Confused

Commands and Intents

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I theorize...

  • A Command is a directive for Investiture to do something.
  • Intent determines how Investiture does that something.
  • Adonalsium used the four Commands to create the cosmere from raw Investiture.
  • The four Commands are different aspects of one Command: “Create!”
  • “Change” is the process of creation. A second Command relates to the substance/structure Change acts on. A third defines the cosmere’s operating rules that limit Change’s scope. The fourth Command, which @asmodeus first suggested, grants life – sentience.
  • Shard Intents represent different aspects of each Command.

What Is a Command?

Posters point out how Awakening Commands resemble what I’ll call Divine Commands in this paragraph. The power of an Awakening Command largely depends on how well the Awakener visualizes the Command. Adonalsium's omniscience – the “understanding of a deity” – makes his Divine Command so much more powerful and precise than any Awakening Command could be. Yet text suggests the “Change” Command is the Investiture equivalent of between 50 (aura recognition) and 200 (perfect pitch) Breaths. At most Change equates to 600 Breaths (perfect color recognition).

Relationship Between Commands and Intents

A Command can direct any Investiture. I believe that Investiture’s Intent determines how the Investiture executes the Command. Example: I think cosmere Change means changing a person or object's Spiritual aspect. To me that involves making, changing, or breaking a person or object’s Connections, or destroying the person/object altogether. I believe Honor, Cultivation, Odium, and Ruin respectively perform those functions.

Commanding Honor to Change an object will bind the object to something else. Commanding Cultivation to Change an object will transform the object into something else. Commanding Odium to Change an object will break that object’s Connections to something else (IMO). And Commanding Ruin to Change an object will destroy the object. FWIW, coincidentally (and conveniently) Change and these Shards are now all on Roshar in force, Ruin via Nightblood.

The Four Commands

“Change” seems sufficient to create by itself if given something to act on. I think Change is the means of creation. Everything new derives from something else, just as Adonalsium changed raw Investiture into the cosmere. Commands like “Join” or “Persist/Endure” or “Destroy” to me are just forms of Change or resistance to it.

Change acts on some substance or “Structure.” I suggest a second Command might relate to what Adonalsium Changed raw Investiture into – the cosmere’s Investiture/matter/energy matrix made manifest in the Physical Realm. This includes the three Realmic aspects of everything from subatomic particles to planets, stars, and space itself. There’s no necessary reason the cosmere should look like our universe. I speculate it does because Adonalsium “Structures” the cosmere that way.

A third Command might relate to the cosmere’s operating “Rules. Rules limit Change’s scope. Examples include Realmic interactions, cosmere thermodynamics, and other cosmere physics principles. Perception’s cosmere role may also fall under the Rules rubric.

I agree with Asmodeus the fourth Command may relate to the grant of “Life/Sentience.” Brandon says one of the Dawnshards is different from the rest. That means the person who holds the Command (the Dawnshard) is different from the other persons who hold Commands. I believe the Life/Sentience Dawnshard is the one who’s different. IMO, granting life is the most godlike of all the Commands. (I think of Michelangelo’s depiction of the divine hand extending towards Adam.) The Life/Sentience Command may require an Ascended being to hold it.

Do Intents Derive from Commands?

The Akinah mural hints Shard Intents may derive from the four Commands. I speculate that’s true. Known Shard Intents IMO each seem to represent a different aspect of a Command.

I show above that Honor, Cultivation, Odium, and Ruin IMO are different aspects of Change – different ways to make Change. I think Preservation is an aspect of Structure. Stasis seems like an important element of Realmic Structure.

Dominion to me expresses Rules. Sel’s magic users access magic through geographic-based forms. I attribute that to Dominion. It’s as if that Shard says, “Gain dominion over your homeland before you can use its magic.” Brandon likens AonDor’s topography-derived forms to a programming language. The greater the Elantrian’s knowledge of local topography, the more precise their use of AonDor.

Autonomy and Endowment both grant Life/Sentience, to Avatars and Awakened objects. That leaves Devotion and Ambition among known Shards. Their magic is unclear to me. I believe Devotion involves the free use of Investiture (unconditional Love?) that Dominion’s Rules control the flow of. Maybe Devotion is an aspect of Structure? Ambition’s magic is part of why Threnody’s so spooky, which is all I know about that Shard.

The Shattering

Nikli says the future Vessels used the Commands to Shatter Adonalsium. Adonalsium pre-Shattering WAS the cosmere, it’s mind, body, and spirit. The cosmere’s body and spirit (in Changed form) persist post-Shattering. Adonalsium himself – the cosmere’s mind – is dead. I speculate the future Vessels Commanded Change to undo Adonalsium’s Sentience, thus killing him but leaving the cosmere intact. Change and the other Commands then divided Adonalsium into the Shard Intents. Maybe...?

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