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The nature of Rand Sedai


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That applies to everything the characters think or say. But then you ask "well how can we know anything for sure?". Well technically we can't, but we can be quite certain of some things as long as we use the factual information we get from them. For example if Rand thought "the sky was cloudy today". We can be reasonably sure that the sky is cloudy. Some characters may have slightly different opinions on how much cloud constitutes as cloudy, but for the most part, we have a range of how much cloud is in the sky.

No. Do not misquote me. What I said was, if we start dismissing Rand's POV because it's "just his POV" then we can't trust anyone else's POV either. Is that clearer?

It's not black and white. You don"t dismiss it, you weigh it against other facts and apply some logic to figure out how motive and perspective flavours every character's point of views.

 

So in effect WHEN we question Rand's PoV because it's "just his PoV", then, yes, we must question anyone else's PoV too. It's not that 1 is right and another is wong. You need to make your own truth from the evidence. And depending on how much evidence you have, and how reliable that evidence is, you'll be more or less certain about your conclusions.

 

That's all fine and good. Now address the specific topic. Rand thinks he's LTT. Do we believe him or not? And why?

He is LTT reborn. That is pretty much undeniable, given he have fulfilled fortellings of what the Dragon Reborn would do, he had LTT's memories, he's a bad ass channeler, and the DO is after him alone now. And Lanfear says she recognizes him, and lots of other things I'm sure. None of those are absolute proofs alone.

 

Example, you could reasonably claim Lanfear only thinks he's LTT reborn because she is obsessed and WANTS it to be him. Or, as a forsaken she lied to make him trust her for the trap she might be setting up in TOM. We only know that's not true because other evidence supports her claims.

 

Technically the question at hand is "is he the same person as LTT" and in that I don't believe he is for logical reason I have already posted in earlier posts.

Edited by Kael Pyralis
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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.

The problem with your argument is you've added an extra premise. I never said "not LTT's." The Voice is Rand's own. It is also LTT's own voice. Because Rand is LTT.

Now you've added the extra premise - I do not accept that Rand and LTT are the same.
Now you've just gone off on a tangent. If we're not arguing what I said then we're just stating opinions that have nothing to do with the initial quote.
We are arguing about what you said - you still introduced a new premise.

Let's take a look at the sequence of events:

1) I made a statement.

2) You made a counter-statement based on a premise you introduced.

3) I pointed out that you introduced a new premise that I did not agree with and specified my own position on this premise you introduced.

4) You pointed out that by addressing the premise you introduced, I introduced my own version of the premise.

5) I pointed out that arguing about the new premise is irrelevant to the original statement.

6) You continue to remain fixated on this new premise you introduced.

7) I LOL'd.

I don't see what you're getting at. The idea that Rand thinks he's LTT doesn't follow from the construct theory, but you seem intent on ignoring that. The very notion that LTT and Rand are the same is what is under discussion. You're allowed to enter new premises but I'm not? And I thought my communication skills were bad. Sequence of events: statement, counter-statement, tangent that doesn't address my point, my counter to your tangent, you saying nothing of substance, confusion, condescension, attempt to clear up confusion (this post). Perhaps we should start again on this point?

 

The voice in Rand's head is neither Rand's, nor LTT's, though there are aspects of both in it. It is not LTT's, for he is dead, although fragments of him survive, those fragments being coloured by Rand's mental state. Rand and LTT are not the same person. LTT died, he never came back. Each incarnation of a soul is a new person, and merely having another man's memories in your head does not make you that man - if it did, Mat would be the men in his head.

 

 

And what about LTT's ability to draw.
I take it as good evidence they are not the same person.
Except it turns out that Rand can draw.
Which shoots your argument in the foot - if Rand can draw, it says nothing about LTT. If he cannot, then clearly there is more than just a voice, more than a construct.
Sure it does. It says that LTT can draw and that Rand isn't just making things up. (Which is what I said in the part you cut off.)
If Rand can draw - not LTT, Rand - then Rand having the ability to draw says nothing about LTT. If Rand cannot draw, but LTT can, then Rand's newfound ability to draw indicates there is more than just a voice in his head.

You've taken what I said out of context. The fact that Rand gains the ability to draw because he thinks LTT can draw is a clear indication that what he thinks about LTT is not just his imagination.

 

The point I think you are trying to get at is that if Rand were LTT then Rand should have always been able to draw. Think of it this way. I'm an expert tennis player (not really). For some reason, I forget everything about tennis including how to hold the racquet. I then suck at tennis. Suddenly, I remember how to play tennis including how to hold the racquet, swing mechanics, where to be on the court, the tactile feel of the ball coming off the strings, the different sounds the ball makes from different spins, etc. I'm great at tennis again.

No. If Rand can draw, then there is nothing mystical that needs to be explained. If he cannot, then where does his ability to draw come from? Saying that he has a voice in his head, a construct to deal with his mental problems, in no way answers that. Rand cannot draw, LTT can, therefore there must be more than simply Rand present in order to allow him to start drawing.

 

 

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.

Unfortunately, everything is presented from the characters' POV's. If no one in the book can tell, how can we?

