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The Dharma of Zelda


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#1 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:22 PM

[18:36] auratwilight: I'll be straight up, though, ever since I started looking at the series through an asian mythology/philosophy lens everything clicks together.
[18:36] auratwilight: the whole dharma thing? Pretty much solved 99% of everything.
[18:37] auratwilight: People still cite me on fansites about the Zant/Onmyoji thing
[18:37] chetdew: Well I guess that's why I don't like it when it gets too complex with "divine pranks" and paradoxes. That seems unlike most myth, whereas usually it really does feel like legend
[18:38] chetdew: It's why I hated the split timeline for a long time too
[18:39] auratwilight: well the divine prank thing is totally straight up dharma, which is as myth-y as it gets.
[18:39] chetdew: Yeah, that was a really good call on the onmyoji thing, I think that was definitely intentional and the American/European fanbase just didn't pick up on it because we're unfamiliar with it
[18:39] chetdew: What do you mean?
[18:41] chetdew: I haven't read all your thoughts on the dharma stuff, I've only previously seen your thoughts on the Zant stuff and the stuff about Ganondorf's role as a manifestation of Demise's hatred
[18:41] chetdew: But I find it very intriguing
[18:43] auratwilight: sorry was called away a sec
[18:43] auratwilight: The dharma stuff I haven't really compiled together. How familiar are you with the concept of dharma in general?
[18:44] chetdew: I have a little bit of an idea of some of it but I've probably barely scratched the surface
[18:44] chetdew: Especially in this context
[18:44] auratwilight: as in, lol, basically what you've read from me, then?
[18:45] chetdew: Well I have an interest in mythology and other cultures but when it comes to viewing it through a Zelda lens and vice versa then yes, I don't know about it beyond what you've said
[18:46] auratwilight: well, alright, basically "dharma" is like a mix between "destiny" and "cosmic law."
[18:46] auratwilight: It's more liberating than the western concept of fate, but in some ways also more specific.
[18:47] auratwilight: It's kind of like how gravity demands that what goes up must come down, but nothing says something MUST go up in the first place, you know? there's still a choice element.
[18:47] chetdew: Yeah
[18:47] auratwilight: Dharma, like Karma, is usually used to explain things like the cycle of reincarnation
[18:48] auratwilight: For instance, it is entirely possible that SS Link and Zelda were the only planned incarnations, and if things went how Hylia schemed everything would've been rad and totally awesome forever.
[18:48] auratwilight: Demise's curse imparts a new dharma onto the entirety of Hyrule's multiverse, forcing Link and Zelda to reincarnate, and also demands that Ganondorf must harass them. And if Ganondorf isn't available, perhaps that dharma sicks the more minor villains on them.
[18:51] chetdew: Well, maybe there's something in your interpretation that covers this too, but from the way it usually goes down and the way Demise said it, I was thinking that Ganondorf harasses the Hylians as a whole and in turn forces Zelda and Link's current incarnations to try and stop him
[18:51] auratwilight: well, yea
[18:51] auratwilight: he's Demise's hatred, which is pretty omnicidal
[18:51] auratwilight: but it gives special consideration to Link and Zelda.
[18:52] auratwilight: and frankly I don't think there's a better way to express hate for the two of them than destroying the world they love.
[18:52] chetdew: Yeah, I'm just saying, Ganondorf always shows up before Link and Zelda and Demise targets Link's people in his curse even though he does mention the blood of the goddess and the spirit of the hero first and foremost
[18:52] auratwilight: I think that's sort of a reverse-causality thing
[18:53] auratwilight: He comes first and targets the hylians so that Zelda and Link will rise up to challenge him and hopefully fall.
[18:53] auratwilight: or perhaps it's because Demise is older than both of them, therefore Ganondorf must be older than them
[18:53] auratwilight: That's dharma, too.
[18:54] auratwilight: unlike destiny, Dharma is supposed to run in every direction of time.
