I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

- The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear To attempt an understanding of Maud'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.

There is no escape - we pay for the violence of our ancestors.

The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.

Deep in the human unconsciousness is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.

The Fremen were supreme in that quality the ancients called 'spannungsbogen', which is the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing.

What do you despise? By this are you truly known.

- Manual of MuadDib by Princess Irulan Beyond a critical point in a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans in the finite space of a planetary ecosystem as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive. - Pardot Kynes, First Planetologist of Arrakis His mother had undergone this test. There must be a terrible purpose in it...the pain and fear had been terrible. He understood terrible purposes. They drove agaainst all odds. They were their own necessity. Paul felt that he had been infected with terrible purpose. He did not know yet what the terrible purpose was. - Paul Atreides The whole theory of warfare is calculated risk, but when it comes to risking your own family, the element of calculation gets submerged in... other things. - Duke Leto Atreides "Where Thufir Hawat goes, death and deceit follow."
"You malign him."
"Malign? I praise him. Death and deceit are our only hopes now. I just don't fool myself about Thufir's methods." - Lady Jessica & Paul I've always prided myself on seeing things the way they truly are. That's the curse of being a Mentat. You can't stop analysing your data. - Mentat Thufir Hawat Destroying him will be a service to mankind. - Thufir Hawat, on Baron Harkonnen "Where did Kynes go?"
"He did what any good guerrila leader would. He separated us into two parties and arranged that he couldn't reveal where we are if he's captured. He won't really know." - Paul The night is a tunnel, a hole into tomorrow. - Lady Jessica "Usul, you're crying. Usul, my strength, do you give moisture to the dead? To whose dead?"
"To ones not yet dead." - Chani & Paul The people who can destroy a thing, they control it. - Paul My father had an instinct for his friends. He gave his love sparingly, but with never an error. His weakness lay in misunderstanding hatred. He thought anyone who hated Harkonnens could not betray him. - Paul Isn't it odd how we misunderstand the hidden unity of kindness and cruelty? - Paul The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows - a wall against the wind. This is the willow's purpose.

A world is supported by four things : the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valour of the brave. But all of these are as nothing, without a ruler who knows the art of ruling.

You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? That's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind. We Bene Gesserit sift people to find the humans.

- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam Survival is the ability to swim in strange currents. - Bene Gesserit Axiom *


Atrocity is recognized as such by victim and perpetrator alike, by all who learn about it at whatever remove. Atrocity has no excuses, no mitigating argument. Atrocity never balances or rectifies the past. Atrocity merely arms the future for more atrocity. It is self-perpetuating upon itself - a barbarous form of incest. Whoever commits atrocity also commits those future atrocities thus bred.

- The Apocrypha of Muad'Dib Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern. The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders. - Law and Governance : The Spacing Guild Manual It is said of Muad'Dib that once when he saw a weed trying to grow between two rocks, he moved one of the rocks. Later, when the weed was seen to be flourishing, he covered it with the remaining rock. "That was its fate," he explained. - The Commentaries When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Words of an ancient philosopher These are illusions of popular history which a successful religion must promote: Evil men never prosper; only the brave deserve the fair; honesty is the best policy; actions speak louder than words; virtue always triumphs; a good deed is its own reward; any bad human can be reformed; religious talismans protect one from demon possession; only females understand the ancient mysteries; the rich are doomed to unhappiness . . . - From the Instruction Manual Missionaria Protectiva This is the fallacy of power: ultimately it is effective only in an absolute, a limited universe. But the basic lesson of our relativistic universe is that things change. Any power must always meet a greater power. Paul Muad'Dib taught this lesson to the Sardaukar on the Plains of Arrakeen. His descendants have yet to learn the lesson for themselves. -The Preacher at Arrakeen Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class--whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy. - Politics as Repeat Phenomenon: Bene Gesserit Training Manual We can still remember the golden days before Heisenberg, who showed humans the walls enclosing our predestined arguments. The lives within me find this amusing. Knowledge, you see, has no uses without purpose, but purpose is what builds enclosing walls. - Leto Atreides II, His Voice What you of the CHOAM directorate seem unable to understand is that you seldom find real loyalties in commerce. When did you last hear of a clerk giving his life for the company? Perhaps your deficiency rests in the false assumption that you can order men to think and cooperate. This has been a failure of everything from religions to general staffs throughout history. General staffs have a long record of destroying their own nations. As to religions, I recommend a rereading of Thomas Aquinas.
As to you of CHOAM, what nonsense you believe! Men must want to do things out of their own innermost drives. People, not commercial organizations or chains of command, are what makes great civilizations work. Every civilization depends upon the quality of the individuals it produces. If you over-organize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness--they cannot work and their civilization collapses. - A letter to CHOAM Attributed to the Preacher *

