The Wisdom of Frank Herbert

I read to find myself — to understand my deepest emotions — and to establish direction within my own chaos.

In the multiverse, there are infinite choices and outcomes of those choices. The me in this reality is unlike any other me. I wonder if I could love myself in one of those other worlds or if any me is even worthy of being loved.

“If certainty is knowing absolutely an absolute future, then that’s only death disguised.” – The Preacher

The Preacher in Children of Dune is one of the only likeable zealots I’ve encountered (in fiction or life), perhaps because he appears to be destabilizing the most powerful religion in the history of the universe. At the halfway point in the book, I can’t know his end game. He could just be employing a Bene Gesserit trick — “a feint within a feint within a feint” — yet even if I learn that his true motive was to strengthen the Maud’dib faith, I’ll still admire him for his methods; in order to reestablish truth, truth must first be destroyed.

Frank Herbert wrote an incredible series. I say that because I’m reading it now, at the time in my life when I needed to experience it. I am not shaped by what I read; what I read evolves through me.

The Preacher of Dune has two purposes: to either mold a pliant mind or reaffirm one’s own principles. Here are some of his words that mirror my way of thinking:

“…I realize that humans cannot bear very much reality […] Most lives are a flight from selfhood. Most prefer the truths of the stable. You stick your heads into the stanchions and munch contentedly until you die. Others use you for their purposes. Not once do you live outside the stable to lift your head and be your own creature…”

“Is your religion real when it costs you nothing and carries no risk? Is your religion real when you fatten upon it? Is your religion real when you commit atrocities in its name?”

“Irony often masks the inability to think beyond one’s own assumptions.”