KWISATZ HADERACH

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    One of the two remaining Great Schools tasked with mentoring humanity

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KWISATZ HADERACH

Postby Freakzilla » 23 Feb 2008 08:14

KWISATZ HADERACH: "Shortening of the Way." This is the label applied by the Bene
Gesserit to the unknown for which they sought a genetic solution: a male Bene
Gesserit whose organic mental powers would bridge space and time.

~Dune, Terminology of the Imperium

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Postby The Sons of Idaho » 04 Mar 2008 14:47

Something I’m still curious about…

What really makes a Kwizats Haderach?

Is it Prescience, or is it just a male able to survive the Agony?

I while back, Freakzilla pointed out to me that in the Dune appendix it does mention prescience as a goal in breeding the KH.
But then at other times I’ve seen the idea that the male OM was the only real goal. Everyhting else was just extra.

Form Dune chapter 1 reading group -
halcyo wrote:I am amazed at how few people realize that the definition of what the Kwizatz Haderach is is so EXPLICITLY explained right away in the first chapter: Reverend Mothers can remember the pasts of their female ancestors, but are unable to endure looking into their male ancestor's pasts. The Kwizatz Haderach will be able to see both without mental harm. It's really that simple, and any other definitions and/or connotations are apparently based on myths, legends, and indoctrination. All this stuff about 'being two places at once' and others are not REALLY what he is, but only what others believe Paul to be.



This is mentioned multiple times in the books - a “male reverend mother” is what the KH really is. Prescience seemed to just be a side effect in Paul’s case.
On the other hand, they never really say prescience is a requisite, but it is implied throughout the books that it is an important part of it.

It seems almost like an inconsistency at times. Sometimes they explicitly say male OM is the key quality. Other times they imply that prescience is the key quality.
How simple things were when our messiah was only a dream...

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Postby Nekhrun » 04 Mar 2008 15:10

The Sons of Idaho wrote:Something I’m still curious about…

What really makes a Kwizats Haderach?

Is it Prescience, or is it just a male able to survive the Agony?

I would guess both because unless you can do both, you're not in many places at once.

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Postby Mandy » 04 Mar 2008 15:13

Remember when Mohaim first came to test Paul and asked him about his dreams? She took that they were prophetic as a sign that he could be the KH.

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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 17:10

I must concur with Ninti, err...Mandy here.

The strict defenition might be someone who can go through the agony and see both male and female OM, but it seems one of the offshoot/by-product traits, rather than mere coincidence or accident.
That's why having prescient dreams is a possible sign to being a KH, and the reason behind Mohiam's visit(aside from testing with the box to first see if he's at least "human" by the BG's defenition of the term)

But, as we know, Guild Navigators have limited prescience due to spice exposure, and they are all male, which could mean prescience is dependant on gender and restricted to males.
Though this could be either ruled out or weakened by the fact that Odrade has some very limited(or untested, as she wouldn't invoke it) form of prescience. But overall, we see a tendency for real, strong prescience only in males(Ghani doesn't count, hers is only OM from Paul).
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Postby The Sons of Idaho » 04 Mar 2008 19:06

Ahh... so your saying they're both independant symptoms of the same thing.
I had always assumed that one led to the other somehow.
Like if prescience was the goal, unlocking dual OM was the key to getting there, or vice versa.

This is what confused me. I never understood why, if prescience was their goal, they tried to achieve it through dual OM.
It never really made sense to me that dual OM led to prescience or that prescience led to dual OM, as there are people with limited forms of each ability that cannot do both.

So if that is true and the BG just realized that the KH would be able to do both, then which one was their ultimate goal?
Which ability was important enough to warrant 10,000 years of breeding?
How simple things were when our messiah was only a dream...

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Postby SandChigger » 04 Mar 2008 19:36

Um...more like 4,000 years of breeding. ;)

(FH seems to use "generation" to refer to about 45 years [e.g., the Butlerian Jihad lasted 93 years and is described as "two generations"], probably due to the longer lifespans resulting from spice use. The breeding program was in operation for 90 generations.)
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Postby Nekhrun » 04 Mar 2008 19:52

The Sons of Idaho wrote:So if that is true and the BG just realized that the KH would be able to do both, then which one was their ultimate goal?
Which ability was important enough to warrant 10,000 years of breeding?