You do not beg the sun for mercy.

- Muad'Dib's Travail from the Stilgar Commentary No matter how exotic human civilization becomes, no matter the developments of life and society, nor the complexity of the machine/human interface, there always come interludes of lonely power when the course of humankind, the very future of humankind, depends upon the relatively simple actions of single individuals. - from the Tleilaxu Godbuk Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual. -Words of Muad'dib by Princes Irulan There was a man so wise, he jumped into a sandy place
And burnt out both his eyes!
And when he knew his eyes were gone,
He offered no complaint but summoned up a vision
And made himself a saint. - Children's Verse from History of Muad'dib We say of Muad'dib that he has gone on a journey into that land where we walk without footprints. - Preamble to the Qizarate Creed *

Those who would repeat the past must control the teaching of history.

- Bene Gesserit Teaching, "Chapter House : Dune" To know a thing well, know its limits. Only when pushed beyond its tolerances will true nature be seen. - The Amtal Rule, "Chapter House : Dune" Oh, the perils of leadership in a species so anxious to be told what to do. How little they knew of what they created by their demands. Leaders made mistakes. And those mistakes, amplified by the numbers who followed without questioning, moved inevitably toward great disasters. - ? One of the most terrible words in any language is Soldier. The synonyms parade through our history: yogahnee, trooper, hussar, kareebo, cossack, deranzeef, legionnaire, sardaukar, fish speaker ... I know them all. They stand there in the ranks of my memory to remind me: Always make sure you have the army with you. - The Stolen Journals, "God Emperor Of Dune" Unceasing warfare gives rise to its own social conditions which have been similar in all epochs. People enter a permanent state of alertness to ward off attacks. You see the absolute rule of the autocrat. All new things become dangerous frontier districts--new planets, new economic areas to exploit, new ideas or new devices, visitors--everything suspect. - The Stolen Journals, "God Emperor of Dune" The problem with leadership is inevitably "Who will play God?" - Muad'Dib From the Oral History, "God Emperor of Dune" Do you know what guerrillas often say? They claim that their rebellions are invulnerable to economic warfare because they have no economy, that they are parasitic on those they would overthrow. The fools merely fail to assess the coin in which they must inevitably pay. The pattern is inexorable in its degenerative failures. You see it repeated in the systems of slavery, of welfare states, of caste-ridden religions, of socializing bureaucracies in any system which creates and maintains dependencies. Too long a parasite and you cannot exist without a host. -The Stolen Journals, "God Emperor of Dune" Humans live best when each has his place to stand, when each knows where he belongs in the scheme of things and what he may achieve. Destroy the place and you destroy the person. - Bene Gesserit Teaching, "Heretics Of Dune" There was this drylander who was asked which was more important, a literjon of water or a vast pool of water? The drylander thought a moment and then said: "The literjon is more important. No single person could own a great pool of water. But a literjon you could hide under your cloak and run away with it. No one would know." - Jokes Of Ancient Dune, Bene Gesserit Archive, "Heretics Of Dune" The worst potential competition for any organism can come from its own kind. The species consumes necessities. Growth is limited by that necessity which is present in the least amount. The least favorable condition controls the rate of growth. (Law of the Minimum) - Laws Of Arrakis, "Heretics Of Dune" The basic rule is this: Never support weakness; always support strength. -The Bene Gesserit Coda, "Heretics of Dune" Historians exercise great power and some of them know it. They recreate the past, changing it to fit their own interpretations. Thus, they change the future as well. - Leto II, "Heretics of Dune" Justice? Who asks for justice. We make our own justice. We make it here on Arrakis - win or die. Let us not rail about justice as long as we have arms and the freedom to use them. - Leto I, Bene Gesserit Archives, "Heretics of Dune" All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. - Missionaria Protectiva, "Heretics of Dune" Education is no substitute for intelligence. That elusive quality is defined only in part by puzzle-solving ability. It is in the creation of new puzzles reflecting what your senses report that you round out the definitions. - Mentat Text One, "Heretics of Dune" Some never participate. Life happens to them. They get by on little more than dumb persistence and resist with anger or violence all things that might lift them out of resentment-filled illusions of security. - Alma Mavis Taraza, "Heretics of Dune" *

