God Emperor of Dune
? 1981 by Frank Herbert.

The following quotes are taken from God Emperor of Dune, and are the property
of the Frank Herbert Estate. Page numbers are based on the Ace paperback edition.

page 5

This morning I was born in a yurt at the edge of a horse-plain in the land of a planet which no longer exists. Tomorrow I will be born somebody else in another place. I have not yet chosen. This morning, though--ahhh, this life! When my eyes had learned to focus I looked out at sunshine on trampled grass and I saw vigorous people going about the sweet activities of their lives. Where . . . oh where has all of that vigor gone?

    --The Stolen Journals

page 19

I am the most ardent people-watcher who ever lived. I watch them inside me and outside. Past and present can mingle with odd impositions in me. And as the metamorphosis continues in my flesh wonderful things happen to my senses. It's as though I sensed everything in close-up. I have extremely acute hearing and vision, plus a sense of smell extraordinarily discriminating. I can detect and identify pheromones at three parts per million. I know. I have tested it. You cannot hide very much from my senses. I think it would horrify you what I can detect by smell alone. Your pheromones tell me what you are doing or are prepared to do. And gesture and posture! I stared for half a day once at an old man sitting on a bench in Arrakeen. He was a fifth-generation descendant of Stilgar the Naib and did not even know it. I studied the angle of his neck, the skin flaps below his chin, the cracked lips and moistness about his nostrils, the pores behind his ears, the wisps of gray hair which crept from beneath the hood of his antique stillsuit. Not once did he detect that he was being watched. Hah! Stilgar would have known in a second or two. But this old man was just waiting for someone who never came. He got up finally and tottered off. He was very stiff after all that sitting. I knew I would never see him in the flesh again. He was that near death and his water was sure to be wasted. Well, that no longer mattered.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 31

Oh, the landscapes I have seen! And the people! The far wanderings of the Fremen and all the rest of it. Even back through the myths to Terra. Oh, the lessons in astronomy and intrigue, the migrations, the disheveled flights, the leg-aching and lung-aching runs through so many nights on all of those cosmic specks where we have defended our transient possession. I tell you we are a marvel and my memories have no doubt of this.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 36

Sometimes I indulge myself in safaris which no other being may take. I strike inward along the axis of my memories. Like a schoolchild reporting on a vacation trip, I take up my subject. Let it be . . . female intellectuals! I course backward into the ocean which is my ancestors. I am a great winged fish in the depths. The mouth of my awareness opens and I scoop them up! Sometimes . . . sometimes I hunt out specific persons recorded in our histories. What a private joy to relive the life of such a one while I mock the academic pretentions which supposedly formed a biography.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 43

You, the first person to encounter my chronicles for at least four thousand years, beware. Do not feel honored by your primacy in reading the revelations of my Ixian storehouse. You will find much pain in it. Other than the few glimpses required to assure me that the Golden Path continued, I never wanted to peer beyond those four millennia. Therefore, I am not sure what the events in my journals may signify to your times. I only know that my journals have suffered oblivion and that the events that recount have undoubtedly been submitted to historical distortion for eons. I assure you that the ability to view our futures can become a bore. Even to be thought of as a god, as I certainly was, can become ultimately boring. It has occurred to me more than once that holy boredom is good and sufficient reason for the invention of free will.

    --Inscriptions on the storehouse at Dar-es-Balat

page 49

Enemies strengthen you.
Allies weaken.
I tell you this in the hope that it will help you understand why I act as I do in full knowledge that great forces accumulate in my Empire but with one wish--the wish to destroy me. You who read these words may know full well what actually happened, but I doubt that you understand it.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 60

Some say I have no conscience. How false they are, even to themselves. I am the only conscience which has ever existed. As wine retains the perfume of its cask, I retain the essence of my most ancient genesis, and that is the seed of conscience. That is what makes me holy. I am God because I am the only one who really knows his heredity!

