the same soul as LTT (Rand is just another reincarnation of the LTT soul,) but he is another person. When he gains the memories of LTT- his soul in a previous incarnation- he realizes that their soul was the same, and that what LTT has done, so has he, cause they are the same soul, but they are not the same person. The core soul remains what it is, but the personality changes depending on where you grow up, social setting, what you experience and so on.

 

 

But now Rand has memories and experience from when he grew up and his social setting both in AOL and present time. He grew up more than 3000 years ago and he remembers that experience. Then he grew up again in modern times. But he has memories of both, he remembers the social settings of both, he has the experience of both men. Iliyena is as much part of his world as Min. For Rand Sedai Lanfear is Mierin. Rand would not call her that only because he knows that was her name. He calls her that, because for him she is Mierin. Sharing the same memories+sharing the same soul should mean that The Dragon and The Dragon :wink: are one person.

Examples with amnesia from other members are quite on the point.

 

No, LTT grew up 3000 years ago. Rand al'Thor grew up currently. Amnesiacs don't die and then get reborn 3000 years later as a different person. Yes, Rand has LTT's memories. He has knowledge and feelings from having those memories in his head. But they are LTT's memories, not Rand's. Because Rand was born millenia later. If it turns out that my soul was reincarnated and I suddenly start having the memories of an Eygtian pharoah, that doesn't make me King Tut. Even if I can now speak ancient Eygtian and know how to create mummies.

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Hmm... I´ve read this entire thread and I must say I am confused... what a surprise, lol. What are you arguing about exactly?

That Rand is Lews Therin reborn as a person or that Rand has the same soul as LTT but is a different person?

 

For me there is no question about it. Rand has the same soul as LTT (Rand is just another reincarnation of the LTT soul,) but he is another person. When he gains the memories of LTT- his soul in a previous incarnation- he realizes that their soul was the same, and that what LTT has done, so has he, cause they are the same soul, but they are not the same person. The core soul remains what it is, but the personality changes depending on where you grow up, social setting, what you experience and so on.

 

 

But now Rand has memories and experience from when he grew up and his social setting both in AOL and present time. He grew up more than 3000 years ago and he remembers that experience. Then he grew up again in modern times. But he has memories of both, he remembers the social settings of both, he has the experience of both men. Iliyena is as much part of his world as Min. For Rand Sedai Lanfear is Mierin. Rand would not call her that only because he knows that was her name. He calls her that, because for him she is Mierin. Sharing the same memories+sharing the same soul should mean that The Dragon and The Dragon :wink: are one person.

Examples with amnesia from other members are quite on the point.

 

No, LTT grew up 3000 years ago. Rand al'Thor grew up currently. Amnesiacs don't die and then get reborn 3000 years later as a different person. Yes, Rand has LTT's memories. He has knowledge and feelings from having those memories in his head. But they are LTT's memories, not Rand's. Because Rand was born millenia later. If it turns out that my soul was reincarnated and I suddenly start having the memories of an Eygtian pharoah, that doesn't make me King Tut. Even if I can now speak ancient Eygtian and know how to create mummies.

 

 

If you have all the feelings and memories of King Tut that makes you King Tut. Of course you will have some new feelings and memories from modern times. But we all gain experience, new feelings and memories as we live. That doesn't mean we are a new person each day.

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Hmm... I´ve read this entire thread and I must say I am confused... what a surprise, lol. What are you arguing about exactly?

That Rand is Lews Therin reborn as a person or that Rand has the same soul as LTT but is a different person?

 

For me there is no question about it. Rand has the same soul as LTT (Rand is just another reincarnation of the LTT soul,) but he is another person. When he gains the memories of LTT- his soul in a previous incarnation- he realizes that their soul was the same, and that what LTT has done, so has he, cause they are the same soul, but they are not the same person. The core soul remains what it is, but the personality changes depending on where you grow up, social setting, what you experience and so on.

 

 

But now Rand has memories and experience from when he grew up and his social setting both in AOL and present time. He grew up more than 3000 years ago and he remembers that experience. Then he grew up again in modern times. But he has memories of both, he remembers the social settings of both, he has the experience of both men. Iliyena is as much part of his world as Min. For Rand Sedai Lanfear is Mierin. Rand would not call her that only because he knows that was her name. He calls her that, because for him she is Mierin. Sharing the same memories+sharing the same soul should mean that The Dragon and The Dragon :wink: are one person.

