Fanghur Rahl

Should Cultivation have been in Scadrial too?

24 posts in this topic

This is obviously purely philosophical, but I was just wondering, if not for her relationship with Honor, would Cultivation have been drawn to Scadrial either instead of or in addition to Preservation? People often say that Preservation and Ruin were both drawn to Scadrial because of their opposing intents, kind of like two poles of a magnet. But strictly speaking Ruin and Preservation are NOT opposites. Ruin is essentially regression and Preservation is essentially stasis. The true opposite of Ruin is actually Cultivation, at least if we assume that her overall intent is growth/progression, which appears to be the case from what little we’ve seen of her. 

Preservation is effectively smack in between Ruin and Cultivation in terms of intent. And indeed, I would think that if someone were to simultaneously hold the Shards of Ruin and Cultivation, the result very well might effectively be a second more powerful Shard of Preservation, since the net effect of their two intents would cancel each other out. 
 
Anyone have any thoughts?
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Ruin and Cultivation don't oppose each other as strongly as Ruin and Preservation. Cultivation is willing to destroy, to prune, to burn in the name of growth. Just think of how much one removes in gardening. Preservation on the other hand is about keeping things the same forever while Ruin is accelerating that natural decline.

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Similarly, Ruin is willing to build things in order to destroy others. Cultivation and Ruin would likely be opposed at some points, probably most, but not on the scale that Ruin and Preservation are. 

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Ruin and Cultivation are "complimentary" opposites, whereas Preservation is a hard counter to both. 

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Maybe, but even if we grant that, it’s still the case that Preservation is equally opposed to Cultivation as he is to Ruin. So I can’t help but wonder if all three of them mightn’t’ve been drawn to the same system.

Also, while it’s true that Cultivation probably has to destroy in order to achieve her (presumed) goal of net growth, the same also holds true for Ruin. As you said, Ruin is willing to create in order to achieve its goal of a net destruction. Again, they’re polar opposites. So it’s interesting to speculate about how the history of Scadrial might have progressed differently if either all three of them were there, or just Ruin and Cultivation without Preservation. I suspect in the latter case, the net result may have been equivalent to a system containing only Preservation, albeit perhaps not in quite the same way.

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Honestly, Preservation and Cultivation also heavily oppose each other 

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23 minutes ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

Also, while it’s true that Cultivation probably has to destroy in order to achieve her (presumed) goal of net growth, the same also holds true for Ruin. As you said, Ruin is willing to create in order to achieve its goal of a net destruction. Again, they’re polar opposites.

I suspect in the latter case, the net result may have been equivalent to a system containing only Preservation, albeit perhaps not in quite the same way.

Brandon has said that Cultivation and Ruin are actually the most compatable, if the latter were to take up another Shard. They're opposing in the sense that one embodies (net) destruction and the other (net) growth but both of them share the general theme of 'things changing'. Given that both need external things to act upon, I suspect they could have come to some sort of equilibrium where Cultivation grows things according to her Intent for a time, then Ruin destroys but not completely, then Cultivation guides the surviving life into the new Scadrial for time, then Ruin mostly destroys it, rinse and repeat. Both carry out their Intent and as long as the Shards can maintain an agreement on how often the cycle happens, they wouldn't come into conflict in the way that Preservation and Ruin inevitably did.

So, not really what would happen with only Preservation, but a more stable equilibrium than pre-Catacendre Scadrial had.

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Personally, and this is just my own headcanon, I don't think that they were drawn to any particular system. 

I think that Ati viewed Ruin as something to be contained, and Leras agreed to help him with that goal, and so they went somewhere without a world to endanger. 

Time and the intents twisted that around on them though... And here we are. 

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4 hours ago, Weltall said:

Brandon has said that Cultivation and Ruin are actually the most compatable, if the latter were to take up another Shard. They're opposing in the sense that one embodies (net) destruction and the other (net) growth but both of them share the general theme of 'things changing'. Given that both need external things to act upon, I suspect they could have come to some sort of equilibrium where Cultivation grows things according to her Intent for a time, then Ruin destroys but not completely, then Cultivation guides the surviving life into the new Scadrial for time, then Ruin mostly destroys it, rinse and repeat. Both carry out their Intent and as long as the Shards can maintain an agreement on how often the cycle happens, they wouldn't come into conflict in the way that Preservation and Ruin inevitably did.

