skaa

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The Ten Divine Attributes

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In WoK, when Shallan and Kabsal were talking about Voidbringers, Kabsal said this:

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“...People prefer to hear about the Ten Divine Attributes or the Ten Human Failings. We accommodate them because we, also, prefer that to the deep past.”

Ten Divine Attributes? But from the table of Essences, aren't there twenty Divine Attributes?

Essences.PNG.e06ddb954a5ef55977dbe4ae1b0f0c24.PNG

I think it's reasonable to conclude that the twenty attributes in the table of Essences were derived from ten more general attributes, and that those ten are what Kabsal was referring to. This means we can group the twenty attributes into pairs, merge those pairs, then come up with the actual Ten Divine Attributes.

So, how do we do that? There are several interesting possibilities. One is to try and merge the Primary and Secondary Attributes of each Essence:

5e30398d56430_UnifiedAttributesAttempt1.PNG.6998a7bd7096de979a82f9588be65df3.PNG

I will let someone else attempt that. I personally couldn't find a way to merge such pairs as "resolute and builder", "learned and giving", "just and confident", etc., but then English isn't my native language.

Another option is to merge the Primary Attribute of an Essence to the Secondary Attribute of the previous Essence:

5e30398f2d09d_UnifiedAttributesOption2.PNG.bd01994cf540b7cbae2c0444ecbf7acf.PNG

This has the added benefit of potentially mapping each unified Divine Attribute to a Surge, thereby connecting the table of Essences to the Knights Radiant chart:

5e30453f1f661_EssencesandOrders.PNG.55da58b1e6dd8f4c9471d505fb77804b.PNG

Once again, I will let someone else attempt that. I tried to do it a few years ago, pre-WoR, but I wasn't super successful.

What I ended up doing recently is slightly different but still connected to that second option. Yes, I still think that the Attributes can be mapped to the Surges, but this time I ignored the Primary and Secondary labels for the purpose of this exercise.

(For what it's worth, there must be a point in marking an Attribute "Primary", but I'm choosing to ignore it for now as irrelevant.)

So with all that said, here's my attempt:

5e30398e69110_UnifiedAttributesAttempt3.PNG.1de70ae7b185215bbae5ad159cf586ad.PNG

 


Adhesion: Devotion
Pious: devotion to gods
Protecting: devotion to the weak

When you're devoted to something, you stick to it no matter what (or at least till the devotion is no longer there).

 


Gravitation: Authority
Leading: being followed
Just: to follow a moral code

People gravitate towards authority, people or belief systems that they can follow to get the answers or the direction they seek.

 


Division: Independence
Confident: free from doubt
Brave: free from fear

The Division Surge removes the stuff that binds things, thereby "releasing" them from a sort of "imprisonment" or "slavery" of bonds. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstance and the perspective. Just like how being free from doubt and fear can be good or bad.

 


Abrasion: Attention
Obedient: attention to rules/commands
Loving: attention towards fellow man

You tend to spend more time with people or things that you pay attention to or demand more of your attention, like a shoe experiencing more traction on a rough surface. But sometimes too much demand for your attention can wear away any interest you have, and your attention slips. If you don't pay attention to something, it might slip past you without you noticing, like something sliding quickly on oiled ground.

 


Progression: Aid
Healing: aiding the sick
Giving: aiding the needy

The Progression Surge is an aid to natural processes like the growth of living things or the healing of wounds, in that it makes those processes go faster, i.e. progress more.

 


Illumination: Intellect
Creative: productive intellect
Learned: well-educated

The intellect refers to the thing that supposedly allows us to know stuff, to understand, and to be creative.

Enlightenment is what happens when you finally comprehend something. It is a concept directly related to the intellect, and is a word connoting light. Understanding brings illumination, and through it one sees.

 


Transformation: Truth
Honest: truthful
Wise: able to discern truth

The Surge of Transformation manipulates the truth about an object, changing its essence.

 


Transportation: Stability
Careful: avoiding error
Resolute: unwavering in one's decisions

The Surge of Transportation manipulates either the spatial or the realmatic stability of objects, allowing either teleportation or realmatic transition.

 


Cohesion: Ingenuity
Builder: assembles parts into a whole
Resourceful: makes clever solutions

Ingenuity means both cleverness and inventiveness. It is the ability to combine things into something useful and innovative. The Cohesion Surge allows the ingenuity of the user to manifest in any chosen material by shaping it to reflect his ideas, creating a cohesive structure built for a certain purpose.

