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Hagazussa

What would you do if you were a male channeler in WoT?

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Feel like there is a disconnect here.

 

Regardless as for th AS/village healer comparison they each have different things that shape them. Neither is necessarily better to deal with severing. In fact we know from Cadsuane that her most important lesson "what must be endured can be endured" was taught to her by a toothless wilder and she couldn't have learned it in the WT. Again a named character such as Irgain does not necessarily have an exceptional will to deal with something like severing and yet you tried to propose that by virtue of being AS she does. It has already been pointed out why AS may have a harder time than others dealing with the situation regardless of will.

Edited by Suttree

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I still find it hard to believe that in the history of the world, there isn't a SINGLE male with the willpower to live without the power and have it not be that agonising

Sorry to drag something back to the top after pages of other discussion.

 

I agree. In fact, I think this is one of those things that "everyone knows" that RJ intended us to realize was false. Statistically speaking, it is just silly to assume that no male channeler was able to live the rest of their lives in the stedding, or absolutely refuse to channel. I am sure there were at least a couple who did that. But, in a world torn apart by the Breaking, NOT doing something is hardly going to get noticed.

 

"Hey, did you hear about Tad? He DIDN'T kill everyone around him today. One day at a time, that's what I always tell him. Great guy, Tad is." <-- Hardly the sort of story that is going to survive through the age.

 

The Aes Sedai assume that most women turned away from the tower or severed go back to their daily lives and forget about channeling. Which somehow makes sense to them despite their firm belief that no man can resist the urge to channel once they learn. If a woman can do it, why not a man, right? So, if there are actual recorded instances of women forgetting about channeling (which perhaps there are, though maybe that is wishful thinking), then there must also be instances of men doing it as well, especially since they would have more motivation to do so.

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No not all named characters are exceptional, however the ones that really deal well with severing are. Both Siuan and Leane are exceptional and so are Logain even if he do not deal that well. Now as for the three that Rand stills we do not know much about how they deal, we know the Aiel do not punish them for kidnapping Rand as they think they have suffered enough, and we know they work with them to get them to survive, but we do not know if they are so depressed they just work when told to work as they have no will left to resist and then walk around in a daze, or if they are adjusting and are doing fairly well, all we have is Cadsuane commenting that one of them probably wished she was dead, and we also see her working around camp with the other Aiel women.

 

One thing that everyone seam to forget however is that with the exception of perhaps Logain none of the named characters who have been severed have been in that state for long enough for us to really see how they would react. It is said in the books that male channelers live a couple of years after they have been gentled, well Logain is the one who is in that state the longest and he is only in it for a little over a year, for Siuan and Leane we are talking a few months and the same for the Aes Sedai Rand stills, we do not know how Siuan and Leane would be if they had not been healed and left like that for two years, that is what I mean with them being bad examples. It is like if we have an illness where people usually die after let us say three years, and then a group of patients who got cured after six months are held up as shining examples that the illness is not as serious as otherwise believed.

 

Now one wording that I think it is Siuan uses when Logain falls apart and enters a very deep depression at the end of their journey to find the Aes Sedai rebels, she say gentling have caught up with him, while it is far from stated black on white this to me indicate that it is a condition that get worse with time, that it have a tendency to sneak up on someone, that they might function well for a time but then fall to the depression quickly as severing catch up to them.

 

As for whatever or not there have been a single male channeler who have been able to just not channel or go to a Steadding and stay there, the books say every male Aes Sedai left, but I guess anything is possible, but I do not think it is a thing that most channelers will be able to do.

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We have never heard of anyone staying inside Far Madding or a stedding until they die, but that doesn't mean they didn't. Certainly it would be silly to assume that no males with the spark were born, lived, then died within the Guardian's field of influence. I would imagine that a male channeler, who hasn't done more than a few simple tricks without really knowing it, would be able to survive within Far Madding without too much concern. It is only once you have conscious control over the Source does it become too adictive. Maybe once you realize you can channel it is already too late, but I would guess there is a gap where someone with sufficient motivation could learn they can channel then move to Far Madding then stay there until they die.

