Oltux72

Why not become Cognitive Shadow?

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A rather famous amateur theologician from Scadrial wondered why you would pass on if you don't have to. For most people the question is academic. One world, however, inverts that. On Threnody everybody has to answer that question.

So what do you have to lose? The old-fashioned answer a Threnodite would give is: your immortal soul. Shades wither away slowly and it looks like the dissolution of a Cognitive Shadow who has refused the call of the Beyond means annihilation. That would make becoming a Shadow a coward's choice. Yet Nazh reveres those who became Shadows. Why?

And here speculation begins. Silence seems to form some sort of bond with her late grandmother. Shadows may have given Threnodites powers powered by their own substance. Sort of the ultimate sacrifice for family and country. Dare you imagine the horror they must have felt at the news of a continent full of Shades of people believed to be safely in the Beyond?

Can we assume that the reaction would have been an epedemic of nihilism and neigh everybody elderly choosing to become a Shadow?

And even more speculatively, what if those people turned Shadow refused to wither away and found a way to posses the living?

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On 6/8/2019 at 4:43 PM, Oltux72 said:

A rather famous amateur theologician from Scadrial wondered why you would pass on if you don't have to. For most people the question is academic. One world, however, inverts that. On Threnody everybody has to answer that question.

So what do you have to lose? The old-fashioned answer a Threnodite would give is: your immortal soul. Shades wither away slowly and it looks like the dissolution of a Cognitive Shadow who has refused the call of the Beyond means annihilation. That would make becoming a Shadow a coward's choice. Yet Nazh reveres those who became Shadows. Why?

And here speculation begins. Silence seems to form some sort of bond with her late grandmother. Shadows may have given Threnodites powers powered by their own substance. Sort of the ultimate sacrifice for family and country. Dare you imagine the horror they must have felt at the news of a continent full of Shades of people believed to be safely in the Beyond?

Can we assume that the reaction would have been an epedemic of nihilism and neigh everybody elderly choosing to become a Shadow?

And even more speculatively, what if those people turned Shadow refused to wither away and found a way to posses the living?

If passing Beyond is a 'true death' of sorts, I can kinda see the appeal of considering becoming a Cognitive Shadow, even a Shade. I can see someone trying to keep the Shade of a loved one too (looks at Silence).

We don't know enough about their culture, traditions and beliefs though, the only viewpoint on that we got was Silence's, who saw such things as frivolous, though she did believe in a God Beyond.

Besides, again with regards to the shade gun we saw Nazh use against Nicki Sauvage in the newspaper clippings in Mistborn era 2, the Threnodites do eventually learn to more than avoid angering Shades or use silver against them. 

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48 minutes ago, Honorless said:

If passing Beyond is a 'true death' of sorts, I can kinda see the appeal of considering becoming a Cognitive Shadow, even a Shade. I can see someone trying to keep the Shade of a loved one too (looks at Silence).

But that goes the other way. Why then not become a shadow? Do you feel suicidal? It should be the obvious default. Even if you eventually go on, why throw away this stage?

There must be something you give up by becoming a shadow.

48 minutes ago, Honorless said:

We don't know enough about their culture, traditions and beliefs though, the only viewpoint on that we got was Silence's, who saw such things as frivolous, though she did believe in a God Beyond.

That was after the Evil arrived. The only witness for the era before that is Nazh.

48 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Besides, again with regards to the shade gun we saw Nazh use against Nicki Sauvage in the newspaper clippings in Mistborn era 2, the Threnodites do eventually learn to more than avoid angering Shades or use silver against them. 

Right. But Nazh tells us that shadows are ancient. The people of the Ire suggest that shadows can fulfill certain tasks. So what did shadows do in the Homeland?

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43 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

But that goes the other way. Why then not become a shadow? Do you feel suicidal? It should be the obvious default. Even if you eventually go on, why throw away this stage?

There must be something you give up by becoming a shadow.

That was after the Evil arrived. The only witness for the era before that is Nazh.

Right. But Nazh tells us that shadows are ancient. The people of the Ire suggest that shadows can fulfill certain tasks. So what did shadows do in the Homeland?

They're already giving up a level of sapience, part of their consciousness, what more is there to give? They didn't have any theology related to the Shades before the Forescouts encountered them.

It has only been implied that Nazh is from a time before the Evil came to the Homeland (it probably is true though, given that Worldhoppers tend to be much older than they seem) and we get so little time with him that further speculation would be baseless.

