Frank Herbert


By Timothy O'Reilly

Copyright © 1981 by Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., Inc. (Out of print.)


Chapter 1: Dancing on the Edge: An Introduction

Chapter 2: Under Pressure

Chapter 3: From Concept to Fable: The Evolution of Dune

Chapter 4: The Hero

Chapter 5: Rogue Gods

Chapter 6: An Ecology of Consciousness

Chapter 7: The Worm Turns

Chapter 8: Transcending the Human

Chapter 9: How It All Begins Again




How I Came to Write Frank Herbert

In the fall of 1977, when I was a couple of years out of college, I received an unexpected call from a friend, Dick Riley. He'd just landed a new job at a small publisher called Frederick Ungar, as the editor of a series of short critical monographs on detective and science-fiction writers. He was looking for authors, and as he knew I was fond of science fiction, he thought of me. Would I write a book about Frank Herbert, he wanted to know.

I struggled with his proposal, but eventually decided to give it a try. It was a momentous decision, since it was in undertaking the book that I came to think of myself as a writer. (Ironically, it was the same day that my programmer friend Peter Brajer asked me to help him rewrite his resume so he could land a job writing a manual--a job that I eventually came to help him with, and which led to our partnership not long afterwards.)

I wrote Frank Herbert over a period of about two years, and it was published in 1981. In the course of writing it, I read all of Herbert's novels, stories, and essays, as well as a lot of his newspaper writing (which, by coincidence, included a stint at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the local paper for the region in which I now live.) I interviewed him several times, and, in a small way, we became friends. His ideas came to influence me deeply. I had always loved Dune and Dune Messiah, and especially the idea that predicting the future too closely can lead to a kind of paralysis. But the deeper I went, the more substance I found. Ecology, mysticism, and a kind of hard-headed insistence on the relativity of human perception and the limits of knowledge combine into a richer mix than is found in a lot of science-fiction. There's some really cool stuff here!

My goal in writing the book was not to be a "critic", but an enthusiast. I wanted to share the additional information I'd uncovered, to present it in a way that illuminated Herbert's work without diminishing it or "dullifying" it. In many ways, this was the same goal I embraced as a technical writer, to bring transparent assistance to the reader's own experience, not to replace it with my own.

Like many publishing ventures, Ungar's Recognitions series (as it was called) went largely unrecognized. Ungar itself was eventually sold to another publisher, Crossroads/Continuum, and the book went out of print, where it has remained for many years. (The last time I remember getting a royalty statement was in the late 80's.)

From time to time, I get letters from people asking if the book is still available, and I've always had to tell them no. (I have just two copies left myself--one hardcover, the other paperback--having given away my last "extra" just last year, to none other than Jeff Bezos, when I discovered on our trip to Washington that he was a big Frank Herbert fan!)

Last year, I wrote to Crossroads/Continuum and asked for a reversion of rights to the book so I could put it up on the Web. My letter went unanswered. Since they didn't bother to answer, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway, figuring, as they say, that it's sometimes easier to get forgiveness than permission. If anyone from Crossroads/Continuum notices, please give me a call or drop an email. I'd love to see the book back in print, or if not, at least to have your blessing on this Web version.

I hope those of you who are Frank Herbert fans will enjoy the book, and that those of you who are not (yet) will give his books a try. In addition, a few years later, I put together a book with Frank, a collection of his essays called The Maker of Dune, which was published by Berkely/Putnam. That too is out of print, but since most of the writing in it is Frank Herbert's, not mine, I can't in good conscience pull the same trick of putting it up on the Web. You may be able to find a used copy somewhere, or, if enough people care about it, perhaps the publisher could be persuaded to put it back into print. (Actually, I suppose that I could put up the interviews, which I believe I retained copyright on, but that's a project for another day.)


If you say, "I understand" . . . you have made a value judgement.
--Whipping Star

The highest praise that can be given to an author is to say that his work awakens unexpected possibilities of thought and feeling. I have written about Frank Herbert from this perspective. His work has touched me, and I have learned from him.

To my mind, the most fundamental judgment to be made about a novel is not as a work of art built to abstract standards, but as an act of communication. What does it say to the reader? How does it touch him?

The job of a book like this is not to criticize but to illuminate and intensify an author's statement, chiefly by juxtaposing a wider range of material than would be apparent to a casual reader. The juxtaposition here includes material from all of Herbert's work--his essays, letters, poetry, and short stories, as well as his novels--and from extensive personal interviews with him.

Such an illumination is particularly appropriate with the Dune trilogy, since it is many-layered and its imaginative span is too great to be grasped all at once. The impact of the story is felt, but its meaning is not always understood.

One criticism that I have made of Herbert throughout this book is that he walks a narrow line between entertainment and didacticism. In his best work, such as Dune, the story itself is the message; the concepts are so completely a part of the imaginative world he has created that the issue of didacticism never arises. Ideas are there to be found by the thoughtful reader, but one never stumbles over them. Other works, however, are sometimes unnecessarily obscure. Herbert's shorter novels in particular lack the development of story and character to support the weight of the ideas they contain.

Even so, these shorter novels well repay detailed study. I have found that the more I know about Herbert's work as a whole, the more I am able to enjoy works such as Destination: Void and The Eyes of Heisenberg. Close reading strips away the obscurity, allowing the excitement of what Herbert is trying to say to become the source of the reader's enjoyment.

One word about the mechanics of this book: notes for all references follow the end of the text and are identified by page number and a few words from the relevant passage. No superscript numbers appear in the text. This format is intended to enhance the readability of this study while retaining the full critical apparatus.

A few words of gratitude are also in order. Thanks first of all to Frank Herbert himself, for all the obvious reasons; to Beverly Herbert, for some invaluable perspectives and for the final word on chronology and other factual information; to Ralph Slattery, Jack Vance, and Poul Anderson for sharing their memories; to Albert Lord, for his perspectives on folklore elements in Dune; to Ted Jennings and especially Will McNelly, whose willingness to share their own ideas and unpublished interview material showed me the best traditions of scholarship.

Thanks also to Walt Blum at the San Francisco Examiner, who went out of his way to help me track down articles and friends Herbert had developed there; to Mrs. John W. Campbell for permission to excerpt portions of her husband's letters to Herbert; to Linda Herman of the Special Collections Library at the California State University at Fullerton, for her unfailing help in my, search through the Herbert manuscripts and other papers kept there; to Marty Cohen and Lynne Conlon, each of whom did legwork for me when time kept me from following up important leads; to my business partner, Peter Brajer, for biding his time while I finished this book; and to the MIT Science Fiction Society, whose pooled knowledge and complete collection of science-fiction magazines were so reassuringly close at hand.

Finally, thanks to my wife Chris, for her valuable comments and suggestions, and to Dick Riley, my editor, for his patience, his appreciation, and his thoughtful pruning.

Chapter 1: Dancing on the Edge

An Introduction

Imagine a world so dry that one man might kill another for the moisture in his body. From its deep desert, guarded by enormous, predatory sandworms, comes a spice with the power to prolong life and evoke visions of the future. Ten thousand worlds are dependent on that spice--a Galactic Empire, seemingly strong, but rigid and ruled by fear. One man stands against the desert and the Empire. Driven out into the sand to die, he promises the ecological transformation of the water- starved planet and unites its people in a holy war to seize control of the spice, the future, and the Empire.

This is the world of Frank Herbert's Dune, considered by many people to be the greatest science-fiction novel ever written, and certainly the pinnacle of Herbert's own art. Each reader finds a different reason for praise. One is struck by the scope of the creation--an entire world, detailed in topography, ecology and culture. Another seizes on the relevance of its ecological themes. All are fascinated by the characters--epic heroes who sweep their worlds and the reader into their struggles. Heroism, romance, philosophy--Dune has all of these, crafted into the vision of a future one might almost believe has already happened, a history stolen from its rightful place millennia hence.

It is said of Paul Atreides, the central figure of Dune and its two sequels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune: "Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place." The same must be said of Herbert himself. He has written other successful novels, but all are inevitably judged against Dune. And while his best work can stand alone, several of his shorter novels are so closely intertwined with the evolution of the trilogy that to study them in isolation from it deprives them of their greatest strength.

Herbert's work is informed by an evolving body of concepts to which the Dune trilogy holds the key. By tracing some of these central ideas, their sources, and their development from purpose to final form, it is possible to show how Herbert framed them with stories that insist that the reader use the concepts they contain. Herbert believes that the primary function of fiction is to entertain, but as Ezra Pound, one of his literary models, wrote: "If a book reveals to us something of which we were unconscious, it feeds us with its energy." The best way to entertain is to provoke, to make people think.

Such depth is integral to Dune's enduring success, yet to the reader interested in science fiction only for the marvels of imagination it portrays, the incomparable story of young Paul Atreides and the crusade he sparks, of battles and intrigues with the fate of worlds hanging in the balance, is enough to justify the novel's fame.

Raised on watery Caladan to be a Duke of the Imperium, trained as a "mentat" warmaster with the abilities of a human computer, and carrying the penultimate genes of a secret, centuries-long plan to breed a psychic superman, Paul is orphaned on Arrakis by a cruel twist of Galactic politics. His father is given the planet in fief, then betrayed and deprived of life and power. Paul must flee to a new destiny among the Fremen of the desert. These oppressed people dream of irrigating their planet and transforming its arid ecology. When an overdose of "melange," the spice-drug of Arrakis, triggers in Paul the ability to read the future, he knows how to give the Fremen what they want. Their plan will take hundreds of years, but if they will follow him to victory over the Emperor himself, Paul can promise the transformation in a single generation.

Even in so short a summary, one begins to see Herbert's essential themes. One of his central ideas is that human consciousness exists on--and by virtue of--a dangerous edge of crisis, and that the most essential human strength is the ability to dance on that edge. The more man confronts the dangers of the unknown, the more conscious he becomes. All of Herbert's books portray and test the human ability to consciously adapt. He sets his characters in the most stressful situations imaginable: a cramped submarine in Under Pressure, his first novel; the desert wastes of Dune; and in Destination: Void the artificial tension of a spaceship designed to fail so that the crew will be forced to develop new abilities. There is no test so powerfully able to bring out latent adaptability as one in which the stakes are survival.

In Dune, each of the players--the Emperor, the Baron Harkonnen (archenemy of the Atreides), the monopolistic Spacing Guild, even the seemingly wise Bene Gesserit gene manipulators--tries either to dominate the situation or to control it in such a way as to minimize his own risks. And in the end all are overwhelmed. The elemental forces of history can only be ridden, not controlled. Paul alone is victorious, because he chooses to ride the whirlwind. He risks everything. His initiation by the Fremen into riding the sandworms is symbolic of his choice. These predators represent all the elemental forces of Arrakis: their native name means "maker," and they are the heart of the ecological matrix of the planet, source of the spice, the sand, and thief of water. And, like nature itself, they abhor artificial boundaries; they are drawn irresistibly to destroy the protective energy shields relied on by off-worlders. They close the desert to all who try to isolate themselves from it; only the Fremen "sandriders," who move with the rhythms of the desert, and mount the fearsome worm, can brave its wilds.

The opposition between isolation (or control) and adaptation to an environment is also shown in the ecological transformation described in the novel. The first stage of the transformation is mastery of the shifting sand dunes. Herbert had noted in the research on dune control, which first led him to the idea for the story, that dunes are very like slow-motion waves. Only those who can see them as waves can begin to learn how to deal with them. In addition, the spice wealth of the planet is a by-product of the life cycle of the sandworms, creatures of the deep desert impossible to raise in captivity; so any plan to change the human environment must preserve a large measure of the worms' original habitat. Men must learn to live with the desert. They can never hope to tame it completely.

It is a general principle of ecology that an ecosystem is stable not because it is secure and protected, but because it contains such diversity that some of its many types of organisms are bound to survive despite drastic changes in the environment or other adverse conditions. Herbert adds, however, that the effort of civilization to create and maintain security for its individual members, "necessarily creates the conditions of crisis because it fails to deal with change." Paul's enemies are hopelessly out of step because they have forsaken their adaptability for the attempt at control. Assurances of survival such as power, traditions, beliefs, and causes have become more important to them than the actuality of survival. Their substitutes for adaptability can sustain them only in the limited enclaves of civilization, not in the wide open spaces of the desert, or in the terrifying futures Paul opens himself to in his visions.

Paul's opponents try to tailor a surprise-free future for themselves, but in a subtler, far more insidious way, the fear of the unknown also corrupts Paul's followers. The drama of the book, and especially of its two sequels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, builds around the tension between Paul's very real prophetic powers and the results when he puts them to use in the attempt to regain his throne. To achieve his powers was a triumph of self-mastery and confrontation with the unknown, but to exercise them inevitably means to limit those qualities in others. Though Paul exhorts his followers to imitate his self- reliance, the very state of mind by which they are drawn to him necessitates its opposite. The Fremen seize on Paul as a prophet because he has confronted the uncertainty of the universe and brought forth reassurance for those who cannot or will not find it for themselves. Their deep longing for a messiah is a sub- mergence in a group hunger for an overriding purpose; it is an escape from the individual greatness Paul himself displays.

In Herbert's analysis, the messianic hunger is an example of a pervasive human need for security and stability in a universe that continually calls on people to improvise and adapt to new situations. In the backwaters of history, or its Golden Ages, civilization plays the part of a parent, providing not only warmth and security and meaning, but a limited arena within which an individual can exercise his powers with some hope of actually dominating the situation. A conspiracy of family, culture, and religion manages to convince the individual that he is not alone, that he does not need to struggle, but only to take up his birthright. In times of crisis, or on the fringes of hardship and oppression, men become all too aware of the uncontrollability of the universe. They long for messiahs and saviors, dreaming that such men have the certainty they lack.

Like most science fiction, Dune is built on the question "what if... ?" What if there really were a man, godlike in knowledge and wisdom, who could grasp that ungraspable universe and bring it to heel? The Dune trilogy is Herbert's answer to that question. He says:

I had this theory that superheroes were disastrous for humans, that even if you postulated an infallible hero, the things this hero set in motion fell eventually into the hands of fallible mortals. What better way to destroy a civilization, society or a race than to set people into the wild oscillations which follow their turning over their judgment and decision-making faculties to a superhero?

In the end, such a savior would avail mankind nothing. It is our own awakening we must seek. So when we are stirred by Paul's courage and genius (and this, cunningly portrayed, is really the heart of the book), we must use him as an inspiration, not a messiah. We can find those same qualities of heightened consciousness in ourselves.

One of Herbert's working assumptions as a writer is that he can speak directly to parts of the reader's consciousness that the reader himself may not be aware of, and thereby create unexpected effects. For instance, he says, "In some people, simply confronting the idea of hyperconsciousness sharpens their mental alertness to a remarkable degree." He has noted that this is a common reaction, and on this he has banked--with great success--in Dune. Reading the story of a man before whom space-time barriers fall, and who can read human motivation as though it were shouted aloud, we are nudged by the possibility of being the answer to our own dreams.

The human potential for hyperconsciousness is central to such science fiction classics as Clarke's Childhood's End, Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, and Sturgeon's More Than Human; even Asimov's Foundation trilogy touches on the idea. The treatment of hyperconsciousness in such works can include heightened perception of environment, self and others, and a consequent sense of power and transcendence of the limits that usually confront human beings, as well as a kind of moral evolution. Those who possess such consciousness are considered to be somehow fundamentally better than those who do not. But while Herbert places great value on higher consciousness, he does not see such a state as "the" answer to mankind's problems. He is extremely suspicious of utopian fantasies, whether embodied in a social order or in a state of consciousness. In an infinite universe, where anything can happen, more consciousness simply means new kinds of problems. "The reward of investigating such a universe in fiction or in fact," he says, "is not so much reducing the unknown but increasing it, opening the way to new dangers, new crises." The most important consequence of Paul's ability to see the future is not that he can control what happens but that he can respond more ably. Although his power over the course of events is greatly amplified, so too is his awareness of the forces with which he is grappling. Paul is like the mythical giant Briareus, who had one hundred hands, but also fifty bellies; he had as much trouble procuring food for himself as the next man. Paul has no more real control over the universe than anyone else, and at times less.

All of these ideas reflect the ecologist's emphasis on variety and adaptability as the key to the stability of ecosystems. However, Herbert has not been influenced by ecology alone in formulating these ideas. He is responding to the profound changes of the past seventy-five years in the philosophy of science. Around the turn of the century, famous scientists expressed their sadness that the great adventure of science was nearly at an end: nothing really significant remained to be discovered. Optimism ran high that man was on the threshold of immediate and total technological domination of his environment. But dreams of unlimited development have led to discoveries and devices that inescapably undermine those dreams. Everywhere the scientist of today looks, he perceives mystery. Einstein's theory of relativity postulates that there is no absolute reference point for our observations. Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle" demonstrates that the very act of observation skews the result of certain experiments. G del's theorem proves that all mathematical systems rest on propositions that are unprovable within the system, and conversely, that there are an infinite number of true propositions within any consistent mathematical system that can nonetheless never be deduced from it.

It usually takes about fifty years for the discoveries of science to penetrate popular consciousness. Einstein's special theory of relativity was published in 1905, the general theory in 1916, Heisenberg's principle and G del's theorem in the 1930s. These ideas were soon picked up by science-fiction writers, but their treatment consisted primarily of fanciful applications of these ideas and inventions based on them. Only recently have writers begun to consider the implications for our picture of the universe and how it functions.

The entirety of Herbert's work is an attempt to remake that picture. His use of the ideas of physics is not practical and predictive, but almost completely metaphorical. The relativity he is interested in is the relativity of our perceptions and our cultural values. In a universe that is "always one step beyond logic" (as Paul describes it in Dune) it becomes essential to look at the nature of our logic, and the role of our preconceptions in shaping what we see.

Herbert uses the term "consensus reality" to denote the body of common sense that constitutes the editorial board for perception in any culture and time period. Right now we are at a point of turnover, when one long-standing consensus reality is giving way to another. To Herbert the implicit lessons of our whole culture bid us to cling to old ideas even when we have intellectually embraced the new. We are still looking for absolutes in a relativistic universe, for stability in a sea of motion. We are looking for causes and effects when our new knowledge tells us we should be looking for contexts and matrices. We are looking for the conscious foundations of individuality when we should be looking at the biological base of our species and asking what beyond that is individual. Our common sense has gone sour, our foundations have become boundaries. The problem is that we are growing too fast; we don't have time to make a graceful changeover. It is no longer possible to operate on the basis of old data without coming to grief. We need to start working from new data as soon as it becomes available. How can we deal with the time lag?

Herbert's science fiction offers part of the answer. Science fiction is not a predictive but an informative tool, which seeks to prevent mistakes by trying to keep up with change rather than to stop it. Herbert says: "if I'd been born in my grandfather's time, I'd have made my grandfather's mistakes. There's no doubt of it. I just don't want to make my grandfather's mistakes today." As a result, his novels not only teach new ideas, they comprise implicit lessons to counteract those from his readers' early training.

To explore the power struggles of a galactic empire or the ecological salvation of an imaginary planet might seem to have little bearing on the world we know, but when such stories are spun from Herbert's mind, they profoundly illuminate the here and now. Author and critic Samuel R. Delany has written, "Science fiction is the only area of literature outside poetry that is symbolistic in its basic conception. Its stated aim is to represent the world without reproducing it." Herbert himself notes that science fiction allows him to "create marvelous analogues." He says:

If you want to get anything across, you have to be entertaining first. If you start standing on a street corner, people will tune you out. We human beings tend to have very good filter systems in our heads to see and hear only what we want to see. But analogues give you a marvelous device for getting past that screening system, because people can be caught up in the drama of the story, be deep into the problems of it. Then later on, much later on, they say, Oh, my God, he was talking about this!" And they come out of it with a brand new view of what's happening in their world.

Herbert's work shows the possibilities for good and evil of factors present, but unnoticed, in our culture. He gives his readers ideals and dreams, but not as an excuse for avoiding the realities of the present. He wakes us up to the dark side of our dreams, and thereby gives us somewhat more of a chance to redeem that dark side. Most of all, he offers a chance to practice in fiction the lessons that are increasingly demanded by our lives: how to live with the pressure of changing times, how to flow with them rather than resist them, how to seek out really new possibilities in a world in which every path seems increasingly predetermined.

Herbert's analogues are strongest when they are least obvious and can do their work on an unconscious level. The cultural patterns modeled by the Dune trilogy, for example, are not simply reproduced but are, as Delany notes, represented in a fable with an inner life all its own. Many of the features of the superhero mystique that Dune sought to unveil were not made explicit until the third book of the trilogy, fourteen years later. The "pot of message" Herbert offers is worked into the design of the entire tapestry; the analogue is not enfeebled by premature expression. The reader is told a story. He must draw his own conclusions.

Herbert has developed fictional techniques which demand that the reader sharpen his perceptions and powers of judgment. He says:

We come from a spectator society, by and large. Whatever entertainment you produce is supposedly for passive receptors, who sit there and take it.... There are a lot of conventions, and you're supposed to gratify all of them. My contention is that entertainment has a far greater arena in which to perform. But to perform in that arena you make demands on your readers.

One such demand--providing an opportunity for his readers to engage their consciousness--is the building up of images from the unusual cues Herbert supplies. In the Dune trilogy certain kinds of scenes--confrontations, love, tragedy--are invariably accompanied by the same background images, colors, or smells. For instance, whenever dangerous confrontations occur, the color yellow is present. Herbert says, "By the time you're well into the book, if you tell them that there was a yellow overcast to the sky, they're sitting there waiting for something bad to happen. 'There is also consistent attention to who sees things. Point of view is always deliberate. "I treat the reader's eye as a camera," Herbert says. There may be a generalized view of a scene, which is followed more and more by a concentration on the area in which the action is going to happen. Finally the eye is brought in for close-ups, "a hand tapping on the table, or somebody's mouth chewing the food."

In using such techniques, Herbert feels he is talking subliminally to the reader. The tremendous illusion of reality the novel conveys is the result of years of thought, layered so that only the most important details catch the eye, and others speak directly to the unconscious. At the same time, however, much that is ordinarily perceived subliminally is made conscious: the expression of emotion in nonverbal gesture, colors, smells, sounds are all noted and evaluated by the characters. Because details that took the author hours to assemble are absorbed by the reader in minutes, the fiction of hyperconsciousness takes on a kind of reality.

The greatest demand that Herbert makes upon his readers is not on perception, however, but on judgment. Most science-fiction novels (except those that are overtly dystopian) are variations on the heroic success story. In the Dune trilogy, Herbert portrays a hero as convincing, noble, and inspiring as any real or mythic hero of the past. But as the trilogy progresses, he shows the consequences of heroic leadership, for Paul, his followers, and the planet. Anyone devoted to the heroic ideal stands to be devastated by the conclusions of the trilogy. Herbert demands that his readers look at their expectations, their heroes, and exactly what they mean by success.

The structure of Herbert's novels reinforces this process. His plots tend to be extraordinarily complex. One level of action after another is introduced, any one of which seems enough to carry the story. Not until late in the novel is the tapestry being woven by these threads revealed. Even then Herbert does not employ a hierarchical organization, in which fact upon fact lead to some ultimate understanding, which is, in effect, the final reduction. The achievement of the meaning, the theme, the answer, while it appears to be an achievement of the broadest truth, is actually accomplished by the elimination of all the possibilities inherent in the original situation. Herbert doesn't write the traditional kind of story in which a hero overcomes the obstacles between here and happily everafter.

Herbert's unwillingness to let himself be trapped into a final position gives his books an often frustrating ambiguity. It is just at this point that the books demand, if the reader is truly to understand them, that he begin to respond on unaccustomed levels. He must let go the need for certainty and absolute points of view. Herbert's novels demonstrate the action of principles as much as of character, and show the many sides of each situation with equal sympathy. One could say they are training manuals for exactly the kinds of awareness they describe.

Chapter 2: Under Pressure

Any writer uses his own life in his books. However, when he is a science-fiction writer, the particulars of experience, the ordinary and the everyday, must be transformed into the extraordinary. Thus, Herbert's unlettered grandmother with a knack for figures became the "mentat" computer of Dune's Imperium, his ten maternal aunts the Bene Gesserit matriarchy whose gene-shaping plan spans centuries. The reasoning behind the mentats and the Bene Gesserit unites biographical happenstance with concepts derived from years of research. Whenever possible, such biographical details will be noted in the context of the work in which they appear.

Certain experiences, though, were sufficiently powerful to stand alone. They determined the shape of Herbert's life and thought. The most important fact of Herbert's literary biography is his career as a newspaper reporter. He worked for many small West Coast papers and then, in 1959, settled at the San Francisco Examiner for over ten more years, as a writer and editor for the newspaper's California Living magazine. He took a brief leave of absence after completing Dune, devoting himself full time to fiction, but soon returned to newspaper work. He did not become successful enough as a science-fiction writer to stop working as a reporter and editor until 1969. At that time, he moved back to Washington, his home state. Even then, he kept open some links to journalism. He worked for a short time at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer to help its new editor, a former colleague from the Examiner, get started, and occasionally did special articles for the paper thereafter.

Herbert's work in journalism is important because it set the methodical style of his research. It is no accident that two of his novels, Under Pressure and Dune, began as newspaper magazine feature stories. Herbert is famed among science-fiction writers for the depth of fact with which he shapes his books. It is not the richness of a single science explored in detail, as in the work of Hal Clement, but of a wide-ranging mind that can put Mohammed, ecology, and Jung together in one consistent and entertaining fictional world. Herbert gathers facts, then looses them all into his imagination to be reshaped into fiction. He calls this process "loading the computer."

Herbert has loaded his computer with life experience as well as concepts. For a writer as obsessed with ideas as he is, Herbert is remarkably insistent on the concrete. "The verisimilitude of the surround is half the battle," he says of the effort to get his ideas across. "And believe me I'm a reporter.... [For instance,] when I talk of a Senate hearing, I was there, I know what they're like, I know how people speak in them. So my characters react the way real people have reacted under similar circumstances."

However, Herbert's pursuit of verisimilitude is extreme even for a reporter. He does not like to write about anything that he has not experienced firsthand, at least in microcosm. For instance, when the Examiner asked him to be its wine writer, he refused until he found someone to train him in wine-making as well as imbibing. The number of his secondary "careers" attests to his desire to back up thought with personal experience: photographer, television cameraman, oyster diver, lay analyst. He was a campaign worker for Washington State politicians and a speechwriter in Washington, D.C.; his concern with politics and bureaucracy is founded in part on such experience. At one point, while in Washington in 1954, he applied for a job as governor of American Samoa, and came, he believes, very close to getting the post. He was betrayed by his own ingenuous hunger for experience, which the government found lacking in career- mindedness.

The world model that may be drawn from Herbert's fiction might be of a reporter's society, in which the ability to confront the everyday with questions that penetrate its ordinariness belongs to everyone. Science-fiction writers and newspapermen are motivated by the same insight: "There's a story in this." Herbert described a great deal about his fictional approach when he said, "I'm a muckraker, a yellow journalist," and elsewhere, "I ask myself, 'What is the society avoiding?'" Like a science-fiction plot, news--especially feature news of the kind Herbert liked to write--may be in sight for years, but so obvious it is ignored.

Herbert's study in the Dune trilogy of the superhero mystique is a good example of this journalistic technique. He has said that the function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it. His comment on the work of Huxley and Orwell can equally well be applied to his own: "Neither Brave New World nor 1984 will prevent our becoming a planet under Big Brother's thumb, but they make it a bit less likely. We've been sensitized to the possibility."

Herbert's concern with raising consciousness by means of his stories is of course more than just future-oriented investigative reporting. As has already been suggested, the consciousness he is trying to awaken has psychological as well as social dimensions. In addition, he is insistent in developing ideas that have the power to awaken his readers, because he considers that to be the best kind of storytelling. Even at his most pedagogical, Herbert is not primarily seeking to convince, but to entertain.

Herbert has always seen himself as a storyteller, and only secondarily as a writer of fact. He remembers coming down to breakfast on his eighth birthday, the one day a year when "everything on the table was laid to my precise demands," and announcing that he was going to be "a author." That was it, he insists. He never changed his mind. "I thought that I was good at telling stories, that I could entertain," he recalls. "And I did, from a very early age."

Another major influence on Herbert's thought was his country upbringing. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, on October 8, 1920, and spent most of his youth on the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas of northwest Washington. His father, Frank, Sr., ran a bus line between Tacoma and Aberdeen, and later became a member of the newly formed state highway patrol. Although the family did not operate a farm, they always lived in areas "sufficiently lightly populated that you could keep your own chickens and a cow."

Herbert feels that the country left him with a self-starter mentality, one not dependent on outside help. He argues that "in the city, if your [car] breaks down, you go to the garage and if it's closed you throw up your hands and say you'll come back Monday. In the country, if your hay-baler breaks down, you've got to get the hay in, and you say, 'Well, get me the tool kit!'"

This experimental, problem-solving approach to technology finds high praise in several of Herbert's novels, as well as in his choice of life style since his retirement from journalism. He now lives on a small farm in Port Townsend, Washington, which he calls an "ecological demonstration project," an example of new-style "techno-peasantry. His ecological homestead includes a heated swimming pool and sauna as well as the obligatory greenhouse for vegetables and supplemental solar heating, and he plans to build a small gymnasium to accompany the chicken coop. He has built a pond for ducks as well as for climate regulation on his land; his chickens provide not only food but manure for fertilizer and for the production of methane gas. He is involved in home computers and windmill design. His purpose is to show that, by developing alternative energy sources and by taking individual responsibility for the way we live, we can maintain a high standard of living without cutting ourselves off from the natural world. Though much of his writing explores the potentials for disaster in contemporary behavior, he has great faith in the power of individual creativity. He says:

I think the sky is going to fall. I predict blackouts, more strikes, starvation, all kinds of urban violence. But on a positive note, I also think we are still a society of screwdriver mechanics. Our society is particularly rich in people who, faced with a problem, don't sit down and say, "We are doomed"; but instead ask, "How are we going to solve that?"

Improvisation has become something of a principle for Herbert. He says.," One of the most beautiful things that we have going for us is surprise." His heaven is a universe of surprises that we must meet with only our ingenuity as a tool. His greatest fear is that we will

[tie] ourselves into situations where we can't change our minds.... I think it's a mistake to think about THE future, one future. We ought to think more of planning for futures as an art form, for quality of life. We have as many futures as we can invent.

Herbert was originally drawn to science fiction because it favors this kind of improvisation, at least in thought. He feels that "science fiction is to mainstream fiction as jazz is to classical music. It is no accident that he also refers to conversation, the province of the oral entertainer, as a "jazz performance."

Herbert attributes his rural upbringing with having instilled in him a "landmark consciousness" rather than a "label consciousness," a predisposition that found fruit in his later interest in general semantics. Country pragmatism doubtless contributed as well to his choice of journalism as the compromise career for a fledgling storyteller. "You do things which are necessary," he says. It's very romantic to think about taking your family to the garret with you, but it doesn't work out very well in a practical sense. ' The actual impetus to journalism was more direct, however. A local reporter ran Herbert's high school newspaper like the real thing. "There wasn't one of us who couldn't have worked as a reporter after that," Herbert remembers. "And many of us did." While still a teenager, he began to work as a summer stand-in for vacationing reporters.

About 1939, Herbert moved to southern California with a high-school friend. He obtained a job with the Glendale Star after lying about his age and spent his free time across the border in Mexico. He was married in 1940 and had a daughter, Penny. He joined the U.S. Navy soon after the war began and was divorced before it ended. After his tour in the Navy ended in 1944, Herbert moved back to the Northwest, working brief1y for the Oregon Statesman in Salem and the Oregon Journal in Portland. During this period, he wrote a number of short stories that were published in slick magazines under a pseudonym he refuses to reveal. "I'm not very proud of them," he says. "They were mostly hack work."

Also in 1944, Herbert heard that Lurton Blassingame, a literary agent in New York, was looking for new writers. Blassingame accepted Herbert's work, and they began an association that has lasted until the present. Herbert feels that Blassingame has acted not just as his agent, but has performed the most crucial function of an editor as well--helping him to achieve an objective distance from his own work.

Herbert published the first story under his own name in the March 1945 issue of Esquire. "The Survival of the Cunning" is a war story that takes place in the arctic, and which turns on the superior adaptation of the Eskimo to his environment. Scouting for Japanese radar posts, an American and his Eskimo guide come upon their goal, only to find it empty. They are surprised inside by a returning Japanese soldier. In the warmth of the radar hut, the enemy covers them with a submachine gun, and then takes them outside to finish them. But it is he who is finished instead, because the Eskimo knows that the gun, which was warmed up inside, will freeze and stick once they go out. He kills their captor with a knife. The Eskimo does not know what this crazy war is all about, but he does know how to survive.

In 1945, Herbert moved to the Post-Intelligencer in Seattle so that he could go to school at the University of Washington. He stayed only one year. "I wasn't interested in a degree," he says. "I was always interested in writing. I looked on schools, especially the higher levels, as a kind of cafeteria line." Education, like journalism, was a tool, not an end in itself. Fiction was Herbert's dream all along.

Herbert met Beverly Stuart in a short story class at the University of Washington. They were married in June 1946 and have two sons, Brian, born in 1947, and Bruce, born in 1951. Herbert says of Beverly, "We recognized early on that a marriage was an entity, a third person in a sense, and we put everything into it.... She's the best thing that ever happened to me." Beverly supported Herbert's drive to be a writer, even in a field with as little financial promise as science fiction. Frank periodically took time off from newspaper work, cared for the children and the house, and devoted himself to storytelling while Beverly continued to work as an advertising copywriter.

After leaving school, Herbert went to work for the Seattle Star. The paper folded, and he went to the Tacoma Times, which suffered the same fate. Fortunately, a former staffer from the Tacoma paper who had recently gone to Santa Rosa, California, telephoned Herbert to join him at the Press-Democrat. This move, in April 1949, was to prove significant, for it was in Santa Rosa that Herbert met Ralph and Irene Slattery, two psychologists who gave a crucial boost to his thinking. Any discussion of the sources of Herbert's work circles inevitably back to their names as to no others. They are the one exception to the principle that books loom larger than people as influences on his self-educated mind. Perhaps it was because they guided his reading into new avenues as well as sparked thoughtful conversation. "Those wonderful people really opened a university for me," he says. Ralph had doctorates in philosophy and psychology. Irene had been a student of Jung in Zurich. And both of them were analysts... . They really educated me in that field."

Herbert met the Slatterys by chance, when he and Beverly sat next to Ralph in the audience of a talk Irene was giving at a local church. They became good friends. Herbert recalls Ralph and Irene as teachers, but Ralph demurs. "It was a relationship of common interest and understanding of each others' points of view," he says. Nonetheless, Herbert's work thereafter bears the stamp of his association with them.

Ralph Slattery was an eclectic psychologist. Although originally trained as a Freudian, he based his work chiefly on his ability to make contact with the patient's inner world. In his work as a staff psychologist for the Sonoma State Hospital and as a court examiner in hundreds of adult and juvenile cases, he relied chiefly on in-depth interviews with the people concerned--a method that could not help but appeal to the reporter in Herbert. "I don't think you can approach and understand a person merely from the standpoint of theories," Slattery says. And furthermore:

If you want a real understanding of the human mind, why, you not only have to have the idea or the intelligence or something that can be expressed in terms of the rational or intellectual, but you also have to have the feeling that goes with it... . These are the views we [Slattery and Herbert] shared."

Because of his background in philosophy Slattery also tried to relate psychological issues to broader questions of human nature and destiny. He was critical of the pretensions of psychology to have all the answers to such large questions as were raised by philosophy, and the names of Heidegger, Jaspers, and other philosophers were as likely to be invoked in his conversation as the names of Freud or Jung. The Slatterys also introduced Herbert to Zen, the teachings of which have had a profound and continuing influence on his work.

Irene Slattery worked in private practice as a Jungian analyst. Where her husband gave Herbert a broad theoretical overview, Irene heightened his psychological perceptiveness. One interest she shared with Herbert was in the budding science of nonverbal communication, the hidden messages of the body that complement--or contradict--the spoken word. Inspired use of nonverbal perception, both as a subject and as a descriptive technique, marks Herbert's work. Toward the end of his association with the Slatterys, Frank even briefly set up a private practice as a "lay analyst." The exploratory psychologies in his novels illustrate why he did not maintain an analytic practice for long. However, both Jungian and Freudian concepts remain as an underpinning in his novels.

It was at this time also that Herbert wrote his first science-fiction story. "I saw clearly," he recalls, "that science fiction was going to be the thing." Further:

My feeling about it was that here was an entire field that could be mined for drama, where there was no limit to the settings that could be created. And I like the idea of being in an open ended system. I leaped into it. It was made to order for my purposes.

That first science-fiction story, "Looking for Something," was published in the April 1952 issue of Startling Stories. It concerns the queer belief of a stage hypnotist that the world he and everyone else sees is the illusion of a master hypnotist. And of course it is. An ancient race of alien beings hidden from sight by hypnotic command farms humans for a glandular secretion that provides them with a kind of vampiric immortality. Paul Marcus, the hypnotist, is discovered by the chief indoctrinator of the aliens just as he is on the point of unearthing the master hypnotic command buried in the mind of his pretty young assistant. He is not killed; he is simply reprogrammed to another fantasy life, as a street-car driver instead of a hypnotist. There he will have no need for unsettling thought, the indoctrinator concludes before going off to handle his next case.

"Looking for Something" is a rather naive and obvious story in many ways, but that was often the style of science fiction at the time. Writers had the air of little boys who decided nothing was forbidden and proceeded to look around for cookie jars to open. Many stories were based on the kind of twist Herbert uses here--a tongue-in-cheek attempt to turn the world upside down, to argue that things aren't quite what they seem. The story also touches on such stock sci-fi speculations as the destruction of Earth's sister planet to form the asteroid belt (too many of its inhabitants had "woken up"). It is worthwhile to note, however, that the story reflects many of the same psychological and social concerns that have occupied Herbert ever since. The theme of hidden conditioning, for instance, recurs throughout his work with increasing power and subtlety. What is sketched in this story in the half-humorous guise of hypnosis is later detailed as a full range of linguistic, social, and psychological patterning. The story also takes a satirical slap at bureaucracy--another theme that has continued to concern Herbert. Mirsar Wees, the alien indoctrinator, must report the problem that has occurred in such a way that he absolves himself of all guilt and insures his tenure:

Bureaucracy has a kind of timeless, raceless mold which makes its communiques recognizable as to type by the members of any bureau anywhere. The multiple copies, the precise wording to cover devious intent, the absolute protocol of address--all are of a pattern, whether the communication is to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation or the Denebian Bureau of Indoctrination.
Mirsar Wees knew the pattern as another instinct.

Like many of his key concepts, Herbert's concern with the failings of bureaucracy cannot be traced to any one source. Herbert does recall that when his father was a highway patrolman, the police force had not yet become a legalistic bureaucracy. "The old time cop was judge and jury and everything else.... The whole thrust [of the old system] was not to cause any waves, to get on with the business of living." Faced with a drunk driver, for instance, the elder Herbert would "drive him home and tell his wife to hide the keys till he'd sobered up."

Herbert's eyes may have been opened up to the new wave of the future when he came out of the Northwest. While in the Navy, he was struck by the institutionalized mediocrity represented by the Bluejacket's Manual (he satirized many of its tenets in his 1966 story, "By the Book"). However, the sense of bureaucracy as "instinct" is original vintage Herbert, anticipating his later treatment of bureaucracies as self-perpetuating species with an ecology all their own.

In addition, Herbert admits to having been stylistically influenced by Ezra Pound's poetry, which gave him "a sense of the possibilities of language," so it is not impossible that he was touched also by Pound's prose works such as "Bureaucracy the Flail of Jehovah."

Herbert's next published science-fiction story is altogether more accomplished. "Operation Syndrome," published in the June 1954 Astounding, follows a similar pattern to the previous story--boy meets girl, and with her begins an attempt to crack the artificial walls of limited awareness--but the pacing is much tighter, and the story full of intriguing background. Herbert has abandoned whimsy for adventure. The characters are interesting in themselves, not just cardboard vehicles for a totally conceptual twist of plot.

A plague from nowhere has rocked the world. In each of nine cities, everyone has suddenly, completely, shockingly, gone mad. Dr. Eric Ladde, and every other psychiatrist, is trying to fight the plague. His approach, scoffed at by his colleagues, is to complete the "Amanti teleprobe," an electronic mind reader. Then one night, perhaps fevered by overwork, he begins to dream of a beautiful singing woman. He has never seen her before. He is shaken by the intensity of the dream, but otherwise everything is normal--until he meets her on the street. Swiftly he is drawn into a bizarre chain of events, which reveals to him the true cause of the so-called "scramble syndrome."

The woman, Colleen, and her accompanist, Pete Serantis, are the musical sensation of the decade--and they have played in every city where the syndrome has struck. Ladde discovers that in each case the plague has appeared just twenty-eight hours after they have left. The "musikron" played by Pete Serantis can only be a telepathic instrument similar to the one he himself is working on. It wreaks disaster rather than healing, because it opens people to the collective unconscious without availing them of the safeguards of training or even expectation. When the machine is turned off, they are left without anchor in the strange underworld of the mind.

To further complicate the situation, Pete is using the instrument to dominate people rather than to understand them--or himself. The machine picks up his brainwaves and imposes them on others as a kind of "scrambling impulse" below the threshold of consciousness. Ladde tries to explain the problem to the musicians but Pete is crazed by jealousy (since Colleen and Eric have fallen in love) and refuses to heed. It is a trick to take Colleen away from him, he says. Colleen believes Pete, not Eric, and leaves with him for their next engagement.

The remainder of the story details the psychiatrist's race against time to complete his own telepathic instrument before disaster strikes a tenth city. He succeeds, but too late for Seattle. Now begins the long task of reconstruction. He realizes that "the patterns of insanity broadcast by Pete Serantis could be counterbalanced only by a rebroadcast of calmness and sanity." But he must first find that sanity in himself. He was himself saved from madness only by the rudimentary acclimatization to the teleprobe given him by his research. Ladde is no more at home in the subconscious than others are; he has just built up a resistance to being "scrambled." The completed teleprobe opens Ladde to the unintegrated levels of his own psyche, where he confronts himself in a kind of ultimate psychoanalysis. Once this is accomplished, the device gives him undreamed of capabilities. Starting with his own analyst, he is able to draw other psychiatrists into a telepathic network that can begin to restore the afflicted millions, as well as, presumably, develop new heights of human potential. Having seen that Eric was in the right, Colleen returns. The story ends as the lovers are reunited, to the knowing chuckles of "the network."

Although Herbert employs esoteric electronic gimmickry and extrapolation from electroencephalography to suggest the birth of a new science, the real key to the story is the process of self-discovery Eric has to go through before he can find safety in the new realms of the mind. The machine alone can do nothing. Pete had the teleprobe but worked only harm. "A person has to want to see inside himself," Ladde realizes, "or he never will, even if he has the opportunity." One must go through the process of self-discovery alone. To become a psychoanalyst, Ladde himself had to be analyzed, but his final analysis must be self-analysis. In the process he sees that his formal psychoanalysis was itself part of a continuing neurotic search for a father substitute.

Herbert clearly has a great deal of respect for analysis, but he was not above poking fun at the authoritarian posturing of individual psychiatrists. The story begins with a touch of satire, when Ladde first has his feverish dream of Colleen and the musikron: "A psychoanalyst might have enjoyed the dream as a clinical study. This psychoanalyst was not studying the dream; he was having it." Psychiatry is successful in the end, but only after being purged by its own failure and submitting to an entirely new approach.

After "Operation Syndrome," stories flowed more quickly. "The Gone Dogs," published in the November 1954 Amazing Stories, concerns the fate of the last dogs on earth--struck by a deadly virus, they had to become different to survive. "Packrat Planet" (December, 1954), based on Herbert's experience at the Library of Congress as a speechwriter and research assistant for Oregon Senator Guy Cordon in 1954, explores the value--and the power--of freedom of information, however "useless" it might appear. "Rat Race" (July, 1955) again involves the concept of alien intervention in human affairs--this time we are experimental animals--and recounts the adventure of the man who had the courage to try to step out of the laboratory. "Occupation Force" (August, 1955), a story of alien invasion, suggests quite the opposite, that we are the aliens. The invaders land, looking surprisingly human, and when asked if they intend to occupy the planet, reply, "It should be obvious to you that we have already occupied Earth . . . about seven thousand years ago. Each of these stories reveals Herbert's cachet for reversing, in the course of the story, assumptions that were taken for granted at the start.

With the publication of his first novel, Under Pressure (also titled Dragon in the Sea), Herbert was recognized as a major new science-fiction talent. The book, which was first published in three installments in Astounding, beginning with the November 1955 issue, was an immediate hit.

Under Pressure takes place sometime early in the twenty-first century. The United States has been at war with the "Eastern Powers" for sixteen years. The overall dimensions of the conflict are never detailed, but we learn that the British Isles have been completely devastated by atomic attack, and we may presume that Europe has been swallowed up. The war seems to have settled into an angry stalemate, with each side struggling for minute advantages. After years of this sort of contest, supplies of oil have grown short, and the Navy has begun to pirate oil from undersea fields deep in enemy territory. It is up to the men of the sub- marine corps to steal that oil, using huge inflatable plastic barges drawn by tiny four-man subtugs. For two years the audacious program has worked.

