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Thread: the beams: Are they alive **Spoilers**

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    Ash seeketh embers razz has a spectacular aura about razz has a spectacular aura about razz's Avatar

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    Default the beams: Are they alive **Spoilers**

    I was reading The thread about the Kammen, and Kirin's comment about the beams and their creators. And then I wondered if the beams were alive. Because they are machines. It said so in the series (in Wastelands?), they were created by the Old ones. So did they give them life? Is it like Blaine, except sane (that rhymed ^_^)? Or maybe being is such proximity to the Tower did that. Because the beams can talk, one spoke to sheemie, they send out dreams, they help The Tet along. What do you think?
    Beyond the scope of light, beyond the reach of Dark. . . what could possibly await us?
    And yet, we seek it, insatiably. Such is our fate. . .

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    Banned The Lady of Shadows is on a distinguished road

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    i think they definitely have sentient properties but i don't know that i would call them living things. unless your definition of life is sentience. i think i read that somewhere. that the definition of living is being sentient? if that's the case then absolutely they are alive because they do act to ensure their own survival - the dreams sent to sheemie, assisting the tet (i have to look up my source material on that but if anyone can help me out with a cite or two that would be great).

    maybe along with this, razz, the question should be what is "alive"?

    nice thread. hope you did a search first.

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    DT.Org's Official Sweetie Wuducynn will become famous soon enough Wuducynn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by razz
    the beams: Are they alive?


    Yes. It seems to me like they were purely spiritual beings before the Great Old Ones "rebuilt" them or maybe added cybernetic parts to them.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    Au Naturale theBeamisHome is on a distinguished road theBeamisHome's Avatar

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    I'm RIGHT HERE!!! and very much alive.... I think...

    ok, sorry. couldn't help it.

    if we go all Descartes on ourselves... "i think therefore i am" then sure they're alive... they exist.. they think because they try to protect themselves.... maybe.. Asimov said that robots have to protect themselves as long as it doesn't interfere with the first two laws lol.... but I think more like Matthew.. they're spirits that got trapped in machinery, ghost in the shell and all that... are spirits alive? depends on who you talk to. but i say, yes..


    all that for a yes...

    Human kind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one and only truth.

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    I believe so YES! They have consciousness, therefor in my opinion they are alive.

    The answer is within

    all matter is energy, all energy is GOD

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    Ash seeketh embers razz has a spectacular aura about razz has a spectacular aura about razz's Avatar

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    well turtle, since I'm like the master of Vague thread openers, my definition of alive (at least mentally) is basically capable of either rational and/or instinctive thought. For example, a dog is mentally alive, because while it doesn't think rationally, it often survives on instinct. humans are mentally alive because they use both rationality and instinct. computers use logic, btu not instinct. also they really don't think. and braindeads? not alive, since they don't think. so i guess it means mentally active?
    Beyond the scope of light, beyond the reach of Dark. . . what could possibly await us?
    And yet, we seek it, insatiably. Such is our fate. . .

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    Big Coffin Hunter jayson is on a distinguished road

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    Then yes, by the definition you gave. The Beams are capable of some form of thought since they sent the dreams to Sheemie and the Tet as well as the "thankya" to Sheemie. So if thought = life, they are alive.

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    damned and saved Letti will become famous soon enough Letti's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Hail_The_Crimson_King View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by razz
    the beams: Are they alive?


    Yes. It seems to me like they were purely spiritual beings before the Great Old Ones "rebuilt" them or maybe added cybernetic parts to them.
    I agree with Matthew. I am sure they weren't built by the Great Old Ones originally but they tried to make them stranger with some extra intelligent machines but machines aren't friends with time so they couldn't help the beams for long.

    I feel the beams are really similar to plants... they don't talk, they don't cry if you cut or hurt them but they are so much alive. Our world can't exist without them but they are really silent and we hardly notice them or their importance and we don't see how much we destroy them with our daily comfortable life.
    They are full of energy and they are powerful still they are fragile. Like plants.
    Like roses.

    Anyway I don't think the Beams sent the dream to Sheemie literally but he could understand and catch their... wave or "frequency" and he could feel their status.. it's hard to put into words but the way I see it the Beams didn't send that dream but Sheemie could catch that feelings... somehow.

    Roland would have understood.

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    Big Coffin Hunter jayson is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Letti View Post
    They are full of energy and they are powerful still they are fragile. Like plants.
    Like roses.
    That was very poetic Letti. For a non-native speaker, you certainly have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts in English.

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    damned and saved Letti will become famous soon enough Letti's Avatar

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    :rose:

    Quote Originally Posted by R_of_G View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Letti View Post
    They are full of energy and they are powerful still they are fragile. Like plants.
    Like roses.
    That was very poetic Letti. For a non-native speaker, you certainly have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts in English.
    Thanks a lot. I try my best.

    Roland would have understood.

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    Here's a thought, are the beams each separate entities? Or are they just part of the huge organism that is the Dark Tower? Are they to the Tower like limbs would be to us? Or are they seperate (albeit definitely linked) symbiotic organisms with the Tower?

    The Sheemie dream sequence certainly suggests their separate entities in their own right but then again the Tower could have sent the transmission in that way to make a point. The different things stated concerning the nature of the rose (i.e. sometimes it's seen as the appearance of the Tower in certain worlds, other times it's symbolic of a specific beam... ) suggest they're all part of the same thing. Personally I think they might be both, if that's possible.

    As for their origins, as others have said, the Beams no doubt existed before the machine portals were created to sustain them. I suspect the original role might have been the roses in the fields surrounding the Tower. That being said, it's curious that the beam machine itself is referred to as a portal, which certainly suggests there might have been a gateway of sorts there before the machine was created too. (Actually some of the blurb at the back of the comics suggests this.)

