Quotes from Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles
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Such a rich store of myths enfolds Paul Muad'dib, the Mentat Emperor, and his
sister, Alia, it is difficult to see the real persons behind these veils.
But there were, after all, a man born Paul Atreides and a woman born Alia.
Their flesh was subject to space and time. And even though their oracular
powers placed them beyond the usual limits of time and space, they came from
human stock. They experienced real events which left real traces upon a real
universe. To understand them, it must be seen that their catastrophe was the
catastrophe of all mankind. This work is dedicated, then, not to Muad'dib or
his sister, but to their heirs -- to all of us.
-- Dedication in the Muad'dib Concordance
as copied from The Tabla Memorium of the Mahdi Spirit Cult
There exists no separation between gods and men:
one blends softly casual into the other.
-- Proverbs of Muad'dib
Every civilization must contend with an unconscious force which can block,
betray or countermand almost any conscious intention of the collectivity.
-- Tleilaxu Theorem (unproven)
The advent of the Field Process shield and the lasgun with their explosive
interaction, deadly to attacker and attacked, placed the current
determinatives, on weapons technology. We need not go into the special role of
atomics. The fact that any Family in my Empire could so deploy its atomics as
to destroy the planetary bases of fifty or more other Families causes some
nervousness, true. But all of us possess precautionary plans for devastating
retaliation. Guild and Landsraad contain the keys which hold this force in
check, No, my concern goes to the development of humans as special weapons.
Here is a virtually unlimited field which a few powers are developing.
-- Muad'dib: Lecture to the War College from The Stilgar Chronicle
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
-- Words of Muad'dib by Princess Irulan.
"Once more the drama begins."
-- The Emperor Paul Muad'dib on his ascension to the Lion Throne
Truth suffers from too much analysis.
-- Ancient Fremen Saying
The Fremen see her as the Earth Figure, a demigoddess whose special charge is
to protect the tribes through her powers of violence. She is Reverend Mother to
their Reverend Mothers. To pilgrims who seek her out with demands that she
restore virility or make the barren fruitful, she is a form of antimentat.
She feeds on that proof that the "analytic" has limits. She represents ultimate
tension. She is the virgin-harlot -- witty, vulgar, cruel, as destructive in
her whims as a coriolis storm.
-- St. Alia of the Knife as taken from The Irulan Report
The most dangerous game in the universe is to govern from an oracular base.
We do not consider ourselves wise enough or brave enough to play that game.
The measures detailed here for regulation in lesser matters are as near as
we dare venture to the brink of government. For our purposes, we borrow a
definition from the Bene Gesserit and we consider the various worlds as gene
pools, sources of teachings and teachers, sources of the possible. Our goal
is not to rule, but to tap these gene pools, to learn, and to free ourselves
from all restraints imposed by dependency and government.
-- "The Orgy as a Tool of Statecraft," Chapter Three of The Steersman's Guild
Here lies a toppled god --
His fall was not a small one.
We did but build his pedestal,
A narrow and a tall one.
-- Tleilaxu Epigram
I think what a joy it is to be alive, and I wonder if I'll ever leap inward
to the root of this flesh and know myself as once I was. The root is there.
Whether any act of mine can find it, that remains tangled in the future.
But all things a man can do are mine. Any act of mine may do it.
-- The Ghola Speaks Alia's Commentary
"You do not beg the sun for mercy."
-- Maud'dib's Travail from The Stilgar Commentary
"I've had a bellyful of the god and priest business! You think I don't see my
own mythos? Consult your data once more, Hayt. I've insinuated my rites into
the most elementary human acts. The people eat in the name of Muad'dib! They
make love in my name, are born in my name -- cross the street in my name.
A roof beam cannot be raised in the lowliest hovel of far Gangishree
without invoking the blessing of Muad'dib!"
-- Book of Diatribes from The Hayt Chronicle
Oh, worm of many teeth,
Canst thou deny what has no cure?
The flesh and breath which lure thee
To the ground of all beginnings
Feed on monsters twisting in a door of fire!
Thou hast no robe in all thy attire
To cover intoxications of divinity
Or hide the burnings of desire!
-- Wormsong from the Dunebook
The audacious nature of Muad'dib's actions may be seen in the fact that He knew
from the beginning whither He was bound, yet not once did He step aside from
that path. He put it clearly when He said: "I tell you that I come now to my
time of testing when it will be shown that I am the Ultimate Servant."
Thus He weaves all into One, that both friend and foe may worship Him.
It is for this reason and this reason only that His Apostles prayed: "Lord,
save us from the other paths which Muad'dib covered with the Waters of His Life."
Those "other paths" may be imagined only with the deepest revulsion.
-- from The Yiam-el-Din (Book of Judgment)
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
-- from The Tlielaxu Godbuk
Production growth and income growth must not get out of step in my Empire.
That is the substance of my command. There are to be no balance-of-payment
difficulties between the different spheres of influence. And the reason for
this is simply because I command it. I want to emphasize my authority in this
area. I am the supreme energy-eater of this domain, and will remain so, alive
or dead. My Government is the economy.
-- Order in Council The Emperor Paul Muad'dib
The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from
ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of
one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a
difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy.
Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of
power over another the ultimate assumption remains: "I feed on your energy."
-- Addenda to Orders in Council The Emperor Paul Muad'dib
He has gone from Alia,
The womb of heaven!
Holy, holy, holy!
Fire-sand leagues
Confront our Lord.
He can see
Without eyes!
A demon upon him!
Holy, holy, holy
He solved for
-- The Moon Falls Down Songs of Muad'dib
Tibana was an apologist for Socratic Christianity, probably a native of IV
Anbus who lived between the eight and ninth centuries before Corrino, likely in
the second reign of Dalamak. Of his writings, only a portion survives from
which this fragment is taken: "The hearts of all men dwell in the same
-- from The Dunebuk of Irulan
The sequential nature of actual events is not illuminated with lengthy
precision by the powers of prescience except under the most extraordinary
circumstances. The oracle grasps incidents cut out of the historic chain.
Eternity moves. It inflicts itself upon the oracle and the supplicant alike.
Let Muad'dib's subjects doubt his majesty and his oracular visions.
Let them deny his powers. Let them never doubt Eternity.
-- The Dune Gospels
There exists a limit to the force even the most powerful may apply without
destroying themselves. Judging this limit is the true artistry of government.
Misuse of power is the fatal sin. The law cannot be a tool of vengeance,
never a hostage, nor a fortification against the martyrs it has created.
You cannot threaten any individual and escape the consequences.
-- Muad'dib on Law, The Stilgar Commentary
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.
He 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
No bitter stench of funeral-still for Muad'dib.
No knell nor solemn rite to free the mind
From avaricious shadows.
He is the fool saint,
The golden stranger living forever
On the edge of reason.
Let your guard fall and he is there!
His crimson peace and sovereign pallor
Strike into our universe on prophetic webs
To the verge, of a quiet glance -- there!
Out of bristling star-jungles:
Mysterious, lethal, an oracle without eyes,
Catspaw of prophecy, whose voice never dies!
Shai-hulud, he awaits thee upon a strand
Where couples walk and fix, eye to eye,
The delicious ennui of love.
He strides through the long cavern of time,
Scattering the fool-self of his dream.
-- The Ghola's Hymn