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So Dor is Cognitive?

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Hm. Curiouser and curiouser.

So Dor is Cognitive?

I'd argue perhaps that access to the Dor is based on some kind of Cognitive key, rather than the Dor itself being primarily of the Cognitive realm. We already know that AonDor can be hacked to work in other locations, which if it's not tied to region makes sense (you can access it from anywhere with the right regional 'key').

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It's hard to read on my storming badchull of a phone :(

Anyone wanna type it out.

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The Cognitive realm is tied to location, the Spiritual realm is not. This impacts the magics...

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Nice (though I feel like we might have seen something like this before). What was the question?

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Don't we already know that the Cognitive realm and the Physical realm are opposites (water in Physical realm = land in Cognitive realm and vice versa) - at least in Stormlight Archive. Just look at the maps of Roshar and Shadesmar - they are opposites/reflections.

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Hm. Curiouser and curiouser.I'd argue perhaps that access to the Dor is based on some kind of Cognitive key, rather than the Dor itself being primarily of the Cognitive realm. We already know that AonDor can be hacked to work in other locations, which if it's not tied to region makes sense (you can access it from anywhere with the right regional 'key').

Ah. Interesting.

I just thought about that because I was thinking "Dor is very tied to location."

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Very interesting! Nicely done.

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Could all Dor-based magic be a manipulation of the Cognitive realm? 

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OOh thanks for this!  Though I will echo Kurkistan on what the exact question was.

 

As for the Dor being Cognitive thing, my understanding of the situation is that the Dor is made up of the Splintered remains of Devotion and Dominion and as such is constituted of Investiture.  Which is not primarily "of" any of the Realms.  That said the Dor /is/ located in the Cognitive Realm (this is why it's so dangerous to go there in the region corresponding to Sel).  So while the Dor is not Cognitive by nature, it could be argued to be Cognitive by location.

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Theorywise, what I find most interesting about this is that it may imply a far simpler layout of Forms than I've been proposing. At a naive reading, this implies that there is exactly 1 ideal of Fire in the entire Cosmere, 1 ideal of "Window", rather than at least some things having their own version per planet and/or culture. This has particular impact on Forgery, since (by my own theories, at least) it might end with you getting a "generic" stained glass window on Sel that's unfluenced by Scadrian artistry. Other such implications, such as the "generics" that Soulcasting produces being so influenced, also come to the fore.

This may not be quite so simple, though: one piece of evidence against such strict universality is how Returned reflected Nalthian beauty standards, rather than some aggregate of the whole Cosmere's standards. Unless of course beauty standards are in fact Cosmere Universal and their Spiritual ideals have some kind of trickle-down effect into the minds of people everywhere to standardize it...

Edited by Kurkistan
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@ Kurkistan

 

The Returned reflected their own beauty standards, or how they feel they should look, so it isn't really all of Nalthis that influences them.

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Yes Returned can, with skill and effort, alter their appearance (described in the annotations, sorry, link isn't handy from the phone), but it appears that the "default version" is sourced elsewhere:
http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/1ced7z/iamstilla_novelist_named_brandon_sanderson_ama/c9hh5j1?context=3

A later WoB would show that these things that Spren are based on are spiritual ideals.

Edited by Kurkistan
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This begs the question, what is the Spiritual Realm? And how is it that you can store things there like a Shardblade or a person's soul?

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The Spiritual realm storing Shardblades is, so far as I've been able to determine, an unsourced rumor. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't, but we don't have any actual proof either way that I know of.

 

So far as "storage" of souls go, we may simply not be going abstract enough. A lot of what we've heard of the Spiritual so far makes it sound like it's defined by relationships, so it might be better to start thinking of Spiritual interactions as being based on sets of relations between things that just "are" rather than those things needed to be "located" in any meaningful way.

 

P.S. Found a quote on changing body shape: it's referring to Vivienne using her own little mini-Divine Breath, but is in the context of her being able to do what Vasher does.

Edited by Kurkistan
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We knew location was less important in the Spiritual from the recent AMA, but it's nice to know it doesn't matter at all. It makes it seem like Scadrial's Investiture is mostly in the Spiritual, hence why Hoid can draw it over on Roshar.

 

I'm in agreement with Kurk's thoughts on how things are defined by relationships. It seems like things in the spiritual are like a graph (in the mathematical sense), with ideals acting as nodes and connections acting as edges. Makes the term 'Spiritweb' much more meaningful to me.

 

This makes me slightly more confident in my speculation that Forgery is mainly just shifting around the links between things/making certain connections stronger and weaker, with the Cognitive serving to fill in any gaps (for example, fleshing out false memories).

