Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Philip K. Dick Playlist (a selection of songs/works mentioned in his books)

Thanks to David Gill for sharing the complete list (and whoever made it)

Bach - Sleepers Awake
Beethoven - Quartet #13
Berg - Wozzeck
Berlioz - Roman Carnival Overture
Bizet - Carmen
Brahms Symphony #3
Captain Beefheart - (unspecified)
Dowland - Flow My Tears
Jerome Kern - Old Man River
Liszt - B Flat Sonata
Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead
Gilbert and Sullivan - HMS Pinafore
Handel - Belshazzar
Bob Dylan - "I Gave Her My Mind" (PKD might have meant this song)
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
Debussy - La Cathedral Englouti
Donizetti - L'Elisir d'Amore - una furtiva lagrima
Karl William Dittershand - Song of the Wind
Koto Music
Paul McCartney - Teddy Boy
The Mamas and the Papas - Young Girls are Coming to the Canyon
Mozart - Symphony #40
Jan Peerce - Bluebird of Happiness
Prokofiev - Alexander Nevsk
Puccini - La Boheme - thy tiny hand is frozen
Purcell - Dido and Aeneas
Ray Noble's Orchestra - Turkish Delight
Linda Ronstadt - You're no Good
Ravel - La Valse
Schubert - Erlkonig
Schumann - Happy Farmer
Sibelius - Symphony #7
Frank Sinatra - I've got Spurs that Jingle Jangle Jingle
Pete Seeger - Out on Penny's Farm
Stockhausen - Gesang der Jungelinge
Stravinsky - Firebird Suite

Monday, November 28, 2011

Religion and Madness in Valis

Quotes lifted from Palmer Eldritch again

I'm not sure God did anything at all for him; in fact in some ways God made him sicker.

Fat was certain that God had healed him completely. That is not possible. There is a line in the I Ching reading, "Always ill but never dies." That fits my friend.

There is no door to God through dope; that is a lie peddled by the unscrupulous.

After he had encountered God, Fat developed a love for him which was not normal.

We enjoyed baiting Fat into theological disputation because he always got angry, taking the point of view that what we said on the topic mattered - that the topic itself mattered. By now he had become totally whacked out.

"God is either powerless, stupid or he doesn't give a shit. Or all three."

During the years - outright years! - that he laboured on his exegesis, Fat must have come up with more theories than there are stars in the universe. Every day he developed a new one, more cunning, more exciting and more fucked.

"There's something in the Bible about falling sparrows," Kevin said. "About his eye being on them. That's what's wrong with God; he only has one eye."

You cannot say that an encounter with God is to mental illness what death is to cancer.

How are we to distinguish a genuine theophany from a mere hallucination on the part of the percipient?

A lot can be said for the infinite mercies of God, but the smarts of a good pharmacist, when you get down to it, is worth more.

For Fat, total psychosis was a mercy.

"Many claim to speak for god, but there is only one god and that god is man himself."

"Madness has its own dynamism; it just goes on."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

David Gill on PKD as a guide, caring about the world around you

Dick asks, what is real is what you perceive when you care about the world around you and what is human is the condition that puts you in a position to see reality and these are important tips. That’s what I want to get to. It’s not about Dick’s notion of Freudian thought or any of that. It’s like he’s given us a guidebook on how to operate in this century and how to stay sane and how to stay centered and how to stay positive, even though those aren’t characteristics that are used to describe his work or him. Something comes out of that when he goes over to the dark side. He’s suffering from his mental illness, which is a disease that he suffers from rather than some pool of great inspiration that he takes from. He can tell us what that's all about. It’s good stuff.
Interview with David Gill

illustrating the Sefer Yetzirah (a proto-Kabbalistic text)

Hoeller on Jung's Gnostic Paracelsus

The cosmos, according to Paracelsus, contains the divine light or life, but this holy essence is enmeshed in a mechanical trap, presided over by a kind of demiurge, named by Paracelsus Hylaster (from hyle, "matter," and astrum, "star"). The cosmic spider-god has spun a web within which the light, like an insect, is caught, until the alchemical process bursts the web. The web is none other than the consensus reality composed of the four elements of earth, water, fire and air, within which all creatures exist. The first operation of alchemy therefore addresses itself to the breaking up (torturing, bleeding, dismembering) of this confining structure and reducing it to a condition of creative chaos (massa confusa, prima materia). From this, in the process of transformation, the true, creative binaries emerge and begin their interaction designed to bring about the coniunctio or alchemical union. In this ultimate union, says Jung, the previously confined light is redeemed and brought to the point of its ultimate and redemptive fulfillment.

While these statements ostensibly refer to the material universe and to nature, Jung perceives in them a model or paradigm for the material and natural aspect of human nature as well. Under the guise of liberating the light confined in matter, the alchemists were endeavoring to redeem the spirit or psychic energy locked up in the body and psyche (the "natural man" of St. Paul) and thus make this energy available for the greater tasks of the spirit or spiritual man.

The roots of this thinking within both the Christian and the Hermetic gnosis are clearly acknowledged by Jung, who likens the imprisoned light to the primordial man of the Gnostics, the Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalah, and by association to the lost lightsparks of the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria. (The implications of this concept of alchemical redemption are many and impressive. On the one hand, it is clear that matter and the body are by no means to be equated with evil and darkness, while on the other hand, the pagan emphasis on a mere immersion of human consciousness in nature as advocated by some in our times under such slogans as "affirmation of life" and the "celebration of nature" reveals itself as a limited view to which alchemy may serve as a much needed corrective.)

Stephan Hoeller, C.G. Jung and the Alchemical Renewal

for further illumination try these books on Jung and Gnosticism/Alchemy. Stephan Hoeller reads Jung's Gnosticism in the light of the Nag Hammadi books (which of course fascinated PKD), and Raff on the concept of "Alchemical Imagination"

Letter 23: PKD's Gnostic Key to the Sefer Yetzirah

At some point in the late period of his Exegesis, Philip K. Dick discovered Kabbalah. He can probably be considered a Christian Cabalist in the light of passages like this below, from Fall 1981

[64:E-5] The universe was created out of 22 Hebrew letters ("Sepher Yetzirah") but there is a missing 23rd letter; when his 23rd letter is added, all the negative prohibitions of the Torah vanish; severe limitation and justice are replaced by mercy and freedom: this is the third Shemittah and it is the Messianic Age. Christ, then, can be construed—as rogue information system—to be the corrected, completed basis of creation in which 23 Hebrew letters replace the 22 originally employed.
The plasmate is this hyper-information (the 23 letter system) feeding into the old rigid, mechanical, limited, fossilized 22 letter system. As the blood of Christ, just as Valis is his cosmic body.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Philip K. Dick on Prophets of Science Fiction

Buy it for two bucks -- cheap! Below are the comments I live-tweeted about it,
and a brief exchange with a fellow Dickian. Read from the bottom up for chronology.

@1ZenWoman I don't mean to gripe. Very much glad that it's there to introduce folks to the PKD bio, if not the themes. My wife liked it.

@1ZenWoman: @t3dy It was no BCC Arena piece, but my friends loved it... their first "glimpse" of this man who has so dominated a chun ...

@1ZenWoman I would simply add that you don't need the fancy technology coming true to have a phildickian story. Not his only trick.

RT @1ZenWoman: @t3dy Well, I preferred KSR's definition of phildickian. Pessimist to sum up PKD? I like his own "philosophizing writer."

@1ZenWoman I don't agree that he was an unqualified pessimist. Was motivated by hope, had great insight into optimistic side of gnostic coin

@1ZenWoman Have you gotten much into Terence McKenna's I Ching stuff? I was delighted to learn in the Exegesis that PKD knew TM's theories.

@1ZenWoman Best parts of the show were those reconstructions. I'm glad they did MiTHC but bummer it's the only unfilmed book they mentioned.

