'Exegesis' by Philip K. Dick (1974-1982)

A selection from Philip K. Dick's Exegesis, 1974-1982.

"I am a fictionalizing philosopher, not a novelist; my novel and story-writing ability is employed as a means to formulate my perception. The core of my writing is not art but truth. Thus what I tell is the truth, yet I can do nothing to alleviate it, either by deed or explanation. Yet this seems somehow to help a certain kind of sensitive troubled person, for whom I speak. I think I understand the common ingredient in those whom my writing helps: they cannot or will not blunt their own intimations about the irrational, mysterious nature of reality, and, for them, my corpus of writing is one long ratiocination regarding this inexplicable reality, an investigation and presentation, analysis and response and personal history. My audience will always be limited to those people." Philip K. Dick, Unsourced.

"The creation of the Exegesis was an act of human survival in the face of a life-altering crisis... [...] Its pages represent Dick's passionate commitment to explicating the glimpse with which he had been awarded or cursed-- not for the sake of his own psyche, nor for the cause of the salvation of humankind, but precisely because those two concerns seemed to him to be one and the same." Editors Introduction to Exegesis

Philip K. Dick started writing Exegesis in 1974, after a mystical religious experience, and worked on it night after night right up until his death in 1982.  It is made up of about 8,000 pages of mostly handwritten and typed paper sheets which were found in his apartment after his death and stored in manila folders in the garage where they remained largely unpublished (apart from a few excerpts) until a 1,000 page selection was printed in 2011 with the title The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. While working on his Exegesis Dick wrote eight novels.

 The Exegesis itself reads like Dicks last and greatest work of science fiction.

"...I would express the purpose of the novel-- my purpose, anyhow-- to be a fictional statement containing a presentation of this directing presence which I arbitrarily chose the name "Ubik" for. That Ubik (or more accurately the future total Gestalt of purpose and Meaning) may well have written the book through me is possible, but only in the sense that all creatures from grasshoppers on up... are "written through," by what we call instinct, rather than "writing" their lives. However, I do think one could say this; rather than having it read: Ubik, by Philip K. Dick, one could put it this way:
Philip K. Dick

(Letter to Peter Fitting, June 28, 1974.)

Science fiction, no doubt owing to its uniquely modern form and popular appeal, largely escapes the purview of traditional literary criticism and, at least in Dicks life time, was not ordinarily seen as 'high art'. When the Polish sci-fi writer Stanislaw Lem, a contemporary of Dicks, wrote a critical essay on American sci-fi literature, he called it Philip K. Dick: A Visionary among Charlatans.

Editors note: as neither In Pursuit of Valis:
Selections from the Exegesis and The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick are complete, we will draw upon both texts in our selection here. Sections from the much more truncated In Pursuit of Valis will be indicated by IPV.

[work in progress]

In regards to some of the theoretical subjects all of us discussed the day you and your friends were here to visit, I recall in particular my statement to you... that "the universe is moving backward," a rather odd statement on the face of it I admit. What I meant by that is something which at the time I could not really express, having had an experience.... but not having the terms. Now, by having read further, I have some sort of terms, and would like to describe some of my personal experiences using, in a pragmatic way, the concept of tachyons, which are supposed to be particles of cosmic origin (I am quoting Arthur Koestler) which fly faster than light and consequently in a reversed time direction. "They would thus," Koestler says, "carry information from the future into our present, as light and X rays from distant galaxies carry information from the remote past of the universe into our now and here. In the light of these developments, we can no longer exclude on a priori grounds the theoretical possibility of precognitive phenomena." And so forth (Harper's, July 1974).

I had a keen intuition that information of some kind was arriving at us all, in fact bombarding us, from sidereal space.

Without the tachyon theory I would lack any kind of scientific formulation, and would have to declare that "God has shown me the sacred tablets in which the future is written" and so forth, as did our forefathers, back on the deserts of Israel under the sky as they tended their sleeping flocks. Koestler also points out that according to modern theory the universe is moving from chaos to form; therefore tachyon bombardment would contain information which expressed a greater degree of Gestalt than similar information about the present; it would, thus at this time continuum, seem more living, more animated by a conscious spirit, to us giving rise to the concept of GOd. This would definitely give rise to the idea of purpose, in particular purpose lying in the future. Thus we now have a scientific method of considering the notion of teleology.... .