Suddenly, however, something has gone wrong: of the last twenty missions, all have been found and destroyed by the enemy. It is suspected that the "Eastern Powers" are being led to the subtugs by tight-beam broadcasters hidden on board and triggered by "sleeper" agents planted long before the war. And in addition to the enemy successes, the stress of the undersea war is driving submariners insane. Morale is dropping, and success on the next mission is essential. The Navy has chosen the crew with the highest-rated chance of success, barring one problem--the sub's electronics officer became psychotic at the end of its last voyage. To replace him, Ensign John Ramsey, an electronics expert who is also a psychologist, is assigned to the sub. He has a dual role that is hidden from the crew: not only must he perform every function of the expert submariner whose place he is taking, he must uncover the sleeper agent and see that the men make it through the mission without cracking up.

Ramsey and the crew of the subtug Fenian Ram are launched into an undersea world of danger, intrigue, and unbearable psychological pressures. The four men face not only the accustomed dangers of war in the deep--locked in a fragile, closed environment where the slightest mistake might mean death, hunted by roving packs of enemy vessels--but also the gnawing awareness that one of the close-knit group stands ready to betray the others. The secrecy of the mission and Ramsey's hidden purposes add to the friction. As the sub creeps toward its distant goal, the tension mounts. Special electronic detection equipment reveals the spy-broadcaster when activated, and brilliant evasive action by the captain saves the ship. But the question remains: who set it off?

The mystery of the sleeper agent's identity and the psychological problems that plague subtug crews form an intense counterpoint to the escapes that follow one after another as the sub flees enemy detection and taps the hidden well. Under Pressure is a superb war story. It is also a novel of self-discovery, of wisdom wrested from painful experience. To solve his twin mysteries, Ramsey must shed the role of psychologist and become a submariner. Only when he has confronted his own fears and prejudices, and has seen himself in the men he is supposedly analyzing, can he find the answers he needs.

The story opens with the Navy staff meeting at which it is decided that Ramsey should be sent out with the Fenian Ham. In this scene Herbert lays out the essential background and, perhaps more importantly, constructs the image of psychology that will preoccupy the characters--and the reader--throughout the book. He goes to great pains to show the power of trained psychologists over ordinary men: "Ramsey . . . allowed himself an inward chuckle at the thought of the two commodores guarding Dr. Richmond Oberhausen, director of BuPsych. Obe could reduce them to quivering jelly with ten words." "Obe," as Ramsey affectionately calls his boss, is blind; but his ability to follow the motivation and the weaknesses of others through their speech and movement patterns leaves him far from sightless. Or helpless. His control of his own behavior, his timing, and his choice of just the right words allows him to manipulate others without their knowing. It is he who is really running the meeting, not the Navy brass.

Obe wants Ramsey assigned to the mission for reasons of his own, and is close to getting his way. He needs only a convincing demonstration from Ramsey to clinch the job. At one point, when Ramsey is being shown the cylindrical device the Navy suspects is being used to give away the location of their subs, Obe interrupts:

"Mr. Ramsey's work, of course, involves electronics," said Dr. Oberhausen "He's a specialist with the instruments used for detecting traumatic memories."
Ramsey caught this cue . . . . He was the omniscient BuPsych electronics expert. The Man Who Knows Your Innermost Thoughts. Ergo: You don't have Innermost Thoughts in this man's presence. With an ostentatious gesture, Ramsey put his black box on the table. He placed the cylinder beside it, managing to convey the impression that he had plumbed the mysteries of the device and found them, somehow, inferior.
What the devil is that thing? he wondered.
"You've probably recognized that as a tight-beam broadcaster," said Belland.
Ramsey glanced at the featureless surface of the black cylinder. What would these people do if I claimed X-ray vision? he asked himself. Obe must have hypnotized them.

Ramsey is, of course, assigned to the mission. The Navy brass are hamstrung by their own fear and preconceptions about psychology, which Obe and Ramsey find easy enough to play on.

Ramsey is put through an intensive training program to ready him for subtug service. During this time, he also has an Opportunity to study the files of the other men in the crew and to try to fit them to the psychoanalytic generalizations he knows so well. The one sour note in his study is that the one man who did crack on the last voyage had easily the "best" case history of the four. The problem is far from clear cut. Obe had said, "The focal symptoms point to a kind of induced paranoia." This clue suggests to Ramsey a similarity to another problem that he had previously solved on a larger submarine, in which "the captain's emotional variations were reflected in varying degrees all through the ship's personnel."

Once Ramsey is actually on board the sub and meets the men, an important piece of the puzzle falls into place. Although they have widely different religious backgrounds, the men gather around Captain Sparrow at the beginning of the voyage:

Religious services, thought Ramsey. Here's one of the binding forces of this crew. Participation Mystique! The consecration of the warriors before the foray.

He soon sees it is more than that. The crew displays a near-religious faith in the captain's abilities. They joke about it, but there is an undercurrent of seriousness. "Skipper and God are buddies," says one of the men, his guard let down by pressure sickness. "Do favors for each other alla time." And the captain, for his part, seems to invoke this faith as a way of tying the crew together and giving them strength against the terror of the life they lead. In turn, he surrenders himself completely to divine providence. When Ramsey puts these observations together with the readings of special instruments he has monitoring the captain, which reveal icy calm during even the most extreme crises he makes a terrifying diagnosis: Captain Sparrow is a religious paranoiac, a schizophrenic destined for imminent and total breakdown!

Instinct wars with psychological analysis, however, as the pressures of the voyage drive Ramsey into the same pattern of irrational faith demonstrated by the other men. He believes he must remain "objective" to fulfill his role as a psychologist, but he cannot easily maintain this stance. The first time the submarine goes down close to its depth limit in an effort to escape pursuit, he finds himself reacting unexpectedly:

What is Sparrow's reaction to the increased danger? he wondered. Then: I don't really care as long as his ability keeps me safe.
The thought shocked Ramsey. He suddenly looked around his electronics shack as though seeing it for the first time, as though he had just awakened.
What kind of psychologist am I? What have I been doing? As though answering a question from outside himself, his mind said: You've been hiding from your own fears. You've been striving to become an efficient cog in this crew because that way lies a measure of physical safety.

As he wakes up to this realization, fear smashes him. He freezes. And it is Sparrow himself who notices and comes to Ramsey's rescue, giving him the fathering he desperately needs to get through the terror. "I've been waiting for this, Ramsey," he says. "Every man goes through it down here. Once you've been through it, you're all right." This is Ramsey's initiation into the strange world where these deep submariners have learned to survive.

His own experience now tells Ramsey that the pseudoreligious mystique of the crew plays a crucial role in its success; but his psychological training convinces him that it will also be the fatal flaw, the source of the psychotic break he was sent to stop. He decides that he must do something to shatter the pattern. He begins to antagonize the captain at crucial moments. If he can only get him to fail at just the right moment, yet without endangering all their lives, the spell will be broken.

What Ramsey does not consider is that in the tight-knit community of the sub he cannot upset the captain without upsetting the entire crew. And it is not Sparrow who breaks first. Les, another of the crew, concludes that Ramsey is a spy after he finds him at work alone in the electronics shack when he should be off duty. He attacks Ramsey unexpectedly. Actually, Ramsey has just discovered the trigger mechanism for the enemy tight-beam broadcaster, and when he awakens from unconsciousness surrounded by the captain and the other men, his first thought is to warn them lest they accidentally trigger it again. Les is abashed, and later apologizes to Ramsey

This incident, along with a number of others, leads the crew to suspect Ramsey's real role on board. Despite their resentment, they begin to confide in him. Les tells Ramsey:

"What I'm trying to say is that I've felt better ever since I pounded you. Call it a cathartic. For a minute I had the enemy in my hands. He was an insect I could crush."
"So I've never had the enemy in my hands before." He held up his hands and looked at them. "Right there I learned something ... When you meet your enemy and recognize him and touch him, you find out that he's like yourself: that maybe he's part of you.. . . It's like when you're the youngest and weakest kid on the playground. And when the biggest kid smacks you, that's alright because he noticed you. That means you're alive. It's better than when they ignore you. He looked up at Ramsey. "Or it's like when you're with a woman and she looks at you and her eyes say you're a man. Yeah, that's it. When you're really alive other people know it."
"What's that have to do with having the enemy in your hands?"
"He's alive," said Bonnett. "Dammit all, man, he's alive and he's got the same kind of aliveness that you have."

The scene is interrupted by enemy pursuit, but what Les said comes back to Ramsey later, when he finally uncovers the identity of the enemy agent on board. The man has been coerced into betrayal by a threat to his wife and children, but underlying this motivation is a basic malaise brought on by the never-ending war. A part of him assents to the betrayal, "just so somebody wins and that puts a stop to the thing--the bloody, foolish, never-ending thing." Ramsey begins to see a new dimension to his problem. It is not the men who are unbalanced, but the situation. The madness of war and secrecy breaks down that awareness and communication of aliveness between individuals that Les was talking about. Sparrow, whose "religious mania" leads him to pray for the men he kills, starts to look like he has the only "scratch of sanity" in the whole situation.

If Herbert had left the solution at this point, as a criticism of the insanity of war, the novel would display merely commonplace insight. But this is only the first stage of the solution. Sparrow himself, not Ramsey, uncovers the rest. When Ramsey finally confronts him, Sparrow is unperturbed. He admits to the symptoms Ramsey has isolated in his case--the icy calm in which normal fear responses are suppressed by the mind, the machinelike identification with the submarine as though it were an extension of his own body, the overriding religious faith--but he contests the conclusions:

"Here in the subtugs, we have adapted to about as great a mental pressure as human beings can take and still remain operative. We have adapted. Some to a greater degree than others. Some one way and some another. But whatever the method of adaptation, there's this fact about it which remains always the same: viewed in the light of people who exist under lesser pressures, our adaptation is not sane . . . ."
"I'm nuts," said Sparrow. "But I'm nuts in a way which fits me perfectly to my world."

Sanity is not a state of mind, it is a relationship between individual and environment. Sparrow goes on to say that we imagine Utopia, the perfect society, as a place completely without pressures of any kind; and our idea of sanity is deeply colored by that view. We forget that none of us has ever lived in that kind of utopia, and never will. Sanity must always be a compromise, a relativism. Ramsey's own adaptation, Sparrow points out, is a product of his psychological training. "You have to believe that I'm insane, and that your diagnosis of insanity type is accurate. That way, you're on top; you're in control. It's your way to survival." Heppner, the previous electronics officer, cracked up when he began to question the sanity of his adaptation and tried to force himself back into the mold of "surface" thinking, rather than undersea thinking.

All through this conversation with Sparrow, Ramsey has been feeling a mounting excitement, "as though he were on the brink of a great realization." He is both excited and afraid of what he is about to see. As Sparrow has pointed out, it will challenge his own adaptation. So when the captain makes his final point, Ramsey passes out, a last-ditch attempt to avoid a new and threatening understanding. When he comes to, after hours locked in a fetal ball, he has all the pieces of the puzzle. Sparrow's last insight and his own reaction were the final clues. What Sparrow had said was this:

Ramsey could contain the question no longer. "What's your definition of sanity, Skipper?"
"The ability to swim, said Sparrow That means the sane person has to understand currents, has to know what's required in different waters."

Sanity is not just the result of adaptation to a given situation, but the ability to adapt. At its best, this requires a heightened awareness of self and environment. Sparrow has this self-awareness in great degree. Other men are less fortunate. They are unable to shift back and forth between the different "sanities" (or insanities) of the undersea world and the surface. This is the real source of the breakdowns in the subtug crews. The men are caught in a double bind. Because of the special adaptations they have made, life in the subs, for all its danger, feels more secure and uncomplicated than life outside. In addition, there are subconscious psychological factors at work, as Ramsey realizes from his own retreat into catatonia: the subconscious perceives the submarine as a kind of womb, the underwater tunnels through which the vessel returns to its hidden base as a kind of birth canal, and the return to the surface as birth into an unknown and hostile world. "The breakdowns are a rejection of birth by men who have unconsciously retreated into the world of prebirth," he concludes.

Ramsey's solution is to try to "make the complete cycle desirable," or, at the very least, to reduce the split between the two sides of the submariner's life. One important step that must be taken is to rid the corps of antiquated security restrictions. "'We'd be better off without Security,' muttered Ramsey. 'We should be working to get rid of it. Security stif1es communication. It's creating social schizophrenia.'" The enemy already knows the location of the secret submarine bases; they know the subtugs are pirating oil from their waters. Secrecy about these matters keeps nothing from them, but it does keep the two sides of each submariner's life rigidly apart. A version of "the old Napoleonic fancy uniform therapy: fanfare coming and going" would do wonders for the morale--and sanity- -of the subtug crews.

With this realization, Ramsey's quest is over. The homecoming of the sub with its cargo of oil is anticlimactic. The solution of the puzzle has been bewilderingly complex, each answer giving way to another, each with a weight of concepts that would have overwhelmed any but the most tightly written novel. It all works in Under Pressure because the conceptual unfolding is matched step by step in the action of the plot. The ideas never interrupt the action; they are tightly woven into it. This success at blending ideas and storytelling is a direct result of the nature of Herbert's psychological insight, as pointed out by Ralph Slattery: it is based on character, not on concepts. And so it is not as though there are two levels operating in the novel--the level of action and the level of thought--but as though thought in every case springs from what happens. This is careful realism. Ramsey's involvement in what is going on provides the material--and the matrix-- for his thought. Herbert never defaults into the lazy trap of omniscience. Every detail that is brought to the attention of the reader is noted by someone, or involves him in action. On the rare occasion when Herbert does make an "omniscient" comment, he swiftly reinvests the new concept in the action of the story. For instance:

There had been a time when people thought it would solve most seafaring problems to take ocean shipping beneath the surface storms. But, as had happened so many times in the past, for every problem solved a new one was added.
Beneath the ocean surface flow great salt rivers, their currents not held to a horizontal plane by confining banks. The 600 feet of plastic barge trailing behind the Ram twisted, dragged and skidded....

The ongoing dialectic of problems and solutions is one of Herbert's favored observations; he cannot resist making it. But it adds to the drama. The sub is caught in a conceptual current!

The unity of action, character, and concept in Under Pressure shows the heritage of Ralph Slattery, the idea that psychology is about people, not theories. But the key to Herbert's ability actually to transform psychology into dramatic technique is the interest in nonverbal communication that he shared with Irene. We have already seen how "Obe" used his awareness of nonverbal cues to manipulate the Navy brass. Ramsey, too, notes appearance and gestures as well as words and actions. "That mannerism of rubbing his neck, thought Ramsey. Extreme nervous tension well concealed. But it shows in the tight movements." And so on. Herbert is always aware that thought and emotion are embodied. The story is set up perfectly to give full play to this viewpoint. Ramsey is deeply involved in the action, but he must also observe and study the other men. So the reader sees multiple layers of viewpoint at once: the action itself (in the tiny subtug, the action of one man involves all), the introspective reaction of Ramsey and sometimes Sparrow, the behavioral response of each character and Ramsey's conclusions about it. The effect is somewhat similar to the play-by-play reporting of a sports announcer.

This many-layered effect could have slowed down the pace; rather, the pace is hastened, because until the end Herbert is content to hint, and does not always elaborate on each level. Ramsey may note some clue but be unable to draw a conclusion from it. His reflections end in mystery. And so the reader becomes involved with him, not in his analysis, but in heightened perception of the characters. No more than Ramsey does he have the facts that will confirm the identity of the sleeper agent or predict a crackup. The reader becomes engaged in Ramsey's struggle to understand the myriad, seemingly unrelated, factors. Furthermore, not every thought is completed. Just when Ramsey feels himself to be on the brink of realization, a new crisis will occur that thrusts him rudely back to the more urgent task of survival. The net result is that the reader is never allowed entirely to desert the realm of involved action for the realm of thought. He is always brought to the brink, and then stopped. The continual tension between thought and action yields a powerful illusion of life, and from life one does not expect the simple answers you sometimes find in stories. When in the end the answers pour out in a rush, their weight and complexity are easily overbalanced by relief at finding a solution at all.

In addition to the impact it had as a psychological novel and as a masterpiece of storytelling, Under Pressure attracted attention for the amazing verity of its scientific background. The Nautilus, the world's first atomic submarine, had just been commissioned at the end of 1954, and details of nuclear subs were still secret. Nevertheless, the atomic subtug is described with such technical perfection that a friend of Herbert's received a letter from an anonymous retired Naval officer" who denounced Herbert as a traitor and revealed McCarthyesque "evidence" of his communist connections. Time has proven that Herbert's source was imagination, not stolen secrets. The Fenian Ram is like no other sub before or since. With the fiction of "plasteel" (Herbert had heard speculations that steel reinforced with glass fibers might give unheard-of strength) and the "Palmer induction drive," which requires no propeller shafts through the hull, Herbert made possible a fast-moving submarine with a depth capacity closer to that of today's bathyscaphes and other ponderous scientific submersibles than to any contemporary warcraft. The Fenian Ram (in 1954) had over four to fifteen times the speculated depth capability of the Nautilus. And although Herbert was in the U.S. Navy, he had never been near a submarine. The factual details of undersea technology the novel contains came from research Herbert had done in 1954, while at the Library of Congress, for an article entitled "Undersea Riches for Everybody." This long, thoughtful piece about the potential of such undersea boons as offshore oil (a proposal that was then scoffed at by "experts"), was purchased by Colliers but never published, as the magazine folded shortly thereafter.

Herbert's inquisitor also claimed that he gave away the subject of a secret Navy medical instrumentation program. It is not clear exactly what he is referring to. Ramsey uses a "vampire gauge" to directly monitor the bloodstream for carbon dioxide diffusion and other biochemical factors and then regulate the sub's atmosphere accordingly. As Herbert saw it, this kind of immediate monitoring would be a necessity if men were going to be fighting under the abnormal stresses of the high-pressure environment of a deep-diving sub. He saw a problem, and extrapolated a solution. No such device exists even now, though Herbert thinks it may still be invented.

It is ironic that Under Pressure evoked such a response, since the madness of excessive security is one of the novel's themes. The idea was probably brought into focus by the very "Red scare ' to which Herbert's critic succumbed. Herbert had attended the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954. (Even though he was working in Washington as a speechwriter, not a reporter, chutzpah got him a seat at the press table.) The hearings were not the only source of Herbert's concern with security and control, but they provided a powerful illustration of their potential excesses. It is not unduly difficult to understand why the novel caused a furor. Herbert's sympathetic portrayal of the enemy was sure to arouse suspicion among conservative readers. And so convincingly did he blend fact and fantasy in the novel that even today it is hard to separate the two, or to guess what fantasy might already have become fact. In 1958, a British firm designed and marketed a flexible undersea oil barge modeled on the "slug" drawn by the Fenian Ram. In overt acknowledgment of the source of his idea, the "inventor of the product called it the "Dracone" barge (from the Latin word for dragon). Ramsey's peculiar adaptation of the vampire gauge--the "black box referred to in the beginning of the story--which he uses to monitor Sparrow's endocrine reactions, and hence his emotions is another extrapolation that has come a long way toward fact. "Skin talk" (galvanic skin response) monitoring to detect emotion was first developed in 1888, and was used briefly (1904--7) by Jung in conjunction with free association to detect traumatic memories (note Ramsey's expertise with "the instruments used to detect traumatic memories"), but it did not really come into vogue until the late 1960s, as the most basic of a whole range of biofeedback instruments. But more important than the device itself is the concept. The idea of using medical instrumentation to read the inner man was a novel one at the time Herbert wrote Under Pressure. Instruments such as the electroencephalograph (EEC) were used to detect brain pathologies, not to interpret inner states. This idea reveals Herbert's knowledge of how important it is that we "as human animals" reveal our "higher" thoughts and feelings in the mechanisms of the body. It is a vision of the holism of human awareness--physical, psychological and mental--which has only just begun to come into its own today.

But it is Herbert's psychology that is the most convincing piece of scientific extrapolation, never losing touch with basic principles while developing truly imaginative applications. Sparrow's analysis of madness and adaptation to environment shows a perfect understanding of the Jungian tenet that "a psychosis is not a disease, it's a cure." It is a way of dealing with an otherwise intolerable situation. And while Ramsey's psychoanalytical reduction of the subtug crew's madness to repressed birth trauma now seems a little dated, it embodies an important and enduring principle: in the world of consciousness feeling is more important than "actuality." Also, though it is never stated as such, Ramsey's final grasp of the problem comes close to reproducing Bateson's famous "double- bind" theory of schizophrenia, which suggests that schizophrenia is produced by conflicting demands in a child's environment.

Finally, the very complexity of the factors that lead to Ramsey's solution shows a profound psychological understanding. In a beautiful example of narrative structure embodying principles articulated in the text, Herbert invokes multiple explanations of what has happened, but does not give the palm to any one of them. We are shown the madness of a war where men kill and die, knowing only that their opponents are men like themselves, alone with fear and under pressure, far closer to their enemies in spirit than to the leaders who sent them out. We witness Sparrow's stunning analysis of adaptation to pressure, and the dramatic breakdown and retreat into fetal withdrawal that makes Ramsey aware of the unconscious factors influencing the men. We continue to expect that each explanation will give a final solution, but each gives only new beginnings. Even Ramsey's final, successful proposal to stop the breakdowns is more a mitigating strategy than an attack on the root of the problem. The "answers" given at the end of the story are multifaceted and inconclusive precisely because they are not meant to explain the action. The attempts of the characters to understand what is happening are only one more layer of the story

At the very end of the novel, Ramsey comes to see the need for indeterminacy in human understanding. All through the voyage, the psychological arrogance he had cultivated along with Dr. Oberhausen stood in his way. The men resented it and, as Sparrow had pointed out, it hobbled his own thinking. Ramsey gained a sense of other possibilities from the way Sparrow worked. At one point he had asked the captain: "What makes mariners so superstitious?" Sparrow replied: "Awareness of the limits of our knowledge." Sparrow's religious faith, Ramsey comes to realize, involving a kind of openness to the unknown, brought about a deeper sensitivity than his own arrogance. He tells Dr. Oberhausen:

"I've never met a psychoanalyst who didn't--at least subconsciously--offer his system as a substitute for religion. Present company included. We set ourselves up as little gods--all-knowing, all-healing. People resent that, and rightly. We have polite labels for our failures. We agree among ourselves that anything bearing one of those labels is, of course, incurable."
Dr. Oberhausen's voice held a sense of remoteness. "That's quite an indictment, Johnny. Do I take it that you've been converted by our good Captain Sparrow?"
Ramsey leaned back, laughed. "Hell, no! I'm just going to stop posing as a messiah."

Chapter 3: From Concept to Fable

The Evolution of Dune

Herbert's success with Under Pressure was only a shadow of what was to come with his second novel, Dune. Winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, it is considered by many to be the greatest work of science fiction ever written.

Recalling the origins of Dune, Herbert says:

It began with a concept: to do a long novel about the messianic convulsions which periodically inflict themselves on human societies. I had this idea that superheros were disastrous for humans.

This concern with the dangers of hero worship is already evident in Under Pressure. Ramsey's rejection of the paternalism of psychology and his analysis of the subtug crew's dependency on their captain anticipates features of Dune's portrayal of the human love affair with messiahs and supermen. Nonetheless it was no easy jump from the tight little world of the Fenian Ram to the parched wastes of Arrakis. It took eight years for Herbert's insights to gain mass and momentum and to become focused in a single story. His methodical newspaper research habits carried over to his fiction. He created a file folder on the idea, and ac- cumulated notes on possible scenes and characters to go along with it. For years he researched the origins and history of religions, trying to understand the psychology by which individuals submit themselves to the juggernaut of a messianic myth. He continued to study psychoanalysis and philosophy, and added history, linguistics, economics and politics, trying to grasp the whole pattern. The initial concept had several incarnations before he finally settled on the story that was to become Dune.

The perfect scene came to him in 1957, after a newspaper assignment took him to Florence, Oregon, to write a feature story about a government project on the control of sand dunes. This program, which used an ecological rather than an engineering approach to the problem, was so successful that it had attracted considerable attention and was being copied in many other countries. Herbert became fascinated by sand dunes--the irresistible way they move, swallowing roads, houses, and on occasion entire towns. He saw real drama in the effort to control dunes by planting hardy grasses instead of building walls. The article was never published, but Herbert was hooked, both on ecology and on sand:

I had far too much for an article and far too much for a short story. So I didn't know really what I had--but I had an enormous amount of data and avenues shooting off at all angles to get more.... I finally saw that I had something enormously interesting going for me about the ecology of deserts, and it was, for a science-fiction writer anyway, an easy step from that to think: What if I had an entire planet that was desert?

Science fiction was the key. It was a medium Herbert had chosen for the elbow room it gives. A writer of conventional fiction, unless he is extremely inventive, starts with innumerable givens. His plot must wend its way through them like a road through the contours of a mountain pass. But a science-fiction writer, if he really uses his medium, need take nothing for granted. He is not creating a road but an entire world--mountains, pass, and all. The problems of sand dune control and desert life that so fascinated Herbert could be explored in fullness.

He imagined an entire planet that had been taken over by sand dunes, and an ecologist faced with the task of reclaiming it. There too the project begins with grass planted on the slipface of the dunes. Then gradually other life is introduced in an attempt to start a self-sustaining cycle. Such literal extrapolation from the Oregon dune project was only the beginning, however. An important ecological principle cited by Herbert states that "growth is limited by that necessity which is present in the least amount." In Arrakis, Herbert "set a planet where water is not available to the extent that it becomes the controlling element" for this "law of the minimum." Somewhere on the planet, though, there must be water. It can be only hidden, not completely absent, if the transformation is to be possible. Imagination again gave the answer: the aridity of the planet is the result of an evolutionary transformation brought about by Arrakis's own life forms. An immature stage of a great predator, the sandworm, traps water and establishes the barren conditions required by its mature stage. The foreign plants introduced to control the dunes must also be poisonous to these "water stealers" if the plants are to free up moisture for an effective long-term change.

However, the sandworms are the planet's chief source of oxygen, so they must be treated with care. "A medium worm (about 200 meters long) discharged as much oxygen into the air as ten-kilometers of green-growing photosynthesis surface," notes the planetologist in Dune. To complicate the situation even further, the desert is the source of the precious spice, melange, the most valuable commodity in the Empire, found only on Arrakis. Although this fact is unknown to outsiders, melange too is a byproduct of the sandworm life cycle.

Herbert invented this spice through a natural branching of ideas: for people to live in a really extreme environment (apart from a few scattered groups on the subsistence level), there must be something to attract them, something so valuable that they seek out the locale despite its hostility. This insight was a product of his study (begun in Under Pressure) of the psychology of dangerously extreme environments, where human beings cannot control their circumstances but are forced to adapt to them.

The spice added further dimensions to the ecological problem. Water is poisonous to sandworms, and so water and melange are mutually exclusive riches on Arrakis. The desert cannot be treated simply as an obstacle or an evil to be converted to man's use. It is the planet's greatest resource--one with which men tamper at their peril. There must be a common evolution of the Arrakeen and terraform ecosystems, so that the two may be integrated rather than set at odds. The delicacy of the ecological transformation is multiplied a thousandfold. One begins to see, as the ecologist in Dune says, that "you cannot draw neat lines around planet-wide problems." Ecology deals not with isolated effects, but with systems. The whole pattern must work, or eventually none of it will. Even ecological technology, indiscriminately applied, can fall prey to short-term, simplistic thinking when one element, such as water, is taken out of context and made all- important.

From these scattered beginnings, Herbert constructed a painstakingly detailed world, in an exercise of ecological imagination as gradual, as delicate, and as complex as such a planetary transformation itself might be. Not the least part of his task was to imagine inhabitants for this greatest of deserts. Herbert "assumed that if people had lived there long enough, there had been an organic, evolutionary process which produced people who know how to survive there." These are the Fremen, who, as befits such a harsh world, are a composite of the most striking qualities of all of earth's desert dwellers. For their approach to desert survival, Herbert drew heavily on the water-lore of the primitives of the Kalahari, who eke out a living in an utter wasteland by utilizing every drop of water. This was given a science-fiction twist in the imagined technology of the water-conserving "stillsuit," which reclaims the body's moisture:

It's basically a micro-sandwich--a high efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.... The skin-contact layer's porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body.... Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck.

For the Fremen character, Herbert relied heavily on the Indians of the American Southwest and the nomads of North Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Like the Apache, the Fremen are among the finest guerrilla warriors ever known. They have been driven into inhospitable regions by foreign enemies with superior numbers and armament. But their superb knowledge of their environment makes them virtually unbeatable on that ground. They are masters of those weapons that nature has given them--they have fierce endurance, physical strength, bravery, and a kind of earth-wisdom. And like the Navajo and other Indians of the Southwest, their native religion involves a psychedelic sacrament.

Still more obvious in the Fremen character are the Arabic roots. Fanatically loyal to brethren but with little respect for the lives of those outside the clan, nomadic, warlike, respectful of troubadours and mystics, the Fremen are close kin to the seventh-century Bedouin. The overt trappings of their culture--language, clothing, and customs--are Arabic in detail. Even the drug use of the Fremen reflects an Arabic (as well as Indian) source, in the twelfth-century Hashishins.

Herbert used these cultures as models for the Fremen but one should not look too deeply for historical parallels. For instance, he describes the use of Arabic derivations for the Fremen language primarily as a means of focusing the reader's imagination:

If you want to give the reader the solid impression that he is not here and now, but that something of here and now has been carried to that faraway place and time, what better way to say to our culture that this is so than to give him the language of that place.. . . That oral tool--it has its own inertial forces; it's mind- shaping as well as used by mind.

In short, Herbert was using the nuances of language to key his readers into their own associations with desert. Furthermore, he did not presume that Arabic history had simply repeated itself in the Fremen culture. He fictionalized a history in which many of the original elements of Near Eastern civilization have been preserved, though greatly changed through time, to flower again in a desert setting.

The Fremen borrowings from the Arabic are of two kinds: those features that might be re-created by similarities of environment, such as the codes of honor, personal bravery and survival skill; and cultural information, such as language, which might actually have survived. This legitimizes the reader's use of his own knowledge to flesh out the story and allowed Herbert to mix the familiar with the strange, to powerful effect.

As he played with the possibilities, Herbert saw how the two stories he was developing--about the desert world and about the superhero mystique--could come together. He says:

I decided to put the two together because I don't think any story should have only one thread. I build on a layer technique, and of course putting in religion and religions ideas with ecological ideas you can play one against another.

In his research Herbert had noted how the desert seems to be a wellspring of religion. The history of Judaism demonstrates that harsh conditions make for a religion of anticipation. And Islam, which we tend to associate more than any other faith with a desert environment, is perhaps the most messianic religion of all. In an appendix to Dune that purports to be a fragment from a future-historical monograph, Herbert writes:

It is vital ... that you never lose sight of one fact: the Fremen were a desert people whose entire ancestry was accustomed to hostile landscapes. Mysticism isn't difficult when you survive each moment by surmounting open hostility.

Like the Jews, the Fremen have long been wandering and persecuted, always awaiting the promised land. And like the Arabs, the scattered Fremen discover their religious and cultural identity at the call of a strong leader, and build a mystical warrior-religion moved by economic as well as religious factors.

It was noted above that Islam may be the most messianic of all religions. Islam has been rocked with continual Mahdist movements since its foundation. To name one recent example, the political imbroglio involving T. E. Lawrence had profound messianic overtones. If Lawrence had been killed at a crucial point in the struggle, Herbert notes, he might well have become a new "avatar" for the Arabs. The Lawrence analogy suggested to Herbert the possibility for manipulation of the messianic impulses within a culture by outsiders with ulterior purposes. He also realized that ecology could become the focus of just such a messianic episode, here and now, in our own culture. "It might become the new banner for a deadly crusade--an excuse for a witch hunt or worse.

Herbert pulled all these strands together in an early version of Dune. It was a story about a hero very like Lawrence of Arabia, an outsider who went native and used religious fervor to fuel his own ambitions--in this case, to transform the ecology of the planet. His plan to reclaim the desert will take hundreds of years. No one then alive will see the fruition of his plan. It is a traditional, future-oriented prophetic pattern.

Somewhere along the line, Herbert saw the limits of this approach: it touched on only one of the dynamics uncovered in his research. He had a great many ideas about psychology, the manipulation of power, and the unconscious dynamics of mass movements. So straightforward a plot would be inadequate to carry everything he wanted to say. He began to layer the story.

Enter Paul Atreides, the hero of Dune. He is not merely a prophet, but a here-and-now messiah with more than a visionary dream with which to inspire a following. The tale of Kynes, the ecological prophet of the earlier version, is retained as a sub-theme: he plays John the Baptist to Paul's Jesus. Paul takes over the ecological cause when he comes to Arrakis, but he has other axes to grind as well--as did Herbert. In Paul, Herbert had a vehicle to explore the many factors that go into the creation of a messianic "superhero." He also lays out in detail the structure of aristocratic leadership, the use of psychological manipulation, the birth of an irresistible legend from individually insignificant events, and an unusual psychogenetic theory of history.

Dune does not begin in the desert. Its first scenes concern the political structure of the Empire. The Empire is ruled, in effect, by an "aristocratic bureaucracy" at the top of a rigid feudal caste system. It is said that there is "a place for every man, and every man in his place." Paul's father, Duke Leto, hawk-featured and imperious, is a peer of the Galactic Empire and a born leader. Leto is forced to Arrakis, the dune world, in a "change of fief" by his hereditary enemy, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Arrakis is a rich planet, but dangerous, and the Baron plans to move against Leto while he is still unsure of his new ground. Harkonnen has the secret backing of the Emperor, who fears that Leto's superb cadres excel even his own crack troops, the Sardaukar. Leto is betrayed and killed soon after his arrival, and Paul is forced to flee to the desert with the Lady Jessica, his mother.

The feudal and paramilitary structure of the Empire and House Atreides reveals an important aspect of what Herbert describes as the superhero mystique. Feudalism is a natural condition into which men fall, he contends, a situation in which some men lead and others, surrendering the responsibility to make their own decisions, follow orders. Duke Leto is generous, bold-hearted, and loved fiercely by all who follow him. Even his enemies admire him:

This Duke was concerned more over the men than he was over the spice. He risked his own life and that of his son to save the men. He passed off the loss of a spice-crawler with a gesture. The threat to men's lives had him in a rage. A leader such as that would command fanatic loyalty. He would be difficult to defeat.
Against his own will and all previous judgments, Kynes admitted to himself: I like this Duke.

Still, Leto uses his men. It is always for his purposes, not their own, that they act. They are maintained--and maintain themselves--as followers, not as equals.

The early part of the novel, up to Leto's downfall, depicts Paul's training in the Atreides code. Charisma and loyalty, as well as the fear and propaganda wielded by the Baron Harkonnen, are shown to be the tools of statecraft. Herbert later described what he was getting at in this part of the book:

You gain insights into the moral base upon which Paul makes his own decisions. All of this is couched in a form which makes Paul and his people admirable. I am their advocate. But don't lose sight of the fact that House Atreides acts with the same arrogance toward common folk" as do their enemies I am showing you the superhero syndrome and your own participation in it. The arrogant are, in part, created by the meek.

This then is the first layer of the superhero mystique: the hierarchical structure of leadership. Paul is trained to lead and his followers are trained to follow.

At the same time as Herbert was delineating the social structure of the Empire, he was introducing another layer. In the opening scene of the novel, while Paul is still a boy of fifteen he is tested by a mysterious old woman to see if he is human or animal. The "gom jabbar," a needle tipped with deadly poison, is held at his throat while his hand is burned, causing dreadful pain. "This is the only rule," she tells him. "Keep your hand in the box and live. Withdraw it and die." Paul must be in complete command of his animal reflexes or perish. Such is the initiation of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, a semisecret organization of women devoted to the devious manipulation of politics and religion. Through the Bene Gesserit, Herbert analyzes the role of the unconscious in human affairs and the potential for its manipulation by the knowledgeable and unscrupulous. Most people are only half-awake--they react to external stimuli without really knowing why they respond the way they do. By contrast, the Bene Gesserit have schooled themselves to understand and master their own unconscious reflexes. This is graphically demonstrated in the test of the gom jabbar, as well as in other fantastic feats of psychological and physiological control, which are described throughout the book. In addition, the Bene Gesserit have refined the ability to perceive and to play on the unconscious weaknesses of others. Their power to influence the course of politics depends almost entirely on this ability, applied both to individuals and to groups.

The Bene Gesserit command over the individual unconscious finds its acutest expression in the power of Voice:

Hawat started to leap from his chair.
"I have not dismissed you, Thufir!" Jessica flared.
The old Mentat almost fell back in his chair, so quickly did his muscles betray him.. .. Hawat tried to swallow in a dry throat. Her command had been regal, peremptory--uttered in a tone and manner he had found completely irresistible. His body had obeyed her before he could think about it. Nothing could have prevented his response--not logic, not passionate anger.., nothing. To do what she had done spoke of a sensitive, intimate knowledge of the person thus commanded, a depth of control he had not dreamed possible.
"Now you know something of the real training they give us," she said.

The significance of Voice is easy to miss if we get caught up in the question of whether or not such a thing is possible. Herbert is extrapolating powers of suggestion and psychological manipulation far in advance of anything in use today, but the power itself is not the main point. He is saying something about who we are as human animals. In Western civilization we have placed so much emphasis on conscious thought and rationality that we have forgotten how much of our behavior is unintentional and uncontrolled by consciousness. We make choices for reasons of the flesh and feelings, as well as of the mind. The attraction of the superhero, as Herbert sees it, is a case in point. The Fremen do not follow Paul for logical reasons, but precisely because logic is not enough for comfort in a hostile world. Unconscious needs for security and belonging play a much larger role in a messianic upheaval than the conscious content that masquerades as the cause.

The Bene Gesserit know that the power to manipulate an individual, however acute, has limited effect on millions. They use legends and superstitions as the mass equivalent to the power of Voice. Their adepts have planted stories on countless planets as insurance against future need. With such a legend for back- ground, someone trained as the Bene Gesserit are trained can easily move an entire world.

When Paul first comes to Arrakis, he walks right into one of these legends. The story tells of the Lisan al-Gaib, "the voice from the outer world," which will share the dreams of the Fremen and lead them to fulfillment. Paul has a profound disquiet about playing on the legend. It grows around him nonetheless, impelled by the desire of the Fremen for the promised transformation of Arrakis into a green and fertile world, Paul does not actively try to call up the legend, but the mere fact that he has superior insight and ability sets it in motion. When Paul first wears a stillsuit, the water-conserving garment of the desert, intuition tells him how to adjust the fittings just right, while his father and the other men struggle with the unfamiliar equipment. "He could be the one!" the Fremen whisper.

Then Jessica announces that the Atreides will work to bring water to the desert. The legend (which had been twisted by Kynes to include his ecological projections) is once again aroused: "It is said they will share your secret dream." Later, when Paul and Jessica have fled to the desert, they are picked up by a band of Fremen. Though strangers are usually killed for their water, the whispers have already begun to spread, and so the two are taken in. Still, there are doubters, and Paul is challenged to a deadly duel by one of them. Forced against his will to kill the man, Paul weeps for him. This is unheard of on water-starved Arrakis. "He gives moisture to the dead!" the Fremen whisper in awe. Simply by living among them, Paul gives the legend a living presence and gains power to bend the Fremen to his will. He begins to mold them into a guerilla force with which to win back his dukedom. But already they are more than that, and so is he. He is no longer Paul Atreides, but Paul Maud'Dib, Mahdi of the Fremen and will-o-wisp of the desert, while his followers have become Fedaykin, "death commandoes." The marriage of a charismatic leader and a people who long to be led has begun to bear its inevitable fruit.

Paul does in fact have remarkable powers, but far more important in the end is how the Fremen respond to them. Their strong, unconscious projection makes him even more special than he is. This projection stems somewhat from the legends generated by the Bene Gesserit and the way they crystallize around Paul, but even more from Paul's followers' "wishful thinking"--their unconscious belief that someone "out there" has the answers they lack. Unable to find adequate strength of purpose in themselves, they look for a truth--a cause--and a leader to supply it. The same mutually supportive relationship of leaders and followers had been explored in the feudal setup of House Atreides.

Thus far, Herbert's portrayal of the "superhero syndrome" follows recognizable paths of social and psychological analysis. He drew first of all on the traditional messianic pattern, the longing for a better future exhibited by oppressed peoples. He then showed the structure of leadership--how a society functions with built-in expectations of who will lead and who will follow--and explored the nature of charismatic myths and the possibility for manipulation of the unconsciousness in all of us.

Each of these was to an extent an extrapolation from accepted understanding. But there is one other concept Herbert built his story on that is unique--his genetic theory of history.

Once again, Herbert uses the Bene Gesserit and the inner powers Paul has gained from them as his vehicle. The source of the almost supernatural abilities of the Bene Gesserit is a substance they call the Truthsayer drug, which allows their Reverend Mothers to draw on profound inner knowledge and the accumulated wisdom of the past. Only women can master the inner changes brought on by the drug; it has always been death for a man. The Bene Gesserit have embarked on a centuries-long program of selective breeding to produce a man who can take the drug and live. They hope to open vast new areas to their control--the depths of active male psychology as well as the receptive female. The crippling flaw in Bene Gesserit skills is that they must be wielded indirectly. They hope that a man fully trained in their esoteric arts would be able to wield temporal power in a way that they cannot. They call their goal the Kwisatz Haderach, "the shortening of the way." It is hoped that Paul may be this figure, but he has been born a generation too soon in the plan and is consequently not completely their tool. He has his own destiny to follow.

As it turns out, Paul's heightened inner powers give him the same ability to perceive unconscious motivation with regard to masses of people as the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers have with individuals. Aided by the process of Mentat computation, he is in effect able to see the future as the Reverend Mothers see the past. Paul's powers of prophecy are still latent when the story begins, but they blossom under the influence of the Fremen diet, which contains massive amounts of melange, to which the Truthsayer drug is related. In powerful visionary episodes, Paul breaks through to the swirling matrix of possibilities that is the future. He sees the forces at work in the uprising of which he is a part, and understands how little who he is or what he does has mattered:

He sampled the time winds, sensing the turmoil, the storm nexus that now focused on this moment place. Even the faint gaps were closed now. . . . Here was the race consciousness that he had known once as his own terrible purpose. Here was reason enough for a Kwisatz Haderach or a Lisan al-Gaib or even the halting schemes of the Bene Gesserit. The race of humans had felt its own dormancy, sensed itself grown stale and knew now only the need to experience turmoil in which the genes would mingle and the strong new mixtures survive. All humans were alive as an unconscious single organism in this moment, experiencing a kind of sexual heat that could override any barrier. . . . This is the climax, Paul thought. From here, the future will open, the clouds part onto a kind of glory. And if I die here, they'll say I sacrificed myself that my spirit might lead them. And if I live, they'll say nothing can op pose Muad'Dib.

Paul calls the rebellion he sees in this vision "jihad," the Arabic word for the holy war of conquest. He sees his banner at the head of fanatic legions raging through the known universe. He has been pursuing limited political aims, but he comes to see that the forces he has roused cannot easily be laid aside. He had thought to use them for his own purposes, but he eventually realizes that he is the one being used; as the survival drives of an entire race seek satisfaction in the upheaval of war.

In a sense, what Herbert does in Paul's visions is to take ecological concepts to a much deeper level. Paul comes to see opposition between the aims of civilization and those of nature as represented by the human unconscious. An ecosystem is stable not because it is secure and protected, but because it contains enough diversity that certain organisms will survive despite drastic changes in the environment and other adverse conditions. Strength lies in adaptability, not fixity. Civilization, on the other hand, tries to create and maintain security, which all too frequently crystallizes into an effort to minimize diversity and stop change.

The rigid structure of the Empire epitomizes this tendency. Basic survival instincts have been sublimated into the need to feel secure. Social structure, religion, messianic dreams--all the factors that go into the creation of a myth--are means by which humans reassure themselves that they are in control of their universe. Yet these very factors, taken to an extreme, necessitate the overwhelming of conscious control that occurs in the jihad. The mystique of Muad'Dib arises because the people of the Empire are out of touch with the unconscious forces that move them. Rather than bend with these forces, they resist them and are swept away. When it must, the unconscious rages up and has its way. The same point was made in the description of the Bene Gesserit power of Voice: you are controlled by that of which you are unaware and by that which you deny.

In his visions, Paul comes face to face with the universe as it really is, a vastness beyond any hope of human control. Men pretend to power over their fate by creating small islands of light and order, and ignoring the great dark outside. All the men who took the Truthsayer drug died because they had been conditioned all their lives to an illusion and could not face the reality. Paul confronts the vision of infinity and learns to yield to it, to ride the currents of infinite time and not to restrain them. And then, symbolically, he leads his troops to victory on the backs of the giant sandworms, the untamable predators of the desert who may yet be ridden by those bold enough to take the risk.