RT @1ZenWoman: @t3dy ahhh... I-ching and pink beams, just a few of my favorite things ;)

Ridley Scott: "Aren't most prophets troubled souls?" #PKD

KSR: "He's really one of the best descriptors of our entire culture."

I maintain that "phildickian" is a much better choice than the infelicitous "PhilipKDickian." Don't get me started on these definitions.

I'm not all that interested in this "PKD predicted it" approach. He was talking about problems that reality already had, didn't need to wait

@1ZenWoman I'm not 100% on the same page with Rickman's theories about PKD, but I'd have like to see him talk about them.

What about Phildickian cosmology? His "insights" are not in the realm of theoretical physics (although they're interesting as info science).

Not digging the choice to have Michio Kaku do the same rant on string theory and parallel universes we've already seen a million times.

@1ZenWoman Me too. I've neglected too many opportunities to meet Rickman. (+ keep forgetting that it's his first name has the double-letter)

Digging the I Ching stuff. KSR "he would plot his novels using the I Ching..."

The reconstruction of PKD working at his wife's jewelry shop and having the inspiration to write Man in the High Castle is a nice surprise.

RT @1ZenWoman: @t3dy watched earlier, but missed the close. Gonna see that now. 1st time I've SEEN Rickman.

PKD: "Nietzsche was right about Christianity." His anti-religion moments weren't all that rare.

I wish they had spent a little more time showing the trippy old 60s
70s paperbacks we barely got a glimpse of just now.

Having Gregg Rickmann summarize the minority report story is a waste. Let him talk about his biographical theories and literary arguments!

apparently he's only an influence thru films.

Would PKD fans be up in arms if they had chosen Sasha Grey to play Tessa?

KSR narrates the fish neclace pink beam experience. Fortunately they're using the Crumb comic to illustrate. But no clip from @rfamovie

Stan Robinson very soberly telling us that PKD predicted it all in advance. Too bad he can't really say anything else given the format.

some of these talking heads are mistakes. "loose yourself" pun not intended.

The quick shot of the UCSD library is a more interesting and phildickian image than most of the computer stuff

"Dick's insights into the flexible nature of reality are prophetic." KSR:"he was talking about, well what if the TV's taking over our lives"

Neuroscience of memory dude is pretty rad. "manipulate... the information."

Glad to see the emphasis on loss of his sister. Disappointed that it follows the order of the movies, which don't explain PKD's literature

Getting off track w/PKD as influence on android designers "Androids that are humanlike make us nervous...b/c we wonder if they have a soul."

glad to see Kim Stanley Robinson, and especially Greg Rickmann interviewed. The reconstruction of Dick theorizing the break-in is hilarious.

Collection of PKD and PKD-Related Tweets

Philip K. Dick and the alchemists

Recently unearthed/Rare Philip K. Dick Interview, Santa Ana 1979

"[Bruno] rejected hylomorphism in favor of a monism in which the universal, infinite, and eternal substance was identical with God+nature."

Giordano Bruno in Paul Oscar Kristeller's Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance

Giordano Bruno, His Life and Thought, with an annoted translation of his Infinity of Worlds Dorothea Singer

RT @19thC4d: @t3dy did 20thC theosophical writers get the hots for bruno? did dick read these? they were all over neoplatonists in the l ...

@19thC4d I don't know if Dick read much post-HPB theosophy, doesn't seem like it. Of course he was big into the theosophy of Boehme.

Gatti: One of the most original aspects of Coleridge's interest in Bruno regarded his dialectic.

Where did Philip K. Dick get his ideas about Giordano Bruno? (under construction, would appreciate any leads)

Giordano Bruno as supplement to Deleuze

Ballard: The task of the arts seems more and more to be that of isolating the few elements of reality from this mélange of fictions, ...
...not some metaphorical “reality”, but simply the basic elements of cognition and posture that are the jigs and props of our consciousness.

"Crazy or not, whatever it is that has gone wrong with you, you are one of a kind. […] This is not an ordinary kind of insanity." PKD/Flow

Umberto Rossi on Philip K. Dick's prose

@Ballardian tribute to Philip K. Dick's 80th birthday

What Philip K. Dick learned about women from Ursula K. Le Guin

"It’s not a book that reads like a narrative. It doesn’t get anywhere. It’s an endless meditation on existence." J.Lethem on PKD's Exegesis

"There are lyrical flights in it where suddenly it becomes visionary, it becomes literary+you see the writer taking over+the language soars"

Philip K. Dick: The Exegesis Never Ended Lethem on Exegesis An Appreciation

Philip K. Dick, The Most Brilliant SF Mind on Any Planet 1974 Rolling Stone article by Paul Williams

PKD: [3:33] I am exoterically disseminating a very (normally) esoteric world view!

PKD: [19:2] We are in a "Palmer Eldritch no-real-elapsed-time-passage" spurious world, which is why for us the Kingdom hasn't come.

"It is as if the immune system has failed to detect an invader, a pathenogen (shades of William Burroughs: a criminal virus!)." PKD/Exegesis

RT @aureliomadrid: eriugena (part of the) periphyseon PDF @t3dy

Philip K. Dick's Gnostic UFOlogy twitter conversation with Metcalfe+Southwell on PKD+UFOs

[21:44] Meanwhile, the Empire continues; it never ended. Orthodox Christianity is a form which the Empire takes." -Philip K. Dick, Exegesis

"I restore Gnostic gnosis to the world in a trashy form, like in Ubik." -Philip K. Dick, Exegesis

Today is the 40th anniversary of Philip K. Dick's notorious break-in. Was it the FBI, local drug dealers, Soviets, or did PKD bomb himself?

Erik Davis interviews Pamela Jackson on PKD Exegesis "VALIS, visionary glimpses, and the spiritual practice of writing"

Lethem on Philip K Dick in Orange County:"a period where he seems less grounded in place...very strong alienation from any real environment"

I think it's wise for Philip K. Dick interpreters to attempt to avoid using the word "reality" as much as is possible.

Philip K. Dick: A 'plastic' paradox lots of quotes from PKD family members, and PKD scholars

@Giania Okay, I'll bite. A spammer that just attached itself has the word "Wub" in the title, and I've been thinking a bit about PKD's Wub.

"Whether it was real or imagined, it was important to his life because it really mellowed him out." -David Gill on PKD's Exegesis

A baffling work from Philip K. Dick discussed at ALOUD

Lethem on PKD: "It's as if the novels themselves were visions. He was preparing to be the writer of the Exegesis from the very beginning."

Frank Hollander's index to scholarly annotations of PKD's Exegesis(notes by Jeff Kripal, Erik Davis, D.Gill, McKee etc)

Paracelsus Celebration website by Allen Debus, dean of alchemical studies in the history of science

Aleph (if anybody has good images of important words for PKD-Logos study please get them to me)

RT @Lyndon_M: "I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God." - Sufi Proverb

Zurich Paracelsus Project

I have been thinking about Jonathan Lethem's claim (it was JL iirc) that VALIS shouldn't be considered a trilogy. I see three theo-trilogies

PKD's second theological trilogy consists of some of his darkest novels: Flow My Tears, A Scanner Darkly, Maze of Death. VALIS is the third.

PKD's first theological trilogy? compare Mercer in Androids, Runciter in Ubik, and Palmer Eldritch in Three Stigmata

Ficino and Neoplatonic Theories of Language James Bono, The Word of God and the Languages of Man

"The inner nature of everything may therefore be known through Magic in general, and through the powers of the inner (or second) sight." -Paracelsus

"[Alchemy] is like unto death, which separates the eternal from the mortal, so that it should properly be known as the death of things." -Paracelsus

Paracelsus on inner seeing

“Just as outer seeing is suited to the farmer, inner seeing, which is secret seeing, is suited to the physician." -Paracelsus

Paracelsus "was the first to imagine that the body worked like an alchemical laboratory+that it was chemical in nature"

"... also I have to some extent formulated my own system (as Bruno did). I have seen God but it was not." -Philip K. Dick

P.K. Dick: [Exegesis 3:50] Inner space (of Paracelsus) is perhaps the key as to how the immortal man can be transtemporal and transpersonal.

