Dune and the Meaning of Life
What the sci-fi movie Dune can teach us
Sci-Fi Teaches Us About Our World
I have been anticipating seeing the epic new sci-fi movie Dune since the trailer dropped.
While I can’t say I took the time to read the novel, I love sci-fi as a category more than anything.
Sci-fi is at it’s best when it helps us learn more about our world today and how we can improve it.
The concept of seeing science-fiction turn into science is something that inspires me greatly.
People from prior generations talk about how on Star Trek the characters used to communicate with these devices which we now call cell phones. Star Trek came out in the 60s, well before cell phones, but had great influence on the modern cell phone technology which came decades later.
Like Star Trek, Dune is thousands of years in the future. Dune has cool technologies we may be able to learn from one day, but, sometimes we gain more insights about the common stories we see across time and space, then trying to connect our world to theirs.
To paraphrase a concept from Jeff Bezos, “don’t ask how the world will change in 10 years, but ask what will stay constant?”
Even when we look deep far into the future world of Dune, we can gain valuable insights that are deeply relevant to our world today.
The Meaning of Life
One of my favorite quotes in the whole movie was about the meanings of life.
“The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience. A process that cannot be understood by stopping it.”
Often, I get the desire to want to stop life. To try and figure it out. I find that I want to write to pause time but it doesn’t work like that. Or I meditate to be still and gather my thoughts. While these are spiritual endeavors, time is like a river that flows constantly. There is no key to figure it out no matter how hard I try.
Hence, the second part of the quote:
“We must move with the flow of the process.
We must join it.
We must flow with it.”
This reminds me of the Tao - a concept of East Asian philosophy that says the Tao is the natural order of the universe in which the knowing of “life” cannot be grasped as a concept; it is known through actual living experience of one’s everyday being.
The concept is difficult to understand because it is basically saying that we can never figure out this thing we call “life”. The Tao is "eternally nameless” in which no words can describe it.
The flow of life, or Tao, or whatever you want to call it, is only understood through individual wisdom which we each experience through our personal lives. Meaning, you can’t read about it in a book, or be taught about it from someone else. The only way to move through life comes from within.
While writing this article, I am trying to figure out this concept for myself; and, that’s exactly the point.
Let the Sand Dune Pull You
As I go back to everyday life, leaving the pure joy I felt in the movie theater for 2.5 hours while watching Dune, I bring back with me the reminder that life is flow.
The more that you can lean into life, the path unfolds. Don’t try to think or act your way out of things. Life should feel like a river that only you know intuitively.
The point is painted beautifully during a scene in Dune when the main characters helicopter goes into a sand storm to survive. The stand storm causes the wings not to work and is breaking the helicopter. Instead of trying to force his way out of the situation by flying, he brings the helicopters wings in, and lets the sand storm pull the helicopter every which way. After a few moments, the sand storm brings him up, near the top of the storm, and able to get out of harms way.
I will end with one more quote from the movie:
“A Great Man Doesn’t Seek To Lead. He’s Called To It.”
Your life is calling you to lead.