"A beginning is a very delicate time. Know then, that it is the year 10,191. The known Universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, my father. In this time, the most precious substance in the Universe is the spice Melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel. The spacing guild and its navigators whom the spice has mutated over 4,000 years, use the orange spice gas which gives them the ability to fold space, that is, travel to any part of the Universe without moving.
Oh yes, I forgot to tell you. The spice exists on only one planet in the entire Universe. A desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the rocks of the deserts are a people known as the Fremen who have long held a prophecy that a man would come... a messiah, who would lead them to true freedom. The planet is Arrakis... also known as Dune"

- Opening line to film, spoken by Princess Irulan. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of saphoo that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. - Piter De Vried It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. - The Mentat Programming Mantra *

When a wise man does not understand, he says: “I do not understand.” The fool and the uncultured are ashamed of their ignorance. They remain silent when a question could bring them wisdom.

Which is the better: a good friend, a good heart, a good eye, a good neighbor, a good wife, or understanding of consequences? It is none of these. A warm and sensitive soul which knows the worth of fellowship and the price of the individual dignity - this is best. They are a torture, my memories, a lovely torture. There was never a greater anit-Irish bigot than Shakespeare. He was the ultimate Elizabethan jackanapes, a perfect reflection of British bigotry. They justified themselfs on the grounds of religion. The Reformation! That's were they begian their policy of exterminating the Irish. Back then we learned the bitter truth: England's enemy is Ireland's friend. I have always felt a certain horror in political economists, since I heard one of them say that he feared the famine of 1848 in Ireland would not kill more than a million prople, and that would scarcely be enough to do much good. One of the key characteristics of an elite corps is its susceptibility to those more powerful than itself. Elite power is naturally attracted to a power hierarchy and fits itself neatly, obediently into the one that promises the most personal benefits. Here is the Achilles' heel of armies, police and bureaucracies. The failure of civilization can be detected by the gap between public and private morality. The wider the gap, the nearer the civilization to final dissolution I play the song to which you must dance. To you is left the freedom of improvisation. This improvisation is what you call free will. Even the seemingly immortal gods survive only as long as they are required by mortal men. Evil is in the eye of the beholder. The gods do not limit men. Men limit men. Every defense minister in the solor system knows the economic realities. While robots can function well in some combat situations, human troops have become easier and cheaper to replace. Under public pressure to presrve human life, democracies use some robotroops, but the chinese are under no such restrictions. Their severe overpopulation makes the decision purely economic. Because we cannot match them soldier for soldier, we must rely on superior strategy. All the wisdom of the universe cannot match the alert willingness to dodge a violent blow. The value of self government at an individual level cannot be overestimated. All sentient beings are created unequal. The nest society provides each with equal opportunity to float at his own level. The more control, the more that requires control. This is the road to chaos. For the Gowachin, to stand alone against all adveristy is the most sacred moment of existence. "If there is a difference between what is said and what is done, only a fool believes what was said."
        - Frank Herbert (unknown source)

"The mistakes (of leaders) are amplified by the numbers who follow them without question. Charismatic leaders tend to build up followings, power structures and these power structures tend to be taken over by people who are corruptible. I don't think that the old saw about 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely' is accurate: I think power attracts the corruptible."
        - Frank Herbert, BBC interview promoting the Dune

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