We have brains. We use them. Just because they don't reach a given conclusion means nothing.
How? Any information we receive is from some character's POV. If we simply dismiss Rand's opinion of himself as unreliable, how can we accept anyone else's opinion about him as fact?
The characters have access to evidence. So do we, via the characters. The characters can believe the evidence supports certain conclusions. Just because no character ever voices a particular conclusion, doesn't mean it isn't valid. What Rand believes isn't important, because we are capable of drawing our own conclusions from the evidence, and saying the based on the facts, Rand is wrong.

Every piece of evidence from within the books is based on what a character thinks they see and thinks they know. Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence. If we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks is true, then we can simply dismiss what every other character thinks is true. Specifically, if we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks about LTT, then we can simply dismiss what everyone else thinks about LTT.

Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence, but not the whole thing. We have the ability to look at evidence that is not available to Rand, to see how his own persperctive might be biased, his conclusions innaccurate. We know Rand's opinion on the matter. That is not enough to be considered conclusive.

 

 

If Rand claims he is LTT and there is nothing within the books that contradict it, then we should assume it to be true.
Likewise, if there is evidence to the contrary (as we say there is) then it should not be assumed.

What evidence to the contrary? So far, I've only seen references to what RJ said (which is outside of the books) and alternative interpretations of specific events.

Alternative interpretations are perfectly valid. We have other cases of different lives/bodies/etc. - Mat, Birgitte, the Chosen. Birgitte doesn't believe that her past lives are her - she has no right to the memories. Per the quote from the books already provided by Suttree.

Alternative interpretations by themselves do not disprove each other. They are just that: alternatives.

How very insightful. So why do we accept one valid interpretation over others?

 

The other cases of different lives/bodies don't prove anything either. In some of the cases (Mat) they aren't the same person. In some of the cases (Forsaken) they are. And one of the case (Birgitte) may not even be a person at all. Nor do any of the cases apply directly to Rand.
The other cases are evidence. You say Mat is not the same person as his memories but Rand is - why the distinction? Mat, the Chosen, Birgitte and Rand are all different cases, but we can compare and contrast all these cases. Why should one be considered the same and one not? Mat has other memories, integrated as if his own. Birgitte has other memories integrated as if they were her own, but she is losing them. Rand has other memories integrated as if they were his own. The Chosen only have their own memories. Rand alone says nothing - we have other, similar cases, things to compare it to. This is evidence. Use it. And stop ignoring the point.
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Mat is not a parallel to Rand’s situation. While he has fragments of memories of past lives, they weren’t his past lives; his soul has no connection with those memories. Bridgette is a valid parallel; however, her opinion (that she has no right to her previous memories and that she is not those women) is based at least in part on her opinion that she’s no longer a Hero of Legend. Min’s viewing of her, showing more adventures than anyone could ever have in one lifetime, indicates Bridgette is wrong about that. As Bridgette is both wrong about her underlying facts and that she’s a soldier rather than a scholar, Bridgette’s opinion is somewhat less valid than that of others.

 

Rand, a guy who has a pretty good understanding of metaphysical matters as evinced by his ability to determine a way to cleanse saidin, believes he’s Lews Therin in every way that matters. As he puts it “I suppose I am him. But Min, what you’re missing is this: I may be him now, but he was always me as well. I was always him. I’m not going to change just because I remember – I was the same. I’m me. And I always have been me.”

 

Lanfear, a woman who understood the nature of reality well enough to be able to drill a hole through reality itself, definitely believes that Rand and Lews Therin are one and the same. As she puts it, “You are Lews Therin Telamon. Oh, physically, nothing is the same except your height, but would know who is behind those eyes even if I’d found you in your cradle.” Ishamael was fairly aware of the nature of the Wheel and reincarnation, much more so than most, and he considered Rand and Lews Therin to be one and the same.

 

Rand’s situation is, as I said previously, most comparable to that of Moridin. Yes, he has the “extra” memories of growing up as Rand al’Thor. If Moridin had gotten amnesia after entering a body, developed into the same person as he had been previously, and then got his memories back, would you claim that he wasn’t really Ishamael?

 

Rand is Lews Therin in every way that matters.

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It's not black and white. You don"t dismiss it, you weigh it against other facts and apply some logic to figure out how motive and perspective flavours every character's point of views.

 

So in effect WHEN we question Rand's PoV because it's "just his PoV", then, yes, we must question anyone else's PoV too. It's not that 1 is right and another is wong. You need to make your own truth from the evidence. And depending on how much evidence you have, and how reliable that evidence is, you'll be more or less certain about your conclusions.

 

He is LTT reborn. That is pretty much undeniable, given he have fulfilled fortellings of what the Dragon Reborn would do, he had LTT's memories, he's a bad ass channeler, and the DO is after him alone now. And Lanfear says she recognizes him, and lots of other things I'm sure. None of those are absolute proofs alone.

 

Example, you could reasonably claim Lanfear only thinks he's LTT reborn because she is obsessed and WANTS it to be him. Or, as a forsaken she lied to make him trust her for the trap she might be setting up in TOM. We only know that's not true because other evidence supports her claims.

 

Technically the question at hand is "is he the same person as LTT" and in that I don't believe he is for logical reason I have already posted in earlier posts.

Yes. I do not disagree with any your reasoning. The point I was trying to make here is that since Rand is the one person who knows LTT the best, we cannot dismiss his opinion of himself off-handedly. That Rand thinking he is LTT is strong evidence that he is LTT.