Someone with prescience who had the judgment of both the giving and taking force within would be able to set humanity upon the Golden Path. Without OM on both sides the path might be a little biased.

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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 20:19

Yes, though of course the BG thought to use the KH to help them shape humanity, use him as a tool.
God Leto also said that the BG "sensed" there was a problem and wanted to guide humanity, though it didn't occur to them that since they're part of this human mass they'll be changed too along the way, not to mention their own viewpoint and understanding were limited in comparison to his(hence why they objected him and repeatedly asked him what he was aiming for).
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



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Postby Freakzilla » 04 Mar 2008 20:44

M/F OM + Mentat + Spice = Prescience

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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 21:05

I think Occam's Razor requires me to drop "mentat" from that list- Paul was never fully trained as a mentat, he was only told he might start the training in earnest just before leaving to Arrakis, IIRC.
Unless you include OM of mentats in the past, but Paul had some prescience well before taking the WoL which gave him his potential mentat OM.

Also, if you're refering to the projection of logical conclusions by a mentat as prescience, I don't think there's much calculation involved, even if it's all about "learning the future from the past OM"- it seems a natural ability since, again, Paul had some well before he had any OM, mentat training and any sort of information about certain Fremen personal and topography on Dune*(i.e his Chaney dreams at the begining of the book).
This would also seem to disprove the notion of projecting the future from the past(also the fact Guild Navigators don't have any OM).

I'm surprised I never thought of this arguement before when we discussed "past projection" theories on 'keen. Probably because we didn't touch it from this angle before.

*As noted several times in the book(s), mentat projections are only as good as the info they're fed...one of FH's reasons for the failure of machines? No doubt. It's been said a machine can't predict what humanity might need.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby Freakzilla » 04 Mar 2008 21:16

orald wrote:Paul was never fully trained as a mentat, he was only told he might start the training in earnest just before leaving to Arrakis, IIRC.


Paul was in mentat training from infancy:

Paul stared at his father, unable to speak for a moment, then: "A Mentat?
Me? But I . . . "
"Hawat agrees, Son. It's true."
"But I thought Mentat training had to start during infancy and the subject
couldn't be told because it might inhibit the early . . . " He broke off, all
his past circumstances coming to focus in one flashing computation. "I see," he
said.
"A day comes," the Duke said, "when the potential Mentat must learn what's
being done. It may no longer be done to him. The Mentat has to share in the
choice of whether to continue or abandon the training. Some can continue; some
are incapable of it. Only the potential Mentat can tell this for sure about
himself."
Paul rubbed his chin. All the special training from Hawat and his mother --
the mnemonics, the focusing of awareness, the muscle control and sharpening of
sensitivities, the study of languages and nuances of voices -- all of it clicked
into a new kind of understanding in his mind.
"You'll be the Duke someday, Son," his father said. "A Mentat Duke would be
formidable indeed. Can you decide now . . . or do you need more time?"
There was no hesitation in his answer. "I'll go on with the training."


In Dune Messiah, Paul is refered to as "the Mentat Emperor":

Such a rich store of myths enfolds Paul Muad'dib, the Mentat Emperor, and his
sister, Alia, it is difficult to see the real persons behind these veils. But
there were, after all, a man born Paul Atreides and a woman born Alia. Their
flesh was subject to space and time. And even though their oracular powers
placed them beyond the usual limits of time and space, they came from human
stock. They experienced real events which left real traces upon a real universe.
To understand them, it must be seen that their catastrophe was the catastrophe
of all mankind. This work is dedicated, then, not to Muad'dib or his sister, but
to their heirs -- to all of us.

-Dedication in the Muad'dib Concordance as copied from The Tabla Memorium of the
Mahdi Spirit Cult


Also, if you're refering to the projection of logical conclusions by a mentat as prescience, I don't think there's much calculation involved, even if it's all about "learning the future from the past OM"- it seems a natural ability since, again, Paul had some well before he had any OM, mentat training and any sort of information about certain Fremen personal and topography on Dune*(i.e his Chaney dreams at the begining of the book).
This would also seem to disprove the notion of projecting the future from the past(also the fact Guild Navigators don't have any OM).

