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    Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby mrpsbrk » 02 Feb 2009 14:40

    Amongst others, there are two takes on the GP: to see it as a strategy or to see it as a philosophy. The first asks: "what Leto II wanted to accomplish?" while the second wonders: "What Leto II wanted to teach?"

    While it might be argued that they are two different faces of the same coin, they do emphasize arguments and ideas so disparate as to render concurrent discussion fruitless.

    If you do not accept that the GP can (or should, or is worth of) be taken as a philosophy, please go bash me at: http://www.jacurutu.com/viewtopic.php?t=25&start=131

    Now, as a thought experiment if you want, assuming the Golden Path is a philosophy, what exactly does it comprise?
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby Frybread » 02 Feb 2009 14:48

    mrpsbrk wrote:Amongst others, there are two takes on the GP: to see it as a strategy or to see it as a philosophy. The first asks: "what Leto II wanted to accomplish?" while the second wonders: "What Leto II wanted to teach?"

    While it might be argued that they are two different faces of the same coin, they do emphasize arguments and ideas so disparate as to render concurrent discussion fruitless.

    If you do not accept that the GP can (or should, or is worth of) be taken as a philosophy, please go bash me at: http://www.jacurutu.com/viewtopic.php?t=25&start=131

    Now, as a thought experiment if you want, assuming the Golden Path is a philosophy, what exactly does it comprise?


    I've only read GEoD twice. But Leto talks about how change is needed to avoid stagnation. He also says humanity should look to the future and not the past.

    Leto also mentions in the "Stolen Journals" entries that are quoted before each chapter how important it is to live a vigorous life and to avoid "mediocrity," which leads to a trap.
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby Lundse » 02 Feb 2009 15:04

    mrpsbrk wrote:Now, as a thought experiment if you want, assuming the Golden Path is a philosophy, what exactly does it comprise?


    We may see an attempt to answer that yet:

    http://prosblogion.ektopos.com/archives ... /dune.html
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby mrpsbrk » 02 Feb 2009 19:44

    Frybread wrote:(...) Leto talks about how change is needed to avoid stagnation. He also says humanity should look to the future and not the past. (...) how important it is to live a vigorous life and to avoid "mediocrity," which leads to a trap.


    Well, yes, he talks about all of that. But this seems to me to be the focus of Dune, not of GEoD. I think the fight against stagnation is what creates Muad'Dib's jihad, and i believe Leto wanted to go beyond that dualism of Peace VS Stagnation, he wanted to expose that as a false dichotomy.
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby dunepunk » 02 Feb 2009 22:04

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    Frybread wrote:(...) Leto talks about how change is needed to avoid stagnation. He also says humanity should look to the future and not the past. (...) how important it is to live a vigorous life and to avoid "mediocrity," which leads to a trap.


    Well, yes, he talks about all of that. But this seems to me to be the focus of Dune, not of GEoD. I think the fight against stagnation is what creates Muad'Dib's jihad, and i believe Leto wanted to go beyond that dualism of Peace VS Stagnation, he wanted to expose that as a false dichotomy.


    Just for clarification: You think that the Golden Path (or a part of it) involves a kind of balance between the Corrino-led Empire and Muad'Dib's Jihad, right? I think that makes a lot of sense, considering the effects of Leto's reign (notably the dramatic decrease in warfare despite rival factions parceling out the old empire. we don't know much about the Scattering, sadly, but this would fill the role of the Jihad-- creating a kind of turmoil that people would have to cope with.)

    I think a big part of what Leto did was make people wiser, or at least more aware of the consequences of their actions. This is the motivation behind a lot of the alternatives to warfare. He also tempered the Bene Gesserit. Their fear of creating another KH was really intense post-Tyrant. This would certainly do a lot to prevent the universe from coming under the sway of an individual like Leto again. But now I'm moving more into the strategy of the GP, as you've defined it. I guess the philosophical side of this would be the lesson that power cannot be so centralized, or based upon such gross inequalities. Again it comes down to balance...

    So maybe that's the philosophy underlying (part of) the GP-- the achievement of balance in the face of an infinite universe. If we tip too far to either side and we're done for. The whole balancing on a knife schpeel...
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby mrpsbrk » 03 Feb 2009 00:24

    dunepunk wrote:Just for clarification: You think that the Golden Path (or a part of it) involves a kind of balance between the Corrino-led Empire and Muad'Dib's Jihad, right?