Much of this... information arriving in dreams has had a teaching, shaping and directing quality; it tends to inform and guide me, and made me aware of what I should do. It literally educates me, and I'm sure each small creature, each bug and plant and animal and fish, has the same sense of it.

...the future is more coherent than the present, more animate and purposeful, and in a real sense, wiser. It knows more, and some of this knowledge gets transmitted back to us by what seems to be a purely natural phenomenon. We are being talked to, by a very informed Entity: that of all creation as it lies ahead of us in time.

In terms of Ubik (not the novel but the force described in my novel) perhaps I was already becoming aware of this total coherence which the universe is moving toward and which bombards us backwards... with information about itself, thus giving us a certain awareness of itself.

I was trying in a dim and unconscious way to express a series of experiences I had had most of my life of a directing, shaping and assisting-- and informing-- force, much wiser than us which we in no way could perceive directly;... in Kant's terms, it is... a Thing-in-Itself.
Thus I would express the purpose of the novel-- my purpose, anyhow-- to be a fictional statement containing a presentation of this directing presence which I arbitrarily chose the name "Ubik" for. That Ubik (or more accurately the future total Gestalt of purpose and Meaning) may well have written the book through me is possible, but only in the sense that all creatures from grasshoppers on up... are "written through," by what we call instinct, rather than "writing" their lives. However, I do think one could say this; rather than having it read: Ubik, by Philip K. Dick, one could put it this way:

Philip K. Dick

I don't feel I was "picked"... , as its instrument, etc.,. any more than when you are watching a TV program the transmitter has picked you. It is broadcast; it just radiates out in all directions and some people tune in... . All I did was to transduce, as all creatures do. I just gave what I received a local habitation and a name, as Shakespeare put it.

...strange and eerie feeling that my novels are gradually coming true. At first I laughed about this, as if it was only a sort of small matter; but over the years... it seems to me that by subtle but real degrees the world has come to resemble a PKD novel; or, put another way, subjectively I sense my actual world as resembling the kind of typical universe which I used to merely create as fiction, and which I left, often happily, when I was done writing.
Other people have mentioned this, too, the feeling that more and more they are living in a PKD novel. And several freaks have even accused me of bringing on the modern world by my novels.
Well, a case could be made here for my above tachyon theory, I guess... . There is no doubt that quite frankly I do not in any real sense write my novels; they do come from some non-I part of me. If tachyon bombardment was inspiring my novels, then it would stand to reason that the world-- it is really all the same world which my books depict, as has been pointed out in critical essays many times-- it would stand to reason that, as the years pass, my books would, so to speak, come true. They are about the future in two ways: they describe it fictionally, like S-F tends to do, and, they being inspired by tachyon information about the actual future (or possible several alternate futures) depict on-coming reality. [...] I do not wish to be in one of my own novels, by the way. So this isn't wish-fulfillment. Anyhow, I'm not the only person who's noticed that the world seems to be getting like my novels... .

I am not the true and actual source of my own fiction, and I've always wondered what the source was. John Denver... says he doesn't compose his many songs; "They're out there in the air somewhere," he says, "and I just fish them in."

...the gap between my vision and the actual world has gotten smaller and smaller over the years... .

"California Dreaming is becoming a reality," is a line from a Mamas and Papas song of a few years ago, but what a dreadful surreal reality it is: foglike and dangerous, with the subtle and terrible manifestations of evil rising up like rocks in a gloom.

The landscape is deformed out of recognition by the Lie. Its gloom is everywhere, and we encounter nothing we recognize... .

As soon as one lies one becomes separated from reality.

...no one notices that virtually everything we believed in is dead. This is because the people who would have pointed this out are dead.

But nevertheless something shines in the dark ahead that is alive and makes no sound. We saw it once before, but that was a long time ago, or maybe our first ancestors did. Or we did as small children. It spoke to us and directed and educated us then; now perhaps it does so again. It sought us out, in the climax of peril. There was no way we could find it; we had to wait for it to come to us.
Its sense of timing is perfect. But most important it knows everything.

I seem to be living in my own novels more and more. I can't figure out why. Am I loosing touch with reality? Or is reality actually sliding toward a Phil Dickian type of atmosphere? And if the latter, then for god's sake why? Am I responsible? How could I be responsible? Isn't that solipsism?

