Sunday, September 2, 2012

Robert Anton Wilson on meeting PKD / Phil Dick on RAW?

Phil Dick and I had a long conversation one afternoon at Santa Rosa, and it was only a year later that I found out that he and I had exactly similar experiences at approximately the same time, which left both of us wondering if we'd been contacted by god, by the devil, by an extra-terrestrial from Sirius or by some evil parapsychologist working for either the CIA or the KGB, or if we had just gone temporarily crazy. Then I realized this whole long conversation was Phil's attempt to find out how crazy I was. If I was sane, there was a chance that he was sane too. But if I was crazy, that increased the probability that he was crazy. He apparently decided that I was sane enough that he could trust that he was possibly sane too, so he started publishing some of his experiences, which now are in several books: Valis, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, Radio Free Albemuth and the Exegesis. My accounts of similar experiences are in Cosmic Trigger Vol. 1." "Memories of Phil" 
Source: PKD Otaku #11

Here is a post about the meeting between RAW and PKD that Tom Jackson shared, which includes n amusing quote from SF author David Hartwell:

It got down to Robert Anton Wilson and Philip K. Dick talking. And at a certain point, I could not follow what they were saying, and so I just left and went out and got a beer and came back later. They were still talking.

Robert Antone Wilson wrote a few articles about PKD.
The Return of Philip K. Dick - A Review of Philip K. Dick:The Dream Connection
"The Black Iron Prison" in his Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death
Scattered mentions of PKD theories in Everything Is Under Control: Cults, Cover-Ups and Conspiracies

Here is what RAW says about PKD in a 1986 preface to Cosmic Trigger 1: The Final Secret of the Illuminati

"In this connection, I am often asked about two books by other authors which are strangely resonant with Cosmic Trigger -- namely VALIS by Philip K. Dick and The Sirian Experiment by Doris Lessing. VALIS is a novel which broadly hints that it is more than a novel -- that it is an actual account of Phil Dick's own experience with some form of "Higher Intelligence." In fact, VALIS is only slightly fictionalized; the actual events on which it is based are recounted in a long interview Phil gave shortly before his death (see Philip K. Dick: The Last Testament, by Gregg Rickman.) The parallels with my own experience are numerous -- but so are the differences. If the same source was beaming ideas to both Phil and me, the messages got our individual flavors mixed into them as we decoded the signals.

I met Phil Dick on two or three occasions and corresponded with him a bit. My impression was that he was worried that his experience was a temporary insanity and was trying to figure out if I was nutty, too. I'm not sure if he ever decided."

Dick read Wilson's Cosmic Trigger and mentions it in the Exegesis. He wrote a well known blurb about it:

"Wilson managed to reverse every mental polarity in me, as if I had been pulled through infinity. I was astonished and delighted." 

But I haven't been able to find much information about PKD on RAW. If anybody knows anything I don't know, please do chime in.

 a commenter on a post about RAW/PKD posted this:

"In _Philip K. Dick: In His Own Words_,ed. Greg Rickman, p.55, PKD talks about a little about his acquaintance with RAW and that both of them agreed on their fascination with conspiracy theories, that they tink about CTs in similar ways, including the "absurd" idea that there's something benevolent "behind it all."

In the book _To The High Castle_ by Rickman, on page X of the Foreword, Tim Powers wrote that some "critics" put forth the rumor that PKD's correspondence with RAW caused PKD to go over the edge. Something like that. I don't have that book on hand. Anyway, I've never gotten a good answer: WHO? What "critic" put forth that idea?"

here are a few mentions of RAW in PKD's Exegesis

[30:15] ... Leary's work suggests that every atom contains the "brain" of the whole universe."... This is also the basic axiom of magic ... stated in the tale of Hermes in the famous sentence, "That which is above is in that which is below." ("The macrocosm is within the microcosm.")But the McKenna theory goes far beyond this....We are riding not one but 64 evolutionary waves all mounting toward a cosmic awakening something like the Omega point suggested by paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin.* [Editor's note: from Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger, 1977]  ...Thus I lived out this process the McKennas described, somehow cut loose from objective time.... All I had to do was turn to my grand theme (e.g., in Maze, in Stigmata and Eye, etc.) and perceive our composite (mixed universe) as irreal (i.e., hologrammatic). Tessa saw this at once.

 [1:121]  So if you push essence far enough in terms of ascending levels, you find you have gone a full circle, and you wind up encountering ultimate deity cooking and writing pop tunes on the radio and popular novels, and a breath of wind in the weeds in the alley. It's as if the ultimate mystery is that there is no mystery—it's like what Robert Anton Wilson says in the Cosmic Trigger about being outside the Castle when you think you're in, and inside when you think you're out. 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."

[30:11] The real conspiracy goes much deeper than conspiracy buffs (such as Bob Wilson) suspect, although he almost had it in the theory that our universe is a hologram created by the intersection of two hyperuniverses.

And in VALIS: "I've read The Cosmic Trigger and Robert Anton Wilson says--" [Kevin gets cut off by Mini] (p. 204)


  1. "Phil Dick is another of my favorites. In fact there's a lot of synchronicities between Phil and me. Phil and I had a lot of the same sort of paranormal experiences at around the same time. Phil was just as agnostic about it as I am. Cosmic Trigger and VALIS were statements for that time. I'm still mulling over a lot of those things, and Phil would be mulling too, if he were here."
    From an interview with Lewis Shiner

  2. Information on when/where they met:

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