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This is a sort of corollary to my Shardic Constructs theory, it's been a work in process for a while (Although corollary sounds a tad pretentious...). However, it got stopped by a problem that I couldn't seem to get around for quite a while. So I'll start there and then move onto some other stuff.
 
In the old topic, someone brought up this quote.

BRANDON SANDERSON
Entities exist on all three realms that are only vaguely shadowed on the other realms. You have seen entities who exist primarily on the Cognitive Realm + are shadowed on the Physical.
Source

 
I couldn't get around this. I believed that Cognitive aspects were created by the interaction of Spiritual and Physical aspects. But how could one exist primarily in the Cognitive Realm? I think I have a potential answer to this question now. Humans are primarily Physical, right? They exist on the Physical Realm, everything they consciously interact with and see is in the Physical Realm. So presumably the same would be true of a creature that was primarily Spiritual in nature. But what if a creature was more balanced? Nearly half of both? I think that they would "exist" primarily in the Cognitive Realm, and would live and interact there. So hopefully this is that problem solved. Now, onto what I'd planned on saying the whole time.
 
Last time I connected Spiritual energy to sentience, how it interacts with the Physical portion of a creature gives it a mind. However, given a little thought, it's obvious that it's not quite as simple as that.After all, Radiants get filled with Spiritual energy all the time, yet their mind isn't too enhanced. Returned and Awakeners don't seem to be any more intelligent than your average person. There are minor Cognitive changes, but as a whole, it's not doing a lot. So, what gives?
 
I think the reason for this disparity we're seeing here is that the Spiritual power needs not just a Physical conterpart, but a Physical structure to create a Cognitive aspect. To use a poor analogy, this is like the difference between dipping a chip in some dip, and baking a several layer cake. Returned, for example, are suffesed with power. But it's not built into their Spiritweb, it's just sitting on top of them. A layer of Spiritual power, like dip sits on a chip. Same goes for the Radiants. However, when this power is added to the Spiritweb, such as in Hemalurgy, it can work to create sentience.
 
The perfect illustration comes, I think, when you look at the Divine Breaths and Seons. Divine Breath is not sentient. It's not structured at all, so it's not really conscious either. But then again, look at the Seon. The Aon itself is the Splinter, and it has a structure, a Physical form in the shape of an Aon, so it is sentient.
 
A thought that just occured to me right now is that this structure could be responsible for the Splinters that have their own intents separate from the larger Shards. It's obvious that unstructured Splinters like the Divine Breath don't really have an intent. But a structure could posssibly constrain a Splinter's larger intent into something more specific. It would probably be worth asking if the personality of a Seon is affected by that Seon's Aon.
 
All right, what do you guys think? Comments and disagreements are always welcome, that's how we figure out so many cool things!

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This seems to hold water. Nightblood and kandra are the examples we see of Investiture creating sentience, and both have a Physical presence. Do we have WoB on whether you can use Hemalurgy to provide sentience to something that currently doesn't have the capacity? An example would be an animal, or perhaps for extra fun a greatshell.

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Your idea that cognitive is created by interactions of physical and spiritual has a lot of mileage, I love the concept, but I cant yet espouse it. The reverse seems more likely, that the physical is created by interactions of spirit and cognitive. Based on Brandon's quote mabe both happen and the nature of the Spiritual Form determines which occurs.

I also think there is something else unique to humans in addition to cognitive/physical/spiritual . Splinters only seem to develop sentience (personalities) after they start bonding to a Human. I think they borrow something critical through that bond: intellect.

Aons for example have no sentience without their master (they wander aimlessly if their master gets hit with the Reod), and Spren have no sentience until they bond with a KR. Devine Breath must attach to the soul of the host to function. Nightblood is frighteningly unique, but seems to have a permanent bond with his creator (Vashers wife).

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This seems to hold water. Nightblood and kandra are the examples we see of Investiture creating sentience, and both have a Physical presence. Do we have WoB on whether you can use Hemalurgy to provide sentience to something that currently doesn't have the capacity? An example would be an animal, or perhaps for extra fun a greatshell.