I'm surprised I never thought of this arguement before when we discussed "past projection" theories on 'keen. Probably because we didn't touch it from this angle before.

*As noted several times in the book(s), mentat projections are only as good as the info they're fed...one of FH's reasons for the failure of machines? No doubt. It's been said a machine can't predict what humanity might need.


Memories of all your ancestors is pretty good info to make future projections on, if you ask me.

I dont think it's purely mathematical or logical. I think OM is the data base. With that and the awareness expanding spice, a mentat can make projections of all possible futures.

Kind of like the theory in physics that if we knew the location and motion of every particle in the universe, we could plot out the where they were in the past and where they will be in the future. The problem for normal people is, the more accurately you measure one, the more uncertain the other becomes.

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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 21:27

Ok, Paul's finished his mentat training by the time of DM.
But he still has prescience before having access to OM(and there you can say it's subconscious and I'll agree it could very well be), and before he's a true mentat- he's only a potential one, he's not fully trained, not even close at that point if the're just telling him, and he's been having them for some years by then.

Also, Guildies aren't mentats, nor do they have any active OM(maybe subconscious and affecting only their limited prescience, if we'll accept the Past Projection theory).
So again I think at least "mentat" should stay off the list.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby Freakzilla » 04 Mar 2008 21:32

orald wrote:Ok, Paul's finished his mentat training by the time of DM.
But he still has prescience before having access to OM(and there you can say it's subconscious and I'll agree it could very well be), and before he's a true mentat- he's only a potential one, he's not fully trained, not even close at that point if the're just telling him, and he's been having them for some years by then.


Right, Paul's prescience was natural. It didn't really kick in until he started on the spice diet on Arrakis.

Also, Guildies aren't mentats, nor do they have any active OM(maybe subconscious and affecting only their limited prescience, if we'll accept the Past Projection theory).
So again I think at least "mentat" should stay off the list.


She nodded. "We have two chief survivors of those ancient schools: the Bene
Gesserit and the Spacing Guild. The Guild, so we think, emphasizes almost pure
mathematics.
Bene Gesserit performs another function."
"Politics," he said.

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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 21:39

I'm not sure mentats could be called mainly mathematicians...but even with that Paul's ability kicks in without the need for full mentat training.

P.S. Geez, you're slaughtering me, I've really rusted out all this time outside the sietch! :oops:
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



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Postby Rakis » 04 Mar 2008 21:59

:lol: :lol:
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Postby Tyrant » 04 Mar 2008 22:00

hopefully this isnt prequal nonsense..but cant others using the spice have a tiny bit of preseince ... kind of like one vision..but nothing super detailed or long term ...like a glimpse..please god stone me if its from the prequals
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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 22:09

I haven't read the "House" trilogy in years, but I'm not sure there's such a notion mentioned there...though I'm suspicious of lame Tleilaxu Amal(that's the name?) plotlines, so it could be there too.

I think a sietch's spice orgy produces something like that, very limited though. Chaney tells Paul when they're going to make out for the first time that she's just seen herself with him, or having children for him or somesuch. But then again, that's after drinking converted WoL, not just spice(which reminds me, did we get to a conclusion what the relationship between the two really is in the old discussion at 'keen? Is WoL just highly concentrated spice? I think it's a bit different).
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.



I wish I could have been with you that one last time.

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Postby Freakzilla » 04 Mar 2008 22:48

Tyrant wrote:hopefully this isnt prequal nonsense..but cant others using the spice have a tiny bit of preseince ... kind of like one vision..but nothing super detailed or long term ...like a glimpse..please god stone me if its from the prequals


I think prescience is fairly common, Mohiam seems to have a little:

Jessica paled. "Is there no alternative?"
"Alternative? A Bene Gesserit should ask that?"
"I ask only what you see in the future with your superior abilities."
"I see in the future what I've seen in the past. You well know the pattern
of our affairs, Jessica. The race knows its own mortality and fears stagnation
of its heredity. It's in the bloodstream -- the urge to mingle genetic strains
without plan. The Imperium, the CHOAM Company, all the Great Houses, they are
but bits of flotsam in the path of the flood."