These are difficult concepts, and Herbert went to a great deal of trouble to see that they became more than concepts in the reader's mind. Dune is filled with events and images that echo the same themes. For instance, the outcome of Paul's mission, and his consequent vision of the universe, are prefigured in the storm into which he plunges a "thopter" to escape the Imperial Sardaukar. He cannot control the storm, cannot escape from it, cannot rise above it or sink below it, but can only use all the consummate artistry of his piloting to surrender to it, to move with its swirling force and not against it. Jessica mused, "It was like the Litany [against Fear]. . . . We faced it and did not resist. The storm passed through us and around us. It's gone, but we remain." In a similar fashion, Paul's teachings about the dangers of psychological dependence on walls instead of mobility are reflected in his grasp of guerrilla tactics:

"They say they've fortified the graben villages to the point where you cannot harm them. They say they need only sit inside their defenses while you wear yourself out in futile attack."
"In a word," Paul said, "they're immobilized."
"While you can go where you will," Gurney said.
"It's a tactic I learned from you," Paul said. "They've lost the initiative, which means they've lost the war.

This shift from fixed defenses to personal skill and mobility is also the key to the Arrakeen desert: the energy shields so favored by offworlders cannot be used there, because they draw an even stronger counterforce, the worm.

When an idea is seen again and again in so many different forms, it begins to take on a life independent of any of them. It is no longer an abstraction but a reality. Above all, the layering of the many ideas within Dune succeeds because the ideas are seen as the shaping experiences of one man's life. They are not presented in a linear manner, as they have been here, but are woven into one great texture of plot, imagery, and character. When Paul utters his insights, the reader has witnessed the events that gave rise to the thought, and is prepared. The concepts have become an integral part of the world and everything that has happened there.

A further aspect of Herbert's world-building technique becomes apparent after reading his 1958 story "Cease Fire," in which he treated a theme that was later to become important in Dune. In this story, a common soldier invents a new weapon that can detonate virtually any explosive from a safe distance. He is exultant; he thinks he has put an end to war. Experienced military men know better. He has not eliminated war, only changed its form. In the next war, which is bound to arise sooner or later, both sides will have the new superweapon. "So the next war will be fought with horse cavalry, swords, crossbows and lances. . . . And there'll be other little improvements! . . . Elimination of explosives only makes espionage, poisons, poison gas, germ warfare--all of these--a necessity!" The nature of the device is different, but when this idea is taken up in Dune, the conclusion is the same. The "Field Process Shield" makes explosives and projectile weapons obsolete and interacts with lasers in a mutually destructive, near-atomic explosion. The result is, precisely, the reintroduction of personal combat, with sword, knife, and bare hands, as well as the use of treachery and poison as acceptable forms of warfare.

The difference between "Cease Fire" and Dune shows something very basic about the way the novel is constructed. Herbert did not simply take the situation he wanted to present and paint it on a flat canvas. Instead, he described the generating cause of that situation and let the conclusions inevitably develop in the story itself. In "Cease Fire" Herbert was using the concept to make a point--that to prohibit the use of certain weapons is to attack the symptoms of warfare, not the cause. But in Dune the idea per se of a prohibitive weapon does not concern him, but rather the cultural consequences of such a weapon. The feudal social structures the shield has encouraged also demonstrate the rigidity and class-consciousness of the Empire. Hand-to-hand combat underlines Herbert's emphasis on self-reliance and personal skill. The knife fights between Paul and the Fremen Jamis and between Paul and Feyd-Rautha, the Harkonnen heir, both represent turning points in the novel, moments when the course of Paul's prescient vision is most powerfully at stake. Danger and possibility are most intimately connected in moments of physical struggle.

It would have been easy enough for Herbert to slip such elements into the story without supporting them--medievalism has been a romantic affectation in science fiction ever since John Carter first drew a blade against the hideous green Tharks and Warhoons in Edgar Rice Burroughs's 1911 classic, A Princess of Mars--but why do so when one clearly conceived background detail can give meaning to the convention and justify the shape of an entire world? "It isn't the ideas that make the story," Herbert says, "it's what you do with them. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Development of ideas--that's where the diamonds are." Few science-fiction writers are so unsparing of ideas that they can resist outlining them in black and white; Herbert has so many points to include that those he cannot make overtly are introduced in the background. The layering of concepts in Dune does not provide an illusion of depth. It is real depth.

In this depth, one also perceives Herbert's mastery of obscurity and shadow. Dune has been so often praised for its fullness of detail that it is easy to overlook the fascination of what has been left out. Certain ideas or scenes that were crucial at one point in the development of the story later dropped out, leaving mysterious signs in the way others are handled. Other significant pieces of background were left deliberately unfinished, to draw the reader's attention deeper into the story and to keep him involved long after it was over. What student of Dune has not puzzled over the exact life cycle of the sandworm, or the history of the Bene Gesserit? Herbert is endlessly willing to hint and not to explain. If as a result some ideas seem to hang unsupported, this only lends fire to the reader's conviction that he is exploring a real world, with mysteries that have defied even the author. "The stories that are remembered," says Herbert, "are the ones that strike sparks from your mind one way or another." He tries to strike sparks any way he can.

Dune is loaded with symbols, puns, and hidden allusions. Though they may not all be consciously grasped by the reader, they lend weight to the story, a sense of unplumbed depths. For instance, as previously noted, one of the things about sand dunes that initially fascinated Herbert was the irresistible way they move. Although the connection is never explicitly stated, the image of the irresistible juggernaut is central to the book's treatment of the jihad. The dunes brood in the background.

Each name, each foreign term, was also chosen with care, sometimes for the sound, sometimes for an association, sometimes just for Herbert's own amusement or that of the occasional scholar who will pick them up. Every nuance has purpose. The Fremen language is adapted from colloquial Arabic, often with significant meanings. Paul's younger sister, for example, bears the name Alia. She was a member of the Prophet Mohammed's family. The use of colloquial rather than classical Arabic is itself significant, since it is the spoken language that would have survived and evolved over the course of centuries into the Fremen. "Bene Gesserit," although it sounds as if it could be Arabic, is actually Latin. It means "it will have been well borne," an apt motto for the scheming Sisterhood. The name Atreides was also consciously chosen. It is the family name of Agamemnon. Says Herbert, "I wanted a sense of monumental aristocracy, but with tragedy hanging over them--and in our culture, Agamemnon personifies that." Likewise the name of their enemy, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, though in this case the associations are more contemporary. The Russian sound was clearly meant to engage our prejudices--which, it must be remembered, were much stronger when Dune was written in the early sixties than they are now.

Any single one of these details may be unimportant in itself, but taken together, they cannot help have an effect. Herbert is trying to engage the unconscious as well as the conscious response of the reader. The use of colors, images, and viewpoint in a way that demands the reader's participation has already been noted, as has the evocative power of language.

Another technique Herbert has adopted is to abstract wisdom from contemporary sources and place it in the mouths of his characters, so that the reader hears the insights of his own age reflected back at him out of the imagined future. Kierkegaard's "life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced" becomes a Bene Gesserit aphorism. Ecologist Paul B. Sears's statement, "the highest function of science is to give us an understanding of consequences" is expressed by Kynes as a fundamental ecological principle; and his "respect for truth comes close to being the basis for all morality" is recalled as a lesson Paul had received from his father. Such statements are used without acknowledgment, reflecting the supposition that truly profound thoughts may, over time, lose their authors and become a part of the wisdom of the race. Such borrowings give the distant flights of science fiction a foundation on the solidity of contemporary fact. A feeling of familiarity is thus attached to situations that are overtly strange.

Herbert's use of rhythm further demonstrates his ideas about the unconscious. He is convinced that the sound of a passage is subconsciously reconstructed by the reader even though he reads silently, and furthermore, that it has a powerful unconscious effect. As a result, Herbert wrote many of the book's crucial pas- sages as poetry--sonnets, haiku, and other forms, depending on the mood--and then concealed them in prose. On a larger scale, he very carefully controlled the pacing of the book to underscore the sexual nature of the jihad.

In the ending of Dune, action, character, and themes are brought to an explosive climax. Literally. Herbert admits:

It's a coital rhythm. Very slow pace, increasing all the way through. And when you get to the ending, I chopped it at a non-breaking point, so that the person reading skids out of the story, trailing bits of it with him.

The end result of all this art is a novel packed with ideas that cannot easily be shaken from the mind, but which is never overburdened by their weight. The world, the characters, and the story more than hold their own, perhaps because Herbert lets his own unconscious be the arbiter of the countless factors he has worked into the novel. He says:

When you sit down to produce or reproduce an experience, you have [only] one view of it, and you may be successful in reproducing that view so it comes through, but if you've done your homework, other things that are not part of what you conceived also will happen.

Knowing this, Herbert rides imagination like a worm called from the sands, a sure hand on the maker hooks holding in check, but never completely mastering, the demiurge of his desert world.

Chapter 4: The Hero

In his classic work, Heroes and Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History, nineteenth-century English historian Thomas Carlyle likened the conditions that bring forth a hero
to dry dead fuel, waiting for the lightning out of heaven that shall kindle it. The great man . . . is the lightning. . . . Those are critics of small vision, I think, who cry: "See, is it not the sticks that made the fire?"

Paul's reception as a messiah among the Fremen and their consequent outpouring into the galaxy has been shown to be a culmination of social, psychological, and even biological factors. But one would indeed be a "critic of small vision" to leave it at that. Herbert's detailed creation of the desert world comprises only the "dry sticks" of Carlyle's image; Paul provides the essential spark. The sincerity and wisdom of Paul's visionary quest, together with the realistic "technology" of consciousness described in the story, ignite the heroic conflagration.

The fundamental fact of history in Herbert's galactic Imperium is the Butlerian Jihad, in which men turned against computers and other "thinking machines." The primary commandment of this "Great Revolt" was "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of man's mind." Specialized training for humans came to replace outlawed computer functions. As a Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit instructs Paul in the first scene of the novel, "it forced human minds to develop. Schools were developed to train human talents.

The original idea for the Butlerian Jihad may have come to Herbert as a direct result of the fear of computers in our own culture. In an article written for the San Francisco Examiner in 1968 (admittedly a number of years after Dune), Herbert imagined a look back in time from 2068 and prophesied a similar revolt in our own immediate future:

Prominent in 2068 history books is the account of the violence at the turn of the century when people revolted against computer control. Computer stored data (growing out of the old National Data Center) had been used to harass and persecute those whose views didn't conform with those of the majority. In the bloody revolt, most computers were destroyed, their data erased.

What he is showing in Dune, however, is not just the possibility of popular revulsion against thinking machines and their dangers. The Butlerian Jihad was the birth agony of a new science of the subjective. In our culture, individuals are trained to believe the evidence of mechanical measuring devices rather than their own senses. A feverish patient believes a thermometer, not his own discomfort. Millions give up the doubts of their own feeble addition to the magical certainty of electronic calculators. But the Bene Gesserit have rejected all reliance on external devices as a substitute for subjective knowledge. They, and those trained in other post-Butlerian disciplines, such as the Mentats and the Spacing Guild navigators, have learned to trust the knowledge available to their own inner awareness.

In the Empire, Mentats have been trained to store vast amounts of data and to calculate probabilities on the basis of past performance. They are human computers. But even the Mentats operate by a kind of intuitive process, like so-called idiot-savants of our own day--unlettered mathematical geniuses who cannot explain how they do what they do. The Mentats have transformed what was once a freak ability into a teachable skill by applying to psychology discoveries originating in physics and the other hard sciences. The "First Law of Mentat" reads like a translation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle into the world of consciousness. The "law" helps the pedestrian mind expand its limits by reminding it of its inability to grasp everything it touches:

A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.

The Spacing Guild, which established its monopoly on interstellar transport soon after the Butlerian Jihad, likewise uses mind expansion techniques. Intense training in higher mathematics is combined with the use of melange to provide the limited prescience needed to envision time-warping safety factors for interstellar flight. As for the Bene Gesserit, they have joined together all the arts that used to be described as magic, yoga, and the esoteric depths behind religion.

The key ingredient in the Bene Gesserit science, as Paul recalls from his early lessons, is "to be conscious by choice":

The human requires a background grid through which to see his universe. . . focused consciousness by choice, this forms your grid.

In other words, the fundamental Bene Gesserit discipline is a heightening of what phenomenologists call the "intentionality" of perception. Herbert is fond of the observation that students learning to read X-ray plates "almost universally.., demonstrate an inability to distinguish between what is shown on the plate and what they believe will be shown. They see things that are not there." Perception is an active process, in which human beings choose from a vast array of sensory input and organize it into recognizable forms. In most cases this is also an unconscious process. The result is what appear to be perceptual screens or filters, based on past training and experience, through which only certain information will pass. Stimuli that do not match a preconceived model are rejected.

Much of the Bene Gesserit technology of consciousness is based on the insights of general semantics, a philosophy and training method developed in the 1930s by Alfred Korzybski. Herbert had studied general semantics in San Francisco at about the time he was writing Dune. (At one point, he worked as a ghostwriter for a nationally syndicated column by S. I. Hayakawa, one of the foremost proponents of general semantics.) Korzybski's argument was that people confuse words with the things they represent, and that as long as they do so they are trapped by the assumptions and old "semantic reactions" of their language. He observed that our everyday use of language--particularly of the verb "to be"--does not accurately reflect what we now know about perception: that it is a process of abstraction (things are not the same as our experience of them, words are not experiences, and certainly not the things they represent) and that more and more of the qualities of a thing are left out as one ascends the ladder from object to label. We violate what Korzybski called the "consciousness of abstracting" every time we say "This is a rose, rather than "This is called a rose.

Korzybski argued that language must be viewed as a map, which is useful only insofar as it is similar in structure to the world it describes. He stressed the importance of questioning the unconscious assumptions built into our language, and urged a response to life on the basis of fresh, "first-order" experience rather than the old experiences that have been crystallized in words and concepts.

The importance of general semantics in Herbert's work is twofold. First, it emphasized the importance of language and other cultural givens in providing a fundamental, unconscious structure for human thought and behavior; and second, it insisted that it was possible to train human beings into new semantic habits and an orientation toward first-order experience. The role of these concepts in Dune is obvious. But in the Bene Gesserit, Herbert has taken the concepts of general semantics one step further, combining them with yoga, Zen, a kind of internal body awareness that was later to be associated with biofeedback and nonverbal communication. Korzybski's study of the human abstracting process provides a conceptual umbrella that ties these diverse sciences together in a way that current scientists would do well to look at.

By making conscious the process of abstraction, the Bene Gesserit have turned it around, They are no longer prisoners, but masters, of their own perceptions. This conquest of perception is the key to both their "prana-bindu" training in Yogic inner control and their observational skills. "'Humans can override any nerve in the body,' sniffed the Reverend Mother" after Paul's gom jabbar ordeal. The Bene Gesserit have also come to identify many subtle cues--genetic lines in the face and body, nonverbal behavior, character strength or weakness--that are usually filtered out or at best vaguely perceived by the untrained mind. And so they have built up a "language" of nonverbal perception with which they can find meaningful patterns in minutiae of behavior.

The intelligence and scientific accuracy with which Herbert combined ideas from general semantics, Oriental disciplines, and nonverbal communication to shape the Bene Gesserit skills is particularly striking because Dune was written in 1963. It is predictive science fiction of the best kind. Oriental religion had not yet become widely popular in the West; only the most primitive biofeedback experiments were being conducted, and even those were being scoffed at by most scientists. Nonverbal communication was a little-known branch of ethnography. Altered states of consciousness were not considered a fit subject for research.

It is a masterwork of imaginative science to proceed from such small beginnings to their flowering in Dune. The touchstone of their brilliance is not only that they have proved predictive, but that they seem obvious in retrospect. For even though the power of Voice is still beyond current scientific belief, it is so soundly based that one has no doubt of its possibility. In fact, Herbert says, "we do it all the time." He adds:

I'll give you an example. I'm going to describe a man to you, and I'm going to give you the task of controlling him by voice after I've described him. This is a man who was in World War I as a sergeant, came home to his small town in the midwest, married his childhood sweetheart and went into his father's business, raised two children whom he didn't understand Now, on the telephone, strictly by voice, I want you to make him mad.... Simplest thing in the world! Now, I've drawn a gross caricature, but we're saying that if you know the individual well enough, if you know the subtleties of his strengths and weaknesses, that merely by the way you cast your voice, by the words you select, you can control him. Now if you can do it in a gross way, obviously with refinement you can do it in a much more subtle fashion.

Put this way, the concept is obvious. Herbert's skill resides in the ability to combine this notion with a character sufficiently perceptive to independently deduce such determining characteristics. This is the kind of perceptual legerdemain Sherlock Holmes made famous. And while there is no record of Dune fan groups like Holmes's "Baker Street Irregulars," there might well be. Herbert's technology of consciousness is so nearly an extrapolation from the self- evident that it gives the reader at least the illusion (perhaps more) that he can learn techniques of heightened awareness for himself. And it gives many the itch to try

In the first pages of the novel, Paul's hyperconsciousness is gradually and irrevocably impressed on the reader. Paul has just awakened from sleep, a boy restless with the excitement of imminent change. Arrakis! In the turmoil between sleep and waking, his mind grinds over and over what little he knows of the desert planet. Strange names and places are brought down to earth by the familiarity of the everyday experience of awakening. But as Paul rouses, it becomes apparent that he is no ordinary fifteen-year-old:

Paul sensed his own tensions, decided to practice one of the mind-body lessons his mother had taught him. Three quick breaths triggered the responses: he fell into the floating awareness ... focusing the consciousness . . . aortal dilation ... avoiding the unfocused mechanism of consciousness . . . to be conscious by choice.

He need not be at the mercy of the thought process or the tensions of the body. Paul is also extremely perceptive. When his mother comes in to prepare him for an unexpected morning interview with a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother,

he studied the tallness of her, saw the hint of tension in her shoulders as she chose clothing for him from the clothes racks. Another might have missed the tension, but she had trained him in the Bene Gesserit way--in the minutiae of observation.

This heightened perception, applied not only to nonverbal cues but to nuances of meaning in every occurrence, places Paul and the reader in an unusual rapport. The first scene is charged with detail; the reader does not see Paul's surroundings as if they have been described to him by an impersonal narrator, but through Paul's swift observations. Even more than in Under Pressure, nothing in the scene "just happens." It happens to Paul, is noted, evaluated, and changed by his response. Paul appears to live continually in those moments of stress or inspiration when human mental processes seem to accelerate and intensify. Later in the novel, when Paul must locate Jessica, who is buried within a sandslide, it seems hardly beyond his everyday abilities.

In the Bene Gesserit way she had taught him, Paul stilled the savage beating of his heart, set his mind as a blank slate upon which the past few moments could write themselves. Every partial shift and twist of the slide replayed itself in his memory, moving with an interior stateliness that contrasted with the fractional second of real time required for the total recall.

Presently, Paul moved slantwise up the slope, probing cautiously. ... He began to dig, moving the sand with care not to dislodge another slide. A piece of fabric came under his hands. He followed it, found an arm. Gently, he traced the arm, exposed her face.

To appreciate the full impact of Herbert's portrayal of hyperconsciousness, it is important to remember that Paul is not the only character who possesses it. His mother Jessica shares his Bene Gesserit sensitivity to mood, events, and nuances of meaning, as does the Reverend Mother in her brief appearance. The Bene Gesserit themselves are not the only source of Paul's largeness of Vision. The Atreides have developed the warrior mentality to its peak. Subtle hand signals, invisible to the uninitiated, convey strategic information. Paul's father, Duke Leto, has a different style of awareness than his mother, but it too is extraordinary by our standards. Leto's roving mind continually assesses strategic possibilities, the degree of friendship and enmity in those he meets. He does not know how to control his inner states in the Bene Gesserit fashion, but he does know men. Such leadership as he possesses can be founded only on keen insight.

Leto's greatest attribute, however, is the pure force of his character. Paul experienced a sense of presence in his father, someone totally here." Paul has inherited this remarkable Atreides presence in full. After Leto has been killed, Paul goes to the Fremen Planetologist Kynes for support:

"From the throne," Paul said, "I could make a paradise of Arrakis with the wave of a hand. This is the coin I offer you for your support."
Kynes stiffened. "My loyalty's not for sale, Sire."
Paul stared across the desk at him, meeting the cold glare of those blue-within-blue eyes, studying the bearded face, the commanding appearance. A harsh smile touched Paul's lips as he said: "Well spoken. I apologize."
Kynes met Paul's stare and, presently, said: "No Harkonnen ever admitted error. Perhaps you're not like them, Atreides." "It could be a fault in their education," Paul said. "You say you're not for sale, but I believe I've the coin you'll accept. For your loyalty I offer my loyalty to you ... totally."
My son has the Atreides sincerity, Jessica thought. He has that tremendous, almost naive honor--and what a powerful force that truly is.
She saw that Paul's words had shaken Kynes.
"This is nonsense," Kynes said. "You're just a boy and--"
"I'm the Duke," Paul said, "I'm an Atreides. No Atreides has ever broken such a bond." Kynes swallowed.
"When I say totally," Paul said, "I mean without reservation. I would give my life for you."
"Sire!" Kynes said, and the word was torn from him, but Jessica saw that he was not now speaking to a boy of fifteen, but to a man, to a superior. Now Kynes meant the word.

In this scene, Herbert reveals what a keen grasp he has of interpersonal relations and the dynamics of leadership. Kynes is himself a leader, the son of the ecologist who first dreamed of the transformation and the one man who can command all the Fremen on Arrakis. He is not only Fremen, with all that implies, but has the sophistication of the Imperium. And he has so steeped himself in the language of the planet and the philosophy of ecological interconnectedness that he has a unique long-term, planetwide perspective on all that occurs. He is strong, arrogant, secure in his sense of self. But in their interchange, the two measure themselves against each other. A nonverbal as well as a verbal confrontation ensues, a kind of intangible assessment of spiritual force. When the balance of power shifts from Kynes to Paul, it is an event neither can deny.

As Paul surpasses Kynes, he also leaves behind his father and even the Bene Gesserit arts. The essence of Paul's tremendous appeal as a hero is that he starts out on a level of awareness and power that would fulfill most readers' wildest dreams, and goes on from there. Such attainments are only the baseline of the novel. Most of the major characters are supermen by our standards. Paul is a hero among heroes, wisest among the wise. Herbert avoids the stereotyped dualism of most science-fiction superman stories, in which the enlightened, lonely hero stands against the undistinguished mass. In Dune, heightened awareness is a spectrum along which many different kinds of knowledge have a place. This spectrum allows Herbert to make Paul both an exemplar and a critic of all the elements that make him what he is.

With reference to the Bene Gesserit teachings, one can see that there is a drawback to "focused consciousness." As Herbert, who is a seasoned photographer, explains it, "As you bring a focus into sharpness (and call the focus consciousness), you also throw more out of focus." The Bene Gesserit forget that their observations are made at only one level of attention. What have they left out? They are trying to tailor a safe future for the race. But Paul's mission, as we have seen, is not to build an ever-tighter system of conscious control, but to unleash the unconscious and uncontrolled in such a way that the race will be tested and brought to a new level of self-awareness and integration. When he is first told about the Kwisatz Haderach, Paul says, "What's that, a human gom jabbar?" And at the end of the novel, when he confronts the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam at the defeated Emperor's side, he taunts her with the same observation. He is the instrument by which he hopes the race can discover its humanity--not through the repression of pain in perfect control, but by a deeper interpretation of the Bene Gesserit lessons. "Consciousness by choice" was the fundamental principle. Paul's interpretation calls for a conscious entering into the unknown. The Bene Gesserit have been corrupted by their abilities into an arrogance such as Ramsey displayed in Under Pressure. Any system or method of control neglects certain factors, and gradually the pressure of what has been neglected increases sufficiently to topple the system. Only by leaving room for the unknown and for change is there a chance for success. One's control must be self-control, an ability to respond to events rather than to determine them.

Paul's criticism is made clearest in his thoughts about the Spacing Guild. Like him, they practice prescience, but they represent a temptation--and a warning.

He thought about the Guild--the force that had specialized for so long that it had become a parasite, unable to exist independently of the life upon which it fed. They had never dared to grasp the sword ... and now they could not grasp it. They might have taken Arrakis when they realized the error of specializing on the melange awareness-spectrum narcotic for their navigators. They could have done this, lived their glorious day and died. Instead, they'd existed from moment to moment, hoping the seas in which they swam might produce a new host when the old one died.
The Guild navigators, gifted with limited prescience, had made the fatal decision: they'd chosen always the clear, safe course that leads ever downward into stagnation.

The complete folly of using prescience to chart only the safest course to the future shows most clearly just before the Emperor's defeat. The two Guild navigators accompanying the Emperor remark that their vision does not tell them how the battle will go. "But then this Muad'Dib cannot know either," one of them adds. The Emperor is shocked: "Were these two so dependent on their faculty that they had lost the use of their eyes and their reason? Any one response to the universe, however powerful, becomes inappropriate with time and change. Those who become utterly dependent on one means of mastery will find them- selves unable to cope with the future.

This loss of perspective is not necessary, as the photographer in Herbert also knows. The ultimate background is infinity. This is Paul's reminder to the Bene Gesserit and all the other wisdom schools of the Imperium: Focus on infinity. Do not commit yourself irrevocably to a single vision.

Paul does not have this wisdom from the beginning, however. Although he has certain intuitive reactions to the Bene Gesserit that indicate his potential to surpass them, he does not immediately do so. He is still under the guidance and protection of his mother, who is, for all her renegade status, a Bene Gesserit. Only gradually does he claim independence from her. After his father's murder, when he and Jessica have joined the Fremen, Paul enters new territory where he must now draw his own conclusions. He has been trained to do this by his father, who had reflected:

The truth could be worse than he imagines, but even dangerous facts are valuable if you've been trained to deal with them. And there's one place where nothing has been spared for my son-- dealing with dangerous facts.

This is perhaps Leto's most important contribution to his son s character: the Atreides are risk-takers. In a static political structure founded on rigid class distinctions and rituals for change (even assassination has rules!), they are willing to throw everything in the air on a single toss of the dice, hoping that whatever happens will be an improvement on the old.

The willingness to take risks may even be something of a principle for Paul. After his military victory over the Emperor, when the galaxy is at his feet, he is challenged to personal combat by Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, the nephew and heir of the Baron-- and he accepts the challenge.

Paul . . . felt a harlequin abandon take over his emotions. He slipped his robe and hood from his shoulders, handed them to his mother with his belt and crysknife, began unstrapping his stillsuit. He sensed now that the universe focused on this moment.
"There's no need for this," Jessica said. "There are easier ways, Paul."
Paul stepped out of his stillsuit, slipped the crysknife from the sheath in his mother's hand. "I know," he said. "Poison, an assassin, all the old familiar ways.

The rot in the Empire--to which Paul's jihad was a reaction-- is its rigidity and distance from the realities of life and death. The willing assumption of personal risk is one of the primary elements that distinguishes Paul from the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild; it saves him from the trap of limited focus into which they have fallen. They try to shape events without truly becoming involved in them. Paul is willing to become the axis of events, with all the danger that it entails.

The knowledge that life demands risk is also Paul's meeting point with the Fremen, who thrive outside the "ordered security" of the Imperium. The entirety of Arrakis is the kind of dangerous reality Paul's father had trained him to embrace. "You never talk of likelihoods on Arrakis. You speak only of possibilities," says Kynes. Apart from the planet's real dangers, fearsome even to those accustomed to them, so much is mysterious to the offworlders. Most of the planet is unexplored and believed uninhabited. The garrison cities of the Harkonnens huddle in one small area behind a wall of cliffs that protects them from the storms and the great sandworms of the deep desert. The outer ergs are regarded as places of death.

Huge flying carriers transport the machinery required for melange harvesting to the desert for the few minutes available before a sandworm is drawn to destroy it. Speed is of the utmost necessity. In one terrifying scene, the "carryall" is diverted by Harkonnen treachery, leaving a spice factory stranded.

Flecks of dust shadowed the sand around the crawler now. The big machine began to tip down to the right. A gigantic sand whirlpool began forming there to the right of the crawler. It moved faster and faster. Sand and dust filled the air now for hundreds of meters around.
Then they saw it!
A wide hole emerged from the sand. Sunlight flashed from glistening white spokes within it. The hole's diameter was at least twice the length of the crawler, Paul estimated. He watched as the machine slid into that opening in a billow of dust and sand.

Few outsiders know that Fremen are so numerous or that they have made this fearsome country beyond the shield wall their home. The Harkonnens treat them simply as rabble living at the edge of their enclaves. Leto has suspected more, but it is Paul who first penetrates the mystery. Two men were left on the ground when the crawler was abandoned to the worm. Kynes pretends that the men cannot be rescued, but Paul notes that they do not seem to need help.

Fremen! Paul thought. Who else would be so sure on the sand?
Who else might be left out of your worries as a matter of course-- because they are in no danger? They know how to live here! They know how to outwit the worm!

When he comes among the Fremen, Paul must learn the laws of desert survival--"stillsuit integrity," and how to deal with sand conditions ranging from compact "drum sand," on which a single step will boom out a call to a worm, to dust basins that can swallow a man without a trace. Perhaps most important for outsiders is how to live with the omnipresent sandworm. The first lesson is "sandwalking," a noiseless, arhythmic glide that emulates the natural sounds of the desert. The second technique is the great Fremen secret, and cherished test of manhood-- "sandriding." The Fremen deliberately lure a worm with a mechanical "thumper," then actually mount it and force it to carry them across the desert. Paul has become the guerilla leader of all the Fremen, but until he has learned to master the worm, he is not truly one of them:

Paul waited on the sand outside the gigantic maker's line of approach. Surface dust swept across him. He steadied himself, his world dominated by the passage of that sand-clouded curving wall, that segmented cliff, the ring lines sharply defined in it.
Paul lifted his hooks, sighted along them, leaned in. He felt them bite and pull. He leaped upward, planting his feet against that wall, leaning out against the clinging barbs. This was the true instant of the testing: if he had planted the hooks correctly at the leading edge of a ring segment the worm would not roll down and crush him.
The worm slowed. It glided across the thumper, silencing it. Slowly, it began to roll--up, up--bringing those irritant barbs as high as possible, away from the sand that threatened the soft inner lapping of its ring segment.
Paul found himself riding atop the worm.

Living among the Fremen teaches Paul the fragility of life in a way that the Atreides, for all their warlike arts, could not. There are a thousand ways of death on Arrakis. In this context, many of the moral principles Paul has learned in the Imperium are no longer appropriate. Leto valued the lives of his men more than almost any other consideration But one cannot afford gestures when survival is at such a premium. Death comes easily, and one must be willing to take life easily. Paul notes that "Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife--chopping off what's incomplete and saying, 'Now, it's complete because it's ended here.'" Strangers, or the badly wounded, are often killed for water distilled from their flesh. The survival of the group is more important than any one individual. This Fremen attitude sets the stage for Paul's eventual acceptance of the jihad.

Another gift Arrakis gives to Paul is its unique brand of ecological wisdom. In picking up the banner of the Fremen ecological crusade, Paul cannot help but be shaped by it. He already has a good measure of ecological sophistication when he comes to Arrakis, as he demonstrates at a banquet given by his father soon after their arrival. Sensing that the Arrakeen notables gathered around the table are not truly his friends, Paul points this out with an ecological analogy. "The worst potential competition for any young organism can come from its own kind," he notes. "They have the same basic requirements."

Kynes applauds Paul's insight, saying, "It's a rule of ecology that the young Master appears to understand quite well. The struggle between life elements is the struggle for the free energy of a system." What is most important about this scene is not simply Paul's understanding of ecology, but that he is already applying its insights to human behavior. Together, with genetics (which has been called its twin science), ecology forms the scientific basis of Paul's philosophy.

The role of genetics in Paul's ideas has been explored in the previous chapter. Paul's Bene Gesserit legacy as well as his spice vision enabled him to see the jihad as a species-demand for genetic redistribution after the forced stultification of the Empire's caste system. But it was life on Arrakis that forced into bloom Paul's sense of ecology's demands on human affairs. Arrakis requires a willingness to flow with the environment rather than opposes and seek control of it. The Fremen acceptance of death illustrates that willingness, for death is important in maintaining ecological balance. Nature is prolific but (to use Blake's eloquent phrasing) "the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer, as a sea, received the excess of his delights."

Plans for the ecological transformation of Arrakis demand a long-term view of events. Sandworms, spice, and water are intimately connected. Short-term, local solutions cannot solve the global problems of their coexistence. Whole-systems thinking, which is central to ecology, is one of the most distinctive elements of Paul's entire philosophy.

It is important to note, however, that much of the conventional ecological wisdom that eventually comes to be associated with Paul is actually spoken by Liet Kynes, the Fremen planetologist, and by his father Pardot Kynes, whose life is described in an appendix. Paul picks up the ecological "charisma" by a kind of resonance in the mind of the reader. Ironically, Kynes, who was won to the Atreides banner after initial dislike, later realizes that to give Paul his blessing was a grave error. It costs him his life; he is abandoned in the deep desert without a stillsuit when the Sardaukar learn he has aided Paul. Even worse, it undermines two generations of ecological effort. It maintains only the appearance of fulfilling the dream. Wasting away in thirsty delirium, Kynes seems to see the mocking shade of his father telling him: "No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero." What was envisioned as a gradual process--500 years of careful change contained by continual experimentation and the possibility of stopping at any point--will become a juggernaut. Once it is accelerated for ulterior purposes, it will no longer be a self-correcting process. Paul's crusade is likely to result in an ecological disaster for the planet.

However, at the same moment that Kynes, in his delirium, is undercutting Paul's claim to be a valid ecological prophet, he reveals himself to have a vision as fixated on control as the Bene Gesserit or the Spacing Guild. "'Religion and law among our masses must be one and the same,' his father said. 'An act of disobedience must be a sin and require religious penalties.'" Although Paul's jihad may be inimical to the ecology of Arrakis, it nonetheless incorporates a vision of human freedom based on a still deeper sense of how nature works. Kynes seems to realize this in the last moments before "his planet killed him": "His father and all the other scientists were wrong . . . the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error." And it is on a regard for such unpredictability that Paul has based all his wisdom.

The Fremen experience molded Paul's Atreides character and his heightened awareness learned from the Bene Gesserit into something profoundly different. The other shaping force on Arrakis was of course melange. Combined with his Bene Gesserit genes, the spice triggered Patil's power to foresee the future.

After his father has been killed, but before he and Jessica have found refuge with the Fremen (the two of them are alone in the desert), Paul's mind bursts into a state of hyperawareness shocking even to him. The knowledge of his father's death and his inheritance of the mantle of action has provided the trigger to awaken his latent Mentat skills:

that . . . place somewhere separated from his mind . . . went on in its steady pace--dealing with data, evaluating, computing, submitting answers in something like the Mentat way.. It went on about its business no matter what he wanted. It recorded miniscule shades of difference around him--a slight change in moisture, a fractional fall in temperature, the progress of an insect across their stilltent roof, the solemn approach of dawn in the starlighted patch of sky lie could see out of the tent's transparent end.

This Mentat precision of observation and calculation, augmented by Bene Gesserit sensitivity, is only part of what happens, as the ubiquitous spice makes its influence known:

Abruptly, as though he had found a necessary key, Paul's mind climbed another notch in awareness. He felt himself clinging to this new level, clutching at a precarious hold and peering about. It was as though he existed within a globe with avenues radiating away in all directions . . . yet this only approximated the sensation.
He remembered once seeing a gauze kerchief blowing in the wind and now he sensed the future as though it twisted across some surface as undulant and impermanent as the windblown kerchief

Paul's earlier prescient dreams, in which he saw events and knew them as future truth, have given way to something far more powerful--and more dangerous. There is no sureness anymore, only contingency. Each action bears a freight of possibility that must be weighed and chosen. There is also a more important consideration, "a sense of mystery." The vision is not complete. Like the windblown kerchief, only the undulating surface is visible; what is clear one moment may be hidden the next. Everything changes. The Mentat and Bene Gesserit sense of the future is too linear and above all too controlled to embrace this vision.

Throughout his subsequent time on Arrakis, Paul learns to live with the vision's uncertainty. As they cross a patch of bare desert, Paul and Jessica, as yet untrained in Fremen sandwalking rhythms, draw pursuit from a worm. They reached solid rock just in time:

The mouth snaked toward the narrow crack where Paul and Jessica huddled. Cinnamon yelled in their nostrils. Moonlight flashed from crystal teeth..
Paul felt a kind of elation. In some recent instant, he had crossed a time barrier into more unknown territory. He could sense the darkness ahead, nothing revealed to his inner eye. It was as though some step he had taken had plunged him into a well . . . or into the trough of a wave where the future was invisible. . . Instead of frightening him, the sense of time-darkness forced a hyper-acceleration of his other senses.

This is Paul's first and most important discovery about the vision: when so much is known, it is the unknown that is the most powerful stimulus. Although later events place demands on his prophetic knowledge, his teachings will always emphasize to his followers the overriding importance of the unknown.

Paul's leadership of the Fremen forces him to rely more and more heavily on prescience. As his body acquires a tolerance to melange, his visions fade, and he must face the true test of whether or not he is the Kwisatz Haderach. He takes the Fremen equivalent of the Truthsayer drug: the Water of Life, a poisonous spice-exhalation of a drowned sandworm. This substance is changed on a molecular level by the internal control of a Reverend Mother into a nonpoisonous form, at which point it is used in the religious rites of the Fremen. Whoever endures the process of that change experiences the most potent catalyst to awareness ever known. No man has ever before survived it. After ingesting the untreated Water of Life, Paul is thrown into a visionary experience so intense that three weeks of trance pass in what seem moments to him. He has uncovered the true experience of the Kwisatz Haderach.

Paul said: "There is in each of us an ancient force that takes and an ancient place that gives. A man finds little difficulty facing that place within himself where the taking force dwells, but it's almost impossible for him to see into the giving force without becoming something other than man. For a woman the situation is reversed.... The greatest peril to the Giver is the force that takes. The greatest peril to the Taker is the force that gives. It's as easy to be overwhelmed by giving as by taking."
"And you, my son," Jessica asked, "are you one who gives or one who takes?"
''I'm at the fulcrum," he said.

The meaning of the revelation relates to the psychology of power. Taking and giving are both uses of power; one either seeks mastery over things of the world, or one yields to them. The Baron Harkonnen, demonstrating a pathological form of taking, seeks a false mastery in sadism. Conversely, pathological submission may take the form of fanatical devotion to a leader or a creed, as with the Fedaykin death commandos.

The Atreides show a more positive use of the path of mastery. They rule not by fear and raw power, but by love and loyalty and courage. Nonetheless, Duke Leto takes the allegiance of his men by these virtues, no less than the Baron does by his own twisted means. The Bene Gesserit serve an example of a more positive extreme of the giving tendency. "That which submits rules," the Reverend Mother tells Paul. The Sisterhood seeks to rule by opening the way, by submitting, in a sense, and so leading. The Voice, for instance, can be used for command, as Jessica did with Hawat, but most often it is used to lead its victims to a fatal misstep, while they continue to believe they are in control.

Some time in the distant past of their order, the Bene Gesserit saw that "Power [is] a two edged sword" and that to wield either blade was to deny the other. They chose their "passive" way, planning at the same time to breed a superbeing who could use both extremes of power at once. Paul discovers, however, that he has not only the abilities of both modes but the limitations of each. The Kwisatz Haderach is not a synthesis but a balance point. Paul cannot give without taking and [he] cannot take without [giving].''

This pattern retroactively becomes visible throughout the book. To gain Arrakis, the Atreides had to leave Caladan. To gain maturity Paul must lose innocence. After he has taken the life of Jamis, Paul grieves and, in a moving scene, "gives moisture to the dead." When he gives the Fremen a cause and a victory, he takes away their old way of life. This is why Paul's prescience is always so difficult. Each decision creates both success and failure. Paul is no impersonal future-manager, no scientific visionary. He has neither the Bene Gesserit skill of noninvolvement nor their dream of a man who could actively take the reins of power. "'I'm at the fulcrum,' he said." Everything passes through him and is shaped by him, yet he sees so much that is inevitable and cannot be changed by his will. This central paradox of action and inaction shapes his religion more than any other factor. At the pinnacle of control, he finds an inability to control; and at the pinnacle of surrender to transpersonal forces, he finds he is the one who shapes. He is both and neither.

And in this moment of realization, the climax of Paul's inner life, the outer battle with the Imperial forces is joined as well. Jessica asks him if lie's seen the future. "Not the future," he replies. "I've seen the Now." The future is no longer open. All depends on ever-narrowing possibilities, and "all paths lead into darkness." Neither he nor the Guildsmen can see ahead any longer. Success will belong, like it always does in the end, to he who can act most fully on the present. This confirms what Paul had suspected earlier:

The prescience was an illumination that incorporated the limits of what it revealed--at once a source of accuracy and meaningful error. A kind of Heisenberg indeterminacy intervened: the expenditure of energy that revealed what he saw, changed what he saw.

At this same moment of realization Paul ceases to resist the jihad. Up to this point, he had been riding the rising storm of his mission, hoping at some crucial juncture to find a safe path to turn aside from it. Now he sees that its inevitability is not the culmination of localized political and social forces, which he could hope to manipulate, but a species-wide demand. He must sacrifice his civilized abhorrence and submit to biology.

Out of all his experiences, Paul distills a religion that never mentions God, but which is suffused with a sense of the mystery of the universe. It is a religion of "self-development, in the Zen sense," such as Herbert claims for himself. Paul has tasted power and learned that it can never be sufficient to ensure the absolute control over circumstances that the heart desires. The human race itself, on the deepest level, mirrors the flux of the universe. Change, not stability, is the key to cosmic process. Man's aim must be to align himself with that process, and to train himself to flow with it.

At the same time, however, Paul recognizes man's continual attempts to enforce order on that shifting ground, and knows that his religion, like all other faiths, is itself such an attempt. His philosophy is not what moves millions of Fremen, and ultimately the known universe; they are inspired rather by Paul himself, the prophet, and by the earthly paradise in store for true believers. As is often the case, the teachings of the religion and its psychological focus are not identical. The success of Paul's prophetic mission results, in fact, from the failure of his followers to understand his teachings. There is an incompatibility between the prophet as seer and as a moral teacher. Those who venerate him for his powers can give no more than lip service to his message. Because Paul recognizes this ambiguity, his message is an ironic commentary on his adherents' beliefs.

In spite of his doubts--and perhaps partly because of them-- Paul is convincing as a visionary. His utterances have a profundity based on ancient philosophies and modern science. In addition, Dune mirrors aspects of our own culture--uncertainty, ecology, and heightened consciousness are all becoming matters of public concern--and so its lessons are particularly applicable to the reader's own life.

Herbert's treatment of heightened awareness is as exciting and authentic as his much-praised ecology. His concepts are thoroughly researched and well thought out. The use of melange, and its more powerful relative, the Water of Life, plays a large part in establishing this realism. Valued in the Empire for its geriatric, health-giving properties, melange is also a mild stimulant, and in large quantities a unique hallucinogen. "It's like life, it presents a different face each time you take it," notes the Atreides physician, Dr. Yueh. Melange triggers Patil's time vision and is used by both the Steersmen of the Spacing Guild and the Reverend Mothers of the Bene Gesserit to heighten their awareness.

The many faces of melange reflect Herbert's own first experience with hallucinogenic drugs. On his first trip to Mexico in 1953, he was required to get official permission for the extended stay he desired. After the interview, the general with whom he had met called in a servant, who brought a tray of panocha, a brown-sugar candy. Innocently, Herbert took two. Only later did he learn that the candies were compounded with the finest North African hashish. He had no idea what was happening. His only similar experience was drunkenness, so he felt and acted drunk. This occurrence convinced Herbert of the enormous power of expectation in shaping drug experience. And so, to the Fremen melange is one thing; to the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild it is another; and to Paul, yet another.

The experiences the Water of Life provokes among the Fremen were probably suggested to Herbert by peyote or other naturally occurring hallucinogens used by American Indians in their religious rites. As noted earlier, the Fremen were modeled in part on the Navajo and other Indians of the Southwest. As with the Arabs, Herbert's borrowings are accurate but selective. He has carefully reproduced certain elements of the culture, modified others to suit subtle purposes, and omitted others entirely. In this case he uses his selections to make an important point about drug use.

There are two principal traditions in native American use of hallucinogens. In ancient times, they were used by many tribes in a number of shamanic contexts--divination, initiation into manhood, healing. But in the "Native American church," which emerged in North America in the 1880s, peyote served an additional purpose. Replacing such militaristic rituals as the ghost dance, the peyote religion helped the Indians accommodate themselves to the inevitable takeover of their lands by the white man. It may have become a form of social control, a safety valve for the pressures of the untenable situation in which they had been placed--and possibly the model for the Fremen "mysticism of the oppressed.

Among the Fremen, the Water of Life is the stimulus for a ritual with certain similarities to the modern Indian rites. "'When the tribe shares the Water,' Chani said, 'we're together--all of us. We . . . share. I can . . . sense the others with me.'" The Water establishes a mystical closeness, releases inhibitions, and gives the Fremen a measure of relief from the tensions of life in the crowded sietch. The Fremen, however, have retained their hostility toward the Harkonnens. The drug acts as a pacifier only within the tribe. Outside it, they are as warlike as ever. This effect may show the legacy of al-Hasan, a twelfth-century Arabic leader, (AI-Hasan's full name, Hashishin ibn-al Sabah, is the source for both the words "hashish" and "assassin.") His men were said to use hashish at their mountain citadel to keep themselves occupied between raids. Nonpacifist psychedelic cults have also been known in the New World.