"Obviously I'll be either going Borges one better or parodying him—either will do." -Philip K. Dick on his unfinished Owl in Daylight novel

RT @davidbmetcalfe: Philip K. Dick's Gnostic UFOlogy via @t3dy

Philip K. Dick's theory of time and alchemical music "Beethoven expanded the hologram" cc @kimcascone

Kripal vs. Philip K. Dick as Postmodernist

"The idea of God as a constantly evolving dialectic is perhaps Dick's most intriguing theological proposition" Gabriel McKee in the Exegesis

Yancy likes people to take a spiritual view of matters..." #PKD

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'If this were a police state…there'd
be some kind of resistance movement.' #PKD

RT @Hal_Duncan: I do hope the delivery guy who brings my PKD exegesis
is wearing an ichthys pendant. That would be neat.

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'I may be the start of something promising: an early and incomplete explorer. It may not end with me.' ht

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'What's got to be gotten over is the false idea that a hallucination is a private matter.' ...

RT @palmer_eldritch: In homage to the great man, I shall read PKD's Exegesis all night, then go to work in the morning where I shall hav ...

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'I sure have odd nights.' #PKD #exegesis

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'I'm always pre-cog, a little.' #PKD #Exegesis

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'There's nothing more foolish than economic competition.' #PKD

RT @davidbmetcalfe: @t3dy btw, thanks for encouraging me to pick up the exegesis, just a bit of skimming has already been quite inspirat ...

@davidbmetcalfe Glad to hear it! I've been absolutely riveted. Don't understand why so many readers complain about it. Such good writing!

@wwjimd @Giania @Horse_ebooks there's a ton of weird, difficult stuff in PKD's Exegesis influenced by information theory + computer science.

@davidbmetcalfe PKD's Zebra erasing our memory whenever we figure out it exists.

Philip K. Dick's Dante Model

notes on Jung's influence on PKD's religious ideas (links, scholarly exerpt, preview of where I'm going with PKD+Jung)

Notes on the influence of C.G. Jung on Philip K. Dick by Frank Bertrand #Psychology #SF #PKD

Paracelsus on the Unconscious

"Resolute imagination is the beginning of all magical operations." [attributed to?] Paracelsus

Philosophy of Religious Experience Philip K. Dick: The Gnostic Christ resembles UFO sightings cc @davidbmetcalfe @cultauthor

"Kripal: way for parapsychologists to test+experiment on aspects of paranormal experiences." via @davidbmetcalfe

RT @davidbmetcalfe: Rice prof speaks on paranormal, consciousness inlecture RT @davidbmetcalfe: A Conversation about Philip K. Dick & UFOlogy/Channeling with @t3dy and @cultauthor

RT @cultauthor: @t3dy Which makes perfect sense when part of your vision is that antiquity never ended.

RT @davidbmetcalfe: @joeysavitz @t3dy Walmart on Sunday, hanging at the food court, reading some Exegesis, seems perfect. : )

@davidbmetcalfe @JoeySavitz or while walking down the aisles

RT @davidbmetcalfe: @JoeySavitz @t3dy that would be great, read the entire thing in a rented room at walmart

Philip K. Dick covers illustrating religious themes visualizing angelic visionary experiences

Philip K. Dick on Language Virus in Exegesis he writes "what William Burroughs discovered but interpreted differently"

Jeffrey Kripal argues reading and writing are the privileged modes of mystical life for Philip K. Dick writing=ASC tech

@davidbmetcalfe @JoeySavitz visiting places like Walmart is the quintessential phildickian initiation.

RT @davidbmetcalfe: Dan Merkur on Active Imagination in Paracelsus via @t3dy

Dick was a pioneer in thinking that the classic mystics of antiquity and the middle ages explained his own paranormal/ASC experiences.

@davidbmetcalfe @joeysavitz I dunno, but pound for pound it's got a ton more Christian philosophy+true believer Christology than most xt.bks

Dick's "world as word/info" was a big influence on Terence McKenna who said things like "reality is made of language"

@JosephMagnuson Unfortunately Dick wrote before the flowering of theurgy scholarship. I hope to apply Gregory Shaw's Iamblichus to PKD magic

@JosephMagnuson Sometimes Dick was convinced that he had gotten into the authentic pre-Christian Neoplatonist religious experience...theurgy

@JosephMagnuson elsewhere he talks about "the gods" in plural, even says something about magic being about seeing or getting their attention

@EPButler So Dick would have found in Cornford detailed introductory-level commentary on the Timaeus, perhaps the dialogue he was most into.

@JosephMagnuson In one place he writes "through [or past] the angels" which sounds more like yr "go through the angels to be able to steal."

RT @JosephMagnuson: @t3dy ...or did he have to go through the angels to be able to steal it??? Thanks for the links...

@EPButler Dick was big into Cornford's study of the Timaeus.

RT @EPButler: @t3dy Cf. #Plato Timaeus, in which one God (the Demiurge) discerns in the beauty of another (the Intelligible Animal) a co

yesterday's Conversation about Philip K. Dick and UFOlogy/Channeling with @davidbmetcalfe and @cultauthor grist 4 mill.

Philip K. Dick found confirmation for his theories (as well as inspiration/visionary resonance) in "every Pythagorean."

PKD sometimes thought of his "gnostic message" as a "secret stolen through the angels" Does he mean *from* the angels?

Philip K. Dick's interpretation of Torah in Kabbalah filtered through his own vision/theory of "Bible as Information."

Philip K. Dick on his "Zebra Principle" the universe is alive but we don't see it because we're in it

Jeffrey Kripal explains why Philip K. Dick was not a postmodernist He believed he got gnostic invasion from an outside!

Quotes from Philip Dick's Exegesis on Kabbalah the Jewish/Kabbalistic concept of Torah became a key to his experiences

Aquinas was able to reconcile the diversity of ideas with God’s simplicity. The solution involves viewing ideas as nonbeings relative to God

"Divine ideas are exemplar causes in the likeness of which God produces creatures. Ideas belong to God’s practical knowledge." review/Doolan

"Am I saying that the basis of reality is words? ... Ideas in the mind [of God]. -Philip K. Dick plus links on med.phil

@JoeySavitz @davidbmetcalfe Christians will love it! After all, Philip K. Dick discovers Christian Platonism in there. Never mind the

RT @JoeySavitz: @davidbmetcalfe @t3dy Walmart is selling the Exegesis. Barnes & Noble is pushing it at discount as a seasonal gift-book....

Philip K. Dick's "Bible as Information/World as Information" experience confirms Spinoza

Kripal on writing and reading as the privileged modes of mystical life for Philip K. Dick

Kripal: There is no way to overestimate or repeat enough this fact: for Dick, writing+reading are the privileged modes of the mystical life.

RT @erik_davis: Mr. Hand is sure enjoying the Exegesis!! Nice to see...RT @t3dy: Kabbalistic Philip K. Dick


"Autonomy. Inner-directed. Totally. Religious anarchists. Self-regulating because in inward direct touch with God." -Philip K. Dick E[83:30]

RT @davidbmetcalfe: @cultauthor good point re: filter - there is obviously a lot of scholarship influencing his interpretation of his ex ...

RT @cultauthor: @davidbmetcalfe @t3dy Let's not forget at times, PKD thought VALIS was a supercomputer from future in orbit.

