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    Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

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    Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Idaho316 » 15 Dec 2011 18:26

    So I was reading GEoD the other day and I had a really crazy thought. This is conjecture on my part, but what if Leto was simply Herbert's metaphor for the human condition? Leto's "pearls of awareness" fit in eerily with his already expored idea of ancestral memories, in which Herbert suggests that we all have the memoreis of our ancestors n each and evryone of our cells. The human body does pass on certain genes when we procreate, so those supposed ancestral memories could be termed "pearls of awareness"
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby SadisticCynic » 15 Dec 2011 18:36

    The ancestral memories are an extension of Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. In a sense, i would agree with you that Leto is humanity; he has experience of every human civilisation, culture and individual experiences beyond count.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Demerzel » 19 Dec 2011 14:36

    ..yet his own personal plans for humanity would not be accepted by general humanity at any single point of time, even though they are ultimately for the best.
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Freakzilla » 19 Dec 2011 21:23

    Demerzel wrote:..yet his own personal plans for humanity would not be accepted by general humanity at any single point of time, even though they are ultimately for the best.


    Especially since no one knows what they really were.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Dravition » 20 Dec 2011 20:36

    Freakzilla wrote:Especially since no one knows what they really were.


    That said, he does go to great lengths to help the children of his empire understand him.
    Leto smiled. "Duncan, have I not told you that when you think you know something, that is a most perfect barrier against learning?"
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Demerzel » 22 Dec 2011 07:27

    Freakzilla wrote:Especially since no one knows what they really were.

    Humans never choose the right path regardless :character-burgerking:
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Thunder » 29 Feb 2012 13:29

    Idaho316 wrote:So I was reading GEoD the other day and I had a really crazy thought. This is conjecture on my part, but what if Leto was simply Herbert's metaphor for the human condition? Leto's "pearls of awareness" fit in eerily with his already expored idea of ancestral memories, in which Herbert suggests that we all have the memoreis of our ancestors n each and evryone of our cells. The human body does pass on certain genes when we procreate, so those supposed ancestral memories could be termed "pearls of awareness"


    Thank you for mentioning the contribution of Jung’s philosophy. Long have I wanted to mention it, but you beat me to it. I’ll bet that others have as well.
    I think that Jung’s idea of collective consciousness and racial memory inspired the character Leto II’s powers of ancestral and genetic memories. He is not the first. Remember that Paul and Alia also had similar powers of such memory. I think that Paul and Alia’s memories may have been used by Frank as a literary tool, as a precursor, or quasi-foreshadowing, or preparation, for the idea that Frank really wanted to present: Jung’s idea of the collective consciousness and its relation to ancestral, racial and genetic memories depicted in the character Leto II – the ultimate expression of collective consciousness, ancestral and genetic memories. I believe that Frank encountered a problem in presenting this concept. I further believe that Frank realized that the solution was to gradually introduce this concept via Paul and Alia. Also worth mentioning, racial memory is the reason that Leto II was a predator.
    I think Leto II represents much, but chiefly he represents a philosophy concerning the management of the Human race. His antithesis is the Bene Geserit order. Leto II is evolution and survival. BG are evolutionary stagnation and death. Leto’s conversation with the BG sister Chenoeh greatly illustrates this, as well as the best example, the epic vision struggle between Paul/Preacher and Leto II, which in my opinion, is the pinnacle of the entire Dune story.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Thunder » 29 Feb 2012 13:40

    Freakzilla wrote:
    Demerzel wrote:..yet his own personal plans for humanity would not be accepted by general humanity at any single point of time, even though they are ultimately for the best.


    Especially since no one knows what they really were.

    Yes, this is frustrating. Aside from the survival of the human race through evolution, both physical and spiritual, the specifics are not clear. However, is this by design, or a work unfinished, or, shall i blaspheme, bad writing? Regardless, i am both very awestruck, and somewhat disappointed because of this.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Freakzilla » 29 Feb 2012 15:15

    Know how the Holtzmann engines work?
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Thunder » 29 Feb 2012 16:27

    Freakzilla wrote:Know how the Holtzmann engines work?

