Any ideas what the 'peaking' refers to?
This is extrememly mysterious to me. It impies to me that "The Net" is somehow a form of communication through OM.
It didn't occur to me that the net was communication through OM since strictly speaking Duncan doesn't have access to OM. And yet, we see throughout the series that many roads lead to Rome, and that several methods can be employed to get to the same place. The BG use 'natural' methods to obtain access to OM, while the BT used genetic engineering to effectively create their own version of OM (serial memories). The BG (and Frank) even think of the Human species as one continuing organism, and likewise a serial ghola is one organism evolving over a long period of time using iterant reproduction. Different method, similar result. So when M&D speak of being "spread thin" they don't seem to indicate there's much difference between that being OM or serial memory. Maybe using tachyons M&D can scan the past and future and take notice of people spread thin since they will see many self-similar iterations of that person. Maybe such people naturally attract their attention, like a big "look here" flashing sign. Maybe they have a special capacity to zero in on those who are 'spread thin'; after all they only mention spying on RM's and Duncan, and do not mention spying on anyone without OM/serial memory. I'm wondering whether this ability of theirs isn't some more advanced analogue to what Alia did to Mohiam in Dune, when she appeared in her OM, and also when she sent messages to Paul to, I suppose, his future memory. Memory is, after all, merely that which records patterned movement, which comes across as time; but time is in fact merely space and movement. Being able to send messages or read information across infinite distance instantaneously would be equivalent to scanning forwards and backwards in time, and likewise for sending messages.
This might help to explain why Duncan and the RM's are sensitive to M&D's peeking, but it doesn't explain why Dunan alone can see them and the net. It could have to do with what the Tleilaxu put in his DNA, which we don't fully know yet. Presumably the Scattering BT told them how to do it even though they'd never been able to fully test it before, so maybe they gave him some special DNA thingy that M&D had also. But - maybe it's not as sci-fi-ish as that; maybe it's more fundamental. In reading this last chapter for the umpteenth time I had some new thoughts.
For one, Daniel is pruning roses, which are usually symbolic of romance or love. Maybe not in the future, but then again they are referencing speech idioms from the ancient past (i.e. the 20th century) so I'm sure a symbol like roses for love would be fresh in their minds as well. Let's assume roses=love is meaningful for the time being. Then we get a fact that is right there in the open but I swear I was blind to before; M&D are referred to as a male and female, even though we know that Face Dancers don't have a specific sex/gender and can be anything. And despite having many personas each, no doubt both male and female, we repeatedly see them in these forms, with these genders, almost as if they've adopted them as their regular, standard personas. But why? Maybe not by choice, but because they have to. Just like the FD's in Heretics which enslaved the masters, it seems inevitable that in the Scattering the FD's would have done the same. Except that to prevent enslavement the Scattering BT would have given their FD's the same ability that Duncan was given - enslavement countermeasures. But what would happen when a FD that had absorbed an Honored Matre (and believed it was one) met up with another FD that had absorbed an Honored Matre? They would try to enslave each other and get the double whammy that Mubella and Duncan got. So what if M&D are male and female because they are sexually bonded to each other, and must provide each other with the same sexual stimulus to which they were enslaved at first? If Daniel was a male when enslaving Marty, she would need that precise persona (body and personality) to continue getting her fix. I assume it wouldn't satisfy her to get it from another persona. All this to say - M&D are basically married the way Duncan and Murbella were. I even think that this 'enslavement' might have been Frank's model for ideal marriage going into the next book, but that's conjecture on my part. And yet the 'need' to be with each other seems analogous to the need we are told many times in CH:D the BG have, that inner compulsion to help humanity to atone for the past. In a way, the BG are 'married' to helping humanity, just as if they were enslaved. Even Murbella realizes she has no essential choice in that regard, and she curses the fact since she doesn't want it. I also think her agony removed her bond to Duncan because she became enslaved to a new partner (her past).