Examples with amnesia from other members are quite on the point.

 

No, LTT grew up 3000 years ago. Rand al'Thor grew up currently. Amnesiacs don't die and then get reborn 3000 years later as a different person. Yes, Rand has LTT's memories. He has knowledge and feelings from having those memories in his head. But they are LTT's memories, not Rand's. Because Rand was born millenia later. If it turns out that my soul was reincarnated and I suddenly start having the memories of an Eygtian pharoah, that doesn't make me King Tut. Even if I can now speak ancient Eygtian and know how to create mummies.

 

 

If you have all the feelings and memories of King Tut that makes you King Tut. Of course you will have some new feelings and memories from modern times. But we all gain experience, new feelings and memories as we live. That doesn't mean we are a new person each day.

 

But you don't die every day and get reborn everyday. I can't be King Tut because he lived thousands of years ago and I'm alive today. Rand al'Thor is still Rand al'Thor. He just now has additional memories from a different person.

 

Man, I keep getting sucked back into this thread even though I know that I'm not presenting anything new to my previous arguments. It just seems so obvious to me. But I suppose it seems the same from the other side of the debate too. :tongue:

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If you have all the feelings and memories of King Tut that makes you King Tut. Of course you will have some new feelings and memories from modern times. But we all gain experience, new feelings and memories as we live. That doesn't mean we are a new person each day.

 

Bingo, you've put your finger on the entire question- what defines personhood. It can't simply be inhabiting a particular meat-sack, they say every cell in our bodies is replaced within 7 years. When we're slipshod with our language, we might say 'I was a different person then' if you had a different perspective on life. Birgitte popped full tilt into reality in a body with no actual history, did that make her a nonperson? And what in gods name does that make Luc/Isam? If you go down that road, you're quite literally a different person at every moment of time, but I don't think that's what we're discussing here.

 

I have trouble drawing a distinction between a person and a soul. A soul is eternal, reborn in WOT context. If a person is something else, then what? A coherent collection of memories? Matt has that, so does Birgitte. I guess you could define a person as a body inhabited by a soul with a coherent set of memories in a particular lifetime, but that's rather pedantic. Who really cares what happens to such a formulation? We care about what happens to a soul, not the particular sack its covered in, right?

 

LTT and Rand are the same soul, that's what matters I think. Veins of Gold tells us souls have the opportunity to grow over lifetimes, I think thats a pretty clear indicator of what is meant to be important and relevant.

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Rand, LTT ; the soul is the same but there are two different sets of memories and skills because they've lived two different lives. Post the epiphany, there seems to be a third set of skills that are new - the soul-gazing business for example, and a calmness that neither Rand/ LTT apparently possessed. Also of course, the ability to access both sets of memories at will without being driven nuts.

The Chosen were simply transplanted from one physical body to another with the same memories and skills they possessed earlier - one life with a blip when they died.

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Hmm... I´ve read this entire thread and I must say I am confused... what a surprise, lol. What are you arguing about exactly?

That Rand is Lews Therin reborn as a person or that Rand has the same soul as LTT but is a different person?

 

For me there is no question about it. Rand has the same soul as LTT (Rand is just another reincarnation of the LTT soul,) but he is another person. When he gains the memories of LTT- his soul in a previous incarnation- he realizes that their soul was the same, and that what LTT has done, so has he, cause they are the same soul, but they are not the same person. The core soul remains what it is, but the personality changes depending on where you grow up, social setting, what you experience and so on.

 

 

But now Rand has memories and experience from when he grew up and his social setting both in AOL and present time. He grew up more than 3000 years ago and he remembers that experience. Then he grew up again in modern times. But he has memories of both, he remembers the social settings of both, he has the experience of both men. Iliyena is as much part of his world as Min. For Rand Sedai Lanfear is Mierin. Rand would not call her that only because he knows that was her name. He calls her that, because for him she is Mierin. Sharing the same memories+sharing the same soul should mean that The Dragon and The Dragon :wink: are one person.

Examples with amnesia from other members are quite on the point.

 

Rand´s soul in his last incarnation grew up 3000 years ago. Not Rand. I disagree. Sharing the same means that the soul that is inhabiting Rand and Lews Therins body is the same. I think the soul will be forever but I don´t know that the soul will be non changing, prolly not cause Rand said that he was meant to do things better this time, which is implying a rebirth for the soul in order to experience change or growth.

