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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Who thinks Rand is insane?


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Is Rand insane?  

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  1. 1. Is Rand insane?

    • Yes, he is insane.
    • No, he is not insane.
    • He was insane before melding with Lews Therin on Dragonmount. Now he is sane.


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Mental illness is a very objective thing and I think RJ demonstrates that well with Rand (I've said that a freaking lot).

yoniy0- I appreciate you NOT removing the whole comments from the board. I think it was therapeutic for them to "talk" it out while others (here and other realms) love to selectively remove whole comments on a whim. In any thriving on-line community, there will always be disagreements. Working it out instead of wholly suppressing members is a sign of a strong community. :baalzamon:

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He was never really insane in the first place. Just crazy. There's a difference. Insane is killing everyone you love and tripping over your wife's dead body while calling her name and wondering where the hell she went.

That's what I've been saying! But of course no one jumps all over Terez when she says it... just poor old Kael Pyralis who's obviously just trolling.

And it wasn't even me. :myrddraal: But I don't see why anyone would accuse you of trolling for saying that Rand wasn't precisely insane, so long as you acknowledged the fact that he was, in fact, rather nuts.

 

While I certainly don't believe he's "insane" like LTT, the real question, and where we may diverge, is what made him "nuts" or "crazy". I took the very literal quote from Sanderson where he talks about Rand's state-of-mind and says, "It's the immense pressure that's doing this.". Which, to me, means it's not the taint... taint makes you insane, not crazy as we see Rand.

 

Well now you're arguing semantics. How is Rand crazy then, if he isnt insane? Rand was never "crazy"; for the longest time he was very rational. VERY rational. Quite possibly more rational than any of the other characters would have been if they were under such pressure. That isnt crazy. Plus, preasure doesnt make you talk out loud when you think you're thinking to a dead guy in your head. Nor does pressure make you climb to the top of a mast without realizing you'd done it til you were at the top. It wasnt pressure that made Rand kill his own men with Callandor, amplified Tainty wild mindness did. That never happened early on because Rand was saner, less infected by the Taint.

 

Terez has likely left me to fend for myself now I suppose. Oh well, here we go!

 

If he's rational, then he's not insane either, if that's the case you want to make. By "Crazy" we mean his anger, his "stress" reactions that often seem over-exagerated for a rational person (I agree he usually is). And yes, those things are all caused by pressure. That's why Brandon, the current AUTHOR said so.

 

He talks to a voice that is NOT imaginary. See, if the voice was a hallucination, that would be different. But talking to a voice that exists, (not saying LTT exists, just the voice certainly does) and has separate knowledge based on someone else's memories, that's perfectly rational. It's there, so why wouldn't he talk to it? It would LOOK insane to people around him, but we know better than them because we've seen inside his head.

 

And you're saying "Well having a voice inside your head makes him insane you admit it!". Well yes, I guess I do. But the second personality wasn't directly caused by the taint (it was influential in it, yes), it was a coping mechanism for the unidentified memories, which are from an external source. And it's a coping mechanism that works very well, because as we both agree it allows him to be fairly rational for the most part. It's not the type of thing that, as Terez said, make you trip over the dead body of your wife as you call her name.

 

As for killing his own me, he actually did that in frustration, so how you can possibly claim that wasn't "pressure-based" craziness just boggles my mind. I mean Brashy talked him down from that. If he was purely insane he wouldn't be able to be talked down, that's kinda the whole point of being ACTUALLY insane. Also, Brandon said it was the pressure, so you can argue with him over it if you think you're still right.

 

Rand's bonkers. Crazy as a march hare. And he didn't become any more sane after Veins of Gold, just a different kind of crazy. Maybe the kind of crazy you need to be to save the world from Evil Incarnate.

 

And the taint certainly contributed to Rand's insanity. Kael likes to pull out that little quote as if it's somehow definitive, ignoring the fact that there are other quotes that definitively prove the opposite, that the taint was one of many causal factors in Rand's craziness.

 

Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

BYU: TGS Midnight Release - Matt Hatch preliminary report (Paraphrased)

Matt Hatch

Was the taint influential in the creation/development/existence of the voice of Lews Therin in Rand's head?

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon answered that the taint was influential, but not the only factor. He referenced Semirhage, that of course we can't believe the Forsaken always, but yes, that the taint was an influence in the the voice. That we have to accept that in fact, in a way, Rand is going insane (as in as the books progress).

 

For the thousandths time, that quote says, "yes, the taint was an influence in the voice". Really don't see how that can "difinitively", as you claim, prove that the taint casued "insanity" when the word "insanity" isn't in it at all. And since I have constantly agreed that the taint casued the memories which caused the voice. That doesn't mean it's the same insanity we're told to expect from MCs, actually it looks extremely different.

 

So from both quotes we get that...

Rand's craziness = Pressure

Voice = Taint

Which is exactly what I've been saying... imagine that.

 

So if you have a quote that actually is definitive, and doesn't just look definitive because it seems to be aligned with your pre-conceived notions, well I'd like to see it.

