Nepene

Theory. Collective Unconsciousness

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Theory

Thank you to Staff Venture, Kurkistan, and lDanielHolm for your aid in this theory.

In the Cosmere universe there is a collective unconsciousness present in the cognitive realm. People and objects have a psychic connection which has a " collective, universal, and impersonal nature" and which allows them to pull out "pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents." By pulling these forms out of the spiritual realm with their cognition and empowering them with spiritual force various physical transformations are possible. It is easier to transform into something which has form in spiritual realm.

http://www.theoryland.com/intvmain.php?i=836

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2012/11/11/

7.30

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_unconscious

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

Brandon Sanderson Jung's philosophy was that all people are connected.

Question

Oh, like the dream psychologist?

Brandon Sanderson

I believe that collective unconscious was one of his terms. So it's not hive mind, but there is—there's something the Parshendi can tap into.

When a returned adopts a form of a beautiful god it does so more easily because it is accessing the collective unconsciousness which has beauty standards.

When a Pashendi transforms it can do so easily because there is an archetype which the cognitive realm holds. Our physical world is an imperfect shadow of the cognitive world and we can draw out something better from it. A window's soul yearns to be in its proper form and it's very easy to forge it to be better.

When a person heals they can only heal to what they are seen as and how they see themselves. This is why Sazed could not regenerate his manhood.

When a forging is made if people don't believe in the forging the forging will fail.

This collective unconsciousness

Background. Skim over if you like.

In another discussion about Warbreaker Windrunner raised the question of whether the Idris royal family had magical locks only in the royal lineage because people believed in their royal locks, based off a quote from The Emperor's Soul.

All things exist in three Realms, Gaotona. Physical, Cognitive and Spiritual. The Physical is what we feel, what is before us. The Cognitive is how an object is viewed and how it views itself. The Spiritual Realm contains an object's soul-its essence-as well as the ways it is connected to the things and people around it.

The thread then went slightly off topic.

This quote came up from Kurkistan.

But there have been gods who were fat, he thought, remembering some of the pictures he had seen of Returned who had come before him. There was a time in our culture’s history when that was seen as the ideal. . . . Did Returned looks have something to do with the way society saw them? Perhaps their opinion of ideal beauty? That would certainly explain Blushweaver.

This quote suggested that the form of returned may depend on how society saw them.

I replied later with these found quotes from TES.

You don’t need to worry about me talking,” Shai said, truthfully for once. “The more people who know of a Forgery, the more likely it is to fail.
That was a maxim of good Forgery: improve slightly on an original, and people would often accept the fake because it was superior.

That got me wondering.

Can anyone think of any other examples of the collective unconsciousness?

Another example, from Staff Venture.

Though its not fully understood yet, didn't someone's perception of if they were in a speed bubble or not have an influence on it?

In general, a large object going through a time bubble is not going to notice. An object is either in or out, and it depends in part on how the object views itself. People inside the train would be inside of its influence, and wouldn't notice the bubble. The spear would go from one to the other, but would never be in both.

How magic affects you depends in part of how you view yourself. So you can make magic easier or harder by your cognitive beliefs.

And another, from lDanielHolm

Spren also have something to do with the collective unconsciousness. Spren are attracted to certain things, be they concepts or objects or even states of mind. Syl is attracted to Kaladin's sense of honor and duty, of how he exemplifies the Second Ideal.
You made it so they had a family in the army. I remember their gratitude. It’s what drew me in the first place. You helped them.”
It was more than the Stormlight. Teft had only a fragmentary recollection of the things his family had tried to teach him, but those memories all agreed. Stormlight did not grant skill. It could not make a man into something he was not. It enhanced, it strengthened, it invigorated. It perfected.

What does it perfect towards? The cognitive archetype. The perfect protector. That is what honor is about, most of all. Protecting your brother in arms.

Edited by Nepene
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Though its not fully understood yet, didn't someone's perception of if they were in a speed bubble or not have an influence on it?

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I thought about this as well. I decided it isn't exactly that or wait, no I decided my theory was wrong.

If this was completely true, then a lot of people could get together and believe in one thing for as much as possible and it would become true. I don't believe this to be the case. However, it is not relevant to your theory.

Well, the conclusion I've came up with is that and I'm probably wrong, but it appears almost as if Brandon is attempting to justify the metaphysical contradictions of Gods. Reading through The Emperor's Soul and the cosmere, I got the impression from the quotes that Brandon was attempting to justify his own god.

The question, well, if God exists, why doesn't he manifest in some form? The answer found in the cosmere is that God exists in a separate realm. A better and longer Dante's Inferno, if you will.

It could be extrapolated to mean that the reason we don't see god is that we don't understand our universe well enough to understand the realm that God may exist in.

Well, I didn't mean to get religious and it isn't really a criticism since I am unsure if that is really what Brandon's intent was. Probably not. The book was very enjoyable. Reminded me of the young adult fantasy novels I used read in middle school.

To get back on topic, I think yeah, there are obviously connections for everything for spiritual, cognitive and physical. I think however that each realm exists separately. Well, I don't know. It would help if we knew whether you disappear when you enter the cognitive realm. Some evidence suggests that no, you do not disappear, you mind just enters the cognitive realm with your body staying in the physical. If this is true, then how would Hoid travel through the cosmere?

Is he simply moving his mind to a new body? This would be unlikely. Also, given that everything has a spiritual aspect. Well, I don't know. It seems like everything wants to be 'alive', but on its own can not be.

It could explain why Shards can not see their focuses. They could be bound or connected to the cognitive aspect of their focuses unable to sense the physical. To a Shard, the focus may seem part of itself, so it would be like attempting to see a heart or another internal organ, except without the ability to actually cut the skin.

An interesting topic. I just fear I'm not intelligence or knowledgeable enough to actually do it justice.

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I thought about this as well. I decided it isn't exactly that or wait, no I decided my theory was wrong.

If this was completely true, then a lot of people could get together and believe in one thing for as much as possible and it would become true. I don't believe this to be the case. However, it is not relevant to your theory.

Suppose someone started a legend that you could fly and a lot of people believed in it. It wouldn't enable you to fly. But if you gained the ability to shapeshift and some divine fuel it would then be extremely easy for you to shapeshift into an angel or a bird. You could access the cognitive realm, pull out the archetype of flying, and impose your spiritual energy on it to enable a physical transformation. At least under my theory.

Well, the conclusion I've came up with is that and I'm probably wrong, but it appears almost as if Brandon is attempting to justify the metaphysical contradictions of Gods. Reading through The Emperor's Soul and the cosmere, I got the impression from the quotes that Brandon was attempting to justify his own god.

The question, well, if God exists, why doesn't he manifest in some form? The answer found in the cosmere is that God exists in a separate realm. A better and longer Dante's Inferno, if you will.

It could be extrapolated to mean that the reason we don't see god is that we don't understand our universe well enough to understand the realm that God may exist in.

Spoiler from Legion. Jesus exists and you can take photos of him if you have a magical time traveling camera. Jesus can also see into the future. God has manifested and has an avatar. Since Brandon does believe in God he expects there to be physical manifestations of him.

Also, the answer from the Cosmere would not be that God is in a separate realm. The answer would be that God is in some aspect of the physical world that we thought was perfectly normal and common. Like metals. Or storms. Or sand. Hint hint, Alcatraz. Building your house on ground of sand may be a better idea than you'd think. There's probably been lots of foreshadowing where God is hiding anyway, you should look back through your life and see if certain themes have come up a lot and had lots of adjectives used to describe them. They'll probably be important later regardless once the Brandon Avalanche begins.

Jacob Santos

In general, a large object going through a time bubble is not going to notice. An object is either in or out, and it depends in part on how the object views itself. People inside the train would be inside of its influence, and wouldn't notice the bubble. The spear would go from one to the other, but would never be in both.

I'll add that, it's definitely something related to my theory. A non magical train can ignore magic just by nature of how it views itself. I wonder, could you train yourself to ignore other sorts of magic?

Edit.

I wonder if the way people can resist or ignore mist magics is another example of the limits of cognition. You can resist a mild spiritual force but not a large one. If you pierce yourself with a metal your spirit joins with it as your blood runs over it. Objects prefer to see themselves as a whole, as we know from TES. You don't expect magic to influence you, so you can resist it to some degree.

