Ripheus23

Unity and Honor, Harmony and Discord

55 posts in this topic

I have come up with an argument that Unity is not a reinterpretation of Honor, as follows.

First, did Dalinar take up a full Shard at the Battle of Thaylen Field? I do not think so. Though there are visualish similarities between this scene and the one in which Vin was infused with all the mists, nevertheless, Preservation was an intact Shard, whereas Honor is not intact. Also, Vin's physical form was vaporized during her full Ascension, whereas Dalinar is still flesh-and-bones. So, if Dalinar did not pick up a full Shard, would it have been possible for him to have reinterpreted a full Shard's Intent?

Even if it would be possible to do so, does Dalinar know enough about Shards, Shardic Intents, Adonalsium, etc. to know how to reinterpret a Shard's Intent? I think not. Consider, Sazed picked up two intact Shards who had emulated Adonalsium to the extent of not just colonizing some already-existing world, but making a whole world out of thin air. Sazed was a scholar, used to analytical thinking. Yet, he learned very little about Adonalsium from the residual knowledge of the subject contained in the two Shards he took up. Even if Dalinar became a Vessel, I doubt he would have had Intent-reinterpretation downloaded into his mind at the time.

So, supposing Dalinar took up enough of a Shard to reinterpret its Intent, he would have done so basically by accident. I don't know about you but of the many things in the Cosmere that require you to know, Intentwise, what you're doing, before you can quite do them, changing the interpretation of Shardic Intent seems like it would be near the top of a list of those. Dalinar, without knowing that his god is a Shard of Adonalsium who assigned the Intent of Honor to an ambiguous fragment of the original god, managed to reimagine his god as if it were Unity and not Honor? All he knows about that Shard, without even knowing that it is a Shard, is that it is known as Honor.

Now, you might say, well, did Sazed even know, explicitly, enough to reinterpret Shardic Intent, when he became a Vessel? However, Sazed was in a substantially different position. He was not reinterpreting an already-given Intent, but assigning an interpretation to an emerging Intent. Every Intent has to be interpreted, so in the original case of the Shard being taken up in the first place, that vacuum has to be filled. But once filled, it becomes more a decision, what its interpretation will continue to be. Either you can try to hold on to the interpretation, or you can let the Shard reinterpret you, so to speak. Anyway, Sazed, as a Feruchemist, was used to thinking of his power in terms of a balance of Ruin and Preservation, so assigning the interpretation of Harmony to the Intent of his new di-Shard, would have been a natural cognitive move for him to make. Dalinar, by contrast, would have to rather self-consciously believe that Unity was what Honor was "supposed" to be, and so on, in a situation where he doesn't even know that Honor as a Shard can "supposedly" be anything but what it is, as such.

This all brings up the second major condition of the argument, which is the massive difference between the Unity-Honor alternative, and the Harmony-Discord alternative. Unity and Honor would be reciprocal. Harmony and Discord, however, are opposites. Unity can be conceived of as a kind of Honor, or Honor as a kind of Unity, but Harmony is not a kind of Discord. Let's say, Harmony and Discord are on the same level of complexity, whereas Unity is a less complex concept than Honor. It seems as if the Intent of Honor already contained the Intent of Unity within its own interpretation as such, whereas interpreting the Intent of Ruin + Preservation as Harmony excludes simultaneously interpreting it as Discord. Granted, we're talking about the difference between a monadic and a dyadic Shard, with different preambles, but together with everything else considered so far, I'd say that, "I am Unity," has a virtually zero percent chance of being an expression of Shardic reinterpretation on Dalinar's part.

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I've heard that Honor was splintered when killed by Odium and as such maybe Unity is one of those splinters, a part of the shard of honor but not nearly the full thing

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maybe Dalinar wasn't saying it in reference to his ascension, because when he says it he's answering Venli's question of what are you or who are you, not sure which, so maybe he is simply saying it in reference to his role as a Bondsmith and leader of the coalition.

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Posted (edited)

2 minutes ago, Turtle373 said:

maybe Dalinar wasn't saying it in reference to his ascension, because when he says it he's answering Venli's question of what are you or who are you, not sure which, so maybe he is simply saying it in reference to his role as a Bondsmith and leader of the coalition.

That actually makes a lot of sense. I can't remember but is "I am Unity" in capslock mode? Maybe I'm just assuming that if Dalinar hadn't been shouting/screaming/w/e, the "U" there would still be capitalized?

