"It seized me entirely, lifting me from the limitations of the space-time matrix; it mastered me as, at the same instant, I knew that the world around me was cardboard, a fake. Through its power I saw suddenly the universe as it was; through its power of perception I saw what really existed, and through its power of no thought decision, I acted to free myself. It took on in battle, as a champion of all human spirits in thrall, every evil, every iron imprisoning thing." 132

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dick Experiencing the Universe as an Object of Gnosis

It could be an important observation or insight to say that I did not have a religious mystical experience, with God--as such; I encountered or discerned or perceived or experienced (assimilated the Dinge-an-sich in totality) which we call the universe, and found it to be alive, wise, active (Vast Active Living Intelligence System) and supporting to life, such as ours. Only by degrees--and the process of elimination--did I come at last to call this "God." I did so because what I experienced is customarily called that and nothing else, except perhaps Immanent Mind; however, this is more than mind, it also being active . . . Thus I arrived at the idea that I had found God along lines which did not involve me flying to easy concepts or solutions. In a very real sense I started at the beginning of thought, without preconceptions or expectations, and invented, so to speak, the categories I used, had to use, and wound up with. I think had no one preceded me in this I would still have arrived at these conclusions; I mean, had there been no human knowledge of God or gods, or had I never heard of this (e.g., born into a totally atheistic society with total suppression of news of God actually or in terms of historical belief), I would then be coming to my people to tell them that He Lives. 193

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ubik: The Most Important Book Ever Written

Such a 2-proposition flip-flop dialectic is put forth as the riddle in Ubik: (1) are they [Joe Chip and inertials] dead/Runciter is alive? Or (2) are they alive and Runciter is dead? And it pulses (oscillates) back and forth endlessly. Ubik is the most important book ever written. Ubik the entity is the Tao. And the Logos or Christ or Sophia. Ubik is true; it deals with the (1) dialectic basis of all process; and (2) with the Tao.  509

Mass Hallucinating a World

Eye, Joint, 3 Stigmata, Ubik and Maze are all the same novel written over and over again. The characters are all out cold and lying around together on the floor mass hallucinating a world. Why have I written this up at least five times?

Because--as I discovered in 3-74 when I experienced anamnesis, remembered I'm really an apostolic Christian, and saw ancient Rome--this is our condition: we're mass hallucinating this 1970s world.

What's got to be gotten over is the false idea that an hallucination is a private matter.  337

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ubik: God in the Gutter

Christ speaks of the tiny mustard seed, and the gloss on the J. Bible stresses that the kingdom will enter inconspicuously--very small; i.e., lowly. Where we would least likely to look for it . . .

This realization is very important.

And this lowly trash, bottom penetration is exactly how I portray it (Ubik) in Ubik! On match folders; in tawdry commercials--therein lie the divine messages.

Entry from the "provinces"--Galilee--now takes the form of entry from trash in the gutter up--a trashy [SF] novel which contains trash (the chapter-opening commercials) is the triumphant return of the rightful king. Ubik is trash containing an ever lower order of trash: the Ubik commercials--but which are in fact vox dei. 289-90

                                               * * *

This all really presumes another, invisible landscape at odds with the palpable one. Two realms, perhaps a lower and a higher, one implied, each with its own laws. The lower realm alone does not tell the full story--in fact may not even tell the true story or a part thereof. In the lower realm, deity appears in a debased and trivial or besmirched guise, marginally (like the cheap commercials for Ubik). Only at the end (as in the heading of the last chapter in Ubik) does deity unmask itself, and we see it as it truly is.

Thus I say, if deity exists in the lower realm it will not bear a noble heavenly dignified beautiful aspect; it will be where least expected and as least expected, so there is no use deliberately looking for it--it will have to come to us and unveil itself to us. It could be an old sick--even dying--tomcat sinking of urine, degraded and humiliated.