 

Mental illness is a very objective thing and I think RJ demonstrates that well with Rand (I've said that a freaking lot).

 

textbook definitions of "mental illness" are 100% irrelevant. We're not told "MCs eventually suffer from mental illness" we're told they go "insane". And we get a handful of pictures of what it looks like when they go insane, and it's always pretty obviously broken minds with irrational thoughts that are simply not based on reality. Rand doesn' thave that. And trying to claim "well Rand's insanity is a different kind" is exactly my point, it IS a different kind, it's the kind that's based on foreign, but real, memories floating in his head and an unbelievable amount of pressure. It looks different than regressing to a child, seeing fades in every corner, or tripping over your dead wife while calling her name because it is different.

Edited by Kael Pyralis
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textbook definitions of "mental illness" are 100% irrelevant. We're not told "MCs eventually suffer from mental illness" we're told they go "insane". And we get a handful of pictures of what it looks like when they go insane, and it's always pretty obviously broken minds with irrational thoughts that are simply not based on reality. Rand doesn' thave that. And trying to claim "well Rand's insanity is a different kind" is exactly my point, it IS a different kind, it's the kind that's based on foreign, but real, memories floating in his head and an unbelievable amount of pressure. It looks different than regressing to a child, seeing fades in every corner, or tripping over your dead wife while calling her name because it is different.

Whoa partner, I really agree with you about the different factors (though you have made me think about it in a different way.) effecting Rand. I think the part with Nynaeve studying Rand's craz...uh...ins...uh....nutt.... well lets call it mis-wired brain was a great way to show that the maddness is being held back. Now if I believe that, I'm not sure but it makes more questions than answers and thats a good thing. :biggrin:

Edited by Didgya
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OMG, 900 posts later I finally convinced someone of something?!

 

Yes, it does create a lot of questions, like... how long as that stuff actually been in his head? And if it's from before VOG, where did it come from? We know LTT didn't have it, which makes it being from the creator pretty suspect (even forgetting the whole "he does not take part" thing). It may be a function of the wheel if the CoL hits some benchmark that LTT never got to, but that also seems sketchy to me... there are other threads on this though, search for "the eye of the world" (as in the well, not the book) threads because I don't want to hijack this thread with my off-the-wall-ness on that topic.

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So from both quotes we get that...

Rand's craziness = Pressure

Voice = Taint

Which is exactly what I've been saying... imagine that.

And what does the taint cause? Craziness. So if the taint caused the voice, the voice must be craziness.

 

And trying to claim "well Rand's insanity is a different kind" is exactly my point, it IS a different kind, it's the kind that's based on foreign, but real, memories floating in his head and an unbelievable amount of pressure. It looks different than regressing to a child, seeing fades in every corner, or tripping over your dead wife while calling her name because it is different.
That's not much of a point. They are all different. The taint does not cause any specific kind of insanity. It is no more different in Rand than it is in everyone else.
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So from both quotes we get that...

Rand's craziness = Pressure

Voice = Taint

Which is exactly what I've been saying... imagine that.

And what does the taint cause? Craziness. So if the taint caused the voice, the voice must be craziness.

 

And trying to claim "well Rand's insanity is a different kind" is exactly my point, it IS a different kind, it's the kind that's based on foreign, but real, memories floating in his head and an unbelievable amount of pressure. It looks different than regressing to a child, seeing fades in every corner, or tripping over your dead wife while calling her name because it is different.
That's not much of a point. They are all different. The taint does not cause any specific kind of insanity. It is no more different in Rand than it is in everyone else.

 

No to mention Rand's craziness=pressure is an overly literal interpretation and doesn't work unless you make inaccurate assumptions about the voice.

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In almost every case where we see anything at all from close to the point of view of a tainted male channeler, leaving aside Rand for the moment, their madness does not consist in a "broken mind or irrational thoughts." In very many of the cases, it begins with broken perceptions. Lews Therin, wandering around his mansion looking for his wife, was not exhibiting irrationality, but instead seemed to have trouble remembering things and suffering from a perceptual distortion such that he couldn't even see that his house was in ruins or his family and servants lying dead all around. That channeler that Nynaeve heals doesn't display irrational thoughts, he sees fades in shadows, and has an appropriately rational response to that perception. An irrational response to that perception would be, "Look, there's fades in those shadows! I must bring them blueberry muffins!" Androl in the Black Tower has similarly distorted perceptions, not distorted thought patterns. And even in the case of that male channeler who developed the mind of a child does not display a "broken, irrational mind" but a mind robbed of its perceptual, memory and associative powers, not a mind that breaks the rules of logical inference.

