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    A second GP?

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 14 Apr 2011 20:40

    Ok, obviously we're all in agreement, the GP is the survival of humanity for as long as possible, achieved via the scattering and Siona gene, and thus the removal of the possibility of any one threat wiping out everyone.

    But - there are a few things Leto did that seem more specific. The cache of spice for example, and I'm sure we can come up with more from the last 3 books FH wrote. Stuff that seems only relevant to the "Old Empire".

    Someone had brought up the possibility that he wanted some redemption for the BG on top of the GP's overall goals. A lot of people have rambled, and in some cases argued well (with evidence from text) that there must be more to the GP.

    What I'm saying, is obviously the GP is the GP - but what if Leto also planted some seeds for a more sentimental purpose, a redemption of the Old Empire, or even just the BG? Stuff like the cache of spice has nothing at all to do with the GP, but that and certain quotes from GEoD (gotta get my PDFs from storage...) seem to support the idea that he was also working on the BG (or Old Empire in general) for no real reason other for their own sake, not the sake of humanity in general.

    Maybe I'm drunk. Maybe I'm on to something here.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SandChigger » 14 Apr 2011 22:26

    At the point in time when Leto toys with the idea of throwing himself from the top of his Sareer spire and watches the Golden Path wink in and out of existence, the Bene Gesserit are still necessary to some aspect of the unfolding of the (inception of the) Golden Path.

    Why? Because if he died there, at that time, in that way, the sandtrout in his body—the last in the universe—would have died for lack of water and there would never ever be more spice. Who would that hurt most? The Bene Gesserit, who would have eventually lost all of their spice-addicted Reverend Mothers and much of their Other Memory. (There's an interesting side-question: how easy is it for a "spice-born" RM to Share OM with an RM created through one of the older, less effective drugs? This no doubt has bearing on the birth of the Honored Matres later.)

    Later, after the Famine Times and the Scattering, I can't see any way that anything the Bene Gesserit could do could affect the survival of the entire race, so their sudden extinction could not destroy the GP. But Leto obviously wanted them to survive because of things like the Tabr Hoard. I think it's so they could serve as humanity's memory of its own history. But I think you're right that Leto wanted them to heal themselves and open up to those aspects of human life that they had closed themselves to. ("WHAT IS SURVIVAL IF YOU DO NOT SURVIVE WHOLE? ASK THE BENE TLEILAX THAT! WHAT IF YOU NO LONGER HEAR THE MUSIC OF LIFE? MEMORIES ARE NOT ENOUGH UNLESS THEY CALL YOU TO NOBLE PURPOSE!")

    Somewhere right after the end of GEoD, during the Famine Times and before the Scattering got underway in earnest, the Sisterhood does something important that ensures the GP is established. It might have made a good story, but FH chose to move on to the Heretics period (1,500 years later) instead. ;)
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby D Pope » 14 Apr 2011 22:49

    SandChigger wrote:(There's an interesting side-question: how easy is it for a "spice-born" RM to Share OM with an RM created through one of the older, less effective drugs? This no doubt has bearing on the birth of the Honored Matres later.)


    There are no other awareness spectrum drugs, whatever there was in Dune is gone by GEoD. It's my sad guess that by the eighties, Frank had given up on alternatives to oil.
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SandChigger » 15 Apr 2011 06:07

    D Pope wrote:There are no other awareness spectrum drugs, whatever there was in Dune is gone by GEoD.

    Is there a quote for that, that's slipped my mind? :?

    Meta-level interpretation is always interesting, but in pure story terms, the Bene Gesserit would have remembered the other drugs; surely not all of them would have become unobtainable? There is of course the problem of explaining the origin of the Honored Matres, though; they obviously couldn't find suitable alternatives to create a new generation of RMs. (Or maybe the Fish Speakers the Bene Gesserit had fallen in with played some role in preventing them from finding or developing an alternative? :think: )
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby D Pope » 15 Apr 2011 08:59

    From a BG report on the imperium, there's something like, "Only through the most stringent controlls have we maintained the level of Reverend Mothers, we asked Leto for more spice and he said be thankfull for what you have. Message received, we sent a gracious thank you note."
    That's about as direct as it gets. There's nothing that puts it directly but there are hints, acolites with secret symbols and such that indicate what they're doing with the spice shortage. Anyway, in Dune it's said that there are others but none of them work after Melange. I've proposed before that this would be the time those others would come to the fore- the only thing in GEoD is how strapped the BG are without spice. Not one hint about 'other than spice' RMs. Besides, in Dune, all references to other awareness spectrum drugs are tied to truthsayers, making things even muddier.

    I can't find the other thread where this was discussed, it's not in "The Spice, i'd like to know." (Chig said I had a pure heart in that one, thanks mate!")