[18:54] auratwilight: another, less extreme example of dharma would be the Sleeping Zelda story.
[18:54] chetdew: So it also explains why things that have already happened, happened?
[18:54] auratwilight: yes
[18:55] auratwilight: Because of the Sleeping Zelda, the prince mandated that all princess must bear the name. And because of the nature of that proclamation, it is perhaps possible that it ran the other way in history.
[18:55] auratwilight: This maiden and that maiden bear the name Zelda for they are the Princess of Destiny, respecting the tragedy of the sleeping princess to come.
[18:56] chetdew: Damn dude, that's almost too perfect
[18:56] auratwilight: I love dharma.
[18:56] auratwilight: it's basically the Rule of Symbolism.
[18:56] auratwilight: it allows shit like "It happened because it was thematic" to be a law of the setting.
[18:57] auratwilight: It also solves like all the series in-references, like the Light Spirit Lanayru and the electric dragon Lanayru don't have to be the same person, but can be related through a shared dharma.
[19:00] chetdew: However, maybe there's something I don't quite get, but that's actually why I don't like the idea that there was a literal divine prank or even that Ganondorf had to get the ToP to set up the events of TP. If things had already "gone up to go down" so to speak, why would this incarnation of Ganondorf need to survive? Under the idea that it doesn't need to go up, it just goes down if it goes up, why would the gods or destiny or dharma do all this nonsense just to set up Twilight Princess?
[19:00] auratwilight: Well, the idea I liked is that OOT Link divided the Triforce in the child timeline's ending since he had the ToC.
[19:01] auratwilight: And, well, didn't Midna say that the purpose of the Twilight Mirror was so that the two of them could meet?
[19:01] auratwilight: There needs to be a reason for it to be used...
[19:01] auratwilight: therefore history is predestined backwards through time to arrange it so that Link and Midna meeting is a necessary effect of causality?
[19:03] chetdew: Well yeah, but I feel like if the only condition is that one day the Twili and the Hylians can meet and stop hating and fearing each other all this Ganondorf stuff needn't happen just for that. Especially because there's still a chance Zelda and Link could fail
[19:03] auratwilight: Another aspect of dharma is that the reward has to equal the risk.
[19:03] auratwilight: a ying yang taoist element
[19:04] auratwilight: so maybe the Goddesses decided to take care of the upcoming Ganondorf incarnation by binding him up into the Hylian/Twili thing, to show them that neither side is wrong by showing them an example of true evil.
[19:04] auratwilight: dharma, by the way, would also explain why TP Link and Zelda have their Triforce pieces. They got it via reincarnation from OOT because their child versions never utilized those gifts.
[19:04] chetdew: I guess I like the idea that, even if he's destined to appear and harass Zelda and Link, Ganondorf has to actually work to get to that goal and that the gods aren't really trying to let him have his way, even if only for a while...so that'd be my problem with some of the overly destiny-based stuff
[19:05] auratwilight: Well, yea, I agree there.
[19:05] auratwilight: And dharma would support you there
[19:05] auratwilight: But I don't see anything wrong with the Triforce thing I mentioned.
[19:05] auratwilight: He had the Triforce the instant OOT Link divided it, and only made use of it then, etc.
[19:06] chetdew: Yeah, that works, I think that's one of the most likely possibilities
[19:07] auratwilight: also this model fixes all the problems with the Triforce. Making a wish alters the dharmas necessary to make the wish come true, instead of dropping it in yo' lap.
[19:08] chetdew: But what do you make of The Wind Waker in regards to this? I always saw it as one of the few "new" Links in the sense that the "spirit of the hero" vanished into the child timeline and remained the chosen hero of that timeline, but the King needed to find a new spirit to take up that mantle
[19:09] auratwilight: TWW Link inherited his dharma, because there was no spirit or bloodline to continue, but a Link must appear.
[19:09] auratwilight: and the wish of King Daphnes broke the old dharmas, in the sake of Hope.