 

Irrationality is not the mark of insanity here. Perfectly sane people are irrational all the time. Insanity is marked by broken perceptions, seeing or feeling things that aren't there or aspects of things that other's can't see or feel. It is also marked by broken memories, not being able to remember things one should be able to remember, remembering important things very wrongly, or remembering things one should not be able to remember. I have never seen an example of MC insanity in the books where the MC in question is just completely irrational, saying things like, "It's such a beautiful day today and I love you all so much I think I'll skin you and wear the skin as a fedora." Other insane people in the stories might think that way, Shadar Haran and Padan Fain, for example, but they aren't taint-induced insane. Most of such insanity we see displayed is more along the lines of the MC saying things like, "Bloody ashes! There's Shadowspawn over there! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!" and then then trying to kill it, or restraining themselves from trying to kill it, when there's nothing over there. The tainted MCs aren't crazy because they're not thinking straight, they're crazy because they're not perceiving the world the way they ought to be perceiving it, and they're not remembering things they way they ought to be remembering them. They see or remember too much or not enough. The thinking that occurs in response to these distortions of perceptions and memory has never been portrayed as anything other than valid and straightforward, provided those distortions were true.

 

Rand's insanity fits that mold precisely. He's hearing things (Lews Therin's voice) and feeling things (extreme suspision/distrust) that he shouldn't be perceiving, and he's remembering things that he shouldn't be remembering (Lews Therin's memories) and at times even temporarily forgets things he should remember. His thinking in response to these distortions is always more or less perfectly rational, but so is every other male channeler's thinking in response to their distortions that we've ever seen.

 

And actually, Kael, you've given up your game here. Your position cannot be that the taint was influential on Rand's insanity, but that Rand's madness was really, or primarily caused by the stress and pressure of being the Dragon Reborn, even if you want to hold that the memories he possesses are not artifacts of the taint. If you try to take that position, you will have established a distinction without a difference. None of us who claim that the taint was a cause of Rand's madness deny that the stress played its role as well. But if the taint had any influence at all on the development of Rand's madness, then it was a cause of that madness. If your position is that the taint did not cause the memories, then you are free to take that position, though there is no textual or authorial evidence sufficient to establish it, and plenty of circumstantial evidence to think it suspect. But even in this case, if you admit that the taint played some role in the development of Rand's insanity, then the taint was a cause of Rand's insanity.

 

No, your position here has to be either that Rand is not, and has never been insane, so that he may as well not be tainted at all, or that the taint played no role whatsoever in causing Rand's insanity, the memories (having come from a different source) and the pressure of his position being sufficient to cause the levels of insanity he displays, so that he may as well not be tainted at all. In fact, that's what your position boils down to, that Rand may as well not be tainted at all, because he's got that shiny taint-protection and/or because of his place as Champion of the Light. That's the position you've held from the beginning, only trying to wishy-washy it down once confronted with contradicting evidence. But that position is refuted by both the author(s) and the text. Rand feels and is sickened by the taint when he seizes the Source, he feels it seeping into him. The authors have admitted that the taint played its role in causing Rand's insanity, and Nynaeve sees the taint sprawled across and digging into Rand's mind, though by the time she is able to do this, she also sees the shiny silvery light that's surrounding the darkness. But that darkness is still digging into Rand's mind, it's still got its barbs in him, even if those barbs are coated in light, and more importantly, we don't know what that light is, what it's doing, whether it's protection at all or where he got it. But we do know that Rand's mind is covered by the taint.

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No to mention Rand's craziness=pressure is an overly literal interpretation and doesn't work unless you make inaccurate assumptions about the voice.

 

Yes, how dare I actually read what's written and not just assume there's something between the lines that fits my preconceived beliefs. And how dare I use both quotes, at the same time, to support my position instead of picking and choosing as required to make an ultimately flawed argument that just happens to be more popular.

 

In almost every case where we see anything at all from close to the point of view of a tainted male channeler, leaving aside Rand for the moment, their madness does not consist in a "broken mind or irrational thoughts." In very many of the cases, it begins with broken perceptions. Lews Therin, wandering around his mansion looking for his wife, was not exhibiting irrationality, but instead seemed to have trouble remembering things and suffering from a perceptual distortion such that he couldn't even see that his house was in ruins or his family and servants lying dead all around. That channeler that Nynaeve heals doesn't display irrational thoughts, he sees fades in shadows, and has an appropriately rational response to that perception. An irrational response to that perception would be, "Look, there's fades in those shadows! I must bring them blueberry muffins!" Androl in the Black Tower has similarly distorted perceptions, not distorted thought patterns. And even in the case of that male channeler who developed the mind of a child does not display a "broken, irrational mind" but a mind robbed of its perceptual, memory and associative powers, not a mind that breaks the rules of logical inference.

