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    Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 02 Aug 2017 05:20

    I've just finished Dune and Dune Messiah, I'm really not seeing any reference to anything like a Golden Path. Only a few veiled suggestions of the Jihad being a way to mix the genes and stimulate diversity, and break human kind out if it's stagnation.

    Starting on CoD now, and it feels like this theme is only really developed in this book.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 02 Aug 2017 06:37

    Paul wouldn't have Seen that kind of future as a "Golden" Path because, as we find out in CoD, he didn't realize it would prevent human extinction, it would have simply been a cruel lesson. To him it was to terrible to even consider the transformation.

    So while the GP or something like it isn't specifically described in the previous books, I think it fits.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 02 Aug 2017 09:42

    I'm thinking it's just one of many paths he saw and he rejected it just as he rejected many others. What does strike me as being Golden Path-ish in Paul's visions in Messiah is the idea of leaning totally on one's premiere power. Scytale speaks of the trap of having a particular power, and the resulting tendency to utilize it exclusively at the exclusion of more conventional tools. The book certainly focuses on the pitfalls of leaning on prescience, and even does a trick of having Paul begin to rely on it totally when he loses his eyes, which seems like a really cool thing but is actually horrible. Even though we don't get details about the GP such as the transformation or hydrolic despotism, we do get a definite sense that Paul has seen futures where he uses his prescience to rule absolutely and lock the galaxy into a prescient trap. As Freak mentioned, he seems to have seen no noble purpose in going through with that, and so would have seen it as a terrible path rather than a Golden Path. I guess the more I think about it, the thing Paul is dreading throughout Messiah - about which his says DISENGAGE - is that path, the path of locking in the future completely just because he has that power and can actually do it. The book seems to illustrate how doing a thing just because you have the power to do so is a trap in itself, where following the path your abilities dictate is a way of allowing your options to close off and for the zest of life to lose its flavor.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 02 Aug 2017 19:12

    Yes, but you cold make a killing on tomorrow's whale fur market.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 03 Aug 2017 06:08

    Or for the next 3000 years on the ever dwindling spice supply. :wink:

    All of this brings us back to the old question... isn't the Golden Path just a bigger, better prescient trap?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 03 Aug 2017 08:53

    Freakzilla wrote:All of this brings us back to the old question... isn't the Golden Path just a bigger, better prescient trap?


    Yeah, that's where I've arrived in my understanding. Messiah basically spells it out, and in a way CoD and GeoD are just explanations of what the trap would actually look like. I guess for the purposes of DM it didn't matter exactly what particulars would go into the GP (or terrible path, depending on one's perspective), what was important was that it would be locked in and under Paul/Leto's total control. But the difference with the GP seems to be that, in contrast to Paul's abdication where he freed humanity from prescience temporarily, Leto II 'abdicated' and freed them permanently. So it's as you say.

    The only reason I'm slightly hesitant to call it a better one is because of the possibility that the future Leto II saw only existed because he was willing to do what his father wasn't, and that the possible extinction was a result of him being who he was rather than simply inevitable. I find it hard to take his word for it that even if he had never existed the extinction would have happened, because that would mean that Paul not only didn't see one obscure future path, but rather missed an inevitability that any path would lead to. I'm not willing to accept that Paul was that oblivious, and so at least for now my suspicion is that the extinction path actually didn't exist until Leto II was born, and by then Paul had renounced his visions and wouldn't see it.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 04 Aug 2017 05:50

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:All of this brings us back to the old question... isn't the Golden Path just a bigger, better prescient trap?


    Yeah, that's where I've arrived in my understanding. Messiah basically spells it out, and in a way CoD and GeoD are just explanations of what the trap would actually look like. I guess for the purposes of DM it didn't matter exactly what particulars would go into the GP (or terrible path, depending on one's perspective), what was important was that it would be locked in and under Paul/Leto's total control. But the difference with the GP seems to be that, in contrast to Paul's abdication where he freed humanity from prescience temporarily, Leto II 'abdicated' and freed them permanently. So it's as you say.

    The only reason I'm slightly hesitant to call it a better one is because of the possibility that the future Leto II saw only existed because he was willing to do what his father wasn't, and that the possible extinction was a result of him being who he was rather than simply inevitable. I find it hard to take his word for it that even if he had never existed the extinction would have happened, because that would mean that Paul not only didn't see one obscure future path, but rather missed an inevitability that any path would lead to. I'm not willing to accept that Paul was that oblivious, and so at least for now my suspicion is that the extinction path actually didn't exist until Leto II was born, and by then Paul had renounced his visions and wouldn't see it.


