"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

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

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