So, not really what would happen with only Preservation, but a more stable equilibrium than pre-Catacendre Scadrial had.

I actually hadn't looked at it that way, and you do make a valid point. The only potential problem is that despite what Ruin says, it is not merely a Shard of entropy. It happily destroys things long before their time comes (if it was merely a force of entropy and natural decay, it moved on Scadrial at least a few hundred million years early). For that reason, I have a hard time seeing it being content to play that kind of game with Cultivation. Cultivation may be more willing than Ruin in that respect, since Cultivation could arguably encompass evolutionary development as well, in which case she might well be able to make use of a system of cyclical mass extinctions as a mechanism in her cultivating. However, I can't see Ruin being satisfied with it; from what we've seen of him, even with a supposedly kindhearted Vessel, he seems very much to have a 'total genocide and move on' kind of mentality if Scadrial is any indication. I agree though if Ruin were a bit less zealous, the cyclic mass extinction by Ruin vs re-evolution by Cultivation could well work; they might even look at it like a kind of game or competition.

4 hours ago, Calderis said:

Personally, and this is just my own headcanon, I don't think that they were drawn to any particular system. 

I think that Ati viewed Ruin as something to be contained, and Leras agreed to help him with that goal, and so they went somewhere without a world to endanger. 

Time and the intents twisted that around on them though... And here we are. 

If that's how Ati looked at it, couldn't he have just taken the Shard, travelled with Preservation to interstellar space, and then have Preservation or some other Shard splinter his Shard and sequester it in Shadesmar where it can't do any damage? That would seem the obvious solution.

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27 minutes ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

If that's how Ati looked at it, couldn't he have just taken the Shard, travelled with Preservation to interstellar space, and then have Preservation or some other Shard splinter his Shard and sequester it in Shadesmar where it can't do any damage? That would seem the obvious solution.

Assuming they understood how to accomplish that, which considering Sel and the outcome of Odium's initial forays I don't think they did, that still would have resulted in a bunch of small chunks of Ruin free to run amok. 

Even the creation of Scadrial serves the purpose of containment. So much investiture was spent into its creation that there are no Splinters on Scadrial of either Ruin or Preservation. 

For the purposes that I believe they worked towards initially, I don't think a better outcome was actually available. 

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

Assuming they understood how to accomplish that, which considering Sel and the outcome of Odium's initial forays I don't think they did, that still would have resulted in a bunch of small chunks of Ruin free to run amok. 

Even the creation of Scadrial serves the purpose of containment. So much investiture was spent into its creation that there are no Splinters on Scadrial of either Ruin or Preservation. 

For the purposes that I believe they worked towards initially, I don't think a better outcome was actually available. 

I don’t see how that would follow, unless you mean the creation of a bunch of ‘Ruinspren’ or what have you, in which case I would simply ask “So what?” As I understand it, Spren or their equivalents are unable to leave their place in Shadesmar. So even if Ruin’s shattered remains in interstellar Shadesmar did result in a bunch of sentient Spren-like splinters, ther still wouldn’t be anything out there for them to damage.

Plus, Odium doing that same thing to Dominion didn’t result in a swarm of Dominionspren spreading throughout the Cosmere causing havoc. Sel’s equivalent of Spren seem just as confined to Sel as true Spren are to Roshar. Or am I misunderstanding your point?

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@Fanghur Rahl splinters are tied to the place that the Shard they are derived from is invested.

If a Shard were uninvested, all of the power would Splinter, and wouldn't be bound to anything. There would also be a lot more of them. In every other case we've seen, the majority of the Shards power was occupied in something else. 

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6 minutes ago, Calderis said:

@Fanghur Rahl splinters are tied to the place that the Shard they are derived from is invested.

If a Shard were uninvested, all of the power would Splinter, and wouldn't be bound to anything. There would also be a lot more of them. In every other case we've seen, the majority of the Shards power was occupied in something else. 

Interstellar asteroids maybe? Or a barren lifeless planet? 