    It pisses off a worm. What Moneo saw, the comming of the Worm, was probably caused by glow-globes and the suspensor beam of the royal cart. More hints please, but not a total spoiler.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Freakzilla » 29 Feb 2012 16:58

    I'm just saying, we don't know how the Holtzmann engines worked to fold space but it you just take it for granted that they do. Same thing with the INM. I think FH purposely doesn't fill in all the details.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Sardaukar Capt » 02 Mar 2012 19:53

    FH himself admitted he didn't fill in the back story to the foundation of Dune on purpose. Jacurutu is a prime of example of why he didn't. DE is to. A great exchange of ideas about the history of Dune by the fans of the work. And it keeps drawing people back to it to read it over and over again.

    This is clearly a technique you can't do while dicta-hiking or editing while watching DVDs.



    WM: I have said this to my classes that, in many ways as satisfying as “Dune” is, I find it unsatisfying because there are so many unanswered questions; you don’t tie up the loose ends of, say, Paul’s sister, unless you read…what is it?.. a “Huntress of a Thousand Worlds” (Laughter)…that marvellous little…little footnote of Princess Alia. But… or several other things. The whole question of the Spacing Guild itself and how it got to be the way it was is handled very…you know…
    FH: Well, let’s…let’s examine something, as far as fiction in general is concerned…
    WM: All right.
    FH: Now there are other reasons why stories are remembered, and I’m talking about story in the classic sense of the knights who goes from castle to castle to earn his meal.
    WM: All right.
    FH: Entertainment…
    WM: Sure.
    FH: The stories that are remembered are the ones that strike sparks from your mind, one way or another. It’s like a grinding wheel. They touch you and sparks fly.
    WM: Would this be something like the Miller’s tale of Chaucer or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, if you please?
    FH: Yes, indeed.
    WM: Or, well, we could adduce thousands of other examples up to, say, Treasure Island or what you will. There’s sparks there.
    FH: OK.
    WM: I understand your term.
    FH: Now we all have stories that we go on with after we finish reading them. As children, we can remember playing Treasure Island…
    WM: Or playing Tom Sawyer…
    FH: Or Tom Sawyer…any of these. We remember playing these. The story stayed with us…the characters and their conflicts, their joys, their play all stayed with us.
    WM: And it enkindled sparks in our own imagination, so that we were then active in creative play.
    FH: That’s exactly right! We went on and told the story ourself…
    WM: Yes.
    FH: Now, I deliberately did this in “Dune” for that purpose. I want the person to go on and construct for himself all of these marvellous flights of fantasy and imagination. I want him to…you see, you haven’t had the Spacing Guild explained completely…just enough so that you know its existence. Now with lots of people, they’ve got to complete this.
    WM: Yes.
    FH: So they build it up in their own minds. Now this is right out of the story, though, you see…
    WM: Yes. Or the whole…
    FH: The sparks have flown.
    The name Atreides was also consciously chosen. It is the family name of Agamemnon. Says Herbert, "I wanted a sense of monumental aristocracy, but with tragedy hanging over them--and in our culture, Agamemnon personifies that."
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby harqalada » 09 Jul 2012 14:11

    I've been thinking how Leto II is a kind of ekstasis (something like an out-of-body experience, or a unity of something which exists OUTSIDE that something). He's a sort of summation of human potential; he actualizes that potential by being a particular "person" (sort of) at a particular time (sort of), fulfilling humanity by gathering all of it up into one force and using that force to transform himself, i.e., humanity.

    Thunder wrote:
    Idaho316 wrote:the epic vision struggle between Paul/Preacher and Leto II, which in my opinion, is the pinnacle of the entire Dune story.


    Can you go more into this? Does Paul have a strict plan that could be put into opposition to the Golden Path, or is it more that he refuses the only options he can see and thus plays a kind of desperate waiting game? He's "trapped" because he only reacts to his visions, rather than choosing one and forcing it on the world? I mean, Leto regards his situation as inflicted upon himself by Paul, specifically because his father was afraid to do what needed to be done, right?