Or like John Denver gets his songs: I get them from the air. Like his songs, they-- my books-- are already there. Whatever that means.

By my own logic in the novel I must conclude that my or perhaps even our collective environment is only a pseudo-environment. In my novel [Ubik] what broke through was the presence of a man who had died. He speaks to them through several intermediary systems and hence must still be alive; it is they, evidently, who are dead. What has been happening to me for over three months is that a man I knew [Jim Pike] who died has been breaking through in ways so similar to that of Runciter in Ubik that I am beginning to conclude that I and everyone else is either dead and he is alive, or-- well, as in the novel, I can't figure it out. 

My unconscious is fixated in the Roman period, and that strikes me as strange. [...] It is a tutor to me as Aristotle was to Alexander... .

This is material emanating from a wise viewpoint which I never possessed.

...one odd dream that I had, in which I picked up most distant, the smallest, weakest signal-- from a star, star-information, sidereal.... what I heard seemed to resemble, as an analog, an AI System, not a computer, and female in tone.

The past, then. Or the future. Another star. An alternate world. "The other side." They're all "the other side" in some way.

So my "unconscious," which I've claimed this tutor to be, has available to it "my entire memory," except everything pertaining to events and concepts that arose after 100 A.D.

I remember that when this first hit me, in the first couple of weeks, I was abolustely convinced that I was living in Rome, sometime after Christ appeared but before Christianity became legal. Back in the furtive Fish Sign days. Secret baptism and that stuff. I was sure of it. Rome, evil Rome and Caesar's minions, were everywhere around me. [...] I was a Christian but I had to hide it. Or they'd get me. [...] I was more excited than afraid, sure in my faith, certain of my Savior. [...] I think I read all this in the novel The Robe 11 years ago. Jezz, I've fallen into someone else's novel!
You know, I could if I wanted to make the most dramatic but speculative case, for fictional purposes I guess, reason that I was pulled back through time, back and back, to where It ALl Went Wrong, which would be where around 100 A.D. [...] "That was a wrong turn," the Vast Acting Living Intelligence System that creates decided. "When those people decided on Christianity. I'll throw away 2,000 years, go back... turn to some other religion instead, and have that become dominant. Let's see... ." A New Start. Second Time Around. Why not? Thus, my sense that my help was coming from an alternate universe.
I don't know why I'm speculating along like this, though, because in point of fact I've decided, by a process of deduction, who my tutor is. Asklepios, or one of his sons. A Greek physician, whose step-mother was the Cumaean sibyl, his father Apollo, at whose shrines "...the sick were given wholesome advice in their dreams," this cult yielding only reluctantly to Christianity. Also Asklepios was according to legend, slain y the Kyklopes, a cyclops.

A latent form is emerging in me, buried... when... Asklepios was killed by the Kyklopes, so that his son's wisdom and skills, derived from Apollo, would continue on despite Asklepios' sudden death-- remaining latent within the morphology of the Indo-European descendents of Asklepios, perhaps genetically handed down through his sons. (He had two.) Now, when needed, this crypte morphosis is emerging, again active; its external stimulating-triggering source being some aspect of the dreadful civic decline of our society, its falling into ruins. "Within the degenerate molecules, the trash of today, he (PKD) resurrects a power buried for eons." (S. Lem, about Ubik.) Other gods of the past have at other times returned to life: Wotan in Germany, during the Nazis.

I think I've solved what's been in my head at night.
I'm seeing all the books and writing tablets, all the written material night after night: the Qumran Scrolls [editors note: 'Dead Sea Scrolls'].

The Qumran community were Essenes. Here, before the scrolls were found, is Will Burant's description of the Essenes:

They looked for the coming of a Messiah who would establish a communistic egalitarian Kingdom of Heaven on earth;... they were ardent pacifists and refused to make implements of war.

The Romans wiped them out.
Well, so the contents of the Qumran Scrolls would contain all the elements I've been entertaining in my mind... .

Nobody knew the source of these teachings until the Qumran Scrolls were recently found; no wonder Jim Pike and other theologians went crazy with excitement-- saw Christianity in an entirely new light.