 

Here, in the Q&A, and later in that thread.

1: Hemalurgy can do some very, very odd things. And the endowment of intelligence is a common result of tinkering with shard-based magic.

So, well, yes. And perhaps some of the greatshells, like those islands, are already sentient.

 

As for

Entities exist on all three realms that are only vaguely shadowed on the other realms. You have seen entities who exist primarily on the Cognitive Realm + are shadowed on the Physical.

I have always assumed them to be Truthspren: beings that only appear in perception of others, that do not interact much with anything, and possibly exist solely as a sentience coupled with ability, lacking even power to use it. Though I may be wrong on that one.

 

As it were, I do not agree with Winrunner's theory - it seems to make Cognitive realm somehow secondary and derivative, while I hold all Realms to be equal, but that is just my bias, and I don't have anything factual to counteract it with. Except maybe the fact that Syl without bond can apparently think in Cognitive realm but not on Physical?

 

There is a certain amount of... It is a symbiotic bond that is gained by Syl. And things gained by the person bonding. And the stronger presence in the physical realm, and the ability to think better in the physical realm is a part of that bond. She is mostly getting [something] of the physical realm. Without the bond, it is very hard for her to think in this world.

(bolded parts mine)

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A thought that just occured to me right now is that this structure could be responsible for the Splinters that have their own intents separate from the larger Shards. It's obvious that unstructured Splinters like the Divine Breath don't really have an intent. But a structure could posssibly constrain a Splinter's larger intent into something more specific. It would probably be worth asking if the personality of a Seon is affected by that Seon's Aon.

 

All right, what do you guys think? Comments and disagreements are always welcome, that's how we figure out so many cool things!

 

While I don't know how accurate their perspective is, the people of Hallendren certainly believe that the divine breaths and the returned have an intent. They give all their gods intents and titles.

 

Each god represented something. An ideal related to the heroic way in which they had died. Lightsong himself had died displaying extreme bravery.

 

The sort of language they use to describe them sounds very spiritual. If we knew more about divine breaths we might find they could be classified into categories like spren.

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Nightblood's sentience isn't due to Investiture. Everything we know about Breath is Cognitive in nature. It gives one extra senses, makes one appear different to others, give the ability for non-cognitive entities (like.dead bodies) cogitive abilities and improves the cognitive abilities.of others. The granting of Breath may be an Investiture (the tying of a particular Breath to a particular entity would be Spiritual), but Breath itself seems to be primarily Cognitive.

As such, Nightblood's sentience is granted by increased Cognitive presence of Breath. Twisted black Breath, but still Breath.

BTW, Spren are entities that exist primarily in the Cognitive realm with only shadows in the Physical. They have no little physical presence, so their sentience can't be expressed in the Physical realm, but who do you think Shallan was talking to in Shadesmar? The goblet seemed pretty sentient in the Cognitive realm to me.

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I have trouble separating breath and investiture: to me they are the same thing. I think it has spiritual, cognitive and even physical aspects. Spiritually it is a fragment of Endowment, as Leuthie points out it seems to have cognitive aspects, and the physical form is a color-based standing wavepattern (Biochromatic Aura)

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Nightblood is also compared to Shardblades, which are highly Invested objects

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Sorry for necro-ing, I'm making my rounds on threads I should have read already, but didn't because of laziness/exams.
 

This seems to hold water. Nightblood and kandra are the examples we see of Investiture creating sentience, and both have a Physical presence. Do we have WoB on whether you can use Hemalurgy to provide sentience to something that currently doesn't have the capacity? An example would be an animal, or perhaps for extra fun a greatshell.

 
My understanding is that Kandras' Blessings more so "close the gap" than create sentience on their own: this actually supports Windy's theory more.
 
As Satusoni said, you can grant sentience to animals using Hemalurgy. As the world shall know and rue one day...
 

As it were, I do not agree with Winrunner's theory - it seems to make Cognitive realm somehow secondary and derivative, while I hold all Realms to be equal, but that is just my bias, and I don't have anything factual to counteract it with. Except maybe the fact that Syl without bond can apparently think in Cognitive realm but not on Physical?

