MountainKing

Awaken wounds

18 posts in this topic

22 minutes ago, MountainKing said:

Can you awaken wounds,and then command them to heal?

So, I don't have an explicit yes/no to this question, because of technicalities and details.

  • You can't use awakening on other people, and we don't know if you can do physical awakening to yourself, or only mental(the memories thing)
  • We know Divine Breath can heal, but we don't know if regular Breath is capable of doing so.
  • Breath imitates life, but I'm not sure if it can imitate bodily process to that extent.
  • something else I'm forgetting
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You can't Awaken living things, for sure.  So since a wound would be part of a living thing, you wouldn't be able to Awaken it.

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What about a blade killed arm. It is dead now.

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For one thing, a wound isn't really an object, but the state of a body being broken. And a cut-off arm I think would act as a class 3 awakened object, but might be sort of a combination of class 2 and 3, since it's very much in human form and the breath might stick to it, but it wouldn't be quite like a lifeless, because it wouldn't have a brain. That brings up another question: What about an awakened severed head? That I think would qualify as a lifeless, but it wouldn't be useful at all. 

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Well here's where I've always been very interested in seeing Nalthis post-scientific advancement, because Identity is such a nuanced thing in the cosmere. Also, things aren't totally cut and dried with the rules we have for Awakening thus far. So I do think there are ways that Awakening could be used to heal wounds at some point.

For instance, you can't Awaken people, true but most Awakening does require the material be organic, with inorganic Awakening only possible at the higher Heightenings. The presence of a living soul is what interferes with the process of Awakening, hence why Awakening corpses as Lifeless isn't inherently any different from Awakening a bundle of straw, just requiring more complex Commands due to the intricacy of getting a vessel as initially complicated as a human corpse to operate in fulfillment of the intentions of the Awakener's mental and spoken Commands. The soul is already gone, thus no more interference. Also look at how you can't use color from a living person to fuel Awakening....but you can use color from spilled blood, blood that has separated from the body.

This is where I believe Identity comes in. We know from Forgery and interactions with Shadesmar in The Stormlight Archive that everything has a physical manifestion, a cognitive Identity, and a Spiritual aspect. All things exist to some degree in all three Realms. And while we don't traditionally think of the Realms as stacked or in any kind of linear order, the way they're referred to does tend to leave the impression that the Cognitive Realm exists 'in between' the Physical and Spiritual Realms. The reason I think this is significant, is because in all instances we've seen of something becoming something else in the cosmere, it hinges on the alteration of something's Cognitive Identity, which is then followed by changes to the related Physical and/or Spiritual manifestations of that thing. The Cognitive Identity seems to act almost as not the bridge between Physical and Spiritual, but rather the lynchpin, ie how the Physical and Spiritual come together. Rather than forcing a transformation on one end of the Realmatic spectrum like the Physical or Spiritual and then that transformation trickle down the line to the others, transformation in the cosmere seems to focus on the lynchpin of something's Realmatic existence, alter its Cognitive Identity and then the subsequent transformation bleeds through in both directions, to the other Realms.

We also know from Forgery and Cognitive-focused Surgebinding like Transformation that how an object 'views itself' is variable depending on even non-magical changes. A table leg existing as part of a whole, functional table doesn't have an Identity as a table leg or a single length of wood. It views itself as part of a whole. A table. A Soulcaster can transform that table by convincing its Cognitive Aspect in Shadesmar to change to something else. However, if that table is broken, the table leg splintered off from the whole for long enough, at a certain point that table leg no longer views itself as part of a table, or a broken part of a table, but rather its own distinct Identity. You come across a table leg lying in the garbage with no sign of where the rest of the table is or how long that table leg has been there, if you go into Shadesmar and find it's Cognitive Identity, you won't find a bead representing a table, but rather a table leg.

Which explains why spilled blood can be used to fuel Awakening, once separated from a living person and the soul that person houses. It's not a matter of proximity, but of Identity. That spilled blood is no longer part of a Self-Contained Living Body Complete with Soul....it becomes its own Identity. Change a part of the whole's relationship to the whole, and you can change the way that individual part interacts with Investiture and the Awakening process. You're not changing the rules of Awakening...but you can reframe or alter the context of those rules by changing the way something exists Realmatically.