#2 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:56 AM

Very interesting read, although I still don't quite get it. Definitely expand on this, though. I couldn't tell you exactly what I'm not getting, I just feel that I'd understand better if this was expanded upon.

#3 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:15 AM

Yea, I don't really have the thoughts all coherent in my head yet, which is why I just dumped the log post. I'll answer questions and such in this thread, though.

The basic concept of dharma is that it's sort of like the middle ground between free will and predestination, and is like the metaphysics that governs the soul, transmigration, and the supernatural flow of the world's laws. A more simple example of a dharma is "Vampires must drink blood because they are cursed" or "Every Link wears the green tunic and hat because it's part of the role." It's a thing that's not bound by strict, linear time and causality, and can cause itself, paradoxes be damned.

It is a sort of rule that allows things to occur because of a future thing that needs to happen, such as "The meeting of X and Y has to happen, and there's three paths this can happen: A, B, and C. Free will exists, but one of those three paths must occur." It is the dharma of Link to save Hyrule, but he fully has the choice of rejecting this duty.

I'm still not sure how to explain it, because there's no nice Western counterpart to the idea where I can say "Dharma is basically this." The word Dharma pretty much literally translates to "Divine Law", though, and can best be compared to the laws of physics (Gravity dictates that what goes up must come down, but it's your decision to make it go up in the first place), or to a God's Commandments, such as "The world shall be flooded for 40 days and 40 nights."

#4 Nerushi

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:11 PM

So with this Dharma, it is possible the explain Demise's hatred as being Ganondorf, Vaati and Malladus or any other villain? Particularly with those three since they overlap at times. Basically, if one villain is indisposed or sealed away( but not dead ), Demises dharma will still find a way to mess with Link and Zelda?

Edited by Nerushi, 09 December 2011 - 12:11 PM.


#5 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

Essentially, yes. Another good metaphor is to think of it as a cosmic program; a proclaimation that the universe must act out, though it could be broken or messed with; perhaps the reason Ganon is always sealed instead of killed is because it forces a slightly weaker enemy to take his place for a generation or two?

#6 Fin

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:40 PM

the way i'm understanding it, is a dharma could say that 'x must happen' but just because that particular event must happen in some way, doesn't change the fact that all the people involved still make their own decisions or work their asses off to achieve their own goals. or that people just live their lives, but every so often a dharma stacks the deck to nudge them in the right direction? i suppose in keeping with your gravity analogy, in twilight princess ganondorf becoming a major threat to hyrule is like the force of gravity pulling something down, and the sage's pre-emptive execution is like throwing something up in the air. gravity pulls it back down, and the dharma fucks the sages' shit up.

does any of that make sense? and sorry if all that came off as rambly, i just really like this concept. :P

edit: oh hey, 4,000 posts. how about that.

Edited by Finbarr, 09 December 2011 - 02:42 PM.


#7 SOAP

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:47 PM

The way I usually make sense of Dharmas is as a sort of duty or role someone plays.

#8 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:49 PM

Yea, that's actually a very good way of putting it. It's kind of like fate, imposing some sort of predestination, but it doesn't eliminate choice, so people's actions can effect how the dharma plays out, or can even change it entirely, though breaking a dharma is usually seen as a bad thing, but that gets into some philosophical stuff a bit too far from Zelda. XP

The "Divine Prank" fiasco is a really good example. The hypothetical scenario I posed in that chat log is that the Twilight Mirror's purpose was to resolve the enmity between Hylians and Twili, which can be accomplished by Link and Midna meeting. If this is the case, and Link and Zelda are still bound by the dharma of Demise's hatred, it's really to be expected that some huge ass contrivances fall into place to make Ganondorf an instrument of bringing the two races closer together.

#9 Nerushi

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:56 PM

http://www.sol.com.au/kor/4_01.htm

I was reading this dharma article and I was struck by the fact that it tells a tale of a warrior who rescued a goddess from a demon king, slaying him with a silver arrow. Why, that is exactly what we did in the first and ALTTP, sort of. Dharma indeed.

Also, regarding the divine prank, in now makes sense why the Sages suddenly called Ganondorf out on his 'hatred' once he obtained divine powers ( rather than before ). And also why, after being indisposed in the Twilight Realm, Ganondorf found Zant so easily, whose 'hatred' gave him power to escape it.

#10 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:51 PM

Heh, nice article. That's pretty cool. Dharma does like the law of cycles and repeating time, and can thus excuse things like why we seem to have like four damn Imprisoning Wars and such, lol.

