person doing yoga at sunset

The Bene Gesserit’s Nerve and Muscle Control

Suspending oneself in hibernation, controlling pregnancies, and besting others in hand-to-hand combat are just some of the bodily abilities the Bene Gesserit women in Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune (1965) unlock through their rigorous prana-bindu training. This article explores these aspects of their skillset as the second in a multi-part series on the Bene Gesserit’s abilities. The foundation of the Bene Gesserit’s self-determination is their training in prana-bindu, which gives them precise control over every nerve and muscle in the body. The Sanskrit origin of these terms points to a connection with Eastern philosophies and traditions around the mind-body

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Bene Gesserit from Dune

Who Are the Bene Gesserit

The women of the Bene Gesserit in Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune train themselves in rigorous control of body and mind to gain a wide array of skills. With religion as a cover, they use these skills to wield political influence under the noses of the Imperium’s most powerful rulers. What kind of skills? The Bene Gesserit can: choose when to conceive and the sex of their fetus gain expanded consciousness of their female ancestor’ memories implant phrases in others’ subconscious to control them in the future alter the chemical composition of poisons in their body to make them

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sand dune with blue sky

Falling for Dune

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows.” – From “Manual of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan (Dune pg 3*) I discovered Dune (1965) because the book had been bothering me. When I was a young teenager, my family bought our first desktop computer, and I started spending more time in the home office. But every time I walked by the row of bookshelves in the room, I saw the orange and brown spines of a set of books sitting by themselves on the highest

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