My personal theory has always been that each Shard and their Investiture exist in all three Realms, but how much each Shard and their Investiture manifests or is concentrated in each Realm varies depending on Intent. Hence Shards whose Intents are more focused on the Physical Realm and things' state of existence within that Realm, physical processes, etc...Shards like Preservation and Ruin....this results in magic systems that are more focused on physical fuel and processes, consuming and burning metal with a direct result on physical forces. Then you have a Shard like Endowment, the Intent of giving or bestowing, and this to me speaks more of the Spiritual....this Intent isn't focused on specific things being given, thus its not Physical focused, and its not about the why of the giving, because you don't even have to give Breath of your own free will, you can be coerced to do it, which suggests that while Awakening has an obvious Cognitive component with Commands, ultimately Endowment and its Investiture is primarily Spiritual-centered, because it's about the essence of giving, that seems to be what matters most in the execution of its Intent. And consequently, it's fueled primarily by Investiture manifesting from the Spiritual Realm, via Breath....which doesn't seem to be the soul, specifically, but soul-adjacent. It's essentially the essence of sentient life, or linked to it, and while Awakening alters the Physical Realm and relies on the Cognitive Realm to be enacted, it operates by Endowing physical things with the essence of sentient life, enabling it to for a time exist in emulation of human life via that borrowed Breath. The reason I mention all THIS as relevant, because I think this is why you can't Awaken things with a living soul. It's related to how it's hard to affect already Invested things with external Investiture. Investiture isn't the same thing as the living soul....so even Spiritual-focused Investiture like Breath isn't quite the same thing as the living soul....but since the soul does seem to be the part of a living human that exists as their Spiritual aspect, Spiritual-rooted Investiture like Breath is very close to it. Perhaps close enough to it that a living thing's soul, or Spiritual Aspect, resists an Awakener's attempt to affect it with external Spiritual Investiture, much like we've been told Shardplate would be difficult to directly affect with allomancy.

Anyway, all of this is to lay the groundwork for how and why Awakening has far more applications IF an Awakener is able to alter something's relationship to the living soul BEFORE attempting to Awaken it, with the easiest way to do this being altering how it views itself. There are a few possibilities for how I think this could be accomplished, but the most likely route I think would involve using Awakening on organic material not part of the living being the Awakener is trying to heal.

Essentially, it would require the Nalthis version of stem cell research. All healing basically happens on the cellular level. So just like our own science has seen the possibility in harvesting stem cells (which are biological cells that can differentiate into different stem cells and then divide to make more of that same type) and introducing them into a sick person's body, so they can replace damaged cells (which is essentially what say, a bone marrow transplant is)....Awakeners could theoretically accomplish something similar by harvesting cells from umbilical cords at birth, separating them from the living soul they were initially a part of so that they become organic material with their own distinct Identity, just like spilled blood. And then, introducing these cells into a sick or wounded individual, an Awakener able to view them on a microscopic level via scientific equipment could possibly construct a series of commands by which they could Awaken these cells and direct them through specific processes designed to interact with the new host body in a variety of ways. I see a lot more potential in using Awakening with transplanted cells to cure diseases, by walking the Awakened cells through making the repairs the host body's damaged or missing cells are incapable of making. Actually healing wounds would be a lot trickier since it wouldn't be about doing repairs the host body can't do on its own, but rather accelerating already existing biological processes....but its still theoretically possible via the same theories. After all, the idea of using nanotechnology to heal wounds quickly is basically just the idea of programming nanites to replicate the functions of biological cells at an accelerated rate.....Awakeners would just be skipping the middle step of designing machines to do this, and Awakening stem cells to do this themselves.

Of course, this would all be extremely complicated and involve insanely intricate Commands, but if Awakeners can figure out Commands for getting Lifeless to emulate the basic functions of a living body, with enough scientific advancement this shouldn't be out of the realm of possibility, IF cells could feasibly be Awakened if separated from a living body first. I don't think its something the average Awakener would ever be capable of, but consider Awakeners with specific fields of expertise and years of schooling.....medical Awakeners could be the Nalthis equivalent of oncologists or surgeons.

 

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17 minutes ago, ROSHtaFARian2.0 said:

For instance, you can't Awaken people, true but most Awakening does require the material be organic, with inorganic Awakening only possible at the higher Heightenings. The presence of a living soul is what interferes with the process of Awakening, hence why Awakening corpses as Lifeless isn't inherently any different from Awakening a bundle of straw, just requiring more complex Commands due to the intricacy of getting a vessel as initially complicated as a human corpse to operate in fulfillment of the intentions of the Awakener's mental and spoken Commands. The soul is already gone, thus no more interference. Also look at how you can't use color from a living person to fuel Awakening....but you can use color from spilled blood, blood that has separated from the body.

