The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

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The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 28 May 2012 19:31

Okay, WE ALL know that the Bene Gesserit's main goal was to produce the Kwisatz Haderach, whom they could control, and whom could help them control and rule the government of the Known Universe. Do we know why the Bene Gesserit want to rule the Universe, and what political system they had in mind for everyone? I understand that they employ themselves as soothsayers and concubines out of survival and self-protection, and that the Kwisatz Haderach's emergence will permanently guarantee their security. However, what will they do once they no longer have to breed with icky noblemen for their bloodlines, give birth to daughters, or continue being soothsayers? Will they just spectate over the rest of humanity, and take a long vacation while the Kwisatz Haderach tells everyone else what to do?

It would help if Frank Herbert specified more how the Bene Gesserit would run the Known Universe's government and economic system once they've gained charge, instead of stating that they desire controlling the Universe through the Kwisatz Haderach and nothing else. Any ideas on what a Bene Gesserit/Kwistatz Haderach run univserse would be like?
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 28 May 2012 20:48

I think they were trying to prevent the downfall of civilization, not advance it.

"I cannot lie to you any more than I could lie to myself," Paul said. "I
know this. Every man should have such an auditor. I will only ask this one
thing: is the Typhoon Struggle necessary?"
"It's that or humans will be extinguished."
Paul heard the truth in Leto's words, spoke in a low voice which
acknowledged the greater breadth of his son's vision. "I did not see that among
the choices."
"I believe the Sisterhood suspects it," Leto said. "I cannot accept any
other explanation of my grandmother's decision."

~CoD
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby lotek » 30 May 2012 04:35

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:understand that they employ themselves as soothsayers and concubines out of survival and self-protection, and that the Kwisatz Haderach's emergence will permanently guarantee their security.


I daresay the BG doesn't need that much protection, and as for survival, well they're quite the adept aren't they ? Breeding the KH was not a matter of security for their order, it was (partially) their way of ensuring their plan would go unheeded.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 01 Jun 2012 20:14

So according to your quote, Freak, Leto II claims that Jessica gave birth to the Kiwizatz Haderach early because she felt that society and humanity will end sooner than the Bene Gesserit had expected it to end, and that Paul's premature ascent to messiahdom fulfilled the Bene Gesserit's intentions all along? Leto only states that the Bene Gesserit "suspects" that "humans will be extinguished" without the coming of the Kwizatz Haderach, or an ongoing political clash with the Kwizatz Haderach. What is the Typhoon Struggle, again? Is it the struggle humanity has to endure while living under the control of the Kwizatz Haderach?

All in all, the quote you chose seems to be more about the subconscious goal of Jessica to give birth to the Kwizatz Haderach early rather than the Bene Gesserit's goal in having the Kwizatz Haderach which they could easily control. I agree that the Bene Gesserit's goal is to more likely save society from descending through their plan.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Jun 2012 05:09

Jessica's decision was to have Gurney administer the spice trance to Leto.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby gurensan » 02 Jun 2012 12:21

That's the same I was going to add but I somehow knew Freak would take care of it.

What I'm iffy about is the exact moment she made that decision. Was it during her meeting with him, after he explained how dangerous it was? Sometime after? Was it in response to what he told her.. or rather, scared her with, or was it something Jessica and Ghanima cooked up together? I JUST re-read that a few days ago and it's already slipping. Curse my over-30 memory.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 03 Jun 2012 07:30

gurensan wrote:That's the same I was going to add but I somehow knew Freak would take care of it.

What I'm iffy about is the exact moment she made that decision. Was it during her meeting with him, after he explained how dangerous it was? Sometime after? Was it in response to what he told her.. or rather, scared her with, or was it something Jessica and Ghanima cooked up together? I JUST re-read that a few days ago and it's already slipping. Curse my over-30 memory.


I think she decided to do it immediately after her interview with Ghani. She realized that she couldn't administer the Gom Jabbar because they knew about it through Other Memory.

Maybe even before she came back to Arrakis. Testing the twins was obviously her mission.

Muriz and Gurney was the Gom Jabbar and the Spice Trance was the box... kind of.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby gurensan » 04 Jun 2012 19:22

I hadn't fully formed a thought of them as Jessica's Gom Jabbar but that's a very astute analogy.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 04 Jun 2012 19:47

Thanks, every now and then even a blind dog finds a bone. :wink:
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby gurensan » 08 Jun 2012 23:23

Freakzilla wrote:Thanks, every now and then even a blind dog finds a bone. :wink:


And then I re-read that section and Leto flat says so to himself. I'm not gonna type it all out but it's there ;)

I forget what the connection between Muriz and Namri was though. And wtf happened to Sabiha? I miss the poor girl. I considered adoption, Ted Nugent style.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 11 Jun 2012 05:46

gurensan wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Thanks, every now and then even a blind dog finds a bone. :wink:


And then I re-read that section and Leto flat says so to himself. I'm not gonna type it all out but it's there ;)

I forget what the connection between Muriz and Namri was though. And wtf happened to Sabiha? I miss the poor girl. I considered adoption, Ted Nugent style.


