Frank Herbert – Author, Hero

I was fifteen years old the first time I read Dune. I had been an avid since I was eight years old when I began reading novels in the third grade, and I read the books that inspired me over and over again.

I read all kinds of things, but at the age of fifteen I read mostly fiction, and that age when I first read Dune in 1984, I found it to be somewhat dense and challenging.

I had taken that first copy from the carousel of the library at the alternative high-school I was attending, and which I dropped out of a few month later. I read that copy, perhaps not as carefully as I should, but as carefully as I could, and I went to see the motion picture when it came out in 1985.

Needless to say, I found David Lynch’s adaptation to be one of the worst movies ever made, and with that Dune passed from my thoughts for a time.

However, in the summer of 1988 I was visiting a friend in Montana, and I picked up a copy of Dune from the bookstore in Bigfork. I needed something to read on the bus ride home to Minneapolis.

Four years had passed since my first go at it, and my window on the world had opened wide enough for me to be able to engage the book in a completely different way. I was hooked. I was nineteen years old.

Dune changed my life.

Since then I have read Dune and all six books in the original Dune series, eight times over, as well as everything else Frank Herbert wrote.

He was a giant.

I have given away dozens of copies of Dune throughout my life, and recommended it to more people than I can count, always with the words this book will change your life.

Many of them came back to me to tell me that it did.

Frank Herbert wrote science fiction, but the science he wrote into his fiction had less to do with spaceships and laser beams (though it had those things), and more to do with the science of politics, religion, ecology and psychology, with the human person at the center of his imagination.

Through his insight Herbert challenges the reader to explore what it means to be human, and he asks open-ended questions about the range of human potential in a way that allows the reader to believe in those possibilities for themselves, and his own view of the range of human potential is inspiring. He believe that we can do more, be more, see more of the world than our senses allow…if we are disciplined he believes we can do it; if we are attentive to the world around us, and if we cultivate within ourselves the desire to live a life without fear we will secure a future for humanity beyond our solar system and spread through the galaxy.

He died thirty-nine years ago today, and when he passed a heroic light left the world.

Frank Herbert – Author

I was fifteen years old the first time I read Dune. I had been an avid reader since I was eight years old, when I began reading novels in the third grade. I read the books that inspired me over and over again, I read all kinds of things, but at that point in my life I read mostly fiction, and with that said, at the age of fifteen, I found Dune to be somewhat dense, and challenging.

I had taken that first copy from the carousel of the library at the alternative high-school I was attending. I read it, perhaps not as carefully as I should, but as carefully as I could, and I went to see the motion picture when it came out later that year.

I found David Lynch’s adaptation to be one of the worst movies ever made, and with that Dune passed from my thoughts for a time.

In the summer of 1988 I was visiting a friend in Montana, and I picked up a copy of Dune from the bookstore in Bigfork. I needed something to read on the bus ride home to Minneapolis.

Four years later I was able to engage the book in a completely different way, after the first two pages I was hooked. I was nineteen years old, and in the intervening years I had learned enough and grown enough to understand what Frank Herbert was getting at.

Dune changed my life.

I would read it and all six books in the original Dune series, eight times in sum, as well as everything else Frank Herbert wrote on my quest to absorb his wisdom.

He was a giant.

I have given away dozens of copies of Dune throughout my life, and recommended it to more people than I can count, always with the words this book will change your life.

Many of them came back to me to tell me that it did.

Frank Herbert wrote science fiction, but he wrote science in his fiction had less to do with spaceships and laser beams (though it had those things), and more to do with the science of politics, religion, ecology and psychology.
What is most significant about Frank Herbert’s writing is this: he opens a window for the reader on what it means to be human, and he asks open ended questions about the range of human potential, in a way that allows the reader to believe in those possibilities for themselves.

Frank Herbert is inspiring.

He makes the reader believe that we can do more, be more, see more of the world than our sense sallow…if we are disciplined, if we are attentive to the world around us, and if we cultivate within ourselves the desire to live a life without fear.

