Explosions are also compressions of time. Observable changes in the natural universe all are explosive to some degree and from some point of view; otherwise you would not notice them. Smooth Continuity of change, if slowed sufficiently, goes without notice by observers whose time/attention span is too short. Thus, I tell you, I have seen changes you would never have marked.
The existence of no-ships raises the possibility of destroying entire planets without retaliation. A large object, asteroid or equivalent, may be sent against the planet. Or the people can be set against each other by sexual subversion, and then can be armed to destroy themselves. These Honored Matres appear to favor this latter technique.
-Bene Gesserit Analysis
Humans live best when each has his place to stand, when each knows where he belongs in the scheme of things and what he may achieve. Destroy the place and you destroy the person.
-Bene Gesserit Teaching
Has not religion claimed a patent on creation for all of these millennia?
-The Tleilaxu Question,
from Muad'dib Speaks
Some days it's melange; some days it's bitter dirt.
The trouble with some kinds of warfare (and be certain the Tyrant knew this, because it is implicit in his lesson) is that they destroy all moral decency in susceptible types. Warfare of these kinds will dump the destroyed survivors back into an innocent population that is incapable of even imagining what such returned soldiers might do.
-Teachings of the Golden Path,
Bene Gesserit Archives
Ten thousand years since Leto II began his metamorphosis from human into the sandworm of Rakis and historians still argue over his motives. Was he driven by the desire for long life? He lived more than ten times the normal span of three hundred SY, but consider the price he paid. Was it the lure of power? He is called the Tyrant for good reason, but what did power bring him that a human might want? Was he driven to save humankind from itself? We have only his own words about his Golden Path to answer this and I cannot accept the self-serving records of Dar-es-Balat. Might there have been other gratifications, which only his experiences would illuminate? Without better evidence the question is moot. We are reduced to saying only that "He did it!" The physical fact alone is undeniable.
-The Metamorphosis of Leto II
Peroration by Gaus Andaud
Technology, in common with many other activities, tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. Capital investment follows this rule, since people generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice.
-Assessment of Ix,
Bene Gesserit Archives
In my estimation, more misery has been created by reformers than by any other force in human history. Show me someone who says, "Something must be done!" and I will show you a head full of vicious intentions that have no other outlet. What we must strive for always! is to find the natural flow and go with it.
-The Reverend Mother Taraza,
BG File GSXXMAT9
The Tleilaxu secret must be in their sperm. Our tests prove that their sperm does not carry forward in a straight genetic fashion. Gaps occur. Every Tleilaxu we have examined has hidden his inner self from us. They are naturally immune to an Ixian Probe! Secrecy at the deepest levels, that is their ultimate armor and their ultimate weapon.
-Bene Gesserit Analysis,
The outer surface of a balloon is always larger than the center of the damned thing! That's the whole point of the Scattering!
-Bene Gesserit response to an Ixian suggestion that new investigative probes be sent out among the Lost Ones
The failure of CHOAM? Quite simple: They ignore the fact that larger commercial powers wait at the edges of their activities, powers that could swallow them the way a slig swallows garbage. This is the true threat of the Scattering—to them and to us all.
-Bene Gesserit Council notes,
At the quantum level our universe can be seen as an indeterminate place, predictable in a statistical way only when you employ large enough numbers. Between that universe and a relatively predictable one where the passage of a single planet can be timed to a picosecond, other forces come into play. For the in-between universe where we find our daily lives, that which you believe is a dominant force. Your beliefs order the unfolding of daily events. If enough of us believe, a new thing can be made to exist. Belief structure creates a filter through which chaos is sifted into order.
-Analysis of the Tyrant,
the Taraza File:
Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent mutual regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it.
-Chenoeh: "Conversations with Leto II"
Law always chooses sides on the basis of enforcement power. Morality and legal niceties have little to do with it when the real question is: Who has the clout?
-Bene Gesserit Council Proceedings:
The basic rule is this: Never support weakness; always support strength.
-The Bene Gesserit Coda
Nothing surpasses the complexity of the human mind.
