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The Enlightenment Trinity


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This essay was given to me by TMA-1. It's based on a discussion we had over IM. I think it is extreemly interesting, and has great potential for starting a discussion. With TMA's permission, I have added a few of my own points to it.


The Enlightenment Trinity

By Titus (TMA) and Adrian (Vanguard3000)

The Bene Gesserit had their genetics program, and physical abilities to attain complete control of the body.

The Spacing Guild had it's forced spice mutation, and geriatric abilities to live for aeons in pure spice gas.

The mentat order had a system of human mechanics that enabled them to function as organic computers.

These are the primary three schools of thinking after the forced dark age of the jihad. Though it didnt last long, This shallow time had to find ways to regain the depth that it once had with thinking machines. Instead of the focus of IXION, the wheel of mechanics and digital blockiness, CERES became the culture concept which was based on more natural ideals of fluid and adaptational modes. These ideals grew organic alternatives to the technologies and sciences of the past. This forced news methods of thought that enabled mankind to adapt to a world that needed to focus primarily on natural ways of enlightenment and advancement. The three surviving schools are the three doors of enlightenment. They all hold the keys to the barrier that the Bene Gesserit always refer to. the place where you can be many places at once.

The Guild could do this by their natural prescient abilities. Though it is limited, they have probably come closest to the all knowing ways of the Kwisatz Haderach. Through the spice melange, humans could mutate and grow centers of the brain that enabled an enhanced view of time-space. in the DE it is called the K-K complex of the brain.

The Bene Gesserit adapted man by a slow process of gene manipulation. This as well as focusing on ways to find complete control over the body and to become independent of ones own instinct. They could only go so far though with gene manipulation, and needed a male (thousands of years later a female) in order to fulfill the ability of a full all knowing mind.

As a side note, the Bene Tlailax, like the Bene Gesserit, tried to adapt themselves through eugenics. Although the means were different from those of the Bene Gesserit, the ideal end was the same. The Tleilaxu themselves had created a Kwisatz Haderach which, like Paul, was a failure in the eyes of it's creator.

The Mentats could also find ways to enter this state of full consciousness. It is not well known by people, but it is talked about in Children of Dune, and even in Dune messiah. Duncan could not have regained his memories without the ability to enter the "hall of mirrors". This could only be achieved through a keen mentat mind. Also, Miles Teg talks about going through the same transendant thought.

From what I can see, all three schools hold various keys to this ability to be in many places at once, which the Bene Gesserit refer to as the Kwisatz Haderach, as I have stated before. You may ask how I can base this hypothosis in the dune universe.

Not only does it make sense and fit many of the holes of mystery in the Dune universe in my opinion, but also it can be seen with Paul Atreides himself. It stated in Dune that he formally was going to go into training as mentat. He had capabilities that mentats had, and could use the ability of mentats to enter the hall of mirrors, a state of metaphysical thought where time-space becomes irrelavent. He also was trained in many of the Bene Gesserit ways of mind and body control, and was obviously a true Kwisatz Haderach, genetically "superhuman" and able to use his new mutated genes in order to transend the thoughts of normal humans. Remember even before he transmuted the water of life, he had visions and dreams.

and with that transmutation comes the key to the Spacing Guild's ability to see presciently. Paul was able to with Bene Gesserit teachings, and the mentat control of mind, change the water of life. This is true spice essense, and altered his body to enable him to see beyond the bounds of a genetically inferior Guild steersmen. He did not need to mutate into a new creature, he had the three keys. The mind of a mentat to enter the "hall of mirrors", the Bene Gesserit body and mind control, as well as the genetics, and also the spice baptism that in similar ways the navigators go through in order to become prescient.

I hope this makes sense and will have to restudy the books in order to delve deeper into this hypothosis, but I hope this enlightens some people at fed2k.

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As you can see, the abilities to enter into an enlightened path are limitless. It all depends on the genetic makeup though. This also goes with another theory which states that all of the ancient genius' like joshua, albert, isaac, gautama, mahmud, and others were genetic mysteries. They were in a sense quasi KHs. They were empowered with a freak genetic makeup that enabled them to see beyond. The focus of the bene gesserit though was to breed a man of enlightenment, and through the ignorance of many, the various keys to enlightenment were lost to people. People forgot that the person did not only need to be a genetically superior being, but he also had to transmute a poison in order to attain full control of the body, as well as taking the space-time amplifier which is the melange. Not only all of this, but he needed to have the mind of a mentat. The brain that can compute and organize the massive data which he would recieve. Mentats have actually "worked out" their brain. Through extensive training they build millions upon millions of new pathways in the brain. Paul was to be trained as a mentat and had the mind of one. He also took the holy spice, as well as being born of almost perfect genetic stock. People need to see that there isnt just one part, but many in order to attain and sustain the powers of seeing in all places at once.