 

Irrationality is not the mark of insanity here. Perfectly sane people are irrational all the time. Insanity is marked by broken perceptions, seeing or feeling things that aren't there or aspects of things that other's can't see or feel. It is also marked by broken memories, not being able to remember things one should be able to remember, remembering important things very wrongly, or remembering things one should not be able to remember. I have never seen an example of MC insanity in the books where the MC in question is just completely irrational, saying things like, "It's such a beautiful day today and I love you all so much I think I'll skin you and wear the skin as a fedora." Other insane people in the stories might think that way, Shadar Haran and Padan Fain, for example, but they aren't taint-induced insane. Most of such insanity we see displayed is more along the lines of the MC saying things like, "Bloody ashes! There's Shadowspawn over there! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!" and then then trying to kill it, or restraining themselves from trying to kill it, when there's nothing over there. The tainted MCs aren't crazy because they're not thinking straight, they're crazy because they're not perceiving the world the way they ought to be perceiving it, and they're not remembering things they way they ought to be remembering them. They see or remember too much or not enough. The thinking that occurs in response to these distortions of perceptions and memory has never been portrayed as anything other than valid and straightforward, provided those distortions were true.

 

Rand's insanity fits that mold precisely. He's hearing things (Lews Therin's voice) and feeling things (extreme suspision/distrust) that he shouldn't be perceiving, and he's remembering things that he shouldn't be remembering (Lews Therin's memories) and at times even temporarily forgets things he should remember. His thinking in response to these distortions is always more or less perfectly rational, but so is every other male channeler's thinking in response to their distortions that we've ever seen.

 

I completely agree with the whole irrationality vs perception thing. That was very aptly put. It's pretty close to what I meant but didn't write out clearly or thoroughly enough. However, obviously I disagree with Rand fitting that mold. Mainly because Rand's voice is real, he's not perceiving something that's not there... it is there. So are all the pressures he faces. The fades in the shadows are not there. So Rand's craziness is still not the "MC insanity" as we're led to believe it should manifest, as shown by your own description.

 

And actually, Kael, you've given up your game here. Your position cannot be that the taint was influential on Rand's insanity, but that Rand's madness was really, or primarily caused by the stress and pressure of being the Dragon Reborn, even if you want to hold that the memories he possesses are not artifacts of the taint. If you try to take that position, you will have established a distinction without a difference. None of us who claim that the taint was a cause of Rand's madness deny that the stress played its role as well. But if the taint had any influence at all on the development of Rand's madness, then it was a cause of that madness. If your position is that the taint did not cause the memories, then you are free to take that position, though there is no textual or authorial evidence sufficient to establish it, and plenty of circumstantial evidence to think it suspect. But even in this case, if you admit that the taint played some role in the development of Rand's insanity, then the taint was a cause of Rand's insanity.

 

Luckily I didn't say or claim any of that, and I actually do think the memories are a result of the taint, the voice is a coping mechanism his brain used to deal with unexplained, forgien memories (hence Brandon's quote about the taint being influential in the VOICE (he doesn't say insanity), and then Rand's actual craziness, things like the seanchan campaign incident are 'craziness'-es caused by the pressure, as per Brandon's other quote. So that's the distinction that does exist.

 

I don't understand how this is so hard to comprehend. You guys are all stuck in this complete logical falacy that because he shows signs of craziness, and because we know the taint causes craziness, that Rand's MUST be a result of the taint. That is simply not true. There can be a myriad of other reasons, and unfortunately the author quotes literally, yes, back me up on this one.

 

No, your position here has to be either that Rand is not, and has never been insane, so that he may as well not be tainted at all, or that the taint played no role whatsoever in causing Rand's insanity, the memories (having come from a different source) and the pressure of his position being sufficient to cause the levels of insanity he displays, so that he may as well not be tainted at all.

 

The fact that you think that is pretty sad. It most certainly does not have to be so black and white. There can certainly be suppressive constructs (like the shiny shit in his head) that protect against the "perception insanity" as you described it, but not he memories, which might be unique to the DR or just an rarer, unmitigated symptom. The memories that get past whatever protection rand has then cause a DIFFERENT type of 'crazy' in that they manifest in a voice that acts as a coping mechanism. Is the taint ultimately responsible? Sure. But my point is that the 'crazy' of Rand is not the 'crazy' of "mc insanity" that MCs are culled for. Rand's, on the whole, actually seems to have been a good type of crazy that has served him fairly well, because it has helped him cope with the memories up till VoG when he sorted shit out and put everything into proper context so that the voice is likely longer needed and he has full access to what it was protecting him from.

 

For example, I can take cold flu medicine that stops my runny nose, but it might not do anything for my cough. Saying "You must either be sick, or not sick!" is ridiculous beyond comprehension.

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No to mention Rand's craziness=pressure is an overly literal interpretation and doesn't work unless you make inaccurate assumptions about the voice.

 

Yes, how dare I actually read what's written and not just assume there's something between the lines that fits my preconceived beliefs. And how dare I use both quotes, at the same time, to support my position instead of picking and choosing as required to make an ultimately flawed argument that just happens to be more popular.

 

I think the correct part to address would be how dare you not respond to Mr Ares who blew your take right out of the water.

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No to mention Rand's craziness=pressure is an overly literal interpretation and doesn't work unless you make inaccurate assumptions about the voice.

 

Yes, how dare I actually read what's written and not just assume there's something between the lines that fits my preconceived beliefs. And how dare I use both quotes, at the same time, to support my position instead of picking and choosing as required to make an ultimately flawed argument that just happens to be more popular.