Edited by Ripheus23
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3 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

That actually makes a lot of sense. I can't remember but is "I am Unity" in capslock mode? Maybe I'm just assuming that if Dalinar hadn't been shouting/screaming/w/e, the "U" there would still be capitalized?

It is not in my ebook, cant be 100% sure that matches the printed version. 

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16 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

That actually makes a lot of sense. I can't remember but is "I am Unity" in capslock mode? Maybe I'm just assuming that if Dalinar hadn't been shouting/screaming/w/e, the "U" there would still be capitalized?

It's not in full caps in print, I believe. I can't check my book, but I'm 90% sure that it's not, probably to help showcase that Unity is capitalized.

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Definitely a capital U. The text reads:

Quote

I am Unity.

But capitalization can be used to emphasize many things beyond "this is a Shard," obviously.

I think it's pretty obvious Dalinar didn't pick up a full Shard. When those on Scadrial did this, they lost their bodies and their minds were greatly expanded. They didn't become omniscient, but they became aware of many, many things. Dalinar didn't experience anything like that.

I like the idea that @Xavier Iriarte mentions, where Dalinar has summoned some "portion" of Honor which could cumulatively be described as something like a sense of unity.

But we could also be reading into it a bit too much. It could just be Dalinar's way of describing his perceived role as a uniter.

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42 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

But we could also be reading into it a bit too much. It could just be Dalinar's way of describing his perceived role as a uniter.

This pretty much. I’ll also add that it would boring if Brandon makes every series end the same way, with a new vessel taking up Shards and saving the day. It seems to me like the end of Hero of Ages

Mistborn spoilers because I can’t see which forum this on my phone

Spoiler

Was about taking the Shards out of the fight. Shard v Shard combat is basically what we saw when Vin killed Ruin, one chapter worth of story.

I’d much rather see Honor not be taken up but instead have it’s power “directed” by Dalinar. That’s to say that he can access it’s power in a limited way or assign to do something like resisting an attempt by another Shard to destroy the planet.

More Mistborn spoils

Spoiler

Kind of like Kelsier while he held Preservation without the omnipresence on the Cognitive plane.

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

But we could also be reading into it a bit too much. It could just be Dalinar's way of describing his perceived role as a uniter.

The thing is, saying Unity with capital U has to mean something. In a normal context there is no reason to use the capital U, i understand a writer will always try to keep you guessing by misleading you, but in my opinion it would be very cheap to use 'U' just because he wanted to confuse you, Brandon is better that that, there must be a reason.

Now, just what that reason is, i don't know.

Edited by Xavier Iriarte
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Unite  them. 

I don't think it was a full ascension like we have seen before, nor do I think Unity is is an expression of Intent capital I. What I think we saw was Dalinar using his surge to attempt uniting Honor's investiture, much in the way we saw him repair the temple in an earlier chapter. I think he was unknowingly attempting to condense that power (all those gloryspren) into a whole shard. Every time we see him use a surge, he is doing so without even realizing fully what he is doing (the map, the temple). I think that was foreshadowing for this moment. He is unity because he binds things. No evidence to back this up, I just like the way it sounds. 

Having said that, Glory would be a fitting shard for Dalinar :D

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I don't even know if this makes sense, but could it be that Dalinar thinks he ascended? I mean, he is not very cosmere-aware, but could it be that he was somehow able to canalize Honor's power and so he thought he became him.

Might it be that Dalinar is just wrong?

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I think Dalinar just pulled off something similar to Rashek when he used the Well of Ascension, only Dalinar did it on a smaller scale. Enough to summon a perpendiculary, but not enough to reshape a planet. I think the Unity bit is the formation of a sliver of Honor, one that is distinct from the Stormfather. That is why it would have a separate intent from Honor while still being able to use Honor's investure.

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I think @Gasper might be on the right track, if we take what we know of the Nahel bond, the merging of spirit webs between a physical being and a cognitive being, he is most definitely more connected to Honor than almost anyone else, taking into account that the Stormfather is a fusion of a Spren and Tanavasts cognitive shadow. I’m of the belief that he is ascending to “Sliver”hood but not Godhood.

