I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid. I don't find it strange that all you want to believe is only that which comforts you. How else do humans invent the traps which betray us into mediocrity? How else do we define cowardice?

To attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing the Darkness. It cannot be.

Wealth is a tool of freedom, but the pursuit of wealth is the way to slavery.

To attempt an understanding of Muad'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens, is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be. —FROM MANUAL OF MUAD'DIB BY THE PRINCESS IRULAN.

The assumption that humans exist within an essentially impermanent universe, taken as an operational precept, demands that the intellect become a totally aware balancing instrument.

Most believe that a satisfactory future requires a return to an idealized past, a past which never in fact existed.

I observed you in pain, lad. Pain's merely the axis of the test. Your mother's told you about our ways of observing. I see the signs of her teaching in you. Our test is crisis and observation.

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Are you a believer or just playing safe?

In the perfect society, there is neither emotion nor mercy; precious space cannot be wasted on those who have outlived their usefulness.

Do actions agree with words? There's your measure of reliability. Never confine yourself to the words.

In the view of infinity, any defined long-term is short-term.

The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance. Yes—I am meeting more resistance lately. I could use a quiet retreat by myself. A.

He was warrior and mystic, ogre and saint, the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, less than a god, more than a man.

When we encounter personal problems, those things most deeply personal are the most difficult to bring out for our logic to scan.

The assumption that a whole system can be made to work better through an assault on its conscious elements betrays a dangerous ignorance. This has often been the approach of those who call themselves scientists and technologists.

Police are inevitably corrupted. ... Police always observe that criminals prosper. It takes a pretty dull policeman to miss the fact that the position of authority is the most prosperous criminal position available.

Is God troubled? And her companion replied: The sins of this universe would trouble anyone.

Politics: the art of appearing candid and completely open while concealing as much as possible.

Guilt starts as a feeling of failure.

Give as few orders as possible," his father had told him once long ago. "Once you've given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.

Life improves the closed system's capacity to sustain life. Life—all life—is in the service of life.

It's easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire.

He learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.

Delay is as dangerous as the wrong answer.

I am not the river I am the net.

She sleeps in the Waters of Life. Chani.

We are the people of Misr, the old woman rasped. Since our Sunni ancestors fled from Nilotic al-Ourouba, we have known flight and death. The young go on that our people shall not die.

One doesn't need telepathy to read your intentions.

Scientists seek the lawfulness of events. It is the task of Religion to fit man into this lawfulness.

A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful.

Feints within feints within feints.

Ultimately all things are known because you want to believe you know.

He who controls the spice controls the universe.

The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy.

In all Things you must appear important. No minor decisions pass through your hands unless they are quiet acts called 'Favors' done for people whose loyalty can be earned.

Beware of the truth, gentle Sister. Although much sought after, truth can be dangerous to the seeker. Myths and reassuring lies are much easier to find and believe. If you find a truth, even a temporary one, it can demand that you make painful changes. Conceal your truths within words. Natural ambiguity will protect you then.

How persistent it is, this demand that our gods be perfect. The Greeks were much more reasonable about such things.

The Baron could see the path ahead of him. One day, a Harkonnen would be Emperor. Not himself, and no spawn of his loins. But a Harkonnen. Not this Rabban he'd summoned, of course.

I warn you that ignorance thrives on hysteria.

The Golden Path demands it. And what is the Golden Path? you ask. It is the survival of humankind, nothing more nor less.

You can say things which cannot be done. This is elementary. The trick is to keep attention focused on what is said and not on what can be done.

What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting.

There's no such thing as equal justice anywhere. It's unsettling to a society when you try to achieve such a false balance.

Can you collect chaos? Not collecting, that is the ultimate gathering. What can you gather without gathering yourself.

Once . . . long ago, he'd thought of himself as an inventor of government. But the invention had fallen into old patterns. It was like some hideous contrivance with plastic memory. Shape it any way you wanted, but relax for a moment, and it snapped into the ancient forms. Forces at work beyond his reach in human breasts eluded and defied him.

He looked, from behind, like a fleshless stick figure in overlarge black clothing, a caricature poised for stringy movement at the direction of a puppet master. Only.

Myths are not fiction, but history seen with a poet's eyes and recounted in a poet's terms.

One learns from books and example only that certain things can be done. Actual learning requires that you do those things.