Actually it's not a matter of organic or inorganic, it's a matter of connection to life. In theory an inorganic material with a strong connection to life would be as easy as organic stuff to awake and this is the reason for the easier awakening when you try to affect people turned into stones or something like that.

I disagree with the Lifeless be not different from Awakening straw. The extreme high compatibility with life and his previous state as sentient being change the way Breath affect it

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I have a problem with the basic assumption that you can't use awakening people.  As The One Who Connects mentioned, there is the memory thing.  This has every appearance of being a type of awakening.  The key to all awakening is knowing the right Command.  Vasher tells Denth he can make him forget, that he knows the Commands.  Vasher uses those Commands on the kidnapped child.  If you can heal a mental wound, I don't see why you couldn't heal a physical wound.  You just need to know the right Commands.

No evidence to support, but I don't think it would work like the OP suggested, where you awaken the wound and then Command it to heal itself.  I think that since the person is already "Awake" you are using breath to fuel the Command to heal.

I guess I kind of contradict myself in the second paragraph, but if we consider "Awakening" to be the basic magic of the system, then I think both paragraphs are correct.

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@Master Knapper the Memory thing is unofficial called Self Awakening and can't be' used on others.

You can change with It your own Memories not the others' ones.

Vasher had to tell the Command to the girl and She used on herself.

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On 5/19/2018 at 2:51 AM, Yata said:

@Master Knapper the Memory thing is unofficial called Self Awakening and can't be' used on others.

You can change with It your own Memories not the others' ones.

Vasher had to tell the Command to the girl and She used on herself.

It might require two people to perform because Vasher had to be involved in the process somehow.

All the girl said were the words, she is still missing the Intent/mental visualization required for Awakening. I doubt the girl could have removed her own memories so precisely when she didn't even know what the words were going to do.

I think Vasher provided Intent and somehow specifically removed her memories.

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41 minutes ago, shadowwisp said:

It might require two people to perform because Vasher had to be involved in the process somehow.

All the girl said were the words, she is still missing the Intent/mental visualization required for Awakening. I doubt the girl could have removed her own memories so precisely when she didn't even know what the words were going to do.

I think Vasher provided Intent and somehow specifically removed her memories.

Nothing suggest that Vasher was activelly involved.

Now I can't be' sure of the english wording. But Vasher said to the girl, "I will tell you some words, memorize  and feel those...then repeat".

Collaborative Awakening is not something we have records for and in that specific instance there is not an Exchange of Investiture/Breath between them...so a magic interaction is very unlikely

 

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2 hours ago, Yata said:

Now I can't be' sure of the english wording. But Vasher said to the girl, "I will tell you some words, memorize  and feel those...then repeat".

What he says in the English version heavily implies the intent had to come from her. 

Quote

As they reached the mansions, Vasher paused on the street, setting the girl down. “Child,” he said. “I’m going to say some words to you. I want you to repeat them. Repeat them, and mean them.”The girl regarded him absently, nodding slightly.

"and mean them"

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12 hours ago, Yata said:

Nothing suggest that Vasher was activelly involved.

Now I can't be' sure of the english wording. But Vasher said to the girl, "I will tell you some words, memorize  and feel those...then repeat".

Collaborative Awakening is not something we have records for and in that specific instance there is not an Exchange of Investiture/Breath between them...so a magic interaction is very unlikely

 

 

9 hours ago, Calderis said:

What he says in the English version heavily implies the intent had to come from her. 

"and mean them"

idk guys, I still find it hard to accept that a 5-8 year old girl with one Breath in psychological shock was able to accomplish an Advanced Command Awakening all by herself. Not to mention that it is likely that this was her first Awakening. For context, Vivennia had to try several times for her first Awakening and she is not only older, but had hundreds of Breaths and the royal bloodline, both which makes Awakening easier.

Also since we are discussing the English language and implications, there is this:

Quote

"I can’t forget.”  

“I can make you,” Vasher said.  “I know the Commands.”            

Denth froze.            

“I promise,” Vasher said.  “I will take it all from you, if you wish.”

