Procrastination Shard

Is the cognitive realm made out of atoms?

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So I was just doing some reading on claims of monism (the world is made of one fundamental substance only) and dualism (the world is made of two fundamental substances, in this case mind and matter,) and my mind wandered to which one the Cosmere was. On the one hand it seems to be dualist since the cognitive realm is quite literally a thing that exists but on the other hand it seems that it is easy to transport matter into it and no weird funky physics stuff happens as a result implying that they are one substance.

Does anyone know if Brandon ever mentioned there being atoms in the cognitive realm or what it is even made out of? Does anyone have any thoughts or other things that may suggest it is made out of atoms or some other substance.

Note; In this case I am using atoms as synonymous with a fundamental substance, I am aware atoms are not that thing but I am not aware of a substance science currently suggests may be such a substance.

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I never thought of this, but If I had to take a guess, a fundamental substance does exist in the Cognitive realm, just not in a way that we may recognize or have a name for until Brandon gives us one.

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Didn’t they talk about this in RoW? That all things were made of X? 
and that there is anti matter. So if that’s the case maybe it could be a monism just with better adaptability. 
I think this because the CR is like a blanket over the physical realm but at the same time you can go to it. But then you wonder about the spiritual realm is that further proof of dualism? What the heck is the spiritual realm? The black sun in the CR? We simply don’t have enough information on our own best to ask Brandon 

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If there is one singular thing like that, I'm pretty sure it would just be Investiture, since Investiture, energy, and matter are all the same thing just phase shifted apparently.

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Posted (edited)

TLDR: It's Investiture, for now.

Relevant WoB:

Quote

Aurimus

As the two Realms, the Cognitive and the Spiritual, are, well, fictional... Are they all comprised of Investiture, completely?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. No, completely? Well, here's the thing. Investiture, matter, and energy are all the same thing in the cosmere. So, just like energy and matter are the same thing here. So, yes, everything's made of Investiture, in the same way that everything's made of energy in our world. Does that make sense?

Aurimus

So, what about what spren are made of in the Cognitive Realm? Is that just Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

So, yeah, I'll dig more into that. I'm gonna go with Investiture for now, but I could change that as I move along. What I'm kind of debating is, is there a separate Cognitive state, and I don't think so. So I'm gonna go with Investiture for now.

Aurimus

How about Connection?

Brandon Sanderson

Connection is, like, the equivalent of a quantum connection in our world, so it's more like a force than something comprised of something. The question is like, "What is gravity comprised of?" And then you start asking weird questions.

Oathbringer London signing (Nov. 28, 2017)

13 hours ago, Rg2045 said:

Didn’t they talk about this in RoW? That all things were made of X? 

What the heck is the spiritual realm? The black sun in the CR? We simply don’t have enough information on our own best to ask Brandon 

Axon is the Cosmere term for atoms and Axial Interconnection is inspired by the Strong/Weak Force though he's playing around with that a bit. Microkinesis and the Surges of Tension and Cohesion are known to manipulate axi in different ways.

The Spiritual Realm is simultaneously everywhere, everywhen, nowhere and nowhen and one thing it serves as is the 'place' where the ideal form of all things exists, in a conscious parallel to the Platonic theory of Forms. It's also where most of the Cosmere's Investiture 'resides'. The most succinct description we get comes from Shai in The Emperor's Soul, who describes it as "contain[ing] an object's soul—its essence—as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it".

Edited by Weltall
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5 hours ago, Weltall said:

TLDR: It's Investiture, for now.

Relevant WoB:

 

For what it's worth, per this one he might be working toward a new, more specific/separate term for the CR matter, tentatively called Essence:

 

Quote

 

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The "substance" who compose Shardworlds's Cognitive Realm has not yet a Canon name, Essence would be nice but it may be confusing with the Vorin's Essences therefore he have to make a better choice.

Lucca Comics and Games Festival (Oct. 28, 2016)

 

 

 

Personally I think there eventually needs to be something more specific and with settled properties than just nebulous "Investiture".  Im professionally/nerdly biased on this side of things, but the whole way the ship captain used a bead of "COLD" that had specifically never known melting temperatures to make the fabrial condense moisture implies a preexisting and complex atmosphere in shadesmar that has some amount of humidity at the very least. Otherwise it should have needed a bead of a river or something to be manifesting the liquid water directly.  

