“Dune”: an esoteric analysis. Cosmism and the latent powers of man

Behind the universe of Dune, a parallel reality is hidden, which has its roots in the myths, symbolism and archetypes of our world. Here we will analyze the hidden meanings in Frank Herbert's epic, bringing to light the links with the Eastern and Western esoteric traditions, which make Dune, a real initiatory novel.

di Daniel Palmieri

1. The universe of Dune

Dune is not only one of the most important science fiction sagas of the XNUMXth century. Behind the fictional narrative he hides an immense philosophical treatise which intertwines ecology with mysticism, sociology with religion, logic with prophecy, science with mythology, psychedelia with anthropology, technology with witchcraft. The strength of the narrative universe created by Frank Herbert lies in the multitude of voices and perspectives that populate the series and, above all, in the author's ability to draw on great archetypes capable of transforming a simple book into a "classic", as already recognized, moreover, by Alejandro Jodorowksy, the first who attempted to transpose the work on a cinematic level, with a project that never went through. The Argentine artist writes his comment on the work: "To me, Dune does not belong to Herbert, any more than Don Quixote belongs to Cervantes. There is an artist, only one among millions of other artists, who only once in his life, almost by divine grace, receives an immortal theme, a MYTH ... and I emphasize "receives", not "creates", because the works of art are received in a state of mediumship directly from the collective unconscious. The work goes beyond the artist and in some ways kills him. Because humanity, in receiving the impact of the myth, feels a profane need to cancel the individual who first received and retransmitted it: his individual personality hinders, stains the purity of a message that, basically, he would like be anonymous" [1].

It does not matter, therefore, that Dune, it came out only in 1965, to transform it into a classic of literature - much less to see echoed in it universal themes and recurrences, of which Herbert himself may have been unaware. In it, as in a space-time gap, a series of suggestions coming from the remote past of humanity converge, as well as fragments of a hypothetical future - given that Time, in its cyclical nature, always proposes the same patterns in another form. In this series of articles, we will therefore analyze the immense cultural background hidden behind Dune, , which reflects a multiplicity of themes wisely amalgamated by Herbert that, with his ingenuity, he created a monumental work.

Herbert manages to immerse the reader in a planet, that of Dune (or Arrakis), alive and pulsating, even if dominated by the desert. Not only thanks to the detailed descriptions of the places, but above all for the meticulous analysis of the customs of the populations, their rituals and their language, their symbiosis with the environment to which they belong and, in general, in the construction of all the elements that make a natural environment alive. Before moving on to the analysis of the great mythological recurrences contained in Herbert's work, it is therefore necessary to make a brief exposition of the plot, the forces at play and the main details that make up the saga of Dune, a real living organism in perpetual evolution.

In this analysis we will mainly refer to the first novel in the series, Dune, , in fact, published in Italy by Fanucci and first adapted on big screens by David Lynch (Dune, , 1984) and recently by Denis Villeneuve. (Dune, , 2021) who, unlike Lynch, divided the work into two parts, stopping, with the first film, at the exact half of the book. We therefore inform readers that in the following articles there will be a series of spoiler for all those who have exclusively seen Villeneuve's film, without reading the novel or without having seen Lynch's adaptation. Let's move on to the analysis of the narrative universe of Dune. 

The cosmos imagined by Herbert is a universal empire of a feudal mold, a sort of New Cosmic Order not at all encouraging. Few noble families they possess the power of entire planets; their interests are mediated byEmperor trying to maintain a fragile balance. In all this, a third link could not be missing, an occult power, that of Gilda, an autonomous organization that has a monopoly on travel in deep space: trade, transfers, travel, mobilization of troops, every journey from one solar system to another must go through their spaceships. The Guild is the glue that tries to maintain a position of neutrality based, however, on the economic factor, which allows each family involved to exert their influence through money and, above all, with an even more important bargaining chip: Spice (or Melange).

