Saturday, April 16, 2011

Was PKD Crazy/Were his experiences Real? a quick note

Questions about the reality of Dick's mystical experiences might be compared to questions about his sanity. We don't really have access to information that could confirm or deny. (aside-we might also compare the whole issue of authorial intention.) But we do know that Dick himself was worried about the problem, and devoted a large chunk of his literary energies to such speculations. My wish is that we aim to be at least as sophisticated as PKD himself was in our interrogations of these questions and the assumptions underlying them.

see also my comment on Dave Gill's excellent post on the "crazy" question
Weekly Round Up

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

more from PKD Letters

PKD Letters 1975-1976
61 God is as close as the wall beside me, is *within* the wall beside me, concealed by it, as if that wall is a paper mask

62 DC hologram
63 a superior analogy would be to regard the universe as consisting of language.
70 Why would God take his Sole Son...?

71 worst thing for titans/devour life form after murdered it.
72 triggered -- how close to gnostic Hymn of the Soul... perhaps this was a purely accidental disinhibiting
76 King Solomon "fuck it"

81 I didn't know you wore contact lenses
85 I've been reading Ornstein
86 I had some strange dreams last night...

118 I present you with the sort of evidence which deep within the heavy books I read seemed to indicate vast truths undisclosed to most men

129 DC "I am so tired I can't do much," SFS

130 we must be calm and serious here because what Jameson is alluding to is that somehow language is a set in which salvation can overcome *the evil of physical power*

131 "Music is not real"
communication has a reality that we do not understand

138 not all seeds are planted as wheat grains are

141 DC today is the vernal equinox

142 you think I'm kidding, I *hope* I'm kidding

148 a dazzling spectrum of balanced chromatic lights
128 Ornstein -- for 10 months I have been a different person
describes Nicholas Brady/City of Iron/Thomas station in the noosphere
"oceans of knowledge" which the Sumerians drew on

150 Decoded New Testament shows that what happened to me is happening to others
151 Firebright
152 no priests are needed

157 "Phil Dick shows no genuine understanding of his own writing"

159-160 to Le Guin
159 Taoist balance
160 Unbounded "governs" universe in Presocratics [Hussey]
You know, Ursula, although I am a Christian I do not accept the authority of any man. I believe that God as broken his long (for us) silence.

179 I never though anything much about UBIK while writing it.

179 You can see that this is a heavy idea and much research is required.

180 Valid, important, philosophical-theological material in UBIK which I had put there somehow outside of conscious intent or understanding. dreams--I was Joe Chip

182 to his mother about therapist advice, dealing with deppression

184 the schizophrenic persons who comprise many of my characters find their universe coming apart, revealing the mechanism or structure which normally holds it together into the kosmos it is

205 to PW my therapist has had a difficult time pulling me out of the dreadful space which doing the final on Scanner has put me in

213 Linda Levy -- application for personal immortality

217 LL why I am writing you is because of a perplexing theological problem which she could not answer

218 I am very bored and lonely. Tessa... finds me boring.

260 "in many ways, Phil Dick is to psychedelics and SF what WSB is to hard drugs and mainstream literature. He attracts students of the mind and unravelers of reality puzzles, etc.

265 Susan Sontag - sorry you're sick
278-80 editing Scanner
282-3 Del Rey
308 to Peter Fitting: it's as if the gods were sitting around and having nothing better to do they say, "let's see old Phil get THIS down on paper." And then revealed all the mysteries of the universe to me and then sat back laughing."

308 notes up to 250,000 words
310 here's the great SF author all happy and alice and well, having dissolved at last a truly fucked marriage

326 to Tessa: I am evidently in the opposite corner from God
329 to mother - fits pattern of William James Verieties of Religious Experience

340 DC It would seem you have your shit together. I am getting mine together, too; I'm receiving a lot of therapy... It's amazing how far not giving a fuck about anything can carry you.
Bantam editor is afraid Phil Dick has "got religion." The truth of the matter is I have, as you well know, but I try to conceal it.