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:31 AM, Ripheus23 said:

First, did Dalinar take up a full Shard at the Battle of Thaylen Field? I do not think so. Though there are visualish similarities between this scene and the one in which Vin was infused with all the mists, nevertheless, Preservation was an intact Shard, whereas Honor is not intact. Also, Vin's physical form was vaporized during her full Ascension, whereas Dalinar is still flesh-and-bones. So, if Dalinar did not pick up a full Shard, would it have been possible for him to have reinterpreted a full Shard's Intent?

Of course he didn't, as you said he's still flesh and blood. But the shard as a whole contains Investiture aligned with the Shard. Interpretation should matter regardless of magnitude. 

On 1/9/2019 at 10:31 AM, Ripheus23 said:

Even if it would be possible to do so, does Dalinar know enough about Shards, Shardic Intents, Adonalsium, etc. to know how to reinterpret a Shard's Intent?

If I am correct, interpretation has nothing to do with any of this. You don't interpret an intent via knowledge a conscious decision. It's a deep seeded, subconscious filter of what that intent means to the Vessel. 

A vessel has absolutely no lasting impression on the Shard. Honor and Unity, if they are interpretations, would not be Dalinar changing the shard. What Tanavast and Dalinar touched would be exactly the same for both of them. Only the manifestation filtered through the Vessel would be different. 

There is absolutely no "changing" a Shard. 

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

If I am correct, interpretation has nothing to do with any of this. You don't interpret an intent via knowledge a conscious decision. It's a deep seeded, subconscious filter of what that intent means to the Vessel. 

A vessel has absolutely no lasting impression on the Shard. Honor and Unity, if they are interpretations, would not be Dalinar changing the shard. What Tanavast and Dalinar touched would be exactly the same for both of them. Only the manifestation filtered through the Vessel would be different. 

Dalinar has no idea about anything like interpretations of Intents, so he has no reason to scream out, "I am Unity," as a declaration that Unity is his gloss on the Shard that Tanavast held. Even if he interpreted the Shard that way, he would have no reason to speak in such terms at that point, since he doesn't know he's picking up (a large piece of) a Shard. It would make more sense for him to scream, "I am Honor." I mean he's saying "Unity" out loud so if that was an interpretation of an Intent, it's not just "a deep-seated subconscious filter" but something he's deliberately proclaiming. Along with all the other points I brought up, this renders it almost zero percent likely that, "I am Unity," refers to a new interpretation of a Shard.

EDIT:

This description, "subconscious filter," has no basis in anything I know of interpretations of Intent. I mean look at Rayse with the whole Passion/Odium thing! He's not subconsciously trying to reimagine what his Shard means. He's very consciously trying to do so, even if there's some cognitive self-deception involved (i.e. he knows the conclusion he wants to reach, but he's fudging on the inferences, or even the premises, he needs to get there).

Edited by Ripheus23
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36 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Dalinar has no idea about anything like interpretations of Intents, so he has no reason to scream out, "I am Unity," as a declaration that Unity is his gloss on the Shard that Tanavast held. Even if he interpreted the Shard that way, he would have no reason to speak in such terms at that point, since he doesn't know he's picking up (a large piece of) a Shard. It would make more sense for him to scream, "I am Honor." I mean he's saying "Unity" out loud so if that was an interpretation of an Intent, it's not just "a deep-seated subconscious filter" but something he's deliberately proclaiming. Along with all the other points I brought up, this renders it almost zero percent likely that, "I am Unity," refers to a new interpretation of a Shard.

Except for the fact that that's what he feels he is in that moment. It has nothing to do with knowing what he picked up, or even that he picked up anything at all. 

37 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

This description, "subconscious filter," has no basis in anything I know of interpretations of Intent. I mean look at Rayse with the whole Passion/Odium thing! He's not subconsciously trying to reimagine what his Shard means. He's very consciously trying to do so, even if there's some cognitive self-deception involved (i.e. he knows the conclusion he wants to reach, but he's fudging on the inferences, or even the premises, he needs to get there).

One, Odium is trying to do something impossible. He is consciously trying to change something that could only change if he did. 

Two, the filter idea is based off of Sazed. He is Harmony because of his own view of the Shards. He took the name because "it felt right." whereas he could have been Discord. Why is he Harmony? Because of his own person al views on what those two things are. 

Quote

Argent

When Sazed picked up the Shards of Preservation and Ruin, did he actively choose to be known as Harmony (instead of, for example, Balance, or Equilibrium, or Stability), or is there some Cosmeric law that says Preservation + Ruin = Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

He chose the name, but in part because it FELT right to him.