    What are the lessons they'll feel in their bones?
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 15 Apr 2011 10:44

    D Pope wrote:From a BG report on the imperium, there's something like, "Only through the most stringent controlls have we maintained the level of Reverend Mothers, we asked Leto for more spice and he said be thankfull for what you have. Message received, we sent a gracious thank you note."
    That's about as direct as it gets. There's nothing that puts it directly but there are hints, acolites with secret symbols and such that indicate what they're doing with the spice shortage. Anyway, in Dune it's said that there are others but none of them work after Melange. I've proposed before that this would be the time those others would come to the fore- the only thing in GEoD is how strapped the BG are without spice. Not one hint about 'other than spice' RMs. Besides, in Dune, all references to other awareness spectrum drugs are tied to truthsayers, making things even muddier.

    I can't find the other thread where this was discussed, it's not in "The Spice, i'd like to know." (Chig said I had a pure heart in that one, thanks mate!")


    At the end of Dune Paul said that once a RM uses the spice, no other drugs work. That would make a transition difficult, if not deadly.

    As for the BG's roll in the GP, they did proliferate the Siona gene.

    What are the lessons they'll feel in their bones?


    The enhanced desire to travel through space, wariness of always taking the safe path/seeking peace and tranquility, trusting superhumans...
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SandChigger » 15 Apr 2011 12:24

    I was thinking that meant once an individual RM used the spice, no other drug worked for her. A Reverend Mother changed with spice is thereafter addicted to it, so without it, naturally, she's going to die.

    "I'll handle this, Jessica," the old woman said. "Now, lad, do you know about the Truthsayer drug?"

    "You take it to improve your ability to detect falsehood," he said. "My mother's told me."

    "Have you ever seen truthtrance?"

    He shook his head. "No."

    "The drug's dangerous," she said, "but it gives insight. When a Truthsayer's gifted by the drug, she can look many places in her memory—in her body's memory. We look down so many avenues of the past...but only feminine avenues." Her voice took on a note of sadness. "Yet, there's a place where no Truthsayer can see. We are repelled by it, terrorized. It is said a man will come one day and find in the gift of the drug his inward eye. He will look where we cannot—into both feminine and masculine pasts."

    Mohiam is the Emperor's Truthsayer. She's a Reverend Mother. "We look down so many avenues of the past...." I think the implication is fairly clear there that she was changed using the drug. No? (And this was before anyone knew of the Water of Life used by the Fremen.)

    Could it be a case of Bene Gesserit myopia? Or of their not wanting to settle for a lesser alternative (for creating new RMs) when they could still get spice? :think:
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 15 Apr 2011 12:39

    Yeah, I got the impression that it required an overdose or a poison, some drug that the acolyte must overcome to unlock Other Memory.

    Aside from being readily available, the spice had life-extending benefits.

    I think this is the theme in Dune that I was most disappointed with. Instead of the BG finding an alternative to the spice they just recreate Dune throughout the universe. Kind of the wrong message coming from FH.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SandChigger » 15 Apr 2011 12:51

    Yeah, recreate Dune (destroy a whole planet for one substance)... or BT-tank a certain number of themselves (women objectified)? :?

    Then again, maybe it's intended as a built-in weak point, a necessary vulnerability? ;)
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 15 Apr 2011 13:43

    So what's the verdict on this, was I just drunk, or does it seem like Leto did in fact have a secondary plan for the BG/Old Empire that was on top of the GP?
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 15 Apr 2011 14:06

    I wouldn't say it was a second plan or had any bearing on the GP but that he had a soft spot for the BG and wanted them to mature.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SadisticCynic » 15 Apr 2011 14:10

    [Written before Freak's post, and I don't want to rewrite]

    I don't know about that, but I do think there is a case to be made for him having something in mind for the BG. He was angry with them for not being what they could have been. I thought this might have something to do with the fact that they held themselves outside of mainstream humanity (sort of) and maybe became a little parasitic, but not to the extent that the Guild managed.

    Odrade's thoughts in Chapterhouse wrote:We don't like it that we're caught in someone else's currents, that we don't know what may be revealed at the river's next bend. We always prefer overflight even though any commanding position must remain part of other currents. Every flow contains unpredictable things.


    I can't find it but I'm certain there's another quote about being part of a stream; a part of a stream cannot consider itself separate from the rest of the flow. (The quote was not necessarily talking directly about the BG). The BG had tried to separate themselves from the flow. But much of this is solved by the events of the Scattering forcing the BG to take a more active role. Odrade realises that, despite their claims, the BG do show love for each other, in the way they take care of each other.

    When each had sampled the bouillabaisse, Bellonda put down her spoon and stared
    hard at Odrade. "You're not going to suggest we 'love one another' or some such
    debilitating nonsense?"
    "Thank you for bringing my food," Odrade said.
    Sheeana swallowed and a wide grin came over her features. "It's delicious."