    No, i do not think i think that. Maybe i do, for i am not completely sure i understand what you are saying. The Corrino-led Empire was done by the time Paul used his atomics in the Great Wall, that is, much before Leto II was even a possibility.

    dunepunk wrote:He also tempered the Bene Gesserit. Their fear of creating another KH was really intense post-Tyrant.


    Actually i think their fear of KH-ing would already be too high after Muad'Dib.

    dunepunk wrote:This would certainly do a lot to prevent the universe from coming under the sway of an individual like Leto again.


    But, see, if you wanted to prevent the universe to come under the sway of a single person, why would you put it under your own sway? I never can swallow those "war to end all wars" kinds of argument. Leto's "wisening" of humanity might have many aspects, but i am not sure that "aversion to centralization" makes too much sense.

    dunepunk wrote:I guess the philosophical side of this would be the lesson that power cannot be so centralized, or based upon such gross inequalities. Again it comes down to balance...

    So maybe that's the philosophy underlying (part of) the GP-- the achievement of balance in the face of an infinite universe. If we tip too far to either side and we're done for. The whole balancing on a knife schpeel...


    Do you care to explain this better? I do not agree, i guess... I think simple diversity of impetus can be just as dumb as a centralized initiative, provided you do not have intelligence in the first place. I actually think it is easier to achieve non-dumbness in a centralized circumstance.

    In other words, i think centralization is just a facet of the whole leadership dilemma.

    You have to have leaders, for the idea that all the people will think about all the questions and decide about all the political issues (that is, democracy) is just... naive. It is dumb.

    On the other hand, just handing your own future to a leader is also just dumb.

    If we frame the issue in those terms, we are in a zero sum game, in which we are always losing something.

    I think Dune exposes the issue, with the slow but breathtaking path of Paul to power, and the final scene where Stillgar is shown to have lost all it's brilliance and independence to his blind faith in his leader... And i think GEoD talks (in actually a very liberal way, not making too rigid maxims, come to think of it) about the possibility that the whole conundrum could be rethought in a different perspective.

    But anyway, i am not sure i am being very clear...
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby dunepunk » 03 Feb 2009 09:18

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    dunepunk wrote:Just for clarification: You think that the Golden Path (or a part of it) involves a kind of balance between the Corrino-led Empire and Muad'Dib's Jihad, right?


    No, i do not think i think that. Maybe i do, for i am not completely sure i understand what you are saying. The Corrino-led Empire was done by the time Paul used his atomics in the Great Wall, that is, much before Leto II was even a possibility.


    Actually, Paul and the Fremen defeated the last Corrino Emperor at the battle of Arrakeen which was started with the blasting of the Shield Wall. The stagnation of the empire is what I was referring to, alongside the turmoil of the Jihad. I was implying a kind of balance between these that would incorporate some of the security of the Corrino days with some of the dynamic component of the Jihad. As is implied IIRC in one of the chapter introductions of Heretics (or was it Chapterhouse?), when someone asks for security, they really want to keep things as they are, leading to a stagnation of the human ability to adapt. The Scattering forced people to adapt to a kind of turmoil that wasn't necessarily bloodshed (as did the Famine Times, but I get the impression that those might've been kind of bloody...)

    dunepunk wrote:He also tempered the Bene Gesserit. Their fear of creating another KH was really intense post-Tyrant.


    Actually i think their fear of KH-ing would already be too high after Muad'Dib.


    Wherever you draw the line, doesn't matter that much in this case. IMO, the BG couldn't do much when Leto was around because he took their breeding program into his own hands.

    dunepunk wrote:This would certainly do a lot to prevent the universe from coming under the sway of an individual like Leto again.


    But, see, if you wanted to prevent the universe to come under the sway of a single person, why would you put it under your own sway? I never can swallow those "war to end all wars" kinds of argument. Leto's "wisening" of humanity might have many aspects, but i am not sure that "aversion to centralization" makes too much sense.


