Dancer

cybernetic enhancements and Cosmere healing

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Posted (edited)

A thought occurred to me, how would cybernetic enhancements from era 4 interact with Cosmere healing. We know that healing in the Cosmere such as Stormlight and F-gold are very influenced by how the user perceives themselves. If someone had a cybernetic prosthetic arm for years and had it blown off. If that person also had access to healing magic would they be able to heal that cybernetic arm or would it just grow their original biological arm? Would you be able to do this for other things like complete cyborg bodies or for an AI that has been placed in an Android body?   

Edited by Dancer
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Posted (edited)

I would say that the Spiritual Realm wouldn't really differentiate between organic & inorganic parts of a whole, as long as the person does perceive the prosthetic as a part of themselves but I also don't think that's a normal way of thinking among amputees at all.

As for AI, if they perceive their devices as their bodies, yes. If they think of them as instruments that they can inhabit, then no. A cyborg, as you put it, would probably benefit from Cosmere healing as they would consider their hardware as a part of themselves, an AI might consider their being to be data, which might complicate things.

Edited by R J
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4 hours ago, R J said:

as long as the person does perceive the prosthetic as a part of themselves but I also don't think that's a normal way of thinking among amputees at all.

I imagine this is true right now, but in a hypotehtical future-tech world where the replacement arm is at least as good as, if not better than, the real arm was, this could start to change.

to the original question: I have a hard time imagining that someone would be able ot grow a prosthetic arm back if they lost it.  even if they consider it a part of themselves after years, I still think most cosmere healing works by more or less supercharging existing biological healing processes, and they probably wouldnt be able to generate something as exotic as a prosthetic.  but I also think that someone who is new to their prosthetic (or other cybernetics) who is then exposed to strong healing would probably reject the artifical parts in favor of more natural ones, because they wouldnt have had them long enough to truly change their perception of themselves.  but after a few years, while you may not be able to regrow a cybernetic arm, you probably could heal damage around it without your body rejecting the arm and trying to grow you a new biological one.

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1 hour ago, Dunkum said:

I imagine this is true right now, but in a hypotehtical future-tech world where the replacement arm is at least as good as, if not better than, the real arm was, this could start to change.

to the original question: I have a hard time imagining that someone would be able ot grow a prosthetic arm back if they lost it.  even if they consider it a part of themselves after years, I still think most cosmere healing works by more or less supercharging existing biological healing processes, and they probably wouldnt be able to generate something as exotic as a prosthetic.  but I also think that someone who is new to their prosthetic (or other cybernetics) who is then exposed to strong healing would probably reject the artifical parts in favor of more natural ones, because they wouldnt have had them long enough to truly change their perception of themselves.  but after a few years, while you may not be able to regrow a cybernetic arm, you probably could heal damage around it without your body rejecting the arm and trying to grow you a new biological one.

In most instances that is not the case.  Spiritual healing (F-Gold, Stormlight, etc) work by realigning your physical form with your Spiritweb's platonic ideal as filtered through your cognitive self-image.  It's one of the reasons it can heal birth defects if you view yourself the right way, and can even change a person's birth gender.  Personally I think it would depend quite a bit on the Cognitive view of that prosthetic and how much you really considered it part of you (which would be distinct from viewing it as an improvement). And in turn I think whether it's advanced enough to impart any sensation.  I think sensation would go a long way to making your cognitive self really accept the cyborg arm as a proper part of yourself rather than a useful tool that is attached to your stump.  But one person that always secretly wanted their flesh and blood arm back would probably push the prosthetic attachments off and regrow a natural arm, while somebody that really saw themselves as a part-metal person might be able to repair the prosthetic.  There would be some practical issues, for example it's a safe bet that such a cyborg arm would be Invested, and that might interfere in a more direct and practical way with healing magic's ability to replace and replicate it's function.  

As a similar but purely biological test case: Healing has been shown to cure biological diseases.  What if you are from one of the Silence Divine Conclaves and you have a disease that is granting you magic abilities, abilities that have become a core aspect of your Self-Identity.  Would it be possible to incorporate the disease into your self image enough to exempt those specific magic germs from your healing?

 

 

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So I think we have pretty solid evidence that someone who always wnated their flesh and blood arm back would be able to grow that back.  Its basically what happens with Lopen.  but even there, the way his stormlight healing is described is still fairly biological - the arm stump starts itching, and slowly begins to grow into a full arm.  as far as healing a prosthetic, even setting aside the investment issue you mention (which is a good point), I still think that healing is unlikely to be able to replicate the cybernetic components, but I suppose we don't yet have enough evidence to say for sure.  The point about "healing" a birth defect is a good one - since it shows that the process is definitely not purely biological, since a purely biological healing would likley try to rebuild the body according to its genetics, which would likley include birth defects and the like.

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I think some of the points in favor of "Invested Healing" being able to restore/repair a cybernetic limb is that Matter, Energy, and Investiture are all interchangeable. So, in theory, the Investiture trying to restore your Physical form to your Spiritual Ideal filtered by your Cognitive self-perception could turn into physical matter to restore the components of the cyberlimb. Heck, there might be Invested Arts or other magic that actually makes this easier for the healing to do.

If nothing else, if you have an experienced Soulcaster (radiant, or fabrial with the right essences), you could create a new copy of the limb out of raw material fairly quickly.

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