Lessons From the Science Fiction World of Dune for Our Non-Fiction Time and Place

Take a look at the compiled lessons we can learn from Dune.

“The air is so dry here. There are fires going, smoke and smog, and when the sun was setting last night, you could look straight at it. It was dark red. Dune is a prophecy and it’s arriving.”

Jacqueline West

This quote is an October 13, 2021 missive from Los Angeles by the movie’s costume designer. Los Angeles also was featured in our early October 25th Dune column on being a center for the current usage of psychedelics.

If the prophecies of the 1965 novel Dune are beginning to come true in Los Angeles and elsewhere, what can we do to avert some of the movie’s catastrophes? Let’s review our daily columns on Dune for some answers.

10/25: Psychedelics

The promise of psychedelics for personal development, loving others, and treating mental illness may possibly be met with proper dosage, set, and setting.

10/26: Climate Change

If we do not want our Earth to approximate the environment of Dune someday—a dry and hot planet with monstrous sand worms instead of our earth worms, full of violence—then we need to respond to this as a public health and mental health crisis.

10/28: Women and Mothers

We need to try more women leaders, while at the same time making sure that our children are cared for lovingly with such policies as adequate paid parental leave.

10/29: Cultural Diversity

Dune falls short of addressing racism and other scapegoating, but John McWhorter’s new book, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, may be an antidote.

11/1: Paranormal

Look for ways to expand the capabilities of our minds.

11/2: Computers

Instead of a metaverse with more and more participation in a virtual reality, computer connections should be used to supplement what live connections cannot practically provide.

Certainly, there is time to avert or reduce many of these problems if we continue to pay attention to what Dune is already telling us.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric TimesTM.