This n’ That and the Wisdom of Frank Herbert

                             [thoughts from  ~burning woman~   ]

Let me see, now: there is work, rest, and somewhere in between, everything else, the jumble of life.  I’ve been very tired these last few weeks, mostly due to work, I realize that, but we also experience a deeper tiredness that comes from an accumulation of worn out time, year after year after year, “time passes” and to the observant, it produces a strange, disquieting litany of thoughts that run over the sands of the mind, like runnels of sand blown off the top of dunes and sliding down the sides to settle, but never for long, at the base.  The wind changes direction, comes again, picks up the sand and flings it into a sky already filled with brown dust.  Somewhere in that floating, parched wildness my thoughts float, forming a part of it, and somewhere further, as the future chooses, some of those thoughts will again form the uncertain and ever-changing top of another dune.  The wind “dies down” then the wind returns and the dance of thoughts begins anew.

I like the imagery.  Somewhere in a dimmed, distant past, beyond these times, in another galaxy, a different world, I existed on a desert planet.  I sense this more than I remember it.  The awareness of sand, not only as a symbol but as gritty reality, is as much a part of my life as is the beating of this Earthian heart.  I think of Frank Herbert’s masterpiece science fiction series, starting with the book, “Dune” – the sand and rock desert planet that would have remained unknown to the Empire were it not for the fact that it produced a substance known as “Spice” which prolonged life and allowed individuals to see through space and time.  All imperial space traffic depended on the spice, hence Dune, like Earth’s Middle East, was a planet constantly being fought over for its one and only resource, a resource without which the Empire could not hold.  Ah, but Frank Herbert was a great prophet and few realize it even today.   I will return to this thought.

Terrible, horrible man-made events are taking place all over this world.  Some of us, the ones lucky or unlucky enough to have been born with, or somehow developed, the sense of empathy, feel these things, perhaps too deeply.  They are more than troublesome, they are life-destroying.  Now thinking as an intelligent, sentient, being: is there a greater crime than that of destroying life?  I cannot think of one and yet it is a crime that Earthians have always indulged in fully, and continue to plunge themselves into in a never-ending cycle of bloody violence fed by greed, fear and lust.  A global Madness but since 99% of the asylum’s denizens are certifiable, then their madness is what passes as the norm.   

I should not be the one feeling tired from being immersed in this madness.  Surely every single ISSA (intelligent, sentient, self-aware) Earthian on this world should be equally tired, maybe even sick to death, of the bloodshed.  But no, those who are not actually cheering it on, or participating in it, are plunged so deeply into their own methods of denial that nothing disturbs them.  That remains utterly shocking to me.  Some whose conscience can still be tweaked with a shiver of awareness, blame their leaders, then return to their little, mindless motions, pretending to be alive.  

What I find so terribly sad isn’t so much the tens of thousands sacrificed daily to profit and pleasure, but the billions who are so brain dead, heart-cauterized and blind that they cannot honestly, without blame or self-justification, enter into the agony of earth and feel it burn.  Hoping it will not come to them, they ignore it and the closer it appears to their own doorstep, the deeper their head buries itself in the sands of oblivion. 

This brings me back to Frank Herbert.  Here are a few quotes I picked out of his third novel on “Dune” titled “Children of Dune.”

“If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments.  When you believe something is right or wrong, true or false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments.  Such assumptions are often full of holes but remain most precious to the convinced.”

“Because of the one pointed Time awareness in which the conventional mind remains immersed, humans tend to think in a sequential, word oriented framework.  This mental trap produces very short-termed concepts of effectiveness and consequences, a condition of constant, unplanned, response to crisis.”

“To learn patience [in the Bene Gesserit Way] you must begin by recognizing the essential, raw instability of our universe.  We call nature – meaning this totality in all of its manifestations – the Ultimate Non-Absolute.”

“Time is a measure of space, just as a range-finder is a measure of space, but measuring locks us into the place we measure.”

“The malady of indifference is what destroys many things.”

“It is said that there is nothing firm, nothing balanced, nothing durable in all the universe – that nothing remains in its state, that each day, each hour, brings change.”

And finally, “Every judgment teeters on the brink of error.  To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous.  Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.”