He died thirty-four years ago today, when he passed a heroic light left the world.

 

Given First – 2020.02.11
Frank Herbert

Self Awareness

The way in is the way out, you must go through at the gate
Sensei said

We ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge
We consumed a principle of justice, the understanding of good and evil
We became self-aware and cognizant of our failings

We became writers of laws

We wasted the world in selfish-conflict, greed
We became aware, and became aware of ourselves, of our lies
We were mired in the taxonomy of differentiation

We became arbiters of the law

We saw the other as our enemy, making them into effigies
We regarded ourselves with loathing, the cancer of dissatisfaction
We engaged in violent reprisals

We became instruments of the law

We went to the dance with Ego and Id
We were like Caine and Able, the herdsman and the farmer
We were urban and pagan, nomad and builder

The law blinded us to the demands of justice, we were its fools

Facing mirrors that pass through the universe
Gathering new images on the way—endlessly reflexive
The infinite seen as finite
The analogue of consciousness, coded with the cell
Carrying the sensed bits of eternity 1
[1] Herbert, Frank, Chapter House Dune, 1985

New Year’s Day 2019 – A Holiday Reflection

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Today is a day of beginnings.

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct, the Princess Irulan said, in her biography of Muad’Dib

A small miscalculation at the outset, a subtle deviation from the plan will cause you to miss your mark by a wide margin, it may cause you to never reach your end, or to end in a place you never intended to be.

Great care must be taken at the beginning.

Be mindful of your aim.

Today it is a day of resolutions.

Doing is being, is what Ray Bradbury said:

To have done is not enough.
You cannot lie about, and lie about the things you might just do someday.
But do, and win the game.

Great things are accomplished (and by great I mean great on any scale; socially, professionally, personally, spiritually, privately), arrived at, built, discovered, in a series of small, regular and consistent steps.

With the steady application of effort, we can learn to do, and do just about anything.

Resolve to do something; be resolute.

Know this, if life is a river, it is a confluence of contradictions.

The process is just as important as the goal.

The archer is not only concerned with the object of her aim, but with drawing of her bow, with the tension in the string and movement of her goal.

2019, it is an odd number. I mean it is both odd as a numeral, and odd in that it portends to be a year marked by a chaos in the fabric of American life; in our politics, in our markets, in the environment which sustains us all.

We must be prepared.

2019 marks the continuation of a new era in American politics, in the American social order, in the American vision and the American experience, the truth, and the understanding of what truth is will continue to be assaulted, the assault will be constant, and heightened.

We must stand against it.

2019 calls for the expectation of hope to return to our cultural norms, a hope for the future of America’s promise, and the extension of the promise to the whole world.

2019 will be the year for justice with compassion, and for holding our leaders accountable for their crimes.

It is the first day, it is a day for unity and finding common purpose. We will need to stand together, both to support one another in our individual aspirations, and to support the advancement of the common good.

Un-reality and the Fake President – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
11.17.2018

Un-reality and the Fake President

Power does not corrupt it merely attracts the corruptible.

~Frank Herbert, Dune

The current holder of the office of President of the United States is the unparalleled exemplar of this statement. All the little fish that circle around him, feeding off of him, they can’t hold a candle to the corruption in that peevish-little-orange-menace’s bile filled heart.

On Veteran’s Day, six days ago, T-Rump sat sulking in the residence of the of the White House. He did not visit any of the wounded veterans at Walter Reed, neither did the first lady, or anyone from his family.

Not one of the Trump’s went to Arlington Cemetery, to pay their respects to all of the people who are buried there, who gave their lives in our nation’s conflicts.

None of them ever served.

They couldn’t.

The Trumps do not have a modicum of selflessness about them.

T-Rump was sad that his trip to Paris was so poorly received. He spent the rest of the week whining about his bad press.