 

I think the correct part to address would be how dare you not respond to Mr Ares who blew your take right out of the water.

 

I did, it's in the rest of the post where I continue, as I have, to make the distinction between the coping mechanism caused by the memories (the voice), and the "perception insanity" that is ultimately the reason MCs get culled. So I didn't feel the need to respond to Mr.Ares since he didn't really contradict me at all. Yes, Rand has got some unusual quirks... but that's not the taint insanity as we're led to believe would manifest if the taint was unabated.

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On the contrary, the voice in Rand's head is not real. And there's a very easy way to tell that the voice is not real: no one else hears it. That's how you tell real from not-real. If you think you hear something, but worry that it's not real, you check to see whether someone else heard it too. You yourself admitted that it's a construct to deal with the memories, which are taint-induced. The voice is caused by the memories. The memories are caused by the taint. The suspicion and distrust Rand feels around people is caused by the taint. Those things are all that makes up Rand's insanity, the voice, the memories and the suspicion, all of which are caused by the taint, therefore, Rand's insanity is caused by the taint. I hope that simple logic is not too difficult to grasp, and I hope you realize that you've admitted to every single premise.

 

Is Rand under a great deal of pressure, quite aside from the taint? Certainly. Does that pressure play a role in how the voice is constructed in Rand's head? Possibly. Does that mean that Rand is driven insane from the pressure? Would the pressure, without the memories and without the suspicious distrust he feels, have been enough to drive him insane? Not a single one of us can say. If he were simply tainted, without the pressure of being the Dragon Reborn, would he have gone insane? Almost certainly, in fact, we have an example of it in the alternate lives he experienced when traveling through the Portal Stones.

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On the contrary, the voice in Rand's head is not real. And there's a very easy way to tell that the voice is not real: no one else hears it. That's how you tell real from not-real. If you think you hear something, but worry that it's not real, you check to see whether someone else heard it too. You yourself admitted that it's a construct to deal with the memories, which are taint-induced. The voice is caused by the memories. The memories are caused by the taint. The suspicion and distrust Rand feels around people is caused by the taint. Those things are all that makes up Rand's insanity, the voice, the memories and the suspicion, all of which are caused by the taint, therefore, Rand's insanity is caused by the taint. I hope that simple logic is not too difficult to grasp, and I hope you realize that you've admitted to every single premise.

 

Is Rand under a great deal of pressure, quite aside from the taint? Certainly. Does that pressure play a role in how the voice is constructed in Rand's head? Possibly. Does that mean that Rand is driven insane from the pressure? Would the pressure, without the memories and without the suspicious distrust he feels, have been enough to drive him insane? Not a single one of us can say. If he were simply tainted, without the pressure of being the Dragon Reborn, would he have gone insane? Almost certainly, in fact, we have an example of it in the alternate lives he experienced when traveling through the Portal Stones.

 

There's an easy way to tell it is real. It's telling Rand things he doesn't and can't otherwise know. That and RJ's quote that says Rand has 2 personalities in his head. So.. yeah... I mean a voice is actually sound, so he's not actually hearing a voice at all, he's perceiving thoughts of the second personality which is a manifestation of real memories that the author says is in there. So it's pretty real.

 

I mean, my own thoughts are real, even though you can't hear them. So the thoughts of a separate personality can't be "not real", simply because you can't hear them too. I mean if they were telling me things that were untrue, then they'd be hallucinations, but Rand's are indeed true. Claiming it's not real because other people can't hear it is as silly as claiming you must either be sick and have ALL the symptoms or you must be perfectly healthy with no symptoms.

 

Does that pressure play a role in how the voice is constructed in Rand's head? Possibly.

I think Sutree is going to tell you to stop talking soon because he does a way better job at fighting me on this than you're doing so far. I mean come on, there's an Brandon quote that says, "it's the pressure that's causing this", so even if I am wrong you still can't say "possibly", it's author established lol.

 

The voice is caused by the memories. The memories are caused by the taint.
That is correct, but what YOU are arguing, is that that makes it the same type of insanity or craziness that other MCs are culled for because eventually they'll start rearranging the face of the earth and slaughtering everyone. I say no, the voice is a coping mechanism for the memories, so there's no further progression there no matter how many memories he compiled, they'd be safely stored in the second personality. And there are no other insanity symptoms that could lead to the mass-uncontrolled-destruction, because the rest are caused by the pressure and are a craziness of the mundane variety, as per Brandon's quote and Terez' agreement.

 

Yes, blatant namedrop.