-Leto II: Dar-es-Balat Records
The significant fact is this: No Bene Tleilax female has ever been seen away from the protection of their core planets. (Face Dancer mules who simulate females do not count in this analysis. They cannot be breeders.) The Tleilaxu sequester their females to keep them from our hands. This is our primary deduction. It must also be in the eggs that the Tleilaxu Masters conceal their most essential secrets.
-Bene Gesserit Analysis—
Archives #XOXTM99.... 041
What social inheritances went outward with the Scattering? We know those times intimately. We know both the mental and physical settings. The Lost Ones took with them a consciousness confined mostly to manpower and hardware. There was a desperate need for room to expand driven by the myth of Freedom. Most had not learned the deeper lesson of the Tyrant, that violence builds its own limits. The Scattering was wild and random movement interpreted as growth (expansion). It was goaded by a profound fear (often unconscious) of stagnation and death.
-The Scattering: Bene Gesserit Analysis (Archives)
Liberty and Freedom are complex concepts. They go back to religious ideas of Free Will and are related to the Ruler Mystique implicit in absolute monarchs. Without absolute monarchs patterned after the Old Gods and ruling by the grace of a belief in religious indulgence, Liberty and Freedom would never have gained their present meaning. These ideals owe their very existence to past examples of oppression. And the forces that maintain such ideas will erode unless renewed by dramatic teaching or new oppressions. This is the most basic key to my life.
-Leto. II, God Emperor of Dune:
Quite naturally, holders of power wish to suppress wild research. Unrestricted questing after knowledge has a long history of producing unwanted competition. The powerful want a "safe line of investigations," which will develop only those products and ideas that can be controlled and, most important, that will allow the larger part of the benefits to be captured by inside investors. Unfortunately, a random universe full of relative variables does not insure such a "safe line of investigations."
-Assessment of Ix, Bene Gesserit Archives
Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?
-A Guide to Trial and Error in Government,
Bene Gesserit Archives
The long table on the right is set for a banquet of roast desert hare in sauce cepeda. The other dishes, clockwise to the right from the far end of the table, are aplomage sirian, chukka under glass, coffee with melange (note the hawk crest of the Atreides on the urn), pot-a-oie and, in the Balut crystal bottle, sparkling Caladan wine. Note the ancient poison detector concealed in the chandelier.
-Dar-es-Balat, Description at a Museum Display
People always want something more than immediate joy or that deeper sense called happiness. This is one of the secrets by which we shape the fulfillment of our designs. The something more assumes amplified power with people who cannot give it a name or who (most often the case) do not even suspect its existence. Most people only react unconsciously to such hidden forces. Thus, we have only to call a calculated something more into existence, define it and give it shape, then people will follow.
-Leadership Secrets of the Bene Gesserit
There was this drylander who was asked which was more important, a literjon of water or a vast pool of water? The drylander thought a moment and then said: "The literjon is more important. No single person could own a great pool of water. But a literjon you could hide under your cloak and run away with it. No one would know."
-The Jokes of Ancient Dune,
Bene Gesserit Archives
By your belief in singularities, in granular absolutes, you deny movement, even the movement of evolution! While you cause a granular universe to persist in your awareness, you are blind to movement. When things change, your absolute universe vanishes, no longer accessible to your self-limiting perceptions. The universe has moved beyond you.
-First Draft, Atreides Manifesto
Bene Gesserit Archives
We have long known that the objects of our palpable sense experiences can be influenced by choice—both conscious choice and unconscious. This is a demonstrated fact that does not require that we believe some force within us reaches out and touches the universe. I address a pragmatic relationship between belief and what we identify as "real." All of our judgments carry a heavy burden of ancestral beliefs to which we of the Bene Gesserit tend to be more susceptible than most. It is not enough that we are aware of this and guard against it. Alternative interpretations must always receive our attention.
-Mother Superior Taraza: Argument in Council
This is the awe-inspiring universe of magic: There are no atoms, only waves and motions all around. Here, you discard all belief in barriers to understanding. You put aside understanding itself. This universe cannot be seen, cannot be heard, cannot be detected in any way by fixed perceptions. It is the ultimate void where no preordained screens occur upon which forms may be projected. You have only one awareness here—the screen of the magi: Imagination! Here, you learn what it is to be human. You are a creator of order, of beautiful shapes and system, an organizer of chaos.