Query: If the Essenes were successful prophets, not just trying and failing, did they anticipate their being wiped out, and anticipate leaving their entire doctrines and views and information as sort of time-bombs which would remain hidden until today? Is it possible? Very possible, I think. They hid all their stuff to be found later-- much later. Once more to be reintroduced into the world, as it was-- their original effect on our world-- fading out, finally. To revive it.

The Other is not any one thing found in any particular place. It is a quality of (or rather visible in) all things... . It shines through them at us. We see it and it sees back, as in a dialog.

We're talking here about a two hemisphere perception of reality, and then an information transfer from one hemisphere to the other so that cognition... is brain total.

...suddenly one would experience all reality through the vision of the Other, as if seeing out through its eyes. One would share and inhabit its world, possess its perspective; at the same time the Other would possess what one had as a worldview. [...] A superimposition, greater than either had possessed... . This sudden, double, superimposed, simultaneous view would be experienced as gaining an additional depth: as if adding one more spatial dimension. Much as a flatlander acquiring three-dimensional space. Time, too, would be experienced differently; one could see ahead, in all temporal directions. Two separate "mono" views when blended become a "stereo" view.

Plato once expressed an idea, probably metaphoric, that each of us is really only one half of a four legged four armed organism; somehow long ago we got split apart and we're always searching for our missing other half [editors note: see Aristophanes speech in Plato's Symposium]. This usually is construed as a man searching for his female mate; however, suppose the Great Builder has fashioned us humans here, each of us, as one half of a total organism the other half of which is not a human being but something totally different-- maybe with no physical body at all, but a sort of energy plasma... . This might indicate that our total life on earth is only the first part, the part before each of us and his Other are joined. [...] Meanwhile, off somewhere in another star system the Great Builder has fashioned the other parts of us, and soon we will be stimulated by Him to take off into space and head via rocket ship for that star, not knowing what lies ahead but prompted by a vast and authentic instinct that we should do it. Imagine our surprise-- and then delight-- when we get there and are suddenly joined, in the twinkling of an eye, with our other half-- the Other.
On their own planet, the race of Others might have had even less total vision of their purpose in the universe than we have; however, it is possible that their guesses and intimations might be ahead of our own. In this case they might be waiting for us to arrive, or even made certain attempts to contact us-- with or without success. At the ultimate, they might even have managed in small preliminary ways to reach across space to us somehow, to coax us subtly into moving toward them.

For all we know, the spirit is up there perpetually, awaiting only the crucial change below to come down and enter.

Like Plotinus' concept of concentric rings of emanation, we encounter our Others in gradually increasing intensity and clarity; they become clearer to us continually.

The spirit when he arrived here looked around, saw Richard Nixon and those creatures, and was so wrath-filled that he never stopped writing letters to Washington until Nixon was out. [...] You wouldn't believe his animosity toward the tyrannies both here and in the USSR; he saw them as twin horns of the same evil entity-- one vast worldwide state whose basic nature was clear to him as being one of slavery, a continuation of Rome itself. ANd he was a foe to that, above all; he saw Caesar once more, and himself pitted against that.

...presented in dream after dream... the benign and reassuring quality of this Other which I had encountered deep within me-- an Other which had been slumbering... until the proper signal released it to assume parity with me.
Now we function smoothly in synchronization, but at first I had to yield to it... .

That I am in direct mind-to-mind touch with extraterrestrial intelligence systems has been obvious to me for some time, but what this means is not in any way obvious.

It's not all that meaningful to talk about being in contact with extraterrestrial intelligence; these are new words to describe ancient experiences. Virgil in Book Six says:

...for immanent Mind, flowing through all its parts
...Makes the universe work.

Obviously "Immanent Mind" could be called "extraterrestrial intelligence." So there is nothing new in what I've experienced, just new terms. Basically this is a religious experience, but also it is more because we are no longer a religious world; I am a secular person in a secular society and must understand my experiences in this context. Otherwise even if I understand them I can't communicate them.

I believe that after an absence of between 2,000 and 2,600 years the immortals are now beginning to return, with Justice first.

That which possessed [early Christianity] in the First Century A.D. possessed me back in March... .

...an ancient promise made to us, made thousands of years ago, is now being kept. [...] He or they would come back eventually, and they fucking have... . I know it. [...] That which is rightfully ours, which was taken away, will be returned. They will see to that. As Paul called it, the "Time of Restoration of All Things"... .
The Christians, with their exclusivistic, bigoted, narrow intolerance, believe salvation and intervention and restoration is only for them; they're wrong; this is for our planet and all its people.

