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Stray Thoughts in TAR


Vassili
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13 members have voted

  1. 1. Can we control our thoughts?

    • Yes, if we practice and try hard.
      5
    • No, I'd turn myself into a squirrel and get hit by a car within 30s of entering TAR.
      8


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This discussion is less about characters or plot, and more about the mechanics of the WoT universe. As most of you already know, TAR (tel'aran'rhiod aka World of Dreams) is another dimension that reflects the real world but is also a reflection of the thoughts of any living sentient being that has the power to enter it. Thought become reality in TAR, so if I imagine myself wearing armor, suddenly I am wearing armor. If I imagine a unicorn, suddenly a unicorn springs into life. Even nightmares can become "real" in TAR. Its perhaps important to note that the idea of a world where thoughts or beliefs become reality is not new to WoT, the idea has been explored before (Peter Pan, the Matrix etc.)

 

In the books the properties of TAR make stray thoughts dangerous. Its a repeated theme that newcommers to TAR lack the self discipline to maintain a fixed image. When people first appear in TAR they look like themselves as a result of their own sub-conscious projecting what they have always believed themselves to look like. However, trivial details like clothing are always in flux since no one defines themselves wearing a specific outfit. Even fleeting unwanted images can have embarassing consequences, as Elayne and Nyneave constantly demonstrate by appearing in scandalous clothes or even naked. From this we learn that TAR is very sensitive; no stray thought is too small or fleeting to not have an effect.

 

And yet, many people in the Wot Universe can control their thoughts with such precision as to maintain a fixed image, and even alter the world around them at will. This ability is presented as being learnable by everyone: you just need to have a great deal of self control. But is that reasonable? Can real people ever have so much self conctrol that they never let a stray thought through their head?

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I voted for option 2.

It's a perfect place to see your fears come to life.

Just think at someone with a phobia. If someone is scared of spiders for instance, and she sees a small spider or something there. It will automatically think at the worse case scenario, and it will probably happen.

In my case, I think the more I know about that place, the worse it will be.

If someone tells me that I can jump from one place to another with just one step, and if I'm not careful, I can jump inside a pit filled with poisonous snakes, I think I'll start seeing snakes all around me, under every stone/leaf, after each corner, etc.

But if I manage to picture myself in the Grotto, inside the Playboy Mansion first, I don't care how many snakes I'll find there. There are worse ways to die.

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I voted for option 2.

It's a perfect place to see your fears come to life.

Just think at someone with a phobia. If someone is scared of spiders for instance, and she sees a small spider or something there. It will automatically think at the worse case scenario, and it will probably happen.

In my case, I think the more I know about that place, the worse it will be.

If someone tells me that I can jump from one place to another with just one step, and if I'm not careful, I can jump inside a pit filled with poisonous snakes, I think I'll start seeing snakes all around me, under every stone/leaf, after each corner, etc.

But if I manage to picture myself in the Grotto, inside the Playboy Mansion first, I don't care how many snakes I'll find there. There are worse ways to die.

 

I want to +1 this so badly. :biggrin:

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