And, asi I said.  You have to actively channel for the taint to be in full effect.  You could live for years, without going mad at all. 

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Right, but who's to say that some men from the AoL, once they figured out channeling caused them to go mad, didn't stop outright? Maybe some did, and they just never made it into the history books.

 

In Egwene's Accepted test, Rand was able to hold the madness at bay, but it took all his concentration, and so he could not channel. What if others figured out this method as well?

 

To say that no male, once they learn to channel, can resist the urge to channel again is silly, IMO.  Maybe 99.99% of them cannot resist, but there must be a couple or few within the past 3,000 years that did.

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I don't think I'd want to be the most powerful male channeler of all or something like that.  Weilding that much power has immense responsibility and although you can do a lot of things with it, you can do a lot of things with a medium level of power as well. 

 

 
 
There is no free will in Randland, so there is no responsibility.
 
Pattern: balefireruinssteaks, you must buy a horse!
balefireruinssteaks: Gender, colour etc?
Pattern: It doesn't matter. Just buy a horse!
balefireruinssteaks: OK.
 
So, maybe you can see this (gender, colour) as a limited free will but the main thing is: you will buy a horse. 
 

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And, asi I said.  You have to actively channel for the taint to be in full effect.  You could live for years, without going mad at all.

 

That is true. Nyn had actually been a wilder for years before Mo tells her that she can channel, she have just not known what she was doing and I assume men can be the same way, never really consciously channeling and then off course the taint will come allot slower. Was there not one of those alternative lives that Rand saw when using Portal Stone where he basically never learned to channel consciously, weird things just kept happening to him now and again and and he ended up like the stereotypical crazy old man, I could be wrong about that but I seam to remember something like that, which would indicate that if someone have a block and never really channel consciously the madness will progress very slowly. Also for my reply to you I have assumed that you meant someone who have not channeled consciously for someone who is not an active channeler just have the potential to be one and will not become mad at all before they start developing their abilities.

 

Now if you mean someone who do not have a block who just try to channel as little as possible, yes I assume they might get mad slower, but then, some get insane the first time they touch Saidin while others last for several years. I mean Logain had channeled for six years before he got caught and he used it allot and he is still rather sane. Owyn Merrilin was at it for three years if I do not remember it wrong and Thom said he was starting to get rather weird that last year and he tried to use it as little as possible. One of the Black Tower men went mad the day after he arrived and I mean how much could the man possibly have had  the time to channel in one day. Yes the amount of channeling done probably have an effect on how soon someone go insane, but it is not the only factor, some can handle allot more taint than others.

 

Right, but who's to say that some men from the AoL, once they figured out channeling caused them to go mad, didn't stop outright? Maybe some did, and they just never made it into the history books.

 

I think the problem is that channeling is so addictive. Think of it this way, you combine about every addictive substance known to man into one and have there be no real come down from it, no nasty side effects before the taint and have it be right there in your head constantly, to be able to resist that is not easy. The need to channel is described to be as pressing as the need to breathe, so while some might have been able to just stop, I do not consider it very likely, but off course who knows, there might have been one or two.

 

To say that no male, once they learn to channel, can resist the urge to channel again is silly, IMO.  Maybe 99.99% of them cannot resist, but there must be a couple or few within the past 3,000 years that did.

 

Perhaps some very few have been able to, like I said I do not think it is likely but for all I know there could have been, the chance that a newly awakened male channeler will be one of those very few is extremely small so it do not really matter for the question what would you do if you where a male channeler in Wheel of Time. Off course you try to just not channel at first, I imagine everyone try that at first or at least nearly everyone, sure having such power is cool but it do sort of kill you and if you are unlucky those around you as well. But let us not say everyone then, let us say almost...almost everyone fail, the need to channel being to strong, what then, when you realize you can not stop yourself from using these abilities that will eventually drive you insane and make you a danger to everyone around you, what then do you do with yourself?