    --The Stolen Journals

page 63

You must remember that I have at my internal demand every expertise known to our history. This is the fund of energy I draw upon when I address the mentality of war. If you have not heard the moaning cries of the wounded and the dying, you do not know about war. I have heard those cries in such numbers that they haunt me. I have cried out myself in the aftermath of battle. I have suffered wounds in every epoch--wounds from fist and club and rock, from shell-studded limb and bronze sword, from the mace and the cannon, from arrows and lasguns and the silent smothering of atomic dust, from biological invasions which blacken the tongue and drown the lungs, from the swift gush of flame and the silent working of slow poisons . . . and more I will not recount! I have seen and felt them all. For those who dare ask why I behave as I do, I say: With my memories, I can do nothing else. I am not a coward and once I was human.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 70

Your Lord knows very well what is in your heart. Your soul suffices this day as a reckoner against you. I need no witnesses. You do not listen to your soul, but listen instead to your anger and your rage.

    --Lord Leto to a Penitent,
      From the Oral History

page 79

Odd as it may seem, great struggles such as the one you can see emerging from my journals are not always visible to the participants. Much depends on what people dream in the secrecy of their hearts. I have always been as concerned with the shaping of dreams as with the shaping of actions. Between the lines of my journals is the struggle with humankind's view of itself--a sweaty contest on a field where motives from the darkest past can well up out of an unconscious reservoir and become events with which we not only must live but contend. It is the hydra-headed monster which always attacks from your blind side. I pray, therefore, that when you have transversed my portion of the Golden Path you will no longer be innocent children dancing to music you cannot hear.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 86

The Duncans always thing it odd that I choose women for combat forces, but my Fish Speakers are a temporary army in every sense. While they can be violent and vicious, women are profoundly different from men in their dedication to battle. The cradle of genesis ultimately predisposes them to behavior more protective of life. They have proved to be the best keeps of the Golden Path. I reinforce this in my design for their training. They are set aside for a time from ordinary routines. I give them special sharings which they can look back upon with pleasure for the rest of their lives. They come of age in the company of their sisters in preparation for events more profound. What you share in such companionship always prepares you for greater things. The haze of nostalgia covers their days among their sisters, making those days into something different than they were. That's the way today changes history. All contemporaries do not inhabit the same time. The past is always changing but few realize it.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 96

I know the evil of my ancestors because I am those people. The balance is delicate in the extreme. I know that few of you who read my words have ever thought about your ancestors this way. It has not occurred to you that your ancestors were survivors and that the survival itself sometimes involved savage decisions, a kind of wanton brutality which civilized humankind works very hard to suppress. What price will you pay for that suppression? Will you accept your own extinction?

    --The Stolen Journals

page 103

What is the most profound difference between us, between you and me? You already know it. It's these ancestral memories. Mine come at me in the full glare of awareness. Yours work from your blind side. Some call it instinct or fate. The memories apply their leverages to each of us--on what we think and what we do. Do you think you are immune to such influences? I am Galileo. I stand here and tell you: "Yet it moves." That which moves can exert its force in ways no mortal power ever before dared stem. I am here to dare this.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 110

The female sense of sharing originated as familial sharing--care of the young, the gathering and preparation of food, sharing joys, love and sorrows. Funeral lamentation originated with women. Religion began as a female monopoly, wrested from them only after its social power became too dominant. Women were the first medical researchers and practitioners. There has never been any clear balance between the sexes because power goes with certain roles as it certainly goes with knowledge.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 116

Unceasing warfare gives rise to its own social conditions which have been similar in all epochs. People enter a permanent state of alertness to ward off attacks. You see the absolute rule of the autocrat. All new things become dangerous frontier districts--new planets, new economic areas to exploit, new ideas or new devices, visitors--everything suspect. Feudalism takes firm hold, sometimes disguised as a political bureau or similar structure, but always present. Hereditary succession follows the lines of power. The blood of the powerful dominates. The vice regents of heaven or their equivalent apportions the wealth. And they know they must control inheritance or slowly let the power melt away. Now do you understand Leto's Peace?