 
That "in the Physical" has always bothered me. What does that even mean? I can see if it's something like being able to meaningfully interact with and understand Physical objects and concepts, maybe, but we see that Syl didn't even remember her name before the bond, so in what sense could she really have been "thinking" off in the Cognitive?

@Leuthi

I really do not feel like defending Breath as primarily Spiritual again, but I will if I have to.  :angry:
 
Breath is a battery with interesting side effects if I've ever seen one (right after stormlight in line).
 
All that aside, that is a good point about the Goblet being cognizant in the Cognitive, Leuthie, and diffuses some of my worries about the "thinking in the Physical Realm" quote. Though that introduces some Kantian (criticizing) worries about to what extent such a disassociated entity is really "you"...
 
@OP
 
I'll agree with Satsuoni that I don't particularly like this marginalization of the Cognitive. Also, I'm unsure as to how you can fairly describe an entity which is equally present in the Physical and Spiritual as "primarily Cognitive", nor how that primarily Cognitive being with a strong Physical presence is still only a shadow in the Physical. I do quite like this idea of sentience needing a structure to inhere on, though I don't think we need to be so niggardly as to require that it be only a Physical structure.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Come on, now, Kurkistan, if you necro the thread, at least do the same ritual you did last time :)

 

As fro what "in the Physical" means, well... As usual, I refer to the phenomenon of "talking goblet", who apparently had the memory (of it being a goblet for a while), perception (of Shallan having Stormlight), etc, and clearly didn't have anything like that in the Physical realm. Syl had her name stored somewhere, after all, but on physical, she couldn't access it before the bond. Hence, she had the mechanism of cognition, that could probably be accessed directly from Shadesmar and activated there, but couldn't properly use it. A flawed analogy would be different ways of cognition in a dream - for example, in a dream, I can sometimes think and act like a girl, but I can not access this in the waking state, and barely remember it, though I regain memories and cognitive scheme the next time I dream that dream. (Note the flawed part)

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The problem with the ritual is that the picture includes a criticism for necroposting, so I'd be criticizing myself.

 

I can see where you're coming from, kind of in line with what Leuthi said. Still, it rubs me the wrong way. I'll mull it over. 

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Everything exists in all three Realms. Breath has a Physical component (white smoke), a Cognitive component, and a Spiritual Component. Since we don't experience the Cognitive or Spritiual on Nalthis, we have no idea what those look like. However, the primary effect of Breath is to increase Cognitive presence. Your own argument states this. Most of the power of Breath is in transferring, conferring, or, better, Endowing others with a larger Cognitive presence.

Of course this requires Spiritual Energy. Every Magic does. Most of the mechanics of the magic systems seem to create a conduit between Physical and Spiritual to transfer and shape Spiritual energy to make use of it. Of course Breath has a Spiritual aspect and the removal of one's Breath results in a deminished Spiritual presence (Drab-i-ness). However, I don't think this Spiritual lose is very significant. Its tiny. Like.chipping a Spiritual fingernail.

Yet the Cognitive gains from having increased Breath is quite significant.

Then again, you're arguing for Spiritual presence of Breath being most significant while I'm arguing that Cognitive effects are more significant. We're probably both right. A larger Spiritual presence is probably required to support the larger Cognitive abilities.

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I am profoundly disinclined to start this argument again (it's not you, it's me. Too much baggage from the War of Nepene), so I'll just throw some quotes at you, if you don't mind.

Link

ZAS

After several more signings, I asked my other question. "Do people in the Comsere, besides Nalthis, have Breaths?"

BRANDON SANDERSON

"No." He then signed a person's books, then said "To elaborate a little more, that's not to say they don't have a life force, because they do. But if someone not from Nalthis were to suddenly gain the ability to become an Awakener, they could not use what they have to Awaken something. That's not to say that they can't receive breaths though."

EDIT: Note Brandon calling Breath "life force", which aligns with conceptions of the Spiritual as the source of energy in the Cosmere, and with normal notions of the role of the soul.