However, it aids, advises and monitors us. The world is a one-way mirror; God can watch us but not we him. 342

                                                * * *

Ubik shows what I suppose: deity in the very trash of the alley. And deity intimately connected with and utilizing--if not actually being--information. "Ravished away and full of God," as the E. of Phil. article on Plotinus says. Ecstatic comingling. 601

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

And Were There No God at the End of the Road

Today I was thinking that as a child I always wanted desperately--I yearned--to hear the "still small voice" which Elijah heard, and now I have heard it. Also I realized that if at the end of my search for God I learned that there is no God, then whatever I accomplished, experienced or acquired would mean nothing; conversely, this makes up for anything and everything, and creates meaning of an ultimate order in my life. The 3-74 experience was "vaster than empires"; the exegesis which uncovered the significance of the experience is vaster yet--infinite in sum. "What do you want out of life?" I could ask, and answer, "This."  208

The Source of Ubik is Ubik

One fascinating aspect of Ubik is disclosed when the question is asked, "Where did you (I) get the idea?" The origin of the idea, in contrast to virtually all other novels, is evident from the text of the novel itself, although one must extrapolate from Runciter to whatever Runciter represents, and the state of cold-pac to whatever state we are all in. In the novel, information spontaneously intrudes into the world of the characters, indicating that their world is not what they think it is; in fact, it indicates that their world is not even there at all--some kind of world is there, but not the one they are experiencing. That time-regression is put forth in the novel, and that time-regression figured in my 3-74 experience--this still baffles me; the principle underlying the devolution (reversion) of objects along the form-axis in the novel is explained by a reference to Plato' theory of ideal forms, and I guess that applies to our world and to my own experience. However, not until I recently studied the E. of Phil. article on Gnosticism so thoroughly, did I begin to understand the triune reality division which must exist and which is also put forth in Ubik--if Runciter is God, and Joe Chip and the other inertials are analogs of all men; then the regressed world is the ham in the sandwich, and, as in Ubik, must be abolished; as in Gnosticism, this is accomplished, in Ubik, by the revelation of esoteric knowledge about their condition by a deity-like entity lying behind even Runciter; i.e., Ubik. It is this knowledge--not just information but gnosis--revealed to them, especially to Joe Chip, which makes them aware of their real condition.  273-74

The Q arises: How did it come into being? On what source did I draw? I don't know--except that by the information-projecting entity described in the novel itself the arising in my mind of this knowledge (gnosis, sophia) can be accounted for. In other words, the explanation as to the source of the concepts in Ubik is presented nowhere else but in Ubik itself. Would this, then, the existence of Ubik, not constitute an indirect proof of its truthfulness? Were the cosmological concepts in it false, Ubik could/would not have come into being--at least not in the way it did--by automatic writing, so to speak. In other words, Ubik wrote Ubik, which makes the novel a form of scripture (which may be also somewhat true for Maze and certainly, as I well know, Tears).  299

God on TV

Christianity is like a given drama on TV; what I've been trying to figure out for 6 1/2 years is not what this one drama of many is about, but how the TV set works that brings this drama and all the others . . .  So: Christianity, when you think about it, could not be the answer. It is a content within the system, not the system.  620

[Does information about how the TV set works come through the TV?]

Ubik Isn't Fiction

And in a way what is most paradoxical is that I said it all in Ubik years ago! So in a way my exegesis of 2-3-74 says only, "Ubik is true." All I know today that I didn't know when I wrote Ubik is that Ubik isn't fiction. In all of history no system of thought applies as well to 2-3-74 as Ubik, my own earlier novel. When all the metaphysical and theological systems have come and gone there remains this inexplicable surd: a flurry of breath in the weeds in the back alley--a hint of motion and of color. Nameless, defying analysis or systemizing; it is here and now, lowly, at the rim of perception and of being. Who is it? What is it? I don't know.

I ask for 30 years, what is real? And in 2-3-74 I got my answer as if the universe--well, as if my question traveled across the whole universe and came back to me in the form of experienced answers . . . and what I wind up with after 6 1/2 years of studying those experience answers is : a surd. A perturbation in the reality field--an irregularity, a departure from the normal--a tugging or pulling or bending. And that is all. Not even the thing, the perturbing body itself; only its effects on "the reality field." Something out of the ordinary--like I say, a surd.

So what, then, do I know about the nature of reality? That an irregularity can show up in that it points to--something else. Only a sign.

