"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

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