 


Tension: Responsibility
Dependable: takes responsibility for assigned tasks
Guiding: sets an example for others

Responsibility can cause tension when the things you need to do and the things you'd rather do become opposite pulling forces. Your obligations, the oaths you've sworn, and the people who look up at you can all cause this tension. The key is to allow this tension to stretch you enough to make you stronger, but not stretch you past your breaking point.

 



Mapping the Attributes to the Surges like this has another benefit: It allows us to rearrange both the Attributes and the Surges at the same time. In this framework, moving an Attribute moves the corresponding Surge, and vice versa.

Why am I interested in moving things around? Well, I first thought about it several years ago when we learned that Illumination was connected to Pulp and Blood; I felt Illumination seemed more thematically connected to Spark and Lucentia. At the time, I tried "fixing" that with an alternative chart, but mostly failed.

The idea of rearrangement came back to me a couple of months ago when I re-discovered a Way of Kings annotation showing that Brandon apparently experimented with various Knights Radiant chart versions. Here is one of his experiments from 2003:

Double-Eye-Complex-2003.thumb.gif.f332aeecc9dde4ad4c8f7e9c11a798e8.gif

Notice how the Surges had different names back then (Division=Decay, Illumination=Energy, etc.), and different positions, and some probably were replaced with something else entirely in later drafts (like Awakening, maybe).

Anyway, I was trying to work on a theory about the Dawnshards being of Cultivation around the same time last year. Seeing this previous iteration of the Knight Radiant chart, it suddenly occurred to me that a Cultivation magic system might have Surges and Attributes just like Honor's system, but changed somehow.

And that's how I came up with the Elevations and Callings of Dawnshards theory.

Edited by skaa
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That combination of the Divine Attributes makes a lot of sense. I didn't even realize the discrepancy with the number of Divine Attributes or how mismatched they seem when observing them as they are without associating them to an Order.

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Not to be a spoilsport but this might be a typo.

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2 hours ago, skaa said:

I

5e30398e69110_UnifiedAttributesAttempt3.PNG.1de70ae7b185215bbae5ad159cf586ad.PNG

 


 

Interesting.   This was a good read.  However your use of the word Devotion got me thinking.  How do you think these line up? Yes Harmony is a double shard but it seems to fit.

divine attributes (a).png

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My own take on it is very different, but this is good work regardless. Well done!

Edited by asmodeus
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This is excellent work, Skaa! Well-reasoned and presented. 

But I read Kabsal’s words literally. There ARE ten Divine Attributes – the ten Primary ones. Those are the ones that attract a god – Radiant spren. I posit in this post, “Fifth Oath Achieves Secondary Divine Attribute,” that Radiant oaths progress them to full ascension when they merge with their spren. That coincides with their achievement of their Secondary Divine Attribute. They then become the equivalent of Heralds.

From a religious perspective, it makes more sense to teach how to achieve godhood, the Primary Divine Attribute. Only a handful of the faithful will ever need to worry about the Secondary Attribute.

Edited by Confused
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2 hours ago, TheWadehart said:

Interesting.   This was a good read.  However your use of the word Devotion got me thinking.  How do you think these line up? Yes Harmony is a double shard but it seems to fit.

Good one.  To add to this we have some info on a Wisdom shard that some people theorize is something like Prudence.  Perhaps put them on the "Truth" marker?  A combination of careful thought and honest/practical wisdom?

Edited by Karger
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1 hour ago, TheWadehart said:

Interesting.   This was a good read.  However your use of the word Devotion got me thinking.  How do you think these line up? Yes Harmony is a double shard but it seems to fit.

divine attributes (a).png

I like this! I don't know that Cultivation fits obedient. I think Devotion fits the combination of Loving and Obedient better. Devotion also fits where you have it though, as do the rest you put in. Maybe Learned / Creative for Cultivation. 

Ingenuity or similar may be Shard name, so that would take care of that attribute. 

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/123/#e3299

Honest / Wise for the Wisdom / Prudence Shard.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/398/#e13231

@skaa Thank you for your post. It is really well put together and this is fun to think about. 

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Just now, Child of Hodor said:

I like this! I don't know that Cultivation fits obedient. I think Devotion fits the combination of Loving and Obedient better. Devotion also fits where you have it though, as do the rest you put in. Maybe Learned / Creative for Cultivation. 

Agreed.

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2 hours ago, Confused said:

This is excellent work, Skaa! Well-reasoned and presented. 

But I read Kabsal’s words literally. There ARE ten Divine Attributes – the ten Primary ones. Those are the ones that attract a god – Radiant spren. I posit in this post, “Fifth Oath Achieves Secondary Divine Attribute,” that Radiant oaths progress them to full ascension when they merge with their spren. That coincides with their achievement of their Secondary Divine Attribute. They then become the equivalent of Heralds.

