“This is the fallacy of power: ultimatelyit is effective only in an absolute, a limited universe. But the basic lesson of our relativistic universeis that things change. Any power must always meet a greater power. Paul Muad'Dib taught this lesson to the Sardaukaron the Plains of Arrakeen. His descendants have yet to learn the lessonfor themselves. –The Preacher at Arrakeen”–Frank Herbert – Children of Dune During the course of the Dune saga, a mysteriousfigure called the Preacher appears from the desert of Arrakis bearing several warningmessages for the inhabitants of the Imperium.
His sermons outline a warning to humanitythat is echoed and woven throughout Frank Herbert’s legendarium. In this video I’d like to discuss the arrivalof the Preacher and how his message warned of humanity’s nearly unavoidable demise. Spoiler warning if you are unfamiliar withthe Dune series. Some nine years after Paul Atreides disappearedinto the desert and was presumed by many to be dead, the Atreides empire stood under theregency of the Emperor's sister Alia. Decades had passed since the outbreak of Muad’dib’sJihad, a bloody interstellar religious conquest resulting in the death of billions, all inthe name of Paul Atreides.
However, the fremen that carried out thisJihad were beginning to soften as the world of Arrakis was undergoing a slow transformationfrom a brutal unforgiving hellscape into their long awaited paradise. This is the stage upon which the mysteriousfigure who called himself the Preacher appeared. This lean, leathery and grizzled man was blind,with black eye sockets and scarring consistent with injuries inflicted by a stone burnerweapon. He spoke in a forceful manner that demandeda response from his listeners similar to the Bene Gesserit’s power of the voice. All of these factors along with the absenceof Muad’dib’s body led many to speculate.
Whether this was, indeed, the lost EmperorPaul Atreides. What seeded doubt for some, however, was thefact that this preacher was led by a young fremen boy who served as his guide. They reasoned that the all-seeing prescienceof the Emperor would eliminate the need for such assistance. However, this guide was an intentional misdirectto maintain doubt and anonymity. The same can be said of the Preacher’s clothmask that was falsely claimed to be an Ixian artifact enabling him to see with his skin. The truth that this Preacher was, in fact,Paul Atreides would need to be hidden so that.
His messages would remain separate and undistortedby the myth and legend of Muad’dib. Paul’s first objective as the Preacher wasto weaken the strength of the religion which had grown up around him. During his rise to power and time as Emperor,myths and legends had been promulgated attributing magic and mysticism to Muad’Dib on a levelfar beyond his prescience. The Preacher spoke against these myths recallinghis own words as emperor in an effort to tear down such illusions. Initially his message was largely directedat the Fremen who had been fundamentally transformed by the religion of Muad’dib.
He implored them to return to their originalfaith, which was focused on the lessons of survival in their struggle to live in thedeep desert of Arrakis. In the years following his ascent to the GoldenLion throne, the Fremen had been led astray in an idolatrous quest for Imperial dominationwhich had robbed them of their soul. After publicly delivering several messagesto his closest friends and family, Paul called out the priesthood of Muad’Dib who carriedon in their practice of the ecumenism of the sword. Their continued existence was deemed blasphemousdue to their abandonment of Muad’Dib and their self-deceiving holiness, being drivenby vengeance over love.
The Fremen’s misguided ideology led themto favor short-term expediency as they were caught up with reckless abandon in their religiousfervor. This left them ignorant and blind to the longterm consequences of the Jihad and their continued struggle to maintain power. As the Preacher pointed out, any power mustalways meet a greater power, which highlighted a fundamental lesson of their relativisticuniverse, namely that things change. Therefore, it can be said that the Frementhrough their institutionalized religion had once again begun the cycle of falling intothe downward spiral of stagnation which had plagued the Imperium long before the daysof Paul Atreides.
The pre-Jihad Fremen had adapted to theirenvironment, they joined and flowed with it, they changed with it. But now, they had abandoned those old waysof adaptation and instead became focused on maintaining stability, desiring to residesafely within the stable they had built, abandoning the spirit that once motivated them to runas free independent creatures. As the Preacher pointed out, the religionof Muad’Dib was rapidly moving the Fremen-dominated Imperium toward cowardice, mediocrity, inertiaand self-satisfaction, hastening their almost-inevitable demise. While many took this message to be a directattack on the credibility of Muad’Dib, the.