    Related to this, has anyone gotten the impression that one of the main way Dune prescience works is by actually determining the future and not merely predicting it? Don't some Leto or Paul quotes (or some aphorisms at the beginnings of chapters) suggest this? And does this suggest that Leto still actively controls events even after his death - if the "pearls" of himself in the sandworms descended from him still predict in some fashion, then they also still determine? They literally dream everyone else's reality (goes back to Leto as ekstasis - he is the dreamer and humanity is the dream)?
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 14:28

    harqalada wrote:I've been thinking how Leto II is a kind of ekstasis (something like an out-of-body experience, or a unity of something which exists OUTSIDE that something). He's a sort of summation of human potential; he actualizes that potential by being a particular "person" (sort of) at a particular time (sort of), fulfilling humanity by gathering all of it up into one force and using that force to transform himself, i.e., humanity.

    Thunder wrote:
    Idaho316 wrote:the epic vision struggle between Paul/Preacher and Leto II, which in my opinion, is the pinnacle of the entire Dune story.


    Can you go more into this? Does Paul have a strict plan that could be put into opposition to the Golden Path, or is it more that he refuses the only options he can see and thus plays a kind of desperate waiting game? He's "trapped" because he only reacts to his visions, rather than choosing one and forcing it on the world?


    The 'prescient trap' of Paul's comes from the fact that each time he used prescience to make a decision, the number of future possibilities was reduced until finally he was left with only one which he could not deviate from, for one, because he was blind and two, because the result would be devestating.

    I mean, Leto regards his situation as inflicted upon himself by Paul, specifically because his father was afraid to do what needed to be done, right?


    Paul didn't see it as a necessity, only as a way out of the trap and considered that option too terrible.

    Related to this, has anyone gotten the impression that one of the main way Dune prescience works is by actually determining the future and not merely predicting it?


    You probably got that impression from FH says it was so. :P

    Don't some Leto or Paul quotes (or some aphorisms at the beginnings of chapters) suggest this?


    Very much so.

    And does this suggest that Leto still actively controls events even after his death - if the "pearls" of himself in the sandworms descended from him still predict in some fashion, then they also still determine? They literally dream everyone else's reality (goes back to Leto as ekstasis - he is the dreamer and humanity is the dream)?


    No, Leto desired a universe of surprises.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby harqalada » 09 Jul 2012 14:53

    Freakzilla wrote:
    The 'prescient trap' of Paul's comes from the fact that each time he used prescience to make a decision, the number of future possibilities was reduced until finally he was left with only one which he could not deviate from, for one, because he was blind and two, because the result would be devestating.

    Paul didn't see it as a necessity, only as a way out of the trap and considered that option too terrible.


    What's the relationship between this path/trap and the Golden Path? Why doesn't Leto fall into it - is it just that he's a more powerful Kwisatz Haderach? Can there be KHs of varying "strength"?

    No, Leto desired a universe of surprises.


    Well, he could still have that. 1500 years isn't a particularly long period in his accounting. I think Odrade hypothesizes at the end of Heretics that Leto's plan included the secret reign of his worms for 1500 years, which transitions (finally) into the BG taking active responsibility for the Golden Path/humanity with the destruction of Rakis and all but one worm. The same events bring the Sisterhood to maturity and end (for real this time) Leto's tyranny.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 15:05

    harqalada wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    The 'prescient trap' of Paul's comes from the fact that each time he used prescience to make a decision, the number of future possibilities was reduced until finally he was left with only one which he could not deviate from, for one, because he was blind and two, because the result would be devestating.

    Paul didn't see it as a necessity, only as a way out of the trap and considered that option too terrible.


    What's the relationship between this path/trap and the Golden Path? Why doesn't Leto fall into it - is it just that he's a more powerful Kwisatz Haderach? Can there be KHs of varying "strength"?


    Leto is pre-born into a universe dominated by Paul's prescient trap. He must break out of it too and does so through the metamophosis, an act of creation. Leto doesn't rely on prediction to make his decisions, he uses it to create new futures. Yes, Leto is more powerfull than Paul.

    No, Leto desired a universe of surprises.


