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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

How long is long enough to live


Vardar
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My best friend and I had an interesting discussion this weekend that centered around the Forsaken and their reasoning’s for going over to the Shadow, as well as other’s Black Ajah and Dark Friends. I actually have no earthly idea how it started, but I am of the opinion that going over to the Shadow for immortality for a channeler was stupid. I mean, is 600-700 years not enough? I’d think after all that time you would be able to die peacefully, especially with the rebirth thing being fact. My friend said he would have went over for immorality too, and taken over the world *queue evil laugher*. He also said it’s a better reason than Asmodean, and his going over “For the music man” (Said like he was a hippy). Just curious what everyone thinks. Do you think 600-700 years is long enough or would the idea of immorality be tempting to you as well?

 

Or would you go over to the Shadow for other reasons? Power, the joy of killing, the hell of it, etc.

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If I'm not raving mad after 600-700 years, that implies to me I could manage forever. 700 years sounds as close to eternity as to make no difference... 700 years ago Constantinople hadn't fallen yet (the turks weren't even in the balkans yet), the Templars were being disbanded, and the black death was just about to arrive.

 

That, to me, feels like an eternity. Might aswell make it truly forever then. Not at any price, perhaps, but it would be neat.

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No, I won't go over for that reason and my culture or religion does not even believe in reincarnation lol. I guess it will depend upon a person and his belief system. In Hinuoism it is believed that if you were bad in this life you will be born as a lower animal like dog, donkey or something like that. it means if you are bad boy you will have every reason to stay in your current time. I am not quoting anything from the books but it is my feeling that since this idea of circular time comes from hinuism it is possible that they have this same idea from the same origin.

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I was thinking on this subject myself. While not so much in terms of the Wheel of time but just in general. When I was younger, I thought anything in games and such that lived longer lives were the coolest thing. Elves that lived for up to 1000 years, were awesome to me. So were Aes Sedai and Ogier for similar reasons.

 

Now that I'm older (in my 30's), that has changed. 70-90 years seems like plenty. Especially now that I'm part of the workforce... I couldn't imagine doing the same line of work for that long. Living in the same city? Country? Married to the same woman? Even being very happy with my current situation adding another 900 years to my adult life would change perspectives on things and how I'd want to live my life.

 

Would I take multiple retirements every so long? Change professions? Our society is built in some ways on how long our expected lives last.

 

So it's different when you really think about living that long, even if our prime years lasted centuries vs the decade or so they do now. Not that I'm looking forward to dying or anything but I definitely think I'd get bored if I lived that long.

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I think I would appreciate immortality, but the thing is through the currents of time, what is the point? Would you not forget your favourite things, or more memorable things, Biggest events? Eventually you would forget everything youve done and just live like a normal person (like hancock)

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I think I would appreciate immortality, but the thing is through the currents of time, what is the point? Would you not forget your favourite things, or more memorable things, Biggest events? Eventually you would forget everything youve done and just live like a normal person (like hancock)

 

R. Scott Bakker actually has a very interesting take on this with non-men in his "Aspect Emperor" series. In the last book White Luck Warrior the repercussions of this start to be fleshed out.

 

It fits neatly in with the trope called "The Fog of Ages"

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheFogOfAges

Spoiler for Aspect Emperor

 

Affects the Nonmen, because they have mortal minds inside immortal bodies that live for millennia after millennia. Quite a few go insane from the amnesia. They have so many memories piled up inside them, that they can only remember the most traumatic events. The insane Nonmen who are addicted to violence for memory's sake are known as Erratics.

 

Edited by Suttree
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you probably would go mad if you are the reminiscing type. im sure you will have something new to see until after the world becomes global which is today. being worldly helps. once you decide earthly pleasures is meaningless, then that will be the day you start becoming insane.

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Well, I don't think wanting immortality is stupid, as suggested in the OP.

 

It is the one thing that humans have been working towards throughout history. Almost every major culture has stories about immortality. While nowdays, scientifically immortality is considered nonsense, people still work to live as long as possible. It is not a strange desire, nor an irrational one. Who wouldn't want to continue living? Why would anyone want to die at some point?