He lost a law suit with CNN concerning the freedom of the press, and exactly what authority the White House has to grant access to the media. As it turns out, the courts say that they have very little.

T-Rump appointed a man named Whitaker, to be the acting Attorney General of the United States. The appointment appears to be in contravention of protocol, of federal statues, and of the appointments clause of the Constitution itself.

T-Rump does not care.

He pretends to own the moniker of the Law and Order President, while he shortsightedly seeks to subvert the rule of law at every turn.

He does not think the laws of the United States should apply to him or his family, or anyone he chooses to exempt from it, a political ally, a financier, even a murderous Crown Prince from the House of Saud.

Some real critics have emerged against this charlatan from the conservative wing of American politics. They have called out the GOP for having turned itself into a cult of personality.

To win at any cost, has become the name of the game.

The acting Attorney General’s only qualification for the post appears to have been his public and vocal criticisms of the probe being led by Special Counsel Robert Muller, into the conspiracy to defraud the People of the United States, by Russia and a cadre of homegrown actors, many of which served on the T-Rump Campaign, and in his administration, and the obstruction of justice that followed.

The acting Attorney General auditioned for his role on several news outlets and in person, while he served as Attorney General Jeff Sessions Chief of Staff. He met with the Fake President many times, while they plotted this step.

Never mind the fact that his appointment to that office is illegal, never mind the fact that he has several conflicts of interest for which Justice Department protocol will require that he recuse himself. Never mind the fact that he served as a member of the board of directors for a company in Florida being investigate for financial fraud, for bilking senior citizens out of their retirement savings.

Power attracts the corruptible, like moths to the flame, and the biggest flame of them all is the orange tyrant living in the White House.

Power – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
10.06.2018
Power
Frank Herbert said: Power does not corrupt, it merely attracts the corruptible.

He wrote many insightful things about the human condition in his great collection of Science Fiction, the Dune books, and others. The first time I read those words they resonated with me, and I knew he was right.

Like moths to the flame, the corruptible are attracted to power, it is lamentable that like moths, they do not burn up when the fly to close to it.

Frank Herbert also said this:

Most people never participate. They get by on little more than dumb persistence, reacting with anger and even violence, at anything that might come along to disrupt their resentment filled lives of mediocrity.

Look at the American electorate, look at crowds of people who gather to listen to the orange villain speak, listen to him channel their anger, watch it grow in response to him, in its vile, vituperative, vicious feedback-loop.

T-Rump in the exemplar, sine qua non, he is the unparalleled archetype of the first piece of wisdom offered by the sage, Frank Herbert.

This ridiculous buffoon shot from his mother’s womb like a steaming pile of corrupt filth, demonstrating throughout his life his obsessive need for congratulation, and adulation and the love of the crowd that you have to wonder if he was ever loved at all.

I think his mother must have seen what he would become and rejected him from the start, without realizing how her own neglect would shape him into the monster that he has become.

Did you read the report in the New York Times on the lifetime of corruption and fraud he and his family have pursued, and lied about, the hundreds of millions of dollars he squandered of his father’s fortune, finally, robbing his father of it when he was disabled with dementia, by forcing him to sign a codicil to his will.

We have a fixed number of constitutionally appointed officers and office holder outlined in our constitution. We have three branches of government and their roles are fixed.

These are the bright flames of power, that attract the corrupt people like T-Rump, yes, his corruption is obvious, you can see it dripping from him as he salivates when he throws his tantrums on the stage.

Let’s talk about the corruption of people like Susan Collins the Senator from Maine. She got in front of the camera yesterday and gave a speech about the nominee for the Supreme Court, in which she pretended to be reasonable in her acceptance of all the lies that the nominee told the senate, both this year, and in past years when he had previously sought confirmation for a judicial appointment, to the federal bench, and to the court of appeals.