The DE is my inspiration for much of these ideas, I credit the info on mentats as well as the dune terrot. many many more.

I will obviously have disagreements, but I feel that this is a good idea fundimentally.

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Very interesting indeed.

I totally agree with the theory and the arguments, and yet I think you may miss a very important point: the Kwisatz Haderach is a failure because elitism is a failure (and a sin).

My opinion is that Frank Herbert is elitist but only for epic and entertainment purpose. His actual position is much more ecologist, constantly emphazing the importance of the small. Surviving in the Dune universe may appear a matter of super-genes, super-education and super-powers, what actually makes the difference is attention paid to the small.

It can't be denied the Kwisatz Haderach is the product of accumulated scholastics. Yet I don't really think schools are doors to enlightment, they are rather doors to blindness, they are the immutable academic aristocracy. Their power is no more legitimate so the mission of the Kwisatz Haderach is not to serve them but to control their abusive influence. May be the Guild has some enligthment in the David Lynch movie, but in the novels both Bene Gesserit and Guild are totally blind, having all powers and yet losing any control (quite a poor performance). Pointing Jessica as the source of the failure is a poor attempt to hide how vain and illusive is the notion of eugenism. Eugenism is determinism, and determinism is death. So not surprising the Kwisatz Haderach has to restore life and fight against determinism using its very weapons including genes, education and prescience. Of course the Kwisatz Haderach also fails, he knows he can't defeat death, but at least he guarantees some place for life, despite the eugenics program (= death program) of the mighty ones.

When you write words like "genetically superior", you seems to use them in a Sci-Fi context, and seem to ignore what is the historical perspective when Frank Herbert writes the Dune novel. You just retain the idea as seductive, you never mention it as dangerous.

Of course you make sense, of course entering a "hall of mirrors" means to "be many places at once". But in my opinion you overestimate the fascinating possibility of seeing future, a possibility that in the books only makes sense when also seeing past and remembering millions of deaths. If you don't remember millions of deaths, then why would you drink water of life?

When one knows the novels as you do (much better than i do) than he is tempted to continue the experience by exploiting derivatives like Dune Encyclopedia. In my opinion having access to richfull information does not mean richfull ideas, I would prefer reexposure to the novels rather than studying DE.

You gave interesting new insights for me.

Just the elitist way you interpret them does not fit easily in my own comprehension of the novels.

I give you credit for better explaining the expected KH than I could.

But do you explain the actual KH? I don't think so, the actual KH can't be THAT.

You relate the right facts, give the right insights, but with the wrong perspective. Who is enlighted is not the Bene Gesserit that wants the end of humanity by the means of eugenics but Jessica that offers some alternative to this nightmare. Despite her great sense of duty, she preferes love rather than eugenics. Just like Virgo, she appears faulty at first, but finally is mother of the savior.

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good good good post man.lol you made it worth all the time nobody else posted.hehe

I totally agree with you and maybe should have clarified. remember that elitism is the nature of things. I agree that it is wrong, and obviously frank thought so too, but breaking elitism wasent the central point. It was a strong point though. Notice that there are specific ages. post jihad, post messianic, post tyrannical, and others. They all rise and fall, and seem to fall because of a fundimental flaw in the idea of "genetic supermen" and "religious heroes". See, these men and women, no matter how perfect they are, are naturally "sinners". They make mistakes and that is the most dangerous thing of all! think about this, me and you can make mistakes and those reprocussions are only as big as the size of the mistake and the amount of environment we control. Think of a mistake made by a man or woman that controls the universe, that sees in all places at once. Even though it is possible to see in many places at once, that doesnt guarintee perfection. In the case of Paul the long expected one, he recieved omniscience, but had no real idea how to use it, and in the end was too afraid to do so.

Your totally right and it was my fault for not adressing the issue you brought up. If only more people would post stuff like this on the duniverse boards. good stuff man.

enlightenment isnt always a good thing. Remember Adam, he opened his eyes by eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit was not the catalyst, but the act of independance itself. and by doing the deed, so he broke the cardinal sin.

Knowledge is power, but it indeed increases sorrow.

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I am also glad to see not all motivated threads are spoiled by junk replies.

Yes, mistakes of Dune super-beings are super-mistakes.

But super-beings do not choose to be so, they humanly face the responsability they are given.

On the contrary BG has the pretention to define and create humanity, which in my opinion is the ultimate sin.

Whatever disastrous is a mistake I think it can't be compared to this sin.

Now consider the other schools.

On the one hand, as mentionned, they hold part of the key, on the other hand they also hold part of the sin.

Tleilaxus are even worse than BG, they don't respect integrity of the body and shape humans as a customer service.

The mentat order turns the human brain into a computing machine, according to me that is greater sin than thinking machines.

same with the Guild: it uses spice to mutate human body into a more usage-specific form.