Why, in this delicate cosmic balance, is a sterile, hostile, dangerous and entirely sand-covered planet like Dune (or Arrakis) of capital importance? Because Dune is the only planet in the cosmos known to host La Spezia: a particular drug, with an aroma similar to cinnamon, with psychedelic effects. It is able to extend the boundaries of the mind, to expand the perception of space-time, endowing humans with the gift of "prophecy". A fundamental power for the Guild's interstellar travel, whose spaceships travel exceeding light speed, requiring superhuman driving skills, possible only thanks to the gift of foresight induced by the Melange. Therefore, quoting a motto of Dune: "Whoever controls the spice controls the Universe”, Since the one who controls the production of Spezia holds the Guild and any type of interstellar travel (be it military, economic, political) in his hand. 

And it is in this context that the main political forces of the novel come into play: the family of harkonnen and that of Atreides. The former, led by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and his right arm Rabba, have maintained dominion over Dune for years, exercising an authoritarian and oppressive power on the planet, squeezing the production of spice to the maximum and, above all, violently repressing any rebellion of the fremen, an indigenous population living in symbiosis with the desert. However, this violent balance is upset when Emperor Shaddam IV decides to take over the Atreides family from the Harkonnen, led by Duke Leto who, unlike the Baron, embodies the ideals of the "good ruler", tolerant, open to dialogue, ready to sacrifice himself for his people. But, as it will soon be discovered, this move is nothing more than a great trap for the Emperor to unleash the wrath of the Harkonnen against the Atreides and start an ethnic cleansing to extinguish their family branch.

A trap that, however, will prove to be a double-edged sword: in the wake of Duke Leto there are in fact his son, Paul Atreides, and his mother, Lady Jessica, adept of an order, the Bene Gesserit, of which we will speak shortly, whose training, handed down to his son, will have a decisive role in overturning the plans of the Emperor and the Baron, in the face of a first, desolate, defeat of the Atreides family.

Leonid Pasternak, portrait of Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov

2. Cosmism and the conquest of the universe

Having extracted the core of the plot, we can now move on to the analysis of the great archetypal themes contained in the work of Frank Herbert, developing specific points. What immediately catches the eye of Herbert's Universe is that it is a Extremely anthropocentric universe. You will not find the variety of extraterrestrial entities typical of the contemporary collective imagination (think, for example, of the crowded taverns of Star Wars where a myriad of cosmic races coexist) and not even cyborgs, robots, thinking machines, as in Asimov's novels and short stories. It is the human being who is the master, in every corner of the Universe. A new human being, changed, on which a natural selection lasting millennia has acted which, in some ways, has changed its characteristics - however preserving, in most cases, a recognizable shape.

Both the Harkonnen, both the Atreides and the Fremen retain, in fact, the same human form; yet natural selection has acted on them in bringing to light some genetic traits, to select the best individuals and to benefit some characteristics. It is an unscrupulous selection, in which "the best", as in the case of the Harkonnen, is such not because it is right, good and correct, but because it follows the ruthless laws of nature. In other human beings the genetic modification is even more evident, as in the case of the followers of the Guild, whose absolute dependence on the Spice, as well as the permanent presence in space without gravity, has modified their physical and mental constitution to such an extent as to transform them into amphibious entities, with webbed feet and hands, similar to disturbing Lovecraftian entities that have now transcended every space-time boundary.

A theme, that of genetic selection, which is extremely recurrent throughout Herbert's work and which in this case is located on a universal scale. I'm not, in fact, only the differences of geographical region to induce differences and mutations in the various peoples, but distances and planetary, cosmic conditions. But there is another relevant factor in this evolution of the species: it is consciously addressed by the Bene Gesserit, the secret order of which Lady Jessica, Paul's mother belongs, who over the millennia has made a careful genetic selection among the best individuals of all lineages to guide the evolution of the human species, following a program that seems to reflect the selection of individuals with superior qualities described by Plato The Republic, but which also refers to the systems of political alliances typical of Western history and the attempt to preserve noble genetic lines, for both political and aristocratic reasons. As the Reverend Mother of Bene Gesserit says: "Originally, the Bene Gesserit school was directed by those who sensed the need for continuity in human affairs. They realized that such a continuity could not come to light without separating the human stock from the animal one ... for breeding reasons" [2].

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All to favor the progress of the species but, above all, to give life to a mythical Kwisatz Haderach"The shortest way. This is the name of which the Bene Gesserit gratified the unknown, who tried to obtain a genetic solution: a Bene Gesserit male whose mental powers could cross, by organic constitution, space and time." [3]. A sort of "magical child" which we will discuss in detail later.