 

As to Kaladin/Dalinar's everything's-black-but-I-can-still-see visions, I'm slightly less confident they were seeing the Spiritual now.

 


 

Regarding the whole Forging a stained glass window, I feel like there still might be Cognitive influence which would serve to adapt any such creations to the local culture. The whole 'plausability' mechanic makes me feel like there's some sort of filtering going on somewhere that should influence the whole process, and apparently Shallan is good at art in part because her mind is closer to the Cognitive?

 

I wonder what, exactly, this means for entering the Spiritual in the flesh. You can do it for the Cognitive, but I doubt you can do it for the Spiritual now.

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@Moogle Regarding Forgery:

 

That's an excellent thought. Have a theory-earned upvote (I tend to be stingy with those :P ).

 

Brandon has mentioned how it's a bit "transcendent" with things going back and forth between the realms (first Q/A here), seeming to go along with me when I talked about median Cognitive ideals forms, so it might well be that Form-based effects are mediated by the local Cognitive medians: this would actually solve the general problem, allowing for Cosmere-universal Ideals of Meat and Steel and Beauty that are exceptionally general, while relying on the local Cognitive medians to interpret those ideals for individual planets/cultures. Like how healing already works (see other part of that link and the SLCC transcript for details on that) , but on a much larger scale.

 

So my "sForms" (wow I was a bit too into jargon when I wrote that thread...) are in fact better modeled by having them be Cognitive rather than just smaller versions of "uForms", with actual Forms that are fully Spiritual just being my "uForms".

Edited by Kurkistan
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@Kurkistan

In Warbreaker Allmother appears as an older deity with a less godlike physique, and she is not actively willing herself to be that way. It is explained that each of the gods looks the way they think they should, but the actual alteration is done subconsciously, as only Vasher is aware of his ability to drastically alter his appearance.

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EDIT: Ah, my apologies, I see you were likely referring to the "with skill and effort" line, rather than the general point. In that, you are correct: I overstated the point, thinking more of Vasher's intentional gymnastics than subconscious changes. Looking at the text of Warbreaker again, it does indeed look like Returned can and do have some subconscious effect on the nature of their bodies, with the main evidence being Allmother growing older.

 

I'll stand by the general point on social beauty standards being the main factor in base appearance, though.

 

---

 

No? Here are the relevant WoBs again:

 

Source:

Kurkistan: Are the changing beauty standards of Returned and the "plausibility" of Forgeries determined by the same kind of "cognitive ideals or concepts which have taken on literal personification over time" that some types of Spren represent?

Brandon: Yes. These things all work according to the same fundamental framework.

 

Source:

KURKISTAN

Are flamespren, are they all doing their own thing, or is there some Ideal of "Fire" sitting in the Spiritual Realm that they're all based on?
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
Each spren is based on the Ideal of Fire.
 
KURKISTAN
And is that sitting in the Spiritual Realm?
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
Yes, we're using sort of a Platonic Ideal, and that concept is in force, so < sounds hesitant > "yes", but [spren] are manifestations of it.
 
KURKISTAN
So these Ideals in the Spiritual Realm: Divine Breath, does that heal by accessing some Ideal of Human Health: so a guy who had never had a tongue and doesn't know how to speak all the sudden has a tongue and can speak? [Note: Talking of Susebron here]
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
You are... < LONG pause > You are, um, on the right track.
 
KURKISTAN
Okay...
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
Because the Breath is... eh. How can I explain this? You are, yeah... So... So each Breath is a shade of deity, right?
 
KURKISTAN
Yeah.
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
And each Breath incorporates into it this sort of idea of being endowed by the deity Endowment, correct?
 
KURKISTAN
Yes.
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
And so each Breath you hold brings you one step closer to becoming like that, and so what you're saying is... is "yes", kind of true, yes.
 
KURKISTAN
But it's like within the Breath, not sitting off by itself—
 
BRANDON SANDERSON
Yes, yes yes exactly.

 

Source (Warbreaker Annotation):

Can Vivenna change her appearance more? She can indeed. She could actually stoke that fragment of a divine Breath inside of her and start glowing like a Returned. She can’t change her physical features to look like someone else, but she can change her age, her height (within reason), and her body shape (to an extent). It takes practice.

 
And yes, the scraggly miscreant is how Vasher sees himself. Not noble and Returned, which is part of how he suppresses his divine Breath.
 
Events in the second book may change that.