#11 Altum

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:14 PM

I like the idea, but it's not quite dharma, at least not in how I've seen it written. I would say it's more akin to destiny/reincarnation/something else sort of similar to dharma, but not quite. The thing about dharma is that, at least from my understanding, it is the best-case-scenario. Dharma is the path to enlightenment. It is who we would be if we were perfect. I've never read about dharma being used in quite the way I'm seeing it used here. What I'm currently seeing written here is similar to the idea of "God's plan," where things are pre-determined but we have some illusion of free will to determine how we get there, which is connected with dharma in that dharma would be the ideal path we could follow. What I haven't seen before is the idea of dharma and how it would cause similar events to continuously replay themselves, meaning the eternal plight of the Hero, the Goddess, and Demise as explored by Skyward Sword's ending. I always thought dharma was more of a personal standard, and less of a grander metaphysical template/scheme.

Dharma = 100% on your final. At least that's how I've always seen it described.

EDIT: I am also aware of the idea of cyclic existences in regards to dharma, but that isn't exactly dharma, either. It's the idea that people are doomed to repeat existence in an endless cycle until they reach/follow their dharma and escape it. I may be off base as it's been a few years since I read about it, but I don't remember dharma being referred to in a way beyond the path to enlightenment.

This stuff interests me, so I would like to see where you are coming from, but I keep wondering whether or not dharma is the word you are looking for or not.

Edited by Altum, 12 December 2011 - 06:50 PM.


#12 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:54 PM

I like the idea, but it's not quite dharma, at least not in how I've seen it written. I would say it's more akin to destiny/reincarnation/something else sort of similar to dharma, but not quite. The thing about dharma is that, at least from my understanding, it is the best-case-scenario. Dharma is the path to enlightenment. It is who we would be if we were perfect.


You're kind of right, kind of not. While Dharma is supposed to be the 'best'/'intended' order of the world, it's capable of being changed, being broken, and even correct. A major tenet of Buddhism, for instance, is to transcend one's dharma and discard it as a step of leaving the world (though one must do so without commit an adharmic action).

I've never read about dharma being used in quite the way I'm seeing it used here. What I'm currently seeing written here is similar to the idea of "God's plan," where things are pre-determined but we have some illusion of free will to determine how we get there, which is connected with dharma in that dharma would be the ideal path we could follow.


That's legitimate, I suppose. Though I feel there's some subtle, fundamental differences, since even deities can be bound by a dharma and my model allows for legitimate free will. That being aside, Dharma is the "way things are meant to be", but being the "ideal" isn't the same thing in Eastern philosophy; For instance, Demise's curse complements "the way things are meant to be", because the Legend of Zelda dictates that Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf must fight over the centuries; but that isn't really the "ideal" nature of the world.

hat I haven't seen before is the idea of dharma and how it would cause similar events to continuously replay themselves, meaning the eternal plight of the Hero, the Goddess, and Demise as explored by Skyward Sword's ending. I always thought dharma was more of a personal standard, and less of a grander metaphysical template/scheme.


Dharma is quite literally "celestial law"; the fundamental nature of the world. Dharma is, as an unfortunate result of this, connected to Samsara, and there is bleedover between the two concepts. If you do not satisfy your dharma and it isn't broken, you are doomed to repeat it, just as one is fated to transmigrate in the samsara of existence until you escape it, though there are differences in connotations, dharma usually being treated as a good thing (but not otherwise).

#13 Altum

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:29 PM

I agree with everything you are saying at some level. Dharma, as you mentioned, is something you can or cannot adhere to. It is your defined role (whether by divine, mortal, or natural circumstances - dharma was also a societal term as well, if I recall correctly) that you are free to break away from as you see fit. It's basically what is expected of you. Fulfill it, and at a societal level you meet and exceed expectations, or in a metaphysical circumstance you reach enlightenment as determined by your particular culture.

The difference is that it seems like you are applying a micro-level philosophy on a macro-level scale. I haven't seen dharma referred to in a sense that would make people be reincarnated to repeat a cycle. Dharma is usually the way to escape a cycle. However, I can see where you are coming regarding the thematic repetitions and it possibly being the dharma of Hyrule as a whole, like a thematic dharma. I just don't know if I would use dharma instead of just saying "destined to repeat" in this instance. I agree with what you're saying as a whole, but I just feel it's a debate of semantics.

I would like them to apply such an idea to a game. I always figured the ultimate end to the series would be when Link, Ganondorf, and Zelda give a big "fuck you" to the Goddesses and break the cycles of suffering that have plagued Hyrule since the beginning (AKA an actual fulfillment of dharma :D).

