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    January 25th, 2012 @ 5:46 am by admin

    I’ve been a fan of Frank Herbert’s Dune saga since I was a teenager, but I’ve never read it all the way through. So I was pretty excited when my seven-year-old son Zeph gave me all six books for Christmas this year. (Truth be told, I actually found the books in a thrift store and then secretly gave them to my wife and suggested that she have Zeph give them to me for Christmas…)

    At any rate, I’m nearly finished the second book, Dune Messiah, Each chapter begins with a quote from a fictional history of Dune. One of those quotes struck me as particularly apropos to some of the dynamics we encounter when talking about hell:

    The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy. Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of power over another the ultimate assumption remains: “I feed on your energy.”



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  1. [The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other.]
    _This intended violence, is it a “natural” tendency which afflicts everybody? What makes us want to hide it from ourselves?

    [Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree.]
    _Perhaps a category mistake here. “one hour from his life” I understand here one hour of freedom, very different from “depriving him of his life”.

    [You have done violence to him, consumed his energy.]
    _I can see “consumed’ in the sense of destroyed, but not in the sense of absorb.

    [Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of power over another the ultimate assumption remains: “I feed on your energy.”]
    Here he is repeating the idea of the first sentence and the idea of the third sentence.

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