From a religious perspective, it makes more sense to teach how to achieve godhood, the Primary Divine Attribute. Only a handful of the faithful will ever need to worry about the Secondary Attribute.

Yes, I actually agree with you that Radiant spren are attracted to the primary divine attribute of their Order, and that their bonded Knight will need to gain the secondary divine attribute somehow through the latter oaths.

But I do feel that we cannot discount the secondary divine attributes. After all, Shallan names Honesty (secondary divine attribute of Blood/Lightweavers) as one of the divine attributes of the Almighty:

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And what is the Almighty to think of you? she wondered. And the lies you’re growing so proficient at producing. Honesty was among the divine attributes of the Almighty, after all, which everyone was supposed to seek.

 

Edited by skaa
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5 hours ago, TheWadehart said:

Interesting.   This was a good read.  However your use of the word Devotion got me thinking.  How do you think these line up? Yes Harmony is a double shard but it seems to fit.

divine attributes (a).png

I wasn't even thinking of the Shards when I made this (which is why I didn't post this in Cosmere Discussions). I felt it was very likely that there are other words more fitting for these unified attributes, because I know my English vocabulary isn't that great. This is why "devotion" didn't immediately send me Shard-hunting, so to speak.

Not to say I'm opposed to the idea. There are sixteen Shards, so some will have to share Attributes for this to work, meaning Harmony being there could work. Once we get more Shard names, we could look into this again.

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Alternatively if you break Harmony back into Ruin and Preservation you could keep Preservation on Careful, Resolute, and put Ruin on learned and Creative.  Then put prudence on Wise and Careful

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Well since this seems to be the current direction of theorizing, I decided to put together my own set of shards associated with the ten attributes to see if I could find at least a first "draft" of all 10 spots being filled out. The shards named in Green are from Ixthos' theory on what the remaining unnamed shards are, so I figured I ought to make them stand out to make their unofficial status clear. Obviously there could be alternative or better names for them, but these get the point across (and you can go to his theory thread to see what the actual "intent" of these shards are described as, for more clarification).

Potential shardic alignments.png

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On 2020-01-28 at 10:29 PM, skaa said:

Yes, I actually agree with you that Radiant spren are attracted to the primary divine attribute of their Order, and that their bonded Knight will need to gain the secondary divine attribute somehow through the latter oaths.

But I do feel that we cannot discount the secondary divine attributes. After all, Shallan names Honesty (secondary divine attribute of Blood/Lightweavers) as one of the divine attributes of the Almighty:

 

I posted a theory once way back, the wast majority of the post never made it to the board due to tenichal issues, one of the lines of reasoning that I think we're lost was about the attributes.

The idea is that each nahel bond is represented by two mixtures of Honor and Cultivation, one that is mainly Honor and one that is mainly Cultivation.

Matching the attributes to the double eye and walking clockwise the right hand side has orders with falling Honor and growing Cultivation, vice versa on the left hand side. On the top side you have orders where Honor is dominant and the bottom side where Cultivation is dominant.

In This model honesty is a secondary attribute but is actually Honors attribute for lightweavers. 

Honor being the Almighty in Vorin Faith it makes sense for his attributes to become the Divine attributes regardless of what the demonized Raidiants consider primary/secondary.

 

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On 1/28/2020 at 6:16 PM, Halyo_Alex said:

Well since this seems to be the current direction of theorizing, I decided to put together my own set of shards associated with the ten attributes to see if I could find at least a first "draft" of all 10 spots being filled out. The shards named in Green are from Ixthos' theory on what the remaining unnamed shards are, so I figured I ought to make them stand out to make their unofficial status clear. Obviously there could be alternative or better names for them, but these get the point across (and you can go to his theory thread to see what the actual "intent" of these shards are described as, for more clarification).

Potential shardic alignments.png

I love this thread, but have one problem with matching Shards to Divine Attributes. There are ten of these "Truly Divine Attributes", and sixteen Shards. Since Tanavast and Cultivation knew the other 14, why would they exclude them in their... table? Why not make 16 Orders of KR?

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58 minutes ago, Vessel of Theory said:

I love this thread, but have one problem with matching Shards to Divine Attributes. There are ten of these "Truly Divine Attributes", and sixteen Shards. Since Tanavast and Cultivation knew the other 14, why would they exclude them in their... table? Why not make 16 Orders of KR?

Because there are only 10 surges, and the pairs are... naturally like that. There's merely no room for the others.

