Dune & the Deeper Meaning of Sci Fi, Rebel Wisdom - Deepstash

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SF is about the mythos of science

SF is about the mythos of science

From the beginning of time humanity connected to a collective sense of meaning through myths & stories. In the West, a lot of our identity is shaped by Christian stories. 

With the advent of technology, we moved away from superstition and embraced rationality & technology. SF in a way is plucking that hole, discussing the philosophy of science. Dune, for example, shares a lot of its narrative ark with Jesus's hero journey but replaces the historical background of Ancient Rome with space feudal lords. 


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The big questions of a scientific world

SF, the good SF at lest, is working on the same big questions we keep asking as human beings, but from a place of scientific understanding rather than assuming everything is God-made:

  • What is our purpose in an infinite universe that does not seem to care about us?
  • Are we alone or there are other consciousness we can interact with?
  • Can we make our own path using technology? 
  • Can we escape death? Can we become Gods?
  • What makes us human in materialistic universe?
  • What is good and evil if there is no ultimate judge?
  • How do we know what's real?
  • etc...


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Psychological Progress: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Psychological Progress: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Most SF starts with the assumption progress is going to be fully technological. 2001, the Stanley Kubrick movie, explores the idea that technology can only take us so far, & altering our consciousness is the real way fwd.

In 2001, the rise of the human from the apes happens through the obelisk, an awakening event. And while humans evolve their tech to the point of creating a general AI, HAL9000, it turns out that the AI will inherit our human flaws. 

The ending of the movie, the psychedelic scene, is a statement that we have to upgrade our consciousness to go to the next stage.


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The psychedelic element in Dune

The psychedelic element in Dune

Dune explores the rise of a Messiah. We go from prince Paul Atrides to Muad'Dib. But his ark is not a traditional hero ark, as described by Cambell.

Paul's abilities are transformed by the spice. he becomes a God only after taking on drugs.

The book appeared during the Hippie Generation and while it's unclear whether Frank Herbert experienced LSD, it is a product of that culture. Paul goes on a drug-induced trip while the houses went to battle, just as the US students discovered LSD during the Vietnam war. 


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.

Dune, the movie, gave me a thirst for deep SF. I am so happy I discovered Damien, a SF nerd with a very philosophical analysis of SF. I stashed a few ideas that stuck with me.

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