Good point, gurensan. If only Leto wasn't so wound up with becoming immortal for thousands of years as a draconian worm in order to preserve humanity, he would have found happiness with her as his concubine... or, er, wife (depending on whether any other noble women were interested in marrying a freaky 8-year old, Sabiha would have to join the ranks of the Herbertarian super mistresses). It sucks for Leto, because after disabling his genitalia with the sandtrout skin, he's doomed himself for thousands of years with permanent celebacy. When I first read CHILDREN OF DUNE, I had hoped that Leto II had found his own equivalent of Chani, and that he would have pursued a different path instead. It's something which I want to explore in my MEDDLERS OF DUNE fan fiction idea at some point.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby gurensan » 14 Jun 2012 14:47

Jodorowsky's Acolyte wrote:When I first read CHILDREN OF DUNE, I had hoped that Leto II had found his own equivalent of Chani, and that he would have pursued a different path instead. It's something which I want to explore in my MEDDLERS OF DUNE fan fiction idea at some point.


The last time we see her is when she's begging him not to walk out of the stilltent, and she's worried about what Muriz will do to her. I was worried, too. I was rather hoping Muriz would be open to a trade, but Frank didn't write me into the story. Maybe you should. Just call me "G" or "GC," so that everyone will know who snagged a Fremen concubine on the cheap.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby cafihapa » 18 Aug 2013 06:18

I might be dipping my toes in too fast, here, correcting Freak (from what I've read, he seems to be the final authority slapping people around with quotes from the books) but, in line with what a poster said in my welcome thread, the only dogma here is direct quotes. So, let's have one. From a fairly unbiased source, at that - Rebecca:

He turned and looked at her, his face falling into shadows. "What is it this one inside you says? This one you think of as Lucilla?"
Rebecca could see it pleased him to say Lucilla's name. If Lucilla could speak through a daughter of Secret Israel, then she still lived and had not been betrayed.

...

"That is wisdom. What is it the lady says they seek?"
"Influence on the maturing of humankind."

...

"Perhaps they have been too long on the road to Damascus without a blinding flash of illumination, Rebecca. I hear them say they act for the benefit of humankind. Somehow, I cannot see this in them, nor do I believe the Tyrant saw it."
When Rebecca started to reply, he stopped her with an upraised hand. "Mature humanity? That is their grail? Is it not the mature fruit that is plucked and eaten?"


From Lucilla within Rebecca, we have a direct answer - the BG seek influence on the maturation of humanity. This explains their abject horror and naming Leto II the Tyrant - who, in his own words, was aiming to raise humanity out of adolescence and into maturity:

"I have been forming this human society, shaping it for more than three thousand years, opening a door out of adolescence for the entire species," Leto had said.


This all fits in quite nicely with what Mohiam lectured Paul about in the beginning of Dune:

The Reverend Mother returned her attention to Paul. "You did that on remarkably few clues," she said. "Politics indeed. The original Bene Gesserit school was directed by those who saw the need of a thread of continuity in human affairs. They saw there could be no such continuity without separating human stock from animal stock -- for breeding purposes."


They created a thread of continuity in human affairs through which they could guide the maturation of human kind.

My summation is this: The Bene Gesserit's ultimate goal is the maturation of humankind from adolescence into adulthood. Remember their motto - "We exist only to serve." Simply because they rule others, utilizing politics, voice, prana-bindu training, the spice, deception and trickery (and many other tools of witchery), does not mean that their rule is not in the ultimate service and continuity of humanity.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Naïve mind » 18 Aug 2013 09:49

And a male who has access to Other memory, would inherently be more mature. Get enough male Bene Gesserits in high places, and you can avoid wars, misgovernment, and other typically human stupidity.

Chapterhouse describes the Bene Gesserit ideal of government rather well. A sort of inverse 1984, where the people in power find themselves under the watchful eyes of the masses 24/7, and their fitness to rule can be called into question at any moment.

Frank Herbert was deeply suspicious of government, but believed too much in the necessity for coordinated action (and was too much of a cynic) to adopt libertarianism, like, say, Heinlein would.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby cafihapa » 18 Aug 2013 10:01

Right:

Chapterhouse describes the Bene Gesserit ideal of government rather well. A sort of inverse 1984, where the people in power find themselves under the watchful eyes of the masses 24/7, and their fitness to rule can be called into question at any moment.


A sort of reverse panopticon with the focus being on the rulers, not the ruled. However, I think most of the focus is from BG onto the Mother Superior and "elite/ruling class," as opposed to everyone on their planet having a pseudo democratic say. True, unfettered democracy within the BG, benevolent dictators to the common folk on BG held planets. Also, it's not a true panopticon, because there are mentions of things being censored/flagged in archives, etc. Bellonda makes note of keeping Murbella and Duncan's romps private, for the most part.

