|Each Flame Casts A Shadow
Of late (at the time of writing this) there’s been a long debate going on on the Pages of Prophecy BBS on the nature of Light and Darkness, the Creator and the Dark One, and so forth.
Not being exactly a disinterested party myself (I’m probably one of the most prolific posters on the subject) I decided that I, at least, would try to get it out of my system in my usual way, by writing an essay.
So here goes.
‘If’ the argument runs, ‘the Creator and the Dark One are equals, why is it the Dark One and not the Creator who is imprisoned? Did the Creator create the Dark One? And if so, why? And if not, where did it come from?’
(Actually, this ‘Are Good and Evil equal?’ business has been going on a lot longer than Jordan’s been writing. The doctrine of Manicheism states that Good and Evil are exactly balanced in the universe. The orthodox Church tends to wriggle around the question of ‘If God is omnipotent, why are we so worried about the Devil?’ If you’ve read David Eddings’ The Rivan Codex, by the way, you should know where I picked up those little facts. Mea culpa. Back to the subject.)
To understand my viewpoint on this, first let’s go back to the Bible. In the beginning - there was a formless void. And God said “Let there be light!” and there was light. And God separated the light from the darkness.
Before there was light, what was there? Darkness is defined as the opposite of light. If light does not exist, then darkness is meaningless. Before there was Light there could be no Shadow.
Now going back to the Wheel of Time - in fact, going back before the Wheel of Time - the universe was a void. There was no time or space, there was no Creator, and there was no Dark One. Then the Creator and the Light came into being, and the light was separated from the darkness. All that was not Light, was defined as Dark. The essence of Dark was the Dark One. So the Creator and Dark One are not equals. The Creator came first, but the Dark One was a necessary part of the universe.
Light a candle, and watch the flame appear. Watch the shadow cast by the flame. You didn’t create the shadow - but in creating the flame you caused the appearance of the shadow. You can’t have one without the other.
Cause and effect. The Light is the cause. The Dark is the effect.
So why is it always the Dark One who is imprisoned, rather than the Creator? The Creator is older. It got in first.
The Creator created the universe and imprisoned the Dark One, then gave a shove to the Wheel of Time, which then started to spin. If you want to know what I think happened from then, read A Map of the Wheel. If you don’t want to know what I think, why are you reading this?