For now Rosharan's are never far enough away from a Highstorm to really feel dry by our desert standards, so I imagine they take humidity for granted to some extent that likely extends to the Cognitive Realm manifestatio9n.  Give them some more scientific development and they might start Cognizing (and thus locking in) a specific gas ratio for the atmosphere like any planet.  Hell they may already have that done, and we just havent yet seen a Dustbringer caring about the available O2 for fire effects.  

 

PS, also and just for completeness sake, there is also a Doylist answer of he wanted it to be travelable so it's not too harsh for narrative reasons:https://wob.coppermind.net/events/332/#e9512

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Quantus said:

For what it's worth, per this one he might be working toward a new, more specific/separate term for the CR matter, tentatively called Essence:

That WoB is a year older than mine. He does say he hasn't canonized the answer yet so it could be something more specific/separate but right now, it's Investiture. Well, 'right now' as of about five years ago but I didn't see anything newer than that.

But yes, I'm sure that when people in the Cosmere develop their scientific abilities to the right point and have the time and ability to start poking around, they'll be asking the same questions about the Cognitive Realm and we'll start getting more specific and canon answers. Or maybe Khriss will let things slip since Silverlight is clearly ahead of the curve in that respect.

Edited by Weltall
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2 hours ago, Weltall said:

That WoB is a year older than mine. He does say he hasn't canonized the answer yet so it could be something more specific/separate but right now, it's Investiture. Well, 'right now' as of about five years ago but I didn't see anything newer than that.

Right, I wasnt challenging that, just offering the additional bit that while it's not finalized yet he is toying with canonizing a more specific form of magic-matter and had a tentative/working name attached to it.

2 hours ago, Weltall said:

But yes, I'm sure that when people in the Cosmere develop their scientific abilities to the right point and have the time and ability to start poking around, they'll be asking the same questions about the Cognitive Realm and we'll start getting more specific and canon answers. Or maybe Khriss will let things slip since Silverlight is clearly ahead of the curve in that respect.

To take that a step further, I suspect the In-World answer is there literally is no clear, locked in answer right now in the Modern desolation era.  By the same rules of those Firespren that became stuck with measurements only when a person Observed and/or Thought about them enough (or the spren Gender thing, for that matter), there will come a time when enough of the Rosharan population has enough of an understanding of things like atomic (axial?) Gases and Humidity as H2O in a Gas phase and all that to Impose a defined more stable and defined state of matter/essence/investiture/whatever on Shadesmar.  For now I suspect it is literally more functionally nebulous and ill-defined, even to an in-world off-worlder like Kriss.  

 

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So was thinking about this a bit and thought what signs might support both sides;

Monism;

* If there was a dualist system then presumably there would be unique physical interactions between the two substances, there appears to be a distinct lack of either however. Stuff known to be made out of atoms interacts with the cognitive realm with no issues.

* It is known that an atmosphere exists in the CR and that living organisms can survive in it just like they can on their home world. Since respiration is an incredibly specific process we would be forced to conclude that this atmosphere is made out of atoms, or so exceedingly similar to atoms as to be indistinguishable, in which case a dualist would have to defend why this counts as a separate substance if both particles are identical to each other.

* Both substances seem to originate from investure, perhaps implying that it is the true substance that all things stem from.

Dualism;

* It is mentioned repeatedly that those who enter the CR do so in their 'physical' form which implies that there is such a thing as a 'cognitive' form. These two forms would have to be different or else the distinction is meaningless, implying that there is a difference between the substance of the cognitive and physical.

* Physics in the CR is different than that of the physical, to the extent that it seems to follow an entirely different rule set which strongly implies that they are separate substances. As well as this it seems demonstrable that the mind influences the CR, the physical is not so which again strongly implies this is a different substance with its own rule set.

* Objects in the CR display separate traits from the physical, namely the ability to think, which then implies that they have a different substance causing this on top of the physical.

 

--------------------

 

Also as a side note it would seem something would be needed to convey information between realms since the CR is a reflection of the physical, which in turn seems to strongly imply that there is some sort of separate particle causing this even if we accept Monism.

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2 hours ago, Procrastination Shard said:

It is mentioned repeatedly that those who enter the CR do so in their 'physical' form which implies that there is such a thing as a 'cognitive' form. These two forms would have to be different or else the distinction is meaningless, implying that there is a difference between the substance of the cognitive and physical.

