Every other week, I’ll be posting a new literary quote. This week’s quote is the Litany Against Fear, from Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune. Widely regarded as a masterpiece, Arthur C. Clarke said “I know nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings.”
A depiction of an alien civilization as reflective as humanity’s past as it is of our future, Dune is an amazing novel for its ability to redefine the hero myth in the context of syncretic medieval and Arab history, all set in the future. The novel’s “Litany Against Fear” is one of the best examples of Herbert’s mastery of religious history, as it denotes a spiritual belief held by the novel’s protagonists that evokes the phrasing and power of the Lord’s Prayer.
Without further ado, the Litany Against Fear:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”