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No, the memories are telling Rand things he can't otherwise know, and the memories are symptoms of the taint. The voice is Rand's construct, not Lews Therin's soul or personality or whatever speaking through the veil of death to let Rand know things. They are Rand speaking to himself, and not realizing it, which is the very definition of a perceptual distortion. When Rand first hears the voice, he freezes, and looks about to see if anybody else heard anything. And I don't know that your thoughts are real, all I know is what you say. If you want me to know your thoughts, you have to speak them, or in this case, type them out. And when you're thinking to yourself, you are speaking and hearing yourself talk. MRIs confirm this. When you're thinking something specific to yourself, as in writing out or editing a sentence in your head, the auditory parts of your brain light up, perceptually, you "hear" yourself, though you know you're not really hearing sound despite experiencing the character of the perception of sound. When you speak to yourself internally in this way, you perceive tones and inflections, the glottal stops and other sounds that make up the words you're thinking. But even still, those thoughts are not real. If you have a thought, and you never tell it to anybody or write it down, never act upon it so that others would have no way of divining this idea from you, does that thought exist? I would argue that it does not, for the simple reason that it would make no practical difference whether the idea existed in this way, or whether you never had the idea at all.

 

The voice is a construct of Rand's mind, to deal with the taint-induced memories, and therefore not real. The perceptual distortion is that Rand does not perceive the voice as his own, though it is. And this is not the only perceptual distortion that Rand suffers under. If you want to argue that this particular perceptual disorder is not caused by the taint, then I'd like to see your evidence for that. It's not enough to say that it's possible that it's not behind this particular perceptual error, when it's there and causing other perceptual and memory disorders.

Edited by Thrasymachus
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Sorry to abbreviate your name, but Thras' prior assertation that the voice was not real simply because no one else heard it doesn't seem to follow. You mean to say that because I think or have an abstract opinion/thought on something that makes it less/more real/fake to someone else (I want to emphasize the 'abstract' part of this question; I do realize that thoughts do have that insubstansial/inneffective quality when compared between two individuals...)? (This kind of reflects the idea of objective insanity versus subjective. I thought most would have thought Rand sane, but was surprised when the poll revealed I was in the vast minority.)

 

In any case, the Taint is clearly real - with objective/undeniable empirical damage done worldwide by those considered 'mad' by the greater surviving post-Breaking population - and clearly despite being removed, residues remain on the psyche (seen as per Nynaeve's [assumedly unaffected by aforesaid Taint] Healing of it in Tear). The same Taint residues/varying madnesses - albeit being held back in Rand...which makes me wonder whether these are actual residues or possibly complete remnants of the Taint - are treatable in other people other than Rand (which makes me believe Rand's Taint is an alternate version of the Dark One's gift which he obtained through the dual-balefire episode with Moridin; Moridin is not insane the same way as the rest of the formerly Tainted male populace, his 'insanity'/genius is what makes him APPEAR mad or insane to others. However, with his pronounced philosophical and logical background, I have to take the position that this is simply not the case and I dare say this perceptively skewed logic is common amongst the Forsaken and also Rand).

 

I suppose what I mean to say is that even though the Taint being/appearing to be the logical cause (or one of those causes) to the perceived madness would thusly make each and every individual affected by it NOT MAD/INSANE inherently. That being said (I venture to ponder on whether or not the Taint itself [being the Chaos entity in the WoT] is inherently evil...[i, personally, believe it is not]), we all have voices/consciences (even outside of the WoT is this applicable) but we have a superimposed superego that controls/regulates our individual ids and egos. It is this superego specifically that is STILL seen in all of Rand's POVs (even Natrim's Barrow when he makes a logical argument against those Compulsed to pulp by Graendal) in his suppression of LTT's wonton thoughts (or in other words, Rand's id...which may be contradictory and proving myself wrong by saying LTT's voices are just an offshoot of Rand's instinctual thoughts. Dang it! Let me think about it...).

Edited by From the Isle of Madmen
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When talking about what it means to be "real" we're treading into very deep philosophical waters. And my response that the voice wasn't real because no one else could hear it was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek counter to Kael's claim that the voice was real because it told Rand things he couldn't otherwise know. In fact, I don't hold that the voice doesn't exist, but that it is a construct of Rand's psyche. It's not real in the sense that it's not really Lews Therin speaking to Rand, it's Rand speaking to himself, and it's evidence of insanity because Rand perceives it to be Lews Therin's voice, not his own. If he perceived the voice to be his own, then the voice wouldn't exist as anything other than as Rand's thoughts. And thus Rand is becoming insane in exactly the same way other male channelers are driven insane by the taint, through increasingly distorted perceptions and interference in memories, and not through attacking the rationality of the thought processes that occur in response to those distortions. In other words, within the perspective of tainted, insane male channelers, these channelers appear to be sane, if thoroughly stressed out or otherwise disabled by having memory problems. It is only from the outside that you can tell that much of what they perceive or remember is a distortion or outright false.

 

I prefer to think of it like deductive logic. A deductive argument is composed of premises and a conclusion. In a valid deductive argument, if the premises of the argument are true, then the conclusion must be true. A sound deductive argument is one that is valid, and where the premises are in fact true. Male channelers, in my view, are driven insane by being forced, tricked or seduced into adopting false premises. However, simply because (some of) the premises are false does not mean that the conclusion is not true. In fact, even a valid deductive argument may be unsound and yet still have a true conclusion. For example: The largest land animal is the elephant (true premise), The largest land animal has always been a mammal (false premise), therefore, elephants are mammals (true conclusion). This argument is valid, if all it's premises were true, the conclusion would have to be true, it has a true conclusion, but one of its premises are unsound. Tainted male channelers still appear to think in valid ways; they make sense and are reasonable within that perspective. But the premises they use to think with, their perceptions and memories of the world, are skewed and distorted, and thus are unsound.