 

What this depends on is the manner of immortality. Sure, working your average 5 day a week, 9-5 job for eternity wouldn't be something desirous, however, it is hardly something the Forsaken have to worry about. If you were immortal, it wouldn't be something one would have to worry about for too long either. The job itself would most likely disappear in time and technology.

 

Memory and virility are another concern, as stated above. It could be that memory fades with strength, and if that were the case, immortality would be pretty pointless.

 

But that wouldn't be true immortality, in the pure sense of the word. Immortality would be the cessation of decay in mind and body. Living forever in your current state. For some it would be better than others, no doubt. Most tales of immortality (ones that see it as glorious, in any case) take it to be perpetually in ones prime of life.

 

Memory would be a bit harder, however, if the brain ceases to decay, would memory be affected? I suppose the sheer weight of time would make memories fade. So who knows?

 

In any case, in regards to the Forsaken, their version of immortality is nearly as perfect as you can get. Forever being physically fit, mentally strong, and a powerful channeller, ruling over the world for eternity, with every luxury they desire at hand at the price of enslaving mankind.

 

Not something I personally would be willing to do, but not stupid by any means. They have reason to believe the Dark One, even though we suspect this to be false. The Dark One CAN gift them immortality (as per RJ) and they have seen firsthand his power. He can resurrect the dead, which is close enough to immortality.

 

There is little reason for them to doubt the DO, in reality, he is an evil bastard that promotes backstabbing and betrayal between his servants, who has no mercy for failure or disobedience, but he DOES reward loyalty and success, and has not shown any signs of falsity.

 

A very tempting offer.

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These were people with some serious character flaws to begin with. Combine that with the fact that a large part of the population was guaranteed to live as long as they were, and it's not hard to see them making that choice. If you're surrounded by people that are going to live 500-700 years every day, that eventually doesn't seem special any more. Plus, the AS that lived incredibly long DID eventually age (remember the AS that gave the Aiel the artifacts at Rhuidean?), which would have been a serious issue for the extreme vanity displayed by every one of the forsaken.

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Oh yeah, I would go for immortality. If your life is endless so are the possibilities. If you get bored...do something new. It isn't a waste of time because you have ALL the time. Music, art, sports, mathematics, literature, philosophy, and everything else. You could master all of it and that would be some real fun

 

Now, in this book I'm not so sure. Immortality under the Dark One with a constant threat of an eternity of pain for the slightest failure. Well that just sucks.

 

What I'm saying is that I'd love immortality but in this case I might not take it. The DO seems like a real prick.

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Plus, the chosen are operating under false information. Moridin explained it best, the Dark One doesnt really want to remake the pattern in his own image, he wants to rip it to shreds till there's nothing at all left. Moridins just going to enjoy the ride and be the one in charge for a time till the Dark one destroys everything, definitely why hes the baddest and smartest cat in the WoT.

 

Immortality would be awesome, but like it was mentioned previously, the idea that a small mistake(maybe not a tiny mistake, but relatively small) might result in the Dark One obliterating your soul seems like a pretty crud trade off. The best forsaken are those that went over to the dark side for reasons other than immortality alone, such as Ishammael, Semihage, maybe even Graendal.

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Plus, the chosen are operating under false information. Moridin explained it best, the Dark One doesnt really want to remake the pattern in his own image, he wants to rip it to shreds till theres nothing at all left. Moridins just going to enjoy the ride and be the one in charge for a time till the Dark one destroys everything, definitely why hes the baddest and smartest cat in the WoT.

 

Immortality would be awesome, but like it was mentioned previously, the idea that a small mistake(maybe not a tiny mistake, but relatively small) might result in the Dark One obliteratin

Edited by Shig
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Honestly, I do not believe immortality is the best option. Considering when your Aes Sedai, you have awesome abilities, yet you outlive everyone you love. Really, Aes Sedai are burdened and blessed to have the one true power. Burdened because they must watch everyone they love die, and blessed because they can heal and help protect people. Yes, Aes Sedai live with other Aes Sedai, so they are shelted from it. I view immortality more as a novelty. Immortality is cool to ponder, but if achieved. It would grow old really fast.