    --The Stolen Journals

page 126

Over here sand blows; over there sand blows.
Over there a rich man waits; over here I wait.

    --The Voice of Shai-Hulud,
      From the Oral History

page 131

Our ancestor, Assur-nasir-apli, who was known as the cruelest of the cruel, seized the throne by slaying his own father and starting the reign of the sword. His conquests included the Urumia Lake region, which led him to Commagene and Khabur. His son received tribute from the Shuites, from Tyre, Sidon, Gebel and even from Jehu, son of Omri, whose very name struck terror into thousands. The conquests that began with Assur-nasir-apli carried arms into Media and later into Israel, Damascus, Edom, Arpad, Babylon and Umlias. Does anyone remember these names and places now? I have given you enough clues: Try to name the planet.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 143

I am beginning to hate water. The sandtrout skin which impels my metamorphosis has learned the sensitivities of the worm. Moneo and many of my guards know my aversion. Only Moneo suspects the truth, that this marks an important waypoint. I can feel my ending in it, not soon as Moneo measures time, but soon enough as I endure it. Sandtrout swarmed to water in the Dune days, a problem during the early stages of our symbiosis. The enforcement of my will-power controlled the urge then, and until we reached a time of balance. Now, I must avoid water because there are no other sandtrout, only the half-dormant creatures of my skin. Without sandtrout to bring this world back to desert, Shai-Hulud will not emerge; the sandworm cannot evolve until the land is parched. I am their only hope.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 149

"Another festival so soon?" the Lord Leto asked.
"It has been ten years," the majordomo said.
Do you think by this exchange that the Lord Leto betrays an ignorance of time's passage?

    --The Oral History

page 159

From the welter of memories which I can tap at will, patterns emerge. They are like another language which I see so clearly. The social-alarm signals which put societies into postures of defense/attack are like shouted words to me. As a people, you react against threats to innocence and the peril of the helpless young. Unexplained sounds, visions and smells raise the hackles you have forgotten you possess. When alarmed, you cling to your native language because all the other patterned sounds are strange. You demand acceptable dress because a strange costume is threatening. This is system-feedback at its most primitive level. Your cells remember.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 165

Safaris through the ancestral memories teach me many things. The patterns, ahhh, the patterns. Liberal bigots are the ones who trouble me most. I distrust the extremes. Scratch a conservative and you find someone who prefers the past over any future. Scratch a liberal and you find a closet aristocrat. It's true! Liberal governments always develop into aristocracies. The bureaucracies betray the true intent of people who form such governments. Right from the first, the little people who formed the governments which promised to equalize the social burdens found themselves suddenly in the hands of bureaucratic aristocracies. Of course, all bureaucracies follow this pattern, but what a hypocrisy to find this even under a communized banner. Ahhh, well, if patterns teach me anything it's that patterns are repeated. My oppressions, by and large, are no worse than any of the others and, at least, I teach a new lesson.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 180

The trace-state of prophecy is like no other visionary experience. It is not a retreat from the raw exposure of the senses (as are many trance-states) but an immersion in a multitude of new movements. Things move. It is an ultimate pragmatism in the midst of Infinity, a demanding consciousness where you come at last into the broken awareness that the universe moves of itself, that it changes, that its rules change, that nothing remains permanent or absolute throughout all such movement, that mechanical explanations for anything can work only within precise confinements and, once the walls are broken down, the old explanations shatter and dissolve, blown away by new movements. The things you see in this trance are sobering, often shattering. They demand your utmost effort to remain whole and, even so, you emerge from that state profoundly changed.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 185