Link

Kurkistan:

Do Breaths inherently possess the ability to interpret and carry out commands, or does the Awakener need to impart that decision making ability on Awakened objects?

If the Awakener does need to impart the decision-making ability, then does Awakening consist of an Awakener copying a portion of his/her Cognitive aspect (as determined by his/her visualization and verbal Command) onto the Cognitive aspect of the object being Awakened, with Breath then providing the "juice" for the object to actually follow its Command: powering both physical motion and "cogitation" based upon the copied Cognitive aspect?

-If so, is that copying what drains color?

Brandon:

You're very close here.

Unless Brandon's "you're very close here" somehow allows for my conception of Breath as mostly just "juice" with no inherent ability to carry out Commands to be profoundly wrong, this also strongly suggests a relegation of Breath to the Spiritual.

I have several thousand words on the subject with Nepene, if you care to peruse my reasoning in depth, along with some other quotes. Of particular note is the fact that Drab's show no sign of decreased intelligence or memory, but do have decreased drive and "life sense", both of which fall firmly into the Spiritual camp (Determination and Connection, respectively, from the Feruchemical Spiritual metals).

EDIT 2: Though not "Connection" in the exactly the same sense as used in Feruchemy, it's still essentially the same kind of "Spiritual sense" that deals with connections between people on a rather elevated level rather than brute perception.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Just thinking out loud: Presence and Ability in each Realm.

Spren: Large Spiritual presence leads to large Cognitive ability; Small Cognitive presence leads to small Physical ability. Bond increased Cognitive presence of Spren increasing Physical ability. Also increased Spiritual presence of bonder leading to increased Cognitive ability.

Edited by Leuthie
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An aside: Looking at the BioChroma section of the MEC, I was reminded that more complex Commands require more Breath (page 575, Warbreaker PDF). If we take as given that Breaths are Spiritual, this provides a firm basis that Cognitive complexity, if not necessarily arising out of Spiritual power, is at least dependent upon it to some degree (as a power source to power cogitation, presumably).

Edited by Kurkistan
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Of particular note is the fact that Drab's show no sign of decreased intelligence or memory, but do have decreased drive and "life sense", both of which fall firmly into the Spiritual camp (Determination and Connection, respectively, from the Feruchemical Spiritual metals).=

You're saying that 'life sense' is the same as connection?  Why?

 

They have decreased emotional stability and decreased immune system response as well, which are cognitive and physical.  They also get mentally 'fuzzier', as we see with Vivenna, which is also cognitive.

 

And as we can tell from the Returned, the Big Breath gives you huge physical gains.

Edited by Phantom Monstrosity
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I say life sense is akin to connection because of how its an imperceptible person-to-person perception that has overtones of being soul-related.

 

Besides such "squishy" reasons, the fact that Drabs don't interact with life sense at all (neither sending nor receiving) tells us that both parties need a Breath in order for it to work. The Cognitive Realms doesn't really work in terms of two-way relations, so that leaves connections, which places us in the Spiritual via TES's definition of the Realms.

 

Drab's don't lack stability, they're just irritable. Clubs wasn't "unstable". You can easily explain that away as a result of decreased empathy, or, alternatively, as a secondary affect of losing part of your Spiritual aspect.

 

The fuzziness was 100% a result of Vivienne being deathly ill, actually.

 

Another source on Breath being part of your soul:

 

Ch 22.2 Annotaiton

"Vivenna is right about what happens to a person when they lose their Breath. It is a part of your soul, and without one, you are more prone to depression, you get sick much more easily, and you're generally more irritable.

 

And another, if we assume that Lightsong's ability to perceive another soul is based in his own.

GORDON
The paintings (I think there were at least two, right?) that remind Lightsong of his dreams and the Manywar etc. Is the Artist someone we know? If not, will we eventually meet him/her in a later book? Does the artist hope to affect Lightsong this way, or is it just some guy giving abstract art to his God?

 

JARED

 

Is the artist that painted those paintings Hoid?

 

BRANDON SANDERSON (GOODREADS)
Hoid did not make the paintings. The goal of those paintings—and this is spoilery, by the way—the paintings are actually what the text implies that they are. They are abstract paintings which Lightsong, having a touch of the divine, is able to see and read into things that aren't necessarily there.

