Past and Future

I saw this video today, and it reminded me of two of my favourite pieces of writing. The first is this conversation from the book Dune, between Paul Atreides and Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam…

“A duke’s son must know about poisons,” she said. “It’s the way of our times, eh? Musky, to be poisoned in your drink. Aumas, to be poisoned in your food. The quick ones and the slow ones and the ones in between. Here’s a new one for you: the gom jabbar. It kills only animals.”

Pride overcame Paul’s fear. “You dare suggest a duke’s son is an animal? he demanded.

“Let us say I suggest you may be human,” she said.

- Frank Herbert, Dune

…and this piece, by H.G. Wells.

It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all that the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening. We can not see, there is no need for us to see, what this world will be like when the day has fully come. We are creature of the twilight. But it is out of our race and lineage that minds will spring, that will reach back to us in our littleness to know us better than we know ourselves, and that will reach forward fearlessly to comprehend this future that defeats our eyes. All this world is heavy with the promise of greater things, and a day will come, one day in the unending succession of days, when beings, beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins, shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a footstool, and shall laugh and reach out their hands amidst the stars.

- H.G. Wells; Nature February 6, 1902.


Date: November 9, 2010
Author: Diaan Mynhardt
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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