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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Naggash

[Plot Specific] Good and Evil, Creator and DO?

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Hello.

I think the DO is not bad. You probably think I'm crazy but keep reading.

"The Dark One was not the enemy, and it never had been" 

As Rand sais when he fights him, the Dark One is nothingness. I think he is not "evil" as we understand it, I think he is just the negative balance of the Pattern as the Creator is the positive, and as everything in the world of tWoT, it's all about balance and duality. They aren't "enemies", they work together to make the world work properly. The existence of both of them is what grants people freedom of will. He never was the enemy because he never  really intended to win. And what do they (Creator and DO) care about some deaths? Each soul will live a million lives  before it has to face the DO again. A single death for the good of humankind isn't that a big deal. What is imperative is for humans to remember what is truly important and what must be protected at all costs.

I also see their relationship as something similar to the "good cop" and the "bad cop", working together to keep humanity in the good path, each one with its own role to play. Think about it this way: We live in our utopia, our perfect world, we are happy, everyone can live a good life and there is no hunger, wars, evil...but we humans never have enough, we have to have more, and when we excell so much at the weaving of the OP and we do such marvelous things that nothing better can be acomplished, what do we do? We need more, and we seek more. The DO represents the bad cop as well as the punishment and also the correction mechanism for us humans to remember what is truly important.

Rand may be the one facing him, but everyone under the Light (souls that in one Turn fight for the Light may fight for the shadow in another, depending on their personality at the moment and their current circumstances, and vice versa) fights him and in the end, they all understand. We see it at the end of the battle.

I may be thinking too much about it, and I certainly don't have the right words to express myself in english when talking about metaphysics and philosophy, but I hope at least I made you think about it. And I'm sure there's a lot of thing I'm missing that could support my way of thinking but....well...I know inside me that this is the right, true meaning behind the Wheel of Time. And if it isn't like that for everyone else, it will still be for me.

 

PD: When I finished reading the book (shortly after it was released) I wrote this post with a LOT more info  to support it, but that message is lost. I couldn't post until know (navigator issues...), and I don't remember things as neatly as when I had just finished reading and I had my head like a highway full of information and activity. So yeah, there's evidence or at least what I think is evidence to support this theory, but I don't remember it now. I write it nontheless in case the spiritual message reaches someone else as it reached me.

Edited by Naggash

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When someone asks questions like:

 

Is the DO evil as we understand it?

 

What is truly important to humans?

 

this implies the existence of a standard of good and evil, against which the DO and humanity - and, for that matter, the Creator - are to be measured. What is this standard? Is it, in some sense, that 'third constant', T'A'R?

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I do think the Dark One intends to win. He's not the enemy because he's intentionally playing the bad cop with the aim of keeping people good, he's just necessary, and more like a force of nature. He may be intelligent, but I think he pretty much thinks in the moment, and that limits his ability to plan. The existence of the Dark One is what allows people to defend themselves with violence. I think a lot of the themes about the necessity of the Dark One are tied up in Perrin's arc and the Tinkers. Perrin struggles with the necessity to do violence, and eventually comes to the conclusion that sometimes it is necessary. In the end, his hammer can be used for war, but it can also be used to create. The Tinkers try to reject the dark part of themselves altogether, and they are forbidden from using violence to defend themselves.

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I think the intent of the "The Dark One was not the enemy, it never was" was not meant so say that the DO is not evil or that he does not intend to win.  He is and he does.  It is meant to emphasize that mankind his its own enemy when they choose to do evil and serve the DO.  One thing you may have noticed through out the story is that the DO never possessed anyone or forced anyone to do anything.  The DO can have no influence over the world unless people choose to serve him i.e. do evil.  The DO is in fact evil even if he is a necessary evil.  As Moiraine argued at the Field of Merilor The DO is part of the wheel because he allows human beings the ability to choose evil and without the ability to choose what is wrong mankind cannot have free will.  So to sum up the DO is not the enemy because he cannot force mankind to do evil, he makes it possible for people to choose evil but only they can make that choice and therefore mankind is his own enemy.

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The BWB states that the DO did in fact cause people to do evil by magnifying their dark thoughts and feelings. And don't forget Turning which forces good people to do evil.

 

There's no coherent way to fit Brandon's invention of the nature of the DO with RJ's world, I've really tried. It wasn't thought out well at all.

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If the dark one is the dark counterpart of the creator and the power of the creator turns the wheel, then with all the themes of balance it makes sense that the power of the dark one helps to turn the wheel as well. If people gain the ability to have good thoughts from the creator's power in the wheel then the evil thoughts come from the dark ones power in the wheel. BOOM, coherent way to make it fit into the world with only 10 seconds if thought put into it. It might not be the best way but in seconds a reason was thought up that is not jarring

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Except that nobody has free will if their thoughts depend on outside entities to originate from.