 

Could I be wrong? Of course, this is a work of fiction--almost anything can happen. As I read elsewhere, maybe Rand is still insane (wouldn't that be a hoot!). That would explain why he thinks he's LTT. It doesn't explain other things...but that's an entirely different topic.

 

 

 

I don't see what you're getting at. The idea that Rand thinks he's LTT doesn't follow from the construct theory, but you seem intent on ignoring that. The very notion that LTT and Rand are the same is what is under discussion. You're allowed to enter new premises but I'm not? And I thought my communication skills were bad. Sequence of events: statement, counter-statement, tangent that doesn't address my point, my counter to your tangent, you saying nothing of substance, confusion, condescension, attempt to clear up confusion (this post). Perhaps we should start again on this point?

 

The voice in Rand's head is neither Rand's, nor LTT's, though there are aspects of both in it. It is not LTT's, for he is dead, although fragments of him survive, those fragments being coloured by Rand's mental state. Rand and LTT are not the same person. LTT died, he never came back. Each incarnation of a soul is a new person, and merely having another man's memories in your head does not make you that man - if it did, Mat would be the men in his head.

First of all, I was not trying to be condescending. I was trying to clarify what was happening. That your sequence of events differs from mine is expected.

 

Secondly, part of my proof of why Rand is LTT relies on Rand's testimony on himself. Therefore it is part of my perogative to show that Rand really does think he is LTT. I've presented Rand saying he's LTT. I've suggested that Rand would be unable to lie to Min. And I've suggested that Rand thinking he's LTT is a natural conclusion of the construct theory.

 

Now we can get back on topic. The point of contention is the construct theory leads to the conclusion that Rand thinks he is LTT. You claim the voice in Rand's head is neither Rand's nor LTT's. But the voice in Rand's head cannot exist by itself. Thoughts do not exist by themselves. Someone must be thinking them. The Realist theory is that the person thinking these thoughts is LTT, who is a separate (or facet) personality of the Dragon soul. The Construct theory is that the voice is the part of Rand he rejects as his own.

 

But someone must be thinking "I killed Ilyena." Someone must be thinking "I am Lews Therin." To suggest that the construct is thinking this is to suggest that Rand has the power to create a sentient being. He does not. Therefore, it is a naturally conclusion of the construct theory that this someone is Rand.

 

 

The point I think you are trying to get at is that if Rand were LTT then Rand should have always been able to draw. Think of it this way. I'm an expert tennis player (not really). For some reason, I forget everything about tennis including how to hold the racquet. I then suck at tennis. Suddenly, I remember how to play tennis including how to hold the racquet, swing mechanics, where to be on the court, the tactile feel of the ball coming off the strings, the different sounds the ball makes from different spins, etc. I'm great at tennis again.

No. If Rand can draw, then there is nothing mystical that needs to be explained. If he cannot, then where does his ability to draw come from? Saying that he has a voice in his head, a construct to deal with his mental problems, in no way answers that. Rand cannot draw, LTT can, therefore there must be more than simply Rand present in order to allow him to start drawing.

For the first hypothetical, since Rand admits that he never could draw, I don't think we need to explore it's conclusion.

 

As to the latter, this ability to draw comes from his memories. He remembers how to draw the same way I would remember how to play tennis in my example above. Or if you and others would prefer, from LTT's memories. This issue does not contradict either theories.

 

 

Every piece of evidence from within the books is based on what a character thinks they see and thinks they know. Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence. If we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks is true, then we can simply dismiss what every other character thinks is true. Specifically, if we can simply dismiss what Rand thinks about LTT, then we can simply dismiss what everyone else thinks about LTT.

Rand thinking he is LTT is a piece of evidence, but not the whole thing. We have the ability to look at evidence that is not available to Rand, to see how his own persperctive might be biased, his conclusions innaccurate. We know Rand's opinion on the matter. That is not enough to be considered conclusive.

I'm fine with this. I know I won't be able to convince everyone. I probably won't be able to convince the large majority of people considering I'm up against the Word of RJ.

 

 

Alternative interpretations by themselves do not disprove each other. They are just that: alternatives.

How very insightful. So why do we accept one valid interpretation over others?

We make a choice. But just because we chose one interpretation does not lessen the validity of the others. To do that, we must find evidence that creates contradiction within the other interpretations.

 

 

The other cases of different lives/bodies don't prove anything either. In some of the cases (Mat) they aren't the same person. In some of the cases (Forsaken) they are. And one of the case (Birgitte) may not even be a person at all. Nor do any of the cases apply directly to Rand.

The other cases are evidence. You say Mat is not the same person as his memories but Rand is - why the distinction? Mat, the Chosen, Birgitte and Rand are all different cases, but we can compare and contrast all these cases. Why should one be considered the same and one not? Mat has other memories, integrated as if his own. Birgitte has other memories integrated as if they were her own, but she is losing them. Rand has other memories integrated as if they were his own. The Chosen only have their own memories. Rand alone says nothing - we have other, similar cases, things to compare it to. This is evidence. Use it. And stop ignoring the point.

For the record, I do not consider any of the cases (Rand, Mat, Birgitte and the Forsaken) to be the same. Which is why I don't think it's possible to draw too much from comparing them. Which is why I think the other cases of different lives/bodies don't prove anything.