Harlan says:

Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson wrote, "Maybe God's gone away, forgetting His promise He made that day: and we're lost out here in the stars." And maybe He/She's just waiting for the right signal to come back, whaddaya think?

Right on, Harlan.

In micro terms I experienced the entire trip which our world and all of us will experience... .

...what happened to me in March is exactly that "in the twinkling of an eye" rebirth or transformation, much like an abrupt chemical process... as the alchemists so realized.

The universal mind dispatches a Mediator-- which is what Christ is called, correctly-- to trigger it off... . Thereby it, the universal mind, can hold the process until it wishes it to take place, which is why the Protestant Reformers stressed the power of God's grace as being the sole power which could redeem us rather than good works. [...] These are old-fashioned terms for a very mysterious process and event; they did the best they could in explaining it. "Well, see, we're all in a state of sin" (which is jargon for fucked up, deranged, and half blind), "and God's grace redeems us unexpectedly. But we have to have faith, which is to say total trust, in the power of that grace." I'm not sure you have to have that trust.

Psychologically, this mental transformation is the radical combining of opposites. [...] Each attempt I make to understand and explain and express my experience and the process following has to come at last to that: it is what I already thought and what I now think. [...] It is old (circa 100 A.D.) and points toward the future. [...] ...it is beings from another star system and it is precisely the same traditional experience of salvation described in the Bible.

This is what our modern world has lost, this unity in all levels; now we've got compartmentalization instead.

So to sum up, there is a small bit of the macrocosm inside us, inside the microcosm; and this small bit equals the whole universal mind.

Mumford says:

I think this must be very much like what happened during the transition from the Roman civilization, which was highly organized and bent on the same ends as our civilization, power, productivity, prestige, to the Christian era. The Christians formed in little bands. They began to withdraw from society and accepted the poverty which only slaves then were forced to accept. They built up a spiritual foundation for their life which gave them the internal energy firmly to take over the Roman Empire.

...when this first hit me in March I looked around and saw Rome! Rome everywhere! Power and force, stone walls, iron bars-- just what Mumford expresses above. [...] I pierced the veil, so to speak, and saw my society exactly as it is... which is, as Mumford expresses, like Rome was. [...] In Mumford's sense, "Rome" is a paradigm.

There is no doubt in my mind now that my "vision" of my society was accurate in the sense that Mumford means it; I hadn't gone back in time, but in a sense Rome had come forward, by insidious and sly degrees, under new names, hidden by the flak talk and phony obscurations, at last into our world again. Look! The Christians conquered Rome, but only for a time; Rome swallowed up its conquerors, like China does. At last Rome began by stealthy degrees to surface once more, to manifest itself. Therefore it is not surprising that that same Holy Spirit which rose against it then, in 100 or so A.D., has returned to arouse us as before, as it roused our ancestors... .