Q: "Ti to on?"
A: Heidegger says, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" To which I ask, "Why does Heidegger think there is something instead of nothing?"

The tug is real and the "reality field" tugged on isn't. So that which is genuinely real is pointed to by its effect on the "reality field" (which isn't real) but what it is that is doing the tugging I have no idea.  631-32

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ubik as Anything You Want

Ubik as an omnipresent energy field which would be the ancient notion of God as Immanent Mind infusing the universe, within it rather than above it; or, in Hindu terms, the Atman, the Breath of God . . . 66

I obviously conceive of Ubik as sentient, perhaps a bioplasmic life form related to the Logos, as the three members of the Christian Trinity are related to each other and one another; Runciter as Christ/Ubik as Immanent God/Runciter, when not visible but writing to them as Logos. Which, I see now, by my logic, makes Logos and Christ the same (which was St. John's view anyhow, in his Gospel). Imagine, having arrived at St. John's view of Christ a priori! (should I notify the Pope?) 67

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ubik Ubik Everywhere and Not a Thought to Think!

A deliberate structure/artifact which they [the characters in Ubik] jointly maintain against the threat of reality, against what, if they somehow relaxed, they would find they could allow to seep in . . . as it later does.They have collectively generated their "reality" outside their field of conscious awareness. (At night, in sleep, this mental mechanism dims, and other elements slide in, but are of course ruled out the next day on awakening, as being mere phantasms.) After the bomb blast in Ubik, as I was writing it, I suddenly had to stop, to realize, with a jolt (I recall that day well, as I sat at my typewriter empty headed and empty paged, as it were), with no preconception at all as to how their new world would be, compared with the one they'd been living in. They were alive; they had been killed; all at once, for plot purposes, I needed to imagine a world so-to-speak as it was, which the closest analog we commonly discuss would be: what is the room like when I'm not in it? I tried to imagine their world for them when it lacked this projection machinery and artifact-like material which they naturally, as do we, maintained constantly, outside awareness. Being dead, they had no force. . . . I sat at my typewriter for a boundless eternity, imagining their world stripped away, and without realizing it, I was imagining their true koinos kosmos [consensus reality] seeping in. What is more thought-provoking is this: what is true of one universe (theirs) would be true of all universes (which would include ours). Thus, the bare-bones koinos kosmos after the bomb blast in Ubik would presumably be ours as well, our authentic koinos kosmos, if we somehow pierced the veils, or rather, if the veils drifted away from between us and it as we relaxed for whatever reason our constant projections which we mutually share. At the time I wrote Ubik it never occurred to me that the world depicted in the latter part of Ubik might in some fundamental way, give or take a bit here and there, be our own, could we see it properly. I wrote the book and forgot how I came to write it; that in point of fact I created a sort of a priori paradigm of what a universe would have to have, minimum, to exist, without reference to what I saw daily in my own. . . . 65-66

PKD Unscrambles The Big Lie

Any system which says, This is a rotten world, wait for the next, give up, do nothing, succumb--that may be the basic Lie and if we participate in believing it and acting (or rather not acting) on it we involve ourselves in the Lie and suffer dreadfully . . . which only reinforces that particular Lie.

When I suddenly stopped believing in the Lie I did not begin to think differently--I saw differently, as if something was gone from the world or gone from between me and the world which had always been there. Like a scrambling device that had been removed: deliberate scrambling. All, suddenly, was clear language. God seemed to seek me out and expressed things through things and what took place. Everywhere I saw signs along a path, marking His presence.

Any lying language creates at once in a single stroke a pseudo-reality, contaminating reality, until the Lie is undone. As soon as one lies one becomes separated from reality. One has introduced the falsification oneself. There is one thing no one can force you to do: to lie. One only lies for one's advantage. It is based on an inner decision invisible to the world. No one ever says to you, "lie to me." The enemy says, You will do and believe certain things. It is your own decision to falsify, in the face of his coercion. I am not sure this is what the enemy wants, or anyway the usual enemy. Only a Greater Enemy, so to speak, would want that, one with greater objectives, and a clearer idea of what the ultimate purpose of all motion is.

