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    Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 09 Dec 2014 12:21

    Dune Messiah wrote:“Why has no vision shown me this new Duncan Idaho? he asked himself. What concealed Time from an oracle? Other oracles, obviously.
    Paul opened his eyes, asked: "Hayt, do you have the power of prescience?"
    "No, m'Lord."
    Sincerity spoke in that voice. It was possible the ghola didn't know he possessed this ability, of course. But that'd hamper his working as a mentat.
    What was the hidden design?
    Old visions surged around Paul. Would he have to choose the terrible way?
    Distorted Time hinted at this ghola in that hideous future. Would that way close in upon him no matter what he did?
    Disengage . . . disengage . . . disengage . .”


    Is this a foreshadow of Duncan’s role in the series? Could a past incarnation be clouded by a future incarnation’s prescient ability? And Hayt does display, at one point, a prescient moment. It might simply be the obvious case of Edric shielding Duncan. But could a future self’s prescience guard the past self from inspection? If a later ghola of Duncan was prescient, would this shield the prior incarnations retroactively?

    Also does 'that hideous future' mean the future involving Duncans in Leto II’s empire? Could this be a passage where Paul considers the Golden Path and thinks of it as the “terrible way”?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 09 Dec 2014 12:56

    I think this refers to what would have happened if Paul had given Chani to the Tleilaxu.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 09 Dec 2014 16:38

    Freakzilla wrote:I think this refers to what would have happened if Paul had given Chani to the Tleilaxu.


    Why would Paul ever have to choose that way? If anything I would have thought that giving Chani to them would be quite the opposite of acting under compulsion, but rather a case of ignoring what he must do (according to his principles) in favor of what he fantasized about doing. It seems that the story of DM is largely about Paul struggling with his duty to humanity versus getting what he wanted; in the case of Chani he was getting what he wanted at the expense of humanity. But I always saw giving Chani to them more of a temptation rather than a path he'd "have to choose."
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 09 Dec 2014 20:02

    Again he stumbled. Chani, Chani, he thought. There was no other way. Chani,
    beloved, believe me that this death was quicker for you . . . and kinder. They'd
    have held our children hostage, displayed you in a cage and slave pits, reviled
    you with the blame for my death. This way . . . this way we destroy them and
    save our children.

    ~DM
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 09 Dec 2014 21:18

    Right, but isn't this quote about what would have happened had Paul killed himself, or tried to save Chani's life by exposing the conspiracy or Irulan's interference? I took it to be about the future where the conspiracy's quiet machinations were blown open to make way for open rebellion, where Chani and the children would be enslaved and tortured.

    I thought we were discussing, though, the idea of Paul giving Chani to the Tleilaxu to be made into a ghola, with the above scenario already avoided. It would have been a way for Paul to stay 'alive', with Chani (as a ghola), but under the control of the Tleilaxu. That would have been the selfish path for Paul, another betrayal of the people after his first betrayal involving taking up the mahdinate in the first place.

    I guess it's hard to make exact sense of what the oracles in the books say, especially when they're discussing future paths that don't actually end up happening. I was definitely looking for signs in Dune, DM and CoD, though, that Paul took note of the Golden Path and it came up at some point. Not that it matters, but it would be cool to be able to show evidence from earlier that he knew about it and that he didn't just pull out of his butt in CoD that he knew about it all along.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Smiley » 09 Dec 2014 22:19

    Leto and Ghani playing the parent's game. the ego memory of Paul talks about it. However the preacher confirms that paul did not see the need for it as Leto did. As for Hayat, Paul seems to have not seen him as Hayat b/c he was shieled by Edric. Once his memories are reawakened in DM Paul says "This is when you came back to me" which I interpreted as he could see him in the vision from that point onward. If you look at Leto's vision management as destroying unwanted threads instead of guiding into a specific thread, and his prescience being more powerful, neither one of them might have seen the Duncan Idaho of chapterhouse.

    The meta explanation of Duncan Idaho being the reader's anchor in the later books, and the I percieve the consensus is that Frank Herbert would have stopped at CoD, makes me think it is unlikely he was forshadowing Duncan being prescient later on.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 10 Dec 2014 10:16

    Duncan/Hayt was already a latent prescient in DM. But my question really is not really about whether Paul knew about the Golden Path before, but whether Frank had come up with the idea of the Golden Path as far back as when he first published Dune. In the parent game Paul does say some things, but that's still in CoD and I'd be more curious to find a reference to the Golden Path in Dune or DM.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jun 2017 06:46

    georgiedenbro wrote:Duncan/Hayt was already a latent prescient in DM. But my question really is not really about whether Paul knew about the Golden Path before, but whether Frank had come up with the idea of the Golden Path as far back as when he first published Dune. In the parent game Paul does say some things, but that's still in CoD and I'd be more curious to find a reference to the Golden Path in Dune or DM.



