The problem of leadership is inevitably: Who will play God?
Muad'Dib, from the Oral History
This wise man observed that wealth is a tool of freedom.
But the pursuit of wealth is the way to slavery.
I have isolated the city-experience within me and have examined
it closely. The idea of a city fascinates me. The formation
of a biological community without a functioning, supportive
social community leads to havoc. Whole worlds have become
single biological communities without an interrelated social
structure and this has always led to ruin. It becomes dramatically
instructive under overcrowded conditions. The ghetto is lethal.
Psychic stresses of overcrowding create pressures which will
erupt. The city is an attempt to manage these forces. The
social forms by which cities make the attempt are worth study.
Remember that there exists a certain malevolence about the
formation of any social order. It is the struggle for existence
by an artificial entity. Despotism and slavery hover at the
edges. Many injuries occur and, thus, the need for laws. The
law develops its own power structure, creating more wounds
and new injustices. Such trauma can be healed by cooperation,
not by confrontation. The summons to cooperate identifies
The Stolen Journals
The assumption that humans exist within an
essentially impermanent universe, taken as an operational
precept, demands that the intellect become a totally aware
from The Book of Leto, After Harq al-Ada
Use me well, for I did love you.
Duncan Idaho to Leto II
There's no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.
The assumption that a whole system can
be made to work better through an assault on its conscious
elements betrays a dangerous ignorance. This has often been
the ignorant approach of those who call themselves scientists
The Butlerian Jihad by Harq al-Ada
The person who takes the banal and ordinary
and illuminates it in a new way can terrify. We do not want
our ideas changed. We feel threatened by such demands. "I
already know the important things!" we say.
Then Changer comes and throws our old ideas away.
The Zensufi Master - Dune
The universe is just there; that's the
only way a Fedaykin can view it and remain the master of his
senses. The universe neither threatens nor promises. It holds
things beyond our sway: the fall of a meteor, the eruption
of a spiceblow, growing old and dying. These are the realities
of this universe and they must be faced regardless of how
you feel about them. You cannot fend off such realities with
words. They will come at you in their own wordless way and
then, then you will So understand what is meant by "life and
death." Understanding this, you will be filled with joy.
Muad'Dib to his Fedaykin - Dune
There exists no separation between gods
and men; one blends softly casual to the other.
Proverbs of Muad'Dib -
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.
Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear - Dune
And he saw the vision of armor. The
armor was not his own skin: it was stronger than plasteel.
Nothing penetrated his armor -- not knife or poison or sand,
not the dust of the desert or its desiccating heat. In his
right hand he carried the power to make the Coriolis storm,
to shake the earth and erode it into nothing. His eyes were
fixed upon the Golden Path and in his left hand he carried
the scepter of absolute mastery. And beyond the Golden Path,
his eyes looked into eternity which he knew to be the food
of his soul and of his everlasting flesh.
Heighia, My Brother's Dream from
the Book of Ghanima - Dune
Humankind periodically goes through
a speedup of its affairs, thereby experiencing the race between
the renewable vitality of the living and the beckoning vitiation
of decadence. In this periodic race, any pause becomes luxury.
Only then can one reflect that all is permitted; all is possible.
The Apocrypha of Muad'Dib
It is by will alone I set my mind in
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 Vries - Dune,
What do you despise? By this are you truly known.
from "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
A sophisticated human can become primitive.
What this really means is that the human's way of life changed.
Old values change, become linked to the landscape with its
plants and animals. This new existence requires a working
knowledge of those multiplex and cross-linked events usually
referred to as nature. It requires a measure of respect, for
the internal power within such natural systems. When a human
gains this working knowledge and respect, that is called "being
primitive." The converse, of course, is equally true: the
primitive can become sophisticated, but not without accepting
dreadful psychological damage.
The Leto Commentary After Harq
al-Ada - Dune
Answers are a perilous grip on the universe.
They can appear sensible yet explain nothing.
The Zensunni Whip - Dune
The writing of history is largely a
process of diversion. Most historical accounts distract attention
from the secret influences behind great events.