Edit 2. I should probably give a more honest answer of what Brandon's beliefs are, based on what I've read of him, and how this reflects on his novels.

Brandon believes in science and religion. He believes there is physical evidence of God in the world that you can find. All religions contain some truth and can lead you to become godly, but Mormonism contains the whole truth. He also believes that to be a true Mormon you must have a religious experience with God and has had one- this is more important than reading a book. He believes God wants to give us the greatest gift of all, to become like him, to become Gods in heaven.

Edited by Nepene
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Spren also have something to do with the collective unconsciousness. Spren are attracted to certain things, be they concepts or objects or even states of mind. Syl is attracted to Kaladin's sense of honor and duty, of how he exemplifies the Second Ideal.

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Suppose someone started a legend that you could fly and a lot of people believed in it. It wouldn't enable you to fly. But if you gained the ability to shapeshift and some divine fuel it would then be extremely easy for you to shapeshift into an angel or a bird. You could access the cognitive realm, pull out the archetype of flying, and impose your spiritual energy on it to enable a physical transformation. At least under my theory.

Please excuse the general ramblings from a mad man. I wasn't disagreeing with your hypothesis, I was attempting to point out the differences, albeit poorly.

Allow me to explain. I read a book during early High School or late Middle School about, I suppose collective unconsciousness. It is different from your theory in that, people defined reality. If enough people believed or were caused to believe something to be real, then it would indeed be so. A sufficiently powerful cognitive person could create their own dimension, so to speak.

There are parallels, to Realmatic theory. I think the difference is that reality as defined in Realmatic theory could not be affected by normal people as it takes a sufficiently powerful cognitive individual to redefine aspects of reality. The difference is powerful.

It also matches your theory, in the sense that the archetypes already exist as opposed to the other series where archetypes could be created.

Spoiler from Legion.
If I understand correctly, Legion is not part of the cosmere and therefore doesn't fall in to the Realmatic theory.

Also, the answer from the Cosmere would not be that God is in a separate realm. The answer would be that God is in some aspect of the physical world that we thought was perfectly normal and common.

Technically, the shards would be defined as gods in some type of Greek or Rome pagan religion grouping. Given that Brandon has never defined them as Gods, then I would go with that answer.

My point was drawing a connection to the contradiction in real life and the general impression that I got reading a few passages of The Emperor's Soul. Thinking about it more, I don't think it is the case. Generally those that believe, do so without any basis of science and facts. The contradictions are usually explained away by some convenient interpretation and massive leaps of logic. It is interesting listening to Orson Scott Card speak about religion.

Not sure if off-topic as religion does deal with collective unconsciousness and there are 'gods' and religion in the cosmere.

I'll add that, it's definitely something related to my theory. A non magical train can ignore magic just by nature of how it views itself. I wonder, could you train yourself to ignore other sorts of magic?

Given Realmatic theory, a train has a cognitive aspect and 'views' itself as a train. Nothing more or less. Magic appears to be a way to change the laws of physics or physical definitions.

Based on a few of Brandon's quotes and The Emperor's Soul. If you wanted to slow a train down, that has little to do with how the train defines itself and therefore would allow it. I guess one way to think about an allomantic bubble slowing down time for a train would be the problem that since only part of the train is contained with the bubble, parts of it would therefore would be in a state of slowing down and other parts in normal speed. The effect of this might be a crunching like hitting a wall. That is the physical aspect.

The cognitive aspect may see part of itself having the possibility of slowing down, but given that majority of the train is not in the state of slowing down, the train may not feel that the effect being applicable to its whole.

What would be interesting is the effect a time bubble would have on people contained within the bubble but also moving in the train. As they would obviously feel the effects of the bubble and while the train would continue moving as its constant speed, those in the train also contained within the bubble would both be moving with the train but also feeling briefly the effects of the bubble. Most likely they would be flung around in their tiny room as if the side of the train were hit.

If you were correct, then by the passenger not knowing that they were inside the bubble, they would not feel the effects of the bubble. This is not the case as in The Alloy of Law, the person being affected by the time bubble did not know he was within a time bubble and was still affected.

Brandon believes in science and religion. He believes there is physical evidence of God in the world that you can find. All religions contain some truth and can lead you to become godly, but Mormonism contains the whole truth. He also believes that to be a true Mormon you must have a religious experience with God and has had one- this is more important than reading a book. He believes God wants to give us the greatest gift of all, to become like him, to become Gods in heaven.

