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The Dune Litany, Re-purposed!

Written by Jeff Drake
12 · 12 · 22

The Dune Litany, Re-purposed!

If you’re a Dune fan like me, you’ve read most of the books and watched the movies, old and new, perhaps more than once. I read four of the books before burning out and have seen all of the Dune movies more than once. It’s a great story!

For those who are not as familiar with the Dune books:

Paul and his mother, from the 2021 movie, Dune

Author Frank Herbert tells us the story of a religious group on the planet Dune, called the Bene Gesserit. This sisterhood is able to achieve great powers by consuming something made from “spice,” a substance produced by gigantic sand worms which can only be found on the planet, Dune. Indeed, these powers are so amazing that many would call them magical. For example, some powers can actually be transmitted via genetic memory, such as the ability to influence and control others by voice, as well as the ability to control their bodies completely and discern truth from lies by close observation. Cool, eh?

Such gifts do not come easily. The training a member of the Bene Gesserit endures is intensive. One of the things they learn is to control their emotions. As part of this training they are taught to recite a specific litany which will help them overcome any fear they may be facing. The protagonist, Paul, is taught this litany by his mother, a former Bene Geserit sister, to help him endure the immense physical pain he is going to experience in a Bene Gesserit test he has to take.

This mantra is rather catchy, I think, which is perhaps why it’s something I remember from the books. It makes you think. Forbes magazine actually had an article titled, “Why Dune’s Litany Against Fear is Good Psychological Advice.”

Here is the litany from Dune:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

A few months ago, while I was researching blog topics I wanted to write about, it occurred to me that the Dune litany is one that could possibly be repurposed for the real world, the one we all live in. I’ve been working on it periodically ever since. So, without further adieu, here it is:

I must not rely on faith.
Faith is the mind-killer. Faith stifles human inquiry, knowledge, and progress.
I will stand up to the purveyors of faith, the promoters of humanity’s biggest lie.
I will defy those who tell me I should ignore my intellect and not question what I am told, but instead adopt the gullibility of a child.
I will let the faithful’s claims of saints, miracles, prophecies and apocalypse pass over me and echo silently in their emptying churches.
I will turn instead to facts, logic, reason and science.
Wherever the darkness of faith has been exposed, truth will be the light that remains.

It’s not perfect, but I’m going to run with it.



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Jeff Drake

Retired IT consultant, world-traveler, hobby photographer, and philosopher.