Hopefully what I'm saying is getting through. I think we have different interpretations of dharma, and as you said, it's not something easily defined. I'd never criticize one's personal beliefs.

EDIT: I guess what I'm saying, in short, is that dharma seems defined as a path of righteousness, whereas you seem to be using it as a general term for the divine goal of the world at large, which is something that will come to how far one wants stretch the concept of dharma.

Edited by Altum, 12 December 2011 - 07:33 PM.


#14 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:53 PM

The difference is that it seems like you are applying a micro-level philosophy on a macro-level scale. I haven't seen dharma referred to in a sense that would make people be reincarnated to repeat a cycle. Dharma is usually the way to escape a cycle. However, I can see where you are coming regarding the thematic repetitions and it possibly being the dharma of Hyrule as a whole, like a thematic dharma. I just don't know if I would use dharma instead of just saying "destined to repeat" in this instance. I agree with what you're saying as a whole, but I just feel it's a debate of semantics.


I suppose the term I use is kind of irrelevant as long as we all understand what I'm saying, though dharma can bind people into transmigration because of its connection to Samsara. Dharma is the natural, cosmic law of the universe. If that cosmic law dictates reincarnation, welp...

I would like them to apply such an idea to a game. I always figured the ultimate end to the series would be when Link, Ganondorf, and Zelda give a big "fuck you" to the Goddesses and break the cycles of suffering that have plagued Hyrule since the beginning (AKA an actual fulfillment of dharma :D).


Well, more like a FUCK YOU to Demise, if anything. The Goddesses just seem to roll with what lower-level people do.

EDIT: I guess what I'm saying, in short, is that dharma seems defined as a path of righteousness, whereas you seem to be using it as a general term for the divine goal of the world at large, which is something that will come to how far one wants stretch the concept of dharma.


My grandmother was a temple caretaker, and she pretty much taught me everything I know, complete with literary citations. I just trust it, but asian philosophy and theology is fragmented as hell.

#15 Altum

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:47 PM

I suppose the term I use is kind of irrelevant as long as we all understand what I'm saying, though dharma can bind people into transmigration because of its connection to Samsara. Dharma is the natural, cosmic law of the universe. If that cosmic law dictates reincarnation, welp...

Yeah, I understand what you're getting at. I just haven't read/heard dharma used in a way of natural/divine/cosmic law of the universe. I've always seen it applied at a more personal level, as a means of enlightenment via a path of what you should do and/or were meant to do that you can choose to ignore.

Well, more like a FUCK YOU to Demise, if anything. The Goddesses just seem to roll with what lower-level people do.

Yes and no. If Demise's "curse" was a twisted (anti-)dharma of some sort that affects Ganondorf and leads him to confront the Hero and Hylia and repeatedly be at odds throughout history, which I'm guessing is what you're getting at, then I can maybe see it that way. I'm not sure if I'd call that dharma, though, as it doesn't seem like it can ever really be broken. And then we venture into whether this is natural, cosmic law, or something artificial forced by Demise, or maybe even a mixture of both if he has a measure of that much metaphysical power to alter cosmic law.

Either way, I think the Goddesses like seeing this stuff play on, like Ganondorf inexplicably getting the Triforce of Power when he's being killed in TP's backstory. I'm guessing that's where you're alleging "dharma" kicks in, but I think there is a more specified causality behind it. Even if one is to blame the cosmic law of Hyrule, well, they created Hyrule in the first place. I think this stuff goes on and on because they allow it/wanted it. Hell, they created the Triforce, anyway, and left it for the taking. Then again, they flooded Hyrule to end it, so maybe not. Really hard to say what was divinely intended here, and what isn't. I'm a little curious how powerful the Goddesses are, actually. Should we consider the three of them on the level of, say, Christianity's God? Or are they lower on the tier of universal dominance?

Seems to me like we're confusing fate and dharma, though. Fate is the intended outcome, whereas destiny is where your actions ultimately lead you, whether or not it matches up with your fate. I've usually seen dharma described (loosely) as the method/path by which your fate and destiny become the same, though I've only seen it used in a spiritual context of "being a good person," and not in a grander sense. I just don't agree with the idea of saying "dharma" leads to some of these random things to happen, but that's because I haven't seen dharma used in that way. I'd say it's more fate forcing itself than dharma, which as you said, can be broken. If you have some online sources regarding dharma used in this way, please post them. I'd like to read more into it. I'm pretty into different religions/philosophies/spiritualities.

