Laughing Fool

[Speculation] The Mortal Realm, The Divine Realm, and Purgatory.

9 posts in this topic

So lately I’ve been fascinated with Realmatic Theory, and here are a few observations and speculations I’ve made.

So far, canon Realmatic Theory tells us that the Cosmere is made up of three Realms: Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive. All entities exist in the three Realms, but are manifest more strongly in one and are shadowed in the others. However, Brandon has noted that Sazed has not yet touched Heaven or Hell nor does he know what the final beyond contains. He has, however, made contact with some people who have been sticking around in something of a middle place.

INTERVIEW: Oct, 2008

Hero of Ages Q&A - TWG (Verbatim)

DALENTHAS (15 OCTOBER 2008)

Did Sazed leave information about how his new religion should be run for Spook and the others to find? His note to Spook implies that there is an afterlife...

BRANDON SANDERSON (16 OCTOBER 2008)

Sazed didn't immediately leave this, as he was too focused on other things. The next period of time will be difficult for Sazed, as he essentially sees himself as an avatar of deity—the force of Preservation—and not God with an upper case letter. He's still not sure what Truth is 100%. And there is an afterlife, but it's probably not what you're thinking. In other words, Sazed has not touched Heaven or Hell, and actually doesn't yet know what the final beyond contains. He has, however, run into some people who have been sticking around something of a middle place. It's related to the larger cosmology, and I'm afraid that I'll need to RAFO anything further.

This very strongly implies that there are three realms; and I do not mean the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realms. Here is how I think of the three greater realms. Brandon’s nomenclature, which is almost certainly not canon, is in parenthesis.

The Mortal Realm (Cosmere):

This is the Realm we’re most familiar with. It is governed by Canon Realmatic Theory; namely, the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realm. This is the most relevant Realm as the vast majority of Cosmere stories take place almost exclusively here.

Speculations:

The interactions between the three Realms has been difficult to explain due to a lack of concrete, canon information. Even some of the canon information is suspect as it is the observations of in-world characters who are capable of being mistaken. So, without any supporting evidence, here are a few of my hypotheses.

The Mortal Spiritual Realm allows for Investiture, which transcends the three Mortal Realms, to flow between the Divine Realm and the Mortal Realms. Adonalsium is described as being the, "Power of Creation," but isn't, to my knowledge, referred to as God. This is especially intriguing when you consider that the Cosmere takes place in a dwarf galaxy in a larger Universe. If Adonalsium was God, why would it choose to only be involved in a dwarf galaxy rather then being equally present throughout all of Creation? If Adonalsium is merely a tool of the Divine, then its exclusion from the rest of Creation isn't quite so unusual. Not to mention that the idea of humans literally destroying a God is absurd, even in the fantasy genre; misusing and breaking a portion of God's power, however, is plausible and makes for an interesting and compelling story.

Brandon mentions both Heaven and Hell in the above quote. He has noted elsewhere that there was a Cosmic Force that opposed Adonalsium. If Adonalsium is a tool of Heaven, then it stands to reason that Adonalsium's opposite is the tool of Hell.

Several real world religions explore the concept of Holy and Evil deities competing with each other via their mortal servants and followers. On Roshar, Tanavast suggests to Dalinar that he should attempt to force Odium into using a champion. Even in the Cosmere there is precedent for deific entities using mortals to settle disputes. This supports my hypotheis that the entities of the Divine Realm use the Mortal Realm, using the Mortal Spiritual Realm as a medium, as a battleground for their disputes. Perhaps the force that opposed Adonalsium influenced humanity enough to have them Shatter Adonalsium.

The Divine Realm (Final Beyond):

We have next to no exposure to this Realm. Brandon specifically mentions Heaven and Hell and refers to both together, in my interpretation of his quote, as the final beyond. This is the location of the afterlife.

Speculations:

This is likely where the truly significant, yet behind the scenes, conflicts are taking place. There is a Heaven and a Hell and there isn't a myth, legend, or religion in yhe real world that has a Heaven and Hell that are not in conflict with one another.

It is also unusual for Holy and Evil to directly war with each other; they prefer to use mortals like a divine game of chess.

Investiture transcends the Mortal Realms. Shards of Adonalsium are large, sentient pieces of Investiture. Shardic actions are determined by Intent. I've already proposed that the Mortal Spiritual Realm is the medium through which Investiture from the Divine Realm manifests. My hypothesis is that Investiture is a spectrum, much like the frequency of sound waves, and that different Intents fall on that spectrum. If you pluck a single string on a guitar and the string adjacent to it is tuned to the same note, the second string will vibrate from the soundwaves of the first while the other strings are unaffected. In this case, one string is in the Mortal Spiritual Realm and the other is in the Divine Realm. When Shards use Investiture in the Mortal Realm according to their Intent their Mortal Spiritual Intent reverberates in sync with Divine Investiture and energy can then flow from the Divine Realm to the Mortal Realm.

Note to Self: come back and explain that better.

Purgatory (Middle Place):

Again, we have nearly no exposure to this Realm. This is where Kelsier waited to take up Preservations power. We know that you need strong ties to the Physical Realm in order to linger here.

Speculations:

This actually just plain baffles me.

-------EDITS--------

Edit One: Improved formatting. Removed speculations from the end of the post.

Edit Two: Added Speculations under the Mortal Realm, Divine Realm, and Purgatory.