I am uncertain if replying to this truthfully would be crossing some line. I would really hate having to visit this site using a proxy. As there isn't a set of public rules, I'm just going to play it safe. However, if you want to discuss this further, please PM me or start a discussion in general discussion forum and send me a link.

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Please excuse the general ramblings from a mad man. I wasn't disagreeing with your hypothesis, I was attempting to point out the differences, albeit poorly.

It's fine, I'm a pretty casual person.

Allow me to explain. I read a book during early High School or late Middle School about, I suppose collective unconsciousness. It is different from your theory in that, people defined reality. If enough people believed or were caused to believe something to be real, then it would indeed be so. A sufficiently powerful cognitive person could create their own dimension, so to speak.

There are parallels, to Realmatic theory. I think the difference is that reality as defined in Realmatic theory could not be affected by normal people as it takes a sufficiently powerful cognitive individual to redefine aspects of reality. The difference is powerful.

It also matches your theory, in the sense that the archetypes already exist as opposed to the other series where archetypes could be created.

Indeed, this theory is very similar and is probably where Brandon got the idea. Just in his thing, you use spiritual power to bridge cognition and physical reality, and how much you can do it is dependent in part on how strong your spirit is.

If I understand correctly, Legion is not part of the cosmere and therefore doesn't fall in to the Realmatic theory.

You were talking about Brandon's beliefs. Legion is representative of his beliefs. He's talked in interviews often enough about his religion. His religious beliefs are a major influence on the novels. Understanding them helps you understand the magic system, whether you are an atheist, christian, mormon, or whatever. We should keep on topic and focus on the books, but the odd diversion to the real world can be helpful.

Technically, the shards would be defined as gods in some type of Greek or Rome pagan religion grouping. Given that Brandon has never defined them as Gods, then I would go with that answer.

They've been called Gods enough. They're a creating force. They're close enough.

My point was drawing a connection to the contradiction in real life and the general impression that I got reading a few passages of The Emperor's Soul. Thinking about it more, I don't think it is the case. Generally those that believe, do so without any basis of science and facts. The contradictions are usually explained away by some convenient interpretation and massive leaps of logic. It is interesting listening to Orson Scott Card speak about religion.

Brandon Sanderson believes with basis of science and religion. He believes that the mark of a strong religion is it can be tested. He has talked about this much and this theme is very relevant to the people in the books such as Sazed.

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/annotation/346/mistborn-3-Chapter-Seventy-One

This thread is not a good place to debate his beliefs, whether you are debating the existence of his beliefs or the validity of them.

Based on a few of Brandon's quotes and The Emperor's Soul. If you wanted to slow a train down, that has little to do with how the train defines itself and therefore would allow it. I guess one way to think about an allomantic bubble slowing down time for a train would be the problem that since only part of the train is contained with the bubble, parts of it would therefore would be in a state of slowing down and other parts in normal speed. The effect of this might be a crunching like hitting a wall. That is the physical aspect.

Relevant quote from Brandon, mentioned earlier.

In general, a large object going through a time bubble is not going to notice. An object is either in or out, and it depends in part on how the object views itself. People inside the train would be inside of its influence, and wouldn't notice the bubble. The spear would go from one to the other, but would never be in both.

I am not saying that not knowing about the magic would allow you to ignore it. There's probably some mental thought process that has to go on. Perhaps if you thought of yourself as a train you could ignore the cadmium bubble?

51RYXC8-TfL.jpg

I am uncertain if replying to this truthfully would be crossing some line. I would really hate having to visit this site using a proxy. As there isn't a set of public rules, I'm just going to play it safe. However, if you want to discuss this further, please PM me or start a discussion in general discussion forum and send me a link.

If you're going to respond to say that Brandon is bad for being a Mormon or that he's wrong for believing science and religion can coexist you probably should avoid responding truthfully. He believes what he believes, Sazed believes what he believes based off it. The collective unconsciousness exists in his books regardless of what you argue though my concept of it might not.

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I was going to start a new thread on this, but I don't want to steal your thunder, Nepene, so I'll just throw it in here and let you play with it.