Sometime in the past, about three months ago, I must have become aware for the first time in my life that the cause of my misery was the Lie and that the enemy, the real enemy, was a liar. . . .  A week after I realized that with no possibility of evading it everything altered radically for me, and the world began to talk, in a true language of signs: silently. The Lie had slipped away. The Lie deals with talk, written or spoken. Now it's gone. Something else shines forth at last. I see the cat watching at night, for hours. He has seen it all his life; it is the only language he knows. 19-20

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beethoven and VALIS (?)

We respond [like so many parts mounted on a circuit board] according to instructions fired at us [from VALIS ?] . . . The "signals" or events are incorporated into each of us as learning--learning by experience--and they permanently modify our brain tissue, leaving permanent although minute trace-changes in us. This way we store this information combining it and altering it, and we are prepared to transmit it again when instructed, to whoever we're instructed to transmit it to. Each of us is a vast storage drum of taped information which we purposefully modify, each of us differently. Thus, Beethoven produced symphonies which no one else could; the same with Schubert. But the symphonies did not really lie within either of them, rather were fed to each of them . . . in raw bits lacking connectives. What each of those Stations did was to link his selection of bits into gestalts (his idiosyncratic symphonies). He structured them as no other Station could. However, the raw bits were fed to him; in that regard he was receptive or passive. . . . In that he connected them into a new and unique whole he was active and creative. So Beethoven, as your representative station, was a part on a circuit board, linking incoming signals, modifying them, and then transmitting something modified. That everything received by him before (memory) and what he uniquely was (due to experiences throughout his life) went to make up the nature of each output is obvious. Nothing could pass through Beethoven without becoming Beethoven--i.e., colored by him,in a way no one else could. 129-30


Thinking over my exegesis I see it as a vast, original cosmology, partly philosohical and partly theological. It is my own worldview, in part divinely revealed to me, in part arrived at by careful analysis, ratiocination and so forth. It is an awe-inspiring structure and resembles no other arrived at by anyone I have ever heard of. Continually I have been corrected and instructed by the voice.

I was taken over by a surperior life form. Which was interfering with history. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to go on day by day? 352

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Rotting Fruit and the Growing Seed

"My outside is just for laughs. My inner self growing, grows wiser every day--wiser and older, surpassing the outer long ago." (This as insight.)

(St. Teresa of Avila: "Christ has no body now but yours, anywhere on the world.") Thus, this was basis for the above realization: also, my body and the jejune self which goes with it--rather than a split between body and spirit or body and soul, inner or outer in the usual physical--mental [sense]--that totality is as the rotting fruit is to the growing seed within; as the fruit rots, the seed within grows; a double motion within the single entity: the outer toward death, the inner toward life. What grows within me grows perhaps a new body as well as a new spirit, and discards both of the outer ones together. 64

PKD's Ubik-Experience

When I wrote Ubik I constructed a world (universe) which differed from ours in only one respect: it lacked the driving force forward of time. That time in our own actual universe could weaken, or even go entirely away, did not occur to me because at that point I did not conceive time as a force at all . . . I thought of it in Kantian terms [time as a mental construct projected onto the world]. As a mode of subjective perception. Now I believe that time, at this point in the expansion of the universe (or for some other reasons), has in fact actually begun to weaken, at least in ratio to certain other fields. Therefore, this being true, a measure of the Ubik-experience could be anticipated. I have indeed had that experience, or a measure thereof. That is, time still drives on, but counter forces have surfaced and impinge, laying bare the Ubik-landscape--only for a few moments, that is, temporarily. Then time resumes its sovereignty. 4-5

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Classical Source from a Living Past

A prominent effect of Dick’s 2-3-74 experiences was the sense that some intelligence was “coming across” to him from outside of his personal existence and was educating him to a specific end. In pages 22-37 of the published Exegesis, Dick searches for a definitive explanation of what this influence is. There are two main themes (among others) in Dick’s probing of this question: first, the idea that someone from his life had passed over to “the other side,” (died) and was tutoring him from beyond the grave (specifically James Pike); the second, the ascribing of his tutoring to a time in the past (classical) and attributing it to a living influence from that time period. --John Lentz