    Exactly, Leto was a greater prescient than Paul so he couldn't See him, and Leto's mere existence created the extinction event. We're told time after time that the oracle creates the future. The better thing about Leto's Golden Path is that it is a way out of the prescient trap through the Siona gene and The Scattering.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 04 Aug 2017 08:45

    The only part of the Chronicles that still stumped me on my last read-through was the section in CoD where they're testing Leto. I didn't understand it before, and I still don't. I don't quite get who is working for whom, what their exact motivations are, and what exactly they think they're doing. But I know that when I read it next this part of the book is what I'm going to put my closest focus on, especially in terms of the discussion of Leto creating the extinction event.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 04 Aug 2017 14:44

    georgiedenbro wrote:The only part of the Chronicles that still stumped me on my last read-through was the section in CoD where they're testing Leto. I didn't understand it before, and I still don't. I don't quite get who is working for whom, what their exact motivations are, and what exactly they think they're doing. But I know that when I read it next this part of the book is what I'm going to put my closest focus on, especially in terms of the discussion of Leto creating the extinction event.


    Namri is working for Alia and plans to kill Leto no matter what. Gurney is working for for Jessica. The test is for Leto to conquer his inner voices and remain sane/possessed.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 04 Aug 2017 15:19

    Freakzilla wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:The only part of the Chronicles that still stumped me on my last read-through was the section in CoD where they're testing Leto. I didn't understand it before, and I still don't. I don't quite get who is working for whom, what their exact motivations are, and what exactly they think they're doing. But I know that when I read it next this part of the book is what I'm going to put my closest focus on, especially in terms of the discussion of Leto creating the extinction event.


    Namri is working for Alia and plans to kill Leto no matter what. Gurney is working for for Jessica. The test is for Leto to conquer his inner voices and remain sane/possessed.


    I guess I got those parts. But do Namri and Gurney really know what they're doing? What exactly have they been told about Leto's abilities and what he needs to do to control them? I could kind of see Alia having some insight here since (a) she's an abomination and knows something about it, and (b) is an oracle and may well have seen some futures that she would like to avoid. But for Jessica and the BG...what the heck do they think they know about this? I guess they may have some ancestral memories about abomination, but seriously, Leto is way more than just that. And for that matter, they have literally never seen a male abomination before so it seems strange to me that they'd assume they know the dangers of being one. I always got the gist from this part of the book that it was about more than just checking to see if Leto was an abomination and whether it would destroy him as it was doing to Alia. Or maybe I'm remembering wrong. But I thought something about the tests had to do with his prescience as well, and really I can't figure out how the BG would be qualified to judge or frankly even understand that. It's not like they have some clue about what futures Paul/Leto may have seen and want it to go a particular way. I guess I'll figure it out when I read it again :shock:
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 05 Aug 2017 06:18

    I agree, I always thought this scene was quite important to the story and never quite understood what was going on here. On the face of it, what a Freak described is correct, but there's always more to it than that.

    For instance, why not just kill Leto and Gurney out of hand?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 06 Aug 2017 06:27

    Well, obviously, Namri couldn't kill Gurney.

    I don't think the BG had a clue how powerful Leto would be, they were simply hung up on making sure he wasn't possessed.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 07 Aug 2017 09:02

    Freakzilla wrote:I don't think the BG had a clue how powerful Leto would be, they were simply hung up on making sure he wasn't possessed.


    What I don't get about that is Alia seemed to be ok for a while and only became possessed later in her life. Couldn't Leto be clean at this point, and become possessed later on? Maybe this is a soft retcon suggesting that Alia was possessed all along, but just not by one solitary personality? Or rather, we could ask whether the BG have ever had experience with an abomination that learned to control the voices. From the way they speak about it in Dune you'd think that being abomination is an automatic sentence and that it's hopeless. If being abomination means being possessed sooner or later, what's the difference whether Leto is possessed yet or not?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 08 Aug 2017 07:52

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:I don't think the BG had a clue how powerful Leto would be, they were simply hung up on making sure he wasn't possessed.


