100 Best Dune Quotes To Not Forget

“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.”

dune quotes

“Beginnings are such delicate times.”

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows.”

“The people who can destroy a thing, they control it.”

“It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.”

“There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

“The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel.”

“The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.”

“Just as individuals are born, mature, breed, and die, so do societies and civilizations and governments.”

“The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in… And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic… The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.

“Hope clouds observation.”

dune quote

“When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.”

“You’ve heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There’s an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove the threat to his kind.”

“A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.”

“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”

“The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.”

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”

“But all of a man’s water, ultimately, belongs to his people—to his tribe. It’s a necessity when you live near the Great Flat. All water’s precious there, and the human body is composed of some seventy percent water by weight. A dead man, surely, no longer requires that water.”

“It’s shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.”

“The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.”

dune quotes

“The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows—a wall against the wind. This is the willow’s purpose.”

“It is impossible to live in the past, difficult to live in the present and a waste to live in the future.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.”

“Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”

“Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You’ll find me there, staring out at you!”

“Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.”

“What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood’s a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It’s not for fighting.”

“Survival is the ability to swim in strange water.”

dune quote

“Highly organized research is guaranteed to produce nothing new.”

“Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it’s a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.”

“Proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you have always known.”

“There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace – these qualities you find always in that the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush of the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and in our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move towards death.”

“Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who so survive.”

“There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man – with human flesh.”

“Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die.”

“How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him.”

“Anything outside yourself, this you can see and apply your logic to it. But it’s a human trait that when we encounter personal problems, these things most deeply personal are the most difficult to bring out for our logic to scan. We tend to flounder around, blaming everything but the actual, deep-seated thing that’s really chewing on us.”

“But it’s well known that repression makes a religion flourish.”

dune quote

“A killer with the manners of a rabbit – this is the most dangerous kind.”

“We faced it and did not resist. The storm passed through us and around us. It’s gone, but we remain.”

“Knowing where the trap is—that’s the first step in evading it.”

“Do you wrestle with dreams?
Do you contend with shadows?
Do you move in a kind of sleep?
Time has slipped away.
Your life is stolen.
You tarried with trifles,
Victim of your folly.”

“Religion must remain an outlet for people who say to themselves, ‘I am not the kind of person I want to be.’ It must never sink into an assemblage of the self-satisfied.”

“What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?”

“And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning ‘That path leads ever down into stagnation.”

“Mankind has only one science… its the science of discontent.”

“The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door.”

“Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.”

dune quote

“Law is the ultimate science.”

“If you rely only on your eyes, your other senses weaken.”

“It’s easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire.”

“A ruler must learn to persuade and not to compel.”

“For now is my grief heavier than the sands of the seas, she thought. This world has emptied me of all but the oldest purpose: tomorrow’s life.”

“Paradise on my right, Hell on my left and the Angel of Death behind.”

“No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero”

“Humans are almost always lonely.”

“The thing the ecologically illiterate don’t realise about an ecosystem is that it’s a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, flowing from point to point. If something dams that flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That’s why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.”

“When you imagine mistakes, there can be no self-defense.”

dune quote

“A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.”

“The price we paid was the price men have always paid for achieving a paradise in this life–we went soft, we lost our edge.”

“The test of a man isn’t what you think he’ll do. It’s what he actually does.”

“A man’s flesh is his own; the water belongs to the tribe.”

“When he wanted, he could radiate charm and sincerity, but I often wonder in these later days if anything about him was as it seemed. I think now he was a man fighting constantly to escape the bars of an invisible cage.”

“What is important for a leader is that which makes him a leader. It is the needs of his people.”

“A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful.”

“Growth is limited by the necessity which is present in the least amount. And naturally, the least favorable condition controls the growth rate”

“I see us giving love to each other in a time of quiet between storms. It’s what we were meant to do.”

“Polish comes from the cities; wisdom from the desert.”

dune quote

“I should like friendship with you … and trust. I should like that respect for each other which grows in the breast without demand for the huddlings of sex.”

“Prophets have a way of dying by violence.”

“It occurred to her that mercy was the ability to stop, if only for a moment. There was no mercy where there could be no stopping.”

“Behold, as a wild ass in the desert, go I forth to my work.”

“Science is made up of so many things that appear obvious after they are explained.”

“The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

“Desperate people are the most dangerous.”

“The night is a tunnel, she thought, a hole into tomorrow…”

“What is the son but an extension of the father?”

“The day hums sweetly when you have enough bees working for you.”

“Use the first moments in study. You may miss many an opportunity for quick victory this way, but the moments of study are insurance of success. Take your time and be sure.”

“The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture – it begins in the dignity with which we treat the dead”

“I should’ve suspected trouble when the coffee failed to arrive.”

“The day the flesh shapes and the flesh the day shapes.”

“Scientists seek the lawfulness of events. It is the task of Religion to fit man into this lawfulness.”

“The Proximity of a Desirable Thing Tempts One to Overindulgence. On That Path Lies Danger.”

“Respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. Something cannot emerge from nothing.”

“Be prepared to appreciate what you meet.”

“A leader, you see, is one of the things that distinguishes a mob from a people. He maintains the level of individuals. Too few individuals, and a people reverts to a mob.”

“When law and duty are one, united by religion, you never become fully conscious, fully aware of yourself. You are always a little less than an individual.”

“The universe is full of doors.”

“I observed you in pain, lad. Pain’s merely the axis of the test. Your mother’s told you about our ways of observing. I see the signs of her teaching in you. Our test is crisis and observation.”

“Each man is a little war.”

“Hard tasks need hard ways.”

“Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent.”

“When strangers meet, great allowances should be made for differences in custom and training.”

“To accept a little death is worse than death itself.”

“Life produces a different taste each time you take it.”

“One must always keep the tools of statecraft sharp and ready. Power and fear – sharp and ready.”

“A plan depends as much upon execution as it does upon concept.”