    Leto taught by example. He didn't just say, "Oh, this is a bad thing to do. Let's try this alternative." To show how sucky it was to have the whole of humanity under one person's control, he actually put it there for 3500 years. That's a lesson that won't be forgotten any time soon, and after he was gone, that decentralization of power is exactly what happened. The Fish Speakers took control for a bit, but just kind of faded into obscurity by the time of Heretics, with the BT, BG, and Guild all fighting it out over who would hold the most power.

    dunepunk wrote:I guess the philosophical side of this would be the lesson that power cannot be so centralized, or based upon such gross inequalities. Again it comes down to balance...

    So maybe that's the philosophy underlying (part of) the GP-- the achievement of balance in the face of an infinite universe. If we tip too far to either side and we're done for. The whole balancing on a knife schpeel...


    Do you care to explain this better? I do not agree, i guess... I think simple diversity of impetus can be just as dumb as a centralized initiative, provided you do not have intelligence in the first place. I actually think it is easier to achieve non-dumbness in a centralized circumstance.

    In other words, i think centralization is just a facet of the whole leadership dilemma.

    You have to have leaders, for the idea that all the people will think about all the questions and decide about all the political issues (that is, democracy) is just... naive. It is dumb.

    On the other hand, just handing your own future to a leader is also just dumb.

    If we frame the issue in those terms, we are in a zero sum game, in which we are always losing something.

    I think Dune exposes the issue, with the slow but breathtaking path of Paul to power, and the final scene where Stillgar is shown to have lost all it's brilliance and independence to his blind faith in his leader... And i think GEoD talks (in actually a very liberal way, not making too rigid maxims, come to think of it) about the possibility that the whole conundrum could be rethought in a different perspective.

    But anyway, i am not sure i am being very clear...


    Unless I'm greatly misunderstanding you, I think you're being clear, it's just that we don't agree. Leto had the ability to govern as he did, true, but ultimately, any system that is so highly centralized for too long will collapse. Leto was trying to show people all the problems of it by example. I think the basis of this is that if all of humaity is under such a highly centralized system for too long, they lose all ability to adapt, and so the extinction of the species becomes inevitable.

    So the whole anti-centralization thing is on a macro scale. The whole race can't live under centralized authority, but it's okay for different groups within the race to operate on centralized models.

    The balance I was referring to was a balance between stagnation and barbarism. We can't become impotent as a species, but at the same time we can't just go around slaughtering each other. We need dynamics in our lives, but not to the extent that we kill ourselves off.
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    Re: Golden Path as philosophy

    Postby mrpsbrk » 03 Feb 2009 09:53

    dunepunk wrote:
    dunepunk wrote:This would certainly do a lot to prevent the universe from coming under the sway of an individual like Leto again.


    mrpsbrk wrote:But, see, if you wanted to prevent the universe to come under the sway of a single person, why would you put it under your own sway? I never can swallow those "war to end all wars" kinds of argument. Leto's "wisening" of humanity might have many aspects, but i am not sure that "aversion to centralization" makes too much sense.


    Leto taught by example. He didn't just say, "Oh, this is a bad thing to do. Let's try this alternative." To show how sucky it was to have the whole of humanity under one person's control, he actually put it there for 3500 years. That's a lesson that won't be forgotten any time soon, and after he was gone, that decentralization of power is exactly what happened.


    Man, that just does not work, for if it was true, well, Rome did already centralize all the world for a long long time (less, but comparatively i would say as significant as) and after it no one whatsoever had any concept of "centralization is bad" -- instead, the barbarians that sacked Rome tended to fancy themselves "continuing Roman legacy"...

    So, either GEoD talks about things not applicable to our present -- which i do not accept -- or i guess your argument does not make much sense.

    OK, putting a guy in a cage might make him love freedom, but... will his sons love it too? His grandsons?

    No, i think the GP as a philosophy is more than "centralization is bad". Or, at least, i feel it must be...
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    Postby Freakzilla » 03 Feb 2009 12:33

    The centralized model Leto used for his own empire was Pharaonic, the Romans just spread it:

    "Damn the Romans!" Leto cried.
    He spoke it inwardly to his ancestors: "Damn the Romans!"
    Their laughter drove him from the inward arena.
    "I don't understand, Lord," Moneo ventured.
    "That's true. You don't understand. The Romans broadcast the pharaonic disease
    like grain farmers scattering the seeds of next season's harvest -Caesars,
    kaisers, tsars, imperators, caseris . . . palatos . . . damned pharaohs?"
    "My knowledge does not encompass all of those titles, Lord."
    "I may be the last of the lot, Moneo. Pray that this is so."
    "Whatever my Lord commands."
    Leto stared down at the man. "We are myth-killers, you and I, Moneo. That's the
    dream we share. I assure you from a God's Olympian perch that government is a
    shared myth. When the myth dies, the government dies."
    "Thus you have taught me, Lord."
    "That man-machine, the Army, created our present dream, my friend."
    Moneo cleared his throat.
    Leto recognized the small signs of the majordomo's impatience.
    Moneo understands about armies. He knows it was a fool's dream that armies were
    the basic instrument of governance.
    As Leto continued silent, Moneo crossed to the lasgun and retrieved it from the
    crypt's cold floor. He began disabling it.
    Leto watched him, thinking how this tiny scene encapsulated ..fostered
    the essence of the Army myth. The Army fostered technology because the power of
    machines appeared so obvious to the shortsighted.

    ~GEoD
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    Postby dunepunk » 03 Feb 2009 13:17

    Freakzilla wrote:The centralized model Leto used for his own empire was Pharaonic, the Romans just spread it:

    "Damn the Romans!" Leto cried.
    He spoke it inwardly to his ancestors: "Damn the Romans!"
    Their laughter drove him from the inward arena.
    "I don't understand, Lord," Moneo ventured.
    "That's true. You don't understand. The Romans broadcast the pharaonic disease
    like grain farmers scattering the seeds of next season's harvest -Caesars,
    kaisers, tsars, imperators, caseris . . . palatos . . . damned pharaohs?"
    "My knowledge does not encompass all of those titles, Lord."
    "I may be the last of the lot, Moneo. Pray that this is so."
    "Whatever my Lord commands."
    Leto stared down at the man. "We are myth-killers, you and I, Moneo. That's the
    dream we share. I assure you from a God's Olympian perch that government is a
    shared myth. When the myth dies, the government dies."
    "Thus you have taught me, Lord."
    "That man-machine, the Army, created our present dream, my friend."
    Moneo cleared his throat.
    Leto recognized the small signs of the majordomo's impatience.
    Moneo understands about armies. He knows it was a fool's dream that armies were
    the basic instrument of governance.
    As Leto continued silent, Moneo crossed to the lasgun and retrieved it from the
    crypt's cold floor. He began disabling it.
    Leto watched him, thinking how this tiny scene encapsulated ..fostered
    the essence of the Army myth. The Army fostered technology because the power of
    machines appeared so obvious to the shortsighted.

    ~GEoD


    One of my favorite quotes in all of Dune... :D
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    Postby SandRider » 03 Feb 2009 13:30

    Moneo understands about armies. He knows it was a fool's dream that armies were the basic instrument of governance.


    I love this line, in particular -
    these days, I'd change "governance" to "diplomacy" .....
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 03 Feb 2009 14:31

    Oh, yeah?

    GEoD wrote:One of the most terrible words in any language is Soldier. The synonyms parade through our history: yogahnee, trooper, hussar, kareebo, cossack, deranzeef, legionnaire, sardaukar, fish speaker... I know them all. They stand there in the ranks of my memory to remind me: Always make sure you have the army with you.

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    Postby mrpsbrk » 03 Feb 2009 14:35

    Freakzilla wrote:The centralized model Leto used for his own empire was Pharaonic, the Romans just spread it:


    OK, but even then: why become a Pharaoh to stop the pharaonic disease? Why make war to end war? Does this work?

    Or, the very fact that you have to consider making war to end war doesn't prove that war is not the only problem? And so, that the Pharaonic disease is not the only thing that had to be unlocked to make the GP?
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    Postby dunepunk » 03 Feb 2009 16:50

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:The centralized model Leto used for his own empire was Pharaonic, the Romans just spread it:


    OK, but even then: why become a Pharaoh to stop the pharaonic disease? Why make war to end war? Does this work?

    Or, the very fact that you have to consider making war to end war doesn't prove that war is not the only problem? And so, that the Pharaonic disease is not the only thing that had to be unlocked to make the GP?