Interesting conversation, though. The cosmic law of Hyrule is not discussed very often.

#16 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:01 PM

Yeah, I understand what you're getting at. I just haven't read/heard dharma used in a way of natural/divine/cosmic law of the universe. I've always seen it applied at a more personal level, as a means of enlightenment via a path of what you should do and/or were meant to do that you can choose to ignore.


I blame Shintoism's melting pot nature. The word is originally Indian and was used to morally justify the caste system, then it passed through Buddhism, and then in Shinto its treated as Universal order. :P

Yes and no. If Demise's "curse" was a twisted (anti-)dharma of some sort that affects Ganondorf and leads him to confront the Hero and Hylia and repeatedly be at odds throughout history, which I'm guessing is what you're getting at, then I can maybe see it that way. I'm not sure if I'd call that dharma, though, as it doesn't seem like it can ever really be broken. And then we venture into whether this is natural, cosmic law, or something artificial forced by Demise, or maybe even a mixture of both if he has a measure of that much metaphysical power to alter cosmic law.


What's the difference between a cosmic law and a never-ending curse that will span eternity and help dictate the turning of fate forever and ever?

Either way, I think the Goddesses like seeing this stuff play on,


Personally, I'm of the mind that the Goddesses aren't even around at all. Perhaps they just left to make other multiverses without really caring about the finished product, or perhaps they expended themselves in the act of making the Triforce, and remnants of their souls incarnate as oracles, or giggling girls outside of a circus tent...

Hell, they created the Triforce, anyway, and left it for the taking.


Well, they left Hylia to guard it. Considering the Triforce is described as regulating the laws of the universe, it's probably a necessary existence, and it might not have ever been intended to be used by mortals.

I'm a little curious how powerful the Goddesses are, actually. Should we consider the three of them on the level of, say, Christianity's God? Or are they lower on the tier of universal dominance?


They're omnipotent, so...probably?

Seems to me like we're confusing fate and dharma, though. Fate is the intended outcome, whereas destiny is where your actions ultimately lead you, whether or not it matches up with your fate. I've usually seen dharma described (loosely) as the method/path by which your fate and destiny become the same, though I've only seen it used in a spiritual context of "being a good person," and not in a grander sense. I just don't agree with the idea of saying "dharma" leads to some of these random things to happen, but that's because I haven't seen dharma used in that way. I'd say it's more fate forcing itself than dharma, which as you said, can be broken. If you have some online sources regarding dharma used in this way, please post them. I'd like to read more into it. I'm pretty into different religions/philosophies/spiritualities.


All of my sources are print books my grandma left me from her library, and it's all in Japanese, so I'm not sure how useful it'd be to you. Sorry...

Though until we resolve the issue, maybe we should just make up a term for this concept, such as "Prezeldanation" or something. I definitely think the idea I'm forming here is meaningfully different from the western concepts of fate and destiny, so I don't want to use those terms because of their baggage. If Dharma is going to be problematic too, the word should be ditched.

#17 joeymartin64

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:50 PM

The only minor issue I have with this idea is the "spirit of the hero." Demise's hatred and Hylia's bloodline are things that already exist when Demise does his thang, but when did the spirit of the hero become a thing? As MPS has said elsewhere, it seemed like Hylia's mission only called for one hero (what with Fi going seepy-bye at the end of it), so at what point did SS Link go from "the Chosen One" to "housing the spirit of the Chosen Ones?" I'd like to see speculations.

#18 Altum

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:38 PM

I blame Shintoism's melting pot nature. The word is originally Indian and was used to morally justify the caste system, then it passed through Buddhism, and then in Shinto its treated as Universal order. :P

Now, that is interesting. I am not incredibly familiar with Shinto (some light reading, but not heavily). I've never heard dharma used in reference with Shinto, but always in regard to Indian society or Hindu and Buddhist practices. You're looking at it in a different light than I am, then. I'll have to do some research. And I do know an intermediate level of Japanese, but since your books are, well, your books, not much help over the internet. I'll have to look around, because this interests me.