Philip K. Dick wrote about two million words in his Exegesis. Compare Plato who wrote .5 million Aristotle 1 Aquinas 10

thanks to @cultauthor and @davidbmetcalfe for injecting some much-needed ufology into my reflections on PKD theories

RT @6__d: Major Arcana of the Philip K. Dick Tarot @t3dy

Philip K. Dick found confirmation of his experiences/theories in "the visions of every Pythagorean in history"

blogger reading later stuff in the PKD Exegesis (much of this material I've barely skimmed so far--there is so much!)

Doug Mackey reviews Philip K. Dick's Ganymede Takeover

@erik_davis PKD's a lovely example of how one need not get stuck in texts, but use them to think. Kripal: Reading+writing=his mystical life.

@erik_davis Yeah the summary format of the Encyclopedia was perfect. Gave him general gist but didn't tie down w/ constraints of the details

RT @erik_davis: @t3dy What's weird is how the Encyclopedia sources actually let PKD roam with creativity as well as knowledge, so he ca ...

@cultauthor @davidbmetcalfe Dick's method was to take whatever weird idea then ruthlessly twist+rotate it in order to make it fit his theory

How Big is Philip K. Dick's Exegesis? Jay Kinney estimated 2 million words. Editors say about 8,000 pages. We have 10%.

@cultauthor @davidbmetcalfe The distortion is necessary since he's appropriating stuff for his own purposes, reinterpreting/plugging into...

Adding more sidebar links to readings on -- plz let me know if there are any good articles on PKD+Religion I'm missing

@davidbmetcalfe @cultauthor Reading PKD's ASCs/gnosticism/UFOlogy is very difficult not only bc of his sources but also his phildickian lens

Audio Recording of "Stairway to Eleusis"(talk by PKD Exegesis Editor Rich Doyle) via David Gill of

RT @cultauthor: @davidbmetcalfe @t3dy I actually got hold of one of PKD's COINTELPRO who opened his mail. It's a shame to have to respec ...

Frank Hollander, a Philip K. Dick completist I greatly admire, put together this Table of Contents for the Exegesis

RT @cultauthor: @davidbmetcalfe @t3dy I love the fact in those days, most entities had to have names like VALIS, SPECTRA or ZEBRA to be ...

RT @davidbmetcalfe: @cultauthor another great point, I was just reading Keel's description of the Black Night in Disneyland of the Gods ...

RT @cultauthor: @davidbmetcalfe @t3dy I also love the way in talking to some friends, PKD equated VALIS/ZEBRA with the whole Black Knigh ...

"The truly great writer does not want to write: he wants the world to be a place in which he can live the life of the imagination" H. Miller

"Plotinus’s heirarchy of Being is more famous than his thinking of any unity at all as a kind of profusion." The Cone

The Cone of Plotinus: Ontologies of Profusion and Particularization

Diagramming Plotinus

top ten things I [had been] looking forward to discovering in Philip K. Dick's Exegesis (sadly still ~90% unpublished)

from Philip K. Dick's Exegesis: "I am not the true and actual source of my own fiction...Maybe [John] Denver is right."

"This is not an evil world. . .There is a good world under the evil. The evil somehow superimposed over it. . ." -PKD via @palmer_eldritch

". . .Palmer Eldritch can spin out his hallucinatory world and time for what seems - just seems - forever. . ." -Philip K. Dick via @palmerE

PKD: "My writing is a very unlikely place to expect to encounter the Holy; the Koinos, the Message-processing, Ubik-like ultimate entity."

"In my writing I am a destroyer of worlds, not a generator: I show them as forgeries." -Philip K. Dick

"most severe assault delivered in my work is against materialism as such, in my probing into the illusory nature of apparent reality." -PKD

I had to develop a love of the disordered+puzzling,view reality as vast riddle to be joyfully tackled,not in fear but w/tireless fascination

"THE THREE STIGMATA, if read properly (i.e. reversed) contains many clues as to the nature of God and to our relationship with him." -PKD

Quotes from In Pursuit of VALIS Selections From The Exegesis ( 1991 )

RT @davidbmetcalfe: John Scotus Eriugena in Philip K. Dick's Exegesis via @t3dy

Philip K. Dick gets pretty deep into straight Christian theology for a religious anarchist.

"Miracles act to "prove" a particular revelation. But what do paranormal experiences prove? Well, nothing yet..." Jeffrey Kripal

The Philip K. Dick Punk Rock Connection

Paranormal America Interview with Jeffrey Kripal

"I want this book to challenge the common assumptions people make about profound, life-changing, mind-blowing mystical experiences."

Total Dick-Head: Lost in A Maze of Death (PKD's lesser-known but equally formidable theological novel)

Philip K. Dick on Giordano Bruno, from the Exegesis "Clearly, Bruno is my main man."

Philip K. Dick on Paracelsus: "one man's little mind becomes the magic mirror of the macrocosm."

Leonard Nimoy narrates a tv-reconstruction of the death of Bishop James Pike.(friend of PKD, subject of his last novel)

Philip K Dick Exegesis excerpt on Slate (unfortunately it will be familiar to readers of Sutin's "in pursuit of valis")

Jonathan Lethem on Philip K. Dick's Exegesis (video) "an attempt to understand something"

Simon Critchley on Philip K. Dick's Schopenhaurian side

Neoplatonism "bringing down" Christianity

Kripal explains the argument against viewing PKD as a postmodernist more succinctly than I did recently on FB.

Dennett on Postmodernism and Truth
"no sane philosopher has ever argued..."

Philip K. Dick: Turning Time into Space is What Beethoven Did

Neoplatonism Bringing Down Christianity in a "Dear Claudia" letter by Philip K. Dick

"Schopenhauer in fact advocated overcome a frustration-filled and fundamentally painful human condition."

The Man in the High Kipple #lessinterestingbooks #PKD

Philip K. Dick and Alchemy (corrected, illustrted and updated with a "3-74 as alchemy" quote from the Exegesis)

The Zebra Principle about the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, and its editors, on Google Books

totally honored to have played a role, however obscure and humble, in this PKD publishing moment. totally high from seeing my name in print.

I finally took a look at the acknowledgements page of the PKD Exegesis and saw that my name is indeed on it. 1st time seeing myself in print

Science Channel will have Philip K. Dick episode of its Prophets of Science Fiction series

What I hope to find in Philip K. Dick's Exegesis

"Language Virus" moment in Philip K. Dick's mainstream novel Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

RT @elizabethkarr: Handy color pdf Radio Free Albemuth Variety Review @RFAmovie #philipkdick #indiefilm #scifi

Major Arcana of the Philip K. Dick Tarot

there's plenty of that in the phildickian occult. RT @theclockworm Gnostic/Dickian ideas sans religion is a special area of interest for me.

An excellent podcast series by David Beardsley covers the history of Platonic Idealism in the West Socrates to T.Taylor

Philip K. Dick's Exegesis comes out Monday. Here are 10 things I'm looking forward to discovering in it #PKD

Grant Morrison on Philip K. Dick and Terence McKenna

Philip K. Dick Exegesis Project (text of Tractates and links)

Christopher Palmer: "Philip meanwhile comes to participate in Fat's obsessions and theorizing habits..."

@xanadu_xero I've done plenty of PKD reading as a mystic "true believer," + as a theorist of myth, but even some as a materialist-realist...

"To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement.This is a paradox:whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire;[1/2] proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies." -Philip K. Dick, Tractates/Valis [2/2]

Christopher Palmer, Postmodernism and the Birth of the Author in Philip K. Dick's Valis SFS #55, November1991

"The Empire is the institution+codification, of derangement; insane +imposes its insanity on us by violence, bc its nature is a violent one"

"We should be able to hear this information, or rather narrative, as a neutral voice inside us. But something has gone wrong."-Philip K.Dick

"thoughts,,, are experienced by us as arrangements... but in fact it is really information+information-processing which we substantialize."