Argent

Is this similar to how a Shard's "personality" overwrites the Shardholder's over time?

Brandon Sanderson

Similar, yes.

source
Quote

Shallan's Ward [PENDING REVIEW]

While Sazed holds Preservation and Ruin, could his intent change from Harmony to Discord?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is possible

source

The person holding the shard determines the way in which it manifests. 

Quote

Necarion

Do Vessels have any flexibility in expressing the intent of a Shard, particularly if the intent is open to many interpretations?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes they do. So, the Vessel's mind and how they perceive is going to have a large influence on how things are expressed and I think all of them have some wiggle room. But there are some deterministic things that are also going to push them.  You know, holding Ruin, Harmony may not go down the same path that happened to Ati.

Necarion

So Sadeas would express Honor differently than Tanavast?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes he would.

source

Sadeas knew nothing either, and I'm guessing he'd have been something closer to "Discipline" if that possibility ever had taken place. Being bound by rules... But without any of the niceties or positive purpose beyond self. 

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Wow, I actually managed to dig myself out of the alleyverse long enough to make a post.

So, I don't know about dalinar picking up a shard, but I do believe he was actively trying to pick up a piece of it (as everyone else said).  What if Dalinar isn't so much trying to channel Honor's power, but trying to pick up the piece that is left, namely, the Stormfather?  The Stormfather binds things together blindely, not caring what the oaths are about.  That's about what Dalinar did in combining the three realms into one.  It would also fit with his "I am Unity" thing.  Dalinar also proved that it was possible to pick up the Stormfather when he summoned the spren as a blade.  I also think that Dalinar was momentarily able to become a perpendicularity as a result of picking up the Stormfather.  This is just an idea, but it's one I'm rather proud of.

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5 hours ago, Calderis said:

Two, the filter idea is based off of Sazed. He is Harmony because of his own view of the Shards. He took the name because "it felt right." whereas he could have been Discord. Why is he Harmony? Because of his own person al views on what those two things are. 

The WoB implies the opposite of the subconscious-filter idea. First, there's a difference between a name for a Shard, and an interpretation. A name is a Physical symbol; an interpretation is a Cognitive structure. Of course they're linked, but technically "Equilibrium" would have been pretty much the same structure, just by a different name (I mean "Harmony" could be used as in "harmonics" which in music doesn't require an "equilibrium" as a flat song, but a fitting-together of notes, but on another level there's an equilibrium to the flow).

Also, the WoB only say "partly." And now why did Sazed view the combination this way? Because of his Feruchemical experience. His Cognitive interpretation of the balance of Allomancy and Hemalurgy was Feruchemy. He had a natural reason to think that the Shards as such, themselves, when balanced, could be harmonized in another form of power than the ones subconsciously mapped to them individually (even if Feruchemy had a little more Preservation-ness in it).

5 hours ago, Calderis said:

The person holding the shard determines the way in which it manifests. 

That's true, but all that Dalinar knows of Honor is... of Honor. He doesn't have an independent notion of the subject. Even if, "Unite them," doesn't come from Honor, Dalinar thinks of it in the context of the visions coming from Honor, so the only other major, relevant reference to Unity-with-a-capital-U that we have, is something Dalinar would associate with Honor. Or: insofar as Dalinar's concept of being honorable depends on his faith in the Codes and The Way of Kings, which is not a treatise on mere unity, when he finally gets a hold of the ambiguous concept-power behind Honor, he's not going to be reducing his understanding of the conceptual side of the thing, to Unity. For Dalinar, unity is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is not his idea of what God would be. (For that matter, then, if Dalinar had some feeling as if he was deified in the moment (of the Battle of Thaylen Field), he would have more likely said something like, "I am the Almighty.")

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2 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

That's true, but all that Dalinar knows of Honor is... of Honor. He doesn't have an independent notion of the subject. Even if, "Unite them," doesn't come from Honor, Dalinar thinks of it in the context of the visions coming from Honor, so the only other major, relevant reference to Unity-with-a-capital-U that we have, is something Dalinar would associate with Honor. Or: insofar as Dalinar's concept of being honorable depends on his faith in the Codes and The Way of Kings, which is not a treatise on mere unity, when he finally gets a hold of the ambiguous concept-power behind Honor, he's not going to be reducing his understanding of the conceptual side of the thing, to Unity. For Dalinar, unity is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is not his idea of what God would be. (For that matter, then, if Dalinar had some feeling as if he was deified in the moment (of the Battle of Thaylen Field), he would have more likely said something like, "I am the Almighty.")