As Mark Grayson said, the point of living, dying and living again... you could argue that Rand is the dragon reborn and he is special, thus he is LTT in a new body, but we have again and again heard from RJ that the soul is the same but there are 2 diff personalities. There is a quote somewhere. And frankly... I doubt RJ would make a misstake on that one.

 

Just like the soul is reborn constantly with each new incarnation it puts on a new "skin" or persona as it experiences different things, it is a slave in Seanchan time, it is a powerful Aes Sedai in the White Tower and it´s a aiel warrior, those are the soul´s skins or different personalities but the soul is always the same. When the person dies, the soul sheds the "skin" and moves on. Different personalities but same soul, cause at the core of who they are they are gonna be the same soul. Therefor I have no problem with Rand having the same soul as LTT but not being the same person or having the same personality.

 

As for Rand remembering all those memories from LTT and picking up mannerisms cause he remebers them from LTT, that´s his soul-knowledge seeping into his consiousness of another personality from another life (two personalitys or even the rememberence of such in one body can make anyone crazy.) It can be argued that when he started having past-life memories his ego and mind devised a story that LTT was talking in his head just to cope with the trauma of past life experiences that Rand´s soul did, not Rand himself, but it would feel as if Rand did them, prolly cause he couldn´t distinguese from the two. Rand´s epiphany enables him to truly understand his past as when his soul was LTT and his actions as Rand today and what they meant for a lot of people. It makes him see from many side, not just one. As for him being stronger... he is the Dragon Soul reborn, and it is possible that the mental strain of denying his memories and who he is, plus all the drama that has been surrounding him was a hinderence. After the epiphany when he gains enlightement he can finally break his mental block and reach his full potential.

 

This is just my take on things. =)

Edited by Logains Pet
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If you have all the feelings and memories of King Tut that makes you King Tut. Of course you will have some new feelings and memories from modern times. But we all gain experience, new feelings and memories as we live. That doesn't mean we are a new person each day.

 

I've just spent the last hour or so reading through all of the posts in this thread, and this is what I've wanted to say since halfway through. Thank you so much for saying it. To all of the people on the other side of this discussion, really think about what this sentence means.

 

We can all agree that in RJ's universe there is such a thing as a soul. This is beyond debate. There are also a few other things that any character has: a body, memories. It is the combination of these three characteristics that create and shape a character's personality. What about experiences, I hear you say? Well what is an experience, if not a memory?

 

Case A: If two different characters had the same soul, body, and memories, they wouldn't be two different characters, he/she would be the same character. This is obvious. Rand is Rand. Elayne is Elayne. Rodel Ituralde is Rodel Ituralde. The more interesting (and relevant) question, is what happens when two different characters have only some of those three qualities in common.

 

The first thing to note is what it means when two characters share a soul, a body, and memories, but one of the characters has additional memories. This is just a character growing older and developing. Elayne from Towers of Midnight as opposed to Elayne from The Shadow Rising. We still consider the later Elayne to be the same person as the earlier Elayne, and the later Elayne is still responsible for the actions of the earlier Elayne. This is obvious, and I point it out not to be churlish, but to emphasize a few things. First, when I say 'share memories', I mean 'have exactly all of the same memories'. Second, and conversely, when I say 'do not share memories', I mean 'have exactly none of the same memories'. Third, a character's personality changes through the addition of memories, but that does not (I think) mean that that character has become a different person, or (importantly) that that character is not responsible for his/her previous actions.

 

Case B: If two characters share a soul, and memories, but not a body, what then? This is the case of Ishamael/Aginor/Balthamel the instant before death and Moridin/Osan'gar/Aran'gar, respectively, the instant after revival. There appears to be widespread agreement that in this case, we should consider these characters to be the same person. Furthermore, Aran'gar is responsible for Balthamel's actions, and it can coherently be claimed that Osan'gar created Trollocs.

 

Case C: If two characters share a soul, and a body, but not memories, what then? Remember, this means the two characters have exactly none of the same memories. This is the case of someone suffering from total amnesia. I can't think a case of this scenario in the books. Regardless, would these two characters be the same person? I'm not sure what people would conclude here, but I would say that it is initially appropriate to call them the same person, but dubious whether the character post-amnesia should be held accountable for the actions of the character pre-amnesia. The longer time goes on, and the post-amnesia character develops new memories exclusive of the pre-amnesia character (and therefore a more coherently different personality) the less comfortable I would be holding him accountable for the pre-amnesia character's actions, and in fact the less comfortable I would be calling the two the same person. Luckily this is not a scenario before us.