 

If I give you an apple and an orange to choose between and you rely on me to provide food for you to eat, you don't have free will just because you get to choose which fruit to eat of the ones I provide. Your choices are dependent on me, and I shape the terms of your agency.

 

Similarly, if people must rely on the DO or Creator for the ability to have choice, their free will goes only so far as either of those allow. And we know the DO overrides free will when he can.

 

So people's free will is limited in this regard and thus is not free at all.

 

Pieces on a shara board.

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Remember also, it wasn't like this until Brandon got notes back that he needed to make Rand's confrontation more dramatic, so don't worry too much about it. RJ didn't conceive it and Brandon didn't put much thought into it, so we don't need to either.

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Spending 10 seconds is not worrying about it. You could rationalize it that evey person has a little angel and devil on their shoulders. They will listen to one of them but the choice is theirs. Without the dark one helping to turn the wheel there is no little devil and instead of having choices you only have one option and no more free will! Eureka!

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I just finished explaining how either of our analogies aren't free will free will at all.

 

A decision that is defined by someone else's terms isn't an example of free will. Think of Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

 

If we accept Brandon's innovation, Moridin was right all along and can be seen much more sympathetically from a philosophical, if not moral, standpoint. But what is morality in such a construct anyways?

 

It's pretty clear this isn't where RJ meant to take things (we weren't "misled" at all).

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I'm not sure why you keep bringing up Turning, jjp. The very point is that it corrupts a person's will. It doesn't make them possessed, though.

 

Listen, jjp. If a god made a world and put people on it and said the people could do whatever they wanted in the world, do people lack free will because they're limited by the world they live on itself? It's your apples and oranges comparison, except infinitely more complicated.

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Turning doesn't belong in a conversation about the nature of the DO, evil, and free will?

 

To answer your question about Creation, no. But if part of that creation made people's choices dependent on outside forces to be possible, they wouldn't be real choices. Free will with strings attached is an oxymoron.

 

That's why this only entered the story when Brandon was told to fix that scene.

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No one ever has true unmitigated free will. You are always constrained by the circumstances around you and by what you have at your disposal. You cannot do everything you want to do. In the wheel of time you can say that those circumstances are because of the creator and dark one. Alternatively, you can say that the little voice in your head telling you what to do (your conscious) only tells you to burn or pet puppies depending on which supernatural being was destroyed. You can decide to pet kitties instead but you will never think of burning them if the dark one is gone.

 

Also there is no free will because min sees what will happen instead if what may happen. No free will. The pattern weaves as the pattern wills

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Free will doesn't mean doing everything you want to do.

 

Re the Pattern, you miss the point entirely. The Pattern wove Rand to be Dragon, but the entire point of VoG was that he had to CHOOSE to be the Dragon, it wasn't enough to trudge around for duty's sake.

 

While he held all of the OP and debated whether or not to end existence, love is what convinced him to fight. He had every opportunity to end the world, Pattern be damned. Like Tam and Cadsuane and everybody tried to get him to understand, he had to want to do it.

 

The Pattern put him into position, but in VoG he had to decide what to do about it.

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Well this has gotten off topic, but anyway I'm inclined to somewhat agree with the fist post if you take a good look at the series one thing jumps out, the DO doesn't ever really do anything I may be wrong but wasn't it Aginor and others who created the monsters in the blight as well as their more famous ones, wasn't it the forsaken who perpetrated all the horrific events during the WoP I mean the light didn't win that war they just delayed the LB, so I can't recall him doing much at all even when he was free. It is about choice people choose to turn other people, he doesn't do it even his hand only hurt those who accept his authority

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Free will doesn't mean doing everything you want to do.

 

Re the Pattern, you miss the point entirely. The Pattern wove Rand to be Dragon, but the entire point of VoG was that he had to CHOOSE to be the Dragon, it wasn't enough to trudge around for duty's sake.

 

While he held all of the OP and debated whether or not to end existence, love is what convinced him to fight. He had every opportunity to end the world, Pattern be damned. Like Tam and Cadsuane and everybody tried to get him to understand, he had to want to do it.

 

The Pattern put him into position, but in VoG he had to decide what to do about it.

and the random people min saw who got married? They couldn't even choose who they loved. Talk about free will

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Free will doesn't mean doing everything you want to do.

 

Re the Pattern, you miss the point entirely. The Pattern wove Rand to be Dragon, but the entire point of VoG was that he had to CHOOSE to be the Dragon, it wasn't enough to trudge around for duty's sake.

 

While he held all of the OP and debated whether or not to end existence, love is what convinced him to fight. He had every opportunity to end the world, Pattern be damned. Like Tam and Cadsuane and everybody tried to get him to understand, he had to want to do it.

 

The Pattern put him into position, but in VoG he had to decide what to do about it.

and the random people min saw who got married? They couldn't even choose who they loved. Talk about free will

Min also has conditional visions, so all your statement points out is that some things (not all) are forced by the pattern.

