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    Sea Child vs. The Void

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    Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby D Pope » 05 Nov 2011 23:38

    I've been chewing on this since the Sheanna thread and i'd like to know how far off base I am with this.

    With Jessica, we get to see how freakin' amazing the BG is. If all the physical stuff can't blow your mind then imagine the education it took to pick the spy at dinner or freak out the fremen by describing what was smelt. And she was an acolite! I've always felt like the BG were diminished by the end of the story in that Jessica seems to have outshined them all at being a sister. (In a general sort of way, the BG of Heretics & Chapterhouse were more specialized and not so well rounded. Getting to the point soon, I promise.) Bellonda is closer to being a computer than any other persona in the books. Even Duncan knows that her second purpose is to exist as a bad example. Tamalane generally just sits back and keeps a holier than thou attitude with her hindsight and sniping. Frank basically said that she was allowed this quirk because she was old and felt like she'd been there and done that. Odrade is the odd chick out with keeping her balance on strange surfaces and skinny dipping to get a fresh grip on reality.

    So, if I can go out on a symbolic limb here, are Bel & Tam meant to symbolize the BG? If the BG is just smart enough to realize they need a breath of fresh air, Seachild, then it seems unlikely that Sheanna would've been allowed to try the agony. Millennia of training has perfected the BG school to the point where you won't have any secrets before getting to graduate studies. So if Sea Child is freaked by seeing The Void, and she's thought to be outside the box by her sisters, then how did Sheanna ever make it? Did Frank use this whole subplot with The Void as a devise to show the limits of entrenched BG thinking? Why, with all the stuff about Cottages, did an abstract give Mother Superior pause? Sea Child can handle new information, she bobs like a cork on the waves of change. Tamalane SHARED with Sheanna and soothed her fears after. Bel, well, the bureaucrat, nevermind. I saw Sea Child as an artist in the government. I know Sheanna was supposed to be out there, a freaky little wormherd and the latest MP plaything, but so far out as to spook the top BG? What it seems to come down to is how much Power is afraid of Creativity. So much for an artist in the government.

    Dravitions question is, for me, unanswered.

    Thank you, Dravition, for putting this itch between my ears.
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby antonio » 14 Dec 2011 21:39

    [Replies in brackets.]
    D Pope wrote:I've been chewing on this since the Sheanna thread and i'd like to know how far off base I am with this.

    With Jessica, we get to see how freakin' amazing the BG is. If all the physical stuff can't blow your mind then imagine the education it took to pick the spy at dinner or freak out the fremen by describing what was smelt. And she was an acolite!

    [Yes, but a lot of that was genetic.]
    I've always felt like the BG were diminished by the end of the story [Chronicles.] in that Jessica seems to have outshined them all at being a sister. (In a general sort of way, the BG of Heretics & Chapterhouse were more specialized and not so well rounded. Getting to the point soon, I promise.) Bellonda is closer to being a computer than any other persona in the books. Even Duncan knows that her second purpose is to exist as a bad example.

    [I think she's more than a computer: she is vicious. She reminds one of the Baron.]

    Tamalane generally just sits back and keeps a holier than thou attitude with her hindsight and sniping. Frank basically said that she was allowed this quirk because she was old and felt like she'd been there and done that. Odrade is the odd chick out with keeping her balance on strange surfaces and skinny dipping to get a fresh grip on reality.

    [I suppose that all three have their unique specialities.]
    So, if I can go out on a symbolic limb here, are Bel & Tam meant to symbolize the BG?

    [They seem to be the exception rather that the rule: they are friends in an order that eschews friendships.]
    If the BG is just smart enough to realize they need a breath of fresh air, Seachild, then it seems unlikely that Sheanna would've been allowed to try the agony. Millennia of training has perfected the BG school to the point where you won't have any secrets before getting to graduate studies. So if Sea Child is freaked by seeing The Void, and she's thought to be outside the box by her sisters, then how did Sheanna ever make it?

    [I had the impression that almost any female who passed the Agony Box test could surmount the Agony.]

    Did Frank use this whole subplot with The Void as a devise to show the limits of entrenched BG thinking?

    [Maybe.]

    Why, with all the stuff about Cottages, did an abstract [painting] give Mother Superior pause? Sea Child can handle new information, she bobs like a cork on the waves of change. Tamalane SHARED with Sheanna and soothed her fears after. Bel, well, the bureaucrat, nevermind. I saw Sea Child as an artist in the government. I know Sheanna was supposed to be out there, a freaky little wormherd and the latest MP plaything, but so far out as to spook the top BG?

    [Some of them anyway.]

    What it seems to come down to is how much Power is afraid of Creativity. So much for an artist in the government.

    Dravitions question is, for me, unanswered.

    Thank you, Dravition, for putting this itch between my ears.


    [The Bene Gesserit existing after the "God Emperor of Dune" were afraid of many things. Odrade possessed a type of prescience that could predict potential problems for the Sisterhood. However, there were limitations to prescience and prescience was not synonymous with omniscience. In fact, creativity and unpredictability were considered necessary to ensure the evolution and survival of the human race.]
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    Re: Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby Nekhrun » 14 Dec 2011 21:46

    antonio wrote:[Replies in brackets.]
    D Pope wrote:I've been chewing on this since the Sheanna thread and i'd like to know how far off base I am with this.

