01449: Consulting with Leto II

There's a classic saying from the Dune books that goes "Polish comes from the cities; wisdom from the desert." I too often find myself retreating to the sands of Arrakis for wisdom when things seem less than clear or the path ahead seems uncertain. Between the six core books written by Frank Herbert himself, there's no shortage of insights and reminders of things that I may had already known but had somehow forgotten.

Many times I find myself reviewing quotes from God Emperor of Dune, which is the fourth book in the series. Leto II, the titular god emperor, had a very unique perspective on events given his metamorphosis into a human-sandworm hybrid.

This quote came to me today:
"In all of my universe I have seen no law of nature, unchanging and inexorable. This universe presents only changing relationships which are sometimes seen as laws by short-lived awareness. These fleshy sensoria which we call self are ephemera withering in the blaze of infinity, fleeting aware of temporary conditions which confine our activities and change as our activities change. If you must label the absolute, use its proper name: Temporary." - Leto II

It seems like so much nonsense, but believe me there's certainly something helpful there. The fourth book did polarize a lot of readers and made it difficult for them to determine if they liked this shift in tone in the books. After all, Leto II was also known as the Tyrant, even though he was the most visible descendant of House Atreides at the time.

Let's try this quote, too:
"Paradox is a pointer telling you to look beyond it. If paradoxes bother you, that betrays your deep desire for absolutes. The relativist treats a paradox merely as interesting, perhaps amusing or even, dreadful thought, educational." - Leto II

That one was a bit simpler, to be fair, with a more petulant tone I suppose. But you see, I'm looking at the how tricky life is and things aren't simpler. We don't deal with absolutes on a day to day basis. We just have a diverse number of complications and human interactions lead to paradoxes and such is life. It's not easy but nor are we and thus we press on and do our best to push forward.

I still don't have clear answers yet, but perhaps I will in time. In the meantime, I'm of half a mind to try and watch a movie before bed. It just feels like something that I'd enjoy doing right now instead of just being here home alone at the Sietch.

And I'll end this post with another photo of James McAvoy as Leto II from the Children of Dune TV mini-series. Just because.