Tamriel Wolfsbaine

Identity and health

7 posts in this topic

I have been thinking about the systems and other posts I have read in the last long while and I am thinking about the healing abilities in the cosmere.  

It seams that stormlight works on perfecting a person and while holding stormlight it fills any gaps as they appear to heal what you can.  

Gold feruchemy can do much the same but at much better controlled rates.  

I don't remember a single instance where a person gets to pick and choose what gets healed and what doesn't.  However we do see Kaladins body refuse to take ink to change his slave brand.  I do believe that is able to be blamed on his identity.  

Now if someones spiritual identity can stop them from being healed how could that in turn effect how well they could be allowed to be healed?

There was a thread talking about the returned and their abilities to change appearance and suppressing their breath and how it could all be through identity tricks.  This thread also discussed the returned and if that identity trick could potentially be used to heal themselves as well.  

That got me thinking.  Maybe stormlight and f gold work to subconsciously return the body to the last spiritually "healthy normal" state for a person.  I feel like regrowth may allow you to return a person back to what you see them as having been?

Could it be that a person with control over their identity and a given source of investiture could potentially enact healing in a similar fashion?  Enough of a powerful identity to view themselves in a perfected form and then actively use that view of themselves to consistently return back to that form despite physical mutilation or illness?  Perhaps the identity of a person via aluminum compounding could even offer different powers?  Warp your self identity to a point where your spiritual self actually unlocks potential you didn't know you had?  

I know there has to be a limit to it somewhere.  But so much of the cosmere is explained with identity and intent (I think they are related more closely than I did initially) that I have a hard time thinking it is impossible for it to happen.  

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Regrowth, at the very least, to an extent follows this theory, but I think there is a WOB that says gold healing is tied to a spiritual ideal of health.

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2 hours ago, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

Regrowth, at the very least, to an extent follows this theory, but I think there is a WOB that says gold healing is tied to a spiritual ideal of health.

This makes sense, because Stormlight healing is very perception-based. since the whole of Surgebinding is very perception-based, so there is a lot of range of outcomes with it. But gold healing is just using your body's natural ability to heal, meaning that it would probably be less based on personal Identity and more on some Spiritual-biological function. And Progression and Returned healing involve the healer's Intent as well as the recipient's perception, making them even more complicated. 

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This probably has a great deal to do with how the magics are influenced by intent, as scandrian magics are very mechanic based, though not as much as the Selish ones. The Rosharan ones are very much intent and perception based.

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47 minutes ago, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

This probably has a great deal to do with how the magics are influenced by intent, as scandrian magics are very mechanic based, though not as much as the Selish ones. The Rosharan ones are very much intent and perception based.

Yeah, Sel's healing is exactly determined by the symbols drawn (base Aon Ien probably just gave a small boost to Roial's natural healing, which was still not enough for him to survive), Scadrial's just empowers the body's existing mechanical healing, and Roshar's depends on the perceptions of the healer and healed. Nalthis's is probably the same. 

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Nalthis's healing is probably somewhere between Roshar and Scadrial in terms of intent required.

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3 hours ago, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

Nalthis's healing is probably somewhere between Roshar and Scadrial in terms of intent required.

Nalthis has it's own limitations on what you can do, specifically in what you can do to yourself vs another thanks to the nature of Endowment.   

Another one of the differentiating factors with ReGrowth is that the Intents of all parties gets involved, so that's the subject and the radiant, and likely some of the Spren's perception as well (there is with Soulcasting so there likely is here too).

But also Kaladin's scar issue is not as common as it may seem, he's more of a fringe case.

 

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vandar10

Could someone with enough Breaths use part of them to heal himself without the help of a Returned?? Could the God King have healed himself without Lightsong with enough knowledge?

Brandon Sanderson

The nature of the Warbreaker magic is tied to the shard of Endowment, which is about giving. There are, therefore, things you cannot do for yourself.

RobotAztec

For healing can Big Breaths heal only one person at a time or can you heal a bunch of people at once?(as long as they are not yourself)?

Brandon Sanderson

Legends say you can heal many.

/r/books AMA 2015 (June 8, 2015)

 

 

 

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Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Twelve

Lightsong Hears Petitions

The concept of petitions—and the gods being able to heal someone one time—grew out of my desire to have something about them that was miraculous. Something obvious, something more than just an ability to make vague prophecies. Their Breath auras are amazing, true, but an Awakener with a lot of Breath can replicate that.