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    I think they are separate symbiotic entities.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    you all are right !

    The answer is within

    all matter is energy, all energy is GOD

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    Quote Originally Posted by alinda View Post
    you all are right !
    I don't think it's knowable if we're "all right" until we hear or see word from King on it.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    Banned The Lady of Shadows is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Letti View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by All_Hail_The_Crimson_King View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by razz
    the beams: Are they alive?


    Yes. It seems to me like they were purely spiritual beings before the Great Old Ones "rebuilt" them or maybe added cybernetic parts to them.
    I agree with Matthew. I am sure they weren't built by the Great Old Ones originally but they tried to make them stranger with some extra intelligent machines but machines aren't friends with time so they couldn't help the beams for long.

    I feel the beams are really similar to plants... they don't talk, they don't cry if you cut or hurt them but they are so much alive. Our world can't exist without them but they are really silent and we hardly notice them or their importance and we don't see how much we destroy them with our daily comfortable life.They are full of energy and they are powerful still they are fragile. Like plants.
    Like roses.

    Anyway I don't think the Beams sent the dream to Sheemie literally but he could understand and catch their... wave or "frequency" and he could feel their status.. it's hard to put into words but the way I see it the Beams didn't send that dream but Sheemie could catch that feelings... somehow.
    i find this a fascinating thought. we talked about this in one of my philosophy classes once upon a time. how do we know that plants don't cry out when you cut them? how do we know that when we cut pretty flowers from our garden the stalks themselves don't scream in agony and terror and the rest of the garden doesn't mourn their passage from their group? how do we know that when we mow the lawn, it doesn't cry out to the very sky it's death?

    i think someone wrote a book about this once but i can't remember who. does anyone know what i'm talking about (smartasses need not reply )?

    as for the second bolded part. i understand exactly what you mean letti. he was on their wave length. i wonder how long he was? even back in meijis? or was it something more recent? something that happened only when he got to blue heaven and the serious work on the beams began? maybe he tuned into their frequency (or they tuned him into their frequency?) only when they really needed him.

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    damned and saved Letti will become famous soon enough Letti's Avatar

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    I don't think that Sheemie was on their wave length in Mejis. His abilities weren't so strong at that time AND he didn't spend his days destroing them. The beams weren't in the center of his life.
    Shemmie could understand or catch their feelings because he spent so much time with them. Maybe he had felt the "fears" and "feelings" of the Beams for long but he tried not to think of them but after awhile he couldn't hide these thoughts from himself and his mind transported all of these into a very vivid and touching dream.
    Just my two cents of course. But I can't imagine the Beams sending dreams like an old witch... it was Shemmie who could get on their wave length because he was such a true-hearted innocent boy. Maybe at that very time when he was working hard on destroying them with the other Breakers.

    Roland would have understood.

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    I think it was the guardian, the Turtle, who sent that dream. The guardians are sentient, and their portals tie right into the beams, all of which they serve to protect.

    Not sure I understand just what the second question is. If you mean "thinking" by the word "alive" then they could be so even if they're just artificial intelligences.
    In any case, I agree totally with Mattew:
    Quote Originally Posted by All_Hail_The_Crimson_King View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by razz
    the beams: Are they alive?


    Yes. It seems to me like they were purely spiritual beings before the Great Old Ones "rebuilt" them or maybe added cybernetic parts to them.
    Seems to me that the guardians had physical, organic bodies before they were cyborged in Roland's world, but I believe they are mainly spiritual, extradimensional beings, like in It. In fact, they may be able to control multiple selves in multiple worlds with their reality powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Letti View Post
    ...Just my two cents of course. But I can't imagine the Beams sending dreams like an old witch... it was Shemmie who could get on their wave length because he was such a true-hearted innocent boy. Maybe at that very time when he was working hard on destroying them with the other Breakers.
    ??? God, too, sends dreams. Like, to the prophets. I don't know why you associate that only with witches. I do believe that Sheemie's personality had a big part in him being sent the dream, (not to mention the fact of his tremendous pyschic powers) but I still think that the turtle chose to talk to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by turtlesong View Post
    ...we talked about this in one of my philosophy classes once upon a time. how do we know that plants don't cry out when you cut them? how do we know that when we cut pretty flowers from our garden the stalks themselves don't scream in agony and terror and the rest of the garden doesn't mourn their passage from their group? how do we know that when we mow the lawn, it doesn't cry out to the very sky it's death?

    i think someone wrote a book about this once but i can't remember who. does anyone know what i'm talking about (smartasses need not reply )?
    Well, I have heard of scientific studies where they "film" the auras of plants on invisible light spectrums, and see that they react to disturbances of the plants, which may indicate a type of intelligence. However, I can't say where that's published.
    I do remember, though, the grass all saying "grow, grow, grow" and then screaming at the sound of a lawn mower in the wonderful young adult book So You Want To Be a Wizard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pathoftheturtle View Post
    Seems to me that the guardians had physical, organic bodies before they were cyborged in Roland's world, but I believe they are mainly spiritual, extradimensional beings, like in It. In fact, they may be able to control multiple selves in multiple worlds with their reality powers.
    Sounds right to me. I've always though that purely spiritual beings can also manifest in the physical realm through bodies, so I was including that angle.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    damned and saved Letti will become famous soon enough Letti's Avatar

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    I didn't mean to say that only witches can send dreams. I just gave an example.

    Roland would have understood.

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    Traveler BlaineTheChooChooTrain is on a distinguished road

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    I like to think that they "absorbed" life through all the worlds they hold together.

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    razz I love this thread!!!!!!

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