    With Jessica, we get to see how freakin' amazing the BG is. If all the physical stuff can't blow your mind then imagine the education it took to pick the spy at dinner or freak out the fremen by describing what was smelt. And she was an acolite!

    [Yes, but a lot of that was genetic.]

    My replies are in my reply :roll:

    "A lot of that was genetic." What the hell are you talking about? They're all part of a breeding program of course everything is genetics. Everyone is. Look at how humanity had evolved by the end of the story. They had to fuck with Duncan just so he could keep up. Also, A lot of that was training. I could barely read the rest.
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    Re: Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby antonio » 14 Dec 2011 22:01

    Nekhrun wrote:
    antonio wrote:[Replies in brackets.]
    D Pope wrote:I've been chewing on this since the Sheanna thread and i'd like to know how far off base I am with this.

    With Jessica, we get to see how freakin' amazing the BG is. If all the physical stuff can't blow your mind then imagine the education it took to pick the spy at dinner or freak out the fremen by describing what was smelt. And she was an acolite!

    [Yes, but a lot of that was genetic.]

    My replies are in my reply :roll:

    "A lot of that was genetic." What the hell are you talking about? They're all part of a breeding program of course everything is genetics. Everyone is. Look at how humanity had evolved by the end of the story. They had to fuck with Duncan just so he could keep up. Also, A lot of that was training. I could barely read the rest.


    I'll explain what I'm talking about: Education is different from genetics. Not everyone is part of a breeding program. The Bene Gesserit breeding program does not involve everyone. As Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam says: "Teaching is one thing, the basic ingredient is another. We shall see."

    The basic ingredient, genetics, is more important than teaching: education.
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    Re: Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby Nekhrun » 14 Dec 2011 22:15

    antonio wrote:
    Nekhrun wrote:
    antonio wrote:[Replies in brackets.]
    D Pope wrote:I've been chewing on this since the Sheanna thread and i'd like to know how far off base I am with this.

    With Jessica, we get to see how freakin' amazing the BG is. If all the physical stuff can't blow your mind then imagine the education it took to pick the spy at dinner or freak out the fremen by describing what was smelt. And she was an acolite!

    [Yes, but a lot of that was genetic.]

    My replies are in my reply :roll:

    "A lot of that was genetic." What the hell are you talking about? They're all part of a breeding program of course everything is genetics. Everyone is. Look at how humanity had evolved by the end of the story. They had to fuck with Duncan just so he could keep up. Also, A lot of that was training. I could barely read the rest.


    I'll explain what I'm talking about: Education is different from genetics. Not everyone is part of a breeding program. The Bene Gesserit breeding program does not involve everyone. As Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam says: "Teaching is one thing, the basic ingredient is another. We shall see."

    The basic ingredient, genetics, is more important than teaching: education.

    You think the BG are going to take in someone without knowing everything about their genetics? No way. Also, I would disagree that they would weigh genetics above education. They were willing to sacrifice Paul and he was an important link in their breeding program.
    "If he was here to discuss Dune, he sure as hell picked a dumb way to do it." -Omphalos :character-cookiemonster:

    Happy Memorial Day everyone! -James C. Harwood

    "Three of my videos have over 100 views."
    "Over 500 views for my 'Open Question' video." -Nebiros
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    Re: Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby D Pope » 14 Dec 2011 22:44

    antonio wrote:"Teaching is one thing, the basic ingredient is another. We shall see."

    Genetics, training, you seem to agree that Jessica was exceptional among her sisters.

    (Just to be clear, when I referred to the agony, I meant the spice agony as opposed to the box of pain.)

    I included Jessica as a starting point, as the story plays out, members of the BG seem to become more specialized/less well rounded in their abilities.

    Dravition asked a good question, why did The Void do such a number on a Mother Superior of the BG?
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
    -Omphalos
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    Location: Grubville

    Re: Sea Child vs. The Void

    Postby antonio » 15 Dec 2011 09:01

    D Pope wrote:
    antonio wrote:"Teaching is one thing, the basic ingredient is another. We shall see."

    Genetics, training, you seem to agree that Jessica was exceptional among her sisters.

    (Just to be clear, when I referred to the agony, I meant the spice agony as opposed to the box of pain.)

    I included Jessica as a starting point, as the story plays out, members of the BG seem to become more specialized/less well rounded in their abilities.

    Dravition asked a good question, why did The Void do such a number on a Mother Superior of the BG?
    Thank you for posting this interesting discussion topic. :) You raise a number of issues and conclude that perhaps Frank Herbert used the Seachild Void subplot to show the limits of entrenched Bene Gesserit thinking, more specifically how much Power is afraid of Creativity. It seems likely that Frank Herbert wanted to show the limitations of entrenched thinking. This is a theme that appears throughout the Chronicles. Do Bellonda and Tamalane symbolize the Bene Gesserit? This seems likely. As you say, the Bene Gesserit members at the time of "Heretics of Dune" and "Chapterhouse Dune," do display more specialized and often contradictory abilities and attitudes, and although Odrade may symbolize power and executive authority, the Bene Gesserit as a group can draw upon its diverse abilities and attitudes to arrive at decisions that are less entrenched and more flexible than those of any single member (no matter how powerful). Thus Tamalane gave Sheanna her stamp of approval, an action that some sisters (Bellonda) would not agree with. However, we must also give Odrade credit for recognizing and trusting Tamalane's judgment and accepting Tamalane's decision.
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