So let's say I'm right and M&D are sexually enslaved to each other, requiring them to stay in those forms most of the time. So what? Well now we have a curious situation, because we are also given Duncan and Murbella as an enslaved couple in the same book. That can hardly be a coincidence. And also by coincidence Duncan is the only one who can see the net? I don't think so. So here's my new idea: what if the reason Duncan can see the net is because he's in love? Not just in love, as in, cares for someone. I mean in love, as in, is irredeemably bonded to someone. I think the fact that Daniel is fascinated by roses is a big clue here, to indicate that love plays an integral part in accessing the net. This would tie in themes in CH:D right back in with those from Dune, where love was the largest factor in how the galaxy changed. It fueled Jessica, creating Paul, and it fueled Yueh, who saved Paul. I think it fueled Leto II, and that it even motivates the basic actions of all BG, which may be why they shy away so much from facing it directly. Odrade even mentions in CH:D that they made a mistake to shy away from it as they did, and they it needed to be re-embraced. When she decided to merge BG with HM, it seems to me to have been more than merely a contingency plan to get rid of the HM threat. I think it was also a method of getting rid of the BG stagnation as well, and forcing them into re-learning something the HM's abused - the creation of bonds between individuals. The HM's used it for power, which was self-defeating, but I think Odrade wanted the Sisterhood to learn to use it to find their humanity. Another speculation on my part.
Duncan gained his serial memories (and more) when he and Murbella bonded with each other. It could be that's why he began to see the net at that time. But it could be that he began to be able to see it because he was bonded at that time as well. If we think about tachyons, maybe we should think about quantum entanglement as well; about how matter across the universe can be 'bonded' in such a way as it can communicate in a sense with other matter elsewhere seemingly instantly. In fact, there's a theory I've read that the entire universe may be quantum entangled, meaning interconnected through some instantaneous medium. So what if being bonded gives one sensitivity to the bonds that already exist throughout the universe?
And now, of course, I have to ask what Sheeana was planning. I still don't know the answer to this, and I'm troubled by Odrade's riddle about how it's the next logical step in the progression from Jessica->Muad'dib->Tyrant->HM->New BG->Sheeana->?
I wonder whether the answer to this progression lies somehow in what makes Duncan special. Just going off the pattern indicated, I think Jessica represents love, which is chaotic. Muad'dib is the attempt to create pure order, realizing that it's a trap and leads to decay. Leto II is the instruction to all that pure order must never be permitted, and that only chaos guarantees the continuation of life. The HM's are pure chaos itself, refusing to be ruled. The new BG are the universe realizing that it must cope with people who will not be ruled, and deal with them on those terms. Sheanna is a BG who embodies chaos; a new kind of BG almost anticipating the union between the HM and the BG. Maybe the Tyrant foresaw the need for the BG to move in the direction of chaos to continue his work, and his pearls of consciousness were looking for such a person. So what is next in the progression once chaos is admitted into the way of life of the new BG? The making of chaos into a religion just as Leto II made order into a religion to teach chaos? Sheeana mentioned considering taking the worm skin, and we know she intended to be the head of a new religion. I guess I'm making a short circuit here, but I think this was going to lead to Frank's idea of universal democracy, and that this was the only way to get to it for real; by having a people unrulable who would only thereafter subscribe to a religion of chaos mixed with discipline.
My thought on how this relates to Duncan is that I think by being a compromised, enslaved mentat, he was ruled by his desires for Murbella and could not exist merely on a logical level. And yet he retained his free will, as she did, and they had to figure out a way to co-exist by ruling each other and yet neither submitting. And I think this setup can be said to be analogous to what ideal democracy would be like. People ruled, but not in submission. Bound, but not servile or helpless. Rather, the bonding ought to bring out a new strength as it did for Duncan and Murbella. Such a setup would require all participants to be untameable fundamentally, while also needing to be forced into a kind of arrangement from which there could be no opting out. That need the BG have to serve - that would have to be there, and also the need to love, as Murbella and Duncan had (and, I think, M&D).
That's all I got for now. Some speculation, but I'm starting to be convinced about the roses-love-bonding-net angle. I think those concepts are meant to be linked, and to show that humanity is itself linked already in ways its parts aren't yet aware of. If humanity is one large organism then maybe that means it could become self-aware and cease feeling like separate unrelated parts? The BG were the beginning of this, and maybe the net is the end.