Relation Between Rand and Lews Therin Telamon

Posted by JMC on 23.01.01 00:00

I’d like to share my ideas about the voices in Rand’s head and the issue of whether or not he’s nuts. Most opinions about this that I’ve heard break down in one of two ways: A.) Rand really does have another soul in his body - Lews Therin Telamon; or B.) the voices Rand hears are manifestations of the taint eating his mind up. I’d like to offer a more comprehensive theory that preserves the strengths of both while uniting them in what I consider a more satisfying explanation.

In order to make sense of my theory, it is important that I elucidate a philosophical distinction - and I take no credit for this idea, just its application here; it really is a piece of real, honest to God philosophy, courtesy of the late 18th-century German Idealist philosopher Immanuel Kant. In his discussions of the nature of the person, Kant made a distinction between what he called the transcendental ego and the empirical ego. The former is the total system of all finite, concrete, empirical details that we commonly associate with ourselves - our names, places in our family, memberships in various organizations such as churches or other religious groups, clubs, etc., our jobs, citizenship status, personal habits, likes and dislikes, etc. In other words, everything that we commonly think of as composing our personality.

But, for Kant, there is another side to the human being, the transcendental ego that is the thinking mind behind all those empirical details, the irreducible "I" that has all those characteristics inhering to it. A useful metaphor might be to compare the empirical ego to a mixed drink of some sort, and the transcendental ego to the glass the fluids are contained and mixed in; the one is the material and content, the other is the form and structure, and you don’t have a whole entity with out them both. In the example of the drink, the fluids without the glass are just a formless puddle, and the glass without the fluids is just a barren, empty structure; likewise, in a person, the empirical ego without the transcendental ego is just a meaningless coincidence of facts and data unrelated to anyone, while the transcendental ego without the empirical ego is an empty, thinking mind without any connection to the world, floating in a void.

So, how does this apply to our potentially insane messiah? Well, I think it works out like this - the Dragon is the transcendental ego, the single, irreducible entity reborn again and again in age after age to fight the Shadow; "Rand al’Thor" and "Lews Therin Telamon" are lives that this person has lived in successive ages - different empirical egos, different personalities. Thus, in a sense, the people who hold to "A", the two-minds-in-one-head theory, are right - their are two empirical egos in the one transcendental ego, the Dragon; but they are not absolutely different entities - just different personalities, different senses of self, vying for conscious expression. It is this that leads to the voices that Rand hears, and that leads the "B" adherents, to think he’s going nuts - in a sense, he is - his empirical ego, the personality inherent in his mind, is under subconscious pressure from the forgotten data of his past lives - the other persons he has been, the other empirical egos, and the most recent one especially, are beginning to surface and express themselves. Whatever the taint may be doing to him, Rand’s current mental problems are due to his own past lives - perhaps it is the taint that is stirring them up; thus, it would be indirectly driving him mad. In any case, the Dragon’s mental stability seems to rest on his being able to come to terms with the fact that he has lived many different lives, of which this is just the latest - a daunting prospect; who would want to look at everything and everyone they know and love and think that they are just the most recent in a long series of cherished things and people ("who wants to live for ever?")? But that’s what I think Rand’s got to do in order to keep it all together - he has to rise above his immersion in his current place and time before he can return to it in the fullness of his might as the Dragon Reborn and kick the Dark One’s head in.

wotmania says: Wow, you really like metaphors! I agree, I think... It was a long day at work (designing websites), and I do not think I am up to Kant at the moment. But I certainly agree with your idea - Rand and Lews Therin are both in the Dragon’s head at the moment, both vying for the ability to express himself. Perhaps Rand will be in the head of the next Dragon who comes around - "Light, I killed Liah..." or some such ranting will drive the next Dragon to distraction.


Good but......

Posted by ForgeX on 30.08.01 14:41
Wow, this is a very good theory, I just have one small objection, you seem to imply that to win "the last battle" Rand has to acknowledge the fact that he in a way is immortal. Now the way Jordan seems to be heading, given the appearence of Cadsuane and Sorilea, rather suggests that he has to do the opposite in order to win, acknowledge the fact that for all his might and glory, he is just a man of flesh and blood.

Not so much...

Posted by mikemayhem on 06.02.02 11:38
Rand doesnt have to admit that he is immortal, just that he has lived many lives.

Simply put, he has to accept who and what he is to be able to recognize that he is merely a man.

Mikel Gaidin
Bonded to Aida Sedai

This could work

Posted by Roodypoo on 16.04.02 01:57
I am inclined to agree with your idea of all the personalities in Rand's head, because Lews mentions at least once about voices in HIS head. He could mean Rand or it might be the dragon that preceded him.

I like it!

Posted by Alrae on 07.06.02 09:28
I really like your theory! One thing I've always wondered about, though. Lews Therin mentions a third persona. Do you have any ideas as to whom that might be?

Lady Alrae of House Carillon
Snooty Tairen Noble Extraordinaire
AKA Paine

All Hail the YuRiPa!

get a life

Posted by Unfriendly Ashaman on 09.06.02 23:28
You obviously have no life. If u have enough time to think up this theory then u definitely need to get out more. And they're just books man, there's no need to get philisophical.