The man told bold face lies; about his role in the Bush administration in drafting the legal rationale for torture, about his receipt and use of e-mails that had been stolen from the opposition party in the senate, about his knowledge of the sexual harassment and inappropriateness of a judge he clerked for, who resigned his post over his behavior; he lied about his own habits, his drinking in high school and in college, about the parties he attended, about the meaning of passages written in his yearbook, about his nickname Bart, about his own sexual conduct and misbehavior. He lied about when he knew about the allegations that came from his second accuser, Debby Ramirez, telling the Judiciary Committee that he learned about it when the story appeared in the paper, while at the same time his former classmates were coming forward with texts messages from him and he PR team, weeks before, pushing them to adopt a narrative to refute Debby Ramirez’ claims.

He lied, he ranted, he raved, he treated his nomination like it was an entitlement, rather than the honor and the privilege it is.

Susan Collins got up and in her speech, whitewashed the entire record. She asked the American people to believe that she does not know when she is being lied to, and to in turn accept her lies in asking us to believe it.

She did what the rest of the Republicans in the Senate did, their colleagues in the house, the President and all their supporters did; they foisted a con on the American people, a scam, they screamed and whined, and they told us the most obvious lies, all of it pouring out of their mouth like vomit, from the corrupt place inside of them where all of their self-loathing lies.

They did not do this for love of country. They did not do this because they think this will make America a better country to live in, a more descent country to live in, a more hopeful country to live in, or more just.

They did it because they think and believe in their collective rotten-heart that this vote today, this vote for Kavanaugh, is the path for them to retain the power that they covet.
On the campaign trail, the MAGA voter, the T-Rump sycophants, they eat it up, proving the latter thesis offered by the wise Frank Herbert.

They give no thought to what it means to let such a man onto the highest court in the land; a political partisan, an ideologue, a hack; a man who perjured himself to get confirmed, a man who once assaulted a fifteen year-old girl, and who could not find it in his hear to apologize, seek forgiveness and move on.

The MAGA voter only wants to see their Dear Leader win, to experience his victory vicariously, even while he pushes them down, stands on their backs, to bask in their applause.

T-Rump has taken to vilifying the survivors of sexual assault, of rape, to mock them and ridicule while his crowds cheer. He has brought the country low, and he seeks to bring it lower still, counting on the anger of his followers, their rage and their violence to keep it there.

We must resist

It is one month until the election, we must resist.

New Year’s Day 2017

It is a day of beginnings.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

 

A small miscalculation at the outset, will cause you to miss your mark by a wide margin, and cause you to never reach your end, or to end in a place you never meant to be.

 

Great care must be taken at the beginning.

 

Be mindful of your aim.

 

It is a day of resolutions.

 

Doing is being, that is what Ray Bradbury said. To have done is not enough. You cannot lie about, and lie about the things you might just do someday. Do, and win the game.

 

Great things are achieved (and by great I mean great on any scale; socially, professionally, personally, spiritually, privately), arrived at, built, discovered, in a series of small, steady, consistent steps, and the steady application of effort.

 

Resolve to do something; be resolute.

 

Know this, life is a dance between contradictions.

 

The process is just as important as the goal.

 

The archer is only concerned with the object of their aim.

 

2017, it is an odd number. I mean it is both odd, as a numeral, and odd in that it portends to be a year marking a significant shift in the fabric of American life.

 

2017 marks a new era in American politics, in the American social order, in the American vision, and the American experience.

 

2017 is the sea change, denoting a transformation that has been taking place over many years, and launching that transformed America, suddenly, and dramatically, unexpectedly, into both the collective psyche, as well as the governing apparatus of the American social order.

 

It is the sort of dramatic shift that you might have thought would have come at the beginning of the century or the millennium, but no…it came 2017.

 

It is the new day, of the new year, the first in this new era, the era of unreality and Donald Trump. Only time will tell us if this is an anomaly, I do not think we can treat it as such.

 

It is not a Brave New World, thank goodness it is not a Huxlian World, it looks like a foolhardy world, more and more like an Orwelian World, and that might be worse.