Aren't the soul-lights the cognitive form? Such as when Shallan, Jasnah, Venli, etc. are "peeking" into the CR, they are shifting their senses and looking out of their soul-light form. When a Listener or Sighted Unkalaki see a spren, they are getting (at least) partial sensory input from the soul-light as well as their physical senses (such as Eshonai seeing the body and wings of the Gloryspren in the flashback chapters)

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5 hours ago, Treamayne said:

Aren't the soul-lights the cognitive form? Such as when Shallan, Jasnah, Venli, etc. are "peeking" into the CR, they are shifting their senses and looking out of their soul-light form. When a Listener or Sighted Unkalaki see a spren, they are getting (at least) partial sensory input from the soul-light as well as their physical senses (such as Eshonai seeing the body and wings of the Gloryspren in the flashback chapters)

I think that is the case? That does seem like it should be the case but I don't think they mention those cognitive forms a lot so I've never been fully sure.

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I am beginning to wonder if each of the three Realms has a "dominant" state.  In the Physical Realm, Matter is dominant.  In the Spiritual, Investiture is dominant.  In the Cognitive, is energy dominant?

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4 hours ago, Procrastination Shard said:

I think that is the case? That does seem like it should be the case but I don't think they mention those cognitive forms a lot so I've never been fully sure.

Well, compare to the Scadrian Equivalent:

M:SH Part 6 Ch 1-3

Spoiler

The glowing mist is definitely shown to be the Cognitive form of a individual, because Kelsier touches them to glimpse the physical form and to communicate with Drifter, Vin, Midge, etc. - Drifter even "shocked" Kelsier when he touched Drifter's mist-form.

 

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22 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

Well, compare to the Scadrian Equivalent:

M:SH Part 6 Ch 1-3

  Hide contents

The glowing mist is definitely shown to be the Cognitive form of a individual, because Kelsier touches them to glimpse the physical form and to communicate with Drifter, Vin, Midge, etc. - Drifter even "shocked" Kelsier when he touched Drifter's mist-form.

 

I suppose there must be a connection between the two then.

I still find it kind of odd that there isn't much mention on it in Roshar though. It seems they always just mention seeing animals that way and not people. One would think the floating people would be of more interest but maybe Rosharans just have different priorities, lol.

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1 hour ago, Procrastination Shard said:

I still find it kind of odd that there isn't much mention on it in Roshar though. It seems they always just mention seeing animals that way and not people. One would think the floating people would be of more interest but maybe Rosharans just have different priorities, lol.

Well, keep in mind:

Spoiler
  • In Secret History, we experienced Scadrian Shadesmar through the eyes of a Cognitive Shadow, who was able to move and interact with his new environment
    • We saw Drfiter, Khriss, and Nazh; but had no viewpoints from a Physical character in the Cognitive Realm
    • We know Drifter cannot simply walk across the mist landscape the way that Kell does; or he would not have needed Spanky to reach the Well
  • Whle on Scadrial, the Cognitive entities have a human silhouette due to the mist-form; Roshar does not have an equivalent (you just see the light of the soul - likely with a bead at the center that we cannot yet see - but it does not seem like the light is illuminating a form of mist as Scadrial does) so the Rosharan Radiants have probably not realized what the lights really are
    • Realizing the lights are souls of people is quite different than realizing they are the Cognitive aspect of a person (and therefore may have qualities with which you can interact)
  • On Roshar, all of the soul lights are seen over the Oceans of Beads (since land in the CR is based on the planet's identity - Scadrian land is mist and Rosharan land is beads), where a Physical POV cannot interact with them because they can't stand on the beads
    • When on "land" (the condensed representation of water in the physical realm) they would not encounter soul lights unless they happened to be near a ship in the PR, in which case the lights would be above their heads where the ship's decks are located in the PR
    • When Shallan figures out "manifesting" the beads into shapes for moving over the landscape (moving from the Oathgate to the River in OB) - they are (presumably) too busy to interact with the soul lights they pass (unless - a Physical person in the CR cannot interact with them the way CS Kell did)

 

 

I would guess that BS is waiting for the Elsecaller book to show if/how a Physical entity in the Cognitive realm interacts with Cognitive entities (if they even can)

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, Procrastination Shard said:

* Both substances seem to originate from investure, perhaps implying that it is the true substance that all things stem from.

Investiture is a third state to matter and energy in the Cosmere, with some additions to thermodynamics to account for it. You can convert between them and Investiture-to-Matter is how we get things like the mists on Scadrial, the liquid that forms Perpendicularities and the various godmetals.

Edited by Weltall
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