    What I don't get about that is Alia seemed to be ok for a while and only became possessed later in her life. Couldn't Leto be clean at this point, and become possessed later on? Maybe this is a soft retcon suggesting that Alia was possessed all along, but just not by one solitary personality? Or rather, we could ask whether the BG have ever had experience with an abomination that learned to control the voices. From the way they speak about it in Dune you'd think that being abomination is an automatic sentence and that it's hopeless. If being abomination means being possessed sooner or later, what's the difference whether Leto is possessed yet or not?


    From the BG point of view, the pre-born should be killed outright at birth, no trial, nothing. Obviously they didn't even know about Alia until after the Atreides were in power and it was too late. Plus, she managed to fight off her demons until in her teens and by then she was in power. Similarly, the twins were under Stilgar's protection. Also, keep in mind that these are the prescious KH genes the BG have been waiting 90 generations for.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 08 Aug 2017 09:18

    Freakzilla wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Also, keep in mind that these are the prescious KH genes the BG have been waiting 90 generations for.


    I was going to ask why bother even examining Leto if the standard policy is to kill abominations sight unseen. What could they possibly find that would change their minds about keeping him alive? But your comment here may be an answer: do you think it was just a matter of determining whether he was just stable enough to be allowed to live until they could breed him, and then they'd kill him afterwards?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 08 Aug 2017 11:03

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Also, keep in mind that these are the prescious KH genes the BG have been waiting 90 generations for.


    I was going to ask why bother even examining Leto if the standard policy is to kill abominations sight unseen. What could they possibly find that would change their minds about keeping him alive? But your comment here may be an answer: do you think it was just a matter of determining whether he was just stable enough to be allowed to live until they could breed him, and then they'd kill him afterwards?


    Quite possibly!
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 08 Aug 2017 22:27

    There's a passage in CoD I think that describes how Alia was relatively stable and could keep the voices at bay, but after Paul walked into the desert and she had more and more responsibility, she had less time/ability to keep those voices quiet.

    I'm up to Leto's test right now in CoD. Trying to read it carefully to see what's going on.

    Namri has mentioned Javid a couple of times now, and how proud he is. It's like he's setting up that part of the story, but from memory I don't recall this being that important a plot point later on?

    Also, if Namri is in cahoots with Alia, Jessica is already on Salusa Secundus, and Gurney is by himself, surely the whole sietch could have banded together and killed Gurney, or used some sort of poison or underhanded technique. Gurney seemed to trust these people, and there's many references in the earlier books about how snoopers aren't required in a sietch.

    Gurney is also relying on Namri to make the decision to kill Leto or let him live. If Namri intends to kill him all along, why not kill him at any point and simply say he didn't pass the test? There's a few moments there where Narmi is pretty close to killing him, so why not do it? Gurney would be none the wiser as he was fully prepared for the possibility of Leto's death?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 09 Aug 2017 05:46

    pcqypcqy wrote:Also, if Namri is in cahoots with Alia, Jessica is already on Salusa Secundus, and Gurney is by himself, surely the whole sietch could have banded together and killed Gurney, or used some sort of poison or underhanded technique. Gurney seemed to trust these people, and there's many references in the earlier books about how snoopers aren't required in a sietch.


    The other people in Jacurutu didn't seem to care or weren't in on it. They knew who Leto was and just let him walk out.

    Gurney is also relying on Namri to make the decision to kill Leto or let him live. If Namri intends to kill him all along, why not kill him at any point and simply say he didn't pass the test? There's a few moments there where Narmi is pretty close to killing him, so why not do it? Gurney would be none the wiser as he was fully prepared for the possibility of Leto's death?


    I think Gurney was looking for the same things as Namri, he would have known.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 10 Aug 2017 18:06

    The sietch dwellers were on Namri's side I thought, they were just uninterested because they knew Leto was Namri's responsibility.

    Later, Namri tries to kill Gurney after Leto escapes. He obviously thought he was capable of doing it otherwise he wouldn't have tried. And he wouldn't have attempted it if it meant his whole sietch would turn on him.

    There are moments when Gurney leaves during Leto's testing because he didn't want to have to witness his death. I took that to mean the test was at a critical point where killing him would have been a reasonable outcome to Namri, Gurney, Jessica, etc.

    So apart from it bring a good story, I still don't know why he just didn't kill Leto.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Serkanner » 11 Aug 2017 03:19

    pcqypcqy wrote: I still don't know why he just didn't kill Leto.


    He is the son of Paul.
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