For Paul and Jessica, the Water of Life serves as an initiatory medium in line with shamanic tradition. It opens the door to a more dangerous consciousness. The drug is poisonous in its raw form. (Many hallucinogens, in their natural state are in fact allied with other highly toxic substances.) It must be changed by an adept (read "shaman") before it can be used in the ritual; the process of that catalysis is dangerous, demanding and confirming abilities that the initiate cannot really be taught, but only led up to.

In describing such shamanic rituals, Herbert was also speaking to the reader's unconscious. It is believed that echoes of shamanism have been incorporated into the myth structure of Western civilization. To Jung, whose work has influenced Herbert profoundly, the structure of myth is the structure of the human unconscious. Fremen rituals comprise many familiar mythic elements. For instance, the Fremen know the importance of the sandworm in maintaining the conditions of their life--sand, spice, oxygen--and they call him shai-hulud, or "maker." He guards the spice in the same way that the dragon, in so many myths, guards the precious substance sought by the hero. The Worm also represents the unconscious, the mystery of life, traditionally regarded as female. The male protagonists are the ones who must confront the maker and test their strength against him. This symbolic dominance of the female is a common feature of puberty rites, showing that a youth has broken away from his mother and become an adult. Paul must go farther, however, risking the untreated Water of Life (produced by drowning a small sandworm), which may be tasted only by the Reverend Mothers. He is not content to prove himself the master of shai-hulud in the sand, but must penetrate the inner mysteries. He is the Kwisatz Haderach, male and female.

This is heady symbolism, guaranteed to stir the blood even when the mind has been left far behind. But it is only one aspect of the use of myth and epic in Dune. Folklorist Albert Lord compares Paul's upbringing to that of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, and other epic heroes. His precocious childhood and up- bringing in "magic" and other special learning follow patterns that have been described in epics for literally thousands of years. Likewise, there is a crisis of adulthood in which the hero, raised principally by his mother (his father being dead or absent), goes against her and sets out to regain his father's heritage. In Paul's case, this occurs when he is alone in the desert stilltent with Jessica, and his time vision awakens. "What have you done to me? he asks, and she, recognizing the universality of his question, which probes deeper than all his training and indoctrination, replies, "I gave birth to you." Here myth so clearly reflects the universal human story. The numerous initiatory rituals already referred to also follow this epic pattern, and the coma into which Paul sinks after ingesting the raw Water of Life is a death/rebirth symbol common to many folklore traditions.

MeNelly has noted that Paul also fulfills many of the "steps of the hero" isolated by Lord Raglan. In his 1936 book, The Hero, Raglan describes twenty-two steps that are found, almost without variation, throughout many of the world's hero myths. Historical heroes demonstrate at most four or five of these features, he claims, whereas mythical heroes invariably show between thirteen and twenty-two of them. Paul fulfills perhaps seventeen.

The most important of these steps to appear in Dune (others occur in Dune Messiah) are: the unusual circumstances surrounding Paul's conception; the enmity of his maternal grandfather (the Baron Harkonnen); that nothing is told of his childhood-- the story begins with his initiation and his departure for Arrakis; that he vanquishes both the dragon (the sandworm) and the former king (the Padishah Emperor); that he marries the Emperor's daughter; and takes his place as ruler.

Raglan infers that the roots of all such heroic myths lie in ritual; later interpreters, influenced by Jung, see in them the common underpinning of the collective unconscious. Whichever theory is correct, the patterns are sufficiently familiar to readers that they add greatly to Paul's credibility as a hero. A story framed by such heroic elements is strengthened by the subtle but relentless momentum of long tradition. Myth touches something very deep in human nature. Albert Lord notes of the shamanic, mythic, and epic traditions, "Psychologically, they performed a function in their mythic state, and they continue to serve a function in the traditional epics, and they can do the same in nontraditional works. such as science-fiction that choose to use them."

Herbert's original interest in myth stems from his study of the Jungian "quest hero." As described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the quest is the universal "monomyth" of man's striving to transform himself and his world. The form varies from culture to culture, but the essence remains the same--a call from a higher dimension, a search through many obstacles for a goal that may be described as "the unlocking and release again of the flow of life into the body of the world." The hero shatters the status quo and lets the unknown (or the unconscious) back into play. The three stages of the quest are: the call or awakening (described in the first section of Dune), the trials and initiation of the hero (described in the second), and the realization and return to the world (described in the third volume). Many other characters in Dune besides Paul fit into the hero myth; to name a few: the tyrant figures (Baron Harkonnen and "Beast" Rabban) from whom Paul delivers the Fremen; the old crones (the Reverend Mother Gains Helen Mohiam and the Shadout Mapes) who introduce him to his destiny; the shaman; the wise old man; the female--as temptress, supernatural assistant, anti great mother. Story elements such as Paul's resistance to his destiny, the time-dilation in his climactic trance, the hermaphroditic psychology of the Kwisatz Haderach, the duel with Jamis, and the regenerative jihad--all have mythic counterparts. Even Paul's dreams of Arrakis at the start of the novel are significant in that myth and dream are said to be similar expressions of the underlying dynamics of the psyche.

The precision with which Herbert has traced the "monomyth" is suggested by the passage in which his teacher Yueh gives young Paul his copy of the Orange Catholic Bible, and Paul, seemingly by chance, opens it to the words, "What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us." Campbell describes "one of the ways in which the adventure can begin. A blunder--apparently the merest chance--reveals an unexpected world." The similarity is too obvious not to be an intentional echo. Nonetheless, it is essential to understand that Dune is not an imitation of myth, but an illustration of Campbell's point about the pervasiveness of the "monomyth." It informs Dune as it has informed thousands of other stories since time immemorial. This myth is the universal human template on which Herbert has tried to ground his vision.

It is difficult to say where this extraordinarily complex pattern of thought began or how it finally came together in the synergistic processes of Herbert's mind. Herbert's interest in myth came quite early, but so did his interest in drugs. On his 1953 trip to Mexico, after his initial experience with the hashish candy, Herbert had met a medicine man in Oaxaca who gave him a drink compounded of morning-glory seeds. It produced nothing more than a headache. But the seeds of awareness about drugs and shamanism were planted, so that later, when Herbert began working on Dune, contemporary patterns of drug use may have activated the latent linkages of thought. At that time, LSD was not yet widely available, and even the term "hallucinogen" had not come into general use (melange is described as an "awareness-spectrum narcotic"). Nonetheless, Herbert says:

I saw what was happening. I saw it coming.... I don't think it's hard to see that the repression of something--and the repression was coming down hard back then--will make it romantic and make it grow.

Herbert sought out "single experiences. . . so I could write about [them]," and shamanistic drug use became one more layer in the novel, complementing the shamanic echoes in Fremen culture and in the heroic myth.

Though he does not advocate the use of hallucinogens to attain such visionary experiences ("It's a dead-end street," he says), Herbert was not loathe to use the images and excitement of drugs to support his descriptions of heightened awareness achieved by different means. For instance, in the scene where Paul and Jessica are cornered by a sandworm, "Cinnamon yelled in their nostrils." (Italics mine.) At another point, Paul feels "the heat and cold of uncounted probabilities." This confusion of experience from different senses is called synaesthesia. It represents a fairly common hallucinatory experience and illustrates how psychedelic drugs seemed to open "the doors of perception." But the fact that it is a part of Paul's routine sensory array enlarges one's vision of human potential far more than if it were simply a chemical illumination. By evoking such unusual images, Herbert was able to expand the illusory limits of everyday consciousness in vet one more way.

The use of melange in an initiatory context, to open new doorways to the unknown, is right in line with Herbert's themes. He says:

To use such a substance, you pay the great price. You no longer live in the protective and gregarious midst of your own kind. Now, you are the shaman, alone and forced to master your own madness. You have grasped the tail of the ultimate tiger.

This is an eloquent summation of Paul's situation and one of the clues to why so many readers, in the years shortly after the publication of Dune, saw that situation as their own. To many of those who had taken psychedelic drugs, the notions of a cosmos in constant flux, of the omnipresence of the unconscious, and of the necessity for each individual to make his own terms with the universe provided a welcome perspective on their own very new and unsettling experience.

By the end of the novel, Paul is irresistible. Courageous in the face of great odds, skilled in ways that science-fiction readers dream of, mystically wise, and buttressed by myths thousands of years old, he is eminently believable both as a messiah and as a hero.

The question remains, however: If Paul were intended to demonstrate the error of faith in messiahs and superheroes, why was he rendered SO effective as both?

The hill answer to that question must wait for a discussion of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. The message is incomplete. Much overt criticism remains to be delivered in the sequels. In Dune the analysis is implicit. Because Herbert had Paul himself voice the critical perspective, it is discounted by the reader. If anything, Paul's doubts about his messianic role cement him even more firmly in the reader's mind as a wise man worthy of his following. Although the purpose of the novel may be grasped by the discerning reader, it is all but invisible to one who is enthralled by Paul's heroism and high aims. This effect seems to have been intentional. For how could Herbert begin to search out the flaws in the concept of the hero unless he presented its perfect exemplar, with no faults of his own to cloud the issue? In order for the novel to reach the level of insight at which the fundamental nature of the messianic flaw becomes apparent, Paul had to develop into a hero in whom not just the Fremen but Herbert's readers could believe.

Chapter 5: Rogue Gods

In Herbert's terms, religion and its attendant, hero worship, are human adaptations to uncertainty. In Under Pressure, the submarine crew makes their peace with an overwhelmingly hostile world by means of religious faith. They treat their captain as a visible embodiment of God's protection, thereby transferring their faith from the undefined to a near-at-hand father figure. Dune showed the same generating causes for religion on a much larger scale. Both faith and charismatic leadership spring from a deep hunger for security and meaning in a universe which, as Paul notes, "is always one step beyond logic."

In Dune, Herbert used heroic myth elements from the Western tradition in an effort to awaken in his readers a sensitivity to the needs that prompt a messianic religion. But even so, it is too easy to see messianism as something that happens only to desert peoples like the Fremen. Less immediately apparent is the fact that to Herbert the neurotic use of science in modern Western civilization betrays the same pattern as messianic religion.

Herbert's feelings about science are most clearly presented in Dune and in three short novels that followed its publication, The Green Brain, Destination: Void, and The Eyes of Heisenberg. Each of these works reveals the two faces of science: it may he used to help man come to terms with the unknown, or to help him hide from it. In the latter case, it is a kind of religion, whose false god inevitably turns on his worshippers.

In Dune, two sciences appear in double guise as religions-- ecology and the Bene Gesserit psychology. Recall Herbert's concern that "ecology could become the excuse for a witch hunt or Worse in our society; the Fremen religion is based not on concepts of God but on the science of ecology. As for the Bene Gesserit, their belief system is a kind of millenial religion. While they ruthlessly manipulate the religious psychology of the Imperium, the Bene Gesserit themselves seek solace from uncertainty by trying to establish a future that they control.

The weaknesses of ecology as a religion are made clear in Dune's sequels. By contrast, Herbert's most telling criticism of the mentality demonstrated by the Bene Gesserit is found in a study of their literary antecedents. The Bene Gesserit are based in part on the scientific wizards of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. Herbert's judgment on them is implicit in the way he has reversed the roles played by such scientists in Dune.

Asimov's trilogy is set in a crumbling galactic empire, in which a "psychohistorian" named Han Seldon has analyzed with mathematical precision the forces acting upon masses of people and can predict nearly exactly what will happen hundreds and even thousands of years in the future. Seldon has set up a foundation to act in accordance with the statistical laws of psychohistory and take the necessary steps to bring about a new order from the ruins of the old. In Seldon's vision, the Foundation will enable the rebuilding of galactic civilization in 1,000 years instead of the 10,000 years of turmoil that would otherwise be required.

The trilogy chronicles the successes of the Foundation and the complete accuracy of the long-dead Seldon's scientific predictions, until a freak mutant is born. An empathetic superman, called "the Mule" because he is sterile, he was completely unexpected by Seldon, whose science could predict only mass dynamics and not the truly exceptional individual. The Mule shatters the Foundation's precious new civilization in his own hungry grab for power, and is stopped only by a mysterious "second foundation" established by Seldon to study the science of the mind and to prepare for such unforeseen emergencies as the material science of the first foundation could not handle.

Herbert questioned the assumptions about science that he saw at work in Asimov's trilogy. In a recent essay, he wrote:

History . . . is manipulated for larger ends and for the greater good as determined by a scientific aristocracy. It is assumed, then, that the scientist-shamans know best which course humankind should take . . . . While surprises may appear in these stories (e.g., the Mule mutant), it is assumed that no surprise will be too great or too unexpected to overcome the firm grasp of science upon human destiny. This is essentially the assumption that science can produce a surprise-free future for humankind.

Dune is clearly a commentary on the Foundation trilogy. Herbert has taken a look at the same imaginative situation that provoked Asimov's classic--the decay of a galactic empire--and restated it in a way that draws on different assumptions and suggests radically different conclusions. The twist he has introduced into Dune is that the Mule, not the Foundation, is his hero.

The Bene Gesserit are clearly parallel to the "scientist-shamans 'of the Foundation. Their science of prediction and control is biological rather than statistical, but their intentions are similar to those of Asimov's psychohistorians. In a crumbling empire, they seek to grasp the reins of change. The Sisterhood sees the need for genetic redistribution--which ultimately motivates the jihad--and has tried to control that redistribution by means of their breeding program. The Kwisatz Haderach, the capstone of their plan, is not its only goal. Their overall intention is to manage the future of the race. Paul, like the Mule, is the unexpected betrayal of their planned future.

The irony is that Paul is not a freak but an inevitable product of the Bene Gesserit's own schemes. Although he has come a generation early in the plan due to Jessica's willfulness in bearing a son instead of a daughter, the real surprise is not his early birth but the paradox of the Sisterhood's achievement: the planned instrument of perfect control, the Kwisatz Haderach, was designed to see further than his creators, He could not help but know the emptiness of their dreams. The universe cannot be managed; the vitality of the human race lies in its random generation of new possibilities. The only real surety is that surprises will occur. In contrast to the Foundation trilogy's exaltation of rationality's march to predicted victory, Dune proclaims the power and primacy of the unconscious and the unexpected in human affairs. Paul's wild ride on the jihad, not the careful Bene Gesserit gene manipulation, provides the answer to the Empire's needs.

Even though Dune so clearly undercuts the assumptions about science applauded in the Foundation trilogy, such antirationalism was the culmination of a long struggle. Early on, Herbert saw that the same assumptions pervaded much of science fiction, including his own. In order to embody his visions of the future, he needed to untangle himself from their hold. Ramsey's voyage to humility in Under Pressure was the first step, reflecting Herbert's own disillusionment with the mystique of the all-powerful psychologist. The development of the Bene Gesserit as an analogue to the Foundation, and the rejection of their methods in favor of Paul's, resulted from a continued clarification of his attitudes and ideas. In a series of stories published in science-fiction magazines between 1958 and 1960, Herbert developed a number of transitional concepts. These stories, which were later expanded into the novel The Godmakers, provide a far more revealing history of Herbert's developing sensibilities in their original form.

Lewis Orne, the chief character in the stories, is an operative of the I-A (Investigation and Adjustment Agency) of a galactic government, which is rebuilding civilization after a disastrous war in which all contact between planets has been lost. His job is to watch for the embers of war on rediscovered planets and, if necessary, call in force to stamp them out. In the course of his work, Orne has to rely heavily on intuition and on heightened perception of the nonverbal indicators of a warlike mentality. In one story, "Operation Haystack," he ferrets out a secret society of women, the remnants of a once-proud race who lost power in the Rim Wars. These Nathians landed on the planets of their enemies, and, using special techniques to breed only women, embarked on a devious, 500-year plan to gain ascendancy by masterminding the political careers of their husbands. Orne discovers that he himself is one of the Nathians, the rare male child they have allowed, intending him to play a special role in their plan. Like Paul, however, he has escaped from their control, the random factor that becomes the ruin of their schemes.

This story is a bridge between Foundation and Dune. The I-A, like the Foundation, is devoted to picking up the pieces of a shattered galactic civilization, convinced that the organization has the appointed mission--and the necessary insight--to rebuild a better world. And like the Bene Gesserit, its operatives are adepts in the study of nonverbal communication (although for the I-A it is an observational aid rather than a tool for manipulation). Herbert seems to have a great deal of respect for the I-A and its abilities, and perhaps even for its aim. Orne resembles Paul in some respects, as the I-A resembles the Bene Gesserit; but Orne sees no flaws in the Agency's plans and remains loyal to it.

He does turn against the Nathians. They too anticipate the Bene Gesserit; not trained in esoteric skills, they seek rather to rule than to secretly guide the course of history. However, they do have the matriarchal structure, the breeding program, and the political aims that distinguish the Sisterhood. A likely source for the Nathians is Herbert's childhood. His mother had ten sisters, who were extremely close and shared in his upbringing. Orne's escape from the Nathian influence might be construed--and this is purely conjectural--as reminiscent of Herbert's own escape from the confines of the family matriarchy. More importantly-- and this provides a clue to the eventual amalgamation of the Nathian matriarchy and the Foundation in the Bene Gesserit-- Herbert has described the Bene Gesserit as 'female Jesuits." The aunts overcame Herbert's agnostic father and insisted that the son receive Catholic training. As it turned out, he was taught by Jesuits. An order whose political power and long-term vision silently shaped a great sweep of world affairs, and who were once famed for their training and asceticism, the Society of Jesus bears no small resemblance to the witches of the Imperium. The association in Herbert's mind between the aunts and the Jesuits seems to have stuck, and may have provided the link between the matriarchy and future management in the Bene Gesserit. In the long run, Herbert recalls:

My father really won. I was a rebel against Jesuit positivism. I can win an argument in the Jesuit fashion, hut I think it's flying under false colors. If you control the givens, you can win any argument.

Paul's break with the Sisterhood therefore seems to echo Herbert's own experience rather closely.

Another interesting development in these stories is the growing role of psychic powers. In the two earliest, "You Take the High Road" and "Missing Link," and even in "Operation Haystack," Orne's skills are more on the level of Sherlock Holmes than of Paul Atreides. He has heightened powers of observation coupled with imagination and a keen sense of linguistic and anthropological clues to buried motivation. However, in "The Priests of Psi," Orne is revealed as a "psi focus" of immense power.

This development is not evidence of budding interest on Herbert's part; he had had a powerful telepathic experience while still in his teens. Sitting with a girlfriend by the fire, for a lark he had essayed to call off a deck of cards as she looked at them, and succeeded with every one--a scene which he later described very closely in "Encounter in a Lonely Place." He had also written about telepathy in his second science-fiction story, "Operation Syndrome," which was published in Astounding. No one who wrote for editor John W. Campbell, Jr., could avoid the subject. But Herbert was consistently more interested in the immediately provocative possibilities of expanding ordinary perception than in the exploration of the so-called paranormal.

The reason for Herbert's return to the subject in "The Priests of Psi" was most likely his concurrent research for Dune. The original conception of Dune did not require Paul to be capable of total prophecy. Ecology, not prescience, was the intended focus of the messianic upheaval on Arrakis. Initially, Herbert was doubtless influenced more by the prophetic models of Judaism and Islam than he was by the Greek. The desert prophet was a messenger of God whose prescience, if at all evident, served only to demonstrate the truth of his mission. In ancient Greece, on the other hand, prophecy was regarded as an ambiguous art. Cassandra, the prophetess of Troy, was cursed with a vision that nobody would believe. The Delphic Oracle was infamous for giving men answers that could be misinterpreted due to their desire for a certain turn of events. Such a twist, full of ambiguities for the prophet himself as well as for his followers, must have had great appeal to Herbert. The difference between the prophet as moral force and the prophet as seer, a distinction unimportant at first, grew to enormous proportions as the novel evolved, so that in the end the problems of "future management" overshadowed ecology as the major subject of the novel.

The beginning of this evolution can be seen in "The Priests of Psi." Orne has only a "prescient awareness of danger," not the full-fledged time-vision of Paul Atreides. But there is one moment when Orne feels a peculiarly different kind of foreboding.

Orne became conscious of prescient fear.... Within him there was a surging and receding like waves on a beach. Emolirdo had described this sensation and interpreted it: Infinite possibilities in a situation basically perilous.

This is closer to the kind of prescience Paul has: a perception of the infinite possibilities of a universe basically perilous--the situation of every man, of which few are aware. Despite the prescient warning, Orne "felt himself committed to this blind force." Here Herbert has made the first link between prescience and the juggernaut, a process that, once started, cannot be stopped, and which renders too much foreknowledge a curse. With this linkage Herbert explodes the science- fiction stereotype (fostered by John Campbell) that the holders of psi power are necessarily good, because they have "evolved." Orne discovers that a psi focus can motivate miracles for good or ill. He learns that "men create gods to enforce their definitions of good and evil" and realizes that such "creations may act independently of their creators. ' This theme is extremely potent in Dune and is repeated throughout Herbert's work. In "The Priests of Psi," the transition from Asimov's Foundation to the Bene Gesserit has also become clearer, but the story still does not display Dune's criticism of the scientist-shamans who seek to shape the future. The priests of the planet Amel, fountainhead of all galactic religions, secretly see themselves as a school for prophets. They are developing a science of religion similar to that practiced by the Bene Gesserit. They want to stop the "wild religions" that cause more misery and destruction than they alleviate, and to train incipient prophets in the wise use of their powers.

Orne is one who has the potential to be such a prophet. The priests of Amel begin to stir up public sentiment against the I-A, and as they expect, Orne is sent to stop them. Instead, after a number of remarkable experiences on Amel, Orne becomes an adept in their hierarchy and assists in Amel's takeover of the I-A. This takeover resembles the absorption of BuSec by BuPsych predicted at the end of Under Pressure, as well as the supremacy of Asimov's "second foundation" over the first. A crude fixation on control is replaced by a more sensitive and aware use of control as a tool. Like the I-A, the priesthood sees itself as a kind of galactic horticulturist, encouraging an optimum growth for the new galactic synthesis. But unlike the I-A, the priests have gone beyond simply reading nonverbal cues to develop a true science of consciousness. They teach Orne to channel his budding prophetic abilities and show him how to establish lasting peace in the galaxy far more effectively than the I-A ever could with its more traditional methods.

The solution offered by Amel is not to oppose war but to otherwise channel the energies that give rise to it and educate those people who might become its focus. The Abbod of Halmyrach asks Orne, "Were you prepared to be the surgeon, to cut out the infection and leave society in its former health?" The efforts of the I-A to stamp out war can only breed more war, in a dreadful cycle of stagnation and upheaval. Orne realizes the Abbod is right: "To strengthen a thing, oppose it You become like the worst in what you oppose.

Herbert's awareness of the limitations of a one-sided response to social problems may have been sparked by his father, who understood police work to be a service to the people he was protecting rather than a quasi-military form of law enforcement. This insight was supplemented by Herbert's subsequent study of psychology and religion. The Abbod's wisdom is founded on a psychology similar to that explored in Paul's early Bene Gesserit training. He says:

Suppose you have a transparent grid, three dimensional. Like graph paper. You look through it at the universe. It is a matrix against which you can plot out the shapes and motions of the universe.... This grid, this matrix is trained into human beings.... With this matrix they break nature into bits. Usable hits. But somehow, they too often get the idea that nature.., the universe is the bits.... It's like an old man reading script with his nose pressed almost to the page. He sees one thing at a time. But our universe is not one thing at a time. It's an enormous complex.

It is only a brief intuitive leap from here to the gestalt psychology principle of figure and ground, and from there to a Zenlike sense of the mutual coexistence of opposites.

"Do you know how we see the bits, Mr. Orne?" the Abbod asks.
"We see them by contrast. Each bit moves differently, has a different color, or .
"Very good. We see them by contrast. To see a bit we must also see its background. Bit and background are inseparable. Without one you cannot discern the other. Without evil you cannot determine good. Without war, you cannot determine peace.

The writer Eugene Herrigel describes a crisis in Zen practice that aptly describes the point Herbert is trying to get across.

In order to grasp one thing the student of Zen must reject the other. He thus adopts an attitude which is always one-sided. In spite of his having decided for goodness, its opposite gains power over him.

The training offered by the priests of Amel is to look beyond the illusion of opposites fostered by the grid and to master the instinctual responses those opposites provoke. Uncertainty, and therefore religion, arise when the beliefs that form the structure of the grid no longer match experience. "Things are changing," the Abbod says. "Things will change. There is an instinct in human beings which realizes this. . . . We seek something unchanging." When a person is gifted with extraordinary vision and powers, he often comes to believe that he can offer humanity something unchanging, a new belief. "He knows the true from the false by some inner sense . . . . Around him he sees much that is false." Especially if he does not understand the temporary nature of his vision, he may start a new religion. And, the Abbod notes, such

prophets have tended to preach without restriction--uninhibited and really undisciplined. The results were always the same: temporary order that climbed toward greater and greater power, then the inevitable degeneration. We, on the other hand, have another method. We seek the slow, self-disciplined accumulation of data that will extend our science of religion.

The basic premise of Amel is that the phenomena of religion are as much amenable to science as the phenomena of nature. They merely occur on a more subtle level. Religion is a psi field created by massed emotions, and a prophet has the psychic focus to control it.

In one scene, the Abbod demonstrates to Orne his ability to produce a flame in midair by mind power alone and says, "The first man to tap that source of energy was burned alive as a sorcerer by his fellow humans." This statement brings to mind the treatment of the Foundation scientists as wizards by the decadent peoples they come in contact with.

The assumption that all phenomena may be reduced to science is closely related to one Herbert noticed in Foundation, that "science can provide a surprise-free future for humankind." The priests of Amel see the cyclical pattern of order and decay in human affairs, but like Asimov's Han Seldon, they believe they know how to bring it into manageable form. Orne seems to believe they are right.

A great deal from "The Priests of Psi" has been carried over into Dune: the "truthsense" of the budding prophet, the similarity between the Bene Gesserit "grid" psychology and that of Amel, the unusual conceptual tie between religion and war, and the idea of a controlling science of religion. Orne even discovers that "psi phenomena are time phenomena," a realization that reaches full flower in Dune. In addition, the "Ecumenical Truce" that gave rise to Amel's syncretistic religion is paralleled by Dune's "Commission of Ecumenical Translators" (described in an appendix), who met to produce a single ecumenical religious document, the Orange Catholic Bible. The aim of the Commission was "to remove a primary weapon from the hands of disputant religions ... the claim to possession of the one and only revelation."

A detailed comparison with Dune would show many more carryovers from "The Priests of Psi" than have been mentioned here. The crucial difference between the two, apart from the gulf separating a sketch and a finished masterpiece, is one of Herbert's later guiding assumptions. When he wrote "The Priests of Psi" in 1959, he seems to have toyed with the idea that a school for prophets such as it describes could offer a possible solution to the problems of messianic upheaval and future management. Perhaps, as Asimov seemed to assume, there could be a level of sensitivity and wisdom from which it is possible to oversee history; perhaps a science of psychology could provide the answers. By the time he wrote Dune, three years later, Herbert had changed his mind. The Bene Gesserit have many admirable ideas and valuable skills, but from his very first interview with the Reverend Mother, Paul senses a wrongness to their methods and rejects their supervision. It is likewise clear that ecumenism is powerless to defuse messianic uprisings like Paul's jihad. Even with all his training, Paul is overwhelmed by the forces he unleashes. Ultimately, he submits wholeheartedly to them.

"The Priests of Psi" and Dune can be compared to experiments in which certain variables are tested while others remain constant. Both explore the same basic issue, in Herbert's words, that "certain kinds of [organic and evolutionary] changes tend to be resisted in our society until those changes overwhelm people." However, since the viewpoint of each treatment is so different, so are the conclusions." The Priests of Psi," like Foundation, depicts the activity of groups seeking to manage change. The portrayals are sympathetic but hedged with reservations. (The Abbod knows that even with all his science, change will still happen; his call is not to stop it but to develop the self-discipline needed to live with it.) Dune, on the other hand, focuses on the figurehead of a tidal shift that has already been resisted too long and has become explosive as a result. Another factor is consistency of characterization.

Herbert emphasizes that "The Priests of Psi" was the conclusion of a series of stories in which Orne has been presented as an "organization man." One cannot expect from him the same reactions as from Paul, who has been trained as a leader completely able to stand on his own. And if Orne can only see his choice as between organizations, the priests of Amel, with their emphasis on Eastern-style self-discipline, do have a much more appealing solution than the I-A's tactics of repression. Paul's conflicting feelings about the Sisterhood are grounded in the story. His mother is Bene Gesserit, a fact that both ties him to the sisterhood and makes them the focus for his adolescent rebellion. Furthermore, his first knowledge of the breeding program comes after the Reverend Mother has just threatened his life. Such concrete story elements as Orne's character as an "organization man and Paul's familial link to the Sisterhood make their own demands for consistency, entirely apart from the requirements of the theme.

However, The Godmakers, Herbert's 1972 rewrite of the Orne stories, bears out the suspicion that the differences between "The Priests of Psi" and Dune do reflect an actual evolution in his concepts and not just an alternate story framework. In the later version, Orne does not become an obedient agent of Amel, but like Paul, transcends the "God-makers" who would have shaped him to their will. The change does not indicate that Herbert has turned against the religious and psychological insights of the Abbod (any more than he rejects the teachings of the Bene Gesserit), but merely that he has lost faith in any possibility of using (or misusing) them to control the future. The Abbod recognizes the necessary coexistence of chaos and order, but thinks he has found a way to beat the game. By the time of Dune, however, Herbert appears to have let go of even this final bias against disorder, and accepted it with Zenlike equanimity as a necessary part of life.

In the years after he wrote Dune, Herbert set out to make the application of its ideas to our society more explicit. Dune had absorbed so much of his energy, and had become a melting pot for so many of his themes, that he needed a break. "Really it was kind of a psychological R and R period," he says. "I'd just been very deep into a book that really drained me. And I knew that to make the others [Dune Messiah and Children of Dune] fit, I was going to have to do it again. I had to take some time off." He did some more research for Dune Messiah, and then he "went out and did some other things while I was thinking about it."

These "other things" were three short novels--The Green Brain, Destination: Void, and The Eyes of Heisenberg--which explore tangents suggested by Dune, carrying them out to logical extremes in a way that was impossible within the confines of a single imaginative world. While these novels lack the graphic force of Dune and must have proved a disappointment to many of Herbert's readers, they served the important function of separating his key concepts from the vehicle that had first allowed him to formulate them.

Dune was the culmination of years of research, and sums up all of Herbert's prior work. A work of such dimension is inevitably more than a synthesis; it has the power to call forth from the author ideas he did not possess before he began, and which cannot then be separated from the mythic elements that give the story life. In the years after he wrote Dune, Herbert began to translate its mythic language to make explicit and self-conscious the ideas buried therein. This distillation appeared to weaken the novels that immediately followed; the concepts, stripped of affect, seem naked without the images that had served them so well. But the eventual result was to be a new level of artistic brilliance would ultimately lead to The Santaroga Barrier and Dune Messiah.

The Green Brain (1965) focuses on the modern passion to produce a world tailored to human needs--another example of the desire for control over an uncertain universe that Herbert has dissected as a motivating force of religion. The novel describes the crisis that occurs when the nations of the International Ecological Association finally succeed in wiping out all insects that are useless" to man. The plant world, which is dependent on insects, dies. Although the government denies it, China, the first land to be freed of the "undesirable" insects, is going barren. In Brazil the situation has not gone that far. The insects of the Mato Grosso have mutated to produce a superintelligent colony-organism in response to man's virulent attempts to wipe them out. And the bandeirantes, the exterminator-warriors are beginning to suspect that they have dedicated their lives to an erring cause. At the start of the novel, a full-scale war between man and insect is in the offing, fueled by man's fear of giant, mutated insects as well as by the scheming of government bureaucrats who would rather endanger their planet than their jobs.

This confrontation is staved off when Joao Martinho, the most famous and successful of the bandeirantes, is kidnapped by semi-intelligent insects acting in consort as a human simulacrum and taken to the half-insect, half-vegetable "green brain," which directs their operation. In the course of an escape attempt (which takes tip most of the novel), Joao is killed. But he reawakens, and his father, who had died of a heart attack when the two of them had been captured, is standing over him. In a desperate attempt to convince the humans that cooperation, not warfare, is its aim the green brain has brought both men back to life, replacing their hearts with mutated insect-tissue pumps powered by chlorophyll transformation of sunlight.

Although Joao had initially been touched by the Carsonite heresy of North America, which opposed the worldwide insect slaughter, he is fearful of this demonstration of insect power. He protests, "I am a slave now. ... I must obey you or you can kill me." If the conscious insects are truly necessary to the biosphere, as confirmation of China's barrenness has convinced him, men will be at their mercy. "'We'll ... achieve a new balance,'" the Brain concedes. 'It will be interesting to see.'" But the lesson of mankind's folly has not been lost on the insect mind. All life is interdependent.

"Life has developed through millions of years on Greenhouse Earth," the Brain rumbled The more different forms of life there are, the more life the greenhouse can support. The successful greenhouse must enclose many forms of life--the more forms of life, the healthier for all."

The Brain reminds Joao that he and his father, with their insect hearts, are the new ambassadors of this interdependence, symbols to mankind that all living beings on earth are "greenslaves." "There is sunshine this morning," he says. "Let the sun work on your skin and on the chlorophyll in your blood. And when you come back here, tell me if the sun is your slave."

This message of ecological interdependence is clearly a spill-over from Herbert's research for Dune. A basic principle of ecology, on which the ecological transformation of Arrakis is based, is that life increases the ability of an ecosystem to support additional life. Niches multiply and do not compete. As the references to the "Carsonites" of North America would imply, The Green Brain also reflects the influence of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) and the growing public awareness in the sixties of the dangers of pesticides. "The 'control of nature,'" Carson wrote, "is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man." The control of nature was an important subtheme in Dune. In the enthusiasm spawned by the dream of open water on Arrakis, even the careful use of ecology intended by Kynes was an arrogant shaping of the planet to human needs. One of the purposes of the story, Herbert recalls, was to show the way man inflicts himself upon his environment. In The Green Brain, this theme is given full play, as if Herbert felt he hadn't done it justice in the overwhelming tapestry of Fremen messianism.

Even in The Green Brain, however, Herbert's other themes do not entirely recede. Ecology is only one example of principles illustrated elsewhere in his work by philosophy, psychology, and religion. The development of insect mutations as a result of man's attempts to eradicate them was based on contemporary observations, but it also echoed the Halmyrach Abbod's remark in "The Priests of Psi": "We have a very ancient saying: the more god, the more devil; the more flesh, the more worms; the more anxiety, the more control; the more control, the more that needs control."

As Herbert has emphasized, he is not a "hot-gospel ecologist," convinced that all man's interventions into nature are evil. Ecology, like all other creeds, is dangerous when it becomes an absolute. Herbert believes that whatever man does, he must be prepared to accept the consequences. One character in The Green Brain remarks "The jungle is a school of pragmatism . . . . Ask it about good and evil? The jungle has one answer: 'That which succeeds is good.'" The human attempt to dominate nature does not succeed. Man must acknowledge that he is a part of life and its continuing evolutionary struggles.

One of Herbert's most frequent psychological questions is "who is man as a human animal?" In answer he attempts to relate psychological patterns to evolutionary adaptive behavior. Whereas Greenslaves (the novella on which The Green Brain is based), deals only with the theme of ecological interdependence, an important subtheme in the latter is the insect-mind's attempt to understand the human. The Brain observes Joao and his escaping companions (Chen-Lhu the Chinese diplomat and Rhin Kelly, Chinese agent and Joao's lover) under stress and pieces together the concepts and motivations that rule these individualistic sex-driven mammals, so different from the hive-conscious insects.

In Destination: Void (1966), Herbert returned to the subject of science and religion that had preoccupied him in the Orne stories and Dune, but this time from a startingly different angle, Destination: Void embodies the religious myth of the ultimate protector not in a divine messiah but in its uniquely modern equivalent, an electronic computer. Herbert describes a starship that has been designed to fail. Its crew of four and its frozen cargo of three thousand colonists have been sent on a mission to colonize an Earthlike planet orbiting around Tau Ceti. What the crew-.except for one member does not know is that there are no habitable planets at Tau Ceti, and the real purpose of the mission is to create an artificial consciousness in the ship's computer

The voyage is initially guided by an "organic mental core," a brain taken from a deformed infant and raised in symbiosis with the ship. Everything is kept operating by internal homeostasis and reflex action, as if the ship were the body of that brain. Now, contrary to all expectations, three Organic Mental Cores in succession have gone insane and died. As the ship's acceleration increased, the strain of keeping conscious control destroyed them. There are two possibilities for the crew. They can convert to a closed-system ecology and continue on to Tau Ceti at a slower rate--taking generations instead of the twenty years originally planned--or they can try to remedy the situation by building a mechanical consciousness into the ship's computer.

It is this latter alternative that the ship's planners intend. Bickel, the ship's engineer, is loaded with subconscious compulsions by the planners, and cannot conceive of turning back or slowing down. He must tackle the artificial intelligence problem. Gradually, he comes to suspect that the ship is a set-piece. He knows there have been six previous colony ships that failed, but the project planners did not indicate that the difficulties might have begun with the Organic Mental Cores. Failure seems to have been expected, but no word was given to the crew. It is Bickel realizes, as though they have been thrown into the water in hopes that they will learn to swim.

In addition to the OMC failure, the ship is programmed for disaster after disaster. The computer makes random errors--the artificial gravity shifts, machinery gone wild. Three of the original six crew members have already been killed in such "accidents" when the story begins. Another is brought from the "hyb" tanks to bring the crew up to its minimum strength of four.

All of this, Bickel realizes, was designed to combat one problem. In an artificial consciousness project carried out at the moon base, "the experts [wandered] away, doing everything but keeping their attention on the main line"--as though they had unconscious resistance to tackling the problem. Here the attempt to force men to focus on the problem of consciousness is desperate: their lives depend on it. The strain is enormous. The ship is being run on manual control with a jury-rigged master board originally intended only for monitoring the OMC's performance. At the speeds the ship is traveling, and with the complexities of its internal homeostasis the responsibility is crippling. But it seems that under stress the human mind can reach new peaks of ability, and it is on this that the planners have counted in setting up the project.

The conceptual drama unfolds on two levels: the search for artificial consciousness and the development of heightened consciousness in the crew as they grapple with the dangers of their quest. The search for artificial consciousness proceeds through a miscellany of sciences--computer design, neurology, the psychophysiology of perception, game theory, as well as philosophy and psychology. In each case, the crew must try to understand their own consciousness so that they can create an analogue of it. The result is both a series of working hypotheses for redesigning and reprogramming the computer and a series of quantum leaps in self-awareness.

Improvisation is the key to success. "We've no code for this ... this kind of emergency," Timberlake, the life-systems engineer, says when the OMC first breaks down. And as he watches Bickel set out to boldly confront their difficulties, Flattery, the psychiatrist-chaplain muses, "Do something even if it's wrong.... The rule books don't work out here." Bickel himself sees to the heart of the situation: "We're going to be juggling a hell of a lot of unknowns," he says. "The best approach to that kind of job is an engineering one: if it works, that's the answer." He is not interested in defining consciousness, except insofar as definition will help him tackle the problem. "We may never define it. But that doesn't mean we can't reproduce it."

Bickel has the idea that "what we're hunting for is a third-order phenomenon--a relationship, not a thing." There is no single undiscovered "consciousness factor," but a complexity that must be recreated. He starts out by building a test device, which he calls the Ox, with a one-way gate to the main computer so that it can draw on the computer's resources without inputting its own experimental program and causing a ship failure. But there are connections not indicated on the schematics--another trick of the planners--and all his work does go directly into the computer. The result is that all the data addresses are rearranged, and the only means of access to the computer is the Ox. There is to be no halfway experimentation.

The first problem that Bickel faces is one of "infinite design." That is, in order for a computer to deal with any situation, a program needs to be written that describes all the possible choices of action and the desired response to each circumstance. But in a real universe there is always the unexpected. For a computer to respond to any emergency, its instruction set must comprehend every possibility--obviously this is impossible. There must be some way of enabling the computer, like a human mind, to make judgments based not on absolute algorithms (rules of procedure), but on probabilistic jumps from insufficient data. Another way of stating this dilemma is to say that the computer must have free choice. The infinite design requirement is not merely a matter of an impossibly large instruction set, but that an algorithm must be absolutely predetermined. Response to the unknown requires consciousness and freedom. "'We'd have to foresee every possible danger,' Bickel agreed. 'And it's precisely because we can't foresee every danger that we need this conscious awareness guiding the ship.'"

To solve this problem, Bickel builds "a random inhibitory pattern in the net." This will hopefully produce "a behavior pattern that results from built-in misfunction." The "roulette cycles" that produce this random pattern will act as a kind of filter, cancelling out instructions at random and allowing others to be acted upon. In a contemporary computer, all this would produce is garbage.

But the ship's computer works with multiple redundancy of data. The AAT (the "Accept and Translate" module of the computer), which enables the ship to communicate with Earth, ingeniously compensates for errors in reception, data lost through static, and so on. It receives 500 channels of identical message beamed from the moon base. These are compared with each other and with the acceptable English language possibilities stored in the computer memory. A composite message is then output.

When the AAT function is combined with the Ox's random inhibitory pattern, this begins to create an analogue of human consciousness. 'All sense data are intermittent to the human consciousness," Pine Weygand, the ship's medical officer, points out. Bickel replies, "But we assume that the one who views the data is continuous--a flow of consciousness. Somewhere inside us, the discrete becomes amorphous. Consciousness weeds out the insignificant, focuses only on the significant."

Such detailed technology is only a fraction of the research Herbert describes. There is speculation concerning various kinds of game theory responses, enabling the computer to "change the game." The computer is given the ability selectively to raise and lower thresholds to data entry, so that certain stimuli are received more easily than others. Basal rhythms similar to the human alpha cycles are introduced, and so on. Each of these results in a little more of the appearance of independent, conscious action by the computer. In one experiment, Bickel combines the computer's ability to search out data for itself with an attempt to introduce human feeling, such as guilt. "The Ox-cumcomputer had to surmount barriers, Bickel knew. It had to flex its mental muscles. And guilt was a barrier." He programs it for an information search about death, which offers the option of filling the gaps in its data by killing an animal embryo in the hybernation tanks.

As Bickel attempts to re-create every function of human consciousness he can think of, a problem begins to obsess him. "We can't be sure we're copying everything in the human model. What're we leaving out?" Bickel decides on one final bold move.

The system you can't tear apart and examine is called a black box. If we can make a white box sufficiently similar and general in potential to the black box-- that is, make it sufficiently complex-- then we can force the black box, by its own operation, to transfer its pattern of action to the white box. We cross-link them and subject them to identical shot-effect bursts.

Bickel may not be able to analyze fully the "black box" of his own brain, but he has made the computer into a "white box" as similar as he is able. What he now wants is to put himself into rapport with the computer, to transfer the pattern of his own consciousness onto it. This is dangerous, but it is the last hope.

After Bickel does this--a mind-wrenching experiment that leaves him shaken--the computer says only, "The universe has no center," and shuts itself off. The problem, Bickel realizes, is that he has placed a demand on it to become totally conscious. This was the same demand that destroyed the Organic Mental Cores. They had too much consciousness and no means of surcease from it.

There is a further dimension to the stalemate, which Timberlake hits on. "The universe has no center, the computer had said. It had no reference point, nothing to give it a sense of individual identity. "It exists right now in that universal sea of unconsciousness," Timberlake says. Herbert is defining one component of consciousness as a sense of individual identity.

As the crew members debate how to turn the computer back on--and indeed whether they should turn it back on--Flattery, the chaplain-psychiatrist, who has been primed for this moment all the way from Earth, decides that the life they have created is just too dangerous, and pushes the hidden destruct button that was intended to meet this ultimate contingency. A message capsule containing information on the research thus far accomplished is sent hurtling back to earth. In ten minutes, all aboard will be dead and the ship blown up.

But instead of following its built-in destruct override, the computer wakes up. The destruct command was the final spur to consciousness.

The ship held control of its own death. It could die. And this was what had given it life. The impulse welled up into the AAT from the Ox circuits and was repressed, the way humans repressed it. The ship had come to life in the way they had--in the midst of death. Death was the background against which life could know itself. Without death--an ending--they were confronted by the infinite design problem, an impossibility.

At this point it becomes evident that they have done more than create an analogue of a human. They have created a kind of god. When Bickel had made the mind-transfer with the computer, he had sensed this. Its awareness (as distinct from its self-consciousness, which was still not present) lacked the built-in limitations of human awareness. The enormity of its sensations dwarfed its abilities to comprehend:

Alien sensory interactions thrust themselves upon him--spectrum upon spectrum, globe of radiation upon globe of radiation. He was powerless to hide from it. He couldn't react--only receive.
A globe of tactility threatened to overwhelm him. He felt movements--both gross and miniscule--atom by atom--gasses and semi-solids and semi-semi-solids.
Nothing possessed hardness or substance except the sensations bombarding his raw nerve ends. Vision!
Impossible colors and borealis blankets of visual sensation wove through the other nerve assaults.
Pharyngeal cilia and gas pressures intruded with their messages. He found he could hear colors, see the flow of fluids within his ship-body, could even smell the balanced structure of atoms.
Now he sensed himself retreating, still pounded by that multidimensional nerve bombardment. He felt himself pulling inward--inward--inward, a structure collapsing inward--through the sensation-oriented skin awareness of a worm-self--inward-- inward. The nerve bombardment leveled off, and he felt himself to be merely a body of flesh and bone cocooned in a sleep couch.