 

Case D: If two characters share a soul, but not a body, or memories, what then? This is the case for almost every living character in the Wheel of Time universe, when related to their previous incarnations. In this case, I believe (and I read many on this thread as agreeing), these two characters are not the same person, and whichever character exists after the other cannot be held responsible for the other's actions.

 

What about the other cases (share body and memories, not soul; share body, not memories or soul; share memories, not body or soul)? I don't believe that any of these cases arise in the Wheel of Time universe, and indeed they are a bit painful to think about.

 

Now, what about the interesting subjects of this thread: Mat, Birgitte, and Rand?

 

 

If two characters share only some of the same memories, but not a body, or a soul, what then? This is basically the case of Mat and the memories he's gained from the Finns. He has the same memories as the people that actually lived them, but he does not share a body or a soul with any of those people. In this case, I don't think he can be said to be the same person as those other characters. And I think I'm on pretty firm ground in making that assertion. Furthermore, I don't think he can be held accountable for any of those people's actions. I think many people here agree with that, but maybe we've found it difficult to explain exactly why that is. I think it's because responsibility attaches only when there is a concurrence of memories and soul.

 

So what about Rand after Veins of Gold? I apologize for taking so long to get here, but my goal was to lay down the groundwork for this question. What do Rand and Lews Therin share? Body - no. Soul - yes. Memories - kind of. If Rand forgets everything that happened to him since his current body was born, then he and Lews Therin share exactly all of the same memories. This means that, in that case, he would be in exactly the same position as Ishamael-Moridin or Aginor-Osan'gar. Some people keep making a big deal out of the fact that Lews Therin died 3000 years before the transfer, whereas Balthamel, for example, died at most weeks before the transfer. But what difference does that make? Sure, it makes a difference to the world around them, but it has (almost by definition) no effect on the personalities of the people involved. Also, in this regard, it's important to remember that these new bodies that Moridin et al. have were not created in a laboratory. Presumably each of those bodies had its own soul and memories before those were wiped for Aran'gar et al. to take residence. Therefore, this example of an amnesiac Rand being inherited by all of his soul's previous memories is virtually indistinguishable from the Forsaken cases.

 

Obviously, however, when Lews Therin's memories completely suffused Rand's body, he didn't forget all of his own. So what does that mean then? Well look at it from his perspective. He has 400 odd years of memories, then 20 odd years of different memories. This is exactly what I mentioned before when talking about the addition of new memories. It's almost the same as Elayne from Towers of Midnight compared to Elayne from the Shadow Rising. The differences are: First, that the first group of memories (~400 years) occurred in one body (LTT), whereas the second group of memories (~20 years) occurred in another (Rand). But we're okay with that happening, because that'd be just like Moridin living for another 20 years. We've already talked about that scenario and are confident that Moridin is responsible for Ishamael's actions, and, for all intents and purposes, IS Ishamael. Second, the second group of memories happened during a time when the first group were forgotten. This might raise a significant problem....but the first group of memories has now been remembered!

 

While Rand didn't remember Lews Therin's memories he was just like Case D, and therefore could appropriately be called a different person, and not be held accountable for Lews Therin's actions. But now, he does remember everything. Now, he's more like Case B. He's a Case B who's lived another 20 years of memories. Of course he doesn't have exactly the same personality as Lews Therin, that would be like claiming Perrin in Towers of Midnight had the same personality as Perrin in Eye of the World. (And before you point out that it wouldn't, because Rand and Lews Therin do not share a body, we've already covered how that's not important to us....if it is, then you have to change your position on Aran'gar's guilt.) The Perrin example is not idly chosen. In Towers of Midnight Perrin is put on trial for his actions from Eye of the World, even though he has so clearly grown and changed since then. That was not inappropriate, but remember Morgase's conversation with Galad about the nature of punishment, and the efficacy of judging a good man who made mistakes and learned from them. All of this finds support in Rand's conversation with Min about how he is the same person now as he was when he was Lews Therin, only he feels more himself now than he ever did then. Of course that's true, because now he has all of his other memories to shape him as well. When you look back on yourself 10 years ago, don't you feel like you're more yourself now than you were then? Don't you sometimes question why you acted like you did?