 

But I'll also point out that while Mat and Birgitte may not consider themselves the same person, the Forsaken and Rand do. So what conclusion do you draw from this?

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Mat is not a parallel to Rand’s situation. While he has fragments of memories of past lives, they weren’t his past lives; his soul has no connection with those memories. Bridgette is a valid parallel; however, her opinion (that she has no right to her previous memories and that she is not those women) is based at least in part on her opinion that she’s no longer a Hero of Legend. Min’s viewing of her, showing more adventures than anyone could ever have in one lifetime, indicates Bridgette is wrong about that. As Bridgette is both wrong about her underlying facts and that she’s a soldier rather than a scholar, Bridgette’s opinion is somewhat less valid than that of others.

 

But Birgittes's opinion matches perfectly with RJ's quotes on the matter. With the two combined she becomes a very valid authority on the subject. How would her opinion be less valid when the Heroes are the only ones that actually have access to all their past lives in Tar?

Edited by Suttree
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Mat is not a parallel to Rand’s situation. While he has fragments of memories of past lives, they weren’t his past lives; his soul has no connection with those memories. Bridgette is a valid parallel; however, her opinion (that she has no right to her previous memories and that she is not those women) is based at least in part on her opinion that she’s no longer a Hero of Legend. Min’s viewing of her, showing more adventures than anyone could ever have in one lifetime, indicates Bridgette is wrong about that. As Bridgette is both wrong about her underlying facts and that she’s a soldier rather than a scholar, Bridgette’s opinion is somewhat less valid than that of others.

 

But Birgittes's opinion matches perfectly with RJ's quotes on the matter. With the two combined she becomes a very valid authority on the subject.

 

It sounded like a philosophical statement when she said it, but it seems possible to me that she could be referring to the precepts, which we do not know. Maybe there's some specific rule against memories (not sure why you'd need a rule to enforce a built-in mechanic, but it could be in the preamble to the precepts. We know so little about them).

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But Birgittes's opinion matches perfectly with RJ's quotes on the matter. With the two combined she becomes a very valid authority on the subject. How would her opinion be less valid when the Heroes are the only ones that actually have access to all their past lives in Tar?

Unless I am mistaken , the quote refers to people reborn which does not apply to Birgitte in any way.The quote also fails to mention what happens when you add memories to the mix.

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But Birgittes's opinion matches perfectly with RJ's quotes on the matter. With the two combined she becomes a very valid authority on the subject. How would her opinion be less valid when the Heroes are the only ones that actually have access to all their past lives in Tar?

Unless I am mistaken , the quote refers to people reborn which does not apply to Birgitte in any way.The quote also fails to mention what happens when you add memories to the mix.

 

 

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

 

- Everybody fears death because the being that is reborn, while possessing the same soul, will not be the same person. The fear is simple. I will cease to exist. Someone else will exist, bearing my soul. But I will cease.

 

Birgitte says they are not her memories and she has no right to them. RJ says they share the same soul but they are not the same person. Seems to back up RJ's quote fairly well to me...

Edited by Suttree
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But Birgittes's opinion matches perfectly with RJ's quotes on the matter. With the two combined she becomes a very valid authority on the subject. How would her opinion be less valid when the Heroes are the only ones that actually have access to all their past lives in Tar?

Unless I am mistaken , the quote refers to people reborn which does not apply to Birgitte in any way.The quote also fails to mention what happens when you add memories to the mix.

 

 

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

 

- Everybody fears death because the being that is reborn, while possessing the same soul, will not be the same person. The fear is simple. I will cease to exist. Someone else will exist, bearing my soul. But I will cease.

 

Birgitte says they are not her memories and she has no right to them. RJ says they share the same soul but they are not the same person. Seems to back up RJ's quote fairly well to me...

Birgitte was never reborn.She was ripped out and thrown into the pattern again something which does not apply to Rand.In fact, you can say that while Birgitte's memories are being erased slowly (to fit better or something , no idea honestly) by the Wheel, it's shoving Rand in the exact opposite with reclaiming his.So no , it does not apply, even if the quote actually mentioned anything about the memories, which it doesn't.

 

Heck, you can say that's the whole point of it ; if you start with a blank slate , you will not be the same person,given how nothing from the previous lives will influence you.So the person that dies is gonna be afraid of death even if he/she will be reborn again.

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rand might be LTT reborn but he's a different person. He has got his own personality. So in a way he's LTT and yet he's not at the same time.

 

different personalities. end of story

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Heck, you can say that's the whole point of it ; if you start with a blank slate , you will not be the same person,given how nothing from the previous lives will influence you.So the person that dies is gonna be afraid of death even if he/she will be reborn again.

 

Sorry you lost me there, are you insinuating the point that RJ was trying to make is all that changes with each rebirth is having a clean slate without your old memories?

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I would say he can still claim the title of Aes Sedai, as he has all the memories that got him the title at that time, and thus is entirely capable of repeating it, assuming that everything needed Ter'Angreal wise is still around.

 

At the same time his title as First Among Servants is invalid, as not only does that position not exist, but everything that was behind it no longer exists as well, and hasn't for well over 3000 years.