But this is only one aspect of Herbert's 'anthropocosmism'. In it there is an influence, more or less conscious, of one of the most important twentieth-century esoteric currents of the Russian type, the Cosmism. Cosmism was one of the main esoteric movements that spread in Russia between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and survived, albeit underground, even the materialistic purges of Soviet culture. It was a decidedly heterogeneous movement, founded by Fedorov, which included very different exponents such as Tolstoy, Solov'ev, Florenskij, Fedorov, Berdjaev, Vernadskij, but all united by a precise ideal: the idea of active evolution of the human species

As George M. Young illustrates The Russian Cosmists [4], one of the most authoritative studies on the subject, Cosmism was characterized by search for all the great ideals of the magical, hermetic and religious tradition: immortality, the resurrection of the dead, the defeat of diseases, omnipotence, the landing in other worlds or in an Edenic paradise, essentially in a great golden age. But, in Cosmism, the yearning for these ideals that have always moved the religious, spiritual and even magical inspiration of the human being is declined not only in mystical terms, but also in scientific and Promethean terms. Matter is not considered exclusively the source of these evils, or an obstacle to realizing them, but rather it rises to hyle, raw material, which the new man, new Prometheus, must learn to dominate and shape at will through knowledge, in all its manifestations, and action.

On the one hand the contingency of the human being is recognized, but on the other hand the typical vision of the hermetic philosophy is maintained for which man is a meeting point, a window into which the entire universe converges. Emblematic, from this point of view, are the words of Berdjaev, one of the main exponents of religious cosmism, The sense of creation. Wise for a justification of man:

"The source of philosophical knowledge can only be given by the cosmic and universal aspects of man, and not by the psychological and individual ones. "Man is the measure of things", Protagoras taught; and from here relativism, skepticism and positivism were born. […] But it is in a completely different sense, in a much higher sense, that man must be understood as the measure of all things. In man and only in man there is a concrete and creative understanding of cosmic conditions, in fact only in man is there something akin to the whole cosmos […]. Philosophy is precisely the self-awareness that man has of his own sovereign role and creator of the cosmos. Philosophy is a form of liberation from oppression through knowledge. Science, on the other hand, is the awareness of addiction. "


There is a precise moment, within Herbert's work, in which man has developed this awareness, taking over the reins of his own development: the revolt against the machines, Butlerian Jihad. A word often recurs within the novel, both about the past and about the present: Jihad. It is quite destabilizing to find a similar word in a science fiction saga, especially if connected to a world in which the human being has conquered every corner of the cosmos. The word Jihad, in fact, immediately refers to a series of ideas linked to religious dogmatism, intolerance, the stereotypical image of the Middle Ages, a sort of regression of the human, rather than its futuristic development. Yet, in Dune, , it is precisely Jihad that establishes a temporal dividing line between the humanity of the past and the modern one - and, as we shall see, it will be a second Jihad to revolutionize the course of cosmic history again. In a dialogue between Paul Atreides and the Reverend Mother of Bene Gesserit we read:

“Once upon a time men devoted their thoughts to machines in the hope that they would set them free. But this allowed other men to use machines to enslave them. '

"You will not build a machine in the likeness of a man's mind," Paul quoted.

«So says the Catholic Orangutan Bible, and so it was repeated by the Butlerian Jihad» agreed the old woman […] «the great revolt freed us from a crutch […] forced the human mind to develop. Schools were established to develop human talent».


There was a time in the past of the Dune universe when man had become so dependent on intelligent machines that he was subjugated, physically, mentally, and spiritually. In fact, every capacity of thought and action had atrophied and, since the machine was born as man's furnishings, the man had turned into the furniture of the machine. Hence the great revolt. Men rebelled against the domination of intelligent machines, with the mythical Butlerian Jihad, and thanks to this revolt they managed to become the masters of the universe. As Herbert writes to describe the scale of the event: "The crusade against computers, thinking machines and self-conscious robots, started in 201 BG and ended in 108 BG Its main commandment is written in the Bible co: You will not build a machine in the likeness of the mind of man" [7].

It was thanks to this rebellion that man returned master of his own intellectual and spiritual faculties. Any form of artificial intelligence, even the most rudimentary, such as a calculator might be, was prohibited. For this reason, both in the book and in the films, futuristic technology is reduced to the bone, without the presence of robots, machines or intelligent weapons - as if Herbert had deconstructed the science fiction ideal that entered the collective imagination in the modern era before it even developed. Thanks to this revolt, the study and practice of the development of the inner faculties of the human mind returned and through this thrust a new universal religion.

Several times, in the text, Herbert mentions how following the revolt an intergalactic council took place to create a Universal Religion, which resulted in the creation of Catholic Orangutan Bible, a sacred text that summarizes in itself the cardinal principles of all religions (especially Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism) under the dogma: Don't scar your soul. This new religion recalls the attempt of the universal council called by Looking up peak in the XNUMXth century, prevented by the Inquisition but whose religious and political program has been handed down to us since Speech on the dignity of man and from the long list of religious, philosophical, esoteric and mystery theses that he would have had to deal with to create a new dogma beyond all doctrinal differences.

But even more closely it echoes the intent feared by the founder of Cosmism, Fedorov, ne The philosophy of the Common Work. For the visionary Russian philosopher, man's conquest of the Cosmos necessarily had to pass through a revolution as much scientific as it was spiritual, which would make humanity aware of the eternal principles behind every religion and of the latent powers in the faculties of the soul. As Young writes ne The Russian Cosmists:

"The goal of the joint work is the transformation of humanity and the cosmos, that is, the closest, in Fedorov, to the experience of transmutation in Faivre. For Fedorov the transformation must be internal and external, spiritual and physical, microcosmic and macrocosmic. The gnosis which leads to such transmutation is knowledge active instead of passive, practice rather than theoretical, thaumaturgical instead of contemplative, common rather than private. The transmutation itself must be one total metamorphosis […] Our eventual descendants, and ourselves resurrected, […] we can be so different from what we are today […] we will be both the transmutators and the transmuted […]. Sara the use of all our religious, scientific and artistic knowledge and activities to carry out the kind of transmutation that has traditionally been attempted with magic [...] Like theosophy, anthroposophy and other esoteric doctrines, Fedorov's teaching asserts that tall religions derive substantially from a single religion, which, for Fedorov, is the cult of deceased ancestors. [...] Fedorov believes that some ancient and exotic religions [...] preserve what is worthy of worship more than the current, degraded and mutile versions of the one original faith do. "


Perfectly in line with Fedorov's project, two orders devoted entirely to the transfiguration and evolution of the human will be born from the Butlerian Jihad: the Mentat and the Bene Gesserit, which we will now discuss.

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Indian depiction of the 72000 nadis and 114 chakras in the human "subtle" body, XNUMXth century.

3. The latent powers in the human species

I mentat they are individuals who have voted their entire existence to development of thinking and logic. And, similarly, the Bene Gesserit, is an order in which a series of are practiced spiritual exercises quite similar to those of occult and yogic practices. Those of the Mentat and Bene Gesserit seem two opposing spiritual paths - which, however, intersect and they touch in some places, as happened in the past in the various Greek philosophical schools or in the different Buddhist and Hindu spiritual paths. These two ways perfectly embody the syncretic spirit of Russian Cosmism, in which science, religion and magic come together in a series of psychophysical practices aimed at making the human transcend by any means possible, taking the possibility of his body and mind to the extreme.

Mentats represent the apotheosis of reason, logic and information. Following the Butlerian Jihad, any replication of human intelligence and even any rudimentary form of artificial intelligence having become illegal, man has begun to explore the hidden faculties of the mind, trying to replicate with brain connections what previously entrusted to computer connections. The Mentats are computer-humans, individuals who have trained their mind to become a real computational machine that feeds on information. They represent logical, rational, scientific thought; are comparable to the followers of Sámkhyaand Nyáya or of Vaisheshika, the main Hindu rationalistic schools. Through the meticulous analysis of every information, they sift through any possible path with logic, they try to understand what has happened, what is happening and what could happen with a degree of accuracy directly proportional to the information acquired and processed. 

The Bene Gesserit, on the other hand, represents the way of mysticism and spiritual asceticism. The same results as the Mentats are achieved through initiation into order and practice of psycho-physical exercises of concentration, meditation, visualization, control of the mind, thought and breath, but also psychedelic rituals, with the use of sacred drugs, and, as is suggested, even orgiastic. One of the main Bene Gesserit trainings is related to the mastery of the breath, through the practice of the so-called prana-bindu, a form of psychosomatic meditation that by means of respiratory awareness it allows the adepts to conquer absolute dominion over the nervous system, the muscles but also the mind, the perception of Time and the possibility of directly influencing the biochemical processes of the body, even being able to neutralize the action of poisonous substances.

According to the Glossary written by Herbert, the word bindu "it refers to the human nervous system, especially its training" [9] e prana would indicate "the muscles of the body, considered as a single unit for the final training" [10]. However, we have already got to observe how Herbert, in a kind of fantastic syncretism, be able to give new life to ancient concepts and, again, there are close affinities between Bene Gesserit prana-bindu and traditional mystical, ascetic and religious practices.

In particular, the relationship between prana-bindu and the two homonymous terms of the Hindu tradition immediately catches the eye. The Praṇa, similarly to the Ki of the Chinese tradition or to the universal magnetism of eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century occultism, it would be "the ascending life energy associated with the respiratory function" [11], or, as he writes Iyengar in Prāṇāyāma theory and practice:

"It is difficult to explain the Prāṇa as it is difficult to explain God. Prāṇa is the energy that permeates the universe at all levels.. It is physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, spiritual and cosmic energy. All vibrating energies are prāṇa. It is the hidden or potentially existing energy in all beings, which is fully released in moments of danger. It is the prime mover of all activities. It is the energy that creates, protects and destroys. Vigor, power, vitality, life and spirit are all forms of prāṇa. [...] The prāṇa is the breath of life of all beings in the universe, who are born and live thanks to it, and when they die, their individual breath dissolves into the cosmic breath. "


Prāṇa would be therefore the vital breath, not to be confused exclusively with the breath; the breath, if anything, is one of the many manifestations, the one that comes closest to its essence given its essential importance for the life of the living being and, also, its ethereal, imperceptible character. A vision that, even before being important in the West by the theosophical teachings and oriental schools spread between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, had already manifested itself in the thought of Anaximenes of Miletus which, similarly to Indian thought, he had identified in pneuma the principle of all things. "As our soul, which is air, holds us together, so the breath and the air embrace the whole world”Writes the pre-Socratic philosopher, who imagines the flow of the cosmos as a perpetual movement of inhalation (contraction) and exhalation (expansion). Similarly, the bindu

"in scivaism indicates the mathematical point at which the universe reabsorbs at the moment of dissolution and from there it proceeds to the moment of creation. In the initiatory language the bindu is the drop, that is the egg created by the fusion of the male seed with the female egg, or it is simply the male seed. Finally the bindu can indicate the infinite creativity inherent in the Absolute (the One) and in the individual himself. " 


Yoga techniques are born, within Eastern thought, to lead the adept back to union with the Absolute, expanding the boundaries of consciousness. Among them, of particular interest for our discussion, is the prāṇāyāma, which, in the words of Iyengar is:

"an art and has techniques for making the respiratory organs move and expand intentionally, rhythmically and intensively. […] This disciplined breathing helps the mind to focus and allows the sadhaka [one who follows a particular spiritual path, editor's note] di get good health and longevity. Prāṇāyāma is not simply the habitual automatic breathing that holds body and soul together. Due to the abundant absorption of oxygen that his disciplined techniques are realized, subtle changes take place in the sadhaka's organism. The practice of the asana removes the obstacles that impede the flow of prāṇa, and the practice of prāṇāyāma regulates that flow through the body. Furthermore, it regulates all the sadhaka's thoughts, desires and actions of him, gives the balance and enormous willpower necessary to become master of oneself.. "


In the same way, the prana-bindu practiced by Bene Gesserit initiates it is related to the conscious control of breathing and its processes, to extend the powers of the mind over the body. In the yogic tradition, assuming perfect control over the respiratory mechanisms allows the initiate to tune into the  Praṇa, the eternal source of life energy and, consequently, access to the infinity of power and information contained within it. That is, it is about tap into the very source of life, inhale it within your body and thus develop a series of siddhi (powers) which have a close affinity with those possessed by Bene Gesserit adepts. As stated in the Siva-Samhita:

"These are all the powers of yogis: prophecy, ability to go wherever you want, clairvoyance, clairvoyance, view of the subtle plane, ability to enter another's body, power to transform metals into gold by rubbing them with feces and urine, power to to become invisible and to move in the air. "


Similarly, Jessica and Paul and generally initiated them at Bene Gesserit, thanks to the practice of prana-bindu they are able to expand the perception of Time, to make vital decisions in a short moment; can directly affect the processes of the body, slowing down aging, acting on cellular processes, neutralizing the effect of poisons; through the use of the "Voice", a particular modulation of the tone of the vocal expression, they can dominate the will of others and even enter their thoughts. Finally, the practice of reciting the mantra against fear is fundamental in the conquest of inner self-control, which recurs on several occasions both in the novel and in the film by Villeneuve:

"I don't have to be afraid. Fear kills the mind. Fear is the little death that leads to total destruction. I will face my fear, allow it to pass through and through me. And when it is over, I will follow its path with my inner eye. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing, only I will remain. "

As in the Eastern tradition, and similarly to some Christian prayer practices, such as Hesychasm, constant repetition of the mantra allows man to transcend himself, annihilate every thought and enter a Cloud of Non-Knowledge, from which every emotion, event, idea is irrelevant with respect to the divine immensity - bringing about a consequent condition of inner peace, deriving from the awareness of the nullity of human events . In particular, in the Bene Gesserit mantra the elevation of the soul from earthly emotions occurs from the awareness that fear represents, for the spirit, a "little death". Conception similar to the vision of Sant'Ambrogio di Milano in his homily  De bono mortis (The good of death), in which the Christian thinker argues that the soul of man goes to meet death every time he induces in the emotions that chain him to material life. But the sage, like the Bene Gesserit, faces his own fear and death:

"If death is considered terrible among the living ”scrive Sant'Ambrogio “It is therefore not such in itself, but in the opinion that each one makes of it, whether it is dictated by feelings or by the fears of one's own conscience. Therefore, accuse each one of the weakness of his own conscience, and not the harshness of death, and consider death a haven of quiet living for the righteous and instead a shipwreck for the wicked.. "


Once the fear is crossed, death also vanishes; death vanishedlooking back, the fear also disappeared. The escape route from fear, in the Bene Gesserit as well as the German mystical school headed by Meister Eckhart, is the inner eye of the soul that opens up through prayer (or mantra): the inner channel that allows you to contemplate their earthly events from an otherworldly perspective, but also the channel through which God sees Man and, consequently, Man can see God. And in the face of this vision, even God vanishes leaving standing on the ruins of existence only the I, which has discovered its total coincidence with the Absolute

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4. Jihad: The Little War and the Great War

Taking a step back and returning to the theme of Jihad, in the universe of Dune, , it was precisely these superhuman efforts of the mind that allowed the victory of the Butlerian Jihad. Why did Herbert decide to bother with a term full of meaning such as the word Jihad? To understand this choice, it is necessary to analyze the term without prejudice and reconstruct its theological meaning, within the distinction, present in traditional metaphysics, of Little War e Great War. As he writes Julius Evola in Metaphysics of war:

"The distinction goes back to a saying of the Prophet [Mohammed, editor's note], who returning from a warrior expedition would have declared: We have returned from little war to the great holy war. The little war corresponds to the exterior warfare, to the bloody one that is fought with material weapons against the enemy, against the barbarian, against an inferior race in the face of which a superior right is claimed or, finally, when the story is directed by a religious motivation, against the infidel . However terrible and tragic the events may be […] metaphysically the little war always remains. There great sacred war instead it is of an interior and immaterial order, it is the great war that is fought against the enemy, or the barbarian, or the infidel that everyone carries within himself or that he sees arising in himself when he wants to subdue his whole being to a spiritual law […] It is precisely to the heroic traditions to prescribe the little war […] as an instrument for carrying out the great sacred war; so much so that, in the end, the two become one and the same thing. This is how in Islam "sacred war" - jihad - and "God's way" are terms used for each other. Whoever fights is on the path of God. "  


Il Butlerian Jihad, in the universe of Dune, it represents the Great War with which humanity has regained the dominion of his most important essence: the creative power of the mind. By getting rid of machines, man has expanded the powers of his mind to such an extent that he returns, as God, co-creator of the universe - the evolution longed for by Russian cosmists in which man becomes the "maker of God" , in charge of completing and continuing the creation begun by divinity. As Berdjaev writes:

"One can ask whether the idea that God has about the world and the project of the Kingdom of God really includes the idea that his population should be composed only of ignorant people, fools and idiots [...] it is legitimate to think that the plan may God be higher, more composite and richer over the world […]. The apostle recommends that we be like children in heart, but not in mind. And in this sense man's creativity, knowledge, art, inventions and the improvement of society [...] are necessary not for individual salvation, but for the realization of God's plan for the world and humanity, for the transfiguration of the cosmos […]. Man is called to be a creator, to collaborate in the divine work of creating and building the world, and not just to save himself. "


Herbert speaks of this war in terms of Jihad precisely because it was a real "Holy War", both internal and external, similar to the Malicide - the elimination of evil from the world by means of combat - of which Bernard speaks of Chiaravalle in his Praise to the new militia. And for the entire novel (as well as the rest of the series) this religious inspiration is present permanently, as if the future of the human species does not really reside in technology but in the exploration of this religious feeling and, above all, of the powers of the mind - with all the positive and negative aspects of the matter. The post-Jihad Butlerian cosmos, with its hierarchical and feudal structure, is anything but an idyllic world. As taught to Muslim soldiers as to Christian crusaders, there is never an end to the Holy War, except on the Day of Judgment, for even when the weapons fall and the outer Little War ends, the perennial inner Great War against the Evil that lurks in man - and, therefore, from the oppression of the new masters, a new Jihad will be born, that of the Fremen led by Paul Atreides “Muad'dib”, Which we will analyze in the next article.


Aa.vv., Yoga revealed by Siva, edited by MP Repetto, Magnanelli, Turin 2020.

Ambrose of Milan, The good of death, Il Leone Verde, Turin 1997.

N. Berdyaev, The sense of creation, JacaBook, Milan 2018.

J. Evola, Metaphysics of war, Ar Edizioni, Padua 2001.

F. Herbert, Dune, , Fanucci Editions, Milan 2021.

BKS Iyengar, Pranayama theory and practice, Edizioni Mediterranee, Rome 1988.

A. Jodorowksy, The Incal, Mondadori, Milan 2019.

G. Young, The Russian Cosmists, Tre Editori, Rome 2017.


[1] A. Jodorowksy, Dune (by Alejandro Jodorowsky)in The Incal, Mondadori, Milan 2019, p. 349.

[2] F. Herbert, Dune, , Fanucci Edizioni, Milan 2021, p 31.

[3] Ibid, pp. 614-615.

[4] GM Young, The Russian Cosmists, Tre Editori, Rome 2017.

[5] N. Berdyaev, The sense of creation, edited by Adriano dell'Asta, JacaBook, Milan 2018, p. 78.

[6] F. Herbert, Dune, , Fanucci Edizioni, Milan 2021, p. 31.

[7] F. Herbert, Appendix V., in Dune, p. 613, Fanucci Editions, Milan 2021.

[8] G. Young, The Russian Cosmists, Tre Editori, Rome 2017, pp. 106-109.

[9] F. Herbert, Appendix V.in Dune, , P. 605.

[10] Ivi, p. 621.

[11] P. Repetto, Glossaryin Yoga revealed by Siva, Magnanelli, Turin 2020, p. 115.

[12] BKS Iyengar, Pranayama theory and practice, Edizioni Mediterranee, Rome 1988, p. 38.

[13] Ivi, p. 107.

[14] Ibid, pp. 39-40.

[15] Aa.vv., Yoga revealed by Siva, edited by MP Repetto, Magnanelli, Turin 2020, p. 115.

[16] Ambrose of Milan, The good of death, Il Leone Verde, Turin 1997, p. 45.

[17] J. Evola, Metaphysics of war, Ar Edizioni, Padua 2001, p. 56.

[18] N. Berdyaev, The sense of creation, JacaBook, Milan 2018, p. 23.

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