-The Atreides Manifesto, Bene Gesserit Archives
This room reconstructs a bit of the desert of Dune. The sandcrawler directly in front of you dates from the Atreides times. Grouped around it, moving clockwise from your left, are a small harvester, a carryall, a primitive spice factory and the other support equipment. All are explained at each station. Note the illuminated quotation above the display: "FOR THEY SHALL SUCK OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE SEAS AND OF THE TREASURE IN THE SAND." This ancient religious quotation was oft repeated by the famous Gurney Halleck.
-Guide Announcement, Museum of Dar-es-Balat
Our fathers ate manna in the desert,
In the burning place where whirlwinds came.
Lord, save us from that horrible land!
Save us, Oh-h-h-h save us
From that dry and thirsty land.
-Songs of Gurney Halleck, Museum of Dar-es-Balat
All organized religions face a common problem, a tender spot through which we may enter and shift them to our designs: How do they distinguish hubris from revelation?
-Missionaria Protectiva, the Inner Teachings
I remember friends from wars all but we forgot.
All of them distilled into each wound we caught.
Those wounds are all the painful places where we fought.
Battles better left behind, ones we never sought.
What is it that we spent and what was it we bought?
-Songs of the Scattering
It is your fate, forgetfulness. All of the old lessons of life, you lose and gain and lose and gain again.
-Leto II, the Voice of Dar-es-Balat
Survival of self, of species, and of environment, these are what drive humans. You can observe how the order of importance changes in a lifetime. What are the things of immediate concern at a given age? Weather? The state of the digestion? Does she (or he) really care? All of those various hungers that flesh can sense and hope to satisfy. What else could possibly matter?
-Leto II to Hwi Noree, His Voice: Dar-es-Balat
There was a man who sat each day looking out through a narrow vertical opening where a single board had been removed from a tall wooden fence. Each day a wild ass of the desert passed outside the fence and across the narrow opening—first the nose, then the head, the forelegs, the long brown back, the hindlegs, and lastly the tail. One day, the man leaped to his feet with the light of discovery in his eyes and he shouted for all who could hear him: "It is obvious! The nose causes the tail!"
-Stories of the Hidden Wisdom,
from the Oral History of Rakis
Historians exercise great power and some of them know it. They recreate the past, changing it to fit their own interpretations. Thus, they change the future as well.
-Leto II, His Voice, from Dar-es-Balat
"I must rule with eye and claw—as the hawk among lesser birds."
-Atreides assertion (Ref: BG Archives)
Memory never recaptures reality. Memory reconstructs. All reconstructions change the original, becoming external frames of reference that inevitably fall short.
Concealed behind strong barriers the heart becomes ice.
-Darwi Odrade, Argument in Council
When strangers meet, great allowance should be made for differences in custom and training.
-The Lady Jessica, from "Wisdom of Arrakis"
May you die on Caladan!
-Ancient Drinking Toast
The worst potential competition for any organism can come from its own kind. The species consumes necessities. Growth is limited by that necessity which is present in the least amount. The least favorable condition controls the rate of growth. (Law of the Minimum)
-From "Lessons of Arrakis"
O you who know what we suffer here, do not forget us in your prayers.
-Sign over Arrakeen Landing Field
(Historical Records: Dar-es-Balat)
The world is for the living. Who are they?
We dared the dark to reach the white and warm.
She was the wind when the wind was in my way.
Alive at noon, I perished in her form.
Who rise from the flesh to spirit know the fall:
The word outleaps the world and light is all.
-Theodore Roethke (Historical Quotations:
Justice? Who asks for justice? We make our own justice. We make it here on Arrakis—win or die. Let us not rail about justice as long as we have arms and the freedom to use them.
-Leto I: Bene Gesserit Archives
We are not looking at a new state of matter but at a newly recognized relationship between consciousness and matter, which provides a more penetrating insight into the workings of prescience. The oracle shapes a projected inner universe to produce new external probabilities out of forces that are not understood. There is no need to understand these forces before using them to shape the physical universe. Ancient metal workers had no need to understand the molecular and submolecular complexities of their steel, bronze, copper, gold, and tin. They invented mystical powers to describe the unknown while they continued to operate their forges and wield their hammers.
-Mother Superior Taraza, Argument in Council
last modified 4 February 2002