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Dune Quotes

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.
What do you despise? By this are you truly known.
There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.
When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong - faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it's too late.
It is impossible to live in the past, difficult to live in the present and a waste to live in the future.
The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.
Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.
A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.
Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.
Survival is the ability to swim in strange water.
Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.
Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You'll find me there, staring out at you!.
Whether a thought is spoken or not it is a real thing and it has power," Tuek said. "You might find the line between life and death among the Fremen to be too sharp and quick.
Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife - chopping off what's incomplete and saying: 'Now, it's complete because it's ended here.' - from "Collected Sayings of Maud'Dib'' by the Princess Irulan.
What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting.
Grave this on your memory, lad: A world is supported by four things..." she held up four big-knuckled fingers. "...the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these things are as nothing..." She closed her fingers into a fist. "...without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition!.
The Fremen were supreme in that quality the ancients called "spannungsbogen" -- which is the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing.
Highly organized research is guaranteed to produce nothing new.
Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.
Proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you have always known.
The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows - a wall against the wind.
There should be a science of discontent. People need hard times to develop psychic muscles. -- Muad'Dib.
Give as few orders as possible," his father had told him once long ago. "Once you've given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.
My father once told me that respect for truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. 'Something cannot emerge from nothing,' he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable 'the truth' can be.
There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man - with human flesh.
Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who so survive.
The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.
Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die.
Anything outside yourself, this you can see and apply your logic to it. But it’s a human trait that when we encounter personal problems, these things most deeply personal are the most difficult to bring out for our logic to scan. We tend to flounder around, blaming everything but the actual, deep-seated thing that’s really chewing on us.
Do you wrestle with dreams? Do you contend with shadows? Do you move in a kind of sleep? Time has slipped away. Your life is stolen. You tarried with trifles, Victim of your folly.
Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.
A killer with the manners of a rabbit - this is the most dangerous kind.
Knowing where the trap is—that's the first step in evading it.
You see, gentlemen, they have something to die for. They've discovered they're a people. They're awakening.
Many have marked the speed with which Muad'Dib learned the necessities of Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit, of course, know the basis of this speed. For the others, we can say that Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
Religion must remain an outlet for people who say to themselves, 'I am not the kind of person I want to be.' It must never sink into an assemblage of the self-satisfied.
Much that was called religion has carried an unconscious attitude of hostility toward life. True religion must teach that life is filled with joys pleasing to the eye of God, that knowledge without action is empty. All men must see that the teaching of religion by rules and rote is largely a hoax. The proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you’ve always known.
What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?.
And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning 'That path leads ever down into stagnation.
Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.
Paradise on my right, Hell on my left and the Angel of Death behind.
Mankind has only one science… its the science of discontent.
Think on it, Chani: the princess will have the name, yet she'll live as less than a concubine - never to know a moment of tenderness from the man to whom she's bound. While we, Chani, we who carry the name of concubine - history will call us wives.
The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door.
A ruler must learn to persuade and not to compel.
No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero.
For now is my grief heavier than the sands of the seas, she thought. This world has emptied me of all but the oldest purpose: tomorrow's life.
Law is the ultimate science.
It's easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire.
The thing the ecologically illiterate don't realise about an ecosystem is that it's a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, flowing from point to point. If something dams that flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That's why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.
I am like a person whose hands were kept numb, without sensation from the first moment of awareness - until one day the ability to feel is forced into them. And I say "Look! I have no hands!" But the people all around me say: "What are hands?.
Humans are almost always lonely.
A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.
The test of a man isn’t what you think he’ll do. It’s what he actually does.
The price we paid was the price men have always paid for achieving a paradise in this life--we went soft, we lost our edge.
When you imagine mistakes, there can be no self-defense.
Growth is limited by the necessity which is present in the least amount. And naturally, the least favorable condition controls the growth rate.
A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful.
I see us giving love to each other in a time of quiet between storms. It's what we were meant to do.
Leto turned a hard stare at Kynes. And Kynes, returning the stare, found himself troubled by a fact he had observed here: This Duke was concerned more over the men than he was over the spice. He risked his own life, and that of his son to save the men. He passed off the loss of a spice crawler with a gesture. The threat to men's lives had him in a rage. A leader such as that would command fanatic loyalty. He would be difficult to defeat. Against his own will and all previous judgements, Kynes admitted to himself: I like this Duke.
There is in each of us an ancient force that takes and an ancient force that gives. A man finds little difficulty facing that place within himself where the taking force dwells, but it’s almost impossible for him to see into the giving force without changing into something other than man. For a woman, the situation is reversed…These things are so ancient within us…that they’re ground into each separate cell of our bodies…It’s as easy to be overwhelmed by giving as by taking.
When he wanted, he could radiate charm and sincerity, but I often wonder in these later days if anything about him was as it seemed. I think now he was a man fighting constantly to escape the bars of an invisible cage.
I should like friendship with you ... and trust. I should like that respect for each other which grows in the breast without demand for the huddlings of sex.
My lungs taste the air of Time, Blown past falling sands….
That path leads ever down into stagnation.
Behold, as a wild ass in the desert, go I forth to my work.
Prophets have a way of dying by violence.
Science is made up of so many things that appear obvious after they are explained.