 

Relevant text on Returned appearance/Allmother. Italics in original (represent thoughts):

 

Warbreaker Ch 30.

Something is different about him, Lightsong thought. He Returned when
he was a child and acted like one for a very short time. Now, he’s an adult in
some ways, but a child in others.
The transformation had made Hopefinder more mature. He was also
taller and more physically impressive than ordinary boys his age, even if he
didn’t have the chiseled, majestic features of a fully grown god.
And yet, Lightsong thought, eating a piece of pineapple, different Gods
have different body styles. Blushweaver is inhumanly well endowed, particularly
for how thin she is. Yet Mercystar is plump and curvaceous all around. Others,
like Allmother, look physically old.
Lightsong knew he didn’t deserve his powerful physique. Like the
knowledge of how to juggle, he somehow understood that a person usually
had to work hard at manual labor to have such a muscular body. Lounging
about, eating and drinking, should have made him plump and flabby.
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.

 

Bold added to highlight that Allmother is non-unique; then to highlight literally the one passage within the book that even attempts to come to a conclusion about why Returned look like they do.

 

Warbreaker Ch 42.

People still waited in a line and Allmother sat on a throne at the front of
the room. She was stocky for a goddess, and he had always considered her
white hair and wrinkled face an oddity within the pantheon. In bodily age,
she was the oldest of the gods.

[...]

Allmother sighed, then waved toward a doorway on the side of the
room. Lightsong walked that way and she followed, a few servants trailing.
Allmother moved with the stiffness of age. Is it me, or does she look older than
she did before? That was, of course, impossible. Returned did not age. At
least, not the ones who had reached maturity.

 

Reading these passages again, you may be on to something, to some small extent. Knowing what we do now, particularly from the annotations, I would say that Brandon was likely using some of the passages about Allmother, particularly her looking older, to hint at some degree of unconscious control of Returned over how they look: Allmother is feeling her age and responsibility, and so begins to look older. So far as general point of some Returned being old and others young, myself I'd wager that the gods who look physically older were just flat-out old when they died, and had made peace with that as how they were: this versus the young-to-middle-aged who likely would see their ideal selves at early-thirties.

 

On the broader point of different Returned having different versions of ideal bodies, I think it fair to surmise that that also burns down to some subconscious personal preference and/or body type when they died. But all of this is still quite thoroughly constrained by the bounds of social ideals of beauty so far as we can see.

--

Beyond this, the WoBs are rather clear in backing up Lightsong's musings about social ideals being the ultimate source of truth here, rather than just personal taste.

 

---

 

As a general point, and I believe I've said the like elsewhere, I believe it's a mistake to make the general argument of  "they're not all young and beautiful in the same way, therefore they aren't all based on the same template". If you look at how the Olympian gods are depicted, they range widely in age and physical characteristics, but any favorable depiction is still going to show them as physically pleasing by the standards of the age.

Edited by Kurkistan
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@Kurk & Mitch: I think it's important to remember Shai's Realmatic lessons on this matter: How something sees itself and how others see it are both important. The Returned might each have individual standards of beauty, but their conception of beauty would still more or less be a reaction to their environment, including the currently popular standard of beauty in Hallandren. Even in real life, social beings don't form aesthetic models in isolation, even the most "original" ones. So I don't think Kurk's belief in a general template of Returned appearance based on Hallandren standards necessarily contradicts Mitch's more individualist theory. Society influences individuals and vice-versa.

As for the Spiritual Realm being the only Realm not tied to location, this fits quite nicely in my Realmatic String Theory. You can picture the Spiritual node of a string staying put as the Physical node moves around, while of course the Cognitive oscillating part in between is pulled along.

Edited by skaa
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It wasn't exactly a question, persay. What I said was: "I'm really interested about the ways that time and space work in the cognitive and spiritual realms, and about the mechanics of Realmatic theory in general. Can you tell me something about those mechanics that you haven't talked about yet?"

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what does this say? 

 

Not sure if you missed the caption at the bottom of Andrew's photo, but here is what Brandon wrote: "The Cognitive realm is tied to location. The Spiritual realm is not. This impacts the magics..."

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Oookay. That's interesting. I wonder what that means for Ideals that are connected to concepts that are location-variant. Perhaps they're filtered through the Cognitive? That would make sense with this WoB. The real question is how far out the Ideals extend beyond the Cognitive. Do they include all potential views of themselves, or just all of the ones available to humans or other sentient entities, or just the ones that actually exist? Like, is there an Ideal for beauty that is completely alien to anything alive? Do the Ideals for color stretch beyond the visible spectra of all living creatures?

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