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11 thoughts on “This n’ That and the Wisdom of Frank Herbert

  1. Lisa R. Palmer

    “Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.”

    Love that quote!

    I have no idea which group I fall into anymore, Sha’Tara. I, too, am exhausted, every day. I am drowning in the pain surrounding me. But I do not succeed in making any positive changes there; I fail every day…

    I turn my focus back to me because I do not know how to ease or diminish the suffering around me. I try to accept that others have chosen their paths, and I cannot “save” them from themselves. I witness. I listen. I offer small moments of respite and reflection. And then I accept and adapt when they finish crying on my shoulder, push me away, and kick me in the teeth…

    And I look for a way out for myself. But even that escapes me…

    I have become part of the problem now, I think…

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      To function as empaths we have to teach ourselves detachment and live in it. That is a very difficult lesson, one I keep forgetting to “put on” before I engage the madness of earth. I think (again, grain of salt here) that you and I have connected as two people who at some mind level walk in sync. Perhaps so we can remind each other of what we are. Perhaps in some fashion we can take comfort from that awareness without becoming dependent on it. Hence the “safe” distance between us. Yes, I think we need to focus more on our own sense of self, rather than on the ocean of pain and suffering all around us we are so aware of and the fear we have that it will drown us. I don’t think it can but it certainly makes life… uh, difficult.

      I think the human (Earthian) species has entered into a death wish vortex and in its madness it wants to draw every non-attached individual down with itself, as well as its entire world. This isn’t a conscious thing, just the thrashings of a wild beast that discovers itself surrounded by death with no place to run. The entire race has become a “suicide bomber” brainwashed, programmed and drugged to self-destruct and take as many “others” with itself as it can.

      Under such conditions as my intuition tells me, “helping” becomes moot. I choose to do bits and pieces of the immediate – like a doctor on the battle front, while thousands are being slaughtered, I concentrate on saving one man’s life, even knowing they will send him back into the hell to get killed. Mankind has been here before, and this won’t be the end. It’s just that we expected more of ourselves considering the social strides we thought we’d made in the last couple of centuries, but that was just surface stuff. The beast hasn’t evolved at all, remaining the deadliest predator on earth, even to itself. So… we work on changing “me” as the only sure thing in the uncertainty.

      Reply
      1. Lisa R. Palmer

        I believe this… Thank you for being a compassionate voice in the darkness. It does help knowing I am not the only witness to such madness, to feel a tiny bit validated by an’Other’s experience. It helps to be reminded that, though detached and separated, I am not alone on this journey…

        And uou often

      2. Lisa R. Palmer

        Whoops…

        I was saying… (lol!) And you often say exactly that “something” I need to hear in a particular moment… I appreciate that. 🙂

  2. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Sha’Tara, thanks for sharing your disquieted reflections on humanity’s madness that you sum up so well in your comment:
    “This isn’t a conscious thing, just the thrashings of a wild beast that discovers itself surrounded by death with no place to run. The entire race has become a “suicide bomber” brainwashed, programmed and drugged to self-destruct and take as many “others” with itself as it can.”

    With the latest budget announcements, more suffering awaits low-income and jobless Americans as the grave of want and despair grows deeper and wider.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for your comment, Rosaliene. It is never my intent to cause despair with my observations, but rather, like the prophetic utterances in the Old Testament, to remind people that when we’ve let things go this far, no tweaking is going to set the machine back on the tracks, ’cause the very tracks are rotten. We need to consider something new for our lives, no longer as collectives, but like Neo in “The Matrix” as individuals. We need to experience the real power of being an individual working with others but without the need to join into collectively motivated action. Self empowerment teaches that of course, but people have always believed that they can make change through “joining” in collectives. But behold, all the changes made collectively have only brought Matrix servants back on the thrones of power, and those who sacrifice, suffered and died in the endless revolutions reaped the whirlwind. Hint to future change agents: we can no longer work in groups. Groups automatically belong to the Matrix.

      Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Yes, I like the imagery of the sand in that piece. There’s synchronicity there. I thought that blog was worth a follow…! Thanks for the advert here, and anyone else wondering, go take a look.

      Reply

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