 

They aren't insane in the way, say, Padan Fain is insane. Fain doesn't think in normal ways but mis-perceive or mis-remember the world. Rather, he sees the world pretty much as it is, and while I believe his memories of his life as a normal Darkfriend, prior to his change to be the Dark One's hound, have faded, he doesn't appear to have large gaps in his memories and he doesn't seem to mis-remember things. But the way he thinks about things, what he finds beautiful, compelling or honorable, is radically different from what we would think of as normal. In this analogy, his thinking is invalid. Rand's thinking, and the thinking of other male channelers doesn't become invalid, rather it becomes unsound because Rand remembers things he shouldn't be able to remember, and he perceives some of his own thoughts as the voice of a man 3000 years dead. It doesn't even matter much that the things he remembers are true; they are still distortions. They shouldn't exist as Rand's memories, and the perception of the voice as anything other than Rand's own thoughts was definitely false.

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Regardless of the voice being real or not, Rand was still unbalanced. It is entirely possible that if the voice was real it helped cause that imbalance (after all, hearing a strange voice in your head and thinking you are crazy because of it isn't good for your mental health). Or the voice was simply a symptom of his madness.

 

Unfortunately, we do not have enough information to be sure if the voice was real or his imagination, both are completely possible given the amount of information we have, which is very little. For example, though Rand did think that they were not two men and never had been, that could also simply be a reference to the fact that it was the same soul - the same individual. In truth, though, it doesn't matter if the voice was real or not, it doesn't change Rand's situation, as Sermihage said. (I should add it is possible for there to be a real voice no one else hears... just put a micro-speaker in someone's ear without their knowledge and then have at it. See how they react to a voice in their head [presumably in a way they would not know it was you messing with them], and if anyone else can hear it).

 

Regardless of this Rand wasn't completely insane, in that he still had a sense of right and wrong, etc, but he was certainly not a stable individual. All the pressure in the world certainly didn't help matters, and neither did the taint.

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No to mention Rand's craziness=pressure is an overly literal interpretation and doesn't work unless you make inaccurate assumptions about the voice.

Yes, how dare I actually read what's written and not just assume there's something between the lines that fits my preconceived beliefs. And how dare I use both quotes, at the same time, to support my position instead of picking and choosing as required to make an ultimately flawed argument that just happens to be more popular.
If I were you, I would steer clear of this line of argument. After all, what everyone else is accusing you of essentially boils down to you selectively reading quotes and distorting things to fit your own preconceived biases - you are doing what you accuse us of doing. So the difference between you and us is our argument is more popular. Which doesn't really have any bearing on things either way.

 

No to mention Rand's craziness=pressure is an overly literal interpretation and doesn't work unless you make inaccurate assumptions about the voice.

 

Yes, how dare I actually read what's written and not just assume there's something between the lines that fits my preconceived beliefs. And how dare I use both quotes, at the same time, to support my position instead of picking and choosing as required to make an ultimately flawed argument that just happens to be more popular.

 

I think the correct part to address would be how dare you not respond to Mr Ares who blew your take right out of the water.

 

I did, it's in the rest of the post where I continue, as I have, to make the distinction between the coping mechanism caused by the memories (the voice), and the "perception insanity" that is ultimately the reason MCs get culled. So I didn't feel the need to respond to Mr.Ares since he didn't really contradict me at all. Yes, Rand has got some unusual quirks... but that's not the taint insanity as we're led to believe would manifest if the taint was unabated.

Actually, you didn't respond to Mr Ares. He did contradict you, using simple logic.

Premise 1: The taint causes insanity and physical rotting.

Premise 2: The taint caused the memories.

Conclusion: The memories are either a sign of insanity or rotting.

Unless you wish to argue that Rand's brain is turning to mush, then Rand suffering from taint induced insanity is the only logical conclusion from the premises. Given that you have already accepted the second premise as valid, the crux of your argument must be to attack the first premise. The taint must cause something else, something other than insanity or rotting. What is the evidence to suggest this? It does not exist. So what is the basis of your argument? If you agree with the first premise as well, you must admit that Rand is suffering from taint induced madness.

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Well, it's not exactly a legitimate distinction anyway. 'Insane' is a strictly legal term denoting someone who can't distinguish between right and wrong (like Lews Therin), but the field of psychology has distanced itself from the term. I have a feeling that RJ was aware of that particular controversy, especially as it relates to the insanity plea.