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Postby Freakzilla » 04 Mar 2008 22:50

orald wrote:I haven't read the "House" trilogy in years, but I'm not sure there's such a notion mentioned there...though I'm suspicious of lame Tleilaxu Amal(that's the name?) plotlines, so it could be there too.

I think a sietch's spice orgy produces something like that, very limited though. Chaney tells Paul when they're going to make out for the first time that she's just seen herself with him, or having children for him or somesuch. But then again, that's after drinking converted WoL, not just spice(which reminds me, did we get to a conclusion what the relationship between the two really is in the old discussion at 'keen? Is WoL just highly concentrated spice? I think it's a bit different).


I think Crysknife had a good theory on how the Fremen themselves were a prescient force in total due to the spice...

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Postby Freakzilla » 04 Mar 2008 22:51

orald wrote:I'm not sure mentats could be called mainly mathematicians...but even with that Paul's ability kicks in without the need for full mentat training.


True, he doesn't finish his mentat training but I guess it was enough.

"Paul." Jessica said, "you're not a Mentat yet; you can't know for sure how-
-"
"I'll never be a Mentat," he said. "I'm something else . . . a freak."
"Paul! How can you say such--"
"Leave me alone!"


P.S. Geez, you're slaughtering me, I've really rusted out all this time outside the sietch! :oops:


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Postby Rakis » 05 Mar 2008 00:16

Freakzilla wrote:
orald wrote:I haven't read the "House" trilogy in years, but I'm not sure there's such a notion mentioned there...though I'm suspicious of lame Tleilaxu Amal(that's the name?) plotlines, so it could be there too.

I think a sietch's spice orgy produces something like that, very limited though. Chaney tells Paul when they're going to make out for the first time that she's just seen herself with him, or having children for him or somesuch. But then again, that's after drinking converted WoL, not just spice(which reminds me, did we get to a conclusion what the relationship between the two really is in the old discussion at 'keen? Is WoL just highly concentrated spice? I think it's a bit different).


I think Crysknife had a good theory on how the Fremen themselves were a prescient force in total due to the spice...


Yeah, i think it had something to do with the Guild not beeing able to foresee the events of Dune because not only of Paul, but the Fremen as a hole? :|
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Postby Omphalos » 05 Mar 2008 01:08

I always thought it was either the worms or the spice (and a lack of "weather" satellites), but that idea is pretty interesting too.

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Postby orald » 05 Mar 2008 07:41

Freakzilla wrote:I think prescience is fairly common, Mohiam seems to have a little:

I think this quote points a bit more to normal, mentat like predictions.

But like it's been said, FH's concepts have changed alot from book to book, not always with 100% consistency.
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Postby loremaster » 05 Mar 2008 08:45

it depends how you define "prescience". Prescience a la Paul, Leto, and to a certain extent Alia is "true" prescience.

Others (dozens of characters) show minor prescience:

Mohiam - OM but NOT a mentat.
Duncan - in CoD, its described as like pauls visions, but could be something mentat.
Odrade - Dangerously Prescient. Not fully explored.

Also there was the whole Dune Tarot thing, which everyone says in messiah is "muddying the waters" and making prediction harder.

More likely, prescience is a skill which some people have and most people dont. Different people are better or worse at it naturally. But then it can also be trained, and is more potent with spice. It can express itself in many ways, such as fortune telling.

One theory i saw advanced was that of OM being a sort of "backwards-prescience".

One other thing i always have difficulty with is Why leto was invisible in DM? Paul saw only a daughter. So either leto became prescient in the womb (even if its OM, via backwards precience) OR must have been protected somehow. Is a latent prescient visible to prescience? Freak seems to think Siona was, and Bijaz probably was. I cant think of anywhere a prescient "dissapeared" after being seen for a time.

Or does a "potential" prescient become totally immune to prescience all along?

If leto was prescient in the womb, and paul saw nothing at all... maybe the normacle really DID exist and thats why leto couldnt see her.
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