The best way to describe it is to say at night my mind is full of the thoughts, ideas, words and concepts that you’d expect to find in a highly educated Greek-speaking scholar of the 3rd century A.D., at the latest, living somewhere in the Mediterranean Area of the Roman Empire. 27

After one dream, in which I saw a sibyl who was a Cyclops, I decided after doing research that it was the Cumaean sibyl who had seized hold of me, and not anyone from present times or the “other side.” I got a lot of mileage out of that theory, but then I get a lot out of each theory I hold. 28

But my unconscious for all its obsessions with the theoretical material of that [classical] period is hard-headed and shrewd, and wants everything it comes up with applied in the most practical way. If it shows me the Golden Rectangle it does so in order to calm me with that ultimate esthetically balanced sight; it has a firm therapeutic purpose. There is a utilization of all its abstract material for genuine purposes, for me, by and large. It is a tutor to me as Aristotle was to Alexander, which makes me wonder why it is grooming and shaping me this way, tutoring me in the exact fashion employed by the Greeks. Philosophy for real ends, for final causes, as Aristotle would have put it: for something lying ahead and not as an idle pastime, an end in itself. The ennobling and elevating education is altering me and I would presume that when it is finished I, having become changed, will act upon the improved character which I’ve acquired not on the knowledge direct, as if on enlarged memory banks, but upon the basis of my matured and elevated character. I know this whole process sees ahead because I have caught sight of its clear perception down the web of time, seen with it for a while; it knows what is ahead and acts accordingly. I’m sure it has final purpose in mind, for which this is careful preparation. This recalls to my my notion that the Cumaean sibyl is behind it all; certainly she had or has a clear view of the future, of time; that is what a sibyl is. . . .

This is material emanating from a wise viewpoint which I never possessed. 30-31

So my “unconscious,” which I’ve claimed this tutor to be, has available to it “my entire memory,” except everything pertaining to events and concepts that arose after 100 A.D. That is an extraordinarily great restriction. Obviously, that is not in any sense that we know the term “my unconscious,” laid down in my lifetime; it knows words, concepts, that I never knew—and doesn’t know the commonplace elements of the last 2,000 years. Its location is far back in time. . . .

I remember that when this first hit me, in the first couple of weeks, I was absolutely convinced that I was living in Rome, sometime after Christ appeared but before Christianity became legal. Back in the furtive Fish Sign days. Secret baptism and that stuff. I was sure of it. Rome, evil Rome and Caesar’s minions, were everywhere around me. So were the fast-moving hidden agents of God, always on the go, like the Logos as it creates things. I was a Christian but I had to hide it. Or they’d get me. It made me very uncomfortable to belong to a persecuted sect like that, a small minority of fanatics. . . .

I’ve decided, by a process of deduction, who my tutor is. Asklepios, or one of his sons. A Greek physician, whose step-mother was the Cumaean sibyl, his father Apollo, at whose shrines “ . . . the sick were given wholesome advice in their dreams,” this cult yielding only reluctantly to Christianity. Also Asklepios was according to legend, slain by the Kyklopes, a Cyclops. Which would explain my extraordinary dream: I saw a fusion of his step-mother and him who Asklepios feared most in all the world. . . . Apollo. His—my tutor’s—father. 33-34

James Pike from the "Other Side"

A prominent effect of Dick’s 2-3-74 experiences was the sense that some intelligence was “coming across” to him from outside of his personal existence and was educating him to a specific end. In pages 22-37 of the published Exegesis, Dick searches for a definitive explanation of what this influence is. There are two main themes (among others) in Dick’s probing of this question: first, the idea that someone from his life had passed over to “the other side,” (died) and was tutoring him from beyond the grave (specifically James Pike); the second, the ascribing of his tutoring to a time in the past (classical) and attributing it to a living influence from that time period. --John Lentz

Jim Pike is alive and well on the Other Side, but that doesn’t mean we are all dead or that our world is unreal [as in Ubik]. However, he does seem to be alive and as mentally enthusiastic and busy as ever. I should know; it’s all going on inside me, and comes streaming out of me each morning as I—he—or maybe us both—as I get up and begin my day. I read all the books that he would be reading if he were here and not me. . . .