 

As for if he is the same person... well, both yes and no, he has all of LTT's memories, every moment of his entire life, but he also has the memories of his own life. And as he stated those memories make him more himself than he ever was as LTT. Though that is, in and of itself, a very confusing statement. Still the answer seems to be both, he is in some respects and he isn't in others. The problem is the respects for which he is one or the other seem to vary constantly.

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Mat is not a parallel to Rand’s situation. While he has fragments of memories of past lives, they weren’t his past lives; his soul has no connection with those memories.

I've already explained why I don't consider the difference in souls to be a consideration.
Bridgette is a valid parallel; however, her opinion (that she has no right to her previous memories and that she is not those women) is based at least in part on her opinion that she’s no longer a Hero of Legend. Min’s viewing of her, showing more adventures than anyone could ever have in one lifetime, indicates Bridgette is wrong about that. As Bridgette is both wrong about her underlying facts and that she’s a soldier rather than a scholar, Bridgette’s opinion is somewhat less valid than that of others.
I fail to see why being a soldier should invalidate her opinion to any extent.

 

Rand, a guy who has a pretty good understanding of metaphysical matters as evinced by his ability to determine a way to cleanse saidin, believes he’s Lews Therin in every way that matters. As he puts it “I suppose I am him. But Min, what you’re missing is this: I may be him now, but he was always me as well. I was always him. I’m not going to change just because I remember – I was the same. I’m me. And I always have been me.”
The ability to cleanse saidin demonstrates a decent knowledge of the OP, not any especial knowledge of souls.

 

Lanfear, a woman who understood the nature of reality well enough to be able to drill a hole through reality itself, definitely believes that Rand and Lews Therin are one and the same. As she puts it, “You are Lews Therin Telamon. Oh, physically, nothing is the same except your height, but would know who is behind those eyes even if I’d found you in your cradle.” Ishamael was fairly aware of the nature of the Wheel and reincarnation, much more so than most, and he considered Rand and Lews Therin to be one and the same.
Lanfear, like Demandred, is someone with a personal stake in matters - she wants to possess LTT, he wants to kill him. If LTT is dead and gone, then they are both denied, but if he is alive, albeit in a new body then they have a chance to get what they want. Ishamael has a rather unique perspective. For one thing, he's insane. For another, he is seeing things in terms of an eternal war between him and the Dragon, champions of Light and Shadow. Whether or not they are new people, these new incarnations continue to fight their predecessors' battles.

 

Rand’s situation is, as I said previously, most comparable to that of Moridin. Yes, he has the “extra” memories of growing up as Rand al’Thor. If Moridin had gotten amnesia after entering a body, developed into the same person as he had been previously, and then got his memories back, would you claim that he wasn’t really Ishamael?

 

Rand is Lews Therin in every way that matters.

If Moridin had gotten amnesia, then grown into a person with some similarities, and also a fairfew differences, then gotten another man's memories, I wouldn't consider him that other man, no.

 

 

I don't see what you're getting at. The idea that Rand thinks he's LTT doesn't follow from the construct theory, but you seem intent on ignoring that. The very notion that LTT and Rand are the same is what is under discussion. You're allowed to enter new premises but I'm not? And I thought my communication skills were bad. Sequence of events: statement, counter-statement, tangent that doesn't address my point, my counter to your tangent, you saying nothing of substance, confusion, condescension, attempt to clear up confusion (this post). Perhaps we should start again on this point?

 

The voice in Rand's head is neither Rand's, nor LTT's, though there are aspects of both in it. It is not LTT's, for he is dead, although fragments of him survive, those fragments being coloured by Rand's mental state. Rand and LTT are not the same person. LTT died, he never came back. Each incarnation of a soul is a new person, and merely having another man's memories in your head does not make you that man - if it did, Mat would be the men in his head.

Secondly, part of my proof of why Rand is LTT relies on Rand's testimony on himself. Therefore it is part of my perogative to show that Rand really does think he is LTT. I've presented Rand saying he's LTT. I've suggested that Rand would be unable to lie to Min. And I've suggested that Rand thinking he's LTT is a natural conclusion of the construct theory.

I would say that as the construct theory relies on the idea of Rand not accepting these memories are his own, that he hears the voice as another man's is an indication that he does not consider himself the same person.

 

Now we can get back on topic. The point of contention is the construct theory leads to the conclusion that Rand thinks he is LTT. You claim the voice in Rand's head is neither Rand's nor LTT's. But the voice in Rand's head cannot exist by itself. Thoughts do not exist by themselves. Someone must be thinking them. The Realist theory is that the person thinking these thoughts is LTT, who is a separate (or facet) personality of the Dragon soul. The Construct theory is that the voice is the part of Rand he rejects as his own.
LTT is dead, as I said. However, fragments of him exist in Rand - not a whole person. The grief over killing Ilyena comes from those fragments. It would be a mistake to think of them as two people, but also to think of them as merely one - more like one and a half. In that respect, I could be considered a Realist. It is something more than just Rand, but less than a whole person.