The right hemisphere is the seat of the unconscious.
But every layer in it, and all its contents, were at one time part of consciousness, though not of any living men.
These are all the prior left-hemisphere consciousnesses, down through the ages; when they perished, they reappared in this dormant, sleeping form, not dead, not gone, but not awake: just slumbering, with all their memories and thoughts and experiences and ideas now in dream form.
This is where the dead went. This is where the dead are.
Also, this is the leavening in the bread which Christ spoke of. And the tiny mustard seed, growing and growing.
Within the right hemisphere (we all share just one among us, like a communal meal-- e.g., the Last Supper) this life is rising once more toward the consciousness it lost.
But when it achieves it again, it will be a transformed life, not the perishable one it had.
Being in all of us, and alive and conscious again (it is alive again, but not conscious; it has forgotten), it can't die. It will not be bound by time and space. It can return to the past, go wherever men are or ever have been or ever will be.
The experience of anamnesis is the moment when this sleeping mind which once was conscious, remembers its own existence. Who it is remembering is itself; what it is remembering is that it lived and lives now, and has a job to do. Also, it is not a separate entity as the left hemisphere is. Together, they form two appositional minds, linked through it with all the others on Earth and perhaps beyond.
It did not die; it fell asleep, for two thousand years, acquiring with the death of each new person a new onion-skin like layer of itself; by these slow accretions it grew-- toward completeness and reawakening, and remembering.
The moment at which it remembers... is the moment at which the Kingship of God, the Perfect Kingdom, floods back into being: back into awareness of istelf, that it is Here; and it is here Now.
It contains within it thousands of years of slumbering world; the "connective unconscious" is becoming conscious, as was foretold by Jesus and Paul and John. It is (again) aware; (again) it thinks. It is Immanent Mind within us and around us, its sensory eyes open, with its identity (via memory restoration) intact. This was the goal of it all: the end journey of thousands of years and millions of men.
For those who lived and died, it wasn't in vain. They slumbered on, adding to one another in millions of laminations of transparencies.
For those, like me, who're alive, we are suddenly not alone, are suddenly given enormous support; He is with us again, our Savior.
...the third point in human evolution has now been reached. This moment equals, in importance, the leap from inanimate [matter] to animate [life]; this is true man, man realized at last, this third stage which began 3 million or 4 million years ago-- it is not the starting of the stage now, but the perfecting and completing of it. The millions of parts of this entity have wandered about the Earth during a spatial and temporal period of enormity and diversity; but it is all being collected and revived now-- collected during these epochs, revived now, by its merely pushing beyond the threshold: it reached saturation point, so to speak, and awoke.
It possesses immortality (through rebirth). It knows everything (through being gestalted from an almost infinite number of bits throughout space and time). Knowing it can't err, knowing it can't die, having a direct relationship with the Logos... or the Plan, it can make decisions partaking of Haggia Sophia: the wisdom of God.
"Haggia Sophia is about to be reborn. She was not acceptable in the past." This sentence refers to all of the above, and expresses it. We will have in our midst a wise entity, a sort of organic computer which will surpass its parts and the sum thereof.

A deliberate structure/artifact which they jointly maintain against the threat of reality, against what, if they somehow relaxed, they would find they could allow to seep in... as it later does. [...] (At night, in sleep, this mental mechanism dims, and other elements slide in, but are of course ruled out the next day on awakening, as being mere phantasms.)

Basically... when I had both brain hemispheres functioning in tandem, in a parity relationship, each involved both in perception and cognition, I saw around me a different universe.

...written material, of any and all sorts: any sign, any ad, any piece of paper; the resemblance to Runciter's communicating with the people via the trash of the gutter [in Ubik], the debris such as match folders, the labels of spray cans, etc.-- this is exactly what I actually saw myself as functioning in the highest fashion to guide and instruct us... . It is evident why eventually I would suppose the presence of the Logos.
Also, I saw a continual use of the joining of two verbal items; they would be kept separate-- and hence not causing disinhibiting to occur-- until the proper moment. I saw various written items rotate, so to speak, very slowly, inexorably, like a solenoid clock as it ticks along. Then two separate verbal items... would by inexorable degrees come together and mesh into an entity. At once, they would signal, and cause neural firing of an inhibited engrammed system in the person. [...] That all this would form an enormous and complex world-clock, synchronized with itself, is evident. [...] I did not reason this out; I saw this. I also saw the Logos as it reached from our future into our present-- which is the only world we have, our present-- to make use of the arrangement of things.

His Creator knows from the start everything which that person will encounter, and his Creator has by this engramming and signaling system made it possible to determine and control in advance how the person will go, along his course; it is not random; it is not accidental; it never lacks purpose... .

...the only portion of the universe which is truly real is living creatures, such as ourselves. The non-living parts are merely structure, very much like the backdrop and artificial scenery in a formal play. [...] ...in essence nothing more than elaborate but somewhat barren struts and support beams, literally so; they support the intricate signaling devices which flash messages-- i.e., commands and assistance-- to us continually, and also of course they afford biologically essential life support. This is indeed a kind of ship we are within, but in shape more like a gigantic hollow cube, all sides of which surround us and fire information and instructions in rapid, elaborate sequence... .
What I could not see-- and remember I didn't reason all this out; I saw it noetically-- was the final goal or purpose of all this... . I saw a process... . We are being processed along, and as we go we are changed and informed...-- it is all, as Bergson saw, a becoming. [...] ...we seem to be carrying out, at the bidding of these engrammings, complex tasks, which is why people often get a sense of God's Divine Plan of which they are a part.