I took the idea of being able to die in order to heal from an idea discarded from Elantris. If you look at the deleted scenes (Caution: Spoilers for the ending of Elantris), you can read about how there was originally a subplot to the story where the Seons (the floating balls of light) could expend the Aon at their center and create a miraculous event one time. However, doing so would kill them. I eventually ended up not using this plot structure in the final draft, and so I cut all references to this ability from the book. I felt that it was too contrived in that novel.

I've always thought it was interesting conceptually, however, so I developed it into this book as an aspect of Returned that makes them different. They can create one miracle—and in this world, that one miracle has to be a healing. They can expend their divine Breath to heal someone.

This created another problem for readers, however. It became very difficult in the book to explain to them that a Returned could still Awaken things—but not by using the Breath granted to them by their Return. In other words, if a Returned gained a hundred extra Breaths, they could use them just like anyone else's. But if they give away the Breath they start with, it kills them.

Every person starts with a Breath. Well, Returned start with one too—a divine Breath that can be given away to heal someone else's Breath that is weakening and dying. That's what these petitioners are asking for.

But regular Breaths, they can give those away. They just have to be tricky about it.

Warbreaker Annotations (Sept. 9, 2010)

 

 

 

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Questioner

Given Sanderson's Laws about limitations...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

What would you say are any spiritual, cognitive, and or physical limitations to a Returned's healing ability?

Brandon Sanderson

That they can do it once.

Questioner

That they can do it once, and that's it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, right? The Returned get one heal and then they die. That's a pretty big limitation. Like you have to choose really well. However, what they can heal is bounded by cosmere limitations on healing, but it is a supercharged version.

Questioner

Okay. Could you define more cosmere limitations on healing?

Brandon Sanderson

Cosmere limitations on healing can be affected by your own perception.

Questioner

Okay. Cognitive stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Cognitive stuff. And so there's a part of that, and... But that's really-- cognitive interferes. And if your spirit is gone? Right? Cosmere healing, you know, if your spirit is passed on you just get a dead body even though you've healed it.

Questioner

So potentially Vasher, having a much greater cosmere knowledge than others could potentially have a much greater usage of that healing than regular--

Brandon Sanderson

Well the healing-- What I mean by that is yourself. You impose limits. So the person being healed can impose some limits on the healing working. It doesn't happen as often as I'm making it sound. But, you know-- why Kaladin's scars have not healed, right? So Kaladin being hit by a Returned would still not heal his scars. He's got a major hangup about those scars.

Footnote: The questioner seems to have been asking about cosmere healing in general for Returned, but Brandon focused on their ability to give up their Divine Breath to heal somebody else.
Arcanum Unbounded release party (Nov. 22, 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

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Questioner

I notice that Stormlight seems to be a bit volatile in how well it heals or who it heals. Because it seems like Renarin's eyesight would have been a long term problem, kinda like Rysn's legs maybe and Lopen's arm. But Lopen's arm got healed, Rysn's legs didn't and Kaladin's scars didn't. So I didn't know if there was a reason for those things.

Brandon Sanderson

So Stormlight healing, there's a couple things that have to be considered. But in reference to what you're saying, the person's perception of themselves is a huge part of it.  The way healing works in the cosmere is, you've got the three versions of yourself. You've got your Physical version, your Cognitive version, and your Spiritual version, And a lot of Stormlight is taking your Physical version and matching it to the Spiritual version which is your ideal self.  But it has to be filtered through the lens of your mind, and things like this.

I almost always--probably should say always--am using it to reinforce some sort of character attribute. The fact that Lopen never saw himself, even though he only had one arm, as being disabled, as a big influence, versus whether Kaladin feels deserves his brands or not. Does that makes sense?  And those are two very different things that influence how the healing works. And you will see that as a metaphor and theme, if you watch what heals and what doesn't.

Orem signing (March 10, 2018)

 

 

 

 

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Argent

Cosmere healing. Some magic systems have internal healing, such as Stormlight; external healing, such as AonDor. With internal ones, the perception of the magic user seems to matter a lot. Is that also a factor for the external ones?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there are various types of healing in the cosmere. We have things like Stormlight, where you get the Stormlight and it heals you, and that one is very, very influenced by your perception. How you view yourself, and what you view as being healed, has a huge influence on what actually happens to you. Externally, if someone heals someone else, like a Knight Radiant uses the power to heal someone, or an external force heals them, is it still filtered through perception? I'm gonna say both perceptions are important in that. They both are relevant.

Skyward Chicago signing (Nov. 16, 2018)

 

 

 

 
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