 

The point I think you are trying to get at is that if Rand were LTT then Rand should have always been able to draw. Think of it this way. I'm an expert tennis player (not really). For some reason, I forget everything about tennis including how to hold the racquet. I then suck at tennis. Suddenly, I remember how to play tennis including how to hold the racquet, swing mechanics, where to be on the court, the tactile feel of the ball coming off the strings, the different sounds the ball makes from different spins, etc. I'm great at tennis again.
No. If Rand can draw, then there is nothing mystical that needs to be explained. If he cannot, then where does his ability to draw come from? Saying that he has a voice in his head, a construct to deal with his mental problems, in no way answers that. Rand cannot draw, LTT can, therefore there must be more than simply Rand present in order to allow him to start drawing.
For the first hypothetical, since Rand admits that he never could draw, I don't think we need to explore it's conclusion.

 

As to the latter, this ability to draw comes from his memories. He remembers how to draw the same way I would remember how to play tennis in my example above. Or if you and others would prefer, from LTT's memories. This issue does not contradict either theories.

I'm not convinced, as the ability to draw is more than a matter of memories. There's also a matter of natural talent - one can train to develop that talent, but if it isn't there then one is limited. What I'm arguing is that if you dumped Roger Federer's memories into my head, I still wouldn't be a top flight tennis player, in much the same way as if you went out and trained at tennis eveyday, you probably wouldn't win it either (you might, I don't know how good you are at tennis, but training as much as the greats won't necessarily put you on an equal footing with them). I wouldn't be capable of winning Wimbledon, but I would remember having won Wimbledon.

 

 

For the record, I do not consider any of the cases (Rand, Mat, Birgitte and the Forsaken) to be the same.
I don't think any of them are the same, but there similarities, and therefore we can compare and contrast to draw conclusions. Hell, everyone in the WoT world is a reincarnation - are they all the same or is Rand different? I don't see why Rand should be considered a special case - the main difference between him and every other soul in this matter is his insanity granting him memories from a past life.

 

But I'll also point out that while Mat and Birgitte may not consider themselves the same person, the Forsaken and Rand do. So what conclusion do you draw from this?
That their views are based on what they have been through - Mat's memories integrated seamlessly, Rand fought it every step of the way. The Chosen have no other memories to contend with, and Birgitte started out with integrated memories. Rand's beliefs can be considered as what he needs to believe in order to repair his own mind. He needed to inegrate the memories, and he did that by accepting them as his own, and therefore LTT as himself.
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Heck, you can say that's the whole point of it ; if you start with a blank slate , you will not be the same person,given how nothing from the previous lives will influence you.So the person that dies is gonna be afraid of death even if he/she will be reborn again.

 

Sorry you lost me there, are you insinuating the point that RJ was trying to make is all that changes with each rebirth is having a clean slate without your old memories?

That's what you decided to comment on from my post ? My interpretation of RJ's comment ? As to answer your question , yes I believe he does.Specifically , it seems that he is addressing the obvious question of "If you can be reborn, why fear death ? "

Notice the perspective here ? First person and it focuses on death, not on being reborn.

 

Still this an interpretation based on my judgement and opinion and thus can be totally wrong.

Edited by Zentari
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I've already explained why I don't consider the difference in souls to be a consideration.

And? The soul is important. Rand has the same soul that he had as Lews Therin. He has the single most important thing that makes up Lews Therin from the very start. I'm sorry, I'm finding it mind-boggling that you don't consider it important. It's like trying to explain physics without considering gravity to be an important factor.

 

 

I fail to see why being a soldier should invalidate her opinion to any extent.

 

Because she freely admits she's not a philosopher, and because her beliefs are definitely swayed by some incorrect information.

 

 

 

I don't think any of them are the same, but there similarities, and therefore we can compare and contrast to draw conclusions. Hell, everyone in the WoT world is a reincarnation - are they all the same or is Rand different? I don't see why Rand should be considered a special case - the main difference between him and every other soul in this matter is his insanity granting him memories from a past life.

 

He has the memories of his previous life; it's been demonstrated multiple times in multiple ways that he didn't imagine them, most recently in his confrontation with the Borderland monarchs. He has the personality of his previous life - Forsaken musings on Rand talking about how Lews Therin was proud to the point of arrogance, a cunning and devious warrior, that he was quick to rely on his luck, that he was weak and soft-hearted as girl in some respects, that he had a terrible temper, etc. He has the soul of Lews Therin. All he's missing is the physical body of Lews Therin.

 

 

I don't know if you've read Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg, but the main character in that book suffers a fate not too different from the Dragon. He was essentially king of the world, but he gets betrayed, put into a new body, and is given amnesia. He retains his personality and his soul, and he eventually regains his memories over top of the memories he'd picked up since getting the new body. In that case (and realizing it's a different series, but I'm looking at this as a parallel philosophical case) would you say that he is or isn't the same person? And again, I bring up my example with the Forsaken's method of replacing themselves - if Moridin were moved into a new body, gained amnesia, lived a few years and developed into the same personality as he had before, and then regained his memories, I fail to see how he's not the same person.

 

I don't think that the idea that if a person has the same memories, personality, and soul as a previous person can honestly say that they are that previous person is in any way in contrast to the RJ quote. Lews Therin died. Rand al'Thor was born, and though he was Lews Therin reborn, he was not Lews Therin. RJ's quote about death held true. Circumstances then changed Rand, and he is now Lews Therin as well as being Rand al'Thor.

