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Chiri-Chiri<3 posted a topic in Cosmere Discussion (No RoW)God What is God actually? Or what is a god? I think about that far too much but I enjoy the thoughts of others. And Brandon did put his thoughts into his books. Some things he did put there intentionally and some probably without thinking about it. I read a lot about similar topics in this forum and i assume that my basic idea was already mentioned but most things I found were older. I am thinking this through while writing it. There will be errors and I hope someone finds them. Gods throughout the history of mankind in the real world I've never met someone who actually believed in one of the ancient gods of the Greek, Egyptians, or Vikings in the way they are represented in the strategy game Age of Mythology. And by my Christian standard the gods in the game are not gods at all. They are not all powerful or all knowing. They are not good. They are more than one entity. They did take on physical forms and sometimes even impregnated women. As somewhat of a christian myself I have to think about Jesus when writing that sentence. He had a physical form, his father was God and he did not seem to be all powerful. But this discussion should not be about him. The ancient pantheons knew many Gods and all of them had a different purpose. The main Greek gods for example are known as the Twelve Olympians. And the ancient gods did always fight or party. There are many great stories about all of them. Gods in the Cosmere as seen by the residents To talk about all of them would probably be more difficult than talking about all of the gods in the real world, but I want to bring up my favorite examples. Blushweaver is called a god, but from my viewpoint she is a resurrected, highly invested, human. The Stormfather is a god for many Rosharans. He is basically a Spren for us. The Heralds are also gods for many Rosharans and I do not know what they are for me, but they are similar to Blushweaver and the Returned. For the Un-Kalaki all Spren are gods. And last but not least there are the Shards and Adonalsium himself. This is more difficult. For someone who believes in the divinity of one of the beings mentioned above the shards would probably be gods too. And Adonalsium as a combination of all of them would logically also count as a god. Many gods becoming one In our world it happened that one religion devoured others. Sometimes a polytheistic religion slowly focused on one of the gods at first and then integrating the aspects of the other gods into the main god. Multiple religions and multiple gods became one god as the only god of one general religion. This happened a lot and is related to other phenomena. If you think about the pyramid (hierarchy) of needs it makes sense to pray for food and shelter at the beginning stage of a developing society. But later those basic needs are fulfilled and love, esteem and self-actualization become more important. Those needs are more abstract than food. This leads to the god, responsible for this need, being more abstract. This is a complicated topic and you can spend years looking into it but my main argument is that in our world multiple religions and gods did unite to become one. The Shattering of Adonalsium In the cosmere the whole topic of religion currently begins with the Shattering of Adonalsium. Adonalsium, an (all-)powerful being was shattered into 16 Shards. Those Shards represent different aspects of the same being. And maybe something important happened with the 4 Dawnshards before that, but this is currently RAFOed as far as I know. Here is where part one of my conclusion starts. The Shattering of Adonalsium is the opposite of what happened in our world. In our world many gods become one. If we think of Adonalsium as a god then his shattering is one god becoming many. And not only Adonalsium did become many gods, but his shards did too. In Greek mythology divinity gets passed on to the children of the god. If both parents are gods, the child is a god too. If only one parent is a god, the child is born as a halfgod. If we use this theory on Roshar, then every Spren is a god. We can argue about how much divinity is needed to actually be called a god, but it is hard to draw a line. So let's just use the easy way and say everything that is pure investiture without a physical form is a god. This would be one easy way to define god in the cosmere. It is clearly not perfect but it is a definition. It is not the definition I would use from an out of world perspective but it would be fine as an inworld one for me. Socrates? What has Socrates to do with that? Socrates asked difficult questions. Imagine someone asking about honor. What is honorful? If you ask many people there will be a consensus on a lot of honorful behaviors. But some things will be contrary. And this thought of contrary views on honorful behavior can be represented by spren. Syl believes that Kaladin is honorful. Other Honorspren may agree or disagree, but no other spren agreed enough to make him a radiant. The part of Honor (and Cultivation maybe) that thought of Kaladin as honorful enough to become radiant is called Syl. So Sy is only a small part of the whole Adonalsium, but a part with power and an opinion. If we say that Adonalsium is the god of the Cosmere we can argue that he did split up himself, his will and his power into many little pieces but those pieces are still the will and power of the whole so every Spren is Adonalsium but Adonalsium is all Sprens and all the other Shards as well. A Spren is then a part of God. It is divine. If we accept that Adonalsium never was all powerful or willingly limited himself that every part of Adonalsium is still God in its essence and Identity. Are Humans Gods now? No. But as mentioned in the cosmere and the real world. There is something special about Humans. In the Cosmere we can add a lot of other beings to the list of special ones. But to keep it easy I´ll just talk about humans. Every human has some kind of divinity. We have souls or something. That's a complicated and abstract philosophical and religious idea. And I will not discuss all world religions at once but most agree that humans are special. The one above all The true God of the Cosmere So even if we do not agree on Adonalsium being a God there is something even deeper than that. If we define God almighty and something that knows everything, the past, the present, the future there is still one being that fits this description. Brandon Sanderson! He created the Cosmere. He created it out of nothing in his mind. He completely decides all physical rules. He can change them anytime, but it would make a worse story. He knows the past of the cosmere and also it’s future. He can do whatever he wants with it. He is almighty in the cosmere. He is God. Of course he is not the god of our real world, but no one in the Cosmere can prove that Brandon exists. He creates characters and tries to make them seem conscious. And he does it so well that they seem real or believable to all of us. But sometimes he has to intervene in the broader story. Intervene in what would normally happen. He creates coincidences that bring the important people together. Someone finds the right book at the right time. People meet randomly or due to mysterious reasons like Hoid. Hoid is somewhat the main way of Brandon to influence the story. And by influencing the story he changes the cosmere itself. And Brandon created the Cosmere in a way that Hoid seems to be real and not divinie. At least not much more divine than many other beings. Hoid can be everyone. He can be beggar on the streets, the king's wit, or just some random traveler you meet at a campfire. But Hoid is always Brandon’s influence. Hoid is in a way the inconspicuous hand of god. And have you ever met a Hoid in your life? Someone who did influence your path through life in a positive way without you noticing it at first? Maybe something that seems unimportant, like a stranger wearing a funny T-Shirt with a joke on it. You meet someone special years later and remember that joke. You tell the joke, one thing leads to another and you are happily married. This is a bad example but it is related to something that actually happened. So the true god of the Cosmere is Brandon Sanderson. He created it and tries to change as few things as possible, even though he knows everything and is almighty. But he influences the people in small but well calculated ways with his delegate that we know a Hoid.