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Why Radiant Spren Are Not Sapient Until They Bond

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So far in SLA it's empirically "true" that Radiant spren manifest in the Physical Realm in sentient form, never with full sapient capacity. That suggests the Radiant spren took the "easy way" into the Physical Realm. Whether consciously or not, they paid for the cheapest ticket possible - investiture-wise - for the Physical Realm train.




I use the word “pre-spren” to mean an idea in the Cognitive Realm that personifies emotion or natural phenomena. Until that idea manifests in the Physical Realm – becomes a “living idea” – it is not an actual spren.


I use the word “sentient investiture” to refer to that amount of cognitive investiture necessary to grant “sentience” to a Physical Realm entity. "Sentience" is the capacity to feel.


I use the word “sapient investiture” to refer to that amount of cognitive investiture necessary to grant “sapience” to a Physical Realm entity. "Sapience" is "wisdom," the capacity to make judgments.


Each Radiant "pre-spren" exchanges an amount of sentient investiture for a like amount of physical investiture. Presumably the "pre-spren" also pays some catalytic price in investiture to complete the transaction. (Ticketmaster always gets its cut.) This is simply an investiture state-change (see the “Origin of the Cosmere” post), but only with respect to the sentient investiture. The sapient investiture remains cognitive investiture.


A sentient spren now manifests, appearing as a Physical Realm "shadow" of itself (WoB). This sentient spren/shadow provides an "escort" for the sapient investiture; it “carries” it. I analogize the process to what happens with the corrupted Purelake spren and ITS "escort" before they together bond with (and resurrect?) a sapient thunderclast.


If a windspren (for example) can "timely" find a host to bond the sapient investiture to, then that person (through the Nahel bond) becomes the Physical Realm presence of the sapient investiture. The sapient investiture still consists of cognitive investiture, because it never underwent a state-change.


The separate sentient Physical Realm presence of the windspren remains, because its investiture price has already been “paid.” Now, however, that Physical Realm  windspren presence shares the sapient consciousness that's bonded to the Knight Radiant. So we see Syl with a much expanded consciousness.


"Timely" finding a host means "before the Physical Realm fragment becomes sapient on its own." Syl's concern is losing HER mind. That doesn't mean the fragment loses ITS mind. Consciousness to power only means the ability to direct its exercise, not "thoughts and personalities."


There are sentient spren analogs for every Order other than Bondsmith, which is pure Honor – pure “emotion.” The rest have some “natural phenomenon” – Cultivation – component. That’s why all the rest have their own “lesser spren” sentient analog

Edited by Confused

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