No matter how exotic human civilisation 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.
The prophet is not diverted by illusions of past, present and future. The fixity of language determines such linear distinctions. Prophets hold a key to the lock in language. The mechanical image remains only an image to them. This is not a mechanical universe. The linear progression of events is imposed by the observer. Cause and effect? That’s not it at all. The prophet utters fateful words. You glimpse a things “destined to occur”. But the prophetic instant releases something of infinite portent and power. The universe undergoes a ghostly shift. The wise prophet conceals actuality behind shimmering labels. The uninitiated then believe the prophetic language is ambiguous. The listener distrusts the prophetic messenger. Instinct tells you how the utterance blunts the power of such words. The best prophets lead you up to the curtain and let you peer through it yourself.
The realisation of what I am occurs in the timeless awareness which does not accumulate nor discard, which does not stimulate or delude. I create a field without self or centre, a field where even death becomes an analogy. I desire no results. I merely permit this field which has no goals nor desires, no perfections nor even visions of achievements. In that field, omnipresent primal awareness is all. It is the light which pours through the windows of my universe.
The singular multiplicity of the universe draws my deepest attention. It is a thing of ultimate beauty.
Some never participate. Life happens to them. They get by on little more than dumb persistence and resist with anger or violence all that might lift them out of resentment filled illusions of security.
Ready comprehension is often a knee jerk response and the most dangerous form of understanding. It blinks an opaque screen over your ability to learn. The judgemental precedents of law function that way, littering your path with dead ends. Understand nothing. All comprehension is temporary.
Humans are born with a susceptibility to that most persistent and debilitating disease of intellect: self deception. The best of all possible worlds and the worst get their dramatic colouration from it. As nearly as we can determine there is no natural immunity. Constant alertness is required.
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 totally ignorant.
The writing of history is largely a process of diversion. Most historical accounts distract attention from the secret influences behind great events.
A Fremen dies when he is too long from the desert. We call this the water sickness.
The future of prescience cannot always be locked into the rules of the past. The threads of existence tangle according to many unknown laws. Prescient future insists on its own rules. It will not conform to the ordering of the Zensunni nor of science. Prescience builds a relative integrity. It demands the work of this instant, always warning that you cannot weave every thread into the fabric of the past.
Church and state, scientific reason and faith, the individual and his community, even progress and tradition- all these can be reconciled in the teachings of Muad’Dib. He taught us that there exists no intransigent opposites except in the beliefs of man. Anyone can rip aside the veil of Time. You can discover the future in the past or in your own imagination. Doing this you win back your consciousness in your inner being. You know then that the universe is a coherent whole and you are indivisible from it.
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.
You will learn the integrated communication methods as you complete the next step in your mental education. This is a gestalten function which will overlay data paths in your awareness, resolving complexities and masses of input from the mentat index-catalogue techniques which you have already mastered. Your initial problem will be the breaking tensions arising from the divergent assembly of minutiae/data on specialized subjects. Be warned. Without mentat overlay integration, you can be immersed in the Babel Problem, which is the label we give to the omnipresent dangers of achieving wrong combinations from accurate information.
–The Mentat Handbook
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true or false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.
–The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica
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 his 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 a 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
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 understand what is meant by “life and death.” Understanding this, you will be filled with joy.
–Muad’Dib to his Fedaykin
At the age of fifteen, he had already learned silence.
–from “A Child’s History of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan
Many have marked the speed with which Muad’Dib learned the necessities of Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit, of course, know the basis of this speed. For the others, we can say that Muad’Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It’s shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad’Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
–from “The Humanity of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan
A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Muad’Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad’Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.
–from “Manual of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan
My father once told me that respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. “Something cannot emerge from nothing,” he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable “the truth” can be.
–from “Conversations with Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan
Prophecy and prescience–How can they be put to the test in the face of the unanswered questions? Consider: How much is actual prediction of the “wave form” (as Muad’Dib referred to his vision-image) and how much is the prophet shaping the future to fit the prophecy? What of the harmonics inherent in the act of prophecy? Does the prophet see the future or does he see a line of weakness, a fault or cleavage that he may shatter with words or decisions as a diamond-cutter shatters his gem with a blow of a knife?
–“Private Reflections on Muad’Dib” by the princess Irulan
God created Arrakis to train the faithful.
–from “The Wisdom of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan