I’ve been re-reading the Dune series again. These books are one of the most prolific books of my childhood. I remember when my mother first suggested that I give them a read when I was in high school. I believe my exact reaction was a stereotypical “ew” face. I was always a fanatical lover of horror novels while my mother has always been a lover of science fiction novels. While I was busy reading Stephen King, she was all about C.J. Cherryh. By that time, however, I had already discovered the 1980s version of the movie associated with that and fallen in love with it. (I’m probably one of like ten people in the world that loves that movie more than the recent remake.) So, I took the first book and was instantly entranced. I’ve re-read the series at least once a year since. And I am still fully in the series’ thrall.
The reason I mention this is due to the series’ obsession with the question of prescience and the preoccupation therein. Always both Paul and Alia, and then later on with Leto II, seem overly preoccupied with the constancy or, more like, the constant variables of their prescient visions. They move so carefully forward, stepping lightly and with only occasional surety, while their visions unfold around them. Well. They unfold only so much, depending on variables that I have not mentioned (and won’t because I’m not a huge spoiler bastard). But the point here isn’t the paths, the what ifs, or the variables of each vision, but the heavy emphasis on ever following the foretold paths.
One can’t help but begin to associate these characters’ reliance with certain pagans, diviners, and polytheists. And I will admit to having an issue with this, myself.
The thing is that it becomes like a drug addiction; the desire to know ALL THE THINGS and the “special” ability to do so. It gets, sometimes, quite difficult to put down the
crackTarot decks or runes. And not just to put them down, but to do so long enough to realize that you are hopelessly addicted and that you are doing yourself, as well as your future, a severe disservice with this. There’s just something exceedingly exciting, however, at the thought/belief/idea/whatever of being able to tread past all the shit stuff and live a “golden lifestyle.”
The thing is that this is a falsehood we tell ourselves.
Besides, how far does this go before prescience becomes a flaw?
As has been shown oft in the series I mentioned, each decision is made to deflect or side-step a specific path that Paul initially sees. (This prescient vision is never fully spelled out until book three, so I won’t really comment fully on it since, as I said, I’m not one of those spoiling assholes.) Yet, each decision to deflect the path only ends up leading to worse horrors. Those terrors may not unfold immediately, but they will or do happen. Is this a pattern we can find in today’s form of prescience, with our divination via Tarot, oracle, and runes? Or am I just deluding myself in thinking that there is a correlation to be met here.
Let’s talk about me for a minute here. (It’s all about ME.)
I’ve mentioned in various outlets that my primarily utilized Tarot deck, the Radiant Rider-Waite, is an excessive troll whenever I ordain to ask it personal questions. Every horrific computation of the queried situation comes up. And I am deeply reminded here of the Dune characters’ terrible situations and their continuous trials to prevent them. Call me crazy here, but while I’m being troll by my cards, it appears that the characters are being trolled by the visions they’re receiving. In effect, the book mirrors my cards’ constant need to be a troll to me.
And this makes me wonder… if we’re so obsessed with knowing the future, is that why some of us suffer from “trolling prescience”? Is this a mess of our own making? Is the issue here that being addicted, so to speak, to knowing the future causes the visions, oracles, or service utilized to tell us the Worst Case Scenario possible? And if that’s the case, is it because we keep looking, hoping for a better answer or is it because in each asking or viewing, it only serves to make matters worse?