    I don't know if anyone here has said that that's the only aspect of the GP, I just suggested decentralization of government as a major component of the GP. And Leto's discussion with Duncan Idaho:

    "Whatever I do," Leto said, "it is to teach a lesson."
    Idaho rigidly willed himself not to look back at the scene of Nunepi's punishment. Was that the sound of Nunepi groaning? The shouts of the crowd pierced Idaho. He stared up into Leto's eyes.
    "There is a question in your mind," Leto said.
    "Many questions, m'Lord."
    "Speak them."
    "What is the lesson in that fool's punishment? What do we say when asked?"
    "We say that no one is permitted to blaspheme against the God Emperor."
    "A bloody lesson, m'Lord."
    "Not as bloody as some I've taught."
    Idaho shook his head from side to side in obvious dismay. "Nothing good's going to come of this!"
    "Precisely!"


    So he definitely doesn't have any reservations to teaching against a practice by performing it. Of course, with Leto, this may be another lesson, "Look, see what happens when you kill to show that killing is wrong!" or something to that effect. I think that much of Leto's reign can be characterized by this: "Nothing good's going to come of this!"
    "Precisely!"

    People aren't going to really get it if you just tell them. If they have to live with the consequences, then the memory of that lesson will be incorporated into their institutions and way of life (so yes, the lessons taught to the father will be imparted to the child, by way of the child's education and the social structure in which the child is raised).
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    Postby Seraphan » 03 Feb 2009 18:12

    dunepunk wrote:People aren't going to really get it if you just tell them. If they have to live with the consequences, then the memory of that lesson will be incorporated into their institutions and way of life (so yes, the lessons taught to the father will be imparted to the child, by way of the child's education and the social structure in which the child is raised).

    There are two parts that i remember in GEoD about this. One is the ritual of Siaynoq, there's a mention about the Fish Speekers children. And the other when Leto is talking to Hwi:
    "But your Fish Speakers are..."
    "They teach about survival," he said.
    Her eyes went wide with understanding. "The survivors. Of course!"


    I'll find the quotes in the siaynoq chapter later on and post them.

    To mrpsbrk:
    There's a basic natural reaction in all beings. When performing a certain action, if the animal gets hurt, they'll start avoiding it. They know what it leads to.
    The pharaonic model that Leto uses plays a similar role, in which he shows mankind, makes them suffer it's great consequences, to teach them the dangerous fallacies of living under the rule of such a centralized power.
    Also, check the audio interview posted on T(A)U, listen to the second audio file. Frank Herbert talks about his views on mankind.
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    Postby Seraphan » 04 Feb 2009 08:50

    Whoops my bad, the part in the siaynoq chapter about the Fish Speakers children is refering to the ritual itself.
    However, here's some more ammo:
    "I have been forming this human society, shaping it for more than three thousand years, opening a door out of adolescence for the entire species" Leto had said
    ...
    "My houris teach maturation," Leto said. "They know that they must supervise the maturation of males. Through this they find their own maturation. Eventually, houris merge into wives and mothers and we wean the violent drives away from their adolescent fixations".

    In the last chapter:
    "You will be recompensated," Leto husked. "My Fish Speakers will choose you over Siona. Be kind to her, Duncan. She is more than Atreides and she carries the seed of our survival."
    ...
    "Why did you do it?" Idaho whispered.
    "My gift," Leto said. "Nobody will find the descendants of Siona. The oracle cannot see her."
    "What?" They spoke in unison, leaning close to hear his fading voice.
    "I give you a new kind of time without parallels," he said. "It will always diverge. There will be no concurrent points on its curves. I give you the Golden Path. That is my gift. Never again will you have the kinds of concurrence that you once had."


    One thing you have to realize, mrpsbrk, is that there are aspects about the golden path that refer to real human problems while others, like these last two bits, are merely the fictional vehicle.
    The reason why the golden path doesnt seem that clear is because Frank Herbert always refused to give any absolute answers, he gave us freedom of thought. But like i said previously, listen to the audio interview, it will clear things up for you.
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 04 Feb 2009 13:04

    Seraphan wrote:One thing you have to realize, mrpsbrk, is that there are aspects about the golden path that refer to real human problems while others, like these last two bits, are merely the fictional vehicle.


    You can call me Marcio.

    I do not believe language can access anything at all besides "real human problems", in this sense -- any symbol's meaning does not exist in the symbol, but only in the reader, as he does the reading. So every word has to be correlated from the simple visual (or sound) to something you really lived. Therefore, every single word that every single writer wrote deals with "real human problems".