Edited by Weeping Liar
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Putting labels on the three realms is something I was fascinated by for a very long time, but I now think might be a futile effort. The big problem I keep running into is that we all treat the physical realm as kind of the "main" realm - and I am starting to think realmatics don't work like that. Words of Radiance strongly suggests that the cognitive realm is a world in its own right, and its usefulness to the people of the physical realm is only a side effect. Similarly, I suspect whatever beings dwell in the spiritual realm will be developed independently from the physical realm (e.g. if we take the typical approach, they will be more spirits and less souls, because souls are, in a way, the "leftover" of a mortal life and spirits can exist without the need of previous life).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ArrrGent

I agree. It is extremely fascinating, and there really isn't enough canon information to make any solid conclusions. Even worse, canon information is suspect since it is the observations of in-world characters who are capable of being completely mistaken. Also, I just added a whole lot of content, so check out even more metspeculations!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Purgatory (Middle Place):

Again, we have nearly no exposure to this Realm. This is where Kelsier waited to take up Preservations power. We know that you need strong ties to the Physical Realm in order to linger here.

 

This WoB might interest you:

darxbane (17 October 2008)

Does Sazed get to see Tindwyl again now that he is a deity?

Brandon Sanderson (17 October 2008)

Sazed has yet to learn how to touch the distant other side, where all souls go. He is able to see into the Spiritual and Cognitive Realms, and any spirits or souls who remain there, rather than passing on. Generally, you have to be tied to the Physical Realm in specific ways to not pass on. As for where Tindwyl is, I will have to leave this up to you to imagine for now.

(source)

 

"Purgatory" is most likely just the Cognitive. I recall a quote about Kelsier hanging out there.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This WoB makes me think that the spirits of the departed don't go to the spiritual realm. Or at least that's not their final destination, they might pass "through" it. It sounds like you only get to hang around the cognitive or spiritual realms if you are anchored in the physical one. So ghosts, if they exist, could probably be spiritual beings. The souls of the dead, unless somehow anchored, seem to pass beyond the three realms.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Moogle

Ah, ha! That is a quote I was looking for. Thanks.

And honestly, "Purgatory" is the weakest part of my whole post. It just doesn't seem to fit like the "Divine Realm" seems to.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. I think that this sort of thing is going to be left mysterious, to avoid alienating anybody. As an atheist, I would find it quite disappointing if the Cosmere is really just a bunch of Judeo-Christian symbolism wrapped up in euphemism. I can accept there being an afterlife, but I'd expect Brandon to do something original with it or just leave it alone.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. I think that this sort of thing is going to be left mysterious, to avoid alienating anybody. As an atheist, I would find it quite disappointing if the Cosmere is really just a bunch of Judeo-Christian symbolism wrapped up in euphemism. I can accept there being an afterlife, but I'd expect Brandon to do something original with it or just leave it alone.

I am also an atheist, but that doesn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the mythology. Judeo-Christian symbolism actually gets much, much deeper than even the average Jews/Muslims/Christians are exposed to.

If Brandon adds a sufficient level of depth to the mythology, and explains it with plausible physical laws, then I'll find it intoxicatingly entertaining. There are so many twists he can put on the mythology, too. It's limitless, really.

For example, one version of the Judeo-Christian story of the fall of Lucifer casts Lucifer in a tragic light. In this version, Lucifer was God's most loving and dedicated servant and never once coveted God's authority. Instead, God created Adam, the first man, and was pleased with how Adam turned out and demanded that all of Heaven bow to his creation (to acknowledge how great God is). All the angels did except Lucifer who claimed that he loved God too much to pay homage to anything in all of Creation except God himself. Lucifer just couldn't make himself worship anything other than his beloved God. So God was like, "Fine. Gtfo."

I don't believe any of it, but I do think twists on even the oldest of stories has the capacity to be entertaining...and Brandon has something of a reputation for putting twists on worn out themes.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also an atheist, but that doesn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the mythology. Judeo-Christian symbolism actually gets much, much deeper than even the average Jews/Muslims/Christians are exposed to.

If Brandon adds a sufficient level of depth to the mythology, and explains it with plausible physical laws, then I'll find it intoxicatingly entertaining. There are so many twists he can put on the mythology, too. It's limitless, really.

For example, one version of the Judeo-Christian story of the fall of Lucifer casts Lucifer in a tragic light. In this version, Lucifer was God's most loving and dedicated servant and never once coveted God's authority. Instead, God created Adam, the first man, and was pleased with how Adam turned out and demanded that all of Heaven bow to his creation (to acknowledge how great God is). All the angels did except Lucifer who claimed that he loved God too much to pay homage to anything in all of Creation except God himself. Lucifer just couldn't make himself worship anything other than his beloved God. So God was like, "Fine. Gtfo."

I don't believe any of it, but I do think twists on even the oldest of stories has the capacity to be entertaining...and Brandon has something of a reputation for putting twists on worn out themes.

What he said.

 

I do agree. As another fellow atheist, I don't hold any belief in the afterlife myself (and I do think there are enough evidence to discard most notions of it completely), but most religious mythology still provide an interesting look into the human psyche. In Brandon's case, nothing he's done so far comes off as any sort of propaganda. I think he is doing more what he says he is doing: He's taking inspiration from a number of different cultures and religions and uses them to create his own mythos. He might rely heavily on Judeo-Chrisitan mythology in some aspects, but he is mostly using it to do his own thing.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.