Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mind games

"There is a secret you must learn, child," Jasnah said. "A secret that is even more important than those relating to Shadesmar and spren. Power is an illusion of perception."

Shallan frowned.

"Don't mistake me," Jasnah continued. "Some kinds of power are real—power to command armies, power to Soulcast. These come into play far less often than you would think. On an individual basis, in most interactions, this thing we call power—authority—exists only as it is perceived.

"You say I have wealth. This is true, but you have also seen that I do not often use it. You say that I have authority as the sister of a king. I do. And yet, the men of this ship would treat me exactly the same way if I were a beggar who had convinced them I was the sister to a king. In that case, my authority is not a real thing. It is mere vapors—an illusion. I can create that illusion for them, as can you."

"I'm not convinced, Brightness."

"I know. If you were, you would be doing it already."

Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson

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I am not interested in your petty games. I'm blur, and I'm bound to be caught up in it, maybe even starting it myself. But I'm starting to see what's going on a little better, mostly because I'm starting to learn that there are so many options. So many ways to be. And—at the risk of sounding like Solo—there are so many ways to bend the rules without breaking them (and of course, without causing any hurt).

I think once I realized I don't have to be caught up in a pattern, I started to see what the pattern was. Just a glimpse for now. And once I see the pattern, I can change it. And that kind of makes me realise... yes, games, even petty ones, can be powerful. But there's a little magic in the world, which makes all these things crumble the moment you realise that nothing, truly nothing, has power over you unless you let it. 

Well damn.

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