    I could put that in "scientific terms", if you wish.

    Seraphan wrote:The reason why the golden path doesnt seem that clear is because Frank Herbert always refused to give any absolute answers, he gave us freedom of thought. But like i said previously, listen to the audio interview, it will clear things up for you.


    Doesn't seem so clear? You mean that it is simple, but difficult to see?

    I don't know, man... This theory that FH had ideas that could be explained in easier ways (like GP=Scattering+Invisibility) but that he choose to complicate it all for the sake of literature seems to me completely at odds with the books. For example, the "Litany Against Fear" is right there, at the first chapter of the first book. And it does not get much clear than that: "Fear is the Mind-Killer". He gives us all that we need in a plate, directly, even more generously than asked for...

    By now, that everyone and their cats have tried to convince me that i am over-analysing the whole thing, i kinda lost interest in this discussion. You can fling at me so many quotes about the "Golden Path being nothing more nor less than the survival of the Human Race", and believe me, up till now no one has quoted anything i didn't remember, but you can't make FH less of a preacher. In Dune he tries to mask it, but in GEoD he is in full preaching mode, blasting theories about government, violence, love and almost anything else you care to name -- ALL THE TIME!

    I do not want to prove anything to anyone. I just want to over-analyse the darn thing!
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    Postby leto247 » 05 Feb 2009 07:53

    Well, just my two cents here. I kinda agree with mrpsbrk. It always seemed to me that the old Frank was many times, as he said, "in full preaching mode" (not that i dislike it, au contraire). So i think is nice trying to unravel what he was really trying to tell us.
    About the "Overthinking" issue i can understand there will be those who say Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain. But i prefer to follow the amtal rule to discover the limits of an argument, if it takes us to a dead end we can always turn backwards but we can also arrive to an unexpected place.
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    Postby SandRider » 05 Feb 2009 10:31

    I think overthinking DUNE is only dangerous when an obvious answer is
    before you, yet you continue to speculate -

    case(s) in point - the Butlerian Jihad & Alien Road discussions Over There.
    Or Arnie, Arnie's a good example of overthinking for the sake of ....well, I'm
    not sure what Arnie's doing, but you get the point.

    of course, Arnie's a total fucktard idiot, and marcio seems to be a rather
    smart young man with alot of potential, once his life is infused with more
    experiance.

    and a while back I related one of my favorite un-winders after work in the
    seventies was to get good and stoned, pick up any of the first three books,
    randomly flip open a page and read sometimes no more than a few sentences -
    then kick back and trip on the complexity and sheer quanity of ideas Frank
    could impart in so few words.

    I agree with Marcio as well that God-emperor was Frank's catch-all work for
    putting down some of his general political, religious and social ideas, so
    to try and parse out the things he meant as a critique of today's society
    is worthwhile - just remember that Frank's 'today' is not your 'today' -
    the world has changed much since he wrote DUNE in the early sixties,
    and even since God-emperor and the last two. You have to put Frank in
    his correct time period .....
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    Postby Seraphan » 08 Feb 2009 09:48

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    Seraphan wrote:One thing you have to realize, mrpsbrk, is that there are aspects about the golden path that refer to real human problems while others, like these last two bits, are merely the fictional vehicle.


    You can call me Marcio.

    I do not believe language can access anything at all besides "real human problems", in this sense -- any symbol's meaning does not exist in the symbol, but only in the reader, as he does the reading. So every word has to be correlated from the simple visual (or sound) to something you really lived. Therefore, every single word that every single writer wrote deals with "real human problems".

    I could put that in "scientific terms", if you wish.


    No need to, what i meant is that since your talking about the GP as a philosophy, things like Siona's invisibility to prescience as little concern to it.

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    Seraphan wrote:The reason why the golden path doesnt seem that clear is because Frank Herbert always refused to give any absolute answers, he gave us freedom of thought. But like i said previously, listen to the audio interview, it will clear things up for you.


    Doesn't seem so clear? You mean that it is simple, but difficult to see?

    Since you were making a lot of questions about it, i thought you might be struggling for answers about the GP philosophy.

    mrpsbrk wrote:I don't know, man... This theory that FH had ideas that could be explained in easier ways (like GP=Scattering+Invisibility) but that he choose to complicate it all for the sake of literature seems to me completely at odds with the books.