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If you don't have someone to share it with or do not want anyone, then eternity or even 600 years will get awfully lonely.

 

I think I'd argue that being with the same person for that long would be worse.

 

Well, I don't think wanting immortality is stupid, as suggested in the OP.

 

Not wanting immortality is stupid, going over to the Shadow for that reason is what I believe is stupid.

 

you probably would go mad if you are the reminiscing type. im sure you will have something new to see until after the world becomes global which is today. being worldly helps. once you decide earthly pleasures is meaningless, then that will be the day you start becoming insane.

 

That was pretty much my thought. Even after 200 years, you would start missing a lot of people. And eventually we'd get to the point of, even if your body was perfect, is there a limit to how much information the human mind can contain? Would you start forgeting family around year 300, and look at pictures with labels on them and say, damn I wish I remembered my mother.

 

I never considered the job thing, Dang. I would imagine you could just switch jobs every few decades, but eventually you'd get tired of that..

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Given the right circumstances immortality would be great. If you and everyone you care about can cease mental and bodily decay for eternity while having all the resources you want that would be perfect.

 

Is it worth it if you have to work a 9-5 every day - No

Is it worth it if you have to be the DO's slave - No

Is it worth it if only you are immortal and others that you care for are not - No

Is it worth it if you cannot die at all and must live forever ( cannot die from any other cause other than ageing) - No

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I would sell out the light in a heart beat for immortality, in most every world but this one.

 

The problem with this world is the forsaken (with the exception of ishy) are all completely stupid. They are selling out the light for immortality when they are already going to live 400-800 years, are going to be involved with the mass extermination of the world they want to be immortal to live in, and in the end will be all destroyed when the dark one destroys everything.

 

Given even a modicum of intelligence they should have figured out that the Dark One was going to destroy everything... even if he was just going to kill everyone but the Chosen then you are left with a world that is in shambles and only really trollocs and the few surviving Friends of the Dark to rule over... not that "glorious" of an end game. There really seems to be no up side to joining the Dark One.

 

I mean how does the conversation go

Dark One "Um so hi i'm the evil lord and i would like to offer you something for serving me.... limited time offer and its pretty sweet"

Forsaken "OK what is it?"

Dark One "Immortality... I mean you get to live forever, isn't that awesome"

Forsaken "Well we already live for centuries, but that does sound tempting"

Dark One "On it is, it most certainly is... you could rule the world for all of time. (not counting that in like 3 weeks i'm gonna be blowing up all of reality once i'm free)

Forsaken "yep we're in, because that does soun... wait what was that last part?

Dark One "I said you'll get puppies... yep lots of puppies, it's going to be great"

Forsaken "Well Immortality and puppies, who could ask for anything more. So what do we have to do for this immortality/puppy deal"

Dark One "Oh nothing much: kill tons of people, destroy the vast majority of the world and culture you are wanting to be immortal to enjoy forever, betray all of your friends, work for me with the knowledge that you will all be competing against each other and killing each other for my good graces, and then once its all done rule over a world that is populated by like yourself 200 other humans that survived and hordes of rampaging creatures of the dark... oh and if you do anything to displease me i'll probably torture you, kill you, feed you to those creatures of the dark and you wont get any puppies. (plus you know the whole gonna kill you all anyway in like 3 weeks)

Forsaken "YAY that sounds great"

 

The level of intelligence in that group does not impress me at all. I mean it's one thing to want to gain immortality for the sake of living forever and ruling the world... but even during the war of power the world wasn't worth much anymore "A sad little king of a sad little hill" comes to mind. Got to be pretty stupid to take that offer

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I would sell out the light in a heart beat for immortality, in most every world but this one.

 

The problem with this world is the forsaken (with the exception of ishy) are all completely stupid. They are selling out the light for immortality when they are already going to live 400-800 years, are going to be involved with the mass extermination of the world they want to be immortal to live in, and in the end will be all destroyed when the dark one destroys everything.

 

Given even a modicum of intelligence they should have figured out that the Dark One was going to destroy everything... even if he was just going to kill everyone but the Chosen then you are left with a world that is in shambles and only really trollocs and the few surviving Friends of the Dark to rule over... not that "glorious" of an end game. There really seems to be no up side to joining the Dark One.