What's the difference between a cosmic law and a never-ending curse that will span eternity and help dictate the turning of fate forever and ever?

Source, basically. I tend to look at dharma as very natural. It's the way things ideally would be, whereas a curse is more of an external influence that would counteract/manipulate dharma (so, I guess making it a less pure). Demise's curse would thus end up overriding whatever the natural/divine flow is/was, which, if true, makes me wonder how powerful he actually was. Since dharma is ideal and able to be broken, it isn't very forced, whereas a curse is much more defined and controlling and not ideal (that's the big thing I can think of: I usually see dharma listed as the best possible outcome). But this again ties in with which version of dharma we're talking about, now.

Personally, I'm of the mind that the Goddesses aren't even around at all. Perhaps they just left to make other multiverses without really caring about the finished product, or perhaps they expended themselves in the act of making the Triforce, and remnants of their souls incarnate as oracles, or giggling girls outside of a circus tent...

I suppose I could see that. I just assumed they were still somewhat active, considering TP's reference to gifts/powers granted by the Goddesses and how the the main characters got their pieces randomly without the Triforce being touched/split yet. But then we get into the idea of whether or not the Triforce did it on its own, or if it is cosmic law at work. The idea of a "divine prank" made it seem like, for whatever reason, it happened due to a divine source. Sure, it's from human POV, but they normally don't write phrases like that for no reason.

Well, they left Hylia to guard it. Considering the Triforce is described as regulating the laws of the universe, it's probably a necessary existence, and it might not have ever been intended to be used by mortals.

Forgot about Hylia guarding it. I read summaries of Skyward Sword to get the gist of the effects on continuity. Don't own a Wii, so I'm waiting for the game to drop in price a bit or maybe for the Wii U to come out before I find a way to get my hands on it. Unless my brother is getting it for Christmas, in which case when I visit I will hijack his console.

They're omnipotent, so...probably?

Don't recall them being called omnipotent, but it's been a while since I played any Zelda game, really. I always looked at them as similar to Greek goddesses. They have specific areas over which they hold sway.

Though until we resolve the issue, maybe we should just make up a term for this concept, such as "Prezeldanation" or something. I definitely think the idea I'm forming here is meaningfully different from the western concepts of fate and destiny, so I don't want to use those terms because of their baggage. If Dharma is going to be problematic too, the word should be ditched.

Whatever you feel is adequate. I just thought the topic was interesting, and you seemed to be reaching out for some feedback, figured I'd try to help you develop it.

The only minor issue I have with this idea is the "spirit of the hero." Demise's hatred and Hylia's bloodline are things that already exist when Demise does his thang, but when did the spirit of the hero become a thing? As MPS has said elsewhere, it seemed like Hylia's mission only called for one hero (what with Fi going seepy-bye at the end of it), so at what point did SS Link go from "the Chosen One" to "housing the spirit of the Chosen Ones?" I'd like to see speculations.

I always assumed the "Hero" was something put into effect by the Goddesses, and I'm guessing it's tied with Link. I guess I kinda viewed him as their avatar or champion. Some evil is taking hold, the Goddesses make it so a new Link is born in time to come of age, take up the mantle of Hero, and take down the bad guys. Whether that fits into this idea, maybe, maybe not.

Edited by Altum, 13 December 2011 - 05:40 PM.


#19 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:39 PM

Skyward Sword Link's spirit is the spirit of the hero. He went through a divine-intervetion Spirit Growth thing and everything, and is apparently the very first mortal to ever touch the Triforce. It's not hard to imagine that his soul transcended to a sort of semi-divine status.

#20 joeymartin64

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:13 PM

DERP

Yeah, I spaced and forgot about him having to grow his spirit to be worthy of the title. In that light, not only did we see the origin of the Master Sword, but also the origin of the spiritual legacy of Hyrule's heroes. Bitchin'. Of course, if they decide to prequel again, this could easily be rethought to have been SS Link becoming worthy of inheriting the title rather than forging it, but that's neither her nor there.

Also, kinda provides yet another possible reason why OoT Zelda finds the name "Link" somewhat familiar.

Edited by joeymartin64, 13 December 2011 - 07:14 PM.