    I agree with you there.
    mrpsbrk wrote: For example, the "Litany Against Fear" is right there, at the first chapter of the first book. And it does not get much clear than that: "Fear is the Mind-Killer". He gives us all that we need in a plate, directly, even more generously than asked for...

    By now, that everyone and their cats have tried to convince me that i am over-analysing the whole thing, i kinda lost interest in this discussion. You can fling at me so many quotes about the "Golden Path being nothing more nor less than the survival of the Human Race", and believe me, up till now no one has quoted anything i didn't remember, but you can't make FH less of a preacher. In Dune he tries to mask it, but in GEoD he is in full preaching mode, blasting theories about government, violence, love and almost anything else you care to name -- ALL THE TIME!

    I do not want to prove anything to anyone. I just want to over-analyse the darn thing!

    And thank god you're doing it. The whole philosophy in the golden path, for me, lies in the change of social forms and structures that Frank believed mankind needs. Analyzing it is necessary, at least for those interested in it.
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 08 Feb 2009 13:42

    SandRider wrote:I agree with Marcio as well that God-emperor was Frank's catch-all work for
    putting down some of his general political, religious and social ideas, so
    to try and parse out the things he meant as a critique of today's society
    is worthwhile - just remember that Frank's 'today' is not your 'today' -
    the world has changed much since he wrote DUNE in the early sixties,
    and even since God-emperor and the last two. You have to put Frank in
    his correct time period .....


    Arrakis?

    But would that be before or after Kynes?

    Anyways, i think that remembering WHEN Frank wrote GEoD (according to wikipedia, 1981) actually makes me think he was writing that amidst the cold war, which means i see a strong chance that if he decided to write about something that had any importance to the world he would be dealing with the COLD WAR.

    In this sense, a lot of the arguments there revolve around a n important theme: VIOLENCE.

    But what i find really interesting is that Frank never takes the easy way out and say: violence is wrong. He acknowledges it is necessary. And that you should use it, as fitting to become a better person and not to spread pain and suffering.

    In that vein, just running away (scattering) is not a prudent strategy. Leto says Moneo never turns his back on danger. You have to acknowledge violence, and you have to acknowledge the impulse to use violence in unconstructive ways, to be able to mature and be beyond those patterns of behaviour. Not absent from them, see, but beyond them.
    Marcio (mrpsbrk) does believe in Lord Leto over all other wills and reasons ;-)
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    Postby Phaedrus » 16 Feb 2009 08:28

    The Golden Path was Leto's reversal of human nature.

    Human nature is to go backwards, towards one's past, towards the comfortable, the ancestral, the inborn instinct.

    Leto taught humanity to create new things, to become something other than itself. It was something that Muad'Dib tried to teach his Fremen, but failed(because Paul himself ultimately failed at showing them how. His government and his jihad weren't new, they followed old patterns. Paul thought he could "invent government," but acknowledges his own failure. He relied on his prescience because he wanted the future to be like the past. Leto never wanted to know the future, he wanted surprises.). Leto is, of course, a symbol of his own teachings- overwhelmingly determined by the past, but he finds a way to become and create something new.
    You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 17 Feb 2009 13:24

    Phaedrus wrote:The Golden Path was Leto's reversal of human nature.

    Human nature is to go backwards, towards one's past, towards the comfortable, the ancestral, the inborn instinct.


    Good point. But i guess this is not exactly it. As FH depicts it, the "Human Nature" has both the seek-safety drive and the mix-strains-without-plan drive. It both wants to be safely in it's cradle-womb and to run from stagnation.

    Phaedrus wrote:Leto taught humanity to create new things, to become something other than itself. It was something that Muad'Dib tried to teach his Fremen, but failed


    Yes, i guess it can be said that Paul wanted to teach a lesson that was, in essence, similar to the GP. Nevertheless, he failed miserably. Why?

    Actually, this one question, might shed a lot of light in FH's intentions with the whole series.

    Dune is supposedly a parable against the god-leader, and so Paul is ultimately a great failure. It is actually something you only see after re-reading the book 2 or 3 times. Paul fails in the end!!

    Now Leto II, despite being even more of a god-leader, deserving of all the criticism Dune makes on divine dictators, seems to be different. Why?