"We lost ability to read language of Mind at some primordial time; legends of this fall have come down to us in a carefully-edited form."PKD

"The changing information which we experience as world is an unfolding narrative." -Philip K. Dick, Tractates Cryptica Scriptura/VALIS

Philip K. Dick, Tractates Cryptica Scriptura Exegesis excerpts from the appendix to his novel VALIS

"One of the reasons I so identify with the work of PKD is that many of his peak experiences closely mirror my own."

Philip K. Dick and his interpreters on The Black Iron Prison add your own quotes -- "The Empire Never Ended"

Philip K. Dick on Direct Experience of the Divine, vs. Organized Religion "I guess you could call me a neo-platonist"

Philip K. Dick: "There's no way we can fight back, because the language itself works against us... [1/2]

...The very words were manufactured to explain their situation so it looks good,+ours so it looks bad." -PKD, Humpty Dumpty in Oakland [2/2]

PKD mini-bio and links

Philip K. Dick Words project -- hypertexting the dear claudia letters

"Nam-Shub versus the Big Other: Revising the. Language that Binds Us in Philip K. Dick, Neal. Stephenson, Samuel R. Delany, and Chuck ..."

"Didn't that early guy, Carl Jung—didn't he manage to decode the schizophrenic's language years ago?” -Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip

"If the world of written SF were ever to be translated into the language of visual art, PKD would be Salvador Dali."

"Dick's novel tells us our real world is made of words; that words are necessary to give sense to it. Words have a strange substantiality"UR

Philip K. Dick on having second thoughts about including religion in his Science Fiction

RT @rfamovie: Asteroid or Valis?....

"Thinness" of a Philip K. Dick novel reframed by him as "a petering out of the reality of the book"

RT @cratylus: @t3dy PKD seems ike a nerd theologian to me too - theology as hobby; something to in the shed of one's head.

"Each movie is an intriguing attempt to translate into cinematic language Dick's ... paranoia about the stability of human identity." FutImp

@cratylus The sensibility in PKD is a very important part of the appeal+methodology that gets lost in these all pomo/SF/exiztnz-discussions.

RT @cratylus: @t3dy great in tne small - which links back to mysticism ;) I've always loved PKD 's sensibity - a bit like an american jo

@cratylus Work is definitely a blue-collar human activity in PKD, rather than some theoretical ideal.

@cratylus On one level, PKD should be seen as building theologies in his basement like others might a boat. But they're still *theologies*

@cratylus But I think McKee is correct to argue that theology meant more to PKD than a mere hobby-though he's certainly a hobbyist about it!

Philip K. Dick on Religion in his Letters: mid 70s late 70s early 80s

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'These are the things that break a human heart. But back to the novel.' #PKD #NaNoWriMo

"My books are forgeries. Nobody wrote them." -Philip K. Dick, Exegesis (quoted in Umland, p.19)

"no matter how many times Dick unmasks or destroys the Black Iron Prison of American suburban life, he always returns to it."Jonathan Lethem

"Dick is our poet of the simulacrum"

Frank Bertrand reviews Claudia Bush's MA thesis on Philip K. Dick

"[Philip K.] Dick is our poet of the simulacrum" fusing of book and reality in his last novel

Philip K. Dick on God+infinity- 'Every thought leads to infinity, does it not? Find one that doesn’t.' I tried forever.

the fusing of book and reality in Philip K. Dick's last novel

The Black Iron Prison of Philip K. Dick excerpts from PKD novels and scholarship

TDH in an absolute coup interviews Philip K. Dick's editor

Phildickian Discordianism: "For me, the BiP and the Curse of Greyface are very similar..." cc @eglinski

Philip K. Dick: The Other Side Paul Rydeen a neo-gnostic take

@erik_davis From somebody who understands how difficult the thing is to read, let alone edit or criticize, thank you hugely for your efforts

RT @erik_davis: PKD's Exegesis is just out, and looks beautiful. I have to say I am proud to have been involved in editing it, however m ...

more on the PKD estate lawsuit over The Adjustment Bureau

Philip K. Dick covers illustrating religious themes

Philip K. Dick on Spinoza and Kabbalah

Philip K. Dick's notion of "The Dark Counterplayer"

Philip K. Dick was a big fan of Godel, Escher, Bach, which he felt explained his "puzzle stories" in a way he couldn't.

Rossi vs. McKee on Philip K. Dick and Christianity

Philip K. Dick on Religion, Science, and Belief from the Selected Letters 1980-1982

PKD: "God manifested himself to me as the infinite void; but it was not the abyss; it was the vault of heaven..."

Philip K. Dick and the alchemy of information

Finally, my Philip K. Dick+Religion blog saw some action. Gabriel McKee defends himself vs. Umberto Rossi's criticism

Philip K. Dick on how to use prayer and the "AI Voice" to pas a physics test

Angel Archer on the fusing of book and reality in Philip K. Dick's Transmigration of Timothy Archer

Six new Philip K. Dick audiobooks glad to see Now Wait for Last Year

Synopsis of Philip K. Dick's "Eye in the Sky" on Islam and Science Fiction blog #PKD

RT @robertshutter: RT @LynneRice RT @elizabethkarr: Raves from Philip K. Dick scholar for @RFAmovie: via @t3dy #sci ...

Philip K. Dick's theory of three-level mind (the human, the robot, and the computerized god?) based on Dante

Philip K. Dick on "spurious realities"

Philip K. Dick on Language Virus theory of William Burroughs

Philip K. Dick book cover art illustrating religious themes Essential books for the study of PKD

Got a comment from Gabriel McKee, one of the top five scholars working on Dick's religious experiences (+ see my reply)

anagrams for Philip Kindred Dick -- Delphic Pink did Irk (visions) / Dipped Child in Kirk(he secretly baptized his son)

Philip K. Dick on God's Infinite Game

"He brought colour, shape, awareness to the void..." Philip K. Dick, Humpty Dumpty in Oakland

"I see Hume's point. It was all just talk. The solemn philosophers weren't taking what they said seriously." -Philip K. Dick

"The two basic topics which fascinate me are "What is reality?" and "What constitutes the authentic human being?" -Philip K. Dick

review of Humpty Dumpty in Oakland, by Philip K. Dick (spoiler warning)

"God said 'Here is infinity. Here, then, I am.' I tried for an infinite number of times; each time an infinite regress was set off... [1/2]

God said, 'Infinity. Hence I am here.' Then he said, 'Every thought leads to infinity, does it not? Find one that doesn’t.' I tried forever"

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

RT @erik_davis: @ToddGailun Nah, I dont think PKD met too many tech visionary types. He loved Captain Crunch tho!

@palmer_eldritch of course, Hollywood can graft just about anything onto a PKD story if history is any guide, they'd Heinlein RFA up good.

Mystic PKD covers PKD on religion/science/belief is PKD undermining ontology?

PKD: "He brought colour, shape, awareness to the void...and took his seventh day -- a cup of coffee."

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'I watch these show people come up; they got no talent. That the truth. What they got is personality.' ht ...

Tweeted Review of Radio Free Albemuth, the first movie to get Philip K. Dick really right. cc @rfamovie

"religious" Philip K. Dick covers PKD+Kabbalah PKD on Godel, Escher, Bach

“…today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations" -Philip K. Dick

RT @otaviocarvalho: ¨Activity does not necessarily mean life. Quasars are active. And a monk meditating is not inanimate.¨ Philip K. Dick

RT @openculture: Stories by Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick, Italo Calvino added to Free Audio Books collection:

RT @TOMolefe: I've got so much of love for this: Phillip K. Dick, a fictionalising philosopher (via someone)

RT @DennyCoates: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick book covers illustrating religious themes

Philip K. Dick was notoriously fun to hang out with, unless you wanted to be romantically involved with him.

"Even [Philip Dick's] 2-3-74 experience... [has a] strong political component that cannot be totally obliterated by any ecstatic mysticism."