    ...is one example where she notices this.

    Of course, Leto could never force them to develop, he had to be cold: "Any of them could die, they just can;t all die" still applies.

    Sorry. End of silly rambling for now.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 15 Apr 2011 14:16

    My title for this thread was poorly chosen, I'm definitely not suggesting anything to do with the GP. I do get the feeling though that there was some kind of plan for the BG's redemption after the GP was established. One that he wasn't as concerned about working as the GP, but that he put in place as more of a bonus.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 15 Apr 2011 15:10

    Well, I think BG redemption is a major theme in the latter books. They had seperated themselves from humanities stream and no longer evolved with it. Their little test with the HM got them back into the stream.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Superdog » 15 Apr 2011 20:17

    My understanding was always that the BG were meant to become the watchmen of humanity, as much as they are able to. Before then, despite their rhetoric, their goals were always ultimately selfish. Humanity can survive without them yes, but can they survive well?
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby inhuien » 24 Apr 2011 06:53

    Was it not the Water of Life rather than Melange that was used in the Agony, or was that just the Wild ones, and I believe Franks introduction of stagnation and repetition of Dune like planets could only have been put in place to have been shattered, just as it (repetition) had been in the previous arcs.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SandChigger » 24 Apr 2011 10:06

    Water of Life couldn't have been used before Jessica because until then only the Fremen knew of it.

    (Unless Jessica was ignorant of it because she was only an acolyte. But if there was a secret trade in WoL going on between the BG & Fremen, wouldn't you think the former would have known a lot more about the situation on Arrakis, especially after the Atreides rout?)
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 24 Apr 2011 19:41

    I don't think the BG ever used the WoL but a concentrated spice essence or spice liquor. That was purely a Fremen thing and sacred.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby inhuien » 25 Apr 2011 12:39

    So is it just coincidental that after Jessica transmutes the WoL that the BG stop using their previous poison and moves on to mainlined Melange OD. Or is this yet another fucking fuck up.

    The only other Agony I can recall from the books is Sheeana's or was it Murbella. I'll need to check this out.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby inhuien » 25 Apr 2011 12:57

    in Murbella's agony from Chapterhouse of Dune wrote:This is the moment when I learn.
    She saw an oral syringe swing into position above her mouth. Bellonda's hand
    moved it.
    "We carry our grail in our heads," Odrade had said. "Carry this grail gently if
    it comes into your possession."
    The syringe touched her lips. Murbella closed her eyes but felt fingers open
    her mouth. Cold metal touched her teeth. Odrade's remembered voice was with
    her.
    Avoid excesses. Overcorrect and you always have a fine mess on your hands, the
    necessity to make larger and larger corrections. Oscillation. Fanatics are
    marvelous creators of oscillation.
    "Our grail. It has linearity because each Reverend Mother carries the same
    determination. We will perpetuate this together."
    Bitter liquid gushed into her mouth. Murbella swallowed convulsively. She felt
    fire flow down her throat into her stomach. No pain except the burning. She
    wondered if this could be the extent of it. Her stomach felt merely warm now.


    But then they do call it the Spice Agony although misdirection is their middle name.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby inhuien » 25 Apr 2011 13:12

    SandChigger wrote:Water of Life couldn't have been used before Jessica because until then only the Fremen knew of it.

    (Unless Jessica was ignorant of it because she was only an acolyte. But if there was a secret trade in WoL going on between the BG & Fremen, wouldn't you think the former would have known a lot more about the situation on Arrakis, especially after the Atreides rout?)

    Of course WoL was not used before the testing of Jessica, muddyness was my bad.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 25 Apr 2011 21:29

    inhuien wrote:So is it just coincidental that after Jessica transmutes the WoL that the BG stop using their previous poison and moves on to mainlined Melange OD. Or is this yet another fucking fuck up.

    The only other Agony I can recall from the books is Sheeana's or was it Murbella. I'll need to check this out.


    No need, Murbella's is the only BG Agony we are privy to.

    Also, in GEoD, Luseyal and Antioc have a vile of Spice Essence.
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby SandChigger » 25 Apr 2011 21:56

    Freakzilla wrote:Also, in GEoD, Luseyal and Antioc have a vile of Spice Essence.

    Aye. And a right nasty vile it were! :lol:
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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby Freakzilla » 25 Apr 2011 22:26

    SandChigger wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Also, in GEoD, Luseyal and Antioc have a vile of Spice Essence.

    Aye. And a right nasty vile it were! :lol:


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    Re: A second GP?

    Postby inhuien » 26 Apr 2011 07:57

    So does anyone have a suggestion why the BG stopped using poison X and moved over to Spice. Unless the timing of the switch has nothing more to do with it than BGs investigations surrounding the discovery of the Freman wild Reverend Mothers.
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