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Universe Cosmere
Featured In Mistborn: Secret History

[The Cognitive Realm] is the in-between step. After death and before ... the Beyond. The Somewhere Else. Where souls must go.

Leras explaining the relationship between the Cognitive Realm and the Beyond to Kelsier[1]

The Beyond is an unknown location that the people of the cosmere are drawn to after they die. Leras occasionally refers to the Beyond as the Somewhere Else.[1]


When a person dies, their mind is transported to the Cognitive Realm, though they are not always visible to other people in the Cognitive Realm.[2] This includes near-sapient lifeforms like Ryshadium. Less sapient lifeforms may also experience this process, though that question is a matter of debate among philosophers.[3] For most people, this time in the Cognitive Realm is nothing more than an "in between" step, as their mind is soon pulled into the Beyond.[1] When they go to the Beyond, they appear to stretch toward an unseen, distant point that defies geometry that has also been described as "nothingness" and "eternity."[4][5][6] People on Scadrial appear to turn into white mist as they stretch.[1]

Before someone moves on to the Beyond, their Cognitive aspect can be returned to their physical body with the proper Investiture.[7][8][9][10] Being killed by an unsheathed Nightblood can prevent that from happening,[11] though it is unclear if it also prevents a person's mind from going to the Beyond. Vasher has considered that question before, indicating he may be aware of the Beyond to at least some extent.[12] If someone uses Forgery to make themself die, they will not come back from the Beyond when the seal breaks,[13] and it seems unlikely that there is anyway for someone to return from the Beyond.

Allomancers, Feruchemists, and people who had a Hemalurgic spike in life can remain in the Cognitive Realm longer before being pulled to the Beyond, while those where were the victim of a Hemalurgic spiking and less sapient lifeforms cannot remain as long.[1][14][3] Slivers can resist the pull of the Beyond indefinitely, though they can still choose to go and still feel the pull of the Beyond when seriously wounded.[15][4] From this, it is possible to infer that the amount of Investiture a person has or had in life determines the length of time for which they can resist the pull of the Beyond.[2]

Shards and the Beyond[edit]

While the Spiritual Realm is not the same as the Beyond, that distinction isn't necessarily immediately obvious to Shards.[16] It does not seem exceedingly difficult to at least grasp the basic premise, however, as Harmony came to understand the difference within moments of his Ascension.[17] Learning information about the Beyond itself, however, is at least exceedingly difficult and may be impossible, even for Shards.[18][19] Harmony, at least, still has not learned anything about it, though he considers going to it a kind of adventure.[8] Ruin claims that Mare "longed for Kelsier to join her in the Beyond," but it seems likely that he was simply lying to manipulate Kelsier and does not actually have knowledge of what occurs in the Beyond.[20]

While trapped in the Well of Ascension, Kelsier refers to Ruin as "the thing Beyond,"[21] but this is likely a misnomer as a Shard's power is concentrated in the Spiritual Realm.[22]

Known Travelers[edit]

While all people who are not Slivers must go to the Beyond when they finally die,[1] the transitions of the following people to the Beyond have been observed:


  • The relation between the Beyond and the God Beyond, like most questions about the Beyond, is currently RAFO'd.[23]


  1. a b c d e f Mistborn: Secret History part 1 chapter 1 #
  2. a b Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-27#
  3. a b Oathbringer release party
    Arcanum - 2017-11-13#
  4. a b Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 8 #
  5. Mistborn: Secret History part 1 chapter 2 #
  6. Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 2 #
  7. Shadows of Self release party
    Arcanum - 2015-10-05#
  8. a b The Bands of Mourning chapter 28 #
  9. Words of Radiance chapter 88 #
  10. Edgedancer chapter 8 #
  11. Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-07-21#
  12. Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-09-21#
  13. Boskone 54
    Arcanum - 2017-02-17#
  14. Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-12-06#
  15. Stormlight Three Update #5
    Arcanum - 2016-11-19#
  16. Arcanum Unbounded release party
    Arcanum - 2016-11-22#
  17. Mistborn: Secret History part 6 chapter 9 #
  18. Calamity Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
  19. When Worlds Collide 2014
    Arcanum - 2014-08-09#
  20. Mistborn: Secret History part 4 chapter 4 #
  21. Mistborn: Secret History part 2 chapter 1 #
  22. Shadows of Self Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2015-10-12#
  23. Calamity Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2016-02-22#
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