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I would say that as the construct theory relies on the idea of Rand not accepting these memories are his own, that he hears the voice as another man's is an indication that he does not consider himself the same person.

Ah, but once he accepted that he is the same person, all his problems went away. Suggesting that his former belief was wrong.

 

 

LTT is dead, as I said. However, fragments of him exist in Rand - not a whole person. The grief over killing Ilyena comes from those fragments. It would be a mistake to think of them as two people, but also to think of them as merely one - more like one and a half. In that respect, I could be considered a Realist. It is something more than just Rand, but less than a whole person.

I think that definately puts you in the Realist crowd (maybe a Real-Fragment subgroup?). I never quite fit in with the Construct crowd either because with the Voice as a part of Rand and with Rand=LTT, then it would also be a part of Real LTT (Real-Rand-Fragment?).

 

Would it be accurate to say that you believe the new Rand is a merger of Rand and LTT then?

 

 

I'm not convinced, as the ability to draw is more than a matter of memories. There's also a matter of natural talent - one can train to develop that talent, but if it isn't there then one is limited. What I'm arguing is that if you dumped Roger Federer's memories into my head, I still wouldn't be a top flight tennis player, in much the same way as if you went out and trained at tennis eveyday, you probably wouldn't win it either (you might, I don't know how good you are at tennis, but training as much as the greats won't necessarily put you on an equal footing with them). I wouldn't be capable of winning Wimbledon, but I would remember having won Wimbledon.

I don't know about that. It's not like Roger's a physical phenomenon. I really do think a large aspect of it is mental. Now if I ended up with his memories, I would still suck because I don't have the 20 years of training he had and my arm would probably break if I tried to swing like he does. But when it comes to drawing (disclaimer: I couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler) I don't think it requires much physical ability. I imagine all you need is a steady hand and the rest is mental.

 

 

I don't think any of them are the same, but there similarities, and therefore we can compare and contrast to draw conclusions. Hell, everyone in the WoT world is a reincarnation - are they all the same or is Rand different? I don't see why Rand should be considered a special case - the main difference between him and every other soul in this matter is his insanity granting him memories from a past life.

You can make inferences and they would be valid but they'd be relatively weak because you could always say, "it's different." This is especially a problem with Rand because he's unique (he's the Dragon and no one else is or can be).

 

Also, I disagree that the insanity granted him memories from a past life. I think he was always meant to have the memories.

 

 

That their views are based on what they have been through - Mat's memories integrated seamlessly, Rand fought it every step of the way. The Chosen have no other memories to contend with, and Birgitte started out with integrated memories. Rand's beliefs can be considered as what he needs to believe in order to repair his own mind. He needed to inegrate the memories, and he did that by accepting them as his own, and therefore LTT as himself.

So (and this goes back to my earlier question) does this mean new Rand is a Rand/LTT merger?

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Mat is not a parallel to Rand’s situation. While he has fragments of memories of past lives, they weren’t his past lives; his soul has no connection with those memories. Bridgette is a valid parallel; however, her opinion (that she has no right to her previous memories and that she is not those women) is based at least in part on her opinion that she’s no longer a Hero of Legend. Min’s viewing of her, showing more adventures than anyone could ever have in one lifetime, indicates Bridgette is wrong about that. As Bridgette is both wrong about her underlying facts and that she’s a soldier rather than a scholar, Bridgette’s opinion is somewhat less valid than that of others.

 

Rand, a guy who has a pretty good understanding of metaphysical matters as evinced by his ability to determine a way to cleanse saidin, believes he’s Lews Therin in every way that matters. As he puts it “I suppose I am him. But Min, what you’re missing is this: I may be him now, but he was always me as well. I was always him. I’m not going to change just because I remember – I was the same. I’m me. And I always have been me.”

 

Lanfear, a woman who understood the nature of reality well enough to be able to drill a hole through reality itself, definitely believes that Rand and Lews Therin are one and the same. As she puts it, “You are Lews Therin Telamon. Oh, physically, nothing is the same except your height, but would know who is behind those eyes even if I’d found you in your cradle.” Ishamael was fairly aware of the nature of the Wheel and reincarnation, much more so than most, and he considered Rand and Lews Therin to be one and the same.

 

Rand’s situation is, as I said previously, most comparable to that of Moridin. Yes, he has the “extra” memories of growing up as Rand al’Thor. If Moridin had gotten amnesia after entering a body, developed into the same person as he had been previously, and then got his memories back, would you claim that he wasn’t really Ishamael?

 

Rand is Lews Therin in every way that matters.

 

 

I agree with a lot, if not all, of what you are saying here. I'm not going to retype or repost my previous thoughts, because they are already laid out at length earlier in this topic, but I appreciate the extra textual evidence that you provide here (of Moridin, Lanfear, Rand the philosopher, etc. all thinking Rand is LTT).

 

With respect to Mr Ares' comments, I'm not going to link to all of them, and I appreciate your right to have a different opinion. But I think that you are, at times, purposefully misinterpreting comments that I, and others on this topic, make. I don't want this to devolve into personal attacks, so I won't go into it, but I think the discussion would be healthier if everyone tried to assume those on the other side weren't stupid, as opposed to trying to find any slight gap (left often because I/we assumed certain things to be understood) in reasoning to 'win'. My thoughts are there for anyone who cares to go back and read them.