There have been more changes in me and more changes in my life due to that [2-3-74] than in all the years before. I refer to the period starting in mid-March (it’s now mid-July) when the process began. Now I am not the same person. People say I look different. I have lost weight. Also I have made a lot of money doing the things Jim tells me to do, more money than ever before in a short period, doing things I’ve never done, nor would imagine doing.

Mostly, though, what I get is a lot of information, floods of it night after night, on and on, about the religions of the Antique World—from Egypt, India, Persia, Greece and Rome. Jim never loses interest in that stuff, . . .  23-24

I have been transformed, but not in any way I ever heard of. At first I thought it to be a typical religious conversion, mostly because I thought about God all the time, wore a consecrated cross and read the Bible. But that evidently is due to Jim’s lifestyle. 24

Undoubtedly, from internal evidence it appears to be the past, the archaic past, breaking through. But it’s not chaotic. It’s highly systemized, sort of like the left hemisphere of the Greek-speaking Roman citizen. It seemed to me that the preoccupations of this individual were indeed those of Jim Pike, and thus if you allow all the prior steps in this chain of inferential thought to stand, you arrive logically at the final step that Jim Pike broke through to me “from the other side.” But, if you apply Occam’s Razor, the Principle of Parsimony (the smallest theory to cover the facts), you can deal Jim out and run with the ancient material alone. 27-28

Now, this really does not rule out Jim Pike as my Athenian or Hellenistic Tutor; Jim had, I’m certain, that kind of classical education . . . Also, Jim was—is—shrewd; he’d apply, did apply in his life, all this classical education. He is the only person I ever knew, in fact, with such a background. If Jim were to become my tutor this I really think, all this that I’m being taught, that my attention is being drawn to, would be precisely what he would get me involved with. 32

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Own Special World

For years I've felt I didn't know what I was doing. I had to watch my activities and deduce, like an outsider, what I was up to. My novels, for example. They are said by readers to depict the same world again and again--a recognizable world. Where is that world? In my head? Is it what I see in my own life and inadvertently transfer into my novels and to the reader? At least I'm consistent, since it is all one novel. I have my own special world. I guess they are in my head, in which case they are a good clue to my identity and to what is happening inside me: they are brain prints. This brings me to my frightening premise. I seem to be living in my own novels more and more. I can't figure out why. Am I losing touch with reality? Or is reality actually sliding toward a Phil Dickian type of atmosphere? And if the latter, then for god's sake why? Am I responsible? How could I be responsible? Isn't that solipsism?

It's too much for me. Like an astrophysicist who by studying a Black Hole causes it to change, I seem to alter my environment by thinking about it. Maybe by writing about it and getting other people to read my writing I change reality by their reading it and expecting it to be like my books. Someone suggested that.  22

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Logos and the Holy Spirit

But what is most telling is that in March, at the initial height of the "Holy Other" pouring into me, when I saw the universe as it is, I saw as the active agent, a gold and red illuminated-letter like plasmatic entity from the future, arranging bits and pieces here: arranging what time drove forward. Later I concluded that I had seen the Logos. What is important is that this was perceptual to me, not an intellectual inference or thought about what might exist. It came here from the future. It was/is alive. It had a certain small power or energy, and great wisdom. It was/is holy. It not only was visible around me but evidently this is the same energy which entered me. It was both inside and out. So the Logos, or whatever it was, this plasmatic life form from the future which I saw, satisfies, as near as I can fathom, most of the theoretical criteria above.

Also, the official Catholic/Christian theories about the Holy Spirit so depict it: moving backward from the end of time, pouring into people. But if the Holy Spirit can only enter one, is only inside, then what I saw that was gold and red outside, like liquid fire, wasn't the H.S. but the Logos. I think it's all the same thing, one found inner, one found outer. What difference does it make? It's only a semantic quarrel; what's important is that it comes BACK FROM THE FUTURE, is electrostatic and alive, but a weak field. It must be a form similar to radiation. [. . .]    5-6