 

I mean how does the conversation go

Dark One "Um so hi i'm the evil lord and i would like to offer you something for serving me.... limited time offer and its pretty sweet"

Forsaken "OK what is it?"

Dark One "Immortality... I mean you get to live forever, isn't that awesome"

Forsaken "Well we already live for centuries, but that does sound tempting"

Dark One "On it is, it most certainly is... you could rule the world for all of time. (not counting that in like 3 weeks i'm gonna be blowing up all of reality once i'm free)

Forsaken "yep we're in, because that does soun... wait what was that last part?

Dark One "I said you'll get puppies... yep lots of puppies, it's going to be great"

Forsaken "Well Immortality and puppies, who could ask for anything more. So what do we have to do for this immortality/puppy deal"

Dark One "Oh nothing much: kill tons of people, destroy the vast majority of the world and culture you are wanting to be immortal to enjoy forever, betray all of your friends, work for me with the knowledge that you will all be competing against each other and killing each other for my good graces, and then once its all done rule over a world that is populated by like yourself 200 other humans that survived and hordes of rampaging creatures of the dark... oh and if you do anything to displease me i'll probably torture you, kill you, feed you to those creatures of the dark and you wont get any puppies. (plus you know the whole gonna kill you all anyway in like 3 weeks)

Forsaken "YAY that sounds great"

 

The level of intelligence in that group does not impress me at all. I mean it's one thing to want to gain immortality for the sake of living forever and ruling the world... but even during the war of power the world wasn't worth much anymore "A sad little king of a sad little hill" comes to mind. Got to be pretty stupid to take that offer

 

You sir just summed up the debate we had in the car. Hilarious.

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I'd go to Shayol Ghul on the promise of a ham sammich. And immortality. Power itself is worth the price of admission; even if it is ultimatly self defeating. Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher, the Dresden Files) said it best: "Money is new. Power is old. Power is the real deal. Money, voters, oil, SUVs; they're just stand-ins for power." And power is even sexier when it is corrupting.

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I'd go to Shayol Ghul on the promise of a ham sammich. And immortality. Power itself is worth the price of admission; even if it is ultimatly self defeating. Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher, the Dresden Files) said it best: "Money is new. Power is old. Power is the real deal. Money, voters, oil, SUVs; they're just stand-ins for power." And power is even sexier when it is corrupting.

 

Turkey Sammich, maybe...

 

Ham, no.

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I'd go to Shayol Ghul on the promise of a ham sammich. And immortality. Power itself is worth the price of admission; even if it is ultimatly self defeating. Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher, the Dresden Files) said it best: "Money is new. Power is old. Power is the real deal. Money, voters, oil, SUVs; they're just stand-ins for power." And power is even sexier when it is corrupting.

 

Turkey Sammich, maybe...

 

Ham, no.

 

MLT, where the mutten is nice and lean...

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I'd go to Shayol Ghul on the promise of a ham sammich. And immortality. Power itself is worth the price of admission; even if it is ultimatly self defeating. Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher, the Dresden Files) said it best: "Money is new. Power is old. Power is the real deal. Money, voters, oil, SUVs; they're just stand-ins for power." And power is even sexier when it is corrupting.

 

Turkey Sammich, maybe...

 

Ham, no.

 

MLT, where the mutten is nice and lean...

 

Hmm. Never had a lamb sammich. I'm going ot smoke a haunch of lamb this or next weekend, maybe I'll make a sammich.

 

At Ryrin, touche.

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The only problem with the rebirth part of the arguments is no one really remembers their lives, unless you have a Veins of Gold moment and are the Dragon Reborn you mine as well not be reborn as you wont remember anything from the previous or next lives. Being Reborn is more a metaphysical thing than something that is a benefit to you. And in that case Immortality is a pretty enticing reward... the problem in the Wheel of Time comes from having to pay for that reward, and universally the price is just to high.

 

 

as to the other topic... lamb is delicious if prepared correctly, horrible if not. So be careful and you will have an awesome meal :)

Edited by Kamin_Majere
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