 

Also, you say "they couldn't even choose who they loved." Can we choose who we love? If you could teach me how, that could save me a lot of heartache.

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Well this has gotten off topic, but anyway I'm inclined to somewhat agree with the fist post if you take a good look at the series one thing jumps out, the DO doesn't ever really do anything I may be wrong but wasn't it Aginor and others who created the monsters in the blight as well as their more famous ones, wasn't it the forsaken who perpetrated all the horrific events during the WoP I mean the light didn't win that war they just delayed the LB, so I can't recall him doing much at all even when he was free. It is about choice people choose to turn other people, he doesn't do it even his hand only hurt those who accept his authority

 

"The DO doesn't ever really do anything"?? Didn't he put on some myrddraal skin and rape a few people? (Yes, I'm talking about Shaidar Haran.)

Edited by Erdrick

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Also the Finns know the future even when balefire is involved

 

This argument reminds me of the theological debate about the concept of free will being incompatible with the concept of an omniscient Creator.

 

Suppose that you accept the free will hypothesis. There are two different cereal boxes in front of you, and you are able to use your free will to choose what you have for breakfast today. Now think back to what you ate for breakfast yesterday. Can you change yesterday's decision? No. Does that disprove free will? No.

 

Similarly, something outside of time (or, in the case of the 'finns, somehow able to see outside the confines of time) is not incompatible with the free will hypothesis. You can imagine an entire universes timeline playing out with creatures having free agency. At the same time, something outside of that timeline can see the entire history of that universe (from say a Big Bang type beginning to however things turn out at the end) as if everybody's decisions were made and fixed like yesterday's breakfast.

 

Apart from this WoT-universe discussion, I do believe in the possibility of free will. But I also think that we are largely influenced by circumstance (upbringing, past experiences, hormones and chemicals in our brain, and various other mental limitations), so the actual expression of free would only manifest itself in very subtle ways.

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Min can see the future choices people make and the consequences thereof. Look at Siuan, Min told her what would happen and she chose it. She can see their future threads in the Pattern, but how those threads came into being are the result of choices upon choices.

 

Erdrick is correct, omniscience doesn't negate free will.

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Well this has gotten off topic, but anyway I'm inclined to somewhat agree with the fist post if you take a good look at the series one thing jumps out, the DO doesn't ever really do anything I may be wrong but wasn't it Aginor and others who created the monsters in the blight as well as their more famous ones, wasn't it the forsaken who perpetrated all the horrific events during the WoP I mean the light didn't win that war they just delayed the LB, so I can't recall him doing much at all even when he was free. It is about choice people choose to turn other people, he doesn't do it even his hand only hurt those who accept his authority

The DO tainted saidin, causing men who could channel to go mad and Break the World.  I'd have to say that is "doing something".

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The taint existed because the Pattern needed it as a condition for people to live under in the new Age.

 

Everything else that happened was from people choosing the Shadow or the Light; the Shadowspawn, the Turning of channelers to the Shadow, the Tree of Life, Callandor, the Choedan Kal; Lews Therin, Manetheren, Malkier, Artur Hawkwing as lessons of choosing the Light and battling the Shadow.

 

The endless summer and drought was the Pattern forcing the DO to effect in this way, and forcing humanity to use the Bowl of the Winds to right the weather, just as Rand post epiphany was forced to effect the clouds in the opposite fashion when the cloud cover began.

 

In all of these cases, people employed free will, they chose to do what they did based on what they believed, and the resulting events were the consequences of their choices.

 

Important lessons considering the world we live in today, don't you think??

Edited by wotfan4472

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Well this has gotten off topic, but anyway I'm inclined to somewhat agree with the fist post if you take a good look at the series one thing jumps out, the DO doesn't ever really do anything I may be wrong but wasn't it Aginor and others who created the monsters in the blight as well as their more famous ones, wasn't it the forsaken who perpetrated all the horrific events during the WoP I mean the light didn't win that war they just delayed the LB, so I can't recall him doing much at all even when he was free. It is about choice people choose to turn other people, he doesn't do it even his hand only hurt those who accept his authority

The DO tainted saidin, causing men who could channel to go mad and Break the World.  I'd have to say that is "doing something".

 

 

 Actually, it wasn't really.

 

The Taint occurred when Lews Therin and co. touched the DO with Saidin. They poisoned themselves, basically dipping their hand in a pit of acid. 

 

 

The weather is not so easily explained.

 

It could be a simple reaction to the DO itself. Meaning the DO doesn't actually control it - but rather the weather is distorted just because the DO is present, like a poisonous cloud hanging over the pattern. 

 

However, this is far less clear than the Taint situation. It is implied that the DO actually manipulates the seasons actively (but again, nothing reliable or solid, just appearances.)

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