 

In my opinion, according to this definition of insane, before his epiphany in VoG, Rand had become completely insane. He was nearly there when he spoke to Tam, Tam/Cadsuane angered him therefore he nearly blasted Tam, his own father (or close enough) out of existence with balefire, at the last second he realised what he was doing meaning he had some small part of his sanity left, skipping ahead to the VoG chapter, Rand sympathized with the Dark One in his goal to destroy the world/wheel, that seems like not knowing the difference between right and wrong to me... Insane. A few good quotes from VoG:

"The quiet voice was gone now. It had vanished when he'd thrown Tam to the floor and nearly killed him. Without that voice, did Rand dare continue? If it was the last remnant of the old Rand--the Rand who had believed that he knew what was right and what was wrong--then what did its silence mean?"

" "What if he is right? Rand bellowed. "What if it's better for this all to end? What if the Light was a lie all along... "

"Lews Therin had been right to kill himself and create Dragonmount. Only he hadn't gone far enough."

Theres more but you get the jist of it...

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The voice is caused by the memories. The memories are caused by the taint.
That is correct, but what YOU are arguing, is that that makes it the same type of insanity or craziness that other MCs are culled for because eventually they'll start rearranging the face of the earth and slaughtering everyone. I say no, the voice is a coping mechanism for the memories, so there's no further progression there no matter how many memories he compiled, they'd be safely stored in the second personality. And there are no other insanity symptoms that could lead to the mass-uncontrolled-destruction...

 

Not sure how you can seriously argue that it wouldn't progress. We already seem Rand locked in life or death struggles for power with an LTT construct that is entirely a figment of his imagination. It was very close a number of times to LTT lashing out with the power and destroying things. That is exactly the type of mass destruction madness we are discussing.

 

KoD

“It doesn’t matter where they went,” Rand said absently. His attention was focused on Lews Therin. The madman, the bloody voice in his head, drew a little deeper on the Power. Let go. man. “Shadowspawn can’t survive passing through a gateway.”
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This has escalated to a more logic-based conversation, with premises and conclusions.

However, within the framework of a science fiction novel I find this rather difficult to assertain whether something follows a sound argument (then again, that is what science fiction allows which is that capability of premise shifts and fantasy juxtapositions).

 

I apologize with my inability to quote properly (do you put the quote within the quote/unquote?), but along the lines of Mr Ares's argument that the taint is the cause of madness (which ultimately I do agree with) I have to say that the many different signs of madness among the MC cause me to believe that there are more steps in between that we have yet to see more solid proof of (and who is to say that the taint itself is rather logical itself?). For example, as a result of the taint we have voices (which potentially and ultimately lead to 'madness')- some cause radically impeding madnesses and some simply do not (seeing Fades in shadows is one of these that are not exceedingly dehabilitating). This makes one believe that not only the differences in onset, but also the severity and subject-matter of the voices can be attributed to (and ultimately affect) the level of madness (if such a level can be maintained in a vast variability of infected channelers). This is where I was trying to attribute, albeit psychologically traditional, the idea of the superego controlling the id (Rand suppressing his LTT urges). Following these premises, it would make Rand out to be quite mad if a result of some characteristic inherently within him. Which it is not. It is a result of the taint causing a foreign voice which he (Rand) constantly suppresses detrimentally affecting him that his madness is perceived.

 

The taint, as I perceive it and would like to hear others' perceptions of its nature, is primordial chaos outside of the woven/being woven Pattern that holds some continuity with the Pattern's entire history that is seeping into MCs as a result of the Bore being opened. The madness is a commonality among MCs, Rand included, but beyond this madness is insanity/craziness which I disagree Rand having as he constantly withholds and contains it (being his 'id', but within the confines of the novel being VERY REAL and just happens to be the REAL voice of his former life as LTT - they can still be the same person and always the same person in this way).

 

Arkane101 - "some small part of his sanity left".

It is here where, although I agree with almost all of your comments, I simply had to point this out.

When we make the decision that someone is sane/insane, I assumed that this meant that we consider insanity being something infinite - not momentary/fleeting. Reaching some semblance of sanity is possible while being insane, but being able to tell the difference between right and wrong is what I (among many other participants of this thread) feel to be the definition of being sane. If he has this, he ultimately is still sane. If he was LTT, tripping over his wife's corpse as stated prior, than his sanity has left him a long while prior.

 

Additionally, where you stated "sympathy with the Dark One" as a sign of insanity is something I cannot fully accept. Constant rebirth of pain and destruction is hardly something anyone would desire (and the Dark One reflects this idea of eliminating the cycle of rebirth and removing one's frivolous attachments to the world = Buddhist Nirvana, an alternate and conflicting ideology RJ would have experience with in the Vietnam War and the Buddhist ideology of its natives), yet it is within this chaos that 'love' is possible. So, if we are going to follow sound logical arguments, Rand chooses 'chaos', 'insanity' and the 'possibility of love' to keep the wheel a turning rather than the cold and fatalistic decision to end the suffering with the destruction of the wheel due to the logic of its eventual failing. In other words, neither side is really evil - they both have solid arguments, eliminating the existence of any actual insanity(this is excluding perceived insanity of course.)

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