>I simply assumed it was what THE MATRIX called "residual self-image".
>Toph is blind because that's how she "sees" herself (no pun intended).
> She incarnated as her younger form for the same reason.
There's an element of that, although they can also control it to a certain extent. The joke in the studio was that Toph's old friends among the Einherjar assumed she didn't actually know she was a teenager again, because she can't see herself in a mirror, until someone finally pointed it out (probably Sokka, probably in response to an act of sexual aggression, 'cause hey, we're all dead now, why keep pretending).
Since Toph knew perfectly well what had happened to her, this presumably led to a variation on the classic "You mean I'm not white?!" scene from the 1989 Pryor/Wilder comedy See No Evil, Hear No Evil. "What do you mean I'm not legal?! This is a scandal! Goodness gracious, do you know how many adjustments have to be made? What's everyone at the club gonna say?"
"Does Katara know?!"
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.