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On 3.8.2018 at 1:10 PM, Fanghur Rahl said:

This is obviously purely philosophical, but I was just wondering, if not for her relationship with Honor, would Cultivation have been drawn to Scadrial either instead of or in addition to Preservation? People often say that Preservation and Ruin were both drawn to Scadrial because of their opposing intents, kind of like two poles of a magnet. But strictly speaking Ruin and Preservation are NOT opposites. Ruin is essentially regression and Preservation is essentially stasis. The true opposite of Ruin is actually Cultivation, at least if we assume that her overall intent is growth/progression, which appears to be the case from what little we’ve seen of her. 

Preservation is effectively smack in between Ruin and Cultivation in terms of intent. And indeed, I would think that if someone were to simultaneously hold the Shards of Ruin and Cultivation, the result very well might effectively be a second more powerful Shard of Preservation, since the net effect of their two intents would cancel each other out. 
 
Anyone have any thoughts?

I have a slightly different angle on this.

I never understood the intent "Cultivation" as just growth.

Cultivation is taking something wild and cultivating it to something useful. In cultivations Magic system you take two wild and untamed things (uncut gemhearts and Spren) and make a machine out of it.

So I don't think Cultivation is a fundamental force like ruin and preservation. Her intent is more ... human biased if that makes sense. I think Cultivation and Honor seem to fit quite well. Taking a wild and untamed world and cultivate its inhabitants in to an honorable civilization.

 

If any if that makes sense.

 

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@Shaukan-son-Hasweth I've made these same arguments.

People want Cultivation to be a typical style nature goddess, but cultivation is not something natural. 

Wildlands are uncultivated. A park, or a garden is Cultivated. It's not just growth, but directed growth. 

And I don't think it's limited to nature. 

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I agree that looking at Cultivation as merely being synonymous with growth is simply false, however I don’t think it can be reasonably denied that cultivation as a concept is strongly related to the concepts of growth and various related concepts. I mean if nothing else cultivation certainly involves refining things into something new and better, which I would still argue is more directly opposed in a mathematical sense to Ruin’s intent of taking things and destroying them outright than Preservation who simply wants things to remain eternally timeless. But I certainly agree that merely looking at Cultivation as a personification of nature is very oversimplified. Though to be fair, Cultivation does pretty much say outright that she controls all things that can be grown. And just as an aside, if Cultivation can be said to be ‘directed growth’, which I agree is the case, then Ruin could just as easily be said to be ‘directed destruction’. Since it certainly isn’t merely natural entropy regardless of what Ati-Ruin claimed.

Edited by Fanghur Rahl
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13 minutes ago, Shaukan-son-Hasweth said:

@calderis sorry if i repeated you. i didn't see that.

I wasn't speaking about in this thread. Was just stating agreement 

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Yeah, and like I said, I never meant to imply that I thought Cultivation = Growth in some naive sense, only that the two concepts are undeniably closely intertwined.

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A year later, but on this subject - isn't Cultivation what Harmony needs to become active (or be release from the semi stasis state he's in?)

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1 hour ago, Mickey Lehtman said:

A year later, but on this subject - isn't Cultivation what Harmony needs to become active (or be release from the semi stasis state he's in?)

Adding another Shard to Harmony would likely complicate things further as there would now be a third pull on Sazed. 

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1 hour ago, Agent34 said:

Adding another Shard to Harmony would likely complicate things further as there would now be a third pull on Sazed. 

Depends on the Shard, I think. Certain Shards would make it more difficult, certain Shards could conceivably allow for a focus. Cultivation would probably fall into the latter category, even if that would upset his Ruin/Preservation balance since Cultivation is apparently much more Preservation's opposite than Ruin is, but that addition could break the stalemate.

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On 2019-12-02 at 7:13 AM, Mickey Lehtman said:

A year later, but on this subject - isn't Cultivation what Harmony needs to become active (or be release from the semi stasis state he's in?)

That’s my headcanon, at least in terms of a great fanfic idea.

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On 12/2/2019 at 7:14 AM, Ookla the Quill said:

Depends on the Shard, I think. Certain Shards would make it more difficult, certain Shards could conceivably allow for a focus. Cultivation would probably fall into the latter category, even if that would upset his Ruin/Preservation balance since Cultivation is apparently much more Preservation's opposite than Ruin is, but that addition could break the stalemate.

Preserve the good in order to Cultivate it, while the other parts are Ruined/Destroyed. Yeah, Cultivation would be a great addition to Harmony. 

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