This seems to heavily imply that Vasher is the one performing an action to remove memories. He could have easily said "I can teach you the commands to forget" or something similar, instead he said "I can make you" and "I will take it all from you".

I'm still leaning towards a Collaborative Awakening style. We haven't seen it before, but there is a lot of Awakening that we haven't seen (command breaking, nonverbal awakening, creating Type IV biochramtic entities, etc). We have even seen stuff that shouldn't be possible based on what we know of Awakening.

Oathbringer:

Spoiler

Hoid was able to change commands in an awakened doll without "resetting it".

 

Edited by shadowwisp
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You can use a divine breath to heal a wound (its what the court of the Gods exists to do!), so using many smaller breaths to heal a wound seems possible with the right understanding.  

 

Another interesting question would be if a divine breath could command someone to die? 

Edited by teknopathetic
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3 hours ago, shadowwisp said:

I still find it hard to accept that a 5-8 year old girl with one Breath in psychological shock was able to accomplish an Advanced Command Awakening all by herself.

I disagree. As has been demonstrated multiple times throughout the books, the wording of Commands are pretty straight-forward. She'd be saying something pretty similar to "forget this ever happened," and in her situation, I would imagine that the girl very much wanted to forget what happened. There's Intent taken care of too.


Also, given that her self-awakening only took "part of a breath," I am not sure it is as complex as you think it is.

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10 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

I disagree. As has been demonstrated multiple times throughout the books, the wording of Commands are pretty straight-forward. She'd be saying something pretty similar to "forget this ever happened," and in her situation, I would imagine that the girl very much wanted to forget what happened. There's Intent taken care of too.


Also, given that her self-awakening only took "part of a breath," I am not sure it is as complex as you think it is.

Meh, guess we will have to agree to disagree then.

Yes, the words of the Commands are simple but the mental visualization has always been the more difficult part of Awakening. You can't just stick 1000 breaths into a steel sword, say "destroy evil" and expect to get Nightblood.

And as I mentioned before, the wording Vasher uses strongly suggests that he is doing the action of removing memories. That is one of my core pillars for my theory. I would also argue that taking part of a Breath makes it more complicated not less. Example: they managed to create lifeless with 50 breaths first before learning how to only use 1.

And here is a WoB that is related to Self-Awakening and using Breath that does not belong to you.

Quote

Lindel (paraphrased)

There's that trick with Feruchemy that lets you make metalminds that others can tap. Could you do something similar with Self-Awakening?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Oh yeah, there are all sorts of tricks that you can do. You could use other peoples Breaths, make it seem like you don't have any Breath-

Lindel (paraphrased)

Awaken an object so that others could access its Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes.

Lol sorry I couldn't help myself from talking. But in the end, I think we just have to agree to disagree and just wait patiently for the next Warbreaker book.

Edited by shadowwisp
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19 hours ago, The One Who Connects said:

I disagree. As has been demonstrated multiple times throughout the books, the wording of Commands are pretty straight-forward. She'd be saying something pretty similar to "forget this ever happened," and in her situation, I would imagine that the girl very much wanted to forget what happened. There's Intent taken care of too.


Also, given that her self-awakening only took "part of a breath," I am not sure it is as complex as you think it is.

I always assumed Vashar used one of his (maybe he has collected a few) divine breaths, but I am not sure why. Thanks for for pointing out the mention to Denth of "forgetting" commands! 

Edited by teknopathetic
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9 hours ago, shadowwisp said:

but the mental visualization has always been the more difficult part of Awakening.

I'm aware of that. That was my point in saying that the girl would very much want to forget what happened in a situation like that. The "intent" of an awakening is the mental visualization, and she would likely have that intent in spades.

49 minutes ago, teknopathetic said:

I always assumed Vasher used one of his (maybe he has collected a few) divine breaths, but I am not sure why.

Divines don't stick around.

Quote

drabgod
When a Returned who has lots of extra Breath gives them away without suppressing his Divine Breath, does the Divine Breath stick to the regular Breath as they are transferred to the receiver? Will the receiver find himself suddenly possessing a Divine Breath? Or does it still vanish after healing the receiver?

Brandon Sanderson
Divine Breaths don't work quite like others. However, losing one is kind of a "Last resort." You'll give away all the others first, and then, if you push you can give it away as well. It never sticks around to make the person you choose returned.

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