This question comes from an answer I got from Erik at this question.

So based on that answer everybody is reborn in the pattern. Even if you were destroyed with balefire?! My question is, will anybody be able to remember their past lives? Is that only for the Dragon and people that visit the aelfinn? Could the dark one bring memories back to chosen that were reborn through the pattern?

  • we have 0 instances of anyone being reborn naturally through that pattern with prior memories. other then Rand, and Matt(who seems to be a special case) and involved the outside sources. AFAIK lol, also the dark one seems to bring people back in the same "instance" as they left, with minor modifications. Ishmael claims he has extended knowledge but he is also insane so its hard to know for sure.
    – Himarm
    Jul 16 '15 at 15:33
  • IIRC When you're balefired, you don't get reborn. You're literally "cut" from the thread, eliminated from the Wheel of Time altogether.
    – Omegacron
    Jul 16 '15 at 17:00
  • 2
    @Omegacron Not according to the answer in the referenced question. But I agree, I thought what you are saying was right... Jul 16 '15 at 17:47
  • @Seanoseanohay AFAIK, that answer is wrong. It doesn't just burn your actions out of the pattern - it burns YOU out of the pattern altogether. That's why not even the Dark One can bring someone back if they're balefired, it's something ONLY the Creator could do.
    – Omegacron
    Jul 16 '15 at 18:10
  • @Omegacron I think you are right actually, do you have a source? Jul 16 '15 at 20:04

It's important to note that the majority of Mat's memories are not his own, more random ones that the Aelfinn used to fill up the holes:

From a 2002 interview:

QUESTION Are all of Mat’s memories from his past lives?

ROBERT JORDAN No, Mat’s “old” memories are not from his past lives at all. The “sickness” he got from the Shadar Logoth dagger resulted in holes in his memory. He found whole stretches of his life that seemed to be missing. When he passed through the “doorframe” ter’angreal in Rhuidean, one of the things he said – not knowing that the rules here were different than in the other ter’angreal he had used – was that he wanted the holes in his memory filled up, meaning that he wanted to recover his own memories. In this place, however, it was not a matter of asking questions and receiving answers, but of striking bargains for what you want. What he received for that particular demand was memories gathered by the people on that side of the ter’angreal, memories from many men, all long dead, from many cultures. And since not everyone passing by has the nerve to journey through a ter’angreal to some other world, the memories he received were those of adventurers and soldiers and men of daring.

The question of the his early use of the old tongue seems to be a case of "the old blood":

Twitter, 2011:

LEE DAVIS The speaking the Old Tongue is from his bloodline though, not his memories in that case, isn't it?

BRANDON SANDERSON Yes, but it's still foreshadowing. He's the one who does it, not the others.

SLEEPINGHOUR In The Eye of the World, is Mat remembering the Old Tongue from his own past life or from his ancestors?

TEREZ Good question. He seems to have confirmed Old Blood for the Old Tongue, but the Aemon memory?

FELIX PAX That's what my belief is, Aemon. Mat Cauthon is the reborn soul of Aemon. Aemon's Old Tongue.

BRANDON SANDERSON It isn't made clear. It could be either. The implication is his bloodline

Is Rand's possible interaction with his past life special?

Dragoncon 2005

QUESTION Is one of the effects of the taint to lower the boundaries
between past lives or is Rand a special case?

Which brings us back to the nature of the voice in Rand's head.

In the Wheel of Time, one soul can have many personalities, regarding the Dark One, he's been shown to be able to capture a soul at time of death, with its current personality and place it in another body cleansing it of any issues e.g. Elan's insanity. There isn't any instances of the Dark One interacting with a soul's previous personalities.

  • 2
    and an important note, is that after rand basically "Ascendeds" he does actually gain all of the knowledge of Lews Therin, so he does actually gain all of Lews memories, feelings, ect. so he is the only instance of someone who actually legitimately has his past life available to him.
    – Himarm
    Jul 16 '15 at 16:23
  • It seems strange to me that the dark one couldn't find former chosen...If the two rivers people are (their tough and good qualities) like they are because their ancestors (who were basically the same people reborn). Wouldn't former chosen have a propensity for evil even when reborn? Jul 16 '15 at 16:33

I think that this shows the forsaken has some ability to do it. What if you all of a sudden managed to get Moridin's voice in your head...

“He’s insane,” she said coolly. Standing there stiff as a statue, Min’s knife hilt still sticking out beside her collarbone and the front of her black dress glistening with blood, she might have been a queen on her throne. “Graendal could explain it better than I. Madness was her specialty. I will try, however. You know of people who hear voices in their heads? Sometimes, very rarely, the voices they hear are the voices of past lives. Lanfear claimed he knew things from our own Age, things only Lews Therin Telamon could know. Clearly, he is hearing Lews Therin’s voice. It makes no difference that his voice is real, however. In fact, that makes his situation worse. Even Graendal usually failed to achieve reintegration with someone who heard a real voice. I understand the descent into terminal madness can be . . . abrupt.” - Semirhage Knife of Dreams pg 612

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