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 security.
        -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 touched.
        -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 it 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 apparent.
        -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 whith another religion only if your proffs (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 man-made. 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 Dortjula 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 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 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

last modified 4 February 2002