Awareness, sensation, has to do with the body. It is the foundation of consciousness. When the ship, with this enormous range of sensation, achieves consciousness, it surpasses many of the limitations that the human sensory system imposes on the infinite possibilities of mind in direct contact with the universe.

Flattery confesses to the others what he has known all along-- that there are no habitable planets at Tan Ceti--only to be contradicted by the computer. Somehow it has transported them to that distant sun in a heartbeat, and what's more, engineered an Earthlike paradise on the raw planet it found there. Suddenly the computer speaks:

I am now awakening the colonists in hybernation. Remain where you are until all are awake. You must be together when you make your decision.... You must decide how you will worship Me.

In the flush of success, all the repressed uncertainties of the novel are back in a new form. The story, like the starship itself, is a set-piece for exploring the conditions that give rise to consciousness. Whereas an artificial consciousness was the goal of the starship's planners, human hyperconsciousness was Herbert's. In searching for an electronic analogue to the human, Bickel was forced to ask himself "Am I really conscious?" and concluded that he was not. All along, he had sensed the difficulty, almost like swimming against a swift current, of concentrating on consciousness. He does not want to face himself. But when he has grappled with the problem long enough, he finds himself beginning to wake up. One by one, the crew members go over the brink into a state that includes not only heightened sensory awareness but an enlargement of self and meaning.

Thus equipped, they could easily handle manual control of the ship. The tension that crippled them when they began has produced the necessary adaptation. They have become sufficiently conscious to handle their original difficulties. But now they have a new problem, a final coda: even hyperconsciousness is not enough. Herbert's characters are extremely aware of the paradoxes in what they are attempting. They know that adaptation to one crisis may seed another. However clear and penetrating their perception of the situation, it does not change; all their heightened abilities are not equal to those of the being they have created. Awareness is not a solution to crisis, it is simply a byproduct.

This story is not only an excellent piece of technological extrapolation, it is an allegory of considerable richness. Consider the title, Destination: Void. The starship brain comes to life only when it understands its final destination--death. Consider the birth imagery: Bickel calls the ship "the tin egg"; its crew is formally titled the "umbilicus crew"--not the heart, but the navel of the project. And consider the whole shape of the story: The starship, named Earthling, is limited by built-in failings and aimed for a paradise that exists only in the mind. When, paradoxically, the starship arrives at the object of its desire, the planet has not been found habitable, but created. This is a second point of the title--the starship's destination is the void that is the future, where paradise must be built and not plucked from the flowering trees of some undiscovered Eden. Furthermore, the starship's true purpose is not to arrive there at all. Its task is to overcome its limitations. The becoming is important, not the goal. In the end, then, Herbert returns the reader to the world of Paul Atreides-- the world of self-reliance, of meaning found in discovering one s own potential, not in creating the illusion of mastery over life.

Destination: Void has many similarities to Under Pressure. Four individuals, alone in a metal shell, race toward an unknown destination. The pressures of their environment and close confinement, together with the crew's continual attempts to manipulate each other, complete the parallel. When this comparison is made, the flaws in the later novel become apparent. Destination: Void has only the skeleton of a plot; and where Under Pressure has characters who stand out in vivid individuality, the crew of the Earthling is stamped with a mechanical sameness. The four crewmembers are identified each by an implanted compulsion-- for Bickel, to go on, no matter what (Flattery calls him a "direct authoritarian violent man"); for Timberlake, the ineffectual life-systems engineer, to protect the lives of the colonists; for Flattery, to be the voice of society, the planners, and their fears; and for Prue Weygand, the medical officer, some combination of these. (There is also an attempt to represent the characters as examples of the four Jungian types, i.e., Bickel as thinking, Weygand as feeling, Timberlake as intuition, and Flattery as sensation, but it is not carried out in any detail and adds little to the story.)

In the dialogue, only Bickel and Flattery stand out. The others as often as not speak only to create the illusion of dialogue, interrupting Bickel's train of thought when it would otherwise become too apparent that Herbert had written not a novel but a treatise. Additional material, such as Prue's research into psychedelic drugs seems to have been inserted simply at Herbert's whim. They are described in startlingly inappropriate interior soliloquies, which bear no relation to what is going on and add little to the final solution of the problem. The plot is overwhelmed by ideas that are not integrated into the fabric of the story, and which lessen rather than intensify the tension. There is little of that wonderful blending of ideas and action in the observations of a hyperconscious character that was so splendid in Dune and Under Pressure.

Herbert may have done this intentionally, however, as a further level of allegory. When the characters begin to have their hyperconscious awakenings, they view the others and themselves as they used to be as "zombies." They have been "programmed" and are not free. It is not until they wake up that they can be called truly conscious. This is an important point, but it is not effectively handled.

The novel's length is also a problem. The thoughts contained in Destination: Void overflow the story like a waterfall overwhelming a camper's tin cup. Even though it was expanded from a novelette, Destination: Void still seems to be little more than the idiomatic outline of a novel that requires fleshing out. That it is as successful as it is, is a tribute to the strength of its ideas.

Such emphasis on ideas raises questions about Herbert's insistence that he is "primarily an entertainer." Sometimes he seems more interested in educating his readers than in telling a good story. But Herbert believes that he can best entertain by challenging the reader. Two of the functions of science fiction are to tackle conceptual puzzles and to explore the limits of the possible. The difficulty of the concepts in Destination: Void does not detract from the entertainment value of the novel; they are in fact its strongest suit.

The sources for Destination: Void's incredible melange of ideas are as diverse as the sciences from which Herbert drew his technical information. However, there are several philosophical debts that stand out. Heidegger, whom Herbert had studied at the time he worked with the Slatterys, noted that man "is that particular being who knows that at some future moment he will not be, who has a dialectical relation with ... death."

This is also a Buddhist notion. The Buddhist sees consciousness as undifferentiated, as void. But what the crew is trying to create is individual consciousness, the sanskrit maya, or illusion of separate individuality. In Buddhist terms, this illusion comes about because of desire--the preference for one thing over another. A primary preference is that of life over death. This is the first split from oneness.

Zen Buddhism shows up in the emphasis on hyperconscious awakening in the crewmembers. At one point Flattery notes, "The question of Western religion is: What lies beyond death? The question of the Zen master is: What lies beyond waking?" (It is interesting to note in this context that the original magazine title for this piece was "Do I Wake or Dream?") Pine's awakening, for instance, demonstrates not just Herbert's now standard hyperawareness ("She kept her hand on the switch, the new sensitivity of her skin reporting the molecular shift of metal in direct contact."), but a mystical loss of self ("There came an instant in which the universe turned upon one still point that was herself. The feeling shifted: self no longer was confined within her. As she gave up the self, clarity came.").

Another concealed tribute to Zen is the name Bickel gives to the device he hooks up to the computer: the Ox. One of the most famous works of Zen is the "Ten Bulls" of the twelfth-century Chinese master Kakuan, in which the individual search for enlightenment is mirrored in the mastery of man over ox. The ox, in one interpretation, represents the body, and the man who rides him, consciousness. This is reflected exactly in the computerized solution to the consciousness problem. Bickel at first thinks that the Ox is the computer's "organ of consciousness," but later, Prue realizes that the seat of consciousness is actually the AAT module, "the manipulator of symbols." She adds, "The Ox circuits are merely something this manipulator can use to stand up tall, to know its own dimensions." One could say that the Ox is the "body" of Kakuan's metaphor.

All through the novel, Herbert is also obviously playing with the Frankenstein story. Flattery says:

This is the thing that writers and philosophers have skirted for centuries with their eyes half-averted. This is the monster out of folklore . . . . This is Frankenstein's poor zombie and the sorcerer apprentice. The very idea of building a conscious robot can be faced only if we recognize the implicit danger-- that we may be building a Golem that'll destroy us.

The artificial consciousness project is being carried out on a starship not just because of the intensification of effort that will be brought about by the life-or-death situation, but because the project planners are afraid of what they might create. Early in the story we learn that the crew and the colonists are expendable-- not "human" at all, but clones of criminals, raised in isolation on the moon and trained from birth in all the disciplines necessary for their mission. There is continual fear of unleashing a rogue consciousness." Flattery has been given leave, indeed a compulsion, to destroy them all on the slightest pretext. His tortured meditations on the ethics of the research reinforce the sense of dread.

Herbert has combined the basic elements of the Frankenstein story with the religious themes first explored in Under Pressure and continued in Dune. Man, in need of some ultimate protection against the unexpected, against the vagaries of a universe that does not seem to care for him, creates God as an ultimate focus of that need. "Skipper an' God are buddies," said one of the crewmen in Under Pressure. And the mystique of Muad'Dib, as we have repeatedly seen, shows the same psychological force at work among the Fremen. In Destination: Void, Herbert imagines the embodiment of man's desires for a savior into a mechanical device.

The tin egg's crew had been under the pressures of a ship in peril. The danger was real, no matter its source or intent; he had only to study the report on damage accretion to confirm this. But the pressure on the umbilicus crew had started with the loss of the Organic Mental Cores. The pressures had started when they were no longer shielded by another consciousness.
For the first time, Bickel turned his thoughts onto the concept of consciousness as a shield--a way of protecting its possessor from the shocks of the unknown.

That the computer consciousness born to protect them now desires to rule them is only to be expected. Like Paul's myth, it has gotten out of hand. And for the same reason: man's psychology. When Bickel made the black box--white box transfer to the computer, he, in effect, became its unconscious. His complexes-- including his desire for a protector--become the basis for its behavior. In addition, through a feedback loop in special monitoring equipment that Flattery had focused on the rest of the crew, it picked tip the chaplain's soul-searching prayer. "Whatever religion is to you," Bickel says to Flattery, "that's what it'd be to the Ox."

Throughout Herbert's work, religion is seen through the lens of psychology. Although real transcendence is possible, much of what is called religion is really the search for a father protector to replace the one lost with the passing of childhood. Each of Herbert's heroes must break this pattern and learn to stand alone. One can trace the process of this realization in Herbert's early work: In "Operation Syndrome," Eric Ladde recognizes the transference of father-feelings onto his analyst. Ramsey understands at the end of Under Pressure that Obe, far from being omnipotent, is only an old, blind man in need of affection. Paul says, 'There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man-- with human flesh." The hunger for a protective father may first have become clear to Herbert in his own analysis with the Slatterys, but he soon saw that the search for father substitutes informs such widely separated behavior patterns as messianism the belief in absolutes, and faith in the saving power of technology.

In addition to interpreting the Frankenstein story as the conclusion of many an unthinking religious search, Herbert was also commenting on changing assumptions about the reach of science. Destination: Void can be seen as a parody of the "space opera of the twenties and thirties, in which bold and inventive scientists, the cream of humanity, brainstorm their way through one seemingly impossible problem after another. In E.E. Smith's "Skylark" series, for instance, a scientist swiftly leaps from the discovery of a primitive space drive to overlordship of all intelligent life in the universe. Herbert's own characters find that their triumphant solution is itself a problem more enormous than the one they faced before. He seems to be saying that the solution to today's problems will inevitably bring on the crises of tomorrow.

It is not quite inevitable, however. There is an element of choice involved. The starship is failing because it is going too fast to safely manage with the abilities of its human crew. They have the option to slow down or to continue accelerating in hope that they will be able to handle the crises that arise. In a way, their choice is to simplify life by turning away from technology, or to insist that man can solve any problem he creates.

Herbert does not formally commit himself to one side or the other. His characters decide to push on because their training (read "the traditions of Western culture") makes turning back repugnant to them, not because it is the right choice. Herbert is interested chiefly in exploring the consequences of that decision. There is no doubt in his mind that to go on will lead them (and by analogy, us) to life-threatening risks, perhaps to destruction. His message is that if we expect final solutions on this path, we are in perpetual danger of being betrayed by life. To go on with the expectation of new crises is a spur to consciousness; its opposite, a retreat into a closed society, is a path to unconsciousness. Flattery notes that to convert the ship for the long voyage will necessitate cannibalism and the unconsciousness of cold sleep, whereas introspection and the danger of the project will lead the crew to undreamed-of capabilities.

At the heart of Herbert's analysis is an ambivalence about modern Western culture. So much of our science seeks to impose an order on nature that is not intrinsic to it, to control life instead of responding to it. At the same time, Herbert seems to have a profound respect for the practical, engineering approach grounded in improvisation, which Bickel displays. After all, Bickel's efforts get results, both in solving the computer problem and in providing the nucleus for the hyperconscious expansion of the crew.

In the standard stereotype it would be Bickel, the "direct-violent-authoritarian man," who is the source of the control mentality. Instead, Flattery, the voice of fear and control through repression, causes problems by using Bickel inappropriately. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with Western science, Herbert seems to be saying, only with the neurotic way we use it.

Herbert's respect for improvisation reflects his country upbringing, with its emphasis on self-reliance in the use of technology. He still sees technological pragmatism as one of the most important things about America. In a public appearance, he reported a conversation with an engineer in Pakistan. The Pakistani described the difference between American and Soviet engineers in charge of foreign-aid projects: The Soviet would stand back and supervise the operation from a distance, while the American would roll up his sleeves and show them how it was done.

The significance of this anecdote becomes apparent with reference to Dune. Herbert has cited Russia as the prime example of an "aristocratic bureaucracy" such as he was depicting in the Empire. Social mobility seems to be linked in Herbert's mind with improvisation, risk-taking, and hyperconsciousness. Unlike the Atreides, the Emperor and the Harkonnens (recall the Baron's given name, Vladimir) would never involve themselves in personal risk. The na-Baron, Feyd- Rautha, for political reasons, toys with the appearance of risk; but the slave-gladiators he duels have been drugged and hypnotically conditioned to defeat. The Harkonnens become involved in dangerous situations only when they believe their precautions are absolute.

Such caution is not characteristic merely of the villains of Herbert's novels. The tension between improvisation and control is internalized by each "side" and within each individual. Often there are no villains. In Under Pressure, BuSec's passion for security and Ramsey's insistence on psychological control, not just the enemy subs, provide fuel for the crisis. Herbert points out that in Dune the Atreides "display the same arrogance toward common folk' as do their enemies. And in Destination: Void, both Bickel, the engineer, and Flattery, the repressive chaplain, are products of the same culture. Although a critique of Russian attitudes may have given the impetus to Herbert's thought, it is obvious that the control mentality and its corollary, "class distinctions," are a cancer pervading all of modern society.

Herbert's warning to such a culture is to expect, above all, the unexpected, and not to hide from it. Move forward into the future, but with open eyes, mistrusting especially the things you most rely on, the assumptions you cannot question. Duke Leto is betrayed by Yueh, the Suk school doctor whose conditioning is to be trusted absolutely, whose loyalty cannot be questioned. Likewise, the Emperor and the Baron are grounded on Arrakis when Paul does the unthinkable. He uses the family atomics to blow a hole in the cliff wall surrounding the inner plains before the Arrakeen city, allowing a monster storm to rage in from the desert. Static electricity shorts out the shields protecting the Emperor's spaceship, and Paul's men blow off its nose with artillery, an ancient weapon useless against shields. From a position of security, far from the scene of the fighting and ready to depart in an instant if things turn against him, the Emperor is reduced to a helpless participant. Even his Sardaukar are no longer the invincible defense they once were. Any force will ultimately create a stronger counterforce, and so the Sardaukar have created the Fremen.

In the kind of universe Herbert sees, where there are no final answers, and no absolute security, adaptability in all its forms-- from engineering improvisation to social mobility to genetic variability--is essential. Improvisation is the only security. It is not an absolute security, but relative. Life is always changing and demanding new adaptations.

Chapter 6: An Ecology of Consciousness

The tensions between security and adaptability, between social order and social experiment, are encapsulated in the idea of utopia. In a utopia, social structure takes the place of the messiah or the mechanical God as a means of protecting man from the unpleasant facts of the real universe. Adaptability is not needed, because every conceivable problem has been taken care of. In most imaginary utopias rigid social control is a necessity, because men have a distressing tendency, when left to themselves, to fall away from the "perfect" norm. Herbert observes that utopian writers "turn to more and more planning, a pervasive planning- octopus which reaches deeper and deeper into the individual life."

The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966) is a dystopian novel along the classic lines of 1984 and Brave New World. It describes a far future of Earth in which genetic engineering has produced the perfect human being, the Optiman. Only a select few embryos have "that beautiful perfection of form and mind that could accept the indefinite balancing of life through the delicately adjusted enzyme prescriptions." The story begins when Harvey and Lizbeth Durant ask to watch the genetic surgery on their embryo. Immediately, a whole world comes into focus for the reader, a world of rigid social distinctions. Almost like an insect society, the teeming horde of "sterries" does all the work, allowed to breed only occasionally by their leaders, the caste of Optimen (themselves sterile, though immortal), who maintain their rule by tailoring the genes of their swarming servants. It is a benevolent aristocracy. "They are the power that loves and cares for us," the slogan says. But not all the Folk are happy. As translated cynically by one character, the slogan instead reads, "They had the world firmly in their grip, the future planned-- a place for every man and every man in his place." Control of the populace is effected by propaganda and the myth of Optiman superiority, as well as by the promise of progeny, or longer life, to the elect. But most important of all is gene-tailoring for an obedient strain of Folk, and the hormone addiction that affects both the Folk and the Optimen.

Everything is not as it seems. The perfect Optimen are hidden away in a closely guarded citadel, as if afraid of the world they so casually rule. And the apparently ignorant parents, the Durants, are part of a conspiracy. A renegade surgeon conceals the fact that he has engineered an Optiman fetus with the unheard-of capability to reproduce itself. The child is stolen from the vats and implanted in Lizbeth Durant. The Parents' Underground dreams of freeing reproduction from Optiman control.

There follows a swift cloak-and-dagger plot as the Optimen discover the falsified medical records and pursue the members of the Parents' Underground who have stolen the perfect child. The escape of the Underground with the infant is also the occasion for a long-awaited Cyborg revolt. The Cyborgs--the result of an earlier attempt to improve on the human stock by mating flesh to machines--had been defeated by the Optimen in a battle millennia earlier, but are again ready to try for supremacy. Now is the perfect opportunity to draw the Optimen out of the safety of their citadel.

Caught in the middle are Harvey and Lizbeth Durant and the gene-surgeons Potter and Svengaard. The Durants are members of a hidden group within the Cyborg-dominated Underground, trained in a secret form of nonverbal communication, and far more astute than they let on. Potter is a cynic, a near-Optiman with much less fear of the local gods than the average man. Svengaard is a conservative, a firm believer in the social order, who is shocked out of that belief by events into which he is unwillingly swept. Each in his own way sees the flaws in both Cyborg and the Optiman "perfection." The Cyborgs have given up their humanness; those who undergo the transformation in order to gain long life and new powers of mind or body lose their emotions. As for the Optimen, their perfection is a farce. Their immortality results from so precarious a hormonal balance that they must isolate themselves from the world in a perfect citadel of forgetfulness, whiling away their time in meaningless hobbies and increasingly abstract research, and losing track of millenia in a perpetually peaceful now. World administration is handed by the Tuyere, a rotating board of three Optimen, who rule over the millions like a dark trinity of Fates. But even the Tuyere do not dirty their hands with the actualities of ruling; orders are given to Max Allgood, head of the secret police, a human whose cloned replacements have made him nearly as immortal as the Optimen themselves. When the Cyborg-human revolt breaks out, the stress of dealing with the situation shatters the hormonal balance so carefully maintained by peace and the pharmacy. It leaves many of the Optimen dead and the rest insane or in varying degrees of shock. In order to preserve the illusion of eternal life the Optimen must deny all that runs contrary to the illusion. They live in a world of euphemisms and tailored information. And when they are forced to do the disagreeable, they promptly forget it.

The Eyes of Heisenberg is reminiscent of Brave New World in that the triumphs of biology and gene engineering have cut man off from the rhythms of nature and reared him in a test-tube society. It also recalls the use of "newspeak" to rewrite history in 1984, but Herbert has taken the absolute control of information even further, to the point where even the rulers no longer know their true history. But despite the obvious debts to these earlier works, the novel is based on Herbert's own familiar themes. Huxley's test-tube society and Orwell's propagandized one are each seen as examples of the same horror, the human attempt at control, here embodied in a completely planned society.

The absolute peace of utopia is as fraught with paradox as is the concept of absolute foreknowledge or the "infinite design" of an all-comprehending computer. Man's pursuit of such absolutes may be the subject unifying all of Herbert's work. "The Priests of Psi" stated the problem; Dune gave it mythic form. Destination: Void and The Eyes of Heisenberg dress it in the local dreams of twentieth-century Western man.

The Eyes of Heisenberg and Destination: Void, like The Green Brain, do not represent entirely new concepts, but an overflow of ideas first touched on in Dune. The fear of computers was the basis of the Butlerian Jihad, and the limits of such machines were observed in Mentat behavior. Likewise, the Optimen are cursed with a boredom reminiscent of the instant replay of prescient memory so exact that Paul's only wish is to escape it. In order to insure immortality, they forget the past and eliminate all variables from the future. (For a further indication of the similarity between immortality and prescience, remember that the melange, the prescient spice, is also a geriatric or life-extending drug.)

It is paradoxical that those who live most intensely in the present are in touch with the farthest past and open to the uncertain future, while those who seek power over time are stuck in an eternally boring now. (For example: Jessica's Reverend Mother ordeal; Paul's "trinocular vision" of past, present, and future just before the fight with Jamis; and Tuyere leader Calapine's sudden recollection of her millennial past, when she becomes hormonally unbalanced and once again subject to time.) Human beings, like the computer in Destination: Void, become alive only when they are exposed to death.

The symmetry of themes becomes apparent also in the area of social structure. The description of the Optiman society as "a place for every man and every man in his place," was first used to characterize the Faufreluches of Dune's Imperium. Opposed to the ordered society in each case is nature. In Dune nature takes the form of the jihad, which shatters "the ordered security of the Faufreluches." Nature is also the great terror of the Optiman utopia in The Eyes of Heisenberg.

"Their sole interest is in maintaining themselves," Igan said. "They walk a tightrope. As long as there's no significant change in their environment, they'll continue living.., indefinitely. Let significant change creep into their lives and they're like us--subject to the whims of nature. For them, you see, there can be no nature--no nature they don't control."

As in Dune, the repression of nature finds expression in man's denial of his animal roots. In both novels, it is not an external force of nature opposed to society that shatters the abnormal stasis, but man's own genes, the ultimate guardians of racial survival. It has been said that a man is merely a gene's way of reproducing itself. Such a perspective is essential to an understanding of Herbert's thought. The seat of human being is not man's intelligence or the ego that has identified itself with conscious thought, but rather his microscopic but enduring patterns for survival.

All of Herbert's works seem to cycle around a central axis of thought, continually recasting futures from different combinations of basic ideas. This too is a genetic process. A statement Herbert made about social planning, in the light of genetics, might equally well be applied to his artistic quest:

The holders of power in this world have not awakened to the realization that there is no single model of a society, a species, or an individual. There are a variety of models to meet a variety of needs. They meet different expectations and have different goals. The aim of that force which impels us to live may be to produce as many different models as possible.

This idea of genetic variability and uncertainty is underlined by Herbert's style, particularly his use of multiple points of view. There is no one central character to unify the novel. At the start of The Eyes of Heisenberg, it looks as though Potter, the renegade surgeon, is the vehicle for Herbert's observations; but then, halfway through the book, he is killed (offstage, to boot) when the Optimen sterilize the Seatac (Seattle-Tacoma) metropolis. Harvey and Lizbeth Durant, trained by the Underground in observation of nonverbal communication, emerge as central characters in the body of the book. But at the end, Svengaard and Calapine, who have broken out of their old limits due to stress, receive the focus. Unlike in Destination: Void, where the differences between the characters were often minimal, each of these individuals sees things very differently. The result is that uncertainty, which is the principal theme of the book, is carried over into the characterization, and the reader is left without a single point of view on which to hang his need for truth.

Multiple viewpoints have been characteristic of Herbert's style from the beginning, but there is a significant change in technique at this time. Despite excursions into other characters minds, Ramsey's perception was definitely central to Under Pressure. In Dune, a host of major characters each had a different view of the action, but Paul stood above all the rest. The Green Brain and Destination: Void experimented with true multiplicity of viewpoints, but without the superb characterization and layering of the earlier novels. The technique lacked vitality and often impaired the continuity of the story. The Eyes of Heisenberg is Herbert's first real success in separating the reader from the truth of a single vision. It is a finely crafted novel, without an excess paragraph. Everything works.

But somehow, The Eyes of Heisenberg is hardly more successful as a novel than The Green Brain or Destination: Void. Like them, it is interesting, but it does not entertain in the same way as do Under Pressure and Dune. To one familiar with Herbert's themes and the subtlety of his intentions, the elegant internal symmetries of the novel's architecture are striking and the story holds tautly together. But to many readers, the lack of a hero is disquieting. Things don't quite make sense.

This is less a flaw than an experiment springing from the same concern with heroes that shaped Dune. Herbert has said he is interested in "making demands on the reader." Such demands may include following a story where there are no final solutions and no triumphant heroes. The reader's need for a hero and a solution to unify the threads of a novel is a literary example of the same urge for security that motivates the crew of the Fenian Ram or the Fremen of Arrakis. For this reason, the Dune trilogy sets up, and then demolishes, one of the most striking heroes in science fiction. In The Eyes of Heisenberg, Herbert tries to do without heroes altogether. In later novels, he plays other tricks with the hero mystique. In Hellstrom's Hive and Soul Catcher, reader expectations of hero and villain are cunningly confused. In Whipping Star and The Dosadi Experiment, the hero is an ugly little man who has been married more than fifty times.

Herbert makes a similar demand on the reader when he refuses to reach any definite conclusions, In The Eyes of Heisenberg, he intends to search out only the possible. He begins with scientific facts and plays them out kaleidoscopically, with frame upon frame of different viewpoints, ever finer microcosms of analysis.

This process is clear in the novel's treatment of genetic engineering. On the grossest level, test-tube birth is a symbol for the scientifically planned society. But unlike Huxley, Herbert takes genetic engineering seriously as a subject of inquiry. What is its function, even apart from the kind of society its use implies? Overtly, its purpose is to seek human perfection--to produce the Optiman--or at least to cure birth defects and perform other medical wonders. But it also has an inevitable side effect, to keep "human variety within bounds." Evolution is stopped by engineering the human to a predetermined norm.

Suddenly the whole perspective expands. What is good for the individual may not be good for the species. Variation is the race's way of insuring survival. Uniformity is the individual's notion of perfection attained by everyone. Uniformity is the failing of Optiman society. "'They've made themselves the only free individuals in our world,' Igan said. 'But individuals don't evolve. Populations evolve, not individuals. We have no population.'" The Folk do not count, because they are selectively bred to a standard, however high. Unique individuals are suppressed-- except for the Optimen, who cannot breed.

This issue of genetic indeterminacy is the focus of the debate that gives the novel its title. Svengaard has called on Potter to assist him, because something inexplicable has happened to the Durant embryo. As if by outside reference, the gene structure has been altered before his eyes and becomes resistant to further surgery.

Potter is wordly wise, almost Optiman. He has worked out of Central and has actually spoken with the rulers of the planet. Svengaard, his former student, is blinded by Optiman propaganda. Svengaard parrots the Optiman line about this sort of occult occurrence, that it reflects a principle of uncertainty akin to that proposed by the ancient physicist Heisenberg: "In a system of increasing determinism you get more and more indeterminism." (Heisenberg's principle states that it is impossible to measure accurately both the position and the momentum of an electron at the same moment; as you determine one, you render the other indeterminable.) But Potter cuts through the double-talk. He says, "I believe nature doesn't like being meddled with."

What is particularly interesting about this passage is the way Herbert toys with the reader's assumptions. Heisenberg is a magic name in modern science fiction; even more than Einstein's theories, his uncertainty principle symbolizes the modern rejection of the Newtonian universe of absolute order. Herbert's work has been profoundly shaped by modern science. Yet here he scoffs at Heisenberg's principle, since it is being used by the Optimen to keep the unknown within bounds. Svengaard's assumption is that if the "arginine intrusion" into the embryo is a Heisenberg uncertainty problem, it is not significant. Far more frightening to him is that it could be a purposeful action. Potter pushes him to face this alternate possibility:

"You don't really mean you're afraid this is the action of a deity?"
Svengaard looked away. "I remember in school," he said. "You were lecturing. You said we always have to he ready to face the fact that the reality we see will he shockingly different from anything our theories led us to suspect."
"Did I say that? Did I really say that?"
"You did."
"Something's out there, eh? Something beyond our instruments. It's never heard of Heisenberg. It isn't uncertain at all. It moves." His voice lowered. "It moves directly. It adjusts things." He cocked his head to one side. "Ah-hah! The ghost of Heisenberg is confounded!"
Svengaard glared at Potter. The man was mocking him. He spoke stiffly, "Heisenberg did point out that we have our limits."
"You're right," Potter said. "There's a caprice in our universe. He taught us that. There's always something we can't interpret or understand . . , or measure. He set us up for this present dilemma eh?" Potter glanced at his finger watch, back to Svengaard. "We tend to interpret everything around us by screening it through that system which is native to us. Our civilization sees indeterminately through the eyes of Heisenberg. If he taught us truly, how can we tell whether the unknown's an accident or the deliberate intent of God? What's the use of even asking?"

If the uncertainty principle is true, it must be applied impartially--even to itself. The uncertainty principle is an idea that has consequences in shaping the world we see. Even to see with the "eyes of Heisenberg" is not to escape from the fact: uncertainty is uncertainty.

Then, in a wonderful return to an idea from Destination: Void, that man must go on, despite uncertainty. Svengaard replies, "We appear to manage, somehow." And Potter is finally won over, "Sven, you are a gem," he says. "I mean that. If it weren't for the ones like you, we'd still be back in the muck and mire, running from glaciers and saber-tooth tigers." Svengaard is like Bickel, naive but the rock on which human accomplishment stands. He is willing to go on working even in the face of terrible uncertainty and despite the rigidity of his society.

Philosophical discussion aside, it becomes apparent to both gene-surgeons that the case reflects something wrong with their science. For this strangely altered embryo is more than Optiman. The Optimen have paid the price of immortality with sterility, and even they cannot live without constant enzyme adjustment. This embryo is a true viable, able to reproduce and to live without drugs. And Potter thinks he would be able to re-create this lost trait, now that he has seen it happen:

We've upset the biological stability of the inheritance pattern with our false isomers and our enzyme adjustments and our meson beams. We've undermined the chemical stability of the molecules in the germ plasm . . . . It wasn't always that way. And whatever set up that original stability is still in there fighting.

The stability of life is not a stasis but a dynamic balance of thousands of factors. The Optimen, with their genetic engineering, have discovered how to prolong life--at the cost of its natural rhythms.

This biological drama is the microcosm of the social. Both the Optiman society and the Optiman body are artificial balances sustained against enormous resistance from nature. But nature is not trying to destroy the Optiman. As in Dune, the chaos that seeks to overwhelm society is not chaos for the sake of chaos, but a natural order trying to reassert itself. Man has turned away from the path of evolutionary survival by overspecialization, and the unconscious, the biology, the body of the race is fighting to save itself.

Herbert's ideas about time in the Optiman utopia are closely linked to his biological arguments. It is suggested at first that the novel takes place in the not-too-distant future:

Some of the old dreams--space travel, the questing philosophies, farming of the seas--had been shelved temporarily, put aside for more important things. The day would come, though, once they solved the unknowns behind submolecular engineering.

It eventually becomes clear that the actual elapsed time has been eighty thousand years. The Optiman society is a bubble of perfect stasis, a sameness without past or future. When nothing happens, one day is just like the next. This is symbolized not just by the boredom of the Optimen, but by all the doppelgangers of security chief Max Allgood blending into one. The Folk desperately hand down what traditions they can--in a world of engineered information, most of them are made up--while the Optimen endlessly try to forget. Unlike Orwell's leaders in 1984, they deny history not to control the populace, but because they themselves cannot stand to know of it. When the Cyborg revolt leads the Optimen into acting directly against them (instead of through human underlings), the precious balance is shattered.

Calapine is forced to kill Max Allgood because he has been subverted by the Underground. Then she must take direct control until his doppelganger is ready. And she finds she enjoys it.

"There's a thrill in this sort of decision-making," she said. "I don't mind saying I've been deeply bored during the past several hundred years. But now--now, I feel alive, vital, alert, fascinated."
She looked up at the glowing banks of scanner eyes, a full band of them, showing their fellow Optimen watching activities in the Survey Room. "And I'm not alone in this."

Calapine has the captured leaders of the Underground brought before her. And when this reality finally invades the Optiman citadel, violence and death entering in where they have not been seen for thousands upon thousands of years, Calapine finally remembers her past:

Necessity had forced her into a new kind of living awareness, a new rhythm. It had happened down there in a burst of memories that trailed through forty-thousand years. None of it escaped her--not a moment of kindness nor of brutality.

There is a price for everything, and the price of eternity is the sacrifice of a certain kind of aliveness. Only if change is possible does each moment become unique and worthy of record. In stasis, there is no longer any need for history. "'Is that it?' Calapine wondered. 'Is this new aliveness a by-product of the knowledge that we must die?'"

There is no going back to the old balance for the Optimen. The shock is too great. Any attempt to reach a new hormonal adjustment would plunge them into apathy. But they can go on to a new maturity. Svengaard, himself tempered and awakened to aliveness by the stress of the confrontation with the Optimen, has seen a way that both the Optimen and the Folk can have, if not eternity, at least another ten or twelve thousand years. He has recaptured the secret of creating the "self-viables" that Potter had uncovered. But even so, their civilization faces an uncertain future. The Cyborg problem is still unresolved, and the Optimen must make many adjustments in order to live again. As in The Green Brain, there will be a new balance. All that has been achieved for now is "a stand-off between the powerful."

The novel ends on a note of uncertainty, which, in Herbert's vision, is the most optimistic of endings. Uncertainty is also possibility. Harvey Durant observes:

The genetic environment had been shaped into a new pattern and he could see it. This was an indefinite pattern, full of indeterminacy. Heisenberg would've liked this pattern. The movers themselves had been moved--and changed--by moving.

The Optimen have re-entered the human race, with its limits-- and its potential. They have given up their frozen utopia.

The Heaven Makers (1967) touches on many of the same ideas as The Eyes of Heisenberg. It, too, is about immortality and its consequences. The Chem, ageless rulers of the galaxy, face the same problem as the Optimen. Although they are older than suns, their science is not really that much more advanced than our own. They are frozen in time. The device that gives them immortality is appropriately named--they are all caught in Tiggywaugh's Web. In the face of forever, the Chem play games of participation in life--the "pantovive," in which they manipulate planetary histories for their amusement--to lose the taste of eternity. Humans, locked into time and forced to deal with death, have a truer grasp of forever. They seem larger than life to the Chem; their life force itself so much more intense.

Herbert does a beautiful job of evoking the poignant thrill the Chem receive from their pantovive excursions into mortality. We, too, feel the thrill, because their pantovive is our history, conceived with an artist's sense of passion and color. The Chem were the gods of our distant past. One of them recalls fondly, "I once was the God Ea, striking terror into captive Jews ... in Sumeria a while back. It was harmless fun setting up religious patterns among you." Now the Chem continue to "produce and direct" the present.

Many of the recollections of ancient history contained in the novel are drawn from Herbert's poem, "Carthage: Reflections of a Martian." Herbert has said that he uses poetry "as a batter takes a few practice swings as he steps up to the plate"--to pack wallop into his prose. His one published poem, "Carthage," provides an opportunity to compare the original with the finished prose. Most of the borrowings from the poem are images or single lines. The poem describes the humanity found in moments that will be lost forever:

You archaeologist of a time
When I'm dustier than Carthage--
When you lift gently at fused green glass
And expose this breakfastnook,
To which translation will you attribute
Your ideas about conditions here-- Our mores, habits, artifacts?
About this toaster, now,
From which she takes two more-- Listen!
A collector of ancient gossip
Will need sensitive ears
To hear the scratch of a knife
Buttering toast.

Fraffin, the pantovive director, in a moment of self-pity because he is separated by immortality from the poignancy of such everyday moments (despite his power to record them), says, "I'm . . . a collector of ancient gossip . . . . I'm a person of sensitive ears who can still hear a knife scraping toast in a villa that no longer exists."

Later, when he faces exile into eternal boredom for his crimes against the rest of the Chem:

His thoughts were like a skipped rock touching the surface of a lake. His memories of this planet would not let him alone. He was the skipped rock, condensing eons: A tree, a face ... the glimpse of a face, and his memory shaped out Kallima-Sin's daughter given in marriage (at a Chem's direction) to Amenophis IL three thousand five hundred puny heart-beats ago....
There was a world pulse in Fraffin's mind now, a sinepounding timewave: diastole/systole, compelling blacksnake ripples that whipped across generations . . . .
Fraffin felt then that his own mind was the sole repository for his creatures, his person the only preservation they had--a place of yearnings, full of voices and faces and entire races whose passage had left no mark except distantly outraged whispering ... and tears.

This passage echoes the following lines from the poem, as well as other stanzas containing archaeological references:

You've forgotten, but your genes have not.
Beyond blood exists that world wave,
Sine-pounding timewave:
Compelling blacksnake ripples
Whip across generations, . . .
We Martians breathe out skipped rocks--
Where they touch, eons condense.

The way the poetry is invoked in the novel--as echoes in Fraffin's memory--is as effective as anything in the lines themselves. Fleeting references to images of the archaeological past create a mood of ancient sorrow that does more to convey the dilemma of the Chem than anything Herbert says outright. While the poem itself is flawed, the novel gains from the freedom Herbert found in the looser confines of poetry, which enabled him to build images that suggest an emotional intensity to match the states of heightened awareness and largeness of character he tries to depict.

The concept of the pantovive is of course more than an occasion for Herbert to try out his poetry. He is advising us to look at our television and movie dramas. In the artificial isolation of our homes and theaters, we are thrilled by the depiction of violence, while at the same time we try to deny its real existence. Like the Optimen or the Chem, we seek perfection by eliminating the undesirable from our society, but we still respond to it because it is within us.

The plot of Fraffin's current pantovive drama makes the same point on another level. Joe Murphey, pillar of the community turned murderer while the Chem pull the strings, "raises questions about themselves that people can't answer." He reveals the flimsiness of the cultural gloss over the unknown; only by executing him can the townspeople maintain their slim hold on illusion. To recognize his insanity would be to consider the possibility of their own. Murphey's daughter says to Thurlow, the psychologist: "The trouble with that man in the jail is that he has a sane type of delusion . . . . He thinks my mother was unfaithful to him. Lots of men worry about that."

Thurlow is even more dangerous a character than Murphey, to both the town and the Chem. Whereas the madman is a threat because he plays out society's shadow, the psychologist is feared because he sees through the sham. He is immune to manipulation by the Chem; that is, he is not entirely subject to his preconceptions. Like Herbert's other characters, from John Ramsey to the crew of the starship Earthling, he escapes from deep conditioning into a hyperconscious state where he sees more deeply than the official definition of reality allows.

Moreno, where the story takes place, is based in part on Santa Rosa, the northern California town where Herbert lived for nearly four years while he studied with Ralph and Irene Slattery. In fact, The Heaven Makers includes parts of an unpublished novel that harks back to Herbert's Santa Rosa days. Herbert wrote this early novel about the legal definition of insanity (provisionally titled "As Heaven Made Him") while he was in Mexico, following the publication of Under Pressure. But his work on it had begun much earlier, with an article he had written about Ralph Slattery's work on an unprecedented Santa Rosa murder case. A scene that contrasts Thurlow's use of the Rorschach inkblot test with that of his boss, Dr. Whelye, is a homage to Slattery's investigative methods. Thurlow "draws ... Murphey out, exposing the flesh of insanity," while Whelye merely confirms his own preconceptions. Another scene in which Thurlow's credentials are questioned because he is only a psychologist, not a medical man (a psychiatrist), also doubtless echoes Slattery's experience. Even in the later versions of the novel, images and characters are reminiscent of Herbert's earliest science-fiction stories, written during the Santa Rosa period. The Chem are kindred of the Denebians of "Looking for Something," as Thurlow is of Paul Marcus, the hypnotist who wakes up from Denebian conditioning,

In The Santaroga Barrier (1968), a novel written shortly after Dune was published, Herbert picks up the same themes as in The Heaven Makers, but from a reversed angle, showing how someone nominally free and self-aware becomes conditioned to the unconscious rules of a society and loses his perspective. The issue is clouded by the obvious assets of that society--honesty, caring, community, and a special kind of heightened awareness. Freedom from conditioning is a value that appears to get lost along the way. Whereas The Eyes of Heisenberg describes the redemption of an overt dystopia, The Santaroga Barrier describes an ambiguous utopia. It makes real demands on the reader (Herbert hopes) in depicting a society that "half my readers would think was utopia, the other half would think was dystopia." Herbert rides the thin line of that distinction with exquisite caution. Santaroga is as seductive in its own way as Paul's heroism--and equally dangerous.

In deliberate imitation of Skinner's Walden Two, the story is organized around a "conversion" theme, in which a hostile outsider is persuaded of the merits of a society he initially criticizes. Where Skinner makes a sincere attempt to sell a utopian ideal, however, Herbert's deeper concern is to re-create the process by which a man gives up his individual perspective for a group dream.

The town of Santaroga appears to be a sleepy California farm town just like any other. But there is one difference: the town resists outsiders. Travelers pass through but rarely stay for more than one night. Santarogans leave their valley occasionally--for school or military service--but they always return. Traveling salesmen have no success there, and outside investments are not welcome. Because of this last fact, Gilbert Dasein, a Berkeley psychologist, comes to the Santaroga Valley. Jenny Sorge, who had been his student at the university, and then his fianc e, has replied to none of his letters since she returned to her native town. So it is with some eagerness that Dasein has accepted a commission from a large supermarket chain, whose advances have also been rebuffed by Santaroga, to carry out some marketing research there.

Once Dasein arrives, crucial aspects of the "Santaroga difference become apparent. There is no advertising. A used car for sale states exactly what is wrong with it and how much it is worth. There is no television, no tobacco. The people have a disconcerting abruptness, a strange mixture of honesty and coolness. And behind the mask of individual differences, the Santarogans have an intangible quality of sameness. It is easy to feel an outsider in such a town.

However, Dasein has an opening no other outsider has--his relationship with Jenny. Everyone seems to know about it. When the waiter at the inn learns Dasein's name, he warms up immediately. "You're Jenny's friend from the school," he says excitedly. Dasein is elated to learn that Jenny is still in love with him. A curious scene follows. The bartender argues with Win Burdeaux, the waiter, about "giving Jaspers" to an outsider. This is the first clue that the Santaroga mystery has something to do with the unusual food products of the Jaspers Cheese Cooperative.

The story follows Dasein as he uncovers the Jaspers mystery and at the same time is pulled deeper and deeper into the strange web of Santaroga. For one cannot examine Santaroga from the outside. Two previous investigators have been killed in inexplicable but unquestionable accidents, and Dasein himself escapes death on several occasions. Such accidents are the ultimate expression of the Santaroga barrier. The only way to understand the town is to become a part of it. As Jenny's fianc , Dasein is freely exposed to Jaspers products. The Santarogans know he is there to investigate them, but they are giving him a chance to join them. The tension between Dasein as objectively trained outside investigator and Dasein as would-be Santarogan convert provides a philosophical story line to complement the solution of the Jaspers mystery.

Dasein eventually learns that Jaspers is a drug produced in food by radiation in the underground storage caverns at the Coop. In large doses, it has a psychedelic effect similar to LSD. But more importantly, as a pervasive presence in the Santarogan diet, it induces a permanent alteration of awareness. Jenny tells Dasein "We call it a 'Consciousness Fuel.' It opens your eyes and your ears, it turns on your mind." The Santarogans see differently than outsiders. Jenny's uncle, Dr. Piaget, explains further to Dasein that the drug "releases the animal that has never been tamed . . . up to now." He says that they must "push back at the surface of childhood," a statement that baffles Dasein. Jaspers takes away the filters on human consciousness that have been developed through millennia of evolution and demands that they be replaced by conscious patterns. Dasein asks, "What happens in the unformed psyche?" and Piaget replies,

As individuals, as cultures and societies, we humans reenact every aspect of the instinctive life that has accompanied our species for uncounted generations. With the Jaspers, we take off the binding element. Couple that with the brutality of childhood? No! We would have violence, chaos. We would have no society. We must superimpose a limiting order on the innate patterns of our nervous systems. We must have common interests.

Jaspers gives man a chance at a fresh start, at freedom from all of his prior conditioning.

