Is fear a mind killer

What was the inspiration for Frank Herbert's "Litany Against Fear" in Dune?

I'm getting to it very late. I found it amusing that there are so many comments about what exactly an inspiration is and how it is used as a tag. This is pretty typical of comment forums, where the original topic is quickly redirected to a discussion about something someone mentioned that has little or nothing to do with the actual topic. Of course I'll do it myself now.

I think Herbert was most inspired by his idea of ​​the Bene Gesserit, who they were, what they were about, what their agenda and motives were, and how they did what they did.

Herbert was masterful at character development and in Dune this extended to developing the main competing power organizations whose interactions formed the backbone of the plot which he so skillfully worked out with numerous supporting characters who were also well developed with their own significant subplots.

It was extremely important to him to make the world of the Bene Gesserit as complete as possible, so that their interactions with the other major power organizations, both large and subtle, apparently important or apparently minor deals, leveled by the reader as a multi, actions within actions that made the book a classic.

I believe Herbert created the Litany Against Fear to reveal and substantiate things the reader should know about the Bene Gesserit. Although it could easily be suspected, and was in this forum, that the text itself contains elements of Zen and perhaps Islam, I sense that these influences were subordinate to his desire for his aim to reveal the nature of the organization.

The main purpose of the litany is to tell us about a primary goal of internal organization. The Bene Gesserit are a kind of militant quasi-religious order against steroids. You have been following a specific agenda for millennia. They develop young women into virtual manipulation machines that are capable of influencing men and power families at the highest level in a variety of ways. That way, they can remain relatively secret and anonymous while wielding tremendous political power. An important educational goal of the order was to isolate and develop man and to separate the animal nature of his sisters. It strove in both its breeding program and in its training to create beings that were completely human and had no animal influence. This served several purposes in training the sisters to be exceptional in terms of mental and physical control and acuity, and to create impenetrable bonds and discipline throughout the organization.

The litany is a tool with which Bene Gesserit uses her vocal repetition to focus his sisters back on their humanity when they are afraid that they knew are animal in nature and therefore highly inferior and undesirable. So the "little" death. They also knew that fear, while small and beastly, is strong enough to kill a person's spirit and lead to total annihilation.

By facing our fear, we separate humans from animals. We let it become transparent and invisible above and through us and rob it of its power through mere human spiritual superiority. When it's over, we don't happily return to what we've done, but use the experience as a learning moment. We turn our mind's eye inward again to see the path of fear. We see its intentions, where it wanted to hurt us, what vulnerability, what human weakness it was to exploit and how it intended to do so.

But there is no substance. We remember that fear has no substance and only we remain, more human than ever.

The litany tells us a lot about the Bene Gesserit in a short space of time. This was Herbert's intention and he was inspired by his own imagination.


This is very long and extensive, and only small parts actually attempt to answer the influence of the litany against fear.