Thursday, January 6, 2011
Philip K. Dick and the Alchemy of Information
Excerpts from VALIS
It all had to do with time. "Time can be overcome," Micrea Eliade wrote. That's what it's all about. The great ystery of Eleusis, of the Orphics, of the early christians, of Sarapis, of the Greco-Roman mystery religions, of Hermes Trismegistos, of the Renaissance Hermetic alchemists, of the Rose Cross Brotherhood, of Apollonius of Tyana, of Simon Magus, of Asklepios, of Paracelsus, of Bruno, consists of the abolition of time. The techniques are there. Dante discusses them in the Comedy. It has to do with the loss of amnesia; when forgetfulness is lost, true memory spreads out backward and forward, into the past and into the future, and also, oddly, into alternate universes; it is orthogonal as well as linear.
Tractates Cryptica Scriptura
20. The Hermetic alchemists knew of the secret race of three-eyed invaders but despite their efforts could not contact them. Therefore their efforts to support Frederick V, Elector Palatine, King of Bohemia, failed. 'The Empire never ended.'
21. The Rose Cross Brotherhood write, 'Ex Deo nascimur, in Jesu mortimur, per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus,' which is to say, 'From God we are born, in Jesus we die, by the Holy Spirit we live again.' This signifies that they had rediscovered the lost formula for immortality which the Empire had destroyed. 'The Empire never ended.'
22. I term the Immortal One a plasmate, because it is a form of energy; it is living information. It replicates itself -- not through information or in information -- but as information.
23. The plasmate can crossbond with a human, creating what I call a homoplasmate. This annexes the mortal human permanently to the plasmate. We know this as the 'birth from above' or 'birth from the Spirit.' It was initiated by Christ, but the Empire destroyed all the homoplasmates before they could replicate.
25. As living information, the plasmate travels up the optic nerve of a human to the pineal body. It uses the human brain as a female host in which to replicate itself into its active form. This is an interspecies symbiosis. The Hermetic alchemists knew of it in theory from ancient texts, but could not duplicate it, since they could not locate the dormant, buried plasmate. Bruno suspected that the plasmate had been destroyed by the Empire; for hinting at this he was burned. 'The Empire never ended.'
26. It must be realized that when all the homoplasmates were killed in 70 C.E. real time ceased; more important, it must be realized that the plasmate has now returned and is creating new homoplasmates, by which it has destroyed the Empire and started up real time. We call the plasmate 'the Holy Spirit,' which is why the R. C. Brotherhood wrote, 'Per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus.'
31. We hypostatize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of the information; the message has changed. This is a internal linklanguage which we have lost the ability to read. We ourselves are a part of this language; changes in us are changes in the content of the information. We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outward once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing.
36. In summary; thoughts of the brain are experienced by us as arrangements and rearrangements - change - in a physical universe; but in fact it is really information and information-processing which we substantialize. We do not merely see its thoughts as objects, but rather as the movement, or, more precisely, the placement of objects: how they become linked to one another. But we cannot read the patterns of arrangement; we cannot extract the information in it - i.e. it as information, which is what it is. The linking and relinking of objects by the Brain is actually a language but not a language like ours (since it is addressing itself and not someone or something outside itself).
37. We should be able to hear this information, or rather narrative, as a neutral voice inside us. But something has gone wrong. All creation is a language and nothing but a language, which for some inexplicable reason we can't read outside and can't hear inside. So I say, we have become idiots. Something has happened to our intelligence. My reasoning is this: arrangement of parts of the Brain is a language. We are parts of the Brain; therefore we are language. Why, then, do we not know this? We do not even know what we are, let alone what the outer reality is of which we are parts. The origin of the world "idiot" is the word "private." Each of us has become private, and no longer shares the common thought of the Brain, except at a subliminal level. Thus our real life and purpose are conducted below our threshold of consciousness.
letter to Claudia Bush (Exegesis p. 176)
what happened to me in March is exactly that "in the twinkling of an eye"23 rebirth or transformation, much like an abrupt chemical process ... as the alchemists so realized. But it must as I say be touched of adventitiously—which is the role Christ plays or did play, his work being already done. He set it in motion. It can't be turned back. He died, but he died knowing he did it. And of course he shared—he was the first to share—in the fruits of his own secret. He did add, though, that most of us would laugh at all this, finding it incredible and impossible and senseless, not to mention stupid. It never meant anything to me until March, and in March when it happened to me I couldn't relate what had happened to anything I'd ever been taught about God or religion. I thought god was up there in the sky. However, he is not; he is a spark which can fuse the total mind in each of us into something entirely new which was not there before (a description of irreversible chemical processes), burning off the dross and making stable (or as the Bible says, uncorruptible) the valuable contents. You can readily see the analogy between this and a chemical reaction in which the results are spectacular, as with ignited gunpowder. There is no way to anticipate the results based on a study of the three prior constituents, and if I told you what would happen unless you had seen it you probably wouldn't believe me. Fire is the adventitious element added; in the case of the transformation I went through, it is also a kind of fire: seen as chromatic phosphene activity. Probably this is radiation phosphene stimulation; the Soviets say that such radiation stimulating phosphene activity can come here—and does—from sidereal space. I believe it. This is the catalyst. The valuable aspect of the external catalyst is that it keeps the process within the control of who it is who controls these things; it isn't going to simply occur at a random time for no reason at all. The universal mind dispatches a Mediator—which is what Christ is called, correctly—to trigger it off; or anyhow the fish sign or any Logos triggering agent.