Posted by Morelia on 29.06.02 19:31
Is it then possible for Lews to have left a small drop or two of himself in the glass and it is now mixed in with Rand's? I hope I read this correctly--I've only a few minutes to read this before I must leave.

Whatever the reason, I rather like a 'mixture' of ideas such as this, and it is a reasonable connection to Kant's viewpoints.

I never have cared for the 'either/or' thought process, it seems much too linear--and as we know, life is anything but.

Most things in life have more than one cause, proscribing to just ONE idea has to be just TOO simple!

I agree

Posted by RJordan on 22.08.02 16:36
Wish I had read this before another post entitled "The Taint as an effect on Reborn Lives". I made a reply to that post with similiar ideas but nowhere near the philisophical backing that you did. I agree that the voices are the transcendental ego, or the essence of THE Dragon, with the empirical ego of LTT being the most recent and therfore the strongest. And the voice in LTT's head would be the Dragon's before him.
I also think though, that because of the fact that Rand is going mad and LTT is already mad the pattern is forcing the Dragon's essence from before LTT to re-emerge as a driving force. To stabalize or even take over Rand's thinking. That is what is causing the shakes and shivers he gets when he tries to use the power. If I had two other guys in my head trying to move my arms where I wanted, My arms would probably jerk a lot. Since the power is all done mentally, it's no wonder he gets messed up in the head each time.


Posted by arnwulfezzz on 18.11.02 17:34
I think this is a marvelous idea. I also think it would be interesting if what rand has to do is face all of his past lives, much like Buddha saw his past lives, in order to workout a way to seal the DO back into his prison in this age an age long past an age yet to come.}:l

Here's a different bend on this reasoning...

Posted by ShavedApe on 19.01.03 23:23
I've been thinking on this for some time. With the last couple of novels, Jordan has been introducing a third character to inhabit the body of Rand. Rand now has one seperate entity in his head and another emerging. My theory goes back to Herid Fel's explanation of the Wheel of Time and the Ages and what happens in them. If you remember, Fel said that in one age people did not even remember the DO because he was locked in the Creator's prison sans any holes. Then people drilled the Bore and released the DO. Then in another Age, the Bore was sealed but with a barrier created by man (not as good as the Creator's original). Now, Fel says, another Age will come when the DO's prison will be remade perfect again with no blemishes. I think this has something to do with Rand and the different messiah characters he represents. He is the embodiment of three different messiah characters reborn into the same body not just the Dragon. He is the Dragon, the Cooramor, AND the Car'a'carn. It would take a more powerful hero than any that has come before to remake the DO's prison. So, he is three prophecies born into the same body. This also leads into why he has three women that fall in love with him. Elayne, Aviendha, and Min. Each represents a lost love that is reborn to live her life with each of the three messiah's born into Rand's body. What do ya think?

wow man

Posted by boaks on 01.02.03 03:06
That has got to be the best description of the Rand/LTT in one body I have ever seen. I have to agree, though with RJ you just never can tell.


Posted by Dierpmis on 23.02.03 12:46
This is a great theory. I don't know if I'd feel sorry or happy for the next Dragon - LTT only moans about Ilyena, Rand would be going through his list of hundreds of maidens!

If a sword had memory, it might be grateful to the forge fire, but never fond of it.
-Rand Al'Thor


Posted by dilirah on 29.07.03 23:21
ShavedApe, that was amazing. You gave me goosebumps.

So, is Casdsuane going to help Rand by helping him understand the voices in his head? She must know what they mean, or at least a bit about them to have mentioned them when she first met him. I don't think it was a throw-away comment - RJ uses seeming throw-away comments. Min said he needed Cadsuane to teach him something. It's generally agreed upon based on other prophesy snippets (sorry don't have my books handy ), that she has to teach him how to laugh and how to cry... essentially how to be human again. He's so set on being hard as stone, I think partially because of the "crazy" voices in his head, that Cadsuane helping him come to grips with the "reality" of the voices might just make him laugh and cry at the same time and help him on his way to being human again.

Survivor of Historical Inquizition ... barely

Who can say if I've been changed for the better, but because I knew you I have been changed for good -- Wicked

the end of the wheel

Posted by Master Chief Hendrix on 16.08.05 19:49
I think that this turning of the wheel will be the last. I know that the books themselves and RJ have both stated that the wheel is eternal and ages continue to infinity, but, for there to be another full turning the chreator would have to remake the world. The DO's prison was shattered, sealed, and will be broken again, if rand and co' reseal it again the hole will again weaken and break. But if the wheel was to fully turn then the prison would have to be whole and perfect, this cannot be done by humans as was stated early in the books. Also, the current age is the 3rd and it is understood that the the AOL was the one preveous, this means the the patch on DO's prison only lasted a single age. There are six ages to the wheel and it was stated that there where ages when people did not even know the DO.
Also, in the AOL LTT did not complain about the previous dragon talking in his head, LTT was just himself. Rand has LTT ranting and raving about death and Ilenea, never happened before.
Anyway dinner is almost done and im hungry, so if anyone can help me with this b4 this vien in my forhead hemorages, it would be appreciated.



Posted by AllanaSedai on 20.08.09 06:57
but this was already explained in KoD Semirhage herself said that LTT in Rands head was real...