    I've often wondered about this, and have gone re-reading the earlier books looking for it. Ive yet to really find any link, which is odd given that the first three books were supposed to have been conceived together prior to writing Dune.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jun 2017 11:16

    Paul's version of the GP was his Jihad and the wild intermingling of genes it caused thus remedying the stagnation the empire had sunk into at that time.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jun 2017 19:29

    Freakzilla wrote:Paul's version of the GP was his Jihad and the wild intermingling of genes it caused thus remedying the stagnation the empire had sunk into at that time.


    To me that seems more like a political consequence of his actions, rather than a noble goal for humankind
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 26 Jun 2017 10:26

    pcqypcqy wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Paul's version of the GP was his Jihad and the wild intermingling of genes it caused thus remedying the stagnation the empire had sunk into at that time.


    To me that seems more like a political consequence of his actions, rather than a noble goal for humankind


    It was pretty much just destiny and he was only along for the ride. Paul's vision did not see the extinction of humanity that Leto's did so the jihad was only a temporary band-aid.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 Jun 2017 10:29

    Freakzilla wrote:
    pcqypcqy wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Paul's version of the GP was his Jihad and the wild intermingling of genes it caused thus remedying the stagnation the empire had sunk into at that time.


    To me that seems more like a political consequence of his actions, rather than a noble goal for humankind


    It was pretty much just destiny and he was only along for the ride. Paul's vision did not see the extinction of humanity that Leto's did so the jihad was only a temporary band-aid.


    Essentially it seems that Paul's contribution to the natural flow of things was not to interfere and to let the Jihad happen, whereas Leto II didn't accept the natural flow and wanted to create his own system. Paul, having decided that actually interfering would be even worse, had a choice between allowing the inevitable to happen with him at the helm, or allowing it to happen with someone else at the helm, maybe a little later. In DM he implies that he's failed by allowing it to happen on his watch (for Chani's sake), but realistically, based on what Mohiam says in Dune, it was going to happen sooner or later one way or the other. If it wasn't Paul it would have likely been Feyd-Rautha leading the charge.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 27 Jun 2017 10:47

    georgiedenbro wrote:If it wasn't Paul it would have likely been Feyd-Rautha leading the charge.


    Or Feyd and Paulette's son. I think that was the BG plan.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 Jun 2017 12:10

    Freakzilla wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:If it wasn't Paul it would have likely been Feyd-Rautha leading the charge.


    Or Feyd and Paulette's son. I think that was the BG plan.


    Yeah, the BG plan was for their son to lead, but it seems the Baron's plan was for Feyd to take the throne directly by harnessing the support of the Arrakis locals. I guess whichever faction had their way would have had their person doing what Paul ended up doing.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 01 Jul 2017 03:07

    I don't disagree with any of this, but I always thought it implausible that given the BG reluctance to grasp the sword themselves, this whole scheme seemed very much like that. I always out it down to the Bg evolving as FH wrote the series.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 02 Jul 2017 07:07

    I think the KH would have been seen by the masses as a noble more than a BG, thus still giving them their behind the scenes control.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby pcqypcqy » 03 Jul 2017 03:00

    I'm reading the McNelly interview for the first time, and FH pretty well states this flat out. Can't argue with him I guess.

    I suppose it feels odd because the rest of the series, the BG spend all their time AVOIDING a KH and taking overt control of things, and I'm probably more familiar with the later books than Dune itself.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 03 Jul 2017 09:09

    I think the BG thought the KH couldn't be anything other than BG once he gained OM but once they experienced Paul and Leto they knew better.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 24 Jul 2017 13:37

    Freakzilla wrote:I think the BG thought the KH couldn't be anything other than BG once he gained OM but once they experienced Paul and Leto they knew better.


    I think so too. I also think the plan would've been to keep the BG control behind the scenes and to keep up the facade of them being politically neutral. Certainly if the KH was a BG he wouldn't make it known that he was affiliated with them. In keeping with their habits, he probably wouldn't even let on what his powers really were, and would only demonstrate just enough capability to fulfill the Missionaria legends that had been planted.

    The funny thing is that they were correct in a way that becoming the KH would make Paul/Leto II into 'real BG', except the problem was that they were more real as BG than the BG were, especially Leto. It took the BG until Odrade to really comprehend to what extent Leto II was a BG all along and that the BG still needed a few thousand years to grow into themselves and realize how to be BG in a way closer to their full potential. I would like to think they were on the same side the entire time, it's just it took the BG a long time to realize it.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Serkanner » 25 Jul 2017 14:31

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:I think the BG thought the KH couldn't be anything other than BG once he gained OM but once they experienced Paul and Leto they knew better.