Preacher denied such an intent. Instead he pointed out the evils of the falsereligion upon which the Priesthood had denigrated and fattened itself, committing atrocitiesin the Holy name of their god. Paul then implored his listeners to abandontheir focus on always choosing the certain and steady course, referring to his own exampleof choosing to confront the ultimate uncertainty of the larger universe as he stepped off blindlyinto the desert from his supreme position on Arrakis. To the industrial elements of the Imperium,the Preacher gave an additional warning against favoring a chain of command and commercialorganizations over the quality of individuals.
That are responsible for making great civilizationswork. The powers of the Imperium had a tendencyto over-organize and over-legalize the humans under their authority as they suppressed theindividual’s urge to pursue greatness. This, the Preacher asserted, would also leadto the inevitable collapse of their civilization. By refusing to journey into the visions ofhis future, Paul had abandoned the course that would have led to the Golden Path. He found what he saw of that future to betoo terrible to accept. Be that as it may, through his sermons, Paulremained determined to guide humanity in whatever manner he could to help them avoid the pitof stagnation and their subsequent destruction.
It was, instead, his son, Leto II who tookup the responsibility of guiding humanity toward the Golden Path. In their initial conversations, Paul beggedLeto to turn away from that commitment, hoping for a better future for his son. Though the Preacher, Paul, sought to appealthrough the power of his voice to his many misled followers, Leto recognized these sermonswould not be enough. Instead, the lessons of the Preacher wouldbe materialized, as they were taught through thousands of years of tyrannical peace enforcedby the God Emperor’s many evil acts of violence and suppression.
Paul was eventually made to see the necessityof that terrible future and how it would ultimately lead to humanity’s survival. After accepting the vision to which Leto hadclung, the Preacher resolved to complete the destruction of The Hero, Muad’Dib. In his final appearance in Arrakeen, Paul,The Preacher emulated John the Baptist as he directly quoted the words of that ancientBible character along with other passages from the book of Revelation. With this sermon, it’s apparent that Paulrealized his role as one who would pave the way for the ascendency of his son as Emperorwho would ultimately lead humanity to its.
Salvation. Then by condemning his sister Alia’s blasphemy,Paul provoked the temple Priests who swiftly reacted and put him to death. Only then was it widely recognized that thiswas, in fact, Muad’Dib, who had been executed at the hands of his own worshippers. As expected, the martyrdom of Paul Atreidesand the enshrining of his body then served to facilitate Leto’s rise to power as theGod Emperor. While the Preacher’s words had faithfullywarned the masses of the terrible fate for the future of the Imperium, Leto took it uponhimself to make the most brutal version of.
That future a reality. To mercilessly dominate the social, politicaland religious elements of the Empire for thousands of years as he painstakingly demonstratedthe lessons of the Preacher, enforcing and cementing the spiral of stagnation they hadbeen warned against. This tyranny would produce within humans aninnate determination and a fierce desire to think for themselves, to abhor cowardice andmediocrity. To steer away from the pursuit of self-satisfactionand the tendency to focus on sheltered safety. These are the same lessons found in the sermonsof the Preacher which, through the God Emperor, would be forever remembered by the generationsof humanity’s future.
But I’m curious to know what you think ofthe Preacher’s message. Are there any particular lessons or principlescontained within his words that stand out to you? Let me know your thoughts in the commentssection below. I hope you enjoyed this video, leave a likeif you did and be sure to subscribe for more Dune and other sci-fi and fantasy news andlore. Thank you all so much for your support, andas always have a very nerdy day.
3 thoughts on “The Preacher’s Warning to Humanity | Dune Lore”
Basically the most simple preacher we must hear to is Elaine. Protect on preaching the right phrase (movies) 😛
It’d be very challenging to search out the preacher in a imaginable film adaptation of Kids of Dune. Extra folks must hear about how our mounted habits and blind pursuits can lead to self destruction from the actual person to society as a total.
Reading Kids of Dune now. I'll fetch aid to this video when I'm carried out – I don't desire to spoil myself the leisure of the e book…