In many of the later books of The Sword of Truth, Richard makes a big deal about how an individual controls their own life. For instance, in The Naked Empire, he tells the pristinely ungifted that:

As part of the D’Haran Empire, your lives will be your own.

However, he also has the pristinely ungifted go through the Devotion, where they say the following, directed at him.

“Master Rahl, guide us. Master Rahl, teach us. Master Rahl, protect us. In your light we thrive. In your mercy we are sheltered. In your wisdom we are humbled. We live only to serve. Our lives are yours.”

So Richard's message is that their lives are their own, but also that their lives are his. How does Richard reconicle this?


Reasoning through the logic:

A belongs to A, and A belongs to B. This is the state of affairs brought into being by the "contradiction" of Richard's words.
But "contradictions don't exist", as according to the Ninth Wizard's rule from Chainfire.

If B belongs to A, then A belongs to A, also?
So to resolve this seeming contradiction of terms, we must consider how we can complete a cycle of "ownership" - that is, if the pristinely ungifted lives are their own, but also Richard's, then Richard's life must be theirs as the ruler of the D'Haran people.

So, I believe Richard's reconcilement of this Wizarding Rule to be that he gives his life over to protecting and working for them and their betterment.

(Which I think is an accurate, if somewhat abridged, summation of his behaviour - you'll have to forgive some inaccuracy though, as it has been a while since I read this series!)

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    This sounds pretty good, but can you provide a source for the fact that Richard's lives must bet theirs? – Edlothiad Nov 17 '17 at 9:30
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    Not sure about an exact citation, as I was typing from my judgement of personality and situation, but I will look for something to confirm this. – royalmurder Nov 17 '17 at 16:04
  • Were you ever able to find a citation for the fact that Richard Rahl's lives must be theirs? – Thunderforge Feb 19 '19 at 3:53

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