Quotes from Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles
You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.

294 lines
11 KiB

Those who would repeat the past must control the teaching of history.
-- Bene Gesserit Coda
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their
bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even
while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet,
conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil
and violence.
-- Leto II, the God Emperor
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
Rules build up fortifications behind which small minds create satrapies.
A perilous state of affairs in the best of times, disastrous during crises.
-- Bene Gesserit Coda
We tend to become like the worst in those we oppose.
-- Bene Gesserit Coda
You cannot know history unless you know how leaders move with its currents.
Every leader requires outsiders to perpetuate his leadership. Examine my
career: I was leader and outsider. Do not assume I merely created a
Church-State. That was my function as leader and I copied historical models.
Barbaric arts of my time reveal me as outsider. Favorite poetry: epics.
Popular dramatic ideal: heroism. Dances: wildly abandoned.
Stimulants to make people sense what I took from them. What did I take?
The right to choose a role in history.
-- Leto II (The Tyrant): Vether Bebe Translation
You cannot manipulate a marionette with only one string.
-- The Zensunni Whip
Confine yourself to observing and you always miss the point of your own life.
The object can be stated this way: Live the best life you can. Life is a game
whose rules you learn if you leap into it and play it to the hilt. Otherwise,
you are caught off balance, continually surprised by the shifting play.
Non-players often whine and complain that luck always passes them by. They
refuse to see that they can create some of their own luck.
-- Darwi Odrade
All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological
personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the
corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a
condition to which they are quickly addicted.
-- Missionaria Protectiva, Text QIV (decto)
The writing of history is largely a process of diversion. Most historical
accounts distract attention from the secret influences behind great events.
-- The Bashar Teg
Corruption wears infinite disguises.
-- Tleilaxu Thu-zen
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 definition.
-- Mentat Text One (decto)
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.
-- Mentat Text Two (dicto)
Religion (emulation of adults by the child) encysts past mythologies: guesses,
hidden assumptions of trust in the universe, pronouncements made in search of
personal power, all mingled with shreds of enlightenment. And always an
unspoken commandment: Thou shalt not question! We break that commandment
daily in the harnessing of human imagination to our deepest creativity.
-- Bene Gesserit Credo
Laws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit. This is the fine
point on which all the legal professions of history have based their job
-- Bene Gesserit Coda
We do not teach history; we recreate the experience. We follow the chain of
consequences -- the tracks of the beast in its forest. Look behind our words
and you see the broad sweep of social behavior that no historian has ever
-- Bene Gesserit Panoplia Propheticus
They say Mother Superior can disregard nothing -- a meaningless aphorism
until you grasp its other significance: I am the servant of all my Sisters.
They watch their servant with critical eyes. I cannot spend too much time on
generalities nor on trivia. Mother Superior must display insightful action
else a sense of disquiet penetrates to the farthest corners of our order.
-- Darwi Odrade
All states are abstractions.
-- Octun Politicus, BG Archives
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
To know a thing well, know its limits.
Only when pushed beyond its tolerances will true nature be seen.
-- The Amtal Rule
Do not depend only on theory if your life is at stake.
-- Bene Gesserit Commentary
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 judgmental precedents of law function that way, littering your path with
dead ends. Be warned. Understand nothing. All comprehension is temporary.
-- Mentat Fixe (adacto)
Major flaws in government arise from a fear of making radical internal changes
even though a need is clearly seen.
-- Darwi Odrade
Time does not count itself. You have only to look at a circle and this is
-- Leto II (The Tyrant)
A major concept guides the Missionaria Protectiva: Purposeful
instruction of the masses. This is firmly seated in our belief
that the aim of argument should be to change the nature of truth.
In such matters, we prefer the use of power rather than force.
-- The Coda
The best art imitates life in a compelling way. If it imitates a dream, it
must be a dream of life. Otherwise, there is no place where we can connect.
Our plugs don't fit.
-- Darwi Odrade
Uproot your questions from their ground and the dangling roots will be seen.
More questions!
-- Mentat Zensufi
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 coloration from it. As nearly as we can determine,
there is no natural immunity. Constant alertness is required.
-- The Coda
Give me the judgment of balanced minds in preference to laws every time.
Codes and manuals create patterned behavior. All patterned behavior tends
to go unquestioned, gathering destructive momentum.
-- Darwi Odrade
No sweeteners will cloak some forms of bitterness.
If it tastes bitter, spit it out.
That's what our earliest ancestors did.
-- The Coda
Enter no conflict against fanatics unless you can defuse them.
Oppose a religion with another religion only if your proofs (miracles)
are irrefutable or if you can mesh in a way that the fanatics accept
you as god-inspired. This has long been the barrier to science assuming
a mantle of divine revelation. Science is so obviously manmade.
Fanatics (and many are fanatic on one subject or another) must know where
you stand, but more important, must recognize who whispers in your ear.
-- Missionaria Protectiva, Primary Teaching
We walk a delicate line, perpetuating Atreides (Siona) genes in our population
because that hides us from prescience. We carry the Kwisatz Haderach in that
bag! Willfulness created Muad'Dib. Prophets make predictions come true!
Will we ever again dare ignore our Tao sense and cater to a culture that hates
chance and begs for prophecy?
-- Archival Summary (adixto)
We witness a passing phase of eternity. Important things happen but some
people never notice. Accidents intervene. You are not present at episodes.
You depend on reports. And people shutter their minds. What good are reports?
History in a news account? Preselected at an editorial conference, digested
and excreted by prejudice? Accounts you need seldom come from those who make
history. Diaries, memoirs and autobiographies are subjective forms of special
pleading. Archives are crammed with such suspect stuff.
-- Darwi Odrade
Spend energies on those who make you strong. Energy spent on weaklings drags
you to doom. (HM rule) Bene Gesserit Commentary: Who judges?
-- The Dortujla Record
Ish yara al-ahdab hadbat-u.
(A hunchback does not see his own hunch. -- Folk Saying.)
Bene Gesserit Commentary: The hunch may be seen with
the aid of mirrors but mirrors may show the whole being.
-- The Bashar Teg
Religion must be accepted as a source of energy. It can be directed
for our purposes, but only within limits that experience reveals.
Here is the secret meaning of Free Will.
-- Missionaria Protectiva, Primary Teaching
Our household god is this thing we carry forward generation after generation:
our message for humankind if it matures. The closest thing we have to a
household goddess is a failed Reverend Mother -- Chenoeh there in her niche.
-- Darwi Odrade
When are the witches to be trusted? Never! The dark side of the magic
universe belongs to the Bene Gesserit and we must reject them.
-- Tylwyth Waff, Master of Masters
Seek freedom and become captive of your desires.
Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-- The Coda
Making workable choices occurs in a crucible of informative mistakes.
Thus Intelligence accepts fallibility. And when absolute (infallible)
choices are not known, Intelligence takes chances with limited data in
an arena where mistakes are not only possible but also necessary.
-- Darwi Odrade
Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know.
-- Zensunni koan
Answers are a perilous grip on the universe. They can appear sensible yet
explain nothing.
-- The Zensunni Whip
Battle? There's always a desire for breathing space motivating it somewhere.
-- The Bashar Teg
Do not be quick to reveal judgment. Hidden judgment often is more potent.
It can guide reactions whose effects are felt only when too late to divert them.
-- Bene Gesserit Advice to Postulants
Looked at one way, the universe is Brownian movement, nothing predictable at
the elemental level. Muad'Dib and his Tyrant son closed the cloud chamber
where movement occurred.
-- Stories from Gammu
What do Holy Accidents teach? Be resilient. Be strong.
Be ready for change, for the new. Gather many experiences
and judge them by the steadfast nature of our faith.
-- Tleilaxu Doctrine
When you think to take determination of your fate into your own hands,
that is the moment you can be crushed. Be cautious. Allow for surprises.
When we create, there are always other forces at work.
-- Darwi Odrade
There's no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.
-- Darwi Odrade
Paired opposites define your longings and those longings imprison you.
-- The Zensunni Whip