Shadows didn't do anything in the Homeland. They were discovered first by the Forescouts (of which Silence's grandmother was one) on the continent where the Forests of Hell are located, this is in fact the reason why they were named the Forests of Hell, Homelanders thought that the Forest was hell (it did contain the souls of the dead, sort of). Unless you're suggesting that the Evil and the Shades are connected, which is a theory that has been discussed before, but again, until the Threnody novel comes, we just don't know.

Silence's grandmother died after the people fled from the Evil in the Homeland. We don't know how, except she was killed by Shades and that she saved Silence (much like Sixth of the Dusk's uncle did in the other novella)

 

Also, who is this amateur theologician from Scadrial you're talking about?

Edited by Honorless
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2 hours ago, Honorless said:

They're already giving up a level of sapience, part of their consciousness, what more is there to give? They didn't have any theology related to the Shades before the Forescouts encountered them.

It has only been implied that Nazh is from a time before the Evil came to the Homeland (it probably is true though, given that Worldhoppers tend to be much older than they seem) and we get so little time with him that further speculation would be baseless.

If we accept the general chronology that puts 'Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell' within a few decades of 'Alloy of Law', then the encounter between Kelsier and Khrisella & Nazh must predate the discovery of the Forest of Hell by more than a century. Yet Nazh spoke about rituals for becoming a shadow. And the forces of Threnody are mentioned. Hence there were shadows on Threnody before shades were discovered.

2 hours ago, Honorless said:

Shadows didn't do anything in the Homeland. They were discovered first by the Forescouts (of which Silence's grandmother was one) on the continent where the Forests of Hell are located, this is in fact the reason why they were named the Forests of Hell, Homelanders thought that the Forest was hell (it did contain the souls of the dead, sort of). Unless you're suggesting that the Evil and the Shades are connected, which is a theory that has been discussed before, but again, until the Threnody novel comes, we just don't know.

That is well possible, but shadows and shades are not identical.

2 hours ago, Honorless said:

Silence's grandmother died after the people fled from the Evil in the Homeland. We don't know how, except she was killed by Shades and that she saved Silence (much like Sixth of the Dusk's uncle did in the other novella)

 

Also, who is this amateur theologician from Scadrial you're talking about?

Kelsier

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1 hour ago, Oltux72 said:

If we accept the general chronology that puts 'Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell' within a few decades of 'Alloy of Law', then the encounter between Kelsier and Khrisella & Nazh must predate the discovery of the Forest of Hell by more than a century. Yet Nazh spoke about rituals for becoming a shadow. And the forces of Threnody are mentioned. Hence there were shadows on Threnody before shades were discovered.

That is well possible, but shadows and shades are not identical.

Huh, it can be extrapolated (for those who stumble upon this thread confused about the timeline): as I understand it, Mistborn era 2 falls between Stormlight 1-5 and Stormlight 6-10. 'Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell' happened before 'Way of Kings' but after Mistborn era 1 (which is set 341 years before era 2) and Warbreaker & Nightblood.

Quote

DARNIIL

Shadows for Silence - where does it fall in the overall cosmere timeline, in relation to the other books?

BRANDON SANDERSON

[Paraphrased]In the latter half of things, but before the Stormlight Archive.

Good eye, @Oltux72

And only two continents on Threnody have been confirmed so far. Silence's people might've lost a lot more than some knowledge about gunpowder, given Ire's comments on them "trying to enter the stage" would also have taken place before the Evil attacked the Homeland.

 

Shades are a subgroup of Cognitive Shadows, but much less self-aware.

 

Now back to the main topic, we can probably guess at the theological implications derived by the Threnodites upon the discovery of the Forests of Hell by the very name they gave it. They do seem to be or had been somewhat Cosmere-aware, they do worship the God Beyond after all. Seeing that instead of passing on, some people return as Shades could very well have been as chaotic to their society as you implicate. But I doubt we'll ever get to witness that directly, much like I doubt that we'll get to witness Classical era Scadrial.

Edited by Honorless
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We don't know if you choose to become a shade or what shades really are or why Nazh reveres them.  Also sticking around as a CS not being able to influence much but still having died and watching your loved ones die too does not sound like an enviable existence.

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I don't know, the way Nazh reacted, as though a talking Shade was a possibility, made me wonder, what if there is a way to keep your identity as a Shade? Some "rites and rituals" as he mentioned...

We do know that while Shades are less cognizant than other Cognitive Shadows, some are more self-aware,  Silence's grandmother, for instance, seemed to be more aware. I don't think that's what the Deep Ones were since Silence made them sound even more dangerous than regular Shades

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On 23/11/2019 at 5:59 AM, Honorless said:

I don't know, the way Nazh reacted, as though a talking Shade was a possibility, made me wonder, what if there is a way to keep your identity as a Shade? Some "rites and rituals" as he mentioned...

Yes. So what is the reason for an elderly or moribund person not to perform those rites and rituals?

 

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5 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Yes. So what is the reason for an elderly or moribund person not to perform those rites and rituals?

 

Unsafe methods? Low chance of success? The knowledge of how to is kept secret by the few?

On top of all that, the knowledge might be lost after the Evil attacked the Homeland. 

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Just now, Honorless said:

Unsafe methods? Low chance of success?

You are on your deathbed. What could you lose? Can you actually destroy a soul if you make an error?

Just now, Honorless said:

The knowledge of how to is kept secret by the few?

Why then does Nazh ask that question? It would make no sense.

Just now, Honorless said:

On top of all that, the knowledge might be lost after the Evil attacked the Homeland. 

Again, timing. Nazh asked that question before that attack. If becoming a Cognitive Shadow is an important decision, there must be a risk or a drawback. Why else would you just die?

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1 minute ago, Oltux72 said:

You are on your deathbed. What could you lose? Can you actually destroy a soul if you make an error?

Why then does Nazh ask that question? It would make no sense.

Again, timing. Nazh asked that question before that attack. If becoming a Cognitive Shadow is an important decision, there must be a risk or a drawback. Why else would you just die?

'Destroy' might be too strong a word. I do believe that hurting it is a possibility however.

Remember, we don't know Nazh's background

I'm hesitant to speculate on an Investiture effect we've only seen such a small part of: one mention and a short story. I think a lot will be explained in the Dust Brigade, till then all we can do is wait.

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On 11/22/2019 at 11:59 PM, Honorless said:

I don't know, the way Nazh reacted, as though a talking Shade was a possibility, made me wonder, what if there is a way to keep your identity as a Shade? Some "rites and rituals" as he mentioned...

We do know that while Shades are less cognizant than other Cognitive Shadows, some are more self-aware,  Silence's grandmother, for instance, seemed to be more aware. I don't think that's what the Deep Ones were since Silence made them sound even more dangerous than regular Shades

In keeping with the Jewish theme perhaps it is something your family does?  (took a bit of research)

https://www.shiva.com/learning-center/sitting-shiva/kaddish/

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4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

That makes it worse. How depraved would you need to be not to do this for friends and family?

Perhaps the friends and family do not know.  They have lost a lot of culture and knowledge since the evil.

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10 hours ago, Karger said:

Perhaps the friends and family do not know.  They have lost a lot of culture and knowledge since the evil.

Again, timing. Nazh challenged Kelsier before the Evil attacked the Homeland.

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13 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Again, timing. Nazh challenged Kelsier before the Evil attacked the Homeland.

We know very little about Threnody.  It is possible the evil has attacked more then once.

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On 26/11/2019 at 11:03 PM, Ookla the Prolific said:

We know very little about Threnody.  It is possible the evil has attacked more then once.

So, the Threnodites happened to be at the height of their power when the Final Empire fell, happened to discover a new continent just when the Evil attacked again and made significant break-throughs in shadow manipuation in time for Era 2? All that is possible, but it includes an awful lot of coincidences.

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6 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

So, the Threnodites happened to be at the height of their power when the Final Empire fell, happened to discover a new continent just when the Evil attacked again and made significant break-throughs in shadow manipuation in time for Era 2? All that is possible, but it includes an awful lot of coincidences.

Something caused the shadows.  Many shardworlds have also gone through multiple disasters.

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19 hours ago, Ookla the Prolific said:

Something caused the shadows.  Many shardworlds have also gone through multiple disasters.

Actually, which ones? There is an obvious example, but others show singe catastrophies, no cycle of disaster.

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7 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Actually, which ones? There is an obvious example, but others show singe catastrophies, no cycle of disaster.

Both Scadrial and Roshar are in a cycle of destruction.

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12 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Actually, which ones? There is an obvious example, but others show singe catastrophies, no cycle of disaster.

3 minutes ago, Steel Inquisitive said:

Both Scadrial and Roshar are in a cycle of destruction.

Something is up with Taldain(they had intercontinental travel and then they did not and now they do again).  Threndoy has gone through at least one disaster and I personally expect it has done more...

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