Ironically, reading is causing me to procrastinate.
I’m reading Children of Dune (and yes, I’m skipping a book in the dune series because they don’t have Dune Messiah) . I missed a little bit by not reading the second book, but one of the main outcomes is that the main character Paul is damned to walk the desert with the knowledge of the future; that is, knowing exactly how the universe will unfold without being able to change its destiny. Three characters in the book who share the same potential Paul did, that is, knowing varying paths of the future, struggle to not succumb to this curse.
It seems that one of the underlying themes (but not the main one, which is more encompassing) is that the certain future is to be feared. Given a choice between the known and the unknown, humans must always choose the unknown and train themselves to fear the known.
While I don’t know if I deem this an appropriate philosophy to live by, I think it is useful to help us break out of whatever rut of “sameness” we experience every day. Think of how much easier it would be to face our fears if we were no longer afraid of and instead drawn to the unknown. By doing this, I also think we can uncover a lot of hidden fears that may seem ridiculous but are actually legitimate.
Consider the fear of success: a seemingly absurd fear. But consider the obligation that comes with success. Is it ridiculous to see those obligations as chains that limit our ability to act? Perhaps it is indeed the fear of expectation that drives the fear of success, but it is ultimately the fear of success that provides the person with that fear a comfortable path to complacency, perhaps even failure, blinding that person to the fact that the path he chooses opens one or two doors in front of him but locks others behind him. But what if that person explores the unknown and accepts the chains that success binds him with? The answer to this, of course, is obvious, but it also highlights the fact that we need to face the unknown and that we should learn to fear the comfortable path.
“The eye that looks ahead to the safe course is closed forever.”