#21 Fin

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:08 PM

Also, kinda provides yet another possible reason why OoT Zelda finds the name "Link" somewhat familiar.


i've always been fond of the luke/leia interpretation myself

#22 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:33 PM

I still hold that OOT Link and Zelda are twins. Zelda's missing a mother and Link has no father accounted for...

#23 joeymartin64

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:41 AM

Posted ImagePosted Image
Yup, I can see that. Also ties in nicely with how obvious the romance is between their predecessors in SS, come to think of it.

Edited by joeymartin64, 14 December 2011 - 05:42 AM.


#24 SOAP

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:02 AM

I seriously doubt they're supposed to be related. Zelda never has a mom accounted for and Link is always parentless because of some unwritten rule in fantasy-type stories out there that heroes must have dead or missing parents but grandparents and uncles are okay. The only reason it's a big deal in OoT is that we're specifically told Link's mom is dead and how and why she died. His dad is unaccounted for but so is Zelda's mom. It's never stated that the Queen is dead, only her involvement in the story is not necessary. She could be dead but perhaps for something mundane like dying during delivery or something hence her having no significance to the plot. Also, in light of Hylia's legacy in SS, I think the reason why Zelda never seems to have a mom is maybe Hylia's bloodline is inherited maternally and therefore in order for the next incarnation to appear, the previous one must die. Either way, I doubt Link is intended to be Zelda's brother because that would make him a long-lost prince which never seesm to figure into the story line. And in my opinion Malon, who also has a dead mother, looks more like Link than Zelda does. The only pieces evidence of a kinship between Link and Zelda is the fact they're both blonde and one of the composure brothers saying Link reminds him of Zelda which could mean anything. Really, really don't like the idea of Zelda and Link being related. Firstly, it's kinda cliche. Secondly, if they were related, there were plenty of opportunities to allude to it and tie it to the plot but they never do, and thirdly, I prefer the idea that Link came from ordinary, humble roots and that perhaps his father was a brave knight and his mother was a housewife. While his father was fighting in the war prior to OoT, his mother was left defenseless at home and fearing her unborn child's life, she flees to the woods probably hoping the Kokiri there would protect him. Actually, there goes another reason why I doubt Zelda and Link share a mother. It would be harder for a queen, during a massive war, to up and flee into a forest and why would she if she had guards to protect her and why would she leave one baby behind? No, I think Link's mother was an ordinary woman who took extraordinary measures for her extraordinary child.

#25 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:40 PM

Yup, I can see that. Also ties in nicely with how obvious the romance is between their predecessors in SS, come to think of it.



MUAHAHAHAHAAHA AS PART OF MY CURSE I SHALL REINCARNATE THEM AS SIIIBLIIIIINGS! HAVE FUN ROMANCING NOW, MORTALS! ...ew what are they doing? OH GOD DAMMIT.

#26 joeymartin64

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:50 PM

Bwuh? I just meant that the two hooking up in SS could logically lead to the successors being related in OoT.

#27 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:59 PM

I know, but I like the idea of Demise hilariously reincarnating them as siblings only for it to backfire on him, in reference to my patchy idea that their fading relationship over the eons is part of his curse.

#28 Showsni

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:18 PM

Besides, it's made clear how they're related in ALttP:
Link, Zelda is your


#29 CID Farwin

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 12:39 PM

Interesting. Fascinating, even.

So what you're suggesting is basically the Wheel of Time (specifically from the book series of the same name) Except golden triangles. Or at least they have the power to change it.

So then (for anyone who knows what the heck I'm talking about) Demise is the dark one, Ganondorf is Ishmael, Zelda is Lews Therin/the dragon, and Link is...let's go with Artur Hawkwing.

That...works surprisingly well 0.0

Back on topic, that's really the best comparison I can think of to what I think you're getting at. I really like the idea (and it gels real nice with my personal beliefs) I can't really find anything else that expresses it, since there's so many connotations and different meanings with anything else I can think of. Which is something I've found to be the case with a lot of Eastern Concepts.

In short, I like this. I really like this. Great insight as ever :D

#30 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 07:03 PM

Thanks a lot. I'm not all that familiar with the Wheel of Time, but I'm sure it and my interpretation of Zelda aren't the only things that use this basic concept. It's essentially an in-universe version of Narrative Causality.