"...are not Dick’s theological speculations a reflection on a fallen condition that is also a political condition?" reviewer on GM "defect"

"The Black Iron Prison, the Demiurge, Satan, if you prefer, are ways to reflect theologically on a personal crisis" SFS reviewer on McKee

McKee: "PKD never rejected religious interpretations of his writing+thought such interpretations more valuable than more secular analyses."

McKee's book is "useful for literary critics because it is full of interesting suggestions about Dick’s less obvious sources [lit/phil/rel]"

"something is constant in Dick’s endlessly shifting theological interrogations, and that is the basic idea of the unreality of the cosmos"

Gabriel McKee: “it is problematic and inaccurate to attempt to find one category that can describe the entire breadth of Dick’s metaphysics”

I do very much agree with McKee that Dick’s writings “blend religion and sf in a truly

original way” (ix)

SF Studies review of Gabriel McKee's book on Philip K. Dick's theology "Pink Beams of Light from the God in the Gutter"

Spinoza aimed to surrender freedom of action if it clashed with the interests of the state, but desired full freedom of thought+expression."

Gabriel McKee on Philip K. Dick's "theophanies" and theories "It’s difficult, if not impossible, to categorize [them]."

McKee, Rossi, Davis, PKD as postmodernist critics wrongly emphasize the uncertainty in Philip K Dick's engagement with ontology/epistemology

"Dick’s stories serve to undermine the readers’ faith in ontology—he is poking the universe with a pin to see if it pops." -Gabriel McKee

RT @frqncs: @t3dy PKD as theologian:

"We fell because of an intellectual, not a moral error." -Philip K. Dick

RT @elizabethkarr: Radio Free Albemuth review from #renosf #indiefilm @RFAmovie via @t3dy

"God has eaten Man"

Philip K. Dick being interviewed in a spinning teapot at Disneyland: via @avisolo

"Man has not eaten God; God has eaten man." -Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (1962)

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'If they had won, all they'd have thought about was making more money, that upper class.' ...

Philip K. Dick on Religion, Science, and Belief in Voices from the Street

"This country is evil. We're big and rich and full of pride. We waste and we spend and we don't care about the rest of the world." -PKD,VFTS

RT @palmer_eldritch: DailyDick-'They should give time for the depression to come in between, so people are glad to go off and fight.' ht...

big collection of PKD tweets (needs to be updated with the last few months' worth)

bunch old notes for future PKD and Religion posts

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flow Your Tears, the Policeman Said

I couldn't find this in a google search so I thought I should post it.

(This is a parody of the dystopian Philip K. Dick Novel "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said.")

found via David Gill's Facebook post, credit to Jason Nathaniel Miller for the idea and Luc Valentine for the execution

see also Viewing the UC Davis Pepper Spraying from Multiple Angles

Friday, November 18, 2011

Where did PKD get his ideas about Giordano Bruno?

(under construction)

What did Dick read about Bruno and Hermeticism?

Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition
Frances Yates

(discuss how Yates invented a Hermetic tradition in a speculative move worthy of PKD)

Giordano Bruno; his life and thought
Dorothea Waley Singer

Giordano Bruno by Walter Pater

PKD doesn't seem to have been interested in Crowley or Golden Dawn Occultism, he was interested in Jewish Kabbalah, maybe through a Marin New Age filter, probably through a bit of a "Christian Cabala" filter, but not doing occultist "Qabala"

Alexandre Koyre
From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe

not available to PKD but great sources on Bruno

Leo Catana
The Concept of Contraction in the Philosophy of Giordano Bruno

Ingrid Rowland
Giordano Bruno: Philosopher / Heretic

Hillary Gatti
Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science

In her Essays on Giordano Bruno, Gatti writes, "One of the most original aspects of Coleridge's interest in Bruno regarded his dialectic." (interesting in terms of McKee's argument that Dick's notion of a dialectical divine is one of his most intriguing contributions to theology--although of course Dick would say that it's also found in Boehme...)

Bruno's Cause, Principle, and Unity--and Essays on Magic

Bruno's Cabala of Pegasus

Giordano Bruno and the Kabbalah

Thursday, November 17, 2011

going back to a hermetic, Gnostic neoplatonism

So I haven't been disappointed, there are a number of places in the Exegesis where Phil discusses being convinced that he has a "hermetic" view. Here we see that he understands "hermetic" in the context of gnosticism and neoplatonism, elements of his "radical critique" of mechanistic philosophy. I still haven't found much about the source of his understanding of "Hermetic" but I'm gaining confidence that it was the Yates view, directly or indirectly, that influenced his notion of Hermeticism having so much to do with a magical mirror of the cosmos in memory.

[3:28] The Soviets have guessed that Ubik contains a correct cosmology radically different from all accepted ones ... Richard was on the right track with Empedocles. That's the what; next they wanted to know how—how come. I proved to be an idiot savant, much to their disgust. Boy, what I could tell them now! [...] Maybe those 4 Marxists were right about Ubik being subversive to capitalist society.80 [...] I am tearing down time, space, causality, world—this would be subversive to capitalism, to the bourgeois mind which is intimately connected with 18th century Anglo-Saxon rationalism (Newton, Locke, Bentham, etc.). I am systematically undermining the philosophers and philosophy on which capitalism is based, and going back to a hermetic, Gnostic neoplatonism. And a vitalism replacing mechanism—I deal a lethal blow to anglo-saxon thought, to its vaunted pragmatism.

Umberto Rossi on Dick's Prose

Dick has a lot of interesting ideas but his writing is sloppy. Ok, sure. But let me remind ya that Dick is not a poet, he’s a novelist. And novels should be read as novels, not verse. A novelist is not a poet who happens to write in prose. We’re talking about a different match, a different ballpark, a different league, maybe a different sport. Surely Dick is no Ballard when it comes to metaphors and similes; he’s no DeLillo when it comes to finely crafted sentences and periods. He doesn’t have the rhythm of a Thomas Bernhard, nor the lush descriptions of a Thomas Hardy; he doesn’t have the verbal inventiveness of a Joyce, the bewildering verbal mix of a Céline or a Gadda. Sorry for the name-dropping, but it would like readers to understand that I’m no yahoo who has just read Dick and likes his stuff because he never tasted better food.

Having said all this, remember that a novel is not just finely crafted prose, or D’Annunzio would be the greatest novelist ever. Writing a novel is telling a story, recreating or creating a place, inventing people who you never met but which remain with you as if you had met them; it’s a matter of architecture, time, space, whatever. And when it comes to all the other skills, Dick had them like the Big Names. The tricks he plays with narrative times may be as subtle and beguiling as Proust’s; his characters are as imposing and memorable as Melville’s; and the architecture of his novels is sometime terribly complex and incredibly sophisticated… Try the Trasmigration of Timothy Archer, or VALIS, or Flow My Tears…

So we’re not dealing with a crap artist, and if he is (he told us, after all, ever read Dick’s Confessions of…), he’s one of those writers who can turn crap into gold–like Jim Thompson, for example. If I want prose, I go for Ballard; but if I want characters, I go for Dick any day of the week, any week of the month and any month of the year.
from a comment on this Ballardian post

read Umberto's book on PKD, probably the best book of PKD crit yet

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lethem on Dick's Novels as Visions

"It's as if the novels themselves were visions," Lethem said Monday night. "He was preparing to be the writer of the Exegesis from the very beginning."
Editors discuss a baffling work from Philip K. Dick

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"a spiritual view" in The Mold of Yancy (1955)

"Yancy likes people to take a spiritual view of matters. He's strong on God and honesty in government and being hard-working and clean-cut. Warmed-over truisms."
nabbed from Palmer Eldritch

Frank Hollander's index of notes from the Exegesis (stay tuned for his notes on the overlaps with the Sutin Exegesis!)