    My own opinion (put forward more as subject to discussion than as a mature argument) is that Paul expected that a purely moral solution was enough for a question that in itself goes beyond moral issues.

    He had developed himself beyond the dualistic fight-or-flee, safety-or-war mentality, and he expected that just because he did put himself up on the throne it was enough for everyone to start thinking that "non-dualistic is cool". In other words, he expected that to have power over everyone was enough to force his own values on them. But in the process he actually killed his subject's capacity of having values of their own.

    PS.: i do not regard non-dualism as a good enough description of the GP, i just used it here as short-term.

    Phaedrus wrote:(because Paul himself ultimately failed at showing them how. His government and his jihad weren't new, they followed old patterns. Paul thought he could "invent government," but acknowledges his own failure. He relied on his prescience because he wanted the future to be like the past. Leto never wanted to know the future, he wanted surprises.). Leto is, of course, a symbol of his own teachings- overwhelmingly determined by the past, but he finds a way to become and create something new.


    I also do not think that past VS future touches the heart of the matter.
    Marcio (mrpsbrk) does believe in Lord Leto over all other wills and reasons ;-)
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    Postby Phaedrus » 18 Feb 2009 04:46

    mrpsbrk wrote:
    Phaedrus wrote:The Golden Path was Leto's reversal of human nature.

    Human nature is to go backwards, towards one's past, towards the comfortable, the ancestral, the inborn instinct.


    Good point. But i guess this is not exactly it. As FH depicts it, the "Human Nature" has both the seek-safety drive and the mix-strains-without-plan drive. It both wants to be safely in it's cradle-womb and to run from stagnation.


    The "running from stagnation" is part of the inborn instinct. It wasn't enough in Dune. People follow charismatic leaders, things like fascism happen all too commonly because people are so good at dividing themselves into leader/follower relationships.

    Phaedrus wrote:Leto taught humanity to create new things, to become something other than itself. It was something that Muad'Dib tried to teach his Fremen, but failed


    Yes, i guess it can be said that Paul wanted to teach a lesson that was, in essence, similar to the GP. Nevertheless, he failed miserably. Why?

    Actually, this one question, might shed a lot of light in FH's intentions with the whole series.

    Dune is supposedly a parable against the god-leader, and so Paul is ultimately a great failure. It is actually something you only see after re-reading the book 2 or 3 times. Paul fails in the end!!


    Actually, I'd say Paul fails in the beginning. As the Preacher, he falls in line with Leto's vision.

    Now Leto II, despite being even more of a god-leader, deserving of all the criticism Dune makes on divine dictators, seems to be different. Why?


    I rule by the right of loneliness, Siona. My loneliness is part-freedom and part-slavery. It says I cannot be bought by any human group. My slavery to you says that I will serve all of you to the best of my lordly abilities.

    My own opinion (put forward more as subject to discussion than as a mature argument) is that Paul expected that a purely moral solution was enough for a question that in itself goes beyond moral issues.


    The slaughter of massive numbers of human beings is a moral solution to what, exactly?

    He had developed himself beyond the dualistic fight-or-flee, safety-or-war mentality, and he expected that just because he did put himself up on the throne it was enough for everyone to start thinking that "non-dualistic is cool". In other words, he expected that to have power over everyone was enough to force his own values on them. But in the process he actually killed his subject's capacity of having values of their own.


    I don't think Paul thought he had complete power over his subjects, nor do I think he rejected dualism, nor do I think he killed his subject's capacity of having values. Leto was the one who forced stagnation and simplicity in order to force a reaction that would be the explosion of the Scattering.


    I also do not think that past VS future touches the heart of the matter.


    That's not what I said. I'm not talking about past vs. future, I'm talking about the planned use of creative powers instead of relying on past solutions. Not even close to the same thing. I think that if you wanted to sum up the "how" of the Golden Path as simply as possible, that would be it. The "what" is obviously survival.
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    Postby Bijaz » 18 Feb 2009 05:13

    SandRider wrote:just remember that Frank's 'today' is not your 'today' -
    the world has changed much since he wrote DUNE in the early sixties,
    and even since God-emperor and the last two. You have to put Frank in
    his correct time period .....


    Two distinct periods:

    Brian drank juice and soda pop.
    Brian stank sauce and pot.
    They may take yairrrr Frreedom, but they ken nivverrrr take yairrrr Duuuunnne!
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