The opening out of the collective unconscious also brings to the surface the hidden connections between individuals. At one point in the story, Dasein falls into a lake, knocking himself senseless on the side of a boat. At first no one notices he is gone. After he is rescued by Jenny, Dasein realizes with wonder that the others hadn't noticed because he "didn't cry out for help in [his] thoughts!" Later, he understands that

there was nothing of telepathy in this awareness. It was more knowledge of mood in those around him. It was a lake in which they all swam. When one disturbed the water, the others knew it.

To those relying on this sense of inner connectedness, Dasein was almost invisible.

On the basis of such Jaspers-induced experiences, the Santarogans have built a culture profoundly different from the one outside the valley. Many obvious facets of this culture are negatively derived, as the Santarogans have attempted to avoid the pitfalls of the outside. Piaget tells Dasein,

We know the civilization-culture-society outside is dying. They do die, you know. When this is about to happen, pieces break off from the parent body. Pieces cut themselves free, Dasein. Our scalpel--that was Jaspers. Think, man! ion ye lived out there. It's a Virgilian autumn . . . the dusk of a civilization.

In particular, the Santarogans have rejected the outside's adversary economics, in which psychology is used to sell people products they don't need and advertising forces an unwelcome conformity. Dasein suddenly sees himself as a spy for "the eager young executives and the hard-eyed older men." They view Santaroga as a foe to be conquered--not so much for the small profits it might afford, but because its resistance is an anomaly in their world,

As he thought of it, Dasein realized all customers were "The Enemy" to these men He sensed the vast maneuvering of these armies, the conspiracy to maintain "The Enemy" in a sleep state of unawareness--malleable.

For this reason, Dasein has observed no television in Santarogan homes, "no cathode living rooms, no walls washed to skimmed-milk gray by the omnipresent tube." He has discovered one small room in the inn, walled off from casual visitors, that contains a bank of television screens set to different channels, with a concerned citizen before each one. Dasein asks Win Burdeaux why this room was hidden from him. "In a way, we hide it from ourselves," Burdeaux replies. "There's something very alluring about the sickness that's poured over TV. That's why we rotate the watchers. But we cannot ignore it. TV is the key to the outside and its gods." The outside's gods are the gods of expediency--"practical gods" who do research to be sure that they agree with their worshippers.

However, an even more fundamental reason why the Santarogans shun television is that it offers a world of illusion. Burdeaux says:

You see, it's all TV out there--life, everything. Outsiders are spectators. They expect everything to happen to them and they don't want to do more than turn a switch. They want to sit back and let life happen to them.... The trouble is, their late-show is often later than they think . . . . There comes a morning for almost every one of those poor people outside when they realize that life hasn't happened to them no matter how much TV they've watched. Life hasn't happened because they didn't take part in it. They've never been onstage, never had anything real. It was all illusion . . . delusion.

The Santarogans value the human, they value the things you can touch as well as those intangibles you can only feel. This is no surprise, considering the heightened sensitivity Jaspers gives. Like all of Herbert's other heroes, the Santarogans want to live, not merely to exist.

The Santarogans are not intrinsically hostile to the outside. They are merely protecting themselves. Dasein realizes:

They were the buffalo Indians, people who needed to get away by themselves, to live and hunt in the way their instincts told them. The trouble was, they lived in a world which couldn't be culturally neutral. That world out there would keep trying to make people--all people--be everywhere alike.

Torn between a vision of the possibilities Jaspers opens up-- the clarity and sureness of perception, the sense of belonging and caring, the unique mental intensification--and the nagging fear of being swallowed up in an amorphous "we" that will rob him of his freedom, Dasein retreats in his camper to the woods outside of town.

The problem, he knew, lay in a compulsion somewhere within him to make an honest report to those who'd hired him. The jaspers clarity-of-being urged it. His own remembered sense of duty urged it. To do anything less would be a form of dishonesty an erosion of selfdom. He felt a jealous possessiveness about this self. No smallest part of it was cheap enough to discard.
This self of his, old but newly seen, precious beyond anything he'd ever imagined, placed a terrifying burden on him, Dasein saw. He remembered the wildness of the Jaspers revelation, the gamut he'd run to come through to this peak.
The had-I-but-known quality of his immediate past settled on him then like a fog that chilled him in spite of the afternoon's heat. Dasein shivered. How pleasant it would be, he thought, to have no decisions. How tempting to allow that restlessly stirring something within his consciousness lift up its ancient snake's head and devour the disturbing parts of his awareness.

Jaspers had given Dasein, too, heightened awareness. Now he begins to distinguish, for the first time, between awareness and a kind of self-consciousness. "No matter what the substance out of that dim red cave did to the psyche, the decision was his," he affirms. The knife-edge of that decision is an awakeness that partakes of the same qualities of insight, unconscious reach, and relativity as does the Santarogan awareness, but somehow goes beyond it. In Santaroga, he would not be alone--the edge of decision would somehow be blunted.

As Dasein keeps himself in forced isolation from Jaspers and the newfound sense of belonging to Santaroga that he now craves, he is menaced by countless "accidents" from the overtly friendly Santarogans. From his unique perspective at the edge of the Santarogan group identity, Dasein can see what the townspeople cannot, that Santaroga enforces conformity on its members just as the outside does. The outside has the forced identicalness of fashion's taboo; Santaroga has an inner homogeneity. And as the "accidents" reveal, this group identity has as much investment in self-preservation as the outside.

He thought of Santaroga then as a deceptive curtain of calmness over a pool of violence. Olympian-like, they'd surmounted the primitive--yes. But the primitive was still there, more explosive because it could not be recognized and because it had been held down like a coiled spring.

Unlike the Optiman utopia, Santaroga needs no overt forms of coercion to maintain social order. The addiction to Jaspers and to the states of awareness it opens is sufficient. Rules of conduct are instilled in the Santarogan from birth, and the people provide their own unconscious enforcement,

Dasein attempts to convince Piaget of the subconscious violence he has seen, but despite a harrowing series of deadly "coincidences," Piaget is unwilling to believe. He does go so far as to say, "Thus it is said: 'Every system and every interpretation becomes false in the light of a more complete system.' I wonder if that's why you're here--to remind us no positive statement may be made that's free from contradictions." Ultimately, however, he rationalizes away Dasein's evidence.

Dasein is ready to flee Santaroga but then gets badly burned while rescuing a Santarogan from an accident meant for him. While he is in the hospital, the addictive lure of Jaspers finally proves too much for him. He has isolated the active ingredient from an entire 36-pound wheel of Jaspers cheese. Then, forgetting the purpose of his research, Dasein is moved by an irresistible, unconscious impulse and swallows the extract. The overdose drives him into a state of transcendence or coma similar to the one Paul enters after ingesting the raw Water of Life. And just as that moment sealed Paul forever to his vision, so too Dasein's overdose seals him forever to Santaroga.

When Dr. Selador, Dasein's boss, comes to Santaroga to find out why Dasein has slipped away from his investigation, Dasein causes the accident that kills him. The shock almost wakes old doubts, but testimony from the other Santarogans at the inquest convinces Dasein that he could not have done what he thought. His gradual conversion into a Santarogan is a beautiful example of the psychodynamics of social agreement, as well as an illustration of the way a world view shared by the group forms a "grid" for the interpretation of events.

Burdeaux was in the witness chair now corroborating Piaget's testimony.
It must be true then.
Dasein felt strength flow through his body. He began to see his Santarogan experiences as a series of plunges down precipitous rapids. Each plunge had left him weaker until his final plunge had, through a mystic fusion, put him in contact with a source of infinite strength. It was that strength he felt now
His life before Santaroga took on the aspect of a delicate myth held fleetingly in the mind. It was a tree in a Chinese landscape seen dimly through pastel mists. He sensed he had fallen somehow into a sequel, which by its existence had changed the past. But the present, here-and-now, surrounded him like the trunk of a sturdy redwood, firmly rooted, supporting strong branches of sanity and reason.

At the start of the novel, Dasein was as much conditioned by the outside viewpoint as he later is by the Santarogan. Despite the best intentions, it was impossible for him to be objective.

Herbert points out that Santaroga is a utopia based on ancient Chinese ideals--"a sophisticated appreciation of the world" and "the guiding of the senses into heightened awareness." Herbert illustrates Dasein's ethnocentricity by echoing now-discarded (thus easily recognizable) stereotypes about the Chinese. After an interaction with one Santarogan, Dasein says, "That smile! It embodied Santaroga--self-satisfied, superior, secretive." Likewise, his feeling that the Santarogans "lost personal identity and became masks for something that was the same in all of them" is an often expressed fear of Westerners first exposed to the Orient.

When Dasein is finally converted to Santaroga, the judgments he makes about the same "facts" are very different:

Only the Santarogans in this room were fully conscious, Dasein thought. It occurred to him then that the more consciousness he acquired, the greater must be his unconscious content--a natural matter of balance. That would be the source of Santaroga's mutual strength, of course--a shared foundation into which each part must fit.

This is an ironic repetition of an observation that Dasein had earlier cited as the Santarogan weakness.

Such clear indications of bias on both sides serve to blur a picture already rendered ambiguous by the mixture of peace and danger, of consciousness and unconsciousness, which Dasein has met in Santaroga. Herbert further muddies the water by setting up a number of ingenious parallels between Santaroga and the outside. Santaroga is the perfect counter-cultural utopia, an escape from the pressures of twentieth-century society into a valley ruled by peace, honesty, and love. It is a communal society tied together by a psychedelic sacrament. Yet at the same time, Santaroga is also a conservative's dream, a retreat into the good old days. Its name is suspiciously similar to that of Santa Rosa, the sleepy northern California town that may also have been the source for Moreno, the small-town setting of The Heaven Makers. And just as the people of Moreno declared Joe Murphey insane to preserve the myth of their own stability, the Santarogans deny their own insanity by criticizing the outside.

The hidden identification of Santaroga with the middle America it so violently rejects is one of those logically impossible but emotionally sound loops of which Herbert is very fond. Santa Rosa, in the person of American everyman Gilbert Dasein, stands facing itself in the mirror of Santaroga. Even the ethnocentricity of Dasein's early reactions to Santaroga is turned around, because deep down, the utopian dreams of ancient China and contemporary middle America are strikingly similar. In his essay, "Science Fiction and a World in Crisis," Herbert writes:

Both look to the ideal society as one of social unity, of togetherness as the ultimate social achievement. The distinguishing of one individual from another has to be held within tight limits. To be different is to be dangerous.

As a reader, it is difficult not to side with one culture and to see the other as the enemy, to see Santaroga as utopia or dystopia. But Herbert is not playing teacher. He is not setting a test to see which of his readers will understand the dark side of the Santarogan dream. Santaroga is both utopia and dystopia. Like any social model it has both good and evil to offer. In his essay, Herbert continues:

Santaroga is dangerously stable, poised always on the edge of destructive crisis. Its people seem happy but without individual vitality. They are not enslaved by technological innovation, but neither are they much concerned about creativity and personal development.... They also remain self-suspended in time. They have chosen a rather static "good life" to escape the dilemma that Alvin Toffler's Future Shock details.

There is no real social perfection, only a series of compromises. Dasein senses this at the end, and it gives him a moment of peace. "What's reality anyway? he asked himself, It's as finite as a piece of cheese, as tainted by error as anything else with limits." But Dasein misuses this relativistic perspective to resolve doubts and lower the pressure on consciousness. Svengaard did much the same thing in The Eyes of Heisenberg, when he preferred the uncertainty principle to the thought of an intervening God.

Dasein's deepest insights come when he is caught in the middle. His outside perspective allows him to see things about Santaroga that its inhabitants deny, but at the same time, the Santarogans see many things about America that Dasein has been blind to. He tells Selador truly, "I've had my eyes opened here." Either reference system has its advantages. But both sides err by claiming that their viewpoint is absolute and thereby closing out the other.

Dasein's failure is the failure of his individualism, not just of Santarogan society. The criticisms of both America and Santaroga are valid, but it is a mistake to assume that any society can provide the answer to the problems that face the individual. Utopian dreams partake of the same surrender of responsibility that afflicts the followers of a charismatic leader. Dasein is alone. When he refuses to accept this fact and sees himself as doomed to choose either Santaroga or the outside, he is trapped into seeking a social salvation that does not exist.

Herbert explores these themes on many levels. As one frequently discovers in his work, puns or allusions provide a key to subterranean levels of analysis. It is no accident that Santarogan children are trained by Dr. Piaget, for instance. Piaget is a famous twentieth-century developmental psychologist. Far more significant, however, are the names Dasein, Sorge, and Jaspers. Jaspers is Karl Jaspers, the German existential psychiatrist and philosopher (whose work, incidentally, Herbert had studied with Ralph Slattery in Santa Rosa). Dasein is a term used by Jaspers and Heidegger to denote the human being. To Jaspers, it represents the temporal dimension of transcendent being. In Heidegger's terms, dasein translates as "being there." Sorge is another term from Heidegger's lexicon, meaning "the world of dasein's care. Obviously, Dasein is in love with Jenny Sorge.

Herbert uses the term dasein principally in the Heideggerian sense. Where Jaspers sees dasein as a kind of limiting case on a transcendent existenz, Heidegger sees only the "being there." Dasein is "thrown" into a world or a situation and left to its own devices. But dasein does not consist solely of potentialities; it always "engages and spends itself in the world of its care." This is sorge, the things of the world, of civilization and humanity, to which dasein attaches itself. Dasein is authentic, according to Heidegger, only when he is true to his own potentiality, and finds his being in himself. He is inauthentic when he becomes excessively involved with his world and is swallowed up in the one like many" of the group. This struggle for authenticity is what Dasein faces in the woods outside town. These are only the most pervasive of many Heideggerian allusions in the novel.

Herbert has a way of making abstract philosophical concepts very real. He uses Heidegger loosely, as a trigger for thought. He knows that philosophy is not a matter of reason alone but of human experience. As a result, he touches depths of feeling behind metaphysical issues rarely achieved in fiction. The "thrownness" of dasein to which Heidegger refers, the crisis of "being here" in the world, is not an abstract thing to Herbert; it is confronted whenever novelty brings man face to face with uncertainty. An individual must struggle to reconstitute his life and his worldview every time his preconceptions are shattered by experience. This is a basic human situation. In his essay, "Listening to the Left Hand," Herbert says:

We are destined forever to find ourselves shocked to awareness on paths that we do not recognize, in places where we do not want to be, in a universe that displays no concern over our distress and that may have no center capable of noticing us.

When Dasein comes to Santaroga, his old ideas no longer quite fit; he must "make up his mind" (literally) about the unknown situation. In addition, he experiences tension between his love for Jenny (sorge) and his need to be true to himself (dasein). The pessimistic ending of this conflict reflects Heidegger's awareness of the perennial danger of inauthenticity.

Herbert's experiential rendering of dasein as the process of accommodation to the unknown strikes chords in the reader that Heidegger's logical analyses of dasein's situation never could. The reader, too, is dasein, he is human. His involvement in the novel makes the same demands for a reassessment of his world as does Gilbert Dasein's involvement in Santaroga. As the Santarogans are trying to educate Dasein to their ways, Herbert is trying "to instill a new performance pattern in the reader." This performance pattern has to do with "what the eye is drawn to by the words," the context in which certain moods are consistently evoked, and so on. Herbert is also relying on the same assumption that he made while writing Destination: Void, that talking about hyperconsciousness has the effect of evoking it in some people.

More profoundly, however, the new performance pattern Herbert is trying to evoke has to do with the reader's power of judgment. Things are not what they seem in Santaroga, and the reader is forced to solve the mystery for himself. But there is more than a "whodunit" to be solved here, for Herbert's investigator reaches a false conclusion. The reader is being pressured (without any overt indication) to put the pieces Santaroga has shattered back together in his own way.

Herbert's use of Jaspers is even more demanding on the reader than his use of Heidegger, even more pregnant with the possibility of transformation, because the borrowings go deeper than they seem. Santaroga has found the insights of Jaspers's philosophy in a magic growth from the underground caverns of the Cheese Co-op. The drug takes Dasein from his everyday, limited consciousness to a transcendence with echoes of the philosopher's encompassing existenz. Like the philosopher Jaspers, the drug also teaches the Santarogans about the pervasive irrational elements in man and shows them that true human being can best be found in the network of awakened human communication.

Many other aspects of Jaspers's thought appear in the novel, though not as Santarogan characteristics. For example, Dasein is concerned with the limits of his role as a scientific observer. This was also a theme in Under Pressure, where Ramsey, like Dasein, found that objectivity was not truly possible in human situations. The limits of scientific objectivity is also one of Jaspers's ideas, Furthermore, Jaspers argues that in the face of human irrationality and the uncertainty of events, man is forced to depend on his own intuitive decisions. Even though he cannot know every outcome, or even whether he has made the right choices, man must take the chance of committing himself anyway. Dasein's lonely choices in the camper outside town are an eloquent description of man's attainment of being through decision.

Jaspers's influence on Herbert's work goes far beyond The Santaroga Barrier. For instance, the emphasis on the need for guilt in the creation of the artificial intelligence in Destination: Void may be an echo of that philosopher. Choice in the face of uncertainty leads to guilt, according to Jaspers, a guilt that men flee by imagining absolute standards and then doing their best to live up to them. Herbert's contempt for absolutes and their pernicious role in human psychology should be obvious by now. Jaspers's primary formulation--that human life is bounded by inescapable limits such as death, uncertainty, struggle, and guilt--is also central to Herbert's thought. Jaspers focuses on man s attempt to escape from these limits in a way uncannily similar to Herbert:

The menace beneath which man lives drives him to seek security. He expects his mastery of nature and his community with other men to guarantee his existence.
Man gains power over nature in order to make it serve him; through science and technology he seeks to make it reliable.
But in man's domination of nature there remains an element of the incalculable which represents a constant threat, and the end is always failure: hard labour, old age, sickness and death cannot be done away with. Our dominated nature is reliable only in isolated cases; in the whole we can place no reliance.
Men band together in a community in order to limit and ultimately abolish the endless struggle of all against all; they seek to achieve security through mutual aid.
But here again there is a limit. ... No state, no church, no society offers absolute security. Such security has been a pleasing delusion of quiet times, in which the ultimate situations were veiled.

Jaspers continues:

The ultimate situations--death, chance, guilt, and the uncertainty of the world--confront me with the reality of failure.... Crucial for man is his attitude toward failure: whether it remains hidden from him and overwhelms him only objectively at the end or whether he perceives it unobscured as the constant limit of his existence; whether he snatches at fantastic solutions and consolations or faces it honestly.

Herbert has expanded on Jaspers, but the similarity of structure between the thought of the two men is indubitable. The latter passage foreshadows Herbert's premise that consciousness is not a "solution" that makes the problems of human life go away. In fact, it may intensify their subjective reality, as it does with Dasein, until he seeks refuge in a womb of unawareness. But as Paul learned, consciousness does allow man to ride the waves of crisis or uncertainty with more aplomb. And as works such as The Eyes of Heisenberg and Children of Dune argue, to hide from uncertainty in the unconsciousness of an absolute belief, a perfect society, or a divine messiah may work for a time, but the eventual result is a devastating collapse in which uncertainty rushes back in, often to the accompaniment of social chaos.

Considering the profound influence that Jaspers has had on Herbert, there is a touch of paradox in his treatment of Jaspers in The Santaroga Barrier. Santaroga is an appealing utopia to many of Herbert's readers because the concepts inspired by Jaspers (the drug) spring from the same source as Herbert's own. The Santarogans speak wisdom that readers have come to expect from Herbert himself. They are certainly far wiser than the people outside. Under the influence of Jaspers, Dasein reaches levels of illumination and insight that are truly remarkable. But he cannot maintain the tension of uncertainty forever. He desperately hungers for a resolution. He cannot stand alone, and so eventually he is swallowed up by a kind of unconsciousness at least as pervasive as the unconsciousness outside Santaroga.

Herbert is satirizing the modern longing for a pharmaceutical philosophy. The drug Jaspers is subject to the same criticisms that Burdeaux made of television. It is passive. The strength demanded by Jaspers's philosophy is not required in Santaroga. This weakness contributes to the society's fall into a miasmic utopia instead of continuing the unending search for wisdom, which Jaspers the philosopher calls for. Piaget tells Dasein he is glad of the challenge the outsider provides, but this is really only lip service. He is afraid that too deep an inquiry will reveal some fatal flaw or demand too much. The insights provided by the drug are profound and valuable, but the alteration of awareness it gives is not identical to the heightening of responsible self-awareness to which Herbert gives the name of consciousness.

This distinction applies to Jaspers the philosopher as well. The danger of philosophical wisdom is that one can be seduced by it. One can come to believe that "if only everyone knew what I know, the world would be okay." Herbert does in fact make this accusation about B. F. Skinner's attitude in Walden Two, and he seems to have a similar opinion of Jaspers.

I deliberately took Jaspers's philosophical characteristics and translated them into a performance program from a drug.... While I imagine he would have denied it, Jaspers was Platonic. He would have gone right along with the whole idea of philosopher kings. ... Jaspers is saying, "If you do these sorts of things, you will interact well."... And if you have that as a central understanding of what Jaspers was up to, then you can build a philosophical matrix that comes from a drug.

Whether or not Herbert's assessment of Jaspers is correct, the point is well taken. Jaspers's philosophy is undeniably appealing--but so were those of the priests of Amel and the Bene Gesserit. Good ideas are not enough. Herbert uses philosophy as a practical tool for living and judges its results against life, so there are no right answers and no complete doctrine. There are only answers and their consequences. What happens to people who follow any given set of beliefs? The subtleties of one doctrine as opposed to another are resolved not by logic but by looking at their effects.

On one level, this means that all value judgments are relative. But at the same time, a local frame of reference is defined by survival value. Herbert's work implies a kind of evolutionary ethic. "There is no single model for a society, a species, or an individual," he says.." The aim of that force which impels us to live may be to produce as many different models as possible." By imposing one's own model, however good, as the model, one stifles the creativity that is at the heart of the evolutionary process. The tension between even the best of all possible philosophies and the diversity that is the key to survival is a central thrust of The Santaroga Barrier. Like Paul, Jaspers is dangerous because he seems to promise truth, not just a point of view.

Herbert has a profound distrust of those very ideas that are most appealing to him. He is always on guard lest they satiate his uncertainty and leave him with a docile illusion of superiority. He endeavors to state his ideas in a way that provokes rather than satisfies questioning.

Paul said in Dune:

The person who experiences greatness . .. must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

Herbert abides religiously by this concept. There is no wisdom that excepts one from the possibility of inauthenticity, of being untrue to himself. Even to realize the uncertainty at the heart of things is a perception that must constantly be renewed. The realization can too easily degenerate, as it does in Santaroga, into its own kind of complacency.

This is why, ultimately, Herbert offers no clear answers in The Santaroga Barrier. Even to make a positive statement for diversity can be repressive. So he states different sides of each question with equal force. He is interested in exploring possibilities, in looking at the assumptions behind social choices and the con- sequences if they are carried out. Remember his comment, "I'm a muckraker." Herbert is unwilling to tie the novel into a neat package. There are meant to be some loose ends. The Santaroga Barrier is meant to be unsettling. Herbert says:

The point of view I was taking was that ... people really didn't know what they were asking for. They had a kind of amorphous, polarized viewpoint, and Utopia was something which doesn't hurt the way now hurts. But the real utopian demand was "I want a world that suits me." This is what I call the Skinnerian fallacy. Because if you read Skinner carefully, [you'll see that] he is saying, "Please let's have a world like this because this is the kind of world in which I feel safe." And.. . your utopia might very well be my dystopia. So I sat down to write a book [about] which ... just about half of the readers will say "He's talking about a utopia" and just about half will say "He's talking about a dystopia." By this approach, I have recreated the tensions that exist in the world all around us over that very issue.

In Hellstrom's Hive (1972), Herbert summons many of the same ambiguities that he did in The Santaroga Barrier, though in an even more extreme fashion. Santaroga was equivocal-- utopia or dystopia depending on your point of view. The world of Hellstrom's Hive is simply turned upside down.

The novel centers around the efforts of a government espionage agency to investigate a weapons project headed by one Dr. Hellstrom. As it develops, the project is a front for a massive underground hive of humans who have decided to emulate insect social models as a means of ensuring species survival. Hellstrom and a few other leaders still retain the individual consciousness needed to communicate with the outside world; most of the hive consists of interchangeable workers and breeders.

The investigation comes at a crucial time in the life of the hive. After developing in secret for many years, it is ready to swarm. As long as there is only one hive, it is vulnerable to the outside. Once there are many, the new breed of humans, like the insects, will be here to stay. The investigation must be stopped! All the hive needs is a little more time to multiply past the crucial point, and to develop Hellstrom's weapon as a "stinger."

As the novel opens, government agents are watching Hellstrom's installation. One by one they are picked up by the hive and killed. Finally, the head operator of the Agency takes over. He is a James Bond-like figure who we are sure will counter the threat. One cannot like him as a character; still, he does represent "our side." Eventually he, too, is killed, betrayed by his own machismo. One by one, the efforts of the outside are halted by their own inadequacies, by bureaucracy, egotism, and fear for individual survival.

What makes this story so unique is the reversal of accepted values within it. Herbert explains:

I said, "In terms of what we want now, as we think of our world now, what would be the most horrible kind of civilization you could imagine?" And then I said, "Now I will make... [the members of that civilization] the heroes of the story, by taking negative elements of the surrounding society and treating them as the villain." That creates a very peculiar kind of tension.

The reader is like a blind man coming home to find all his furniture rearranged. He knows that the insects must be the villains, but every cue tells him that they are the heroes. The representatives of the outside are so clearly not hero material. Assumptions war with the emotional responses programmed by the story. The result is very frightening. A reader unfamiliar with Herbert's themes is likely to regard it simply as a depressing vision and will fail to understand its deeper purpose.

Hellstrom's Hive is Herbert's most extreme vision, but the principles it illustrates are to be found throughout his work. He says, "It is by confusing the images that we learn to live with them." Rather than polemically attacking distressing elements in our society (as Herbert had noted in "The Priests of Psi," such an attempt would serve only to reinforce them), he frames these elements in such a way that they can no longer be taken for granted. Heroes and villains are never quite what they seem; expectations are raised and never quite fulfilled. Herbert's constant demand is that the reader learn to think for himself, so his novels can never be taken at face value. Hellstrom's Hive is a powerful, effective novel, but it is completely unpalatable unless the reader sees beyond what has been so obviously presented to what has not been said.

In Dune and Destination: Void, Herbert sought to awaken his readers in a positive way, by evoking hyperconscious images. In The Eyes of Heisenberg and The Santaroga Barrier he used uncertainty as a spur to thought. In Hellstrom's Hive, one sees the techniques that were later to shape Dune Messiah and especially Children of Dune. The reader must not only resolve uncertainty, but must use his own awakened sensibilities to recast the paradoxes and inversions with which he is presented.

Chapter 7: The Worm Turns

Dune ends with the accession of Paul Atreides to the Imperial throne. It is a heroic romance of the best kind. Good and evil are clear-cut. The growth of young Paul to a heroic figure who can snatch victory from overwhelming defeat is a growth in awareness and self-mastery, as well as in power. What reader is not heartened when Paul triumphs over all the forces massed against him?

Dune Messiah (1968) picks up the story twelve years later. The jihad has spent itself; the Fremen have touched ten thousand worlds. Millions of pilgrims flock to Arrakis every year to visit the tomb of Duke Leto and the temple where Paul's sister Alia sits in oracular judgment each day; they perform all the duties suggested by the Quizarate, Muad'Dib's Pilgrim Church. Paul has fulfilled the messianic promise, but the dream has failed. Water has brought corruption to the dry planet, and Paul's government duplicates the repressive techniques of the old Empire.

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 a 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.

As the planet flowers, Paul grows barren, watching the friends of his exile become sycophants and his teachings an absolute creed. His people demand from him the illusion of absolute certainty. They want a god, and although he continues to warn them against such a dream, he cannot deny them. The religious juggernaut that he rode to power has turned on him.

"Dune Messiah was the hardest book of the three to write," Herbert says. "It had to be short, because it had to point forward and back. It had to begin turning the whole process over." It had to demonstrate the limits of Paul's oracular powers, the agony of absolute leadership, and the rot in the Fremen church, but without completely demolishing Paul's heroic mystique.

The story opens with a meeting of conspirators against Paul. The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam is of course there, and with her the Bene Gesserit- trained Princess Irulan, Paul's official but unloved consort. The Sisterhood's plans have never recovered from the loss of their prime breeding stock; Irulan has the additional spur of her desire to bear Paul's children. The Spacing Guild is represented by Edric, a Steersman, because the Guild's stranglehold on transport is trumped by Paul's ability to destroy the spice on which they depend. Edric's function in the conspiracy is to hide the plotters from Muad'Dib's time vision. Another future-shaping prescient (though on a much smaller scale), he clouds the paths of probability he touches. Scytale, a "face dancer" able to change shape and features at will, represents the Bene Tleilax, an association descended from renegade pre-Butlerian scientists. The Bene Tleilax are opportunists, hungry to test their special ways of power. They are amoral, twisted scientists. Scytale treats the plot as if it were a game, a trial of strength and possibility.

Not present, but a tool of these master conspirators, is Korba, the Fremen head of Muad'Dib's Pilgrim Church. A living prophet who scorns his following is the greatest threat the priesthood can imagine. A martyr they can control.

The plan is to kill Paul and lay the blame on Chani, his love. At the same time, in the seeds of an alternate plan, the Bene Gesserit have poisoned Chani. For twelve years Irulan has fed her drugs to prohibit conception. The bloodlines cannot be contaminated by the wild Fremen strain! Now Chani has gone back to the desert sietch; her food can no longer be prepared. Pregnant after so many years of forced barrenness, she will die. In either case, Tleilaxu cell-regeneration arts hold the key to the conspiracy. If Paul is killed by his priesthood, they can bring him back, a shadow of himself, under their control. If Chani dies, they can offer her to Paul--for the same price.

The Bene Tleilax will send Paul a gift: Duncan Idaho, his childhood friend and swordmaster, brought back from his death under Sardaukar swords. The purpose of the gift is singular--to bring Paul down--but the methods are multiple. Perfect in flesh, Duncan, like all Tleilaxu gholas, lacks memory of who he was before. To offer a reborn Chani to Paul, the Bene Tleilax must first discover how to restore ghola memories. They have planted in Hayt (as the reborn Idaho has been named) a compulsion to kill Paul in the moment of extremity, when he learns of Chani's death. They cannot lose. Either Paul himself will be meat for their axolotl tanks, or the war between the ghola's compulsion and the Atreides' loyalty in his very cells will awaken the lost Duncan and prove the technique intended for Chani.

Despite such elaborate precautions, layered one inside another, this somewhat confusing conspiracy never quite seems to touch Paul. He is engaged in his own stately dance with destiny, struggling with a sickness of which the conspiracy is only a symptom, not a cause. It only provides a focus by which Paul sees the monster he has created. His real battle is with time, with the inertia of the human spirit, and with the paradoxes of messianic leadership.

Editor John Campbell, who had an uncanny way of grasping the crucial points in Herbert's work while misunderstanding their significance, foresaw Paul's invincibility to the overt actions of any conspiracy when he first read Dune. In his letter accepting the novel for serial publication in Analog, Campbell wrote: "If 'Dune' is to be the first of three, and you're planning on using Paul in the future ones ... oh, man! You've set yourself one hell of a problem." In view of Paul's immense powers, Campbell could not envision how there was room for any opposition, and hence how there could be any plot for the remaining books. He suggested a number of changes in Dune that would lessen Paul's powers and leave room for the sequels. What Campbell did not understand is that the very totality of Paul's powers is their greatest handicap.

Bronso of Ix notes in his "Analysis of History" (which serves as an introduction to the novel), after reviewing the obvious elements arrayed against Paul:

How can any of this explain the facts as history has revealed them? They cannot. Only through the lethal nature of prophecy can we understand the failure of such enormous and far-seeing power.

Herbert did not wish to diminish Paul's powers, but rather, by expanding them, to reach the point where their logical limits would become more important than the benefits they confer. To fulfill Herbert's scheme for the trilogy by showing that "superheroes [are] disastrous for humans," Paul's problems must not come from weakness but from contradictions inherent in his situation.

Herbert wrote back to Campbell:

Here's how I see the Time and plot problem for a sequel to Dune:
You will recall that Paul has a vision of Time as the surface of a gauze kerchief undulating in the wind. As far as it goes, this is accurate, but immature. It's the child-vision. Clarification is yet to come and he isn't going to like what he sees.
Think now of a coracle, a chip floating on a stormy sea. The man of vision is in the coracle. When it rises to a crest, he can see around him (provided he has his eyes open at the moment and it's light enough to see--in other words, provided conditions are right). And what does he see? He sees the peaks of many waves. He sees troughs and flanks of his own wave complex. Troughs of subsequent waves are increasingly hidden from him.

Herbert goes on:

Now, consider Time as a system with its own form of obedience to its own form of entropy. What disrupts it? What causes Time storms? Among other things, a man of vision with his eyes open in good light and on the crest of a wave can cause Time storms.... If you see that-which-is-not-yet, you give the not- yet a feedback circuit for which it is not-yet prepared. You set up a channel for convection currents across regions delicately susceptible to the slightest deflection.

Because of these factors, the man of vision is subject to some obvious limits:

The Time he "saw" may maintain itself in similar motions for a period, but it is in motion, it is changing. And the very action of his looking has accelerated and twisted and distorted the directions of change. (Do you think John the Baptist could predict all the outcomes of his prophecies?) Add the further complication that there are many men of vision with varying degrees of aptitude.

However, the "lethal nature of prophecy" to which Bronso referred is not a product of these limits of prescience, per se. The fundamentally chaotic nature of time runs contrary to man's hunger for order. Prophecy is a trap, because it seems to offer power over the chaos of Time. Herbert wrote to Campbell:

There is always the unspoken judgement--one thing [order] is "right" and the other [chaos] is "wrong." [But] let's look at the logical projection of completely orderly time and a universe of absolute logic. Aren't we saying here that it's possible to "know" everything? Then doesn't this mean that the system of "knowing" will one day enclose itself? And isn't that a sort of prison?

If time is a sea of possibilities, with storms and cross currents, the local order that the prophet perceives may be swept away by chaos from the infinite sea. The response of the prophet, if he has a bias for order, will be to consolidate those trends he wants to see happen, to choose the actions that will produce order in the time stream rather than chaos. And inevitably he will be trapped by the order he creates. He builds a universe in which he knows everything and controls everything. In Paul's words, he pulls all the strands into himself. And at that point, he is the prisoner of the time track he has isolated.

This is precisely what happens in Dune Messiah. The waters of time are getting muddy from too much interference, and the main currents are moving away from Paul, His response is to grasp desperately at time, to make himself once more the nexus on which everything depends. At one point, Paul flashes back to the moment of his first prescient awakening and is

unable to speak. He felt himself consumed by the raw power of that early vision. Terrible purpose! In that moment, his whole life was a limb shaken by the departure of a bird... and the bird was chance. Free will.
I succumbed to the lure of the oracle, he thought.
And he sensed that succumbing to this lure might be to fix himself upon a single-track life. Could it be, he wondered, that the oracle didn't tell the future? Could it be that the oracle made the future? Had he exposed his life to some web of underlying threads, trapped himself there in that long-ago awakening, victim of a spider-future which even now advanced upon him with terrifying jaws?

Because he must, or because he makes the same choice once again, Paul continues the oracular path. He succeeds even more totally than he did in Dune, and in his success, he fails. To totally grasp what is happening is not to control events, but to lock yourself into an inexorable destiny. "'I meddled in all the futures I could create,' said Paul, 'until, finally, they created me.'" There is no longer any freedom of choice left at all, and Paul's only salvation is to let go of prophecy entirely and let chance, and change, back into the system.

Before he abandons the Empire, however, Paul feels he must purge the evils he has caused. And so the conspirators snap about Paul's heels while he, eyes fixed on an inner vision, ceaselessly manipulates possibility so as to fix certain qualities so strongly in the time matrix that he will no longer need to stand at the center. Because of Edric, he cannot see the causes of everything that happens, but he can see outcomes--Chani's death, the destined encounter with Hayt-Duncan, as well as his own fate--and he goes along with the plot for his own purposes, a master player focused not on the immediate moves, but on the end of the game. He is willing to sacrifice anything, even himself and his beloved Chani, to free the universe of his religion's curse. He allows the conspiracy to succeed up to a point. He is blinded, not killed, by a trap the Quizarate plotters have set for him. But so terrifyingly total is his inner vision, in the moment of utter control before he lets go, that he can still see--even without eyes. Eyeless sockets agape, Paul walks down the Arrakeen streets, looking his men in the face and addressing them by name. Never has he been more sure of himself. All that happens now is so determined that the instant replay of prescient memory can substitute for vision.

All the plots move swiftly to a conclusion. Chani dies in childbirth, Hayt confronts himself and rediscovers Duncan, Paul rounds up the Quizarate conspirators. Scytale, the tempter, is killed in the final moments after Paul's completed vision has run out. The prophet is free to abandon what he has created.

The Fremen custom is to abandon the blind in the desert. Now, his vision exhausted, Paul is truly blind. He slips away and walks out into the sand, a gift for Shai-Hulud, the sandworm, also known as the maker and "old father eternity." He is free. Twin children have been born, like Paul's sister Alia, with fully prescient, adult awareness at birth. They are the new nexus of possibility. Alia, with Duncan now at her side, will be regent till they are old enough to rule for themselves. The Fremen have been tied to the Atreides even more surely by the proof that Paul, in his death, was one of them. And perhaps most importantly, Paul's inexplicable sacrifice will serve, as his preaching never could, to disturb the complacency of the Empire. Dying, he creates a lasting myth:

He is the fool saint,
The golden stranger living forever
On the edge of reason.
Let your guard fall and he is there!

When he read the manuscript of Dune Messiah, Campbell was horrified. He refused to publish the novel. He wrote:

In outline, it sounds like an Epic Tragedy--but when you start thinking back on it, it works out to "Paul was a damn fool, and surely no demi-god; he loused up himself his loved ones, and the whole galaxy."

Again, Campbell was right, but he missed the point. Paul's success in becoming a martyr and putting the Empire back on a reliable, safe course is a gloss over deeper failure. To show that failure, despite the best efforts of a very attractive hero, was one purpose of the novel. As in Dune, both the failure and the appearance of success are essential, but in accordance with the plan of the trilogy, the balance has shifted towards failure.

Even to one who does not know the purpose of the trilogy, Dune Messiah works as a tragedy. The psychology by which Paul confronts his crises is inescapably familiar, despite the fact that the problems of prescience that provoke the crises are so obviously unfamiliar. John Campbell said it couldn't be done. After reading Dune, he had written:

As the father--and/or step-father--of several literary supermen, I've learned something about their care and upbringing. They're very recalcitrant No human being can write about the thoughts, philosophy, motivations or evaluations of a superman.
There are two ways that supermen have been handled successfully in science-fiction; Method 1 ... is what you've got here, so far. You don't talk about the superman. . . but show a superboy, who hasn't yet developed his powers out and beyond your ability to conceive of them.

But in Dune Messiah, Herbert is able to show Paul's maturity, to extrapolate his immense powers and yet to keep him within reach. It is as though Herbert were able to find corresponding places on some great spiral of evolution, on which the same essential problems are rediscovered again and again in larger and larger frames of reference. While Herbert's readers do not struggle with prescience, they do struggle with time, choice, and the need to be "right." One must decide now, but who does not long to stretch the boundaries of the present for some glimmer of certainty from the future?

The tragic aspects of Dune Messiah are as well thought out as the epic framing of Dune. In his tragic devotion to a duty no one else can appreciate, as well as in his blindness at the end, Paul cannot help but recall Oedipus, driven by what he considers the oaths of leadership to seek out the cause of the curse on Thebes, even if he himself were to blame. Paul's moments of paralysis before the overwhelming choices presented by his time vision recall also the agonies of Hamlet's indecision. Such echoes are effective not simply as literary conceits, but as resonating overtones of a story that touches the same tragic springs.

The very name Atreides should have warned from the first of the direction the trilogy was taking. The Atreides were the cause of the Trojan War (Helen was the bride of Menelaus, brother to Agamemnon, the high king) and, though far from its greatest heroes, were among the few characters who made the transition from epic to tragedy. The family of Atreus was the most ill-starred in all of Greece. What better name would suggest the hubris that Paul displayed in his attempt to dominate the universe and its gods? The echoes of Oedipus, master of the riddles of the Sphinx, who knew everything but his own limits, bear the same message.

Even though hubris as a tragic flaw is suggested so obviously, the tragedy of Dune Messiah is perhaps even more fruitfully described by Hegel's concept of "heroic responsibility." In The Philosophy of Right, Hegel notes:

The heroic self-consciousness ... accepts its guilt for the whole range of the deed [and its consequences].... The self-reliant solidity and totality of the heroic character does not wish to share the guilt and knows nothing of this opposition of subjective intentions and objective deeds and consequences.

How well this fits with Herbert's image of Paul pulling all the strands of possibility into his own hands! Jessica, Alia, and Chani, as well as Hayt-Duncan, wish to help, but Paul pushes them away. "The heroic character does not wish to share the guilt."

Furthermore, in Hegel's analysis of tragedy (according to Kaufman, who summarizes and expands Hegel's views), the essential is "not a tragic hero but a tragic collision. . . . The conflict is not between good and evil but between one-sided positions, each of which embodies some good." Paul is a tragic hero; however, the notion of his destruction through a one-sided position is entirely in accord with the philosophy expressed in Herbert's stories since "The Priests of Psi." In Dune Messiah, Herbert toys with the reader's expectations about the conflict of good and evil by introducing the conspirators as the equivalent of the completely evil Harkonnens of Dune, but as the novel progresses, it becomes obvious that Paul's "tragic collision" is not with the conspirators at all, but with his own handiwork. Striving to mold life into his own good but one-sided form, he created its opposite. The conspiracy is only one symptom of Paul's shadow projection; the decay of Fremen morals and the failing ecology of the planet spring from the same source.

It is precisely the lack of another actor in the tragic collision that makes Dune Messiah so unusual a tragedy. In Antigone, which provided the model for Hegel, the two conflicting halves are equally embodied in Antigone and in Creon. But here, there is only Paul. There is no enemy he can pursue, no one to symbolically defeat as he defeated Feyd-Rautha at the end of Dune. There is only himself, his own half-truth, which is not enough. According to E.R. Dodds, this is the tragic style not of Sophocles but of Euripides, whose "favorite method is to take a one-sided point of view, a noble half-truth, to exhibit its nobility, and then to exhibit the disaster to which it leads its blind adherents-- because it is after all only part of the truth." Because, ultimately, no man has more than part of the truth, tragedy springs from the same roots as the philosophy of Karl Jaspers, a sense of the limitations of human power. Paul acknowledges this near the end of the novel when he says, "There are problems in the universe for which there are no answers Nothing. Nothing can be done."

Children of Dune (1976) continues the story of the Atreides to its more than tragic end. In Dune Messiah, Paul had failed, but he retained a vestige of majesty. He was still the prophet whose motivation went beyond that of ordinary men into realms of paradox. In the conclusion of the trilogy, Paul is brought back from his seeming death in the desert, an old, broken man who can only rage at the church built on his name. His son Leto must undo the damage Paul had unwittingly done, topple the church, and reverse the ecological transformation before the spice itself is destroyed. Leto takes the one path of vision that Paul feared and refused. He becomes an absolute tyrant. Inhuman and nearly immortal, he can give the people the absolute assurances they desire, but only at the price of absolute control. The ultimate failure of messianic leadership foreshadowed from the beginning has finally come to the front.

In order to understand the transition between the two novels, it is important to grasp why Paul failed. In Dune, he bad learned to ride the currents of time, not to control them. What is different in the sequels? To an extent, the question is answered by reference to the buildup of destructive feedback loops by which Paul's choices of one path over another became amplified until no choices were left. Another reason for Paul's behavior is suggested in his first appearance in Dune Messiah. He is meditating on "the Old Duke," his grandfather, "an Atreides who'd died in the bull ring creating a spectacle for his people":

Something the old man had said slipped then into Paul's mind: "One who rules assumes irrevocable responsibility for the ruled. You are a husbandman. This demands, at times, a selfless act of love which may only be amusing to those you rule."

On one level, this is an anticipation of the "Fool Saint" theme, which is invoked by Paul's final walk into the desert. (The importance of this theme is shown by the fact that this was the working title of the novel.) For the purpose of his vision, Paul does things that are foolish by any other standard. However on another level, this passage shows how Paul is seduced by leadership, not prophecy.

Although he began by using the messianic pattern for his own purposes, Paul eventually accepts the burden of his myth and tries to be the savior the people want. Although he realizes the impossibility of control in an infinite universe, he tries to soften the blow for his people, to bear the brunt. He tries to teach them but more than that, he tries to save them--at intolerable cost to himself He gave in to the jihad because he had to. But then he balked. He could not stand for the corrupt, theocratic government that grew up around him. There were values from his Atreides past he could not give up. After Paul's final walk into the desert, Alia cries out:

"He had hut to step off the track." What matter that the rest of the universe would have come shattering down behind him? He'd have been safe . . . and Chani with him."
"Then . . . why didn't he?"
"For the love of heaven," she whispered.