When I set out to lead humankind along my Golden Path, I promised them a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern which humans deny with their words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, the condition they call peace. Even as they speak, they create the seeds of turmoil and violence. If they find their quiet security, they squirm in it. How boring they find it. Look at them now. Look at what they do while I record these words. Hah! I give them enduring eons of enforced tranquillity which plods on and on despite their every effort to escape into chaos. Believe me, the memory of Leto's Peace shall abide with them forever. They will seek their quiet security thereafter only with extreme caution and steadfast preparation.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 198

As each day passes, you become increasingly unreal, more alien and remote from what I find myself to be on that new day. I am the only reality and, as you differ from me, you lose reality. The more curious I become, the less curious are those who worship me. Religion suppresses curiosity. What I do subtracts from the worshipper. Thus it is that eventually I will do nothing, giving it all back to frightened people who will find themselves on that day alone and forced to act for themselves.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 212

The problem of leadership is inevitably: Who will play God?

      From the Oral History

page 222

I am both father and mother to my people. I have known the ecstasy of birth and the ecstasy of death and I know the patterns you must learn. Have I not wandered intoxicated through the universe of shapes? Yes! I have seen you outlined in light. That universe which you say you see and feel, that universe is my dream. My energies focus upon it and I am in any realm and every realm. Thus, you are born.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 229

I have isolated the city-experience within me and have examined it closely. The idea of a city fascinates me. The formation of biological community without a functioning, supportive social community leads to havoc. Whole worlds have become single biological communities without an interrelated social structure and this has always led to ruin. It becomes dramatically instructive under overcrowded conditions. The ghetto is lethal. Psychic stresses of overcrowding create pressures which will erupt. The city is an attempt to manage these forces. The social forms by which cities make the attempt are worth study. Remember that there exists a certain malevolence about the formation of any social order. It is the struggle for existence by an artificial entity. Despotism and slavery hover at the edges. Many injuries occur and, thus, the need for laws. The law develops its own power structure, creating more wounds and new injustices. Such trauma can be healed by cooperation, not by confrontation. The summons to cooperate identifies the healer.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 234

The singular multiplicity of this universe draws my deepest attention. It is a thing of ultimate beauty.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 242

Groups tend to condition their surroundings for group survival. When they deviate from this it may be taken as a sign of group sickness. There are many telltale symptoms. I watch the sharing of food. This is a form of communication, an inescapable sign of mutual aid which also contains a deadly signal of dependency. It is interesting that men are the ones that usually tend the landscape today. They are husband-men. Once, that was the sole province of women.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 247

If you know all of your ancestors, you were a personal witness to the events which created the myths and religions of our past. Recognizing this, you must think of me as a myth-maker.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 260

Let there be no doubt that I am the assemblage of our ancestors, the arena in which they exercise my moments. They are my cells and I am their body. This is the favrashi of which I speak, the soul, the collective unconscious, the source of archetypes, the repository of all trauma and joy. I am the choice of their awakening. My samhadi is their samhadi. Their experiences are mine! Their knowledge distilled is my inheritance. Those billions are my one.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 268

"Make no heroes," my father said.

    --The voice of Ghanima,
      From the Oral History

page 276

The prophet is not diverted by illusions of past, present and future. The fixity of language determines such linear distinctions. Prophets hold a key to the lock in a language. The mechanical image remains only an image to them. This is not a mechanical universe. The linear progression of events is imposed by the observer. Cause and effect? That's not it at all. The prophet utters fateful words. You glimpse a thing "destined to occur." But the prophetic instant releases something of infinite portent and power. The universe undergoes a ghostly shift. Thus, the wise prophet conceals actuality behind shimmering labels. The uninitiated then believe the prophetic language is ambiguous. The listener distrusts the prophetic messenger. Instinct tells you how the utterance blunts the power of such words. The best prophets lead you up to the curtain and let you peer through for yourself.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 281

