"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

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

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