24 - Gabriel Mckee (GM) [51, 58, 73, 78, 85, 116, 195, 208, 271, 288, 432, 525, 561, 575, 578, 597, 639, 665, 702, 704, 709, 801, 840, 888]

23 - Richard Doyle (RD) [3, 5, 5, 9, 76, 97, 102, 137, 362, 460, 461, 474, 482, 500, 510, 536, 592, 618, 618, 650, 789, 791, 806]

23 - Jeffrey J. Kripal (JJK) [113, 153, 160, 337, 338, 341, 423, 453, 469, 480, 491, 527, 576, 581, 589, 603, 625, 763, 798, 800, 855, 856, 877]

20 - Erik Davis (ED) [19, 33, 79, 93, 281, 286, 289, 314, 387, 434, 467, 481, 506, 542, 644, 646, 669, 738, 886, 889]

20 - David Gill (DG) [4, 25, 47, 52, 59, 106, 112, 132, 150, 244, 277, 325, 328, 341, 371, 472, 489, 653, 726, 843]

19 - Simon Critchley (SC) [3, 34, 45, 50, 75, 87, 184, 189, 225, 279, 372, 455, 467, 468, 496, 547, 693, 817, 828]

19 - Steve Erickson (SE) [26, 30, 39, 122, 152, 202, 251, 269, 382, 501, 511, 520, 532, 693, 716, 750, 827, 832, 895]

18 - Pamela Jackson (PJ) [63, 134, 234, 359, 407, 412, 444, 451, 466, 487, 507, 513, 617, 658, 684, 684, 848, 855)

17 - N. Katherine Hayles (NKH) [31, 36, 44, 60, 62, 73, 231, 232, 475, 673, 683, 694, 706, 708, 710, 792, 894]

5 - Jonathan Lethem (JL) [48, 130, 636, 684, 723]


Paracelsus on "Inner Seeing"

“Just as outer seeing is suited to the farmer, inner seeing, which is secret seeing, is suited to the physician." -Paracelsus, quoted in "Paracelsian Moments" with an interesting footnote:

Opus Parmirum, I, 9:46 Paracelsus here relates the internal and the external to the three basic principles of the cosmos: sal, sulphur, and mercurius; in Opus Paramirum he treats of their effects in both worlds.

"The inner nature of everything may therefore be known through Magic in general, and through the powers of the inner (or second) sight." -Paracelsus, quoted in Hartmann

"What is required is an act of sympathetic attraction between the inner representative of a particular object in man's own constitution and its external counterpart." -Walter Pagel

Moreover, this true knowledge does not concern the brain, the seat of conscious rational thinking, but rather the whole person.
-Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Paracelsus: Essential Readings, p.23

Philip K. Dick: [Exegesis 3:50] Inner space (of Paracelsus) is perhaps the key as to how the immortal man can be transtemporal and transpersonal.

Weeks on Paracelsus - Nature as a Second Bible

Paracelsus cast the Aristotelian philosophy of medieval Scholasticism aside in favor of a nature that he viewed almost as a second bible, complementary to the written one; and in favor of what he called experientia--a usage that, I will contend, owes as much to the inner experience of religious faith as to observation in modern scientific method.

Paracelsus: speculative theory and the crisis of the early Reformation
By Andrew Weeks

Nietzsche was right about Christianity

Readers of the Exegesis will notice a great deal of Christianity in the book. Dick notoriously explored and plundered the philosophical sublimities and ecstatic excesses of Christian Platonism and Mysticism, but he was also dedicated to his Bible. Christology is a big deal for Dick, who seems to have discovered that Christ can mean just about anything as he plugs Christ into all his theories, trying to make sense of them. But as we see in quotes like the below, Dick had moments where he radically doubted the Christianity that otherwise obsessed him. We have seen another place where Dick thought that he was tuning into a pre-Christian Platonic religion that was "bringing down Christianity." Here we have a spirited affirmation of Nietzsche's critique of Christianity as a "slave religion."

[69:I-8] Nietzsche is right about Christianity. It's the fucking hair shirt syndrome: always made me feel shame, guilt, always responding to duty and obligations to others—I view myself as weak, at the beck and call of others, obligated to them. Bullshit. "I am a man"—as that book on Judaism puts it. I need no one's permission anymore. I need not account to anyone. I owe them nothing; they are pushing old buttons, long out of date. I have proved my worth and earned my reward.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Influence of C.G. Jung on PKD -- notes by Frank Bertrand, excerpt Umland

Notes on the Influence of C.J. Jung on Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick had a deep and lifelong interest in Jung, who I'll be arguing was an important source for Dick's notions of religious or esoteric ideas like gnosticism and alchemy. This document should be a great place to start for anybody interested in Jung's influence on Dick. And be sure to check out this TDH post about Galactic Pot-Healer, which is the only Dick novel that is explicitly a Jungian allegory.
Frank Bertrand on Galactic Pot-Healer (Josh Lind's paper is also discussed)

here are a few excerpts from Umland on PKD's interest in Jung

p.84 Following Jung's reading of Nietzsche (note 5), Dick conceived of a person's public personality as a "mask," and he followed Jung in imagining the unconscious as both "hermephroditic" (Paglia 85) and as the repository of the cthonic archetypes, archetypes understood as autonomous personalities that sreside in the unconcious.
"An irruption from the collective unconscious, Jung taught, can wipe out the fragile individual ego. In the depths of the collective the archetypes slumber; if aroused, they can heal or they can destroy. This is the danger of the archetypes; the opposite qualities are not yet separated. Bipolarization into paired opposites does not occur until consciousness occurs. (VALIS 10.164) (note 6)

...the passage indicates that as Dick read Jung, there is no prelapsarian state of grace which preceded consciousness; in the words of Lao-Tze of which Jung was so fond, "High rests on low"--in this case, the Dionysian, primordial archetypes that are the inheritance of each individual psyche (in VALIS [3.31] Dick refers to Fragment 54 of Heraclitus, "latent structure is master of obvious structure")... Dick imagines a movement from an original ontological duality to a Hegelian notion of an evolving, teleologically driven order. At the level of the personal psychology, this suggests that Dick reads Jungian individuation as the elevation and integration into consciousness of the shadow archetype.

p.94 I hope that this chapter will prompt a literary criticism of Dick's entire corpus that more fully accounts for his philosophical and religious obsessions, one that assumes that these obsessions are not late developments of his life (which they were not), or marginal in any definition of his fiction (they are not), but utterly essential to it... I have come to the conclusion that Dick cannot be understood fully except by approaching him through the great historiographers and hermeneuticists of esoteric religion and the occult: Hans Jonas, Mircea Eliade, Gershom Scholem, and, above all, Carl Jung.

n.5 See C.G. Jung, Collected Works [Psychological Types] 6:136-146 for his discussion of "The Apollonian and the Dionysian." Jung's discussion of the "mask" in its most Nietzschean guise is in Collected Works :188-211 ("Anima and Animus"). His indebtedness to Nietzsche is discussed in Gerhard Wehr, Jung: A Biography, pp. 55-56; 72-73 and passim.
n.6 For help with this passage, see C.G. Jung, Collected works 6:199-221; and Works 4, 363ff.; also Gerhard Wehr, 49-50. His discussion "Anima and Animus" is relevant here (see note 5). The Exegesis passage in which Dick comments on his novel Galactic Pot-Healer (195-196) is also relevant here, as is his discussion of his own psychic "integration"
11. Girard's description of "possession" turns out to be quite similar to Jung's concept of "dissimulation," in that both describe one aspect of possession as being derived from projective identification. The fear of entrapment leads to dissociation rather than association (as in dissimulation). Dissociation is best described as the "possum response," an imitatio morte, or a "splitting off" of autonomous personalities. Jung refers to dissociation as a "means of adaptation" (Works 6:206). In a somewhat different discussion (in a book Dick probably read), Norman O. Brown, in Life Against Death (1959), in the context of his own discussion of the Apollonian and the Dionysian (Chapter XII), discusses projective identification, or dissimulation, using Freudian concepts and terminology. The cognate process Brown (following Freud) names an effect of the "narcissistic libido" (162).