341 where I differ from Plotinus [carbon ends]

vii RAW turn from last page of Ubu Roi to first page of Ubik
ix Zebra and alphabet soup
xi Phil, alas, wasted a lot of energy asking such questions... (we all benefit from that "wasted" energy of course: it fueled some of Phil's most blindingly brillian writing)
xii metaphor/model ... RAW's own Contact experience
xiii like Phil, I had a long odyssey seeking "explanations" before I learned the basics of Deconstructionism, 'Patapsychology, and Ethnomethodology
xxvi Gustav Hasford 1000s of library books
xiv Subgenius always has enough slack to *give it away*
xvi "baffled suspiciousness" that haunts the arts and philosophies of our time
xxxvi usual funny typos are less in evidence
Phil sometimes got lost in the labyrinth of possibility that opens before the astonished eyes of the ontological explorers of our time
xxv notes approaching half a million words, VALIS "definitive fictionalization"

xvii May 77 letters to Joan written in Sonoma never posted

to Patricia Warrick
164 5-17-78
178 our God is a creator God unlike Plato's he generates worlds
165 basis of Gnostic revelation
175 "epistemological problem"
176 multiple viewpoint
176 concept of the subjective as real
177 I did originate one viewpoint system


3 all this has challenged my religious beliefs a great deal; I can't understand how the universe could let someone like Sherri get so sick (to Linda Wolfe)

6 I've been working until 3 or 4 am each night on my enormous exesgesis of my religious experience back in March of 1974
editor "you're getting to sound like a jesus freak" he was fired

7 I am having gothic nightmares in the middle of the real world; what is most terrifying... that the nightmare world is located just below the surface-skin of the commonplace

7 I'm not sure that my universes are such fine places

8 Bob Arctor is me

8 Berkeley: the universe is an idea in the mind of God. I alter that to "the universe is an idea in the minds of men"

19 the Dead is one of my all time favorite groups

20-28, 30-52 Zebra for Valis, to Mark Hurst

16 one with your maker -- become ventriloquist dummy.

20 VALIS based on the idea of genetic memories which program each of us subliminally

16 instead of an orgasm he hallucinates a large buzzsaw

13 Zebra theme overcomes both
14 Zebra is so superior that it might as well be God

52 to Zelazney - dream, purchased old Berkeley house

54-58 to Julian Jaynes
55 I've had Zagreus awaken in my right hemisphere
55 associate of Ornstein assured my experience of greater space, music, etc. did indeed indicate that the right hemisphere had not only risen to parity but had in fact become temporarily dominant
57 I thing we hear a vastly scaled down version of this godly command voice in the form of conscience
57 I am positive that the godly voice informs us in the normal course of dreaming
56-57 I heard this lovely god voice two times before, at 15 physics final exam, once in the 60s under great stress
56 I had in hypnogogic states incredible visions of Greece and Rome
55 what I did not expect, however, was to find myself under the jurisdiction of an ancient god who commanded my first this way and then that, extricating me from first this way and then that, extricating me from a highly stressful situation I had found myself in.
56 Sophia/Logos -- during the 11 months the inner godly voice spoke to me this was the cardinal thing it said
56mid another curious thing was its memory
56 ananke - factor which nous "persuades" in Timaeus
57 seems to be moving retrograde in time, from the final state of the universe, back through the process-universe... constantly modulates reality around us
75 "after many a summer dies the swan"

72 to Joan - forked tongue of prudence
84 to Joan - I owe it to you that there is such a speech

81 the greatest need a person has is to seek out *meaning*

60 Jaynes - scientific basis for VALIS

73 I am a man and I must not sit in endless consultation with magicians but must act
74 Julian the apostate
76 sense that everything had a purpose and outcome
79 Feb 77 began to hallucinate during nocturnal states... USED
80bot style
57 The voice arises from noos itself, which, according to my experience is not so much the creator god of our Bible but the "arranger" God of Plato and the Presocratics
66-69 explains Zebra Principle to Ralph at Scott Meredith Agency

57bot your superb book has now made it possible for me to discuss my 3-74 experience openly, without being merely called schizophrenic

59 these inner command voices issued out of man's right hemisphere
59bot here is an ancient teaching satellite which is also an ancient invisible "godly" life form