 

 

Beyond that, art is a magical thing in the world of Warbreaker. When an artist creates a work of art, part of the artist's soul ends up in the artwork. Someone who has many breaths and who's Returned like Lightsong has the inherent ability to see into the art and perceive that. So Lightsong can interpret correctly an abstract piece, based on what the artist is trying to convey, in a way that a normal person couldn't.

 

I was not trying to make the artists anyone specifically important. In the case of those paintings, they are wonderful artists — I think they are two separate artists, if I'm thinking of the two paintings that you're indicating. As Lightsong has a splinter of divine nature inside him, he is able to interpret the paintings—to foresee, using them, and to see into the soul of the person who made them.

Edited by Kurkistan
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And your 'soul' includes both cognitive and spiritual stuff.

 

After all, storing memories is very firmly a cognitive thing, and we know that soulforging includes a LOT of memory altering.

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Yes, the ever-elusive definition of the soul is irritating, I must say. Thankfully for this case, you can fall back onto cases purely made up of (necessarily Spiritual) connections, such as Lightsong intuiting--oh, pure intuition (like, say, intuitive Awakening) is Spiritual too, if we're to trust the MAG at all--the meaning an artist tried to convey when he put his soul into a painting, as well as life sense (I edited in a section on life sense a few minutes after posting, which you might have missed).

 

I still think Brandon is discussing the soul as purely or at least primarily Spiritual in this context, given all the other evidence for Breaths as primarily Spiritual. That was also just my "read", but that isn't exactly quantifiable.

 

We also have the entirely separate issue of how Breaths can act as a motive force in Awakening, a Spiritual matter according to Harmony, if they're primarily Cognitive.

Edited by Kurkistan
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'the unseen energy that permeates all of the world' could very well just be the power of creation.  And later in that same post you disagree with him, so I don't think you can really cite an ambiguous phrase while discarding half of it.

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'the unseen energy that permeates all of the world' could very well just be the power of creation.  And later in that same post you disagree with him, so I don't think you can really cite an ambiguous phrase while discarding half of it.

I don't think my interpretation was that dubious, but there isn't really any need to continue the discussion either way if that's the only objection you have left, since that was a point of new matter on top of all my other core arguments.

 

EDIT: I find them all persuasive (naturally ;)), but how life sense works is nearly irrefutable, so far as I'm concerned.

P.S. Also, this isn't a thread hijack because... extra Breaths being needed for complex Commands is an important piece of evidence for Cognitive complexity needing proportionate Spiritual power, if Breaths are indeed Spiritual.

Edited by Kurkistan
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I don't think my interpretation was that dubious, but there isn't really any need to continue the discussion either way if that's the only objection you have left, since that was a point of new matter on top of all my other core arguments.

 

EDIT: I find them all persuasive (naturally ;)), but how life sense works is nearly irrefutable, so far as I'm concerned.

P.S. Also, this isn't a thread hijack because... extra Breaths being needed for complex Commands is an important piece of evidence for Cognitive complexity needing proportionate Spiritual power, if Breaths are indeed Spiritual.

 

Nah, I've got other disagreements, but I don't want to fill up this thread with them.

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Fair enough. I was mostly arguing out of hard-earned instinct from the Great War... *pauses and looks into distance* ...and a rather admirably stubborn certainty that I am right. It's very tangential to this thread.

Edited by Kurkistan
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Honestly, it probably makes the most sense to come up with some interesting questions that would either conclusively prove or disprove your theory, and add them to the ultimate list.

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That's part of what my "You're very close here" set of questions was aiming at (although it was a tad more ambitious), and Brandon's answer was less than definitive. In all honesty, though, I don't think it's possible to doubt that Breath's are primarily Spiritual, once all the information we have is properly considered. The problem is that the information is fragmentary and sometimes misleading, and so takes a massive effort to even grasp all at once, let alone discuss.

Feel free to add the question to the list if you want to, though.

Edited by Kurkistan
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