The pattern of monarchies and similar systems has a message of value for all political forms. My memories assure me that governments of any kind could profit from this message. Governments can only be useful to the governed only so long as inherent tendencies toward tyranny are restrained. Monarchies have some good features beyond their star qualities. They can reduce the size and parasitic nature of the management bureaucracy. They can make speedy decisions when necessary. They fit an ancient human demand for a parental (tribal/feudal) hierarchy where every person knows his place. It is valuable to know your place, even if that place is temporary. It is galling to be held in place against your will. This is why I teach about tyranny in the best possible way--by example. Even though you read these words after a passage of eons, my tyranny will not be forgotten. My Golden Path assures this. Knowing my message, I expect you to be exceedingly careful about the powers you delegate to any government.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 295

You know the myth of the Great Spice Hoard? Yes, I know about that story, too. A majordomo brought it to me one day to amuse me. The story says there is a hoard of melange, a gigantic hoard, big as a great mountain. The hoard is concealed in the depths of a distant planet. It is not Arrakis, that planet. It is not Dune. The spice was hidden there long ago, even before the First Empire and the Spacing Guild. The story says Paul Muad'Dib went there and lives yet beside the hoard, kept alive by it, waiting. The majordomo did not understand why the story disturbed me.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 303

Memory has a curious meaning to me, a meaning I have hoped others might share. It continually astonished me how people hide from their ancestral memories, shielding themselves behind a thick barrier of mythos. Ohhh, I do not expect them to seek the terrible immediacy of every living moment which I must experience. I can understand that they might not wanted to be submerged in a mush of petty ancestral details. You have reason to fear that your living moments might be taken over by others. Yet, the meaning is there within those memories. We carry all of our ancestry forward like a living wave, all of the hopes and joys and griefs, the agonies and exultations of our past. Nothing within those memories remains completely without meaning or influence, not as long as there is a humankind somewhere. We have that bright Infinity all around us, that Golden Path of forever to which we can continually pledge our puny but inspired allegiance.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 306

(God Emperor Leto II to his servant, Moneo)

"...I have deliberately ignored the admonition of Mohammed and Moses..."
"What might that admonition be?" Leto asked ...
"You are servants unto God, not servants unto servants!"

page 308

The realization of what I am occurs in the timeless awareness which does not stimulate nor delude. I create a field without self or center, a field where even death becomes only analogy. I desire no results. I merely permit this field which has no goals nor desires, no perfections nor even visions of achievements. In that field, omnipresent primal awareness is all. It is the light which pours through the windows of my universe.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 318

One of the most terrible words in any language is Soldier. The synonyms parade through our history: yogahnee, trooper, hussar, kareebo, cossack, deranzeef, legionnaire, sardaukar, fish speaker . . . I know them all. They stand there in the ranks of my memory to remind me: Always make sure you have the army with you.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 324

Do you know what guerrillas often say? They claim that their rebellions are invulnerable to economic warfare because they have no economy, that they are parasitic on those they would overthrow. The fools merely fail to assess the coin they must inevitably pay. The pattern is inexorable in its degenerative failures. You see it repeated in the systems of slavery, of welfare states, of caste-ridden religions, of socializing bureaucracies--in any system which creates and maintains dependencies. Too long a parasite and you cannot exist without a host.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 332

In the cradle of our past, I lay upon my back in a cave so shallow I could penetrate it only by squirming, not by crawling. There, by the dancing light of a resin torch, I drew upon walls and ceiling the creatures of the hunt and the souls of my people. How illuminating it is to peer backward through a perfect circle at that ancient struggle for that visible moment of the soul. All time vibrates to that call: "Here I am!" With a mind informed by artist-giants who came afterward, I peer at handprints and flowing muscles drawn upon the rock with charcoal and vegetable dyes. How much more we are than mechanical events! And my anticivil self demands: "Why is it that they do not want to leave the cave?"