The Bashar Miles Teg - Dune
Above all else, the mentat must be a
generalist, not a specialist. It is wise to have decisions
of great moment monitored by generalists. Experts and specialists
lead you quickly into chaos. They are a source of useless
nit-picking, the ferocious quibble over a comma. The mentat-generalist,
on the other hand, should bring to decision-making a healthy
common sense. He must not cut himself off from the broad sweep
of what is happening in this universe. He must remain capable
of saying: "There's no real mystery about this at the moment.
This is what we want now. It may prove wrong later, but we'll
correct that when we come to it." The mentat-generalist must
understand that anything which we can identify as our universe
is merely part of larger phenomena. But the expert looks backward;
he looks into the narrow standards of his own specialty. The
generalist looks outward; he looks for living principles,
knowing full well that such principles change, that they develop.
It is to the characteristics of change itself that the mentat-generalist
must look. There can be no permanent catalogue of such change,
no handbook or manual. You must look at it with as few preconceptions
as possible, asking yourself: "Now what is this thing doing?"
The Mentat Handbook -
Many things we do naturally become difficult
only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is
possible to know so much about a subject that you become ignorant.
Mentat Text Two (decto)
Truth suffers from too much analysis.
Ancient Fremen Saying
The Universe is God's. It is one thing,
a wholeness against which all separations may be identified.
Transient life, even that self-aware and reasoning life which
we call sentient, holds only fragile trusteeship on any portion
of the wholeness.
Commentaries from the C.E.T.
The one-eyed view of our universe says
you must not look far afield for problems. Such problems may
never arrive. Instead, tend to the wold within your fences.
The packs ranging outside may not even exist.
The Azhar Book; Shamra I:4
To know a thing well, know its limits.
Only when pushed beyond its tolerances will true nature be
The Amtal Rule - Dune
Because of the one-pointed Time awareness
in which the conventional mind remains immersed, humans tend
to think of everything in a sequential, word-oriented framework.
This mental trap produces very short-term concepts of effectiveness
and consequences, a condition of constant, unplanned response
Liet-Kynes - Dune
I'm being so candid with you that I
must tell you about my unswerving honesty.
Bene Gesserit Protestation - Chapterhouse Dune
This is the awe-inspiring universe of
magic: There are no atoms, only waves and motions all around.
Here, you discard all belief in barriers to understanding.
You put aside understanding itself. The universe cannot be
seen, cannot be heard, cannot be detected any way by fixed
perceptions. It is the ultimate void where no preordained
screens occur upon which forms may be projected. You have
only one awareness here - the screen of the magi: Imagination!
Here, you learn what it is to be human. You are a creator
of order, of beautiful shapes and systems, an organizer of
The Atreides Manifesto, Bene Gesserit Archives - Dune
Technology, in common with many other activities, tends toward
avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out
if possible. Capital investment follows this rule, since people
generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive
this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and
thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking
ways our universe can throw the dice.
Assessment of Ix, Bene Gesserit Archives - Dune
By your belief in singularities, in granular absolutes, you
deny movement, even the movement of evolution! While you cause
a granular universe to persist in your awareness, you are
blind to movement. When things change, your absolute universe
vanishes, no longer accesible for your self limiting perceptions.
The universe has moved beyond you.
First Draft, Atreides Manifesto, Bene Gesserit Archives -
Quite naturally, holders of power wish to supress wild research.
Unrestricted questing after knowledge has a long history of
producing unwanted competition. The powerful want a "safe
line of investigations," which will develop only those products
and ideas that can be controlled and, most important, that
will allow the larger part of benefits to be captured by inside
investors. Unfortunately, a random universe full of relative
variables does not insure such a "safe line of investigations".
Assesment of Ix, Bene Gesserit Archives - Dune
Paired opposites define your longings and those longings imprison
The Zensunni Whip - 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 - Dune
This was a line whose existence she thought few of her Sisters
suspected. As she crossed it, she realized she has always
known it was there: a place where she
could enter the void and float free. She no longer was vulnerable.
She could be killed but she could not be defeated.
Heretics of Dune
How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his
inner self is telling him.
Uproot your questions from their ground and the dangling roots
will be seen.
Mentat Zensufi - Dune