...this entire cosmology which I've presented to you in these pages bears an organic relationship to my entire body of writing, to my basic theme of What is reality? I think I have at last transliminated-- i.e., coughed up into consciousness-- my subcontinent which has given rise to all my work and to all my theories and thinking.

That I never saw that all this had to apply to our world is a measure of the failure of the artist to discover the relationship between his art (or in my case the worlds within my art, the topic of my art) and life, his life, all our lives, our world.

In writing Tears I depicted simultaneously (1) the space-time continuum of Rome c. 100 A.D. and (2) future America, which turned out to be almost America at this time (1970/74). What this depicts then is a moving forward of Rome, not a regression on my part; it I were standing still, the same process would be observed... . It is the iron beneath the pretty plastic. This is true revelation. The whole novel, not just the dream, is revelation, about our world, where and when we are (our true ontological underlying space-time continuum; its nature).
Piercing the veil, seeing into the heart of our (present) world, I saw Urbs-Roma; it underlay/lies;... what our world actually is once all the layers of delusion are stripped away.

When we finally achieve bilateral parity in brain functioning, we will be better able to view our individual selves as microstations within an enormous network of similar stations which probably are so far-ranging in time and space that the idea of making contact with ETI's is like desiring to find air here on Earth.


I think one day perhaps soon someone certainly, and not by accident, will display to us our collective disinhibiting sign, and anamnesis will occur for us all.

It almost seems as if the consciousness of a Racial Planetary Being were surrounding civilization, compressing it and turning it into a miniaturized artifact of the past.

The entire pattern of our radio signals, and their information, have formed a living, or anyhow sentient entity which is why the idea of the noosphere came into being. Effect on us is not only informational but vitalistic and healing;... to "rouse us from half-life" which is to say, move us along evolutionary lines toward completion of our now only half-finished entelechies (v. Teilhard's idea of Christ as paradigm of mankind... ). This is brought to completion by the vitality and information imparted... by the entity which lies within the ionosphere. This is perhaps not a life form, and not from another planet, but it is an intelligence.

The U.S. Indians were right: when we die our souls-- i.e., our brain-print patterns-- go to join the noosophere growing in the sky... ; the dome over our heads. Our ancestors are there now. [...] But it's a single mind not a bunch of individual ghosts.

I got so loaded last night you wouldn't believe it. [...] In chemo veritas, though... .

Now,... obviously I used this event and the time in it conscientiously. During it I realized that in truth I saw the world in terms of pleasure denied me (sex and women) and over-reacted in terms of moral indignation, a moral tone to life ("overthrow the tyranny"). I saw, too, that esthetic awareness of music and art was my outlet my saving outlet; I really didn't see the world as a moralist did, but as an artist: I was capable of-- and truly did-- see aesthetically all the time; my real interest in women was as beautiful creatures the way cats are beautiful and Beethoven's music is.
I understood how we come to see time wrongly, or rather, we see it in its less real, secondary aspect or axis.
I had reckoned that the Holy Spirit seemed to have returned to our world about the time of Martin Luther, and Erasmus was a contemporary of his. [...] Erasmus wrote "In Praise of Folly" which is about the fool who is Christ.

We generate the horizontal time to keep order in what we encounter. But ah! The utility has made it progressively more and more difficult for us to experience the infinitude of transparent laminations which we bind together with the energy we call time... .

But the time-axis along which forms (entelechies) grow to completion-- that is orthogonal, and it is real.

You can... see each sense object or form where it stands placed, in the static structure of the universe... . But to me what is more exciting is to peel away time, the accretions; and this is orthogonal time. But deautomatization in Deikman's sense [ed. note: in Deautomatization and the Mystical Experience] must take place first. 
In seeing the pattern of sense objects, where they're located, you see structure. IN peeling away the layers you see Being. [...] "What is underneath" or "what is within or below" are the previous steps in sequence (remember... sequence is all important: it is pattern). This is the growth up to now, to the stage where it is vis-a-vis you. If you are to see what comes next you must move along the true (orthogonal) time axis in harmony with it: into the future, as all forms grow... . [...] I believe that Christ is the completed form toward which all men move, this approximation, and it's getting closer and closer... .

