Dune Club notes part 8

Continuing from part 7 of the Dune Book Club, run by Comic Book Girl 19.


Source

 

Pages 448-520

 

Notes Before the Twitch Stream

Page 448:

[…] how much is the prophet shaping the future to fit the prophecy? What of the harmonics inherent in the act of prophecy? Does the prophet see the future or does he see a line of weakness, a fault or cleavage that he may shatter with words or decisions as a diamond-cutter shatters his gem with a blow of a knife?

How easily is it for one who sees the future to alter it? Seeing the future could be enough on its own to alter it. It has already been implied in the previous reading section that there was already a missed opportunity, for Paul and Jessica to be with Idaho rather than just by themselves. Seeing the future can be enough to change things for the better, but it could also change things for the worse. And, of course, there’s the question of whether or not Paul is seeing the future at all with this quote, but I would assume he is seeing the future, considering his prediction for being called Muad’dib is pretty damn precise.

It also makes me wonder if quantum physics has gotten into subject matter such as this. I don’t know about future prediction, but they seem to be coming up with way of potentially affecting the past.

Pages 461-462:

“To save one from a mistake is a gift of paradise,” Stilgar said.

One of the things I live my life around. One of the main reasons I like getting involved in debates (online anyway, so that both sides are able to finish their sentences without getting interrupted). Providing one knowledge and/or wisdom so that they don’t make a mistake based on misinformation or a flawed logic, that is something that makes debates worthwhile. I had my life changed through such debates, and I’m grateful to each and every person who has shown me the way in the past. I try to return the favor to others, and 95% of the time it doesn’t work because most are in it only for confirmation bias. But that 5% is enough for me.

Page 462:

“Beginnings are such delicate times.”

In more ways than one. When I read this line, I think of newborn children, or even those still in the mother’s womb. How delicate must the mother be with her diet and her environment? How delicate must they be with the child when it’s born? What should the newborn be subjected too that is still considered acceptable? How sheltered and safe should it be? When should it become less sheltered? Letting the child grow up to do what it wants vs. what the parent wants it to become.

Page 466:

[…] the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing.

Words to live by, especially in a capitalist, consumer-based, society. When shopping at a store, or online, I tend to not head directly to the checkout after seeing something I want (some film or book or whatever). Even if I pick it up to carry around, I tend to wait a while, browse some more and walk around, before deciding to go ahead with the purchase. Because during that time I start to second-guess myself. “Do I really need this? Do I really want this? Was it really that good? Would the money be better spent on something else? What else could I get with the equivalent amount of money?” That line of thinking has gotten me to return several movies/books/games to the shelves (or deleted from an online shopping cart) and saved me a bunch of money. Plus it’s the fact that I’m very picky about what I want that helps.

For instance, it’s not enough that there is a movie out that I want to see. I also want the best possible release for it, with the most special features and the best video/audio quality. Take the original Star Wars trilogy for instance. I want the original non-post-80s-Lucas-tampered versions of them. As they were when they originally hit theaters. And then there’s The Black Stallion. Sure there’s regular DVD/Blu-Ray versions of them, but the best-of-the-best when it comes to versions of that film is the Blu-Ray Criterion edition, because Criterion is second-to-none on video releases. And, hell, to bring it full-circle, the Dune movie by David Lynch. There’s a few versions out there, but my preferred release is the DVD that contains both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film. Currently, it’s only on DVD when it comes to an edition containing both versions, not on Blu-Ray.

Having high-standards in such areas of consumerism has, for me, proved to be a money-saver. Of course, this isn’t the only area this quote applies to, though it can be applied to consumerism. It can also be applied to one’s diet, the foods they eat. Or to someone one may wish to date and/or have sex with and/or marry (though, speaking as an average to slightly below-average looking guy, I wouldn’t mind having hot chicks settle for less on my account).

Page 470:

“We change it … slowly but with certainty … to make it fit for human life. Our generation will not see it, nor our children nor our children’s children nor our the grandchildren of their children … but it will come.” He stared with veiled eyes out over the basin. “Open water and tall green plants and people walking freely without stillsuits.”

So that’s the dream of this Liet-Kynes, she thought. And she said: “Bribes are dangerous; they have a way of growing larger and larger.”

“They grow,” he said, “but the slow way is the safe way.”

Finding a way to slowly improve the planet’s ecology for the sake of making it more fit for human life. The safest way is by doing it slowly; but that is difficult, as there are many things that could interrupt the process. In this case, the Guild wanting more money, or other organizations who wish to keep the planet inhospitable and chaotic so that only the select few rich organizations/corporations/factions can benefit from it. Makes me wonder how similar this can get to the subject of climate change in our present time. Or how much the Middle East has changed from back then to how it is now.

Page 473:

“A leader, you see, is one of the things that distinguishes a mob from a people. He maintains the level of individuals. Too few individuals, and a people reverts to a mob.”

Hmmm. Is this an argument against socialism/communism? The idea that the individual is a necessity in order to make a group more than, or something other than, a mob? A group should be composed of individuals who have differences, yet are united for a cause. As opposed to being a group composed of faceless individuals blindly fighting for a cause. The larger the group, the more difficult this becomes. The individual can disappear among such a giant wave. Let the giant group have multiple leaders to take charge of different sects so that the “individuals” can be maintained and relevant, and that would solve the problem.