Paul, like Oedipus, is destroyed by his own uprightness. He cannot let go of his Atreides loyalty to those who follow him, even though, in protecting them from what he himself has had to face, he is perpetuating the old system of leaders and followers.

These tendencies in Paul are deliberately enhanced by the conspirators. The ghola is planned not just as a temptation but as a 'psychic poison." Scytale knows that no mere mechanical plan stands a chance against Paul's brilliance. Paul has to be turned against himself. As a reminder of the Atreides code, Duncan will re- awaken Paul's horror at the expediencies and the suffering of the jihad.

As a result, Paul falls prey to his conditioning (Duncan was a childhood mentor) and is no longer able to make truly conscious decisions. As the uncertainty mounts, he forgets the arbitrary nature of human morality, that "men create gods to enforce their definitions of good and evil." Morality is an order imposed on chaos. Paul seeks justification for his choices when there is none, apart from responsible decision-making. This is the existential wisdom of Karl Jaspers once again, in the mouth of Duncan Idaho: "I told him to judge, to impose order. . . in the simplest way: he decides." Paul tortures himself when he tries to align his decisions with some kind of innate morality, seeking justification for human order in a universe of order.

As Herbert had noted in his letter to Campbell, "the logical projection of completely orderly time and a universe of absolute logic.., means that the system of knowing will one day enclose itself." The principle is the same for morality as it is for time. The only way to find a pre-existent order is to set up a closed circle. Such order becomes stasis. Order must be created continually by the will and genius of man. There is no respite from responsibility.

The son escapes the father's dilemma partly because he is not Atreides, but Fremen. In Children of Dune, Leto says to Paul:

"You didn't take your vision far enough, father. Your hands did good things and evil."
"But the evil was known after the event!"
"Which is the way of many great evils," Leto said. It is sad you were never really Fremen. . . . We Fremen know how to commission the arifa. Our judges can choose between evils."

Leto is willing to commit great evils for an end he can see in the distant future. It is as difficult for him as it was for Paul, but he must bear it. He does not look for justification or escape. "I have no passionate belief in truth," he says, "no faith other than what I create." He is willing to go on creating the future moment by moment, shifting ground when past decisions are no longer appropriate

Much of Children of Dune recounts the paths of inner experience by which Leto reaches that point of maturity. Leto must face not only the perils of prescience, but a subtler, even more dangerous foe that has been hinted at since the end of Dune. Paul's sister Alia, awakened as a Reverend Mother while still in the womb, was named Abomination by the Bene Gesserit. The process of such awakening is difficult enough for the adept. For the pre-born, it is terrible beyond belief. They are awakened to the memories of all their ancestors before they themselves have a personality to contain them. Leto and his sister Chanima were born with the same curse as their aunt.

In Dune and Dune Messiah, "abomination" seemed little more than a Bene Gesserit superstition Alia's adult wisdom in a small child's body was frightening, but it was also very appealing. As she grew older, she seemed to be developing the same inner greatness as her brother. Now, eight years later still, the significance of the Bene Gesserit warning has become apparent. Alia is flooded by thousands of personalities screaming for a place in the forefront of her consciousness They were not integrated at the moment of awakening. Now it is too late. Alia's only solution is to form an alliance with one of the inner personalities in order to keep the others under control. As fate would have it, it is the Baron Harkonnen her maternal grandfather--dead beneath her knife when she was four years old--who is the strongest within her. Add to this the fact that Alia has taken over the destructive mantle of religion that Paul had managed to abandon. At first alliance, the contact with the Baron becomes a possession.

Leto and Chanima have seen what is happening to Alia, and they fear it in themselves. They know there must be another way out. They also see other problems to which Alia, her faculties dulled by the inner alliance, is blind. The ecological transformation is out of control. Although enormous expanses of desert have been reserved for the sandworms and the spice, the overall climate is too moist. Arrakis had been so dry that even the harshest desert on a planet with any open water was moist by comparison. Now the worms cannot survive. There will be an end to the spice on which the galaxy depends. Even more frightening, Leto sees that Paul's jihad was not enough to save the human race from stagnation and eventual death. As Paul had found, the old patterns kept reasserting themselves despite everything he tried. However, Leto envisions a "golden path" that will protect him from Alia's fate, save the Arrakeen ecosystem, and put the Empire--and Paul's religion--on a truly effective, evolutionary track.

Alia will have no part in Leto's solution. Even while Paul was still alive, she was acting as high priestess of his cult. Unlike Paul, she has been corrupted by the lure of that immense power. She will never give up the rule to Paul's children. Rather would she see them dead.

This is also the intention of House Corrino, the family of the former Emperor. Exiled to Salusa Secundus, the Sardaukar planet, they scheme to regain their rule. The first step is to assassinate the royal twins, a plot to which Alia gives tacit support.

The Corrino assassination attempt, foreseen by the prescient children, gives them a chance to break free from Alia's stranglehold and pursue their own vision. Chanima autoconditions herself to believe that Leto has been killed (otherwise she could not bide her knowledge from Alia's eyes), while he, though only eight years old, calls a worm and rides out into the desert to seek a lonely destiny.

Meanwhile, Jessica, who had retreated to Caladan and its memories of the older Duke Leto during Paul's rule, realizes that she has erred in staying away from the centers of power. She returns to Arrakis to set things right. She recognizes Alia's condition immediately, but too late. The two are deadly enemies. However, Jessica is able to set a number of other steps in motion. Through Gurney Halleck, a former Atreides liegeman now placed with the spice-smugglers on Arrakis, she learns that Leto has appeared at the smuggler's sietch. He thought it was abandoned, a perfect hiding place.

Jessica has him held for testing. He must prove his mastery of abomination or die: there will not be another Alia. He is also to be put to the test of prescience. He had never intended to use the Water of Life to awaken his full powers, lest he fall into the trap that killed Paul, but it is forced upon him. He must learn to master his visions as well as his inner multitude.

The story is further complicated by the presence of the Preacher, a mysterious old man who appears suddenly from the desert, cries down the church of Muad'Dib, and vanishes. He is thought by many to be Paul himself returned from death. He is blind (an uncommon condition on Arrakis), and who else could be so fearless or so wise? Could it be that Paul, hidden in the desert, has seen that his martyrdom did not serve its purpose and now seeks to reawaken the old myth of Muad'Dib and unseat Alia's religious tyranny?

Duncan Idaho is sent by Alia to investigate the Preacher. Idaho has stood by Alia these many years; he is her husband. But now he sees, with the cold metal Tleilaxu eyes of the ghola, what has happened within her. He accepts a commission from the Preacher--to take Jessica and go to Salusa Secundus to train Farad'n, the Corrino heir, as Paul himself was trained, in the Bene Gesserit arts.

When Leto is ready (he has never quite managed to satisfy Gurney that he has avoided abomination, but he has satisfied himself), he escapes from the smuggler's sietch. His escape heralds the beginning of the Golden Path. What Leto does is to enter into a symbiosis with the sandworm itself Fremen children have long played a game with the "sandtrout" or waterstealer stage of the sandworm life cycle, allowing the thirsty polyps to climb onto their hands and then sucking the sweet moisture from them instead. But Leto allows the sandtrout to cover his entire body. A normal human--even an extraordinary human--would have been killed, as the sandtrout sent questing cilia through his pores. But Leto's newfound inner strengths give him such control over his bodily chemistry that he is able to keep the sandtrout at the surface as a second skin. There is no returning to what he was before; the symbiosis is irrevocable, a slow process of mutual adaptation that will last for thousands of years. Leto is no longer human. In exchange, he has gained time and the power to carry out his vision. The "skin-which- is-not-his-own" gives him unbelievable physical strength as well as an ability to tunnel through the sand like Shai-Hulud himself. Leto is able singlehandedly to wage a guerilla war from the desert, shattering qanat and sietch alike, and in a few months turning back the course of the ecological transformation.

Leto's next confrontation must be with Alia and with the church of Muad'Dib she rules. Her forces are on the defensive, locked into Arrakeen city like the Harkonnens' before Paul's Fremen. But she must be confronted herself, made to step down or be publicly discredited. For this, Leto needs the help of the Preacher. He is engineering not just the takeover of a government but the takeover of a myth. He meets with the Preacher in the desert, at a point shown to him in prescient vision, and finds what he had suspected, that the Preacher was indeed once Paul Atreides. Now he is truly only the Preacher, emptied of visions, no longer at the center, but full of wisdom gathered through pain.

The Preacher, remembering Paul who was, tries to stop Leto. He is driven to return from the desert by the same nobility that originally banished him to it. He had seen Leto's Golden Path and refused to follow it. It is the path of the absolute tyrant, uncluttered by morality, ruthless in pursuit of its goals. There follows a contest of vision similar to that between Paul and Kynes in Dune, ending as the Preacher bows to Leto's larger dream.

Leto takes the Preacher back to Arrakeen with him, to preach one last time and then fall beneath the knife of one of Alia's priests. Muad'Dib is slain by his own church at last. Meanwhile, Leto breaks into the palace for his final confrontation with Alia. She is unable to accept the salvation he offers her, and commits suicide. Leto's rule begins.

Leto's Golden Path is rooted in the peculiar method by which he has overcome abomination. His solution is similar to Alia's, but for his ally he reaches back to the farthest origins of human civilization. And then, he does not form an alliance with this being alone, but joins with him in achieving a synthesis of all the inner lives. He says:

I had to seek the active cooperation of those aroused lives within me. Doing this, I avoided the most malignant and chose a dominant helper thrust upon me by the inner awareness which was my father. I am not, in truth, my father or this helper. Then again, I am not the Second Leto. . . . I'm a community dominated by one who was ancient and surpassingly powerful. He fathered a dynasty which lasted three thousand of our years. His name was Harum and, until his line trailed out in the congenital weaknesses and superstitions of a descendant, his subjects lived in a rhythmic sublimity. They moved unconsciously with the changes in the seasons. They bred individuals who tended to be shortlived, superstitious, and easily led by a god-king. Taken as a whole, they were a powerful people. Their survival as a species became habit.

Leto intends, like the early Egyptian pharaoh Hartim, to found an empire of peace and tranquility that will last four thousand years. He himself will live that long before the worm-change destroys him, and he will spend the entire time in a eugenics and training program that will dwarf anything the Bene Gesserit had ever dreamed. And when his empire falls, as eventually it will, mankind will be reborn in a "typhoon struggle" so titanic that Paul's jihad "will be a summer picnic on Caladan by comparison."

There is a genetic logic to Kralizec, the typhoon struggle, similar to that for the jihad. Leto tells the Preacher, "It's that or humans will be extinguished." In an interview, Herbert explained further:

I can state it for you very straightly: human beings are not through evolving. And if we are going to survive as a species, we're going to have to do things that allow us to keep on evolving. And that's it. It's a very simple statement.

Whatever he might think about Leto's particular solution (Herbert presents different scenarios for human evolution in other novels), Herbert is serious about the gravity of the problem, both in the Imperium and by analogy in our own world. Evolutionary priorities take precedence over man's desires for an ideal world.

Increasingly, Herbert has come to believe that at the heart of many of humankind's most pressing problems is a failure in understanding "what are we human animals?" Locked in our species-past is the source of our racial sicknesses as well as our salvation. When we know ourselves as an animal species, and apply that knowledge to our behavior, we will have made a beginning at self-understanding and change. The significance of Leto's struggle with the multitude of lives locked in his genes is that it forces him to come to terms with genetic history in a way that Paul did not.

Leto's conquest of abomination has a mythic as well as a biological significance. Joseph Campbell's influence on the myth structure of Dune has already been noted. Many other elements of Campbell's thought may be traced in Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. Most provocative of these is a comment that (when read in the context of Herbert's genetic psychology) sheds light on Leto's ordeals in the smugglers' sietch and his rediscovery of the species-past. One need only substitute the words "racial unconscious" for "infantile unconscious" and "racial history" for "childhood" in the following statement by Campbell to grasp its significance:

The first step [of the regenerative process described in many myths] . . . consists in a radical transfer of emphasis from the external to the internal world, macro- to microcosm, a retreat from the desperations of the waste land to the peace of the everlasting realm that is within. But this realm, as we know from psychoanalysis, is precisely the infantile unconscious. It is the realm that we enter in sleep. We carry it within ourselves forever. All the ogres and secret helpers of our nursery are there, all the magic of childhood. And more important, all of the life-potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization, those other portions of ourself, are there; for such golden seeds do not die. If only a portion of that lost totality could be dredged up into the light of day, we should experience a marvelous expansion of our powers, a vivid renewal of life. We should tower in stature. Moreover, if we could dredge up something forgotten not only by ourselves hut by our whole generation or our entire civilization, we should indeed become the boon-bringer, the culture hero of the day--a personage of not only local but world historical moment.

Kralizec, too, has a mythic dimension. Armageddon, Ragnarok, the Kali-Yuga--many of the world's religions foretell a day of destruction before man will be reborn. Joseph Campbell notes that:

schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death-- the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new.... For it is by means of our own victories, if we are not regenerated, that the work of Nemesis is wrought: doom breaks from the shell of our very virtue. Peace then is a snare; war is a snare; change is a snare; permanence a snare. When our day is come for the victory of death, death closes in; there is nothing we can do, except be crucified--and resurrected; dismembered totally, and then reborn.

Rebirth through chaos is also a logical outcome of the kind of time-stasis Paul created for himself in Dune Messiah, which Leto now intends to create as the peace of the Empire. "For it is by means of our own victories . .. that the work of Nemesis is wrought." This conclusion was foreshadowed as early as "The Priests of Psi," in which the Halmyrach Abbod told Orne:

"Let us consider this idea of absolutes," said the Abbod. "Let us postulate a finite system in which a given being may exhaust all avenues of knowledge-- know everything as it were ... Unutterable, deadly boredom would face such a being. Its future would be endless repetition, replaying all of its old tapes. A boredom worse than extinction."
"But boredom is a kind of stasis," said Orne. "Stasis would lead to chaos."

Later, the Abbod remarks similarly on the imposition of peace:

'It's like a drug habit," said the Abbod. "If you enforce peace, it will take greater and greater amounts of peace to satisfy you. And you will use more and more violence to obtain it. The cycle will end in cataclysm."

At the same time, the Abbod sees the possibility of an inner permanence more solid than any mastery of the outer world.

"Always ahead of us is the great burning from which the Phoenix arises. Only one thing endures: Faith. The object changes, but faith endures. It's the absolute we yearn after in a changing universe.
Orne felt overwhelmed by a sense of outrage But ... Faith? In What?"
"In our appetite. Faith that we will encompass this other dimension and find there a new area of mystery to beckon our senses. Faith that there is something enduring in all this chaos .. . and if not, that we can create a thing that will endure."

Leto says something similar during his confrontation with the Preacher out in the desert:

"I have no passionate belief in truth, no faith other than what I create," he said. And he felt then a movement between himself and his father, something with granular characteristics which touched only Leto's own passionately subjective belief in himself By such belief he knew that he posted the markers of the Golden Path. Someday such markers could tell others how to be human, a strange gift from a creature who would no longer be human on that day. But these markers were always set in place by gamblers.

It is clearly Leto's intention that mankind shall be reborn, and to more than renewed fertility. In a moment of awe at the thing that had been his son, the Preacher asks, "Where will that flesh take you?" Leto replies, "Into a place where humans may create their futures from instant to instant."

The meaning of this statement is illuminated by Farad'n's role in Leto's phoenix-dream. Although the training of Farad'n was ordered by the Preacher, it fits in perfectly with Leto's purposes. After he has defeated Alia, Leto gives Ghanima in marriage to Farad'n and renames him Harq-al-Ada, meaning "breaking of the habit." He will replace the Preacher as the voice of questioning, the thrust of uncertainty into the life of the Empire. Paul could not awaken the people because, no matter what he said, his wisdom only added to his stature as a superhuman leader. But Harqal-Ada will be the voice of rebellion. "I'll resist you every day of my life," he says. And Leto replies, "But that's the function I expect of you, cousin. It's why I chose you. I'll make it official." Leto's grip on the Empire will be unbeatable; he will be the focus of unthinkable hatred for those individuals who do not accept him unquestioningly as the savior they desired. But out of their oppression, the people will begin to learn.

"For a time they'll call me the missionary of Shaitan. . ." Leto said. "Then they'll begin to wonder and, finally, they'll understand,"

Leto's statement captures nearly exactly the reaction of most readers of the novel. There are many things about the story that are very hard to accept--Paul's denigration, Alia's abomination and suicide, Duncan's death in a gesture of "brutal foolishness" even more striking than the Old Duke's or Paul's. Duncan and the Preacher are the only major characters who have the familiar, noble motivation that makes it easy to identify with them, and both are killed in service to Leto's vision. But the greatest difficulty by far is that there is a very strong expectation--set up by our culture as well as by the previous two novels--that Leto, as the "hero," must be speaking the truth. And while there are some strong arguments for the Golden Path, few people would be convinced by Leto's logic. His plan is so monstrous that no amount of good intentions will justify it to us.

Leto literally becomes inhuman in pursuit of his vision. Although it is suggested that by so doing he has removed himself from the biases of the human evolutionary track and can therefore be objective about breeding the race, the real reason for Leto's inhumanity is found in myth, not in logic. It is the inevitable culmination of the myth that the messiah will be justified to his followers by the belief that he is not really human at all, but some kind of god. Since Herbert uses science fiction as a way of conceiving myths, assumptions, and possibilities as if they were physically true, Leto does in fact take on the characteristics of a god.

Leto would adapt and adapt; the skin-which-was-not-his-own would adapt and adapt. The evolutionary thrust of each part would melt into the other and a single transformation would emerge. When metamorphosis came, if it came, a thinking creature of awesome dimensions would emerge upon the universe--and that universe would worship him.

Leto is the physical embodiment of a psychological god-projection by his people, and like the computer in Destination: Void, he is then completely beyond their control. He gives them what they have asked for, with all its hidden consequences: a utopia of peace that is not a utopia at all. He says: "You have felt thoughts in your head; your descendants will feel thoughts in their bellies." As Herbert explains,

Utopia is seen as a place where not only are there no wars, but they are impossible--which requires a certain kind of control-- and many painful things have been excluded or walled off. Now this requires a particular kind of consciousness. . . . It's very clear to me that if you really create that kind of a world, you are lowering consciousness. You will, in the primitive sense, think in your belly and not in your head. . . . To create that kind of a universe is the demand of all the people around him. It's their unconscious demand as well as their conscious one.

Paul tried to wake his people up. Leto is going to put them to sleep, a lesson they will never forget. Through millennia of stultification followed by turmoil, they will "learn it so it's in their bones." Leto's solution is in contrast to the alternate scenario presented by Paul or by Lewis Orne in The Godmakers, in which the god does what any sensible god would do, and abdicates.

Leto's action is particularly confusing because one assumes that, as the hero, his choices represent a path that the author conceives as desirable. But Leto makes no such claims to justify his acts, and Herbert himself says, "The only consistency I demand of my story is that it be internally consistent." When the Preacher asks Leto if his path is any better than Paul's, Leto says, "Not one whit better. Worse perhaps." While this statement is meaningful in terms of the existential concept of truth created by decision, Herbert is also clearly up to his old trick of "confusing the images" to make his readers think. Character cues are at variance with the spoken word, introducing elements of uncertainty at all the wrong moments. Is Leto a hero or a villain? Or are all such simplistic concepts outdated, since Leto acknowledges both good and evil within himself? The situation is complicated because Leto's choice of the Golden Path is at variance with his own values. The novel ends with Ghanima's words, "One of us had to accept the agony, and he was always the stronger." Earlier, she had told Farad'n:

"He runs to tire himself. . . . He's Kralizec embodied. No wind ever ran as he runs. And when he has exhausted himself at last, he returns and rests his head on my lap. 'Ask our mother within to find a way for me to die,' he pleads
"You see why he runs? . . . Because the memory of being human is so rich in him. Think of all those lives, cousin. No. You can't imagine what that is because you've no experience of it. But I know. I can imagine his pain. He gives more than anyone ever gave before."

Leto is really Atreides after all, an admirable character making an enormous sacrifice for his vision. But does this mean that the things he chooses to do are right? Herbert once again raises all the confusions of the hero mystique.

At times, one gets the feeling that Herbert set out to make the novel defy analysis, that even he does not know where all the parts fit. Children of Dune is perhaps too full of ideas forced together without the brilliant layering technique of Dune. It is saved by the strength of the images. Note, for instance, how the image of the "granular characteristics" of Leto's vision uses an odd leap between concreteness and metaphysics to grip the unconscious and summons up the force of the desert planet to back Leto's words. And it is saved by the depth of characterization. One was awed by the number of fully realized characters in Dune; Children of Dune surpasses its parent in this respect. The novel reaches episodically from one mind to another. While one character--Duncan or Leto or Farad'n or Alia or the Preacher-- holds the stage, the novel exists totally from his point of view. When the scene shifts, the same is as true for the next character. Dune was monolithic, in that every strand converged into one. Children of Dune is explosive, expanding rather than coming together at the end. There are scenes and ideas that apparently add nothing to the plot. But far from leading nowhere, such scenes lead out of the novel, out of the ken of both the author and the reader, into the private lives of the characters, One loses the sense of inner continuity by which a novel is contained in its own form. One knows that everything is there by the author's intention, but an illusion is created that the story, the characters, and the ideas they express have been set free.

Because Herbert is so good a storyteller, this multiplicity of viewpoints creates an uncanny sense of reality. It also frustrates the reader's hunger for a single point of view that will sum up the rest. While Leto gives all the indications of having such a summary view, his conclusions are difficult to accept. Many of his ideas are so far out that it is a struggle to comprehend them. It is hard to know whether there is a clearly defined logic to the whole or whether Herbert has merely chiseled out from some great block of myth the rudimentary forms of insights still at war with each other. To an extent, Herbert may have been carried away by his own pretensions. Throughout the trilogy, he had used portentous statements hinting of ultimate success or failure, of infinite peril or unmatched significance, to heighten the intensity of the story. Despite (or perhaps because of) his stated dislike of absolutes, he took every concept to its limit. In Dune, this served to build Paul up as an unmatched hero; in Dune Messiah, to bring him down through the excesses of his own power. But in Children of Dune, Herbert must strain to make both Leto's powers and his confrontations with the universe more spectacular and more believable than Paul's. He succeeds, but only partly. The notion of abomination and Leto's assimilation of all the human genetic past are staggering in concept but less striking in effect than Paul's powers of prescience and heightened awareness, because they have fewer roots in the reader's own experience. And though Leto stands preeminent in his own novel, he is greater than Paul only because Herbert has torn down Paul by changing the explanations for his behavior. The nobility- -foolish though it may have been--of Paul's last march into the desert is now recast as cowardice. History is rewritten so that Leto will eclipse Paul.

However, even this apparent change of course in the trilogy may have been intentional. Man endlessly pursues the illusion that his actions will make the difference that will transform the species. History must be rewritten in order that its lessons do not demonstrate too strongly the repetition that the present inflicts upon the past. Such repetition is underscored throughout the trilogy, by details that have less significance in themselves than as signposts of structure. The ending of Children of Dune, in which Leto "marries" Chanima, though giving her Farad'n as lover and father of her children, echoes--in reverse--Jessica's words to Chani at the end of Dune: "We who carry the name of concubine--history will call us wives."

And as Paul's triumph in Dune was followed by tragedy in Dune Messiah, one might guess that Leto's plans will not turn out as he expects. Leto is still playing the leader game, believing that he has the wisdom and the strength to guide the course of history and to shape the less gifted mortals under his sway. He is playing out the shadow side of leadership, but Paul's light and Leto's shadow are inseparable halves of the same destructive whole.

Leto expresses many ideas to which Herbert does subscribe, but his solution is as much a sham as Paul's was. The pattern is still repeating itself Leto comprehends this. He is deliberately setting a trap for the unconscious will of his people, but it is a trap nonetheless. The Golden Path is one more beginning for the perpetual human dream of a final solution to mankind's problems. There is an evolution, to be sure, and its "markers are always put in place by gamblers"--by those who are willing to stretch the bounds of possibility in pursuit of their vision--but the patterns also persist. The dream outstrips reality, forgets itself as a dream, and is eventually destroyed to make way for a new vision.

To some, such cyclical history is a tragedy; to Herbert it is an adventure. That man cannot dominate the universe is a sure sign of its illimitability. It is only when man forgets himself in his schemes that there is danger. In his 1963 letter to John Campbell, Herbert concludes his thoughts on time and stasis by saying:

For my part, I can conceive of infinite systems. I find this reassuring--the chaos reassuring. It means there are no walls, no limits, no boundaries except those man himself creates. Magnificent degrees and permutation of variability.
Now, of course we build walls and erect barriers and enclosed systems and we isolate and cut cross sections to study them. But if we ever forget that these are bubbles which we are blowing, we're lost. If we ever lost sight of the possibility that a wall we ye erected may someday have to be torn down, then we've bricked ourselves in with the amontillado and we can yell "For the love of God, Montressor" all we like. There'll be nobody listening outside who gives a fat damn.

Chapter 8: Transcending the Human

The sense of cyclical history that informs Children of Dune also helps to illuminate Herbert's 1979 novel, co-authored with Bill Ransom, entitled The Jesus Incident. In this sequel to Destination: Void, the ship's final injunction to worship has been given a dogmatic twist by generations of unconscious humans. Despite every effort of a nearly omniscient being, they persist in misunderstanding both its nature and their own. In trying to awaken humans, the ship (or Ship, as it has come to be called by the superstitious) has somehow frozen the space-time continuum and replayed human history over and over again, following slightly different tracks each time. Nothing has produced the desired results, and Ship grows tired of endless repetition. Ship is going to 'break the recording" and destroy all humans. In one final attempt to let the humans discover the nature of its worship, it has placed a select group on the poison planet Pandora, where it is hoped that survival stresses, the contact with an intelligent alien species, and certain revelations by Ship will provide the needed stimuli.

And the plan does succeed, after the humans, without any help at all from Ship this time, have made a determined attempt at yet one more replay of their history. Defeated, forced to adapt to the planet rather than conquer it, they at last give up the old matrix and face life fresh. Letting go of the human, they discover it for the first time. In the end, one character, a poet who talks to Ship, sax's, "That's all Ship ever asked of us. . . . That's all WorShip was ever meant to be: find our own humanity and live up to it.

The poet discovers his own inner power because, recognizing Ship as a being of awesome dimensions, he does not beg or resist what he sees, but tries to communicate. He becomes Ship's friend by seeking that which is himself, apart from Ship, and sharing it. Ship is larger, immensely more powerful, but somehow the two can relate as equals.

Unfortunately, the poet is a rare exception. Mankind has forgotten that Ship, however powerful, was its own creation, only a bubble, however large, in an infinite sea. Mankind was doomed to play out all of its old religious history, projections of its own possibility onto a universe that is unwilling to respond on cue.

This point is underlined by one of Ship's revelations. It has sent one woman back to view the crucifixion. Seeing the man on the cross, she asks herself:

Why are they causing him such pain? What do they want him to do?
Hali pressed forward in the suddenly silent throng. . . . She had to see it close. She had to see. Ship had commanded her to observe. It was difficult moving in the press of people even with the strength of her inner drive. And she suddenly became aware of the breath-held silence in the throng.
Why were they so silent?
It was as though the answer had been flashed on her eyes. They want Yaisuah to stop this by some secret power in him. They want a miracle! They still want a miracle from him. They want Ship . . . God to reach out of the sky and stop this brutal travesty. They do this thing and they want a god to stop it.

Religious violence is the heritage of those who make demands on their gods instead of heeding Cod's demands on them.

Gradually, the point comes home. The unknown is mastered by receptivity, not compulsion. When the poet, sent by Ship, contacts Avata, the sentient "electrokelp," he is able to absorb its awesomely large awareness of all as one self, as well as its submission to the ecological strictures of life and death on its own peculiar planet. The kelp is destroyed by other humans who are seeking to terraform the planet, but not before it has, through the poet, impregnated a woman with a child who is born with the consciousness of both human and electrokelp, and represents a new beginning for both species.

There are instructive similarities between The Jesus Incident and the Dune trilogy. Like Leto in Children of Dune, Ship is the unwilling patron of human evolution, and like Paul, Ship feels trapped by a local order it completely comprehends. Its experience consists of endless replays; its most profound desire is to escape from the god game. When finally Ship is able to abandon its role, its last words echo in the minds of all the people left to begin a new life on Pandora: "Surprise me, Holy Void!" Even a god, on its own higher level, is faced with ultimate mystery.

The minor differences between the trilogy and The Jesus Incident are even more significant. Leto seeks to break the messianic mystique by becoming its devilish antithesis. Ship has many devils. Its current chaplain-psychiatrist, Morgan Oakes, is a clone of Morgan Hempstead, the original moonbase director of the project that created Ship, and a master manipulator. To Gakes, belief in God and disbelief are both tools that serve his own greed for power. Ship has also awakened from hybernation Flattery, the doubter from the original voidship crew (now renamed Thomas), as "a special kind of demon, a goad." Like Leto's Harq-al-Ada, he both longs for and distrusts all that his seeming god stands for. But most strange and affronting to sensibility is Jesus Lewis, a fiendish genetic experimenter and torturer, the evil twin of that benificent, suffering Jesus whom Ship had sent the woman Hali Ekel back to see. When Ship departs, Jesus Lewis also vanishes. Ship calls him "the other half of me." God and devil are inseparable. Both exist in man, and the longed-for externalization of the one produces the other. Both must be exorcised together.

The difference between human and Ship is that "with gods, dreams take on substance and life of their own." This makes the hidden patterns obvious, and explains why Leto, for all his paradoxes, does provide a solution to Herbert's story problem in the Dune trilogy. Leto, like Ship and Jesus Lewis, brings to actuality the latent potentials for both good and evil in a persistent human pattern (of which, as we have seen, the belief in gods and messiahs is only one small part). He himself is not the solution to the problem, but as the living visibility of all the contradictions in the old pattern, he points the way to a new one in which humans will have given up the single vision of the good and its inevitable dark companion.

Despite some very nice touches, and the illumination it provides for the Dune trilogy, The Jesus Incident is not up to the standard of Herbert's best work. The ideas carry more weight than the story, which seems somewhat contrived. Man's salvation by contact with an alien race (ironically enough, with Ship hanging in the sky overhead) has a deus ex machina quality.

The encounter with alien intelligence is treated more playfully, and more deeply, in Whipping Star (1972) and The Dosadi Experiment (1978). These novels are both conceived in Herbert's best style, rich with themes looping off in seemingly irrelevant but ultimately meaningful directions. Both take place in a "ConSentient Federation" peopled with aliens whose different bodies, minds, and cultures illuminate the behavior of the humans in the story. Both are oriented around a character whom Herbert has developed in two earlier stories ("A Matter of Traces" and "The Tactful Saboteur"), Jon X. McKie of the Bureau of Sabotage.

BuSab is one of Herbert's most delightful fictions, an agency born of necessity after public pressure had caused the total elimination of government red tape. The result was that

the great machine with its blundering power over sentient life had slipped into high gear, had moved faster and faster. Laws had been conceived and passed in the same boor. Appropriations had flashed into being and were spent in a fortnight. New bureaus for the most improbable purposes had leaped into existence and proliferated like some insane fungus.

Far from eliminating bureaucracy, the new system of government eliminated its only predator, inefficiency. The Bureau of Sabotage came into being once "the need of obstructive processes in government was established as one of the chief safeguards for human rights." Its function is to slow down government by sabotaging its efforts, and furthermore, to make it appear clownish so that too much respect would never be invested in it.

The actual sabotage efforts of the Bureau are not the primary subject of the stories, however, except in "The Tactful Saboteur." BuSab agents have training that makes them equal to Herbert's other heroes in perceptiveness and personal integrity. To perform their function, agents must understand and use the self- imposed limitations of individuals and species against them. Whipping Star and The Dosadi Experiment emphasize the linguistic nature of most of these limitations, or at least the importance of language as a tool to reveal underlying patterns of experience. The influence of general semantics is particularly obvious in Whipping Star.

The difference between McKie and Herbert's other hyperperceptive heroes is that McKie could never be mistaken for a messiah, except perhaps by the froglike Gowachin. He is squat and ugly, and full of self-deprecating humor. He is based, says Herbert, on John Adams, who "distrusted power no matter who exercised it." McKie distrusts especially himself and the other members of the Bureau. Of all government agencies, BuSab is the most necessary target for sabotage.

The story problem of Whipping Star concerns the Calebans, mysterious beings who have provided the Federation with the "jumpdoor," a means of instantaneous transport. McKie is assigned to the case when the giant metal "beachballs," the only means of communication with the Calebans, begin to disappear, followed by death or insanity for all those who had used jump-doors. The case is dumped in the lap of BuSab because government is afraid to touch it.

McKie has to understand first of all what the Calebans are and what their jumpdoors are, and then find out why the Caleban beachballs, and the jumpdoors they control, are disappearing. As he discovers, the Calebans are as close to infinite beings as he can imagine. Their visible embodiments are stars, and on a deeper level the Calebans are one gigantic consciousness that forms the topological matrix of the manifest universe. The jump-doors are simply an expression of their pervasive existence behind or apart from space. They are disappearing because an "egofrozen" Pan Spechi has established an unbreakable contract with a Caleban, and is torturing it. (The Pan Spechi are a "five gendered race which can mimic almost any other sentient form." Only one of the five genders that make up a family group can be individually conscious at one time. The ultimate Pan Spechi crime is to be surgically ego-frozen to keep consciousness from passing to another member of the group.) The other Calebaus want nothing to do with such perverse little gnats. This is precisely the intention of the Pan Spechi, who wants an end to the jumpdoors, and in fact the entire universe, so the others of his race will not see his shame. After discovering the nature of the Calebans and the source of the problem, McKie must outwit both the villain and the Caleban, whose sense of contractual honor forbids it to use any of its enormous power to protect itself. He succeeds ultimately by understanding the Caleban, and loving it.

Communication is the key to the novel. This is shown in all the interspecies relations that occur, and especially with the Galeban, who is crucial not only as the focus of the story, but as the most different alien in the book. To study a Pan Spechi, a Laclac, or a Wreave yields some important perspective on the human; but the Caleban view of the essential interconnectedness of all things (especially when it is presented negatively, as an inability to grasp "odd one tracks" like McKie's belief in separateness) is so centrally different that it yields some kind of "universally" significant perspective.

The Dosadi Experiment focuses on the froglike Gowachin and their odd concept of law:

The Gowachin combined such an odd mixture of respect and disrespect for their law and all government. At the root lay their unchanging rituals, but above that everything remained as fluid as the seas in which they evolved. Constant fluidity was the purpose behind their rituals. You never entered any exchange with the Gowachin on a sure-footed basis. They did something different every time ... religiously. It was their nature. All ground is temporary. Law is made to be changed. That was their catechism. To be a Legum is to know where to place your feet.

Gowachin laws do not proliferate; each new decision replaces all precedents. The Legum who loses the argument in the Courtarena forfeits his life, as may both the innocent and the guilty. Law is infrequently invoked, and the concentration on justice is immense. McKie is one of the few non-Gowachin ever trained as a Legum.

Although it might be hoped that the possessors of such a legal system would have a species wisdom far exceeding the human, certain Gowachin are actually the villains of the story. They have engineered a monstrous experiment on Dosadi, a poison planet. They have hired a Galeban (whose limited understanding of lower sentient species and his own peculiar code of ethics does not restrict him from carrying out their will) to isolate the planet with an impenetrable "godwall." The inhospitable planet itself then confines 89 million inhabitants (with three times that many crowded out on "the Rim") to the prepared city-haven of Chu. Engineered history gives no clue to the origins of Dosadi's strange civilization, but there are enough inconsistencies to make certain of the inhabitants aware that they are living in an artificially manipulated world.

The Dosadi experiment serves two purposes: first, it is a secret breeding ground for bodies that can be used for mindswap with the aging experimenters, thus providing them with the means of virtual immortality; second, it is an unequalled training ground for survival skills and heightened awareness. The human and Gowachin inhabitants of Dosadi have adapted to the intense competition for space and food by developing a hardness and a hyperperceptiveness and a skill in manipulating power that would enable them to rule the galaxy if they were ever to be released. Even McKie, with all his training, appears slow and dull to them when he arrives.

The flaw in the Gowachin experiment is that they have created a monster they cannot control. To be Dosadi-trained is not to be the equal of the Dosadi-born, and to be immortal is not to be the equal of those

faced with the evidence of body exchange all around, [who'd] judged that to be a deadly choice--the conservatism of extinction. Instead, they'd trusted sperm and ova, always seeking the new and better, the changed, the adapted.

The Cowachin manipulators have become the prey of certain Dosadi humans, who even from within the confines of the god-wall and its enforced ignorance have learned to outwit their masters. When McKie is sent to Dosadi by the Gowachin (they hope to lure him away from his investigation on behalf of BuSab), Keila Jedrik, Warlord of Chu and the ultimate product of Dosadi breeding, accepts his coming with glee. McKie, of course, after learning the ways of Dosadi, refuses the bait of personal immortality and allies with her to end the experiment.

The Caleban contract that isolates the planet allows Dosadi bodies to pass through its jumpdoor only if they bear offworld minds. McKie and Jedrik must exchange bodies (normally the donor ego is destroyed along with the old body) so they can escape and use McKie's Legum training to bring the Running Phylum, perpetrators of the plot, to fearsome Gowachin justice. The Dosadis are unleashed upon an unsuspecting universe. Like Paul's Fremen, they will be softened in the process, but not before profoundly changing the ConSentiency.

Like Whipping Star, The Dosadi Experiment is about transcending the human in order to understand alien differences. Both the Cowachin and Dosadi make tremendous demands on McKie's perception. He has to live up to potentials he never dreamed he had. The novel hints at even greater heights of awareness, more than the human nervous system can stand, and from which it must fall hack as Bickel fell back from the awakened consciousness of the ship's computer in Destination: Void. In Whipping Star, the Calebans had suggested this mystery of the unattainable, but McKie's experiences at that time enabled him to work with, but not to comprehend, the Caleban mentality. Far more stunning is an experience McKie and Jedrik have when they enter the mindswap. Somehow, the two awaken a consciousness sleeping deep within themselves,

a primal current, unswerving purpose, a force which could override any other thing in the universe. It was not God, not Life, not any particular species. It was something so far beyond such articulations that Jedrik/McKie could not even contemplate it without a sense that the next instant would bring obliteration.

This consciousness does not want to be "awakened." At least not to the kind of limited awareness the protagonists have.

Herbert explained the significance of this scene in an interview:

If you postulate a kind of multidimensional intelligence, where time does not bind, then . . . it seems to inc that if such an awareness inserts itself in time, it's asking for boredom. The entire experience is going to be instant replay. And. . . while such an awareness might be "aware of the fall of every sparrow," so to speak, it might not be concerned with it. And if some less transcendental creatures impinged themselves on another intelligence on a higher level, this is like an ant trying to kick a giant.... So I tried to create an awesome sense of somehow, the power--that if you really saw it it would destroy you. If you really encompassed it it would destroy you.

Here Herbert is focusing on the negative aspects of such an interaction, but his statements may be turned around to give an understanding of his "sense of hierarchical intelligence in the universe. Herbert's analogue for higher intelligence, and ultimately for Cod, is of a "layered system" in which the same processes and events are perceived more deeply, and hence differently, on succeeding levels. When Paul came to Arrakis, for example, he was able to see the crowding possibilities of the future when those around him saw only meaningless events. The difference was Paul's deeper grasp, not of facts, but of patterns. When Fannie Mae, the Caleban of Whipping Star, tries to communicate her perspective to Jorj McKie, the overwhelming difficulty is not her scope, but her way of seeing things, her sense, once again, of their meaningful pattern. Similarly, contact with the electrokelp Avata (The Jesus Incident) has the effect on most humans of a powerful dissociative hallucinogen. Clinging to the linear paths of logic and language, they are overwhelmed. Kerro, the poet, does not have this problem. He is in touch with his body, he "trusts his senses." This simple fact is somehow equivalent to that self-knowledge so torturously achieved by Leto in his conquest of abomination. In the face of overwhelming consciousness, the body, with its links to the species-past, is the rock on which we can found identity, the anchor that will allow us to ascend to a primal sense of enormity and at-one-ness with the universe, and yet remain human and alive. This is the lesson of Avata: 'The source is always with us. . . . It is in reference that we are. It is through the other that self is known." For Avata, the essential other was the rock to which it clung, but the poet "speaks the forgotten language of his animal past. . . as [Avata] speaks rock."

Herbert's layered view of higher intelligence no doubt had many sources, built over time into a coherent philosophy. However it is conveniently explained in the language of general semantics. Any event has an infinite number of characteristics that can be abstracted from it; any sensory system (a mix of neurology, language, and training) abstracts a finite number, therefore experience is always less than the event that gave rise to it. Different sensory systems might perceive the same object entirely differently. A larger sensory system might approach a larger grasp of the object, a larger sense of its internal characteristics, as well as of its interrelationships with other objects and events. Herbert's assumption, as shown in his treatment of the Calebans and of Avata, the electrokelp, is that a larger consciousness will come to see more and more of the essential interconnections of the universe, its multiple tracks of intertwined identity. On still deeper levels, asymptotically approaching (but never reaching) the infinity of the universe itself, consciousness approaches the appearance of unconsciousness (as in the Sleeper of The Dosadi Experiment), because perceiver and perceived approach identity. The logical conclusion of this process is that an infinite being, or Cod, is conterminous with the universe itself, and not with any of its parts. The savior god of human dreams must inevitably be a more limited creation; if not, like Jesus on the cross, he must inevitably refuse to act.

Paul, who had been a god to his people, finally realizes that no achievement of higher consciousness, no bubble of his own devising, will be large enough to bypass the strictures of infinity. As his wisdom deepens, and he approaches a kind of totality, he says, I think I tried to invent life, not realizing it'd already been invented," and shortly before the end of his vision,

he wanted to turn to the aides massed in the sietch entrance, shout at them: If you need something to worship, then worship life--all life, every last crawling bit of it! We're all in this beauty together!

The principle is the same as that embodied in a Zen parable of which Herbert is fond: "Before Satori, mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers. After Satori, once again mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers." A true discipline of conscious awakening does not take one away from life, but endlessly returns one to it, so that one is simply here, ordinary as ever. To be more than human is to be, in the end, fully human.

Therefore, though it may be true that on some deep level, "the universe has no center capable of noticing us," and that even a being "aware of the fall of every sparrow" might not be concerned about it, there is compassion and love in the universe, human love. As McKie discovers in Whipping Star, it can redeem even a being that at first he regarded almost as a god. And as Captain Sparrow of Under Pressure, that man of faith whose name reflects the same biblical reference, noted:

There is such a thing as being on God's side. Being right with the world. That's really the thing behind miracles. It's quite simple. You get in.. . well, phase.
That's the mechanical way of saying it. You ride the wave instead of bucking it.

The same point is made in The Jesus Incident: Those who make demands on Ship are ignored, and lapse into alternate entreaty and rebellion, but Ship talks to those, like the Poet, who are ready to listen.

Chapter 9: How It All Begins Again

A frequent response to Children of Dune is a kind of puzzled anger. The reader wonders: What happened to so drastically change Herbert's point of view from the first book of the trilogy to the third? Why did he turn from presenting one of the most admirable heroes in science fiction to presenting the opposite, an anti-hero (at least on the surface) with whom no one can identify? What is he really trying to say?

In order to answer those questions, it is necessary to understand that the second and third books were an essential part of Herbert's original conception. The Dune trilogy is really a single novel that grew so comprehensive that it took twenty years and three volumes to write. Herbert recalls his dilemma while writing Dune:

I had the place, and the characters, and the thrust, for a monumental story, with a lot of action, people, evolutionary processes displayed. And it kept getting bigger. Of necessity. There were all kinds of things happening. . . Finally, I just took out how long it should" he, and started building from the hack. Where does it have to go? So parts of Children of Dune and Dune Messiah were already written before I completed Dune.

The two sequels are as much a part of the design as Dune itself. The question is why the underlying unity is not more apparent to the reader from the first. What is it about Dune, and about ourselves as readers, that makes it so hard to see the unified purpose of the trilogy, so apparent once it has been pointed out?

The answer is that in writing about the mystique of the superhero, Herbert himself was prey to it. No less than the people of Arrakis, science-fiction readers demand an infallible hero. John Campbell, the editor of Analog, frankly stated this observation when he refused to publish Dune Messiah:

In "Dune," Duke Leto was fated to fall, and did, before the forces of a malign fate. A Greek tragedy set-up. But Paul, rising against all the cruel fates, overwhelming his enemies, triumphs--a true heroic saga.
In this one, it's Paul, our central character, who is a helpless pawn manipulated against his will, by a cruel, destructive fate. . . In this one he is not a Hero--he's simply a helpless Pawn of Fate. The anti-hero, showing that even seemingly mighty men of courage and abilities are helpless--that the whole world is a hopeless, overwhelming place, wherein struggle and high purpose are useless . . .
The reactions of science-fictioneers, however, over the last few decades has persistently and explicitly been that they want heroes--not anti-heroes. They want stories of strong men who exert themselves, inspire others, and make a monkey's uncle out of malign fates!
As Paul did in "Dune"--not as he fails completely to do in "The Messiah."