The reality of orthogonal time, cyclic time, would make it possible for the Golden Age (the time before the fall) to return, restoring all which has been lost. There is a direct link between the hope of that return and the idea of orthogonal time; also, there is a similar link bewtween the possibility of that hope being fulfilled and the fact that orthogonal time exists which it indeed does.

Would it be unreasonable to speak of my first orthogonal vision, that of Urbs Roma, as the Age of Iron? And under that I found-- what next? Silver? That would be my first glimpse of the Hellenistic world which came before (linear time) or beneath (orthogonal), and then, at last, the absolute simplicity of what must be the Golden Age: the forests, which Euripides spoke of in the Bacchae ("Will they ever come to me ever again..."). [...] Roma certainly was iron; no doubt. And-- the fish sign which I saw: it was made of gold.

If our age is an extension of Urbs Roma (Tears being a paradigm, a map of a territory which is Roma, Washington, Moscow, Berlin: one map for all) then that view of Roma was a rollback, and insight into the heart-- not of an age prior to ours-- but to ours itself.

I did not remember my previous state (anamnesis): I was restored to that state; which means someone restored me. That is God and God's grace. He brought it back to me or me back to it... . The Christian (Eucharist) anamnesis deals specifically with "Do this in recollection of me," i.e., Jesus Christ. The event is anamnesis; the agency which causes it is adventitious and is the Savior. [...] ...it was impressed on me, this anticipation of the dark-haired stranger girl at the door; I used to expect the Paraclete coming to the door at any time, to render aid. [...] Her appearance at the door had that effect only as mere triggering release and because of manifold almost infinite preparatory steps. This was a life time process, not a single event. As an infant I was given dreams and experiences... without which her appearance and that fish necklace would have done nothing... .

We are back to the concept of entelechy, of growth. All these are the unfoldings of living organisms which themselves are portions of an over-all organism.

The truth is that GOd inhabits without limit... . Special knowledge of how to get in touch with him is that same knowledge which carries the bee home to its hive each night; who sells that knowledge to the bee? ...truth cannot really be suppressed, at least not forever... .

The deeper and deeper penetration into ontological realms, experienced as dokos fading to reveal Urbs Roma-- those were into a region prior in lineal time to Jesus, to Christianity, but not to Greek mystery religions as such. But finally I saw the building Hagia Sophia, the palm trees,... the Levant. [...] What linked them? [...] Each... was seen in holy terms, viewed as if sanctified, viewed through its religion. It was as if God ranged through an axis neither of time nor space as we know it but built out of both. Orthogonal space, too? A space-time axis of Being in which resemblances linked each frame rather than being together in either time or in space... . It was an axis of holy solemnity, maybe; that worship and relatedness to God is the final axis, in which one when entering that realm moves from religion to religion as if they are all one. It is as if the state of grace generates, or anyhow generates the perception of and the participation in, the Region of the Sacred. [...] When dokos, the veil, lifts away from our external world we see the Absolute... . Worlds are made and unmade. The Absolute is absolutely plastic and manifold... as He forms and reforms it; He expresses himself directly through it and in it.
The re-emergence of cyclic time would be the method of restoration.

...the Christian "do this in anamnesis of me-- " Do this and recollect; once more we are back there again at the timeless and eternal moment  c. 46 A.D. We are really there now. Real time, genuine time, ceased after He left... . Only layer after layer of meaningless dust have accrued, which is to say, the substance, the essence, has not changed since Christ left our world. Not a day will have passed between when He left and when He returns.

...time or lineal time was overcome, and all the accumulations of the centuries, the flux, the accidents, the phenomenal world, all faded out and it, that place and those events, faded into sight and I was totally caught up into them, both inside me and outside me... . And it was not because I wished it; the first intimations were of the City of Cruel Iron, and I felt the fear natural to a society based on force and on a slave population-- it was harsh and cruel beyond anything I've ever seen. No Arcady, that. [...] Fruit equals phenomenal world; seed equals the unchanging reality of the last days He was here. Is our changing world actually a sort of electron revolving in totally repetitious cycles around a nucleus, and that nucleus is the Crucifixion and the Resurrection? The mass of a body creates a warpage in space, so that a straight line is curved; thus planets paths are warped into near circles (ellipses) around and around; that if they could think would imagine (as Spinoza would say) that they are traