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In Dune: The concept of human evolution and the idea of chaos.


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in Dune, The Bene Gesserit's selective breeding program is the grand tool. The next great step in which human evolution is achieved. Paul, the Lisan Al-Gaib, is capable of percieving and manipulating higher order dimensions. This allows him not only to mentally drift through the paths of time, but because he can percieve the manifold incarnations of time, he can change the very destiny of humankind. All he required were a few tools. Able bodied men, weathered by a chaotic enviornment, and a religion to bring them to his banner. The awesome idea that Frank brings into play is that Paul comes at a point of time so important for the whole of humanity. It is slowly stagnating by the static grip that the Guild, CHOAM, and the landsraad have had over the whole of humanity. Mankind has been domesticated, and are slowly genetically and culturally being sapped. With the aid of Paul's evolutionary transcendance from the norm of space and time, and the tools of religion and a people hungry for a messiah, He is able to percieve this stagnation and inserts the great variable that holds myriads of variables within itself. He uses war, a religious war, to sweep away the old, and bring in the new. Whats more, this new thing that paul has created is something that is potentially capable of continually evolving into something new at a constant rate. Paul injects the universe with something unique for the time, chaos. Humanity has been controlling itself, controlling its environment for so long that the flow of nature has been derailed. Paul leaves something open that would save humanity, he leaves a variable, a seed that can grow eternal. This variable is many things, the things I have just talked about, and more, but  it is made manifest in his son, the divided god. Leto II would carry this variable and blast it through the prism of chaos, so that mankind would continue to grow, continue to adapt for millions of years to come.

As you can tell, I started breezing through Dune a bit. I havent picked it up in awhile, still love the damned little novel.lol  Had to get that all out. :)

whats new with all of you guys? any of you duniverse junkies been getting anything cool out of the books lately? anyways see you guys around.

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I have always had the impression that Paul, for he most time, feels that there is a greater force than him that he cannot control. He is literally swept away by the flood of Time and he actually realizes that he is not in power to avoid the Jihad-chaos, although he wishes to. It is only his son, Leto II who can truly shape the destiny of mankind.

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I'm inclined to agree. Paul may or may not have recognised the stagnation, but it was Leto who 'corrected' it, for want of a better word. I also think that Paul's jihad was not the starting point for a 'new order.' Indeed, what followed under first Paul and then Alia was less a time of change and more a messy political period. Not to say that Paul was completely superfluous, far from it, but it was his son who really changed things.

I'm reminded of one of Irulan's phrases regarding the old Duke Leto, often overlooked by history. Something along the lines of "What is the son but an extension of the father?" It could be argued that Leto was far more of an influence on Paul's early life than Paul was on his son's, but I like to think that the phrase applies to the next generation as well.

I'm rereading Chapterhouse at the moment, having finished Heretics a few days ago. Am constantly reminded why it is one of my favourites. Anything specific? Well there would be, but memory isn't so great. Maybe once I go through it again...

Heh. Suffice to say that the Bene Gesserit/Tleilaxu interactions on Rakis were most enjoyable.

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My impression, has always been not positive at all about Paul. First he did brought the chaos, when his intention was to bring unity (government of the entire empire). The chaos he brought was not caused voluntary by himself, but it was caused by his inability to administer (and fully understand) the flood and the folds of time. He was overhelmed by something started by himself. In the end, we put on the table, that HE KNEW what was the solution to put and end to all this ("the terrible scope"), and he voluntarly and only FOR FEAR (the second book it's entirly about this fear) he did not choose it. Leto II was a consequence of this fear.

I can say that time adapted itself in order to correct the chaos started by Paul. It cames into the mind a phrase i heard somewhere "time has no paradoxes". Leto II was the "auto-healing" of time.

Paul in the end is only a useless firestarter from one point, and a puppet of time from another point. In this case i extend the concept of TMA1 saying that it was the Time that made Paul born, in order to correct its own stagnation, and made born Leto II in order to balance the "pendulum".

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Ordo ab chao. [forgot to translate: order out of chaos]

I didn't read the books in ages but let's try...

Paul wanted certain things to change, but wanted a perfect Revolution with no blood... ideals worthy of Ghandi.

But he did not see any such paths and reacted to this. He saw he could go for some radical path, but... he was not willing to make go so close to a cold logic, be so close to obeying strictly "what is true" even while seeing the suffering.

He refused to push the machine to its totality, putting all feelings astray by puting thaught totally in command. Leto II coldly did so, as coldly as a worm.

EDIT: "The ends justify the means". That's where Paul cringed.

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hmm I see what you mean 3ngel, but I disagree somewhat. I think that all timelines pointed to the terrible purpose. Paul in Dune constantly tried to find a way out of this, but even when all temporal roads led to darkness, he could still see that the jihad was set in stone. He could do nothing to stop it. I believe that Paul's humanity couldnt see past the mass of bloodshed, and in all reality the jihad was necissary in order to shake the human gene pool into rejuvination. Paul was the hub of a new kind of human consciousness, but he was a beginning, a starting point that contained much (understandable) ignorance. His son, who had a more firm understanding of the paths of time, as well as a stepping stone of understanding by the mistakes of paul, was able to see the golden path as a whole. He took the steps that paul could not take, because he saw all things at the top of the hill, whereas paul could only see the faint horizon of the fates.

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You know TMA, sometimes i forget that Paul could not see the Golden Path. So in this sense he could view from one side the Total Jihad, from another side the "Terrible purpose" that is the trasformation. But he didn't understand the utility of the trasformation, 'cause he could not see very far away from that. Infact in the dialogue with Leto II he said "You could see all that? I didn't see that". Paul was closed into two way: one way to became an aeternal symbol of an infinite blooshell, another way to became something "terrible" he couldn't understand. So in the end he succeded to escape both way becaming nothing more than a blind foreseer. And in fact in the end of the II book he says "I'm free".

So i moderate a little my opionion, 'cause he was justified by the "ignorance" :)

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  • 1 month later...

Seems to me Paul and LetoII are ultimately of the same nature, pretend to be the cure, then become the disease. After all only them can see the mysterious danger. Does it exist at all? Does it exist besides them? May be they are lured and what they foresee is the terrible consequences of their action or inaction, meaning they are the problem not the solution. They can see anything but the obvious: they are hatred for what they are, space-time monsters. I can't see how a space-time devourer can be desirable.

All these delicious introspections inside twisted minds are here so that the reader sides with the baddies and ask himself what reason could be so good that he would crush half of mankind.

When there is only one possible reason: you would crush half of mankind because you have foolishly sided with the baddies.

Think about it: chaos and degenerative racial mix is facist rhetoric before raging war.

Golden Path sounds like Final Solution to me.

At core, Frank Herbert novels are clever parodies of facist propaganda.

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That's the most superficial and erratic opinion ever heard :)

Reread at least 4 times GEOD, before saying such things about "final solution" and all the other silly things :)

But, just to say. At last the cause was Paul, not Leto. Without Paul, there would be no kwisatz, no jihad, not Leto. Why Leto chose his fate? Well i can't find even one reason (and again you read and read all Leto's thougts), except that he was a Fremen and the tribe is above all (the human tribe).

And about the baddies, well i can only say LOL :)

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Of course there is more than that, my opinion is not exclusive, there is facist paranoia and there is myriad of stories, i do not try to belittle TMA interpretation, i actually second it, i agree the facist context is only one story among many parallel stories.

But, just to say. At last the cause was Paul, not Leto.

The cause is Bene Gesserit, deciding who is human and who is not is facism.

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Actually fascism is a political ideology that places complete power in the hands of a single person; quite seperate from any belief that others can be 'less than human.' The two can go together, but are not inherently connected. Besides which, you don't see Bene Gesserit going around killing everyone who would fail their gom jabbar test. Granted all those who failed the test did die, but they didn't force everyone to take it. Usually I believe it was restricted to their own ranks.

Ironic that it should be the Bene Gesserit accused of fascism, when we see in Heretics and Chapterhouse that they could in fact be the most democratic of all the political factions in Dune. Certainly more than either Paul or Leto.

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That's the most superficial and erratic opinion ever heard :)

Reread at least 4 times GEOD, before saying such things about "final solution" and all the other silly things :)

But, just to say. At last the cause was Paul, not Leto. Without Paul, there would be no kwisatz, no jihad, not Leto. Why Leto chose his fate? Well i can't find even one reason (and again you read and read all Leto's thougts), except that he was a Fremen and the tribe is above all (the human tribe).

And about the baddies, well i can only say LOL :)

Actually, without Paul wouldn't there have been a definitive Kwisatz Haderach?

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The cause is Bene Gesserit, deciding who is human and who is not is facism.

The goal of BG is to improve humanity. They don't impose who is human and who is not. The test is a free choice (apart from Paul, but that's a particular case). That's not fascism.

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Improving humanity sounds like christianism, but selective breeding means improving the race, a projet that is facist in nature. The Bene Gesserit is probably well-intentionned and invests massive efforts in education and training programs. The flaw is in the means, that is the secret breeding program.

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Fascists with good intentions were not lacking, breeding being involved or not. I can adapt 3ngel's statement:

[rherotic mode]The goal of fascists is to save Civilization. They don't impose what is Civilization or not. The test is the choice of a nation.[/rhetoric mode]

I think that the borders of fascism is not all that crystal clear and uniform, as for the BG. Fascism is collectivist, and so is the BG but solely within its organism instead of a whole society (although they manipulate and do politics). But this brings that the BG has a "voluntary full commitment" aspect as an army, (theoretically/officially) leaving the others as they will.

Actually, we could also say that any life commitment is obliging as an added "nature". And BG is about a life of full commitment to something, as it was for fascists with the difference that they were also imposing such a commitment to all (or not... as they thought it to be nature, not an added one). The BG would determine who is gom jabbar-proof "fully human" to let him enter and consider him as a brother, while fascism would include everyone to start with and let each to himself as sub-humans would not survive and be dropped from society.

Overall:

Opposite relation between being included/excluded vs. being  brother/stranger. Same full commitment to eugenism, and in both cases with implications and focus on same fields of human's nature and Mankind's future. Yay! (sorry, I loved that)

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Where does it say that Paul doesn't see the golden path?

If anything, the plotline and events that unravel in messiah and CoD point to the fact that paul could indeed see the golden path, but couldn't bring himself to make that ultimate sacrifice, and become something other than human. As scytale says in the beginning of DM, the kwisatz haderach that the tleilaxu made killed himself when they forced him to become something other than the selfdom he had created for himself already. Paul was, if anything, the ultimate human. like that quote from dune, at the beginning of one of the chapters, "the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, more than a man, less than a god." Paul ended up embodying everything about the pinnacle of human development and so, could not make the ultimate decision - to abandon his humanity, not only his emotional but his GENETIC humanity, and literally turn himself into an alien being for the sake of humankind. he had become too bitter with his own godhead by that point to make the choice anyways. What in humanity was worth saving? not even himself, and thus, he walked into the desert, only to survive and finally be forced to accept his fate through his son. perhaps allowing the fremen jihad was his way of attempting the same thing that his son achieved, but without the symbiosis with the sandtrout. of course it failed, but paul had few options at that point....he knew how chani would die, he even thanked irulan at the end for prolonging her life, since he saw her death in the childbirth, and he had already decided not to merge with the sandtrout....even though he knows it's inevitable, he is still shocked when leto explains the process to him....he even asks if it can be somehow undone, knowing the whole tme that humanities fate rests with the golden path. Shows you how truly bitter he became, how much his powers of presience really destroyed his soul. I really think the jihad was just a half-assed attempt at the kind of government and control system that leto ended up achieveing. Paul allowed it to happen because, as the kwisatz haderach, he could not become his "anti" without killing himself, and since he was the ultimate human.......but of course a "normal" emperor, or even a mentat emperor, or even a prescient mentat emperor, is still bound by the limits of a human lifetime, thus the jihad and resulting religious government would never last long enough to enforce the kind of stagnation required over thousands of years to build up a strong urge for expansion and travel in the human psyche.

I also think that the final point herbert tries to drive home is that it is only our senses and our perceptions that order the chaos around us, and through this, we are all gods unto ourselves, able to create anything.

and "selective breeding means improving the race"? since when? selective breeding is just that - selective for certain attributes. race has nothing to do with it, or it might have everythign to do with it, depending on what you may be looking for in a certain breeding pair. it's all arbitrary, based on the needs of a genetic projection that often went 300-400 generations into the future. And let's not forget, the bene gesserit truly lived to serve. they meddled in politics only so far as they needed to serve their breeding purposes, they never actualized or lusted for power for the sake of it. THAT is the true measure of fascism - the TAKING of power, often through violent means, by one person. the only true goal of the sisterhood in the latter-half of the series was to ensure the survival of the species. Sounds pretty beneficient to me.

The real fascist of the series was leto of course, and as he proves many times throughout GeoD, he's the only one qualified to be the ultimate tyrant.

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with the difference that they were also imposing such a commitment to all

THIS is fascism. BG can be considered as any form of community with his own rules, and scopes.

@zenlogic

Paul did not see the Golden Path, 'cause in the final dialogue with Leto he said "Did you see that? I could not see that". And Paul could not see the Golden Path 'cause he was separated from the ultimate essence of the universe. He was an "intruder" in the universe essence so he could only see a portion of it, being the time-space unlimited, and being him limited (because he was not part of the infinity). Leto on the contrary WAS the universe, WAS the space-time.

As a very interisting note, the statement "foreseeing is creating" of the first three books, somehow recalls the first interpretation of the Heisenberg postulate, that is you can't "see" a quantistic particle without altering in the same moment you see it, its original state. So "to see is interfering", sound familiar isn't it? :)

Starting from GEOD Leto understand the real essence of the universe that is a wave like, so the only way to see is to "became" wave. And this is coherent with the second (and right) interpretation of the Heisenberg principle, that is "we can't define the motion (and the state) of a quantistic particle 'cause it's a wave, and of a wave we can know only one dimension (of two) at once." So the only way to know the motion of a particle would be to be wave. We can't be wave. Being wave is being... and Leto was it :)

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  • 1 month later...

I guess you could say it was a final solution on the weak. Really what it boils down to is ultimately prodding humanity into the next stages of evolution.

In fact I have a hairbrained notion that Arrakis was created by an ancient sentient race to key the next stages of evolution for humanity, to transcend from simple four dimensional consciousness.

Kinda like TMA-1 actually... except that was made to spark evolution among a much earlier "cousin" of the sapien family.

funny thing is, I dont really even believe in trans-genus evolution! lol fascinating idea though!

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