 

So my conclusion is that Rand is Lews Therin and is responsible for Lews Therin's actions, and can claim Lews Therin's achievements as his own...because they are his own. He is the one who was the First Among Servants, he is the one that, along with Bel'al made swords cool again, he is the one that led the strike on Shayol Ghul, he is the one that killed his family and everyone dear to him. He's changed since then, grown thanks to Tam, and Nynaeve, and Min, etc., but he still did all those things and is responsible for those actions.

 

Having said all that, I don't think he has any authority to claim leadership of the White Tower. I agree with the many on this thread who liken it to a former President, and point out the institutional changes, and dubious descent of the current organization that calls itself Aes Sedai (would a Senator from Ancient Greece be allowed a seat in the US Congress if he returned from the dead?).

 

What about Birgitte? When she was first dragged into the real world, she shared a soul and memories, but (probably) not a body, with each of her past lives. Therefore, at the moment that she came into existence, I would argue that she is exactly like Moridin, and should be considered the same person as each one of her previous lives (though interestingly and confusingly, none of those previous lives are the same person as each other). As she lived, she gained more memories, but also lost memories from those previous lives. I think this means that as she loses those memories, she loses the sameness that she initially had. She, effectively, is transitioning from Case B to Case D. Right now she's somewhere in between, but once she completely forgets everything, she'll be Case B, and can no longer be held accountable for any previous Birgitte's actions. Also, Birgitte after she forgets her previous lives, will be an example of Case C, with all the interesting complications that come with that. Lesson: try her now, while she's still guilty.

 

TL;DR - Rand is Lews Therin and is responsible for Lews Therin's actions because they share a soul and memories (except for those Rand adds), Mat is not responsible for the actions of the people in his memories because they share only some memories, Birgitte was her previous selves and responsible for her previous lives' actions but as she loses those memories, she loses that sameness and responsibility.

Edited by navahgar
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Conclusive, you say? Hardly, the evidence of the books can be argued in multiple ways. Can you show that my lines of reason are invalid? And remember, Rand has a certain interpretation of things. That interpretation is not necessarily accurate. Further, we do not see his perspective on the matter directly, only him explaining to other people his interpretation of what happened. Even those explanations are not clear cut.

 

...

 

The books are third person, not first. Also, Rand never thinks he is LTT in TOM, nor in the first 11 books, nor in most of TGS. So you have the highly ambiguous VoG as your sole evidence - which goes back to a point I already made: that if LTT was a construct it could be argued that Rand and the construct are one man, and were never two, but that chapter thus says nothing at all about the real LTT, because he died and never came back - that wasn't his voice. You say if Rand wasn't familiar with LTT, but surely the construct argument is that he isn't, he's familiar with a construct. Also, are you aware of the concept of the unreliable narrator?

I said, "as conclusive as you can get..."

I know what you said, and I disagreed with you on the grounds that it could be a lot more conclusive.

 

If you accept that the Voice is a construct of Rand's own thoughts, then the natural conclusion is that Rand thinks he's LTT.
But if the voice is Rand's own, not LTT's, then you must also accept that Rand isn't LTT. And that therefore LTT died and never came back. His personality is gone. Rand now has another man's memories integrated, but that man died. Only memories remain, not a personality.

 

And what about LTT's ability to draw.
I take it as good evidence they are not the same person.

 

One could argue that he is wrong. But if he is wrong, how can anyone in the book short of the Creator and the Dark One tell?
Why would they need to? We can draw conclusions from the evidence independently of the characters.

 

 

The philosophical problem reminds me a bit of the Ship of Theseus paradox. The basic idea of the paradox is that you have a ship that's kept up in good repair over centuries, by replacing the parts of the ship as they age and crack and rot. Eventually, the original parts of the ship have been entirely replaced. Is it still the original ship? And Thomas Hobbes made the problem even more fun, by proposing that you take the original parts and build a ship out of them - which ship is then the Ship of Theseus?

The difference here is that this is more a case of the Ship of Theseus being burnt to the waterline, then a new ship being built from newmaterials, being given a new name, but a few surviving artefacts are included, and later a few of the old ship's crewmembers join. Is it still the same ship as the one that burnt? Absolutely not.

 

So, does Moridin have the right to call himself Elan Morin? If so, then by logical extension Rand al'Thor has the right to call himself Lews Therin. If not, then Rand does not. Personally, I'm going to go with the belief that "if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands."
And if it looks like a dog, swims like a dog and barks like a dog, stop bloody insisting it's a duck.

 

Finally, there's another way to look at it. Whether or not Rand al'Thor is Lews Therin or Lews Therin is Rand al'Thor, Rand al'Thor is the Dragon and Lews Therin was the Dragon. If the Dragon has earned the right to call himself Aes Sedai, then the Dragon has the right to call himself Aes Sedai.
The Dragon lost the right to call himself AS when he died.

 

 

Birgitte's situation is actually opposite to Rand's. In the beginning she has all the memories of her past lives. Now she is losing them and she will (if time allows) lose them all and will not have any memories of them. Like ordinary folk. But Rand is different. He doesn't remember his past life in the beginning. Then he starts to remember bits. And now he has all the memories from when he was known as LTT.
Which ducks the point being raised - is Birgitte no longer those people she cannot remember any more? What about when she's in T'a'r - she admitted that even in her oldest memories she knows she's lived many lives before, ones she no longer has any memory of. Are those people no longer Birgitte?

 

 

If you have all the feelings and memories of King Tut that makes you King Tut. Of course you will have some new feelings and memories from modern times. But we all gain experience, new feelings and memories as we live. That doesn't mean we are a new person each day.

 

I've just spent the last hour or so reading through all of the posts in this thread, and this is what I've wanted to say since halfway through. Thank you so much for saying it. To all of the people on the other side of this discussion, really think about what this sentence means.

We have. We disagree. If King Tut died thousands of years ago, and you happen to have some of his memories, mere fragments of the man he was, without this overwriting your existing personality, then you are you, plus a bit of King Tut, as opposed to you are King Tut. Rand is Rand, plus a bit of LTT. Not LTT entire, a new person with some of a different person in him. He is the same person as Rand, but not as LTT. Rand 2.0, with the new Lews Therin patch added.

 

We can all agree that in RJ's universe there is such a thing as a soul. This is beyond debate.
Its relevance to the matter at hand is, however, entirely up for debate. After all, every person has a soul, but every soul has many people attached to it, so the mere fact of two people sharing a soul says nothing - absoutely nothing - about whether or not they are the same.

 

If two characters share only some of the same memories, but not a body, or a soul, what then? This is basically the case of Mat and the memories he's gained from the Finns. He has the same memories as the people that actually lived them, but he does not share a body or a soul with any of those people. In this case, I don't think he can be said to be the same person as those other characters.
Given that having the same soul is not a relevant consideration, if sharing memories alone is enough, then Mat must be considered these people. He remembers these lives as if they were his own, not as if they were someone elses.

 

So what about Rand after Veins of Gold? I apologize for taking so long to get here, but my goal was to lay down the groundwork for this question. What do Rand and Lews Therin share? Body - no. Soul - yes. Memories - kind of. If Rand forgets everything that happened to him since his current body was born, then he and Lews Therin share exactly all of the same memories. This means that, in that case, he would be in exactly the same position as Ishamael-Moridin or Aginor-Osan'gar. Some people keep making a big deal out of the fact that Lews Therin died 3000 years before the transfer, whereas Balthamel, for example, died at most weeks before the transfer.
That's missing the point of what people are saying - it's not that only a short space of time passed, it's that everything about them save body was transferred wholesale into a new body, and nothing of the person who inhabited that body before them survived. That is completely different to Rand/LTT. In the case of Rand, we have a person being born, living his life, then he gets memories belonging to another person stuffed into his head, he remembers another life as if it were his own. This is almost exactly the case we have with Mat, a case most people are fine with accepting is Mat with other men's memories, not Mat is now all those people (and he always was). If you completely scrubbed Rand, left his body a hollow shell with nothing of Rand, then dumped LTT's memories, skills, and personality entire into that empty shell, that would be the same situation. That did not happen.

 

When you look back on yourself 10 years ago, don't you feel like you're more yourself now than you were then?
No.
Don't you sometimes question why you acted like you did?
No.

 

What about Birgitte? When she was first dragged into the real world, she shared a soul and memories, but (probably) not a body, with each of her past lives. Therefore, at the moment that she came into existence, I would argue that she is exactly like Moridin, and should be considered the same person as each one of her previous lives (though interestingly and confusingly, none of those previous lives are the same person as each other).
And I have to restate my disagreement with this point: she is not any of those people, though they are a part of her. She didn't do the things they did. Moridin is a different case because there is only one man in there. No dispute, no other lives - the same is not true of Rand or Birgitte or Mat.
Right now she's somewhere in between, but once she completely forgets everything, she'll be Case B, and can no longer be held accountable for any previous Birgitte's actions.
Would you accept that it is all right for someone to get away with murder simply because they no longer remember committing it?