here is an example of PKD doing a Jungian take on his "Divine Invasion experience:

[81:K-262] Now, consider what becomes of the human being failing to achieve (or receive) the Ditheon state, Jung's individuation or integration of the opposites (chemical wedding, mysterium coniunctionis, whatever, "birth in the spirit," anyhow the event in which what was not there before is there now and it acts to complement what was there that in itself was incomplete, so that the result is wholeness or—as I like to call it—justification). The human being recirculates the same ideas (info) over and over again, and, according to the statistical laws regarding entropy, the degree of order in the info irreversibly decreases, disorder increases, and the person mentally and spiritually moves inexorably toward death. Now, Schrödinger contends that a biological organism postpones its death (thermal equilibrium) by maintaining a relatively high level of order by incorporating negative entropy from its environment, and this is precisely the entering of the adventitious psyche; it is either injected or is ingested, offered by the environment or taken from it; in any case what was outside the organism is now inside the organism and incorporated into one total structure with what was already there;

Paracelsus on the Unconscious

Wikipedia on Paracelsus' Contribution to Psychotherapy
Paracelsus is credited as providing the first clinical/scientific mention of the unconscious. In his work Von den Krankeiten he writes: "Thus, the cause of the disease chorea lasciva is a mere opinion and idea, assumed by imagination, affecting those who believe in such a thing. This opinion and idea are the origin of the disease both in children and adults. In children the case is also imagination, based not on thinking but on perceiving, because they have heard or seen something. The reason is this: their sight and hearing are so strong that unconsciously they have fantasies about what they have seen or heard."

reminds me of this PKD quote

One long-past innocent day, in my prefolly youth, I came upon a statement in an undistinguished textbook on psychiatry that, as when Kant read Hume, woke me forever from my garden-of-eden slumber. "The psychotic does not merely think he sees four blue bivalves with floppy wings wandering up the wall; he does see them. An hallucination is not, strictly speaking, manufactured in the brain; it is received by the brain, like any 'real' sense datum, and the patient act in response to this to-him-very-real perception of reality in as logical a way as we do to our sense data. In any way to suppose he only 'thinks he sees it' is to misunderstand totally the experience of psychosis."

"Drugs, Hallucinations, and the Quest for Reality" (1964)

Religious Experience article at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Religious experiences can be characterized generally as experiences that seem to the person having them to be of some objective reality and have some religious import. That reality can be an individual, a state of affairs, a fact, or even an absence, depending on the religious tradition the experience is a part of. A wide variety of kinds of experience fall under the general rubric of religious experience. The concept is vague, and the multiplicity of kinds of experiences that fall under it make it difficult to capture in any general account. Part of that vagueness comes from the term ‘religion,’ which is difficult to define in any way that does not either rule out institutions that clearly are religions, or include terms that can only be understood in the light of a prior understanding of what religions are.
Religious experience is also to be distinguished from mystical experience. Although there is obviously a close connection between the two, and mystical experiences are religious experiences, not all religious experiences qualify as mystical.
Religious experiences form a broader category; many religious experiences come unbidden, not as the result of some deliberate practice.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Religious Experience

summary of a Jeffrey Kripal lecture

Jeffrey Kripal wrote some of the notes on Dick's Exegesis from the point of view of comparative religion. One important point he makes is to emphasize the influence of Eliade on Dick. Here are a few quotes from this article summarizing one of his lectures that I think are useful for thinking about the study of Philip K. Dick as a religious thinker. But do check out the link because it mentions his discussion of William James' "filter theory" which plays a role in the Exegesis.

Rice prof speaks on paranormal, consciousness in lecture

Kripal said the study of religion is usually practiced in the humanities, which he described as "the study of consciousness coded in culture." The world human beings experience is made up by words and symbols, and in order to investigate the unknown, one must look closely at extreme or unusual states of consciousness, he said.
When a student questioned how paranormal activities can be scientifically analyzed, Kripal said there is no way for parapsychologists to test and experiment on the aspects of paranormal experiences.

"Science proceeds by excluding things," he said. "Some scientists will try to say it doesn't exist because we can't study it in a laboratory. I just don't think these things can be squeezed into a scientific method."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

the basis of reality is words... Ideas in the mind of God

[28:21] Am I saying that the basis of reality is words (or the word) (v. John 1:1), as in Time out of Joint? (e.g., soft drink stand, words = ideas = concepts. Ideas in the mind [of God]).

Augustine on Divine Ideas and Illumination

Platonic Forms as Divine Ideas

Aquinas on Divine Ideas - Scriptam per Sententias

Edward Butler, a scholar of the metaphysics and ontology of the Neoplatonism of Proclus, left me these comments on twitter:
EPButler @t3dy Cf. #Plato Timaeus, in which one God (the Demiurge) discerns in the beauty of another (the Intelligible Animal) a complex paradigm.
@t3dy Both deities are simple natures (persons), but their encounter generates a complex cosmic "thought". #henology

Butler also told me that Cornford's study is considered an introductory source on Plato's Timaeus. So Dick would have found in it a detailed but easily readable guide to Plato's cosmological and theological thinking in the Timaeus. It's important to look into the studies that Dick used to get deeper into these religious/philosophical matters, such as "The Gnostic Religions" by Hans Jonas, which took him beyond the Encyclopedia Britannica (or EB as he often abbreviates it).

Dick's notion of the world as word or information was a big influence on Terence McKenna, who said things like "reality is made of language" to explain his own paranormal experiences. In the Exegesis Dick refers to McKenna a few times, and quotes an explanation of "The Invisible Landscape" from Robert Anton Wilson's "Cosmic Trigger." In a couple places he wonders if the "McKenna brothers" are right, and whether their theory corresponds to his.

Philip K. Dick's Gnostic UFOlogy

Any time now. We'd barely be prepared. When I think about it, this mood of eager anticipation and expectation and trembling awe and excitement is exactly what the UFO people feel toward the approaching first overt contact.  

[28:19] That Gnostic narration about Christ being seen simultaneously as a child, a man, a little old bald man, a short man, a vastly tall man—it resembles the "will-o-the-wisp" UFO sightings and contacts.36 And Zebra has a little of that playful, mirthful quality—very much so. "Look, I am here—no, there. Look, I am this—no that" (e.g., from the past, the future, another planet, an alternate universe, etc.). Riddles and pranks—we are being charmed and beguiled and entranced ... and, by this process, our fear of the unknown, the fremd, abates; and also, we become enthralled children—absolutely fascinated by the emerging pattern of what we see. Continually, we are given the option of dismissing what we are shown by the master magician/prankster.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dick's "Bible as Information/World as Information" Experience Confirms Spinoza

Folder 81 -- June 1981 [81:K-10]

Thus through the spirit there comes into existence a perfect (absolute) correspondence between Bible and our world. The Bible as information applies to this world here, this world now; world is meanwhile revealed as information (derived from information as its ontological basis) and this information is identical to the Bible as information. It is as if the Bible derives from and applies to world; world derives from and applies to the Bible, so that when you perceive world you perceive the Bible as world. And when you read the Bible it is no longer information about a world but is a world—and it is the same world that you live in here and now—the spirit accomplishes this through supra-temporal archetypes analogous to Plato's eide; these archetypes are identical for both world and Bible, a "common source" that can be said to be world-as-information, or information-as-world.

(If I hadn't experienced this—both in regard to world and the Bible—I wouldn't believe it could occur; but [as I say] I know how it is done: by means of supra-temporal archetypal constants found both in world—underlying world—and in the Bible—underlying it. Thus what we know of as world and what we know of as information are viewed as two aspects of a single substantia, each equally real, in the exact fashion Spinoza sets forth.) To