It’s also like going to a local bank as opposed to a giant franchise bank. Locals tend to recognize one another more easily, and have friendly chatter, and resolve things more easily. A franchise, however, tends to not give a damn about the individual because there are too many of them.

small store chain
I was going to insert something fancy about small stores being better than large store chains, but the fact that these results came up on YouTube gave me a chuckle.

Page 478:

[…] the one-eyed vision of the past, the one-eyed vision of the present and the one-eyed vision of the future–all combined in a trinocular vision that permitted him to see time-become-space.

I see some similarities to the three-eyed raven from Game of Thrones here. Looks like George R. Martin took some influence from here, considering this predates it. Then again, I do have to wonder how long this concept has been around, as I doubt this novel is the first to touch upon the subject.

Source

Page 481:

My mother obeyed her Sister Superiors where the Lasy Jessica disobeyed. Which of them was the stronger? History already has answered.

This quote from Princess Irulan, discussing her Bene Gesserit mother compared to Paul’s Bene Gesserit mother. The interesting thing here is that the Bene Gesserit’s plans that they crafted via genetic manipulation, mothering their choice of a son or daughter from men of high positions of power for the sake of gaining control/influence over powerful offspring. And how it all fell to ruin because of one dissident. Not only that, but Paul Atreides would end up using this to his advantage, eventually taking Princess Irulan as his own for political power, turning the Bene Gesserit’s plans against them. Ironic that their plans for control and power would be their undoing. If they never dictated that the Emperor should have a daughter rather than a son in the first place, Paul wouldn’t be able to force political leverage in this way, as implied in passages before the final few pages, much less the last pages of the novel itself.

Page 494-495, after Paul has killed Jamis in a duel:

Now is the terrible moment, she thought. He has killed a man in clear superiority of mind and muscle. He must not grow to enjoy such a victory.

[…]

It must be done now and swiftly, Jessica thought.

She compressed ultimate scorn into her voice and manner, said: “Well-l-l, now–how does it feel to be a killer?”

“who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits” ― Sun Tzu

“No leader should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no leader should fight a battle simply out of pique. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. Hence the enlightened leader is heedful, and the good leader full of caution.” – Sun Tzu

“It is easy to love your friend, but sometimes the hardest lesson to learn is to love your enemy.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Page 500:

[…] he could still sense the green and black Atreides banner waving … somewhere ahead … still see the jihad’s bloody swords and fanatic legions.

It will not be, he told himself. I cannot let it be.

This seems to be his “terrible purpose.” Being responsible for the rise of a jihad that will rage war on Arrakis and cause the bloodshed of many. Something Paul is trying to fin a way to avoid. Currently, he sees no alternative. But eventually, maybe…

On a different note, this seems to be the general plot for that film Lawrence of Arabia. Another thing Frank Herbert seems to have used as inspiration for this.

Page 518:

And Paul […] felt that a vital moment had passed him, that he had missed an essential decision and was now caught up in his own myth. […] He felt a new sense of wonder at the limits of his gift.

[…]

Through it all, the wild jihad still loomed ahead of him, the violence and the slaughter. It was like a promontory above the surf.

With all his power, still making mistakes, still missing vital opportunities, and moving ever closer to what seems to be the inevitable as other paths become closed off with each passing moment, with each decision (or lack thereof) made. I do wonder though, what is this vital moment that passed? Something to do with Jamis’ dead body and his water, and how Paul accepted it. Perhaps accepting it differently, making some other statement. I’m not sure. Maybe Comic Book Girl 19 knows?

Page 520:

Paul sat silently in the darkness, a single stark thought dominating his awareness: My mother is my enemy. She does not know it, but she is. She is bringing the jihad. She bore me; she trained me. She is my enemy.

Ah, so Paul suspects that it is in the way his mother is training him, teaching him, raising him, that causes him to act in such a way as to bring about this jihad. I also believe Jessica underestimates him in some aspects (as well as fear what he is becoming). Earlier in the novel, during the portion where Paul is attending a dinner/meeting with others, and this one girl is trying to lure Paul with sex, he sees through this and acts accordingly. His mother isn’t aware of Paul’s insight, and thus acts as if he didn’t know what was going on. Now, in this reading section, she wishes to act on a similar motivation. She wants to warn Paul about women, especially about Chani, that he shouldn’t become too invested with her, and not marry her, and be prepared to use her for political leverage much like how the Duke Leto used her for such a purpose. Yet she is also aware of how much of a political monster this makes her out to be. So it’s possible Paul sees that his mother is a political monster, and thus desires to use Paul’s influence to take back Arrakis and restore power to the Atreides house. The way Jessica wants to get things done vs. how Paul wants to get things done.

Who is right? Who is wrong? How much does Paul know? Does he know as much as his mother in this regard? Does she underestimate Paul? And is Paul right to view his mother as an enemy? Only time will tell. Time, and the next reading section.

Notes After the Twitch Stream

PS: Finally got around to setting up a Patreon account. Feel free to donate there if Paypal isn’t your thing. I was going to do Google AdSense or something like that, but their terms and conditions are too restrictive for this site. Long live the fighters!

2 thoughts on “Dune Club notes part 8

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