 

 

There is no free will in Randland, so there is no responsibility.
 
Pattern: balefireruinssteaks, you must buy a horse!
balefireruinssteaks: Gender, colour etc?
Pattern: It doesn't matter. Just buy a horse!
balefireruinssteaks: OK.
 
So, maybe you can see this (gender, colour) as a limited free will but the main thing is: you will buy a horse. 

 

True but this lack of free will is only an issue for those the Pattern consider to be important, for the average man and woman they have free will and can do whatever they want. I look at it like the Matrix, most people there have free will they have a choice in everything they do and the Agents just do not care, just when the Agents either need someone to drive history in a certain direction or they need someone to be stopped from doing something will they go in and take control over that person. The average run of the mill WoT inhabitant have free will, though the important people do not.

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Well that's a lot of fuss over something that started with my moral observations. :)

 

Personally, I think 'named' characters  are usually folks who are above average or beyond the norm in the world they live in. 

I think this goes double for WoT as if it is one thing the books have is a surplus of super-uber-powerful-awesome-best-greatest-of-thier-age characters.

I think it's more a case of major characters, our leads, tend to be the above average folk - WoT's larger cast of characters gives more room for ordinary people, less exceptional folk, people who are *shudder* average. Siuan Sanche and Logain Ablar are fairly exceptional people - one was the Amyrlin, and at a fairly young age for such a role, while the other was a False Dragon. Leane less so - becoming Keeper doesn't require the same sort of drive and dedication as becoming Amyrlin. Ronaille, Irgain and Sashalle are AS, which means they have more strength of will than the average bear, but by the standards of AS they aren't truly exceptional people.

 

I am not sure if you just re-stated my point, or tried to argue it.. or both :)

 

No matter which, I think the key statement you made was " by the standards of AS they aren't truly exceptional people".  Those standards are much higher, and IMHO just falling into the 'acceptable range' of them, puts a character into a higher bracket. Even the least of the AS seems to be able to dig deep and be exceptional when needed.   I am not sure I could say any of the AS are 'common folk'.

 

I am going to stick by my statement.  The named characters, from main through supporting to minor, are exceptional people.  Maybe not exceptional in thier own groups, but certainly exceptional in comparisson to the vast population.

AS are the group most likely to face stilling, the group who is the source for most of our information on it. They are also the group with the most to lose from stilling, and the group with the greatest fear of it. So an average AS is a good indicator of the average response to stilling, and they are average AS. When their being exceptional is in relation to non-channelers, and their being unexceptional is in relation to other channelers, and this is a channeling-related problem, then surely it makes more sense to think of them as being unexceptional with regards to stilling? Especially as to think otherwise is just to dismiss any possible counter-example as being an exceptional case, and therefore not relevant.

 

 

 

IMHO, using any of the named folks who got stilled as an example for how the common man/woman would respond, is a logical fallacy. (ie.  If it is true for them, it has to be true for everyone)  The same applies in reverse. 

 

1. That wasn't the point being made.

 

It came across that way.  

 

>2. To say every named character in the story has some sort of super human, exceptional will is of course ridiculous. Channelers in general are not "normal folk". Whether they be AS, WO's, WF's, a village wise woman etc. As has been discussed severing would most likely be worse for AS than others groups.

 

I used hyperbole, my appologies for not being clearer.  Sure they are not all 'super human', like any group of people it varies in degrees.  Still, the lowest of the named characters is still above the 'normal man'.. else they would not be special and would have no reason to be named.

Rubbish. People can named for all manner of reasons - they can be unexceptional but merely in a place at a time that makes them being named convenient from a story-telling perspective. WoT has lots of ordinary people, people who are not exceptional. They're just people. Our leads are exceptional, but if everyone is exceptional, then no-one is.