 

With respect to Kael Pyralis, I completely agree with you about the whole third person perspective, and the reliability of various characters. In fact, I guess the only thing we differ on is the conclusion that Rand and LTT aren't the same person. Other than that, what you said.

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And? The soul is important. Rand has the same soul that he had as Lews Therin. He has the single most important thing that makes up Lews Therin from the very start. I'm sorry, I'm finding it mind-boggling that you don't consider it important. It's like trying to explain physics without considering gravity to be an important factor.

 

But according to RJ it's incarnations of the same soul, different people. So no it isn't really the "most important thing that makes up LTT" as a person unless you want to also count every single individual throughout the entirety of the wheel who shares it. This would include non "dragon" incarnations in other ages. "The personality develops with each reincarnation of the soul."

Edited by Suttree
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The Dragon soul is one of the souls that are a CoL, he is reborn to shape the Pattern to the Wheels will. So his soul is important. But that doesn´t mean that the Dragon´s soul is always important. The Dragonsoul has different personalities/sides/aspects that, that soul has clothed itself in and reveals at certain times when needed. Thus the personality that the soul developes during different Ages and lifetimes can be not so important even though it´s the dragonsoul it it can be very important i.e the Dark One is about to get free. The soul is the same, but the settings of the Age/time and personalities/individuations of that same soul also matter.

Edited by Logains Pet
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If the soul is unimportant in the Wheel of Time universe then why do the Heroes of the Horn even exist? Why set those hundred or so souls apart from the rest of humanity if they can and will just turn into something completely different from their previous incarnations? The very existance of the constantly reincarnated Heroes strongly suggests that ones soul plays a key factor in who you become.

 

I would liken it to Rand's power-wrought sword, the one he got from Aviendha. When he first received it, it was covered in gaudy jewels. Nowadays it is a simple thing of wood and rawhide. But at its core lies the same unbreakable steel. So too with the souls of the Heroes. The education, experiances and traumas of their lives will doubtless change some of what and who they becomes in each incarnation, but underneath those minor differences there are far more important similarities.

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If the soul is unimportant in the Wheel of Time universe then why do the Heroes of the Horn even exist? Why set those hundred or so souls apart from the rest of humanity if they can and will just turn into something completely different from their previous incarnations? The very existance of the constantly reincarnated Heroes strongly suggests that ones soul plays a key factor in who you become.

 

I would liken it to Rand's power-wrought sword, the one he got from Aviendha. When he first received it, it was covered in gaudy jewels. Nowadays it is a simple thing of wood and rawhide. But at its core lies the same unbreakable steel. So too with the souls of the Heroes. The education, experiances and traumas of their lives will doubtless change some of what and who they becomes in each incarnation, but underneath those minor differences there are far more important similarities.

 

Those souls have served the Light and some have been granted to be Heroes of the Horn. Not every single of those souls have had the same core or essence from the beginning. The soul´s personaly trait can be completelty different in the next incarnation. And most of those soul´s don´t even showcase the coreness of their soul in every life. On the contrary, they can live numerous lives just being normal individuations, showing and exploring different personalities. Their core is still there, it´s just sleeping in those particular incarnations.

 

This is all my PoV of souls and such.

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Those souls have served the Light and some have been granted to be Heroes of the Horn. Not every single of those souls have had the same core or essence from the beginning. The soul´s personaly trait can be completelty different in the next incarnation. And most of those soul´s don´t even showcase the coreness of their soul in every life. On the contrary, they can live numerous lives just being normal individuations, showing and exploring different personalities. Their core is still there, it´s just sleeping in those particular incarnations.

 

This is all my PoV of souls and such.

 

Fair enough. But if the soul doesn't contain some inescapable personality traits then why set some few souls apart at all? If anybody could be the Dragon or Hawkwing in the right circumstances, or if both men could easily become Padan Fain or Balthamel then the existance of the Heroes would seem to me to be pretty redundant.

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Those souls have served the Light and some have been granted to be Heroes of the Horn. Not every single of those souls have had the same core or essence from the beginning. The soul´s personaly trait can be completelty different in the next incarnation. And most of those soul´s don´t even showcase the coreness of their soul in every life. On the contrary, they can live numerous lives just being normal individuations, showing and exploring different personalities. Their core is still there, it´s just sleeping in those particular incarnations.

 

This is all my PoV of souls and such.

 

Fair enough. But if the soul doesn't contain some inescapable personality traits then why set some few souls apart at all? If anybody could be the Dragon or Hawkwing in the right circumstances, or if both men could easily become Padan Fain or Balthamel then the existance of the Heroes would seem to me to be pretty redundant.

 

Maybe that's why there is only 100 or so Heroes of the Horn. Because it's such a rare and special thing. Because it takes many of the people with that soul to be heroic in age after age. Because each life is a separate person (per RJ) one person will be heroic in one life but the next person with the soul won't be. Only those souls that have each separate person be heroes time and again will be chosen. It's not the fact that the soul is special and causes each of it's lives to be heroic. It's that fact that each person becomes a hero that marks the soul as special. I don't know if my thought process is clear here. My basic point is that the soul doesn't always determine how each and every person will be like. There just happen to be a few rare souls where each person that has been reborn with that soul has become heroic.

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