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Eri

Power generates sentience

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It isn't a full theory, I think, because it's very similar to "Shardic sentience". But there are some things that I didn't see proposed anywhere, so I decided to post my view on intelligence/sentience in the Cosmere. Sorry if it was said before.

Hmm... not a full theory or hypothesis... so let's call it a lemma. wink.gif (a lemma is basically a small hypothesis)

Inspired by quotes from this topic.

The lemma (it may be obvious from previous topics, but nobody said that): power generates sentience. By "power" I mean whatever Shards are made of. Some spiritual (in Realmatic terms) energy.

Every human has some of that power or something inside him/her, which creates conciousness. That's why Drabs (or what was it called? People with no Breath) are still sentient. Other beings, even those that were once humans (like Kandra), don't. They need magic to be intelligent.

It explains invested objects with large enough investments being sentient (Nightblood). It explains, why Clod is more intelligent than typical Lifeless (according to annotations, he has some extra Breaths from before Vasher killed him). Explains Seons - as splinters of Aona, being large enough to be smart. Spren - being smaller splinters - just chunks of Stormlight (or some energy filling all Roshar? That's possibly Stormlight, anyway), too small to be fully sapient. Syl, gaining more Stormlight from Kaladin or from their bond, getting intelligent. It explains Hemalurgy turning mistwraiths into Kandra.

And sentience seeks more power, often. That's how I imagine spren. Born from a condensation of Stormlight above threshhold level, given simple animal-like mind by it, instinctively seeking more Stormlight to grow.
The problem is that spren seem to need quite constant supply of Stormlight, so they probably use/lose it somhow. Hmm... a flow of power generating sentience? But that doesn't make sense with Clod.
And I can't explain the weird thing with measuring them.

This lemma may explain parshmen's (or whatever this word should be? Belonging to parshmen, I mean.) stupidity. If Parshandi are like the Koloss - made with Odium's power, cutting them somhow from Odium would make them animal-like. (I imagine it as some ugly process involving a shardblade and cutting through the Spiritual Realm - but severing a bond, not a person.) Or the Parshandi need Stormlight to remain sentient, maybe. And from the parshmen it was taken by "winners" of the "last" Desolation.

At first I wrote about intelligence, too. But after writing it, I realized that "sentience" is probably a better word. Gaining more investment / breaths / other power doesn't make one smarter. More aware, maybe. But it doesn't increase the IQ. wink.gif

Questions to disprove / support it(a good hypothesis needs to be disprovable, after all):
Were the old-school Lifeless (made with more Breaths) smarter than modern ones? (may not work, they could be Invested the same amount, and some Breaths just got wasted, because the method was imperfect)
If an animal was given a hemalurgic spike, or Breaths, and if it worked (we don't know if animals can be invested), would it become intelligent?

I can't think of anything more.

What do you think? Does it make sense?

Sorry for overflowing the forum recently, but I've waited with posting anything until I finished rereading of WoK, so now I'm posting all almost at once.

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I kind of agree with you that spiritual power is needed to generate sentience, but, I don't think it is needed to maintain sentience once it has been created.

I'm kind of working on a theory similiar to what you said, with some additional connections to Warbreaker, but I need some time to think it over.

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I kind of agree with you that spiritual power is needed to generate sentience, but, I don't think it is needed to maintain sentience once it has been created.

I agree here.

You do raise some interesting points eri, I completely did not think of lifeless or Nightblood in my theory.

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