As a consequence of the Butlerian Jihad, any education, any training, any ability in the Dune universe shapes the human body to be more usage-specific. But being usage-specific is being a machine. The Butlerian Jihad that is supposed to be violence against machines is actually violence against humans.

In my opinion disasters in Dune novels are more consequences of pushing human limits than consequences of human limits themselves.

May be competition and elitism is the only available system, yet it is not a desirable one.

Back to the original topic.

Yes, there is a strong similarity between BG, Guild and mentat abilities, all of them imply wider perception, wider consciousness, wider control. All of them imply spice, and of course spice is control. The KH acquires control though time and space to the point he is no more human, he is history. All writers have personified love and other basic concepts but Frank Herbert was may be the first that has personified history.

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you have to understand though. After the jihad, organic methods of advancment took place technological ones. I suggest seeing my old thread that dealt with the assumption that the jihad never happened. It goes into a lot of stuff that I dont want to explain because I am lazy.lol

See, the use and advancment of the flesh was by some considered a godly thing to do. it was a promotion and elevation of the physical which God created.

Most didnt look upon it as a particularly wonderful thing at all though, but you see this is where human nature comes into play. you need something to replace machines! lol this is what they thought. It doesnt matter how twisted their organic creations were, it was not against the jihad, and because of the great religious stigma of machines, these organic counterparts were looked upon as okay.

Though you have great points, the problem is you are expressing how you feel about the morals of the books. and I agree with them by the way, but you cant place a value judgement during a discussion like this. It is like studying history, when in the full intellectual paradigm of thinking about and studying history, you have to take all personal bias' out of your mind and study objectively. thats how I see it at least.

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Body, mind and will. Saint Augustine's trinity, and what many said as being what forms a man. And for those who study further, it may very well have a link to the Catholic (Holy Spirit, Father, Son) and platonician (beauty, good, truthful) trinities.

Would have Herbert seen this, built the KH from a perfection on the three aspects that form a human?

Body = Genes thus BG

Mind = Mentats!!

Will = Concept of spice, history nexus, future, etc., thus the Guild ans spice

So the KH would be a man with an incredible strength on the three aspects forming a man!!

Comments?? Woa... you guys made me see something...

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interesting stuff man! never thought about the trinity of the soul, but makes a hell of a lot of sense. the focal powers are threefold in the idea you have made and it makes total sense with how I see it. righteous :)

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Though you have great points, the problem is you are expressing how you feel about the morals of the books. and I agree with them by the way, but you cant place a value judgement during a discussion like this. It is like studying history, when in the full intellectual paradigm of thinking about and studying history, you have to take all personal bias' out of your mind and study objectively. thats how I see it at least.

Thanks for your insistance, may be this time I understand: the quest for the KH is not an eugenics project, but a one-man replacement for many thinking machines.

I am right now?

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I would have thaught otherwise... With a guy like that, you can bring a jihad, or exactly what comes with that girl to which worms obey. You create a religion and drive the whole humanity the way you want. At the same time, there's also the genetical thing, permitting to continue this line and create a new breed of humans that would all direct mankind in the way I just mentioned (like Paul did, perhaps just diffrently and with different goals), bringing mankind the wanted way.

What do you think was the BG's idea with the KH?

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your missing the point. You bring totally valid ideas, but are not on the same direction. what spiceguid meant was that the bene gesserit needed ways to see beyond. Instead of asking why and the reason behind creating a messiah, focus on what we have been talking about, which is why were the great schools formed in the first place?

they were formed to reeducate the elite after the jihad. It was to replace the hollow shell of what was technology. The KH is just a result of wanting to protect the school and advance theirr ideology to the limit of understanding.

surre they created the KH for power, but that is not the point of what me and spiceguid were getting at. We were in a sense saying, why was the school founded in the first place, and what are the roots for the reasoning that they had? the bene gesserit was founded in order to reenglighten where there was a loss of enlightenment. the KH was just a result of their studies of enlightenment. Though the idea of a kh existed before the jihad, it really wasen placed in so much influence till the jihad simmeed down andd things were protected then.

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Ok, so basically the schools were created in reaction to the Jihad and Paul is somehow the ultimate result of these un-tech schools. He also is a serious strength against technology, thus against Ix. If men gets stronger in this sense, then it's a serious problem for Ix and all the technological and un-human side.

Is that what you meant or is there more? This renews my interest into the subject :)

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nah not against Ix really, though dont get me wrong, he was. Its just that the problems concerning machines is not a paramount one during the time of Paul. It wasent of prime focus because frankly the Ixians did not hold any sort of true monopoly. The focus was on igger enemies. It is just that the root reason why the schools were made was to respond to the mental numbness caused by the jihad.

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