Is the mentat mantra beginning "It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion" from Frank Herbert? Or is it merely a movie addition? If it is in the books, which book(s) and chapter?

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentat#Mantra - It doesn't appear in the books and was (apparently) an invention of Lynch's.
    – Valorum
    Oct 19, 2016 at 0:03
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    @Valorum Do not answer in the comments.
    – Lexible
    Oct 19, 2016 at 0:06
  • Alas, there's no confirmation on that link that says that it was specifically a creation of Lynch's. It certainly doesn't appear anywhere else in that particular form of words, but that doesn't mean it wasn't inspired by something Herbert wrote.
    – Valorum
    Oct 19, 2016 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


It’s always hard to prove the non-existence of something, but:

  • I read the original Dune trilogy (and every other Dune book written by Herbert).
  • Before I did this, I knew the Mentat mantra and the claim that it was not in the books. Due to this and general confidence in my awareness, I claim that I would have noticed the Mentat mantra (or any variant of it) if it was in the books.
  • I did not notice the Mentat mantra.
  • that's right. there is no mantra in the original books. Lynch changed lots of things in the movie (like the ornithopters for example)
    – azatoth
    Oct 19, 2016 at 15:56
  • One could also categorically search electronic versions of the texts (e.g. for "by will alone"), I suppose. That would pretty much be strong evidence for non-existence of the text in Herbert.
    – Lexible
    Oct 19, 2016 at 17:36
  • @Lexible: That would help, but it would not cover the case that the text was adapted for the movie. Also, I do not have electronic versions of the texts.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Oct 19, 2016 at 17:37
  • Yes, but I did not ask about "adapted from" in any loosey-goosey sense. :) But I think we are in agreement. :)
    – Lexible
    Oct 19, 2016 at 17:39

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