    --The Stolen Journals

page 342

The Duncans sometimes ask if I can understand the exotic ideas of our past? And if I understand them, why can't I explain them? Knowledge, the Duncans believe, resides only in particulars. I try to tell them that all words are plastic. Word images begin to distort in the instant of utterance. Ideas imbedded in a language require that particular language for expression. This is the very essence of the meaning within the word exotic. The Galach which I speak here imposes itself. It is an outside frame of reference, a particular system. Dangers lurk in all systems. Systems incorporate the unexamined beliefs of their creators. Adopt a system, accept its beliefs, and you help strengthen the resistance to change. Does it serve any purpose for me to tell the Duncans that there are no languages for some things? Ahhh! But the Duncans believe that all languages are mine.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 353

Given enough time for the generations to evolve, the predator produces particular survival adaptations in its prey which, through the circular operation of feedback, produce changes in the predator which again change the prey--etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. . . . Many powerful forces do the same thing. You can count religions among such forces.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 362

It required almost a thousand years before the dust of Dune's old planetwide desert left the atmosphere to be bound up in the soil and water. The wind called sandblaster has not been seen Arrakis for some twenty-five hundred years. Twenty billion tons of dust could be carried suspended in the wind of just one of those storms. The sky had a silvery look to it then. Fremen said: "The desert is a surgeon cutting away the skin to expose what's underneath." The planet and the people had layers. You could see them. My Sareer is but a weak echo of what was. I must be the sandblaster today.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 366

Most civilization is based on cowardice. It's so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which would lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every moment. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breathe slowly. You tame.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 372

What is the most immediate danger to my stewardship? I will tell you. It is a true visionary, a person who has stood in the presence of God with full knowledge of where he stands. Visionary ecstasy releases energies which are like the energies of sex--uncaring for anything except creation. One act of creation can be much like another. Everything depends upon the vision.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 382

You cannot understand history unless you understand its flowings, its currents and the ways leaders move within such forces. A leader tries to perpetuate the conditions which demand his leadership. Thus, the leader requires the outsider. I caution you to examine my career with care. I am both leader and outsider. Do not make the mistake of assuming that I only created the Church which was the State. That was my function as leader and I had many historical models to use as pattern. For a clue to my role as outsider, look at the arts of my time. The arts are barbaric. The favorite poetry? The Epic. The popular dramatic ideal? Heroism. Dances? Wildly abandoned. From Moneo's viewpoint, he is correct in describing this as dangerous. It stimulates the imagination. It makes people feel the lack of that which I have taken from them. What did I take from them? The right to participate in history.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 388

You think power may be the most unstable of all human achievements? Then what of the apparent exceptions to this inherent instability? Some families endure. Very powerful religious bureaucracies have been known to endure. Consider the relationship between faith and power. Are they mutually exclusive when each depends upon the other? The Bene Gesserit have been reasonably secure within the loyal walls of faith for thousands of years. But where has their power gone?

    --The Stolen Journals

page 394

Think of it as plastic memory, this force within you which trends you and your fellows toward tribal forms. This plastic memory seeks to return to its ancient shape, the tribal society. It is all around you--the feudatory, the diocese, the corporation, the platoon, the sports club, the dance troupes, the rebel cell, the planning council, the prayer group . . . each with its master and servants, its host and parasites. And the swarms of alienating devices (including these very words!) tend to eventually be enlisted in the argument for a return to "those better times." I despair of teaching you the other ways. You have square thoughts which resist circles.

    --The Stolen Journals

page 403

What am I eliminating? The bourgeois infatuation with peaceful conservation of the past. This is a binding force, a thing which holds humankind into one vulnerable unit in spite of illusionary separations across parsecs of space. If I can find the scattered bits, others can find them. When you are together, you can share a common catastrophe. You can be exterminated together. Thus, I demonstrate the terrible danger of a gliding, passionless mediocrity, a movement without ambitions or aims. I show you that entire civilizations can do this thing. I give you eons of life which slips gently toward death without fuss or stirring, without even asking 'Why?' I show you the false happiness and the shadow-catastrophe called Leto, the God Emperor. Now, will you learn the real happiness?

    --The Stolen Journals

page 408

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

    --The Stolen Journals

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