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The Wheel Of Time - The True Source
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The Wheel of Time - The True Source

If you are an avid reader of fantasy literature, it is almost impossible to not stumble upon the amazing world of Robert Jordan at one point or another during your quest for the next epic read. Robert Jordan has created the first modern epic since J.R.R. Tolkien penned his unforgettable world of Middle Earth. Robert Jordan cannot fairly be compared directly to Tolkien's work though as the two series are both extremely different mythologically and in a myriad of other factors. One of the chiefly unique aspects of Robert Jordan's work is the True Source, which drives the Wheel of Time. It seemed like a research topic that would be quite enlightening for me to tackle and enlighten both myself and the reader as to some of the primary niceties of this force or power.

As mentioned before, the True Source, often called the One power drives the Wheel of Time which spins out the lives of men and serves to drive the universe forward. The True Source is divided into two halves called Saidin and Saidar. These represent the male and female halves of the True Source. Only men can channel Saidin and only women can channel Saidar. The two forces work like polar opposites. Saidin being described as an overpowering torrent of destructive joy that threatens to sweep away the one channeling it. In order to effectively wield it, one must master it and force it to do your will while refraining from being overwhelmed by its pure power. Women on the other hand describe Saidar as a rush, however in order to control and bend it to your will you are required to submit to Saidar rather than struggling with it, as one has to do with Saidin.

In order to use the source, it is necessary to empty oneself of distraction. Once the one power has been grasped, the channeler may manipulate up to five different elemental thread of air, water, earth, fire, or spirit. These are utilized in intricate 'weaves' which are enable the channeler to accomplish a huge array of techniques ranging from destructive fireballs to secretive eavesdropping to shields of solid air and wards to alert the channeler to unwanted company. Most channelers have one or two elements in which they are strong and tend to favor over others. This is a hereditary trait. Just as some people are stronger than others or taller, so some channelers can channel more power or are more gifted in certain areas of channeling than others.

The primary perceived drawback to channeling is for men, who are forced to channel from the tainted Saidin. In the 3,000 years since the first Dragon sealed away the Dark One, he also unleashed the Dark One's curse which tainted Saidin. Now men who channel are exposed to the taint and gradually their minds are eroded and they go insane, eventually killing indiscriminately. Because of this, female channelers, Aes Sedai, track down male channelers and gentle them (cut them off from Saidin) before they are able to go mad. Sadly few men survive long after being gentled.

There we have the background information on the One power within the Wheel of Time series. I am not sure about you, but I certainly wish I could channel. Despite the threat of going mad, it would still be an awesome experience.


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