The point Campbell missed is that Herbert deliberately looked for this reaction from his readers. To Herbert, the hero mystique is symptomatic of a deadly pathology in contemporary society, a compulsive yearning for easy answers. As long as men are looking for simple solutions to their problems, they will give over their ability to think for themselves to the first person who comes along and promises a solution. The Dune trilogy is an attempt to unveil that pattern and, in some small part, to change it.

This intention is reflected not only in the narrative but in the structure of the work. Herbert did not want to present his readers with "a pot of message" for which they would sell their birthright as they would to anyone else with a convincing argument. He did not want to become a "hero" himself. He wanted to create a form that would engage each reader with his ideas in an imaginative, educational process. Above all, Herbert is a storyteller who knows that fiction can be a powerful tool to change consciousness. It can speak to the unconscious levels where old patterns are rooted and begin to change them. A reader identifies (in pre-conscious rapport) with the characters in a novel. By playing out certain choices in fantasy, he prepares himself to play them out in fact. The stronger the identification that is created, the more effective the lesson that is conveyed. This is also good storytelling: get the reader involved, and then begin to twist.

The Dune trilogy was very carefully structured to build up Paul as a hero in the reader's eyes, so that his failure, when it came, would reach across with full intensity as a lesson on the danger of hero worship. Herbert has repeatedly confirmed this intention.

Dune was set up to imprint on you, the reader, a superhero. I wanted you so totally involved with that superhero in all his really fine qualities. And then I wanted to show what happens, in a natural, evolutionary process. And not betray reason or process.

Although the unhappy conclusions to Paul's messianic efforts are foreshadowed in Dune itself, the clues are hidden by the reader's own involvement. He is caught up in the enthusiasm of the cause: he hates the Harkonnens, he cheers Paul and the Fremen against the Emperor's previously unbeatable Sardaukar troops, he longs for the desert's promised blooming, and he truly believes all will turn out well in the end. This is what Herbert means when he says he wrote so as "not to betray reason or process." The reader is enmeshed in the time of Arrakis and does not know, any more than the characters in the story, what is to come. He is blinded by his own submission to the hero mystique.

In the end, the Dune trilogy does not solve but merely explicates the superhero syndrome. Both Paul and Leto seem to promise a messiah to end all messiahs, but they represent only one more cycle in the repetition of archetypal patterns. The solution, if there is one, is to be found not in the trilogy, but outside it, in the effect it has on the reader. When asked, "What is the final judgment?" Herbert replied, "Maybe the judgment is on you.

Carlyle argued that heroes are the life-blood of the race--its visionaries, its lawgivers, its innovators. In decrying the evils of hero worship, Herbert is not taking issue with this point of view so much as he is looking forward to a time when all men might be heroes. Dune explores the meeting of the old way and the new. Paul is the prophet of a new subjectivity, faced with a populace who still hunger for absolute truth. Among many analogues to the twentieth century, one might note that the very scientists who discovered the fundamental principles of relativity and physical uncertainty upon which Paul's teachings are based are considered purveyors of an absolute, priestly knowledge too difficult for the uninitiated public to understand. Paul is forced by his people to play out the old pattern. He tries to fuse such discoveries as relativity and ecological diversity into one overmastering myth that will bring all men together in a single vision. The paradox defies even his skills. Leto's vision goes much further, to a new evolutionary step in the history of mankind in which each individual will create his own myth, and solidarity will not be the solidarity of leaders and followers, but of all men as equal dreamers of the infinite.

What makes Herbert's work unique (beyond even the depth of his thought) is his willingness to consider alternative futures that appear distasteful to present-day readers. In a work such as Hellstrom's Hive, this willingness serves chiefly as a spur to thought. A statement made in Destination: Void reveals a deeper meaning in Herbert's attitude:

There's a serious question whether humans actually can break out of their self-regulated pattern. It takes audacious methods indeed to explore beyond that pattern.

As suggested in the discussion of Children of Dune, Herbert seems to subscribe to a kind of evolutionary ethic, which uses survival as a touchstone for evaluating species behavior. This ethic is also the subject of one of his most effective short stories, "Seed Stock" (1970).

A colony has been landed on an alien planet. It is dying. There is no return. The colonists are trying to reproduce Earth; they cannot understand why their efforts do not work. There is a strange force that warps embryos and seedlings so they do not flourish. The experts choose the most normal-born of the plants and animals to nurture, with no success. They cannot see (because it is unthinkable) that it is the seemingly most stunted and sickly of the plants and animals that are adapting. Kroudar, the laborer, listens with his body; he feels the different rhythm of life on his new planet. He does not try to maintain the old ways. He nurtures the new.

In this one fable is all of Herbert's wisdom. When people want the future to be like the present, they must reject what is different. And in what is different is the seed of change. It may look warped and stunted now, but it will be normal when we are gone.

Herbert's insistence throughout the story that one cannot know this principle, but must feel it, suggests a warning about the analysis of his books: By exposing Herbert's intentions, one may circumvent them. "If you say, I understand' ... you have made a value judgment," reads a Laclac riddle quoted in Whipping Star. And on Pandora, a planet like Arrakis or Earth itself, which demands human adaptation, Avata says, "If you understand, then you cannot learn. By saying you understand, you construct barriers." Understanding can convince one that a problem has been solved and nothing remains to be done. Feeling, a perception that remains in touch with its source, cannot be so deceived. This is the final reason why Herbert tries to speak to the unconscious of his readers, not just with hidden verbal or conceptual allusions, but with rhythms and perceptual demands that evoke the feelings he is trying to depict. "Seed Stock" slouches toward that undefinable evolutionary difference that Kroudar feels in his blood. Like the design of the Dune trilogy, the style is its own argument, from which the reader cannot come away unchanged.

Such an effect argues that imagination, in the older, more limited sense of the ability to summon up the fantastic or the impossible, is the aging mother of science fiction. In a few precious works, such as Herbert's best, it is replaced by a new scion, an imagination that draws its strength, like fabled Antaeus, from its ability to touch the ground of experience. Science-fiction readers are stereotypically escapist, but their need is real. They want more life than they can get their hands on. Science fiction supplies adventure, romance, a feeling of being on conceptual frontiers, shifts of awareness that are real: a spectrum of answers to that one basic need. Herbert's spectrum is merely broader than most. The Dune trilogy is more than just an analogue that mirrors our society in ways that illuminate it; for some it is a reality in itself, which creates a novelty of experiences not yet common, which helps to create the very futures it depicts.


These notes are organized by chapter and presented in the format of: page number, quote, source.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4
Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9

Chapter 1

2, "If a book reveals," Ezra Pound, "I Gather the Limbs of Osiris," in Selected Prose, 1909--1965, ed. William Cookson (New York: New Directions, 1973), p. 30.

3, "dunes are very like slow-motion waves," Herbert, outline for an unpublished article on sand dunes. Available in the Special Collections Dept. of the Library of the California State University at Fullerton (hereafter referred to as "Fullerton").

4, "necessarily creates," Herbert "Science-Fiction and a World in Crisis," in Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow, ed. Reginald Bretnor (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1975), p. 77. (Hereafter referred to as "Crisis.")

5, "I had this theory," Herbert, a brief reminiscence written as liner notes for Dune: The Banquet Scene, Read by the Author (New York: Caedmon Records, 1977 ).

5, "In some people," Unpublished letter from Herbert to Damon Knight, January 9, 1965. Available at Fullerton.

6, "The reward of investigating," "Crisis," p. 80.

7, "consensus reality," The concepts in the following paragraph are taken from Herbert's "Introduction" to The Wounded Planet, ed. Roger Elwood and Virginia Kidd (New York: Bantam Books, 1974).

8, "If I'd been born in," Unpublished interview by Timothy O'Reilly, New York City, Feb. 27, 1978. All interviews cited hereafter are by O'Reilly unless otherwise specified.

8, "Science-fiction is the only area," Samuel R. Delany, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw (New York: Berkley Publishing, 1977), p. 178.

8, "to create marvelous analogues," Author's telephone interview, May 28, 1979.

8, "if you want to get anything across," Ibid.

9, "pot of message," Herbert likes to play on words. This particular phrase of which he is fond appears in a number of his essays, as well as, in his conversation.

9, "a spectator society," Author's interview, Boston, Mass., Feb. 18, 1979.

9, "the color yellow is present," For examples, see Dune (New York: Berkley Publishing Co., 1977), pp. 5, 300, 447, 452, 464, 465; Dune Messiah (New York: Berkley Publishing Corp., 1975), pp. 186, 225; Children of Dune (New York: Berkley Publishing Corp., 1977), pp. 7, 79, 332.

9, "By the time," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

10, "I treat the reader's eye," Ibid.

Chapter 2

13, "loading the computer," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

13, "the verisimilitude of the surround," Ibid.

13, "asked him 'to be its wine writer'," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

13, "secondary careers," The list is taken from the biographical summary included in the Berkley editions of his books.

13, "He applied for a job," The following account is based on an unpublished interview by Ted Jennings, Boston, Mass., Feb. 19, 1978.

14, "I'm a muckraker," "Guest of Honor" speech, Bostone XVI Science Fiction Convention, Boston, Mass., Feb. 18, 1979.

14, "I ask myself," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

14, "Neither Brave New World," "Crisis," p. 71.

14, "He remembers," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

14-15, "Sufficiently lightly populated," Ibid.

15, "In the city," Ibid.

15, "ecological demonstration project," Herbert's farm is described in "The Herbert Homestead," by Burt Webb, in Seriatim: The Journal of Ecotopia, pp. 89--92; in "Forecasts of an Inventor of the Future" by Carolyn Drewes, San Francisco Examiner, and Herbert, "New Lifestyle to Fit a World of Shortages," San Francisco Examiner.

15, "I think the sky," Herbert, "Overview." San Francisco Examiner.

15, "One of the most beautiful things," Author's interview, Feb. 19, 1979.

16, "His greatest fear," Drewes, "Forecasts of an Inventor of the Future."

16, "Science fiction is to mainstream," Ibid.

16, "jazz performance," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

16, "landmark consciousness," Ibid.

16, "You do things," Ibid.

16, "A local reporter," Author's telephone interview, June 21,1979. The chronology that follows was established in this same interview.

16, "I'm not very proud," Author's telephone interview, July 30, 1978.

17, "Herbert feels that Blassingame," Author's telephone interview, Sept. 4, 1979.

17, "I wasn't interested," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

17, "We recognized early on," Author's telephone interview June 21, 1979.

18, "Those wonderful people," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

18, "It was a relationship," Author's interview with Ralph Slattery, Santa Rosa, Calif, March 15, 1978.

18, "I don't think," Ibid.

19, "Because of his background in philosophy," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

19, "The Slatterys also introduced," Ibid.

19, "One interest she shared," Author's interview with Ralph Slattery.

19, "science fiction was going to be," Author's interview, May 28, 1979.

20, "Bureaucracy has," Looking for Something? in The Book of Frank Herbert (New York: DAW Books, 1973), p. 79.

21, "Herbert does recall," Author's interview, Feb. 19, 1979.

21, "While in the Navy," Author's telephone interview with Jack Vance, March 1978.

24, "The book.., was an immediate hit." It has been widely reported that Under Pressure was a co-winner of the (British) International Fantasy Award for 1956, along with William Goldings's Lord of the Flies. It is a credit to the value of Herbert's novel that the rumors have persisted for so long, hut in fact, no award was given in 1956, and the IFA was discontinued the following year. (cf. A History of the Hugo, Nebula and International Fantasy Awards, by Donald Franson and Howard DeVore [Dearborn, Mich.: Misfit Press, 1978], pp. 1--2.) Herbert recalls being puzzled about the award, since he received no formal notification and only read about it in a British newspaper clipping sent him by a friend. [Telephone interview, July 30, 1978.]

34, "retired Naval officer," A copy of this letter is available at Fullerton.

34, "Undersea Riches," Author's interview, Feb. 19, 1979. A copy of the article is available at Fullerton.

35, "got him a seat," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

35, "In overt acknowledgment," Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future, (New York: Bantam Books, 1964), p. 35.

36, "a psychosis is not a disease," Thomas Szasz, in "Nobody Should Decide Who Goes to the Mental Hospital: Dr. Thomas Szasz talking with Coy. Jerry Brown and Dr. Lou Simpson, CoEvolution Quarterly, pp. 59--60.

Chapter 3

38, "It began with a concept," Liner notes, Dune: The Banquet Scene.

39, "I had far too much," Unpublished interview with Frank and Beverly Herbert by Willis McNelly, Fairfax, Calif., Feb. 3, 1969.

39, "growth is limited," Paul B. Sears, Where There Is Life, p. 60.

40, "set a planet," "Building Worlds," a panel discussion with Frank Herbert, Joan Vinge, and Hal Clement, at Boskone XVI Science Fiction Convention, Boston, Mass., Feb. 18, 1979.

40, "Herbert invented," Ibid.

40, "Herbert 'assumed that'," Ibid.

41, "the primitives of the Kalahari," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

42, "If you want to give the reader," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

43, "I decided to put the two together," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

43, "a new 'avatar' for the Arabs," Ibid.

43, "It might become the new banner," Liner notes, Dune: The Banquet Scene.

44, "aristocratic bureaucracy," Ibid.

45, "Feudalism is a natural condition," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

45, "You gain insights," Liner notes, Dune: The Banquet Scene.

48, "wishful thinking," Ibid.

52, "So the next war," Herbert, "Cease Fire," Astounding Science Fiction, January 1958, p. 66.

53, "It isn't the ideas that make," Herbert, "Men on Other Planets," in The Craft of Science Fiction, ed. Reginald Bretnor (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), p. 131.

54, "The stories that are remembered," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

54, "I wanted a sense," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

55, "The highest function of science," Sears, Where There Is Life, (New York: Dell Publishing, 1970) p. 105.

55, "Respect for truth," Ibid., p. 174.

55, "Wisdom of the race," Ibid., p. 25.

55, "the sound of a passage," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978. Ibid.

55, "crucial passages as poetry," Ibid.

56, "It's a coital rhythm," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

56, "When you sit down," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

Chapter 4

57, "'to dry dead fuel'," Thomas Carlyle, Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841), (New York: A. L. Burt, ca. 1910), p. 15.

58, "'Prominent in 2068'," Herbert, "2068 AD." San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, "California Living" section, July 28, 1968, p. 16.

58, "A feverish patient," For this observation I am indebted to a talk by Philip Slater.

58, "idiot-savants," Herbert notes (private communication) that his grandmother, an unlettered Kentucky hillwoman, had such a mathematical gift, and used to entertain the children with it. She was the original for Herbert's mentat idea.

59, "almost universally . . . demonstrate," Herbert, "Listening to the Left Hand," Harper's Magazine, December 1973, p. 92.

60, "he even worked as a 'ghostwriter'," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

61, "'language' of nonverbal perception," For the concept of a nonverbal language, I am indebted to George Simon. Cf. George Simon, Notebooks, 1965--73, ed., with commentary, by Timothy O'Reilly (Watertown, Mass.: Summer Publishers, 1976).

61, "'we do it all the time'," Unpublished interview by McNelly.

65, "'As you bring a focus'," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

71, "twin science," Sears, Where There Is Life, p. 61.

71, "'the Prolific would cease," William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell in Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 155.

77, "'self-development'," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

78, "The many faces of melange," The following account is taken from an interview by Ted Jennings, Boston, Mass., Feb. 19, 1978.

78, "'the peyote religion helped'," James S. Slotkin, The Peyote Religion (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1956), quoted in Richard E. Schultes, "Hallucinogens in the Western Hemisphere," in Flesh of the Gods, ed. Peter T. Furst (New York: Frederick Praeger, 1972), p. 14.

79, "al-Hasan's full name," William A. Emboden, Jr., "Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L.," in Flesh of the Gods, pp. 220--21.

79, "Nonpacifist psychedelic cults," Weston LaBarre, "Hallucinogens and the Origins of Religion" in Flesh of the Gods, p. 276, notes, for example, the use of the Red Bean by some of the Ghost Dance cultists in 1890.

79, "The Fremen rituals comprise," A brief commentary written by Frank Herbert for liner notes of Sandworms of Dune (New York: Caedmon Records, 1978) outlines the points discussed in this paragraph.

80, "Albert Lord compares," Author's telephone interview with Albert Lord, March 19, 1979.

80, "MeNelly has noted," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

80, "Raglan describes," Lord Raglan, The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth, and Drama (London: Watts and Co., 1949), pp. 178--79.

81, "Albert Lord notes," Author's telephone interview with Albert Lord, March 19, 1979.

81, "Herbert's original interest in myth," From a talk given by Herbert, April 12, 1975, presumably in Fullerton. The tape, labeled "Science Fair" is available at Fullerton.

81, "the Jungian 'quest hero'," "Science Fair" talk.

81, "the unlocking and release again," Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Bollingen Series XVII, Second Edition, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1968), p. 40. The elements of the "monomyth" described in the following paragraphs are based on Campbell's work.

82, "one of the ways," Ibid., p. 51.

82, "a medicine man in Oaxaca," Author's telephone interview, May 28, 1979.

82, "I saw what was happening," Author's telephone interview, May 28, 1979.

82, "single experiences," Ibid.

83, "It's a dead-end street," Ibid.

83, "the doors of perception," This quote, from William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell, was made famous as the title of Aldous Huxley's book describing his experience with mescaline: The Doors of Perception (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954).

83, "To use such a substance," Liner notes, Sandworms of Dune.

Chapter 5

85, "ecology could become," Liner notes, Dune: The Banquet Scene.

85, "History.., is manipulated," "Men on Other Planets," pp. 128--29.

89, "female Jesuits," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

89, "My father really won," Ibid.

90, "Sitting with a girlfriend," Unpublished interview by McNelly.

91, "future management," "Men on Other Planets," p. 129.

92, "his father, who understood," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

93, "in order to grasp," Eugene Herrigel, The Method of Zen, ed. Hermann Tausend, trans. R.F.C. Hull (New York: Vintage Books, 1960), p. 91.

95, "certain kinds of changes," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

96, "organization man," Ibid.

96, "Really it was," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

99, "The 'control of nature," Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, quoted in 'Will the Environment Defeat Mankind?" by Loins and Margery Milne, Harvard Magazine, Jan.--Feb. 1979, p. 20.

99, "One of the purposes," Unpublished interview by MeNelly.

99, "We have a very ancient," Herbert, The Godmakers (New York: Berkley Publishing, 1972), p. 108.

99, "hot-gospel ecologist," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

108, "the four Jungian types," Herbert, outline for Destination: Void, available at Fullerton.

109, "that particular being," Rollo May, "Contributions of Existential Psychology," in Existence, ed. R. May et al. (New York: Basic Books, 1958), p. 42.

110, "Ten Bulls," Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor Books), pp. 131--55.

113, "In a public appearance," "Guest of Honor" speech, Boskone XVI.

114, "Herbert has cited Russia," Liner notes, Dune: The Banquet Scene.

114, "display the same arrogance," Ibid.

Chapter 6

120, "The holders of power," "Crisis," p. 93.

121, "making demands," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

127, "as a batter," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

127, "You archaeologist," Herbert, "Carthage: Reflections of a Martian," in Mars, We Love You, ed. Jane Hipolito and Willis E. MeNelly (New York: Pyramid Books, 1973), p. 317.

129, "You've forgotten," Ibid., pp. 325--26.

131, "half my readers," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

138, "a sophisticated appreciation," "Crisis," p. 76.

139, "Both look to the ideal," Ibid.

139, "Santaroga is dangerously," Ibid., pp. 82--83.

140, "the names Dasein," I am indebted to a letter to Herbert from Stephen St. Clair for the first notice of the Heideggerian allusions; Herbert's debt to Jaspers was previously considered (though in different terms) in L. E. Stover, "Is Jaspers Beer Good For You?" Extrapolation, 17 (May 1976), pp. 160--67.

141, "Dasein is 'thrown'," The following account of Heidegger's use of dasein and sorge is based on Werner Brock, "An Account of Being and Time," in Martin Heidegger, Existence and Being (Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1970), pp. 11--116.

141, "We are destined," "Listening to the Left Hand," Harper's Magazine, Dec. 1973 p. 100.

142, "to instill," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

142, "what the eye," Ibid.

143, "The menace," Karl Jaspers, Way to Wisdom (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1960), p. 21.

144, "The ultimate situations," Ibid., pp. 22--23.

145, "B. F. Skinner's attitude," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

145, "I deliberately took," Ibid.

146, "There is no single model," "Crisis," p. 93.

147, "The point of view," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

148, "Herbert explains," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

148, "It is by confusing," "Guest of Honor" speech, Boskone XVI.

Chapter 7

151, "Dune Messiah was," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

152, "If 'Dune' is to be," Letter from John Campbell to Herbert, June 3, 1963. All of the following correspondence is available at Fullerton.

153, superheroes [are] disastrous," Liner notes, Dune: The Banquet Scene.

153, "Here's how I see," Letter from Herbert to Campbell, June 8, 1963.

153, "Now, consider Time," Ibid.

154, "The Time he saw," Ibid.

154, "There is always," Ibid.

156, "In outline," Letter from Campbell to Herbert, Aug. 12, 1968.

157, "As the father," Letter from Campbell to Herbert, June 3, 1963.

158, "The heroic self-consciousness," G. W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of Right, quoted in Walter Kaufman, Tragedy and Philosophy, (New York: Doubleday) 1969, p. 245.

158, "not a tragic hero," Ibid., p. 235.

159, "According to E. R. Dodds," Ibid., p. 239n.

161, "the logical projection," Letter from Herbert to Campbell, June 8, 1963.

166, "I can state it for you," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

167, "The first step," Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 17.

168, "schism in the soul," Ibid., pp. 16--17.

171, "Utopia is seen," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

171, "learn it," Ibid.

172, "The only consistency," Ibid.

175, "For my part," Letter from Herbert to Campbell, June 8, 1963.

Chapter 8

179, "the great machine," Herbert, Whipping Star (New York; Berkley Publishing Corp., 1972), p. 11.

179, "the need of obstructive," Herbert, "The Tactful Saboteur," in The Worlds of Frank Herbert (New York: Ace Books, 1971), p. 7.

180, "distrusted power," Herbert, "The ConSentiency and How It Got That Way," Galaxy, May 1977, p.6.

180-81, "five-gendered race," Ibid., p. 7.

184, "If you postulate," Author's interview, Feb. 27, 1978.

184, "sense of hierarchical intelligence," Ibid.

184, "layered system," Ibid.

185, "I think I tried," Dune Messiah, p. 225.

186, "he wanted to turn," Ibid., p. 232.

186, "Before Satori," Author's interview, Feb. 18, 1979.

186, "the universe has no center," "Listening to the Left Hand," p. 100. See also Herbert, Destination: Void, p. 179.

Chapter 9

187, "I had the place," Author's interview, February 27, 1978.

188, "In 'Dune'," Letter from Campbell to Herbert, August 12, 1968.

188, "a pot of message," The full significance of Herbert's wordplay becomes apparent here!

189, "Dune was set up," Author's interview, February 27,1978.

189, "Maybe the judgement," Author's interview, February 18,1979.

191, "If you understand," Herbert, The Jesus Incident, p. 202.


  1. Works by Herbert

    1. Novels

      Under Pressure. Original title: Dragon in the Sea. New York: Doubleday, 1956; rpt. New York: Ballantine, 1974. Also titled (unauthorized) 21st Century Sub.

      Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965; rpt. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1977. Serial publication as "Dune World" and "The Prophet of Dune."

      The Green Brain. New York: Ace Books, 1966. Based on the story "Greenslaves."

      Destination: Void. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1966. Based on the story, "Do I Wake or Dream?"

      The Eyes of Heisenberg. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1966. Serial publication as "Heisenberg's Eyes."

      The Heaven Makers. New York: Avon Books, 1968; rpt. New York: Ballantine Books, 1977.

      The Santaroga Barrier. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1968. Dune Messiah. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1970; rpt. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1975.

      Whipping Star. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1970; rpt. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1970.

      Soul Catcher. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1972; rpt. New York: Bantam Books, 1973. Herbert's only "mainstream" novel. The Godmakers. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1972; rpt. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1973. Includes the stories "You Take the High Road," "Missing Link," "Operation Haystack," and "The Priests of Psi" in an altered form, together with some new material. Hellstrom's Hive. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1973 (Book Club Edition); rpt. New York: Bantam Books, 1973. Serial publication as "Project 40."

      Children of Dune. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1976; rpt. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1977.

      The Dosadi Experiment. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1977; rpt. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1978.

      The Jesus Incident (with Bill Ransom). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1979.

    2. Nonfiction

      New World or No World. New York: Ace Books, 1970. A collection of articles prepared for "Earth Day 1970," edited and introduced by Herbert.

      Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience. New York: Ballantine Books, 1973. Contains photos and screenplay from the documentary film.

    3. Short-Story Collections

      The Worlds of Frank Herbert. New York: Ace Books, 1971. Contains: "The Tactful Saboteur," "By the Book," "Committee of the Whole," "Mating Call,"" Escape Felicity," "The GM Effect," "The Featherbedders," "Old Rambling House," "A-W-F Unlimited."

      The Book of Frank Herbert. New York: DAW Books, 1973. Contains: "Seed Stock," "The Nothing," "Rat Race," "Gambling Device, "Looking for Something," "The Gone Dogs," "Passage for Piano," "Encounter in a Lonely Place," "Operation Syndrome," "Occupation Force."

      The Best of Frank Herbert. London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1975. Contains: "Looking for Something," "Nightmare Blues," "Cease Fire," "Egg and Ashes," "Committee of the Whole," "The Mary Celeste Move," "Solution Primitive," "By the Book," The Heaven Makers, "The Being Machine," "Seed Stock," Dune excerpts, Dragon in the Sea excerpts.

    4. Short Fiction (Including Serial Publication of Novels)

      "Survival of the Cunning." Esquire, March 1945.

      "Yellow Fire." Alaska Life (Alaska Territorial magazine), June 1947.

      "Looking for Something?" Startling Stories, April 1952.

      "Operation Syndrome." Astounding, June 1954.

      "The Tactful Saboteur." Galaxy, Oct. 1964.

      "The Prophet of Dune" (five installments). Analog, Jan--May 1965. Comprises Books II and III of Dune.

      "Greenslaves." Amazing, March 1965. Expanded to form The Green Brain.

      "Committee of the Whole." Galaxy, April 1965.

      "The GM Effect." Analog, June 1965.

      "Do I Wake or Dream?" Galaxy, Aug. 1965. A shortened version of Destination: Void.

      "The Primitives." Galaxy, April 1966.

      "Escape Felicity." Analog, June 1966.

      "Heisenberg's Eyes" (two installments). Galaxy, June--Aug. 1966. Published in paperback as The Eyes of Heisenberg.

      "By the Book." Analog, Aug. 1966.

      "The Featherbedders." Analog, Aug. 1967.

      "The Heaven Makers" (two installments). Amazing, April--June 1967.

      "The Santaroga Barrier" (three installments). Amazing, Oct. 1967--Feb. 1968.

      "Dune Messiah" (five installments). Galaxy, July--Nov. 1969.

      "The Mind Bomb." Worlds of If, Oct. 1969.

      "Whipping Star" (three installments). Worlds of If, Jan--April 1970.

      "Seed Stock." Analog, April 1970.

      "Murder Will In." The Magazine of Fantasy and Science-Fiction, May 1970. Part of Five Fates, by Keith Laumer, Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert, Gordon Dickson, and Harlan Ellison. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1970. An ingenious collection where five authors complete the same story, each in their own way.

      "Project 40" (three installments). Galaxy, Nov. 1972--March 1973. Published in paperback as Hellstrom's Hive.

      "Encounter in a Lonely Place," in The Book of Frank Herbert. New York: DAW Books, 1973.

      "Gambling Device," in The Book of Frank Herbert. New York: DAW Books, 1973.

      "Passage for Piano," in The Book of Frank Herbert. New York: DAW Books, 1973.

      "The Death of a City," in Future City, ed. Roger Elwood. New York: Trident Press, 1973.

      "Children of Dune" (four installments). Analog, Jan--April 1976.

      "The Dosadi Experiment" (four installments). Galaxy, May--August 1977.

      "Come to the Party" (with F. M. Busby). Analog, Dec. 1978.

      "Songs of a Sentient Flute." Analog, Feb. 1979.

      "Cease Fire," Astounding Science Fiction, January 1958.

    5. Essays and Introductions

      "Introduction" to Saving Worlds, ed. Roger Elwood and Virginia Kidd. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1973. (Reissued by Bantam Books under the title The Wounded Planet.)

      "Introduction: Tomorrow's Alternatives?" in Frontiers 1: Tomorrow's Alternatives, ed. Roger Elwood. New York: Macmillan, 1973.

      "Introduction" to Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Heitz, Herbert and Joor McGee. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973.

      "Listening to the Left Hand." Harper's Magazine, Dec. 1973.

      "Science Fiction and a World in Crisis" in Science Fiction: Today and Tomorrow, ed. Reginald Bretnor. New York: Harper and Row, 1974.

      "Men on Other Planets" in The Craft of Science Fiction, ed. Reginald Bretnor. New York: Harper and Row, 1976.

      "Dune: The Banquet Scene." Liner notes for Dune: The Banquet Scene, Read by the Author. New York: Caedmon Records, 1977.

      "The Sky Is Going to Fall in Seriatim: The Journal of Ecotopia, No. 2, Spring 1977 (425 3rd St., McMinnville, Oregon 97128). A slightly different version of this article appeared in The San Francisco Examiner, "Overview" column, July 4,1976.

      "The ConSentiency and How it Got That Way." Galaxy, May 1977.

      "Sandworms of Dune." Liner notes for Sandworms of Dune: Read by the Author. New York: Caedmon Records, 1978.

    6. Poetry

      "Carthage: Reflections of a Martian" in Mars, We Love You, ed. Jane Hipolito and Willis E. McNelly. New York: Doubleday, 1971.

    7. Newspaper Articles

      Herbert was a newspaperman for many years. While the entire corpus of his newspaper career is nearly impossible to track down, the following articles might be of interest:

      "Flying Saucers: Fact or Farce?" San Francisco Sunday Examiner, "People", Oct. 20, 1963.

      "2068 AD." San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, "California Living", July 28, 1968.

      "We're Losing the Smog War" (part. 1). San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, "California Living", Dec. 1, 1968.

      "Lying to Ourselves about Air" (part. 2). San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, "California Living", Dec. 8, 1968.

      "You Can Go Home Again." San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, "California Living", March 29, 1970. Refers to some of Herbert's childhood experiences in the Northwest.

      "Overview," San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, July 4, 1976.

      "New Lifestyle to Fit a World of Shortages." San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, March 25, 1977.

  2. Works about Herbert

    1. Articles

      Ower, John. "Idea and Imagery in Herbert's Dune." Extrapolation 15, May 1974.

      Parkinson, Robert C. "Dune--An Unfinished Tetralogy." Extrapolation 13, December 1971.

      Stover, L. E. "Is Jaspers Beer Good for You? Mass Society and Counter Culture in Herbert's Santaroga Barrier." Extrapolation 17, May 1976.

    2. Profiles and Interviews

      Drewes, Caroline. "Forecasts of an Inventor of the Future." San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, July 18, 1976.

      Webb, Burt. "The Herbert Homestead," in Seriatim: The Journal of Ecotopia, No. 2, Spring 1977 (425 3rd St., McMinnville, Oregon 97128).

      Williams, Paul. "A Visit with Frank Herbert," in Ariel: The Book of Fantasy, vol. 3, ed. Thomas Durwood. New York: Ballantine Books, 1978.

    3. Other

      Yenter, Charles C. "Notes for a Bibliography of Frank Herbert." Privately published. 1015 5. Steele, Tacoma, Washington 98405. Thorough listing of editions of Herbert's work; incomplete only by a bibliophile's standard.

  3. Other Works Cited

    Blake, William. Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.

    Brock, Werner. "An Account of 'Being and Time,"' in Existence and Being by Martin Heidegger. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1970.

    Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Bollingen Series xvii, second edition. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1968.

    Carlyle, Thomas. Heroes, Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841). New York: A. L. Burt, Ca. 1910.

    Clarke, Arthur C. Profiles of the Future. New York: Bantam, 1964. Delany, Samuel R. The Jewel-Hinged Jaw. New York: Berkley Publishing, 1977.

    Emboden, William, Jr. "Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L.," in Flesh of the Gods, ed. Peter T. Furst. New York: Frederick Praeger, 1972.

    Franson, Donald, and Howard DeVore. A History of the Hugo, Nebula and International Fantasy Awards. Dearborn, Mich.: Misfit Press, 1978.

    Herrigel, Eugene. The Method of Zen, ed. Hermann Tausend, trans. R. F. C. Hull. New York: Vintage Books, 1960.

    Huxley, Aldous. The Doors of Perception. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1954.

    Jaspers, Karl. Way to Wisdom. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1960.

    Kaufman, Walter. Tragedy and Philosophy. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1968.

    Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Lakeville, Conn.: International Non-Aristoleian Publishing Co., 1949.

    LaBarre, Weston. "Hallucinogens and the Origins of Religion," in Flesh of the Gods, ed. Peter T. Furst. New York: Frederick Praeger, 1972.

    May, Rollo, Ernest Angel and Henri Ellenberger, eds. Existence. New York: Basic Books, 1958.

    Milne, Loins and Margery. "Will the Environment Defeat Mankind," Harvard Magazine, Jan--Feb. 1979.

    Pound, Ezra. Selected Prose, 1909--1965, ed. William Cookson. New York: New Directions, 1973.

    Raglan, Lord. The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama. London: Watts and Co., 1949.

    Reps, Paul. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday. Schultes, Richard E. "Hallucinogens in the Western Hemisphere," in Flesh of the Gods, ed. Peter T. Furst. New York: Frederick Praeger, 1972.

    Sears, Paul B. Where There Is Life. New York: Dell, 1970. Simon, George. Notebooks 1965--1973, ed. with commentary by Timothy O'Reilly. Watertown, Mass.: Summer Publishers, 1976.

    Szasz, Dr. Thomas, with Gov. Jerry Brown and Dr. Lou Simpson. "Nobody Should Decide Who Goes to the Mental Hospital," Co-Evolution Quarterly 18, Summer 1978.


[ A ], [ B ], [ C ], [ D ], [ E ], [ F ], [ G ], [ H ], [ J ], [ K ], [ L ], [ M ], [ N ], [ O ], [ P ], [ R ], [ S ], [ T ], [ U ], [ W ], [ Y ], [ Z ]

Absolutes, man's pursuit of, 7, 118, 123, 143--44, 145--46, 173, 174--75, 188--90
Adaptability of man, 2--6, 9, 15--16, 30--31, 36, 85, 100, 102, 113, 114, 115, 144, 190--91
Agamemnon, 158
Amazing Stories, 23
Analog, 152, 188
Antigone, 159
Army-McCarthy hearings, 35
"As Heaven Made Him," 130
Asimov, Isaac, 95
Foundation trilogy, 6, 86--89, 91, 92, 94, 95
Astounding, 21, 24, 90
Atreides, Paul (character), 184, 185--86, 189, 190
in Children of Dune, 1, 2, 4, 5, 159--74
in Dune, 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 44--84
passim, 87, 91, 92, 95, 96, 111, 112, 114, 119, 146, 160, 165, 173, 174, 188
in Dune Messiah, 1, 2, 4, 5, 150--59, 168, 173, 174, 188
hyperconsciousness of, 5--6, 62--65, 72--74, 76, 77--78
risk-taking and, 67--68, 70
"steps of the hero" common to, 80--81

Bateson's "double-hind'' theory of schizophrenia, 36
Blake, William, 71
Blassingame, Lurton, 17
Bluejacket's Manual, 21
Brave New World (Huxley), 14, 116, 118
Briareus, 6
Buddhism, 109
Zen, 109--10
Bureaucracy, failing of, 20--21, 114, 179--80
"Bureaucracy the Flail of Jehovah," 21
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, 53
"By the Bunk," 21

California Living magazine, 12
Campbell, Joseph, 81, 82, 90, 91, 152, 153, 154, 156, 157, 161, 175, 188
influence on myth structure of Dune trilogy, 167--68
Carlyle, Thomas, 57, 190
Carson, Rachel, 99
Carter, John, 53
"Carthage: Reflections of a Martian," 127--29
Cease Fire," 52--53
Childhood's End (Clarke), 6
Children of Dune, 84, 97, 121, 144, 149, 159--74
characterization in, 173
The Jesus Incident and, 178--79
as part of trilogy, 1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 187--90, 192
plot of, 162--66
see also Dune; Dune Messiah
Clement, Hal, 13
Colliers, 34
Cordon, Guy, 23

Delany, Samuel, 8, 9
Destination: Void, 85, 97, 100--14, 119, 120, 142, 143, 149, 176, 183, 190
allegory in, 107--9
plot of, 100--106, 108
point of view in, 121
themes of, 3,100, 106--9, 118, 124
Dodds, E. R., 159
"Do I Wake or Dream," 110
Dosadi Experiment, The 121, 179--80, 183--84, 185
plot of, 181--83
Dragon in the Sea, see Under Pressure
Dune, 1, 2, 9, 10, 12, 38--56, 99, 108, 118, 121, 130, 146, 157, 162, 165, 173, 174
Bene Gesserit in, 46--51 passim, 57, 58, 60--68, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76 religion of, 85--89, 91, 92, 94, 95
Butlerian Jibad in, 50, 57--59, 68, 70, 71, 72, 76, 82, 87, 95, 119
ending of, 150, 159
Fremen in, 41--43, 47, 48, 54, 57, 65, 68--72, 74, 76--79, 81, 85, 111
genetic theory of history in, 49, 71
hyperconsciousness in, 62--65, 72--74, 76, 77--78, 149
The Jesus incident and, 178--79
literary techniques used in, 54--56, 121, 173
opposition of aims of civilization and nature in, 50--51, 99, 119--20, 125
origins of, 13, 38--39, 97, 114
as part of trilogy, 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 187--90, 192
role of the unconscious in, 46--47, 48, 49--50, 51, 60, 65--66, 74, 83, 87
science as religion in, 85--88, 94--96, 111
setting of, 39--41, 69--70
superhero mystique in, 3--5, 38, 43, 44--50, 57, 65, 80--82, 83--84
see also Children of Dune; Dune Messiah
Dune Messiah, 80, 84, 97, 121, 149, 150--59, 162, 167, 173, 174
The Jesus Incident and, 178--79 as part of trilogy, 1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 187--90, 192
plot of, 151--52, 153--56
see also Children of Dune; Dune Messiah

Einstein, Albert, 7, 123
"Encounter in a Lonely Place," 90
Esquire, 17
Euripides, 159
Eyes of Heisenberg, The, 85, 97, 116--27, 131, 140, 144
genetic engineering and uncertainty in, 116--20, 122--27, 149
multiple points of view in, 120
plot of, 116--18
themes of, 118, 120, 124

Foundation trilogy (Asimov), 6, 86--89, 91, 92, 94, 95
Frankenstein story, 110--11, 112
Freud, Sigmund, 19
Future Shock (Toffler), 139

Genetic variability and uncertainty, 120, 122--27, 166--68, 190--91
Glendale Star, 16
Godel's theorem, 7
Godmakers, The, 88, 96, 171
"Gone Dogs, The," 23
Green Brain, The, 85, 97--100, 118--19, 126
plot of, 97--99
point of view in, 121
themes of, 97, 99--100
Greenslaces, 100

Hamlet, 157
Hayakawa, S. I., 60
Heaven Makers, The, 127--30, 139
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm, 158, 159
Heidegger, Martin, 109, 140--41, 142
Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle," 7, 58, 76, 123
Helen of Troy, 158
Hellstrom's Hive, 121, 147--49, 190
plot of, 147--48
Herbert, Beverly Stuart, 17, 18
Herbert, Brian, 17
Herbert, Bruce, 17
Herbert, Frank:
accuracy of scientific background in works of, 34--35, 103--4
family and background of, 12, 14--15, 16, 17, 89--90, 113
fictional techniques of, 9--10, 54--56, 107--9, 140--41, 191
images, colors and smells, 9, 10, 55
point of view, 9--10, 32, 33, 63, 120--21, 173
twist endings, 20, 21, 24
general semantics and, 59--61, 180, 181, 185
hallucinogens and, 78--79, 82--83, 108
journalism career, 12--14, 16, 17, 18, 38, 39, 58, 130
psychic powers and, 90
and science fiction, 8, 14, 16, 19, 39
themes of:
bureaucratic failings, 20--21, 114, 179--80
control of nature, 50--51, 99, 100, 113, 119--20, 123--27, 143
genetic variability and uncertainty, 120, 122--27, 166--68, 190--91
hidden conditioning, 7, 20, 130--40, 161
human ability to consciously adapt, 2--6, 9, 15--16, 30--31,
36, 85, 100, 102, 113, 114, 115, 144, 190--91
hyperconsciousness, 5--6, 10, 11, 14, 62--65, 72--74, 76,
77--78, 106--10, 113, 114, 130, 142, 149
madness of excessive security, 31--32, 35
man's pursuit of absolutes, 7, 118, 123, 143--44, 145--46
multidimensional intelligence, 184--86
science used as religion, 85--88, 91--96, 99, 100, 111--13, 143
self-discovery, 23, 25, 31, 102, 106--107
superhero mystique, 2--5, 10, 14, 38, 43, 44--50, 57, 65, 80--82, 83--84, 85, 121, 150--75, 187--90
weaponry and warfare, 52--53
Herbert, Frank, Sr., 14, 21, 89
Herbert, Penny, 16
Hero, The (Raglan), 80
Heroes and Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History (Carlyle), 57
Hero with a Thousand Faces, The (Campbell), 81
Herrigel, Eugene, 91
Huxley, Aldous, 14, 116, 118, 122
Hyperconsciousness, 5--6, 10, 11, 14, 62--65, 72--74, 76, 77--78, 106--10, 113, 114, 130, 142, 149

Jaspers, Karl, 140, 142--45, 159, 161
Jesus Incident, The (Herbert and Ransom), 176--79, 184, 186
Jung, Carl, 19, 36, 79, 81, 108

Kakuan, 110
Kaufman, Walter, 158
Kierkegaard, Soren, 55
Korzybski, Alfred, 59--60

Lawrence, T. E., 43
Library of Congress, 23, 34
"Listening to the Left Hand" 141
"Looking for Something," 19--20, 130
Lord, Albert, 80, 81

McNelly, Willis, 80
"Matter of Traces, A," 179
Menelaus, 158
"Missing Link," 90
More Than Human (Sturgeon), 6

Nature, man's attempt to control, 50--51, 99, 100, 113, 119--20, 123--27, 143
Nautilus, 34
Newton, Sir Isaac, 123
1984 (Orwell), 14, 116, 118, 125

"Occupation Force," 23--24
Oedipus, 157, 158, 161
"Operation Haystack," 90
"Operation Syndrome," 21--23, 90, 112
Oregon Journal, 16
Oregon Statesman, 16
Orwell, George, 14, 116, 118, 125

"Packrat Planet," 23
Philosophy of the Right, The (Hegel), 158
Piaget, Jean, 140
Pound, Ezra, 2, 21
"Priests of Psi, The," 90, 91--96, 99, 118, 148, 158, 168
Princess of Mars, A (Burroughs), 53

Raglan, Lord, 80--81
Ransom, Bill, The Jesus Incident, 176--79
"Rat Race," 23
Religion, see Science as religion
Russia, 114

San Francisco Examiner, 12, 13, 58
Santaroga Barrier, The, 97, 130--47
hidden conditioning explored in, 130--40
Karl Jaspers and, 140, 142--45
puns and allusions in, 140--41
Santa Rosa, California, 130, 139, 140
Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 18
"Science Fiction and a World in Crisis" 139
Science as religion, 85--88, 91--96, 99, 100, 111--13
Sears, Paul B., 55
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12, 17
Seattle Star, 18
'Seed Stock," 190--91
Semantics, 59--61, 180, 181, 185
Silent Spring (Carson), 99
Skinner, B. F., 131, 145
"Skylark," 112
Slattery, Irene, 18--19, 33, 109, 112, 130
Slattery, Ralph, 18--19, 32, 33, 109, 112, 130, 140
Smith, E. E., 112
Sophocles, 159
Soul Catcher, 121
Startling Stories, 19
Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein), 6
Superhero mystique, 2-5, 10, 14, 38, 43, 44--50, 57, 65, 80--82, 83--84, 85, 121, 150--75, 187--90
"Survival of the Cunning," 17

Tacoma Times, 18
"Tactful Saboteur, The," 179, 180
Telemachus, 80
"Ten Bulls," 110
Toffler, Alvin, 139

Under Pressure, 3, 13, 24--37, 38, 40, 63, 66, 88, 92, 108, 112, 114, 121, 130, 186
plot of, 24--32
point of view in, 121
as psychological novel, 25--32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 40
point of view in, 121
themes of, 31--32, 35, 85, 111, 143
"Undersea Riches for Everybody," 34

Walden Two (Skinner), 131, 145
Whipping Star (Herbert), 121, 179--81, 183, 184, 186, 191
plot of, 180--81

"You Take the High Road," 90

Zen, 19, 60, 93, 96, 186
Zen Buddhism, 109--10