Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Philip K. Dick on Dante's Three-Level Cosmos


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I wish to laminate my two SF ideas together to form one ultra-complex novel...
(one) ...there exists a double-psyche entity (that is, one body and two minds, one of the minds being human; the other is an alien entity). Each psyche sees the world quite differently from the other.
(two) Three coaxial worlds generated by a computer (my more recent idea) with a switching back and forth between these three worlds, which represent the three levels of Dante's COMMEDIA

My fusion of the above will be as follows: the human psyche sees the middle realm, Purgatorio. The alien psyche, perceiving reality, perceives Inferno. However, when the two psyches combine (into what I call Ditheon, a two-chambered ultra-mind), together as a single entity they see Paradiso. The crucial element that the computer supplies is that it has the power to switch this two-psyche entity from left (human) to right (alien) to combined (Ditheon). The creature is under its control and therefore cannot on its own select which world it experiences; that is, it cannot control its left-right balance nor on its own

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In this novel, "God known as he is" is of course the computer known as it is... For literally decades I construed two levels of mental functioning: android (i.e. machine) and human; but now I perceive a third, higher level, and, as I say, I equate the world of each as equal to a level of Dante's CoOMMEDIA.

Three kinds of minds; three levels--ascending levels--of reality. This to me is terribly exciting. A very coherent novel is forming out of all this, and this is based in turn on my life's work in defining the authentic human.

The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1980-1982




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