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Chapter 22

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 21:35
by Freakzilla
There exists a limit to the force even the most powerful may apply without
destroying themselves. Judging this limit is the true artistry of government.
Misuse of power is the fatal sin. The law cannot be a tool of vengeance, never a
hostage, nor a fortification against the martyrs it has created. You cannot
threaten any individual and escape the consequences.

-Muad'dib on Law, The Stilgar Commentary

Chani sits outside Seitch Tabr watching the sunrise. She considers the odd group Paul has brought with them, for her to give birth; Bijaz, Hayt, Edric, Mohiam, Lichna (Scytale), Stilgar, Harah, Irulan and Alia. Hayt brings her inside after warning her that a storm is approaching. Paul had piloted his own 'thopter, eyeless, with Chani in their trip from Arrakeen, nothing he did after that would ever surprise her. She asks Hayt where Paul is, he tells her he's unavoidably detained by affairs of state. She starts having birth contractions and Hayt tries to rush her to her chambers and calls out for Harah to summon the medics. Hayt sense a feeling of panic for what may happen if Chani dies and Paul comes to him afterwards, he can't figure out why he has this feeling. He goes into mentat mode and figures out that Bijaz has rigged him with a compulsion to do something.

Re: Chapter 22

Posted: 15 May 2012 11:34
by Freakzilla

Re: Chapter 22

Posted: 15 Sep 2014 16:00
by georgiedenbro
I find a curious philosophical idea presented subtly near the chapter's end:

Dune Messiah wrote:He seemed not to hear. "The Zensunni approach to birth," he said, urging her
even faster, "is to wait without purpose in the state of highest tension. Do not
compete with what is happening. To compete is to prepare for failure. Do not be
trapped by the need to achieve anything. This way, you achieve everything.

And then this:

Dune Messiah wrote:"A compulsion!" he gasped. "I've been rigged with a compulsion!"
A blue-robed courier, passing as Hayt spoke, hesitated. "Did you say something, sirra?"
Not looking at him, the ghola nodded. "I said everything."

This connection in the text is so subtle that it makes me worried that Frank inserted other very subtle messages into the books that I've completely missed. :geek:

But my understanding of these two passages is that Hayt has been trying very hard during the book to find out what Duncan was like, what hidden memories of Duncan's affect Hayt's reality, and trying to investigate his real identity - is he Duncan, or is he Hayt? The Zensunni dictum suggests using mental relaxation and release to allow for maximum tension to proceed with minimum strain. By accepting and allowing the state of tension it can be allowed to pass unimpeded, and in the case of pregnancy for the birth to occur. Hayt is going through a kind of pregnancy, involving trying to give birth to his old self, to allow the tension in his mind to come to the surface and open.

Hayt is concerned for Chani in this scene, and his real concern for her, and for Paul as well, bring his mind to a state of relaxation. He is worried about them, not about himself, and his mind has the freedom to feel some of its own real feelings - love for them. Knowing these feelings must come from somewhere, he concludes they come from Duncan, and that Duncan knows they are in danger, which allows him to conclude that he is the danger. But it was his Zensunni training which allowed him to achieve this brief access to Duncan-feelings and to realize what was done to him.

The message of Frank's seems to be that in trying very hard to understand ourselves, we instead prevent that happening. In focusing on our own minds and problems, we create too much tension and bury what makes the individual person. In trying too hard to become what we are we instead end up as nothing, a cipher, with the semblance of ourselves but not quite whole. But in turning the gaze outward, to have concerns about others, forgetting the search for self-identity we finally achieve it.

Quite the Zen notion, no? Maybe Frank was Zensunni too.

This reminds me of GK Chesterton's comment, which (paraphrased) goes something like "Using our imagination to understand the world we can be anything, but when we focus in on ourselves instead of on the world and try to be something, we cease to be anything."

Re: Chapter 22

Posted: 15 Sep 2014 17:03
by Freakzilla
georgiedenbro wrote:This connection in the text is so subtle that it makes me worried that Frank inserted other very subtle messages into the books that I've completely missed. :geek:

That's why we read them repeatedly. :wink:

And I find something every time.