 

TL;DR
What does this mean?

 

In conclusion:

Rand is not LTT, so even though he remembers lTT's actions as if they were his own they are not, he does not share the other man's achievements.

Mat is not the people from his memories, even though he remembers their actions as if they were his own and he does not share their achievements.

Birgitte is not the people from her memories, even if she remembers their actions as if they were her own, etc.

Each is a new person with memories of other lives.

Moridin, Osan'gar, Aran'gar and Cyndane are not new people, they are the same old people transferred to new bodies - no change beyond the physical.

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TL;DR
What does this mean?

 

In conclusion:

Rand is not LTT, so even though he remembers lTT's actions as if they were his own they are not, he does not share the other man's achievements.

Mat is not the people from his memories, even though he remembers their actions as if they were his own and he does not share their achievements.

Birgitte is not the people from her memories, even if she remembers their actions as if they were her own, etc.

Each is a new person with memories of other lives.

Moridin, Osan'gar, Aran'gar and Cyndane are not new people, they are the same old people transferred to new bodies - no change beyond the physical.

 

TL;DR = Too Long; Didn't Read, basically precedes a summary of what was being said in a twitter-based-world consumable length.

 

And I agree almost 100% with Mr. Ares, with one small caveat. I don't believe Mat and Rand's situations are the same. They are more similar than Moridin's situation, so I agree with the conclusion, but they're not the same. I'm no Mat expert, but if I understand correctly, those memories are not his own former lives (or incarnations of his soul), but memories from his bloodline? Rand, on the other hand, is effectively continuing the life of LTT, but as Rand al'Thor (a separate person).

 

Everything else still works though, so it's a minor difference.

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TL;DR
What does this mean?

 

In conclusion:

Rand is not LTT, so even though he remembers lTT's actions as if they were his own they are not, he does not share the other man's achievements.

Mat is not the people from his memories, even though he remembers their actions as if they were his own and he does not share their achievements.

Birgitte is not the people from her memories, even if she remembers their actions as if they were her own, etc.

Each is a new person with memories of other lives.

Moridin, Osan'gar, Aran'gar and Cyndane are not new people, they are the same old people transferred to new bodies - no change beyond the physical.

TL;DR = Too Long; Didn't Read, basically precedes a summary of what was being said in a twitter-based-world consumable length.

Ah. Pandering to the hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobes and those with short attention spans.

 

And I agree almost 100% with Mr. Ares, with one small caveat. I don't believe Mat and Rand's situations are the same. They are more similar than Moridin's situation, so I agree with the conclusion, but they're not the same. I'm no Mat expert, but if I understand correctly, those memories are not his own former lives (or incarnations of his soul), but memories from his bloodline? Rand, on the other hand, is effectively continuing the life of LTT, but as Rand al'Thor (a separate person).

 

Everything else still works though, so it's a minor difference.

There are differences between Rand and Mat's situations - Rand's memories come from a previous incarnation of his soul, Mat's don't, and Mat's come from multiple people. But, as I say I don't consider the soul connection a relevant consideration in whether or not two people are the same, so it's really of no matter.
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As Mark Grayson said, the point of living, dying and living again... you could argue that Rand is the dragon reborn and he is special, thus he is LTT in a new body, but we have again and again heard from RJ that the soul is the same but there are 2 diff personalities. There is a quote somewhere. And frankly... I doubt RJ would make a misstake on that one.

 

 

Why would it be a mistake though? It was true at the time, true all the way up to VoG. If RJ were alive to answer the same question today, the answer might be different since Rand is obviously different than he was the first time the question was answered.

 

 

If he answered 100% truthfully, and said "Rand and LTT are two different people now, but in a later book they will merge into one person"... well, you just don't answer questions like that. And you can's say RAFO for every question posed. It is also not impossible that after answering the question, he came up with the idea of merging them into one person in VoG.

 

 

It seems to me that after VoG Rand's personality is much more like that of LTT than the sheep herder we know and love. Min asks if he's really 400 years old, and he says something like "almost 450 if you count the years I spent in the Two Rivers... do those even count?" He's now LTT, and isn't sure if the time he spent pretending to be Rand should even count towards his age.

Edited by RyanL24
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