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A pearl of Wisdom…

July 6, 2010


While the next post builds pressure (feels like weighty, dense times, no words to be wasted)… I thought I’d share this absolute gem of distilled wisdom from the impeccable Dune series from Frank Herbert. A must read for any seeker conversant in English. Rich with life lessons and viable future possibilities…

A true expression of child-mind. Not child-like or child-ish mind. Big difference.

Genuine, organic innocence.

For some reason, my hair stand on end reading things like this…

Mentat is a profession or discipline in Frank Herbert‘s fictional Dune universe. Mentats are humans trained to mimic computers: human minds developed to staggering heights of cognitive and analytical ability.

From the Mentat Handbook…

Above all else, the mentat must be a generalist, not a specialist. It is wise to have decisions of great moment monitored by generalists. Experts and specialists lead you quickly into chaos. They are a source of useless nit-picking, the ferocious quibble over a comma. The mentat-generalist, on the other hand, should bring to decision-making a healthy common sense. He must not cut himself off from the broad sweep of what is happening in his universe. He must remain capable of saying: “There’s no real mystery about this at the moment. This is what we want now. It may prove wrong later, but we’ll correct that when we come to it.” The mentat-generalist must understand that anything which we can identify as our universe is merely a part of larger phenomena. But the expert looks backward; he looks into the narrow standards of his own specialty.The generalist looks outward; he looks for living principles, knowing full well that such principles change, that they develop. It is to the characteristics of change itself that the mentat-generalist must look. There can be no permanent catalogue of such change, no handbook or manual. You must look at it with as few preconceptions as possible, asking yourself: “Now what is this thing doing?”

  • The Mentat Handbook



4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 2:22 am

    The specialist mentality, while enabling detailed information collection and better mechanistic understandings, has also led to corruption and politicization, I think.

    Is the Renaissance Man a Mentat? Is the yogi?

    • June 26, 2011 4:23 am

      Perhaps the Mentat IS a yogi? And vice versa?
      I could not agree more regarding specialists versus generalists. Specialization has led to a complete narrowing, fractally of course, of our lives.

  2. June 26, 2011 2:27 am

    btw I haven’t read Dune…guess its a must-do. The problem is, whenever I read a great book, I drop everything and read it as much around the clock as possible till I’m done, usually completing w/in days or a week. So if its as good as you’re saying, I have to be ready.

    • June 26, 2011 4:21 am

      Alex, I would recommend it highly! Very very highly.
      Do I sound a bit biased? 🙂 There are six books and 5 of them are stunning, one to long and slow. But to my mind, beyond Lord of the Rings and that genre, far and away the most wisdom packed books I’ve read. Well worth it.

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