There's also the mention in either Heretics or Chapterhouse of how ~98% of major conflicts have gone away, relative to the before/after of Leto's rule.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Excape Felicity » 18 Aug 2013 15:42

I think the BG were long overdue a slap from someone like the HM.

I suspect their main purpose in breeding a KH was to maximise their CHOAM holdings.

Everybody seems obsessed with them in Old Dune era.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Naïve mind » 18 Aug 2013 16:04

For what it's worth, when I recently re-read Chapterhouse, I had the strong impression that Herbert was working towards a denouement that involved the humiliating demise of the Sisterhood. Not so much by Leto's words in the cave, but by fragments like this one:

Odrade was shocked.
Cyborg!
The face was a metal mask with two glittering silver balls for eyes.
We enter dangerous ground.
"They didn't tell you?" he asked. "Waste no pity. I was dead and this gave me life. It's Clairby, Mother Superior. And when I die this time, that will buy me life as a ghola."
Damn! We're trading in coin that may be denied us. Too late to change. And that was Teg's plan. But . . . Clairby?


The sisterhood, at this point, is far more concerned with its own survival than it is with the survival of humanity. It's been relieved of its responsibility by Leto's golden path, and like all organisations, tries to hang on long after it has outlived its usefulness.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 19 Aug 2013 07:21

The Sisterhood never had any responsibility for the GP. They were steamrolled by it.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Naïve mind » 19 Aug 2013 15:14

Freakzilla wrote:The Sisterhood never had any responsibility for the GP. They were steamrolled by it.


Which is why I said by, not for.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Serkanner » 20 Aug 2013 04:31

Naïve mind wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:The Sisterhood never had any responsibility for the GP. They were steamrolled by it.


Which is why I said by, not for.


The responisibilty for the survival of mankind [i]IS[i/] the Golden Path.

The Bene Gesserit never were responsible for and didn't see a neccesity to protect human kind from destruction.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 21 Aug 2013 08:18

I believe they suspected possible extinction after the Fremen Jihad and before Leto's metamorphosis, but by then they had totally lost all chance of control.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 21 Aug 2013 08:23

Naïve mind wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:The Sisterhood never had any responsibility for the GP. They were steamrolled by it.


Which is why I said by, not for.


I'm sorry, I missread your post. But I think the point is the same. Unless we know WHY the BG wanted a KH, we can't really say for sure what their intentions were.

It seems to me the KH was an attempt at a power grab.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Naïve mind » 21 Aug 2013 11:22

Freakzilla wrote:I'm sorry, I missread your post. But I think the point is the same. Unless we know WHY the BG wanted a KH, we can't really say for sure what their intentions were.

It seems to me the KH was an attempt at a power grab.


Fair enough. I am somewhat more positively biased towards the Bene Gesserit, basing myself on these quotes.

Politics indeed. The original Bene Gesserit school was directed by those who saw the need of a thread of continuity in human affairs.

--- From Dune

And what is the Golden Path? you ask. It is the survival of humankind, nothing more nor less. We who have prescience, we who know the pitfalls in our human futures, this has always been our responsibility.
(...)
"With provocation," he said. "But the only people I have considered eliminating are the Bene Gesserit."
Her shock was too great for words.
"They are so close to what they should be and yet so far," he said.
(...)
The question was well framed. He said: "My need to save the people."
"What people?"
"My definition is much broader than that of anyone else even of the Bene Gesserit, who think they have defined what it is to be human. I refer to the eternal thread of all humankind by whatever definition."

--- From God-Emperor of Dune

Survival of humankind took precedence over survival of the Sisterhood. Else our grail of human maturity is meaningless.

--- From Chapterhouse Dune

Scant evidence, I'll grant, to support my notions that the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild were, in their own flawed way, trying to do the same thing as Leto. Not based on altruistic sacrifice, but based on as much rational self-interest as political organisations can produce.

However, the notion that the BG felt no responsibility for humanity's survival is clearly rubbish.

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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Freakzilla » 21 Aug 2013 12:19

Of course they and the Guild cared, they were parasites on humanity.

I think the BG thought of themselves as teachers whos aim was the maturation of the species.

However, ataining that goal could eliminate humanities need for them.

"Without you, people would need us!" Anteac said.
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Re: The Goal of the Bene Gesserit for the Known Universe?

Postby Naïve mind » 21 Aug 2013 12:39

Freakzilla wrote:I think the BG thought of themselves as teachers whos aim was the maturation of the species.

However, ataining that goal could eliminate humanities need for them.


Which is sort of what has happened by the time of Heretics; humanity seems to have mostly given up on warfare, and turned to scrabble and space exploration instead. The Bene Gesserit are sort of useless. It's a good thing the Honored Matres have all the maturity of a fourteen year-old teen who listens to emo music, or they would've had no one to lecture for the last two books.


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