 

 

I don't think I'd want to be the most powerful male channeler of all or something like that.  Weilding that much power has immense responsibility and although you can do a lot of things with it, you can do a lot of things with a medium level of power as well. 

 

 
 
There is no free will in Randland, so there is no responsibility.
 
Pattern: balefireruinssteaks, you must buy a horse!
balefireruinssteaks: Gender, colour etc?
Pattern: It doesn't matter. Just buy a horse!
balefireruinssteaks: OK.
 
So, maybe you can see this (gender, colour) as a limited free will but the main thing is: you will buy a horse. 

So, by your own admission, free will does exist - you can make a choice. Free will always has limits, so pointing out that there are limits on free will does not indicate it does not exist. If it exists, your whole point is null and void.

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I think the problem is that channeling is so addictive. Think of it this way, you combine about every addictive substance known to man into one and have there be no real come down from it, no nasty side effects before the taint and have it be right there in your head constantly, to be able to resist that is not easy. The need to channel is described to be as pressing as the need to breathe, so while some might have been able to just stop, I do not consider it very likely, but off course who knows, there might have been one or two.

What? If it is as addictive as every addictive substance known to man combined, with no nasty side effect... Then wouldn't all channelers be channeling all the time? It is addictive, yes, but not nearly as addictive as that. Think about it. Coffee is addicting without any real nasty effects. Now imagine it was 100,000 times more addicting and gave everyone heightened senses and a sense of euphoria. Wouldn't people pretty much be chugging it nonstop? Ok, with channeling you might burn yourself out, sure. So for the super coffee analogy, we'll add in that if you drink too much at once, you somehow become unable to drink any more, or potentially die. So, people figure out how much they can tolerate and then keep a steady stream of exactly that amount. There would be no reason to ever stop.

 

So, channeling is addictive, but not all addictive substances rolled into one. I'd say maybe equivalent to heroine, if what I understand of that drug is true. One "hit" is enough to addict, and quitting is pretty damn hard, but people can go a little while between hits.

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What? If it is as addictive as every addictive substance known to man combined, with no nasty side effect... Then wouldn't all channelers be channeling all the time?

 

Most do want to channel all the time, and really only the fear of burning themselves out and the fact that channeling is tiering so there is a limit to how long a person can channel at the time keep most from doing that, well that and training to resist the temptation to.

 

It is addictive, yes, but not nearly as addictive as that. Think about it. Coffee is addicting without any real nasty effects. Now imagine it was 100,000 times more addicting and gave everyone heightened senses and a sense of euphoria. Wouldn't people pretty much be chugging it nonstop?

 

I imagine so yes, but if it was dangerous to do so people might learn some control, especially if loosing control meant a good chance you could never drink it again.

 

Ok, with channeling you might burn yourself out, sure. So for the super coffee analogy, we'll add in that if you drink too much at once, you somehow become unable to drink any more, or potentially die. So, people figure out how much they can tolerate and then keep a steady stream of exactly that amount. There would be no reason to ever stop.

 

Most channelers do channel allot. The White Tower spend allot of time actually teaching their students control, but most use it rather often through to day and have to fight to not use it more than they should.

 

So, channeling is addictive, but not all addictive substances rolled into one. I'd say maybe equivalent to heroine, if what I understand of that drug is true. One "hit" is enough to addict, and quitting is pretty damn hard, but people can go a little while between hits.

 

Well let us say it is like heroine then, but a heroine with no nasty come down and more importantly it is always there in your head, all you need to do to use it is grab for it, no need to see a dealer, no need to conserve it so you have more for later it is always there, do you think many would be able to quit then? Go a little while without using yes someone can do that, but stopping all together no.

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I would go to tear's great holding or something, find the most BA sa'angreal I could and go into the blight and challenge the dark one.

 

Well that would create a big bang. :P

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