At 7:30 in the TES Writing Excuses episode, Brandon identifies at least part of the foundation of Realmatics: "we're delving into the Cosmere stuff, my underlying theory of existence in my novels, which is based on a mash-up between Platonic Forms and Asian style 'everything has a soul'"

So you might want to re-focus a bit to talk more about how Platonism treats the Forms (the Form of the Window in TES, for example) and perhaps discuss how the Congitive and Spiritual Realms interact on this level, since, on the one hand, it seems that Cognitive aspects control how successful a Forgery is, while on the other hand we have Gaotona's soul being capable of evaluating the compatibility of soulstamps meant for the Emperor.

EDIT: We also have Shai saying that the "Window" Form exists in the Spiritual Realm, not the Cognitive, so I suppose the Cognitive simply accesses Spiritual Forms, then.

I've been holding off posting anything on TES in this section until the Orem signing Q&A is up, but I'll admit to being a bit antsy :).

Edited by Kurkistan
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I reread the wikipedia article. My bias tends to get the better of me. If I understand correctly, the article. What you are getting at is similar to my bias and that of the other series I referenced.

The problem is that from my understanding, collective unconsciousness appears to be, well Vin would be a good example of the hero archetype (including the literary one). Brandon has made references and it has been discussed that Preservation helped in some unspecified way to get Vin on the path of taking up the Well. So there certainly could be some psychic element to that. Given also the concept of spiritual mapping could be a metaphor for 'soul', it would make sense then that Vin had the archetype implanted in to her. Either by Preservation or just by her being born and connected to that cognitive aspect.

In the scope of the Realmatic theory, if the archetypes exist in the cognitive realm then it should be possible to transfer archetypes to various people. However, in Mistborn, it is mentioned that Vin was 'groomed', but I felt that implied that Preservation couldn't just 'download' hero archetype into Vin and be done with it, even if he was at a full capacity. Ruin couldn't do it with his 'puppets', he could groom them better than Preservation.

ps

I don't know, the last time I said something I thought was funny. It turns out I could no longer go to this club and the person defriended and blocked me from Facebook. So at some level I'm conscious that I'm not perfectly sane, but I'm not quite sure where the line is. So there is that.

Actually the message did imply murder or worse and after I was told that it was freaking insane, I have to admit that in hindsight it probably could have been worded a bit better. Also I should have added a few smilies to let on that I was just kidding.

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http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html

This has some interesting stuff on Jung. You can recognise some of the things in there. The dead are haunting the collective unconsciousness? Why, that is what Odium does. The hermaphrodite of opposites and wisdoms? Hello Sazed.

There is also the child, represented in mythology and art by children, infants most especially, as well as other small creatures. The Christ child celebrated at Christmas is a manifestation of the child archetype, and represents the future, becoming, rebirth, and salvation. Curiously, Christmas falls during the winter solstice, which in northern primitive cultures also represents the future and rebirth. People used to light bonfires and perform ceremonies to encourage the sun's return to them. The child archetype often blends with other archetypes to form the child-god, or the child-hero.

Many archetypes are story characters. The hero is one of the main ones. He is the mana personality and the defeater of evil dragons. Basically, he represents the ego -- we do tend to identify with the hero of the story -- and is often engaged in fighting the shadow, in the form of dragons and other monsters. The hero is, however, often dumb as a post. He is, after all, ignorant of the ways of the collective unconscious. Luke Skywalker, in the Star Wars films, is the perfect example of a hero.

Vin is not a conventional hero though, being an intelligent criminal woman who is mentally unstable and an assassin.

She is more the child archetype. She represents new hope and salvation and redemption. She once was bad due to criminal influences and her bro but kindness turned her good and made her trust people (although she's also a mass murderer, but it's good mass murder). She is the Jean Valjean of the modern day who reinvented herself to be a better person.

Elend is the hero. He is noble, self sacrificing, dashing, has a high IQ but is as dumb as a post and lost his kingship because of it.

Ruin mind controlled people, Preservation brought out their best, perhaps relying on those archetypes mentioned as you said.

I am fine with murderous jokes, I have joked with friends about murder all the time. I have a very dark sense of humour. I can understand why your friend had issues, but I am much more casual with such things.

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