And this is the assumption that everyone operates under. 

I very well may be wrong but I don't think any of the Shard names are the true intents of the Shards. For most of them, they've only ever had one vessel and been known by one name. 

What I'm saying is that "Honor" is just Tanavast's interpretation of the Shard. "Unity" would be Dalinar's. They are both interpretations of a deeper core concept. 

I've said repeatedly that I can't wait for a single shard to change hands long enough for us to see what it becomes, because the only new vessel that we've seen long enough for a name to be given was Sazed with two. 

I think that any Shard would alter its expression dependant upon the Vessel. Every one of them, every time. 

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yeah but I think that if the new vessel had known about the shard and its intent and such it would probably stay the same because the way the person views the shard is how it was before the transition, so the only way we get a major name change or intent change is if someone who new very very little about the shard picked it up.

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7 minutes ago, Calderis said:

"Unity" would be Dalinar's.

Even if that's true, there's virtually no evidence of this whatsoever.

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39 minutes ago, Turtle373 said:

yeah but I think that if the new vessel had known about the shard and its intent and such it would probably stay the same because the way the person views the shard is how it was before the transition, so the only way we get a major name change or intent change is if someone who new very very little about the shard picked it up.

This misses the point. How they view what the Shard was shouldn't matter. It's not their opinion of the power. Seeing Tanavast as Honor would change your deep internal interpretation of whatever the real core concept of the Shard is. 

This is hard to put into words. Take the concept of civilization. We all live in a civilization, but at the core of it, every one of us has a slightly different interpretation of what that means, regardless of all witnessing it. 

The core of a Shard is not something that would manifest consciously. Your not choosing how to have it express itself. Whatever is at the core that was interpreted by the previous vessel would move through you and express itself. The previous bearers interpretation should not have an effect on that, because it's not based on observation of how the power was used, but by the concept at its root and your own personality. 

33 minutes ago, Ripheus23 said:

Even if that's true, there's virtually no evidence of this whatsoever.

I disagree. I think we have plenty of WoBs and evidence for speculation. I've seen more than enough speculation made out of whole cloth on this site, and I don't think this is anywhere near that. 

Edited by Calderis
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Here's an analogy, if it helps for anyone trying to understand @Calderis's thing about the Intents:

You take a mixture. Put it in a bowl. Then you put a semi-permeable membrane over it, allowing only certain things to filter through and appear out of the other side. The mixture in the bucket is the Shard's power, the membrane is the Vessel. Not every Vessel has the same filtration pattern, so different things seep through the membrane that is their mind and their version of the Shard's intent, and those differences radiate into different manifestations of just about everything, given enough time.

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@Calderis Let me ask you this. Let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario in which someone had the opportunity to take up a Shard, and they fully believed that the Shard they’d be taking up is the one we know as Ambition, when in reality it was actually the one we know of as Devotion. So they take up the Shard... what happens next? Would they even be aware of their mistake under your model? Setting aside the issue of whether it’s even possible to take up a Shard and mistake it as a completely different one; let’s just assume for the sake of argument that it’s possible.

Because it almost seems to me like you’re sometimes saying that the Shards don’t really have innate intents independent of their Vessels’ subconscious interpretations. I’m pretty sure that isn’t what you really think, but it’s kinda confusing.

Edited by Fanghur Rahl
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2 hours ago, Fanghur Rahl said:

@Calderis Let me ask you this. Let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario in which someone had the opportunity to take up a Shard, and they fully believed that the Shard they’d be taking up is the one we know as Ambition, when in reality it was actually the one we know of as Devotion. So they take up the Shard... what happens next? Would they even be aware of their mistake under your model? Setting aside the issue of whether it’s even possible to take up a Shard and mistake it as a completely different one; let’s just assume for the sake of argument that it’s possible.

Because it almost seems to me like you’re sometimes saying that the Shards don’t really have innate intents independent of their Vessels’ subconscious interpretations. I’m pretty sure that isn’t what you really think, but it’s kinda confusing.

Then you're completely misunderstanding me. 

What they consciously believe about the power has absolutely no bearing. What they picked up would be be whatever the core intent of Devotion is and that core would be filtered through them into a manifestation that is appropriate. Their belief that it was Ambition would be absolutely meaningless. 

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