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1 hour ago, Vessel of Theory said:

I love this thread, but have one problem with matching Shards to Divine Attributes. There are ten of these "Truly Divine Attributes", and sixteen Shards. Since Tanavast and Cultivation knew the other 14, why would they exclude them in their... table? Why not make 16 Orders of KR?

Time for my overly-complicated answer of the day!  Delve deep into way more than you asked.  References available upon request as long as you promise not to call them at night.

Adonalsium (who might be the God Beyond, but even if not seems to have been revered as a divinity) was Shattered into 16 pieces, or Shards.  This number wasn't deliberate, and it could have broken in different ways, but it also didn't break in a completely random way, either.  Each of those Shards was full of power, or Investiture, and the people who picked them up to wield said power are known as Vessels.  Well, people who are currently holding one of these Shards are known as Vessels, there's been some turnover over the past several thousand years.

While not God, those Vessels/Shards have godlike powers, and are often worshiped as divine, although more often than not there seems to be 2+ layers before you get there.  (People on Roshar worship the Stormfather as the Almighty, and we all know how close to accurate that is.  And this is one of the ones that's more spot-on, with relatively few layers of obfuscation around.)  A Shard will have a certain primary attribute, or Intent, which is how people in the know refer to them (Honor, Cultivation, etc.). 

Over time, the Vessel's personality will merge with that of the Shard's Intent.  Particularly strong-willed Vessels can hold out longer, or can alter the shape or expression of that Intent to a degree.  Kaladin and Syl explore this and the idea of what is honorable quite a bit.  There are other spren and Radiants that also explore what it means to be honorable, that end up with very different answers.  This can be seen as a similar conflict between Vessel and Shard, although at what is a comparatively microscopic level, and the Radiants tend to have a bit more freedom of deviation because of Cultivation's influence.  But there's some actions that Tanavast-As-Honor could take that, hypothetically, Rayse-As-Honor would not be able to, as well as actions that each would not be able to do for the same reason.  This is a giant digression, though, but one that I think is very interesting.

There are some people that are aware of this greater knowledge of the Cosmere, but most people aren't.  Civilization existed prior to Adonalsium's Shattering, though, and it's fairly strongly hinted that some of those peoples are still around, and had some form of their beliefs make it to Roshar.  And then there's also the Heralds and Honor themselves who provided some direct knowledge to humans on Roshar that has had some carryover.  That makes for at least 3 different sources of this type of knowledge that have affected the mythology and religions on Roshar, and in the Cosmere as a whole (just gonna cross this out because I want to keep a stronger association with the Number 2), with most of it being through a game of 'Telephone' that's lasted a few hundred to a few thousand years.  So they've managed to get things varying degrees of right and wrong.

Each Shard, with their Intent, also seems to be associated with a specific Number.  The number 10, for instance, is very strongly associated with Honor (10 Heralds, 10 Surges, 10 Orders of Radiants, supposedly 100 Desolations, etc.).  And with Odium, we see the number 9 crop up a lot (9 Unmade, 9 shadows coming from His Champion, etc.).  Cultivation is less clear and not known that I am aware of, but my guess is 2 (a boon and a bane, 2 surges per Herald/Radiant, She is probably a sith, etc.). 

A Shard's interaction with a planet that creates the magic system, which then tends to have patterns that reflect back to the Shard's Number.  The Vessel tends to have very limited control over how this magic manifests itself, so if there is a cause/effect here to the best of my knowledge it is unknown which is which.  It is also known that each Shard on a planet will mess with the magic system of other Shards, creating interesting mixtures of them.

So, let's put it together to make some assumptions!

There's a strong, but vague, idea that the Divine is separated in distinct Attributes.  Honor is strongly associated with the number 10, so his follows come up with 10 of these Attributes to apply to him, possibly on their own and possibly with his guidance.  The magic that developed demanded both 10 Surges overall, and <untested theory> Cultivation's influence limited this to 2 Surges per person <end of untested theory>.  If not due to Cultivation's influence, then it likely goes back to the symmetry thing.  With 10 Surges total, and 2 Surges per person, we're back to 10 pairs of Surges.  Each pair goes to a Herald, and then later to a Radiant Order which is then associated with the Herald that shares the pair.

So to answer your question--the people devising and assigning the Attributes don't know any better, and very likely don't think of even Cultivation as anything other than a god for pagans, certainly not to be associated with their precious Almighty (Honor).  And there are 10 Orders of Radiants rather than 16 because they are Knights of Honor rather than Knights of Adonalsium (although it's likely that Adonalsium would be associated with the number 154, instead of 16, because there's already a Shard associated with 16.  Adonalsium would be the sum of all Shards, and thus the sum of all Numbers, and thus 154.)

Edited by kaellok
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