    Well, he could still have that. 1500 years isn't a particularly long period in his accounting. I think Odrade hypothesizes at the end of Heretics that Leto's plan included the secret reign of his worms for 1500 years, which transitions (finally) into the BG taking active responsibility for the Golden Path/humanity with the destruction of Rakis and all but one worm. The same events bring the Sisterhood to maturity and end (for real this time) Leto's tyranny.


    I think that was just an excuse she used to convince her opposition in the BG of the necessity of destroying Rakis and leaving them the potential sole source of spice.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby ULFsurfer » 09 Jul 2012 18:37

    harqalada wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    The 'prescient trap' of Paul's comes from the fact that each time he used prescience to make a decision, the number of future possibilities was reduced until finally he was left with only one which he could not deviate from, for one, because he was blind and two, because the result would be devestating.

    Paul didn't see it as a necessity, only as a way out of the trap and considered that option too terrible.


    What's the relationship between this path/trap and the Golden Path? Why doesn't Leto fall into it - is it just that he's a more powerful Kwisatz Haderach? Can there be KHs of varying "strength"?


    We just had a similar discussion here: http://jacurutu.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3302&sid=b94587624da4822a63fe62de3fcd0a8b
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby MasterOfAssassins » 25 Sep 2012 02:26

    Leto's not just a metaphor for humanity, he's a metaphor for the superhuman (post-human; the farthest future-human) but primarily, he's a metaphor for God Almighty. An omniscient deity would desire, above all else, surprise. Omniscience (presented as prescience) would be boring as hell. He's the ultimate tyrant and the deepest rebel; the soul of contradiction (the oldest and youngest, most and least experienced and HUMAN, soulless and most soulful, best friend/worst enemy). Literally, God and Satan in one mind and body and ok with that because humans are nothing but a collection of contradictions. A subject of eternal reflection and one more manifestation of Frank's blessed and damned genius. Unlike everything and nothing else, ever. And let's be honest; he was holy abomination, before pre-born and, since the worms born from him never died, neither did he.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby chuck_boris » 19 Oct 2012 18:27

    I like to think about it this way: leto II tried to save humanity from stagnation. his goal was The Scattering - diversity beyond anyone's grasp. Paul compared prescience to the Heisenberg effect: just by observing the future, one could alter it. and ultimately, seeing one future path blocked you on that path(because future is as much as a cause to the present as it is the other way around), as people around here have said before. one big part of leto's plan was to create an entire generation of invisible humans, therefore making prescience useless. infinite diversity -> unpredictable future -> survival.

    think about the dinosaurs: life prevailed after the cataclysm exactly because it was so diverse. whatever scale a disaster might have, there will always be some creatures fit to live in the new conditions.

    this is what leto wanted! humanity was doomed by it's own lack of variance. given the variance the future becomes invisible, therefore unable to affect the present.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby Serkanner » 19 Oct 2012 18:49

    chuck_boris wrote:I like to think about it this way: leto II tried to save humanity from stagnation. his goal was The Scattering - diversity beyond anyone's grasp. Paul compared prescience to the Heisenberg effect: just by observing the future, one could alter it. and ultimately, seeing one future path blocked you on that path(because future is as much as a cause to the present as it is the other way around), as people around here have said before. one big part of leto's plan was to create an entire generation of invisible humans, therefore making prescience useless. infinite diversity -> unpredictable future -> survival.

    think about the dinosaurs: life prevailed after the cataclysm exactly because it was so diverse. whatever scale a disaster might have, there will always be some creatures fit to live in the new conditions.

    this is what leto wanted! humanity was doomed by it's own lack of variance. given the variance the future becomes invisible, therefore unable to affect the present.


    A fine entrance to make your own "hey, I am here!" topic. ... I would really like to read more about your ideas.
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    Re: Leto II as a metaphor for humanity

    Postby chuck_boris » 22 Oct 2012 06:58

    thanks, I'll keep'em coming! It will take a while for me to catch up with all the discussions around here. I am also currently reading the novels again, this time in english. up till now I've read only the translated version (about 4 or 5 times :D ). So, in the near future, I guess I'll become more and more active.


    cheers :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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