    I think so too. I also think the plan would've been to keep the BG control behind the scenes and to keep up the facade of them being politically neutral. Certainly if the KH was a BG he wouldn't make it known that he was affiliated with them. In keeping with their habits, he probably wouldn't even let on what his powers really were, and would only demonstrate just enough capability to fulfill the Missionaria legends that had been planted.

    The funny thing is that they were correct in a way that becoming the KH would make Paul/Leto II into 'real BG', except the problem was that they were more real as BG than the BG were, especially Leto. It took the BG until Odrade to really comprehend to what extent Leto II was a BG all along and that the BG still needed a few thousand years to grow into themselves and realize how to be BG in a way closer to their full potential. I would like to think they were on the same side the entire time, it's just it took the BG a long time to realize it.


    And that is exactly what Paul did. He even said he was something completely different, something they didn't expect.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Jul 2017 15:16

    Upon reflection I think the best answer I can come up with about what the "hideous future" was in the OP quote is the future of locking himself and all of his people into a permanent prescient trap. DM seems to have focused heavily on Paul trapping himself with his visions, and I guess "disengage" must simply refer to disengaging from following a pre-set pattern of movements and words. He had to follow the precise path of his prescience when he lost his eyes, down the the slightest minutiae of movement, but I suppose his escape from the hideous future was accepting blindness and going into the desert, knowing it would kill Chani but save her child, and free everyone else to choose their own futures.

    I was hoping to be able to find some reference to the Golden Path in the terrible future, and in a way that reference is there since locking himself into a permanent prescient trap seems to be what Leto II later did. Paul was unwilling to commit himself to walking through the motions of living for the rest of his life, and likewise forcing everyone around him to act as his puppets. That would be like enslaving everyone, which as an Atreides would be unacceptable. But aside from the notion of his rule being a potentially dictatorial future of enslavement for all (especially himself), I haven't found any other signs of the specifics of what we later learn in CoD and GeoD. As of this point we just know it would involve locking things in for a good long time, but aren't told the details of what would actually have been the goal of Paul's reign if he didn't disengage. I'm sort of happy that these details are left for the later books, and in DM the problem is distilled simply down to enslavement = bad, which is a motif that seems to come back in far more depth in Heretics and Chapterhouse.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jul 2017 15:24

    Maybe it was taking on the sandtrout skin?
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Jul 2017 15:34

    Freakzilla wrote:Maybe it was taking on the sandtrout skin?


    The thought had occurred to me, but I didn't notice any actual detail hinting at that. Maybe I missed something? It's hard to block the knowledge of what comes in the next book from my mind when scanning the text of DM to make sure I'm not projecting what I know onto what's written. Offhand it feels like Frank wanted the sandtrout choice to be shocking rather than something alluded to earlier in the series. In fact I'm not even sure if Dune or DM mention how the sandtrout link up and surround water, and without that premise there would be no way to understand how Leto II does what he does.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 26 Jul 2017 04:34

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Maybe it was taking on the sandtrout skin?


    The thought had occurred to me, but I didn't notice any actual detail hinting at that. Maybe I missed something? It's hard to block the knowledge of what comes in the next book from my mind when scanning the text of DM to make sure I'm not projecting what I know onto what's written. Offhand it feels like Frank wanted the sandtrout choice to be shocking rather than something alluded to earlier in the series. In fact I'm not even sure if Dune or DM mention how the sandtrout link up and surround water, and without that premise there would be no way to understand how Leto II does what he does.


    The spice cycle (sandworm life cycle) is covered in the Dune Appendix but I don't think sandtrout are mentioned in the story until CoD. However, Paul admits to Leto that he had a vision of doing it and in GEoD Leto confesses that Paul dared not to. So Paul knew of the option. The thing that made me think of this was this...

    Old visions surged around Paul. Would he have to choose the terrible way?
    Distorted Time hinted at this ghola in that hideous future. Would that way close in upon him no matter what he did?


    ...one of the reasons Leto chose to bring back Idaho time after time was because it please his Paul persona.
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    Re: Paul's Vision of the Golden Path

    Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Jul 2017 09:09

    Freakzilla wrote:
    Old visions surged around Paul. Would he have to choose the terrible way?
    Distorted Time hinted at this ghola in that hideous future. Would that way close in upon him no matter what he did?


    ...one of the reasons Leto chose to bring back Idaho time after time was because it please his Paul persona.


    Yeah, that's the line that gives us a hint. But it's still not enough to verify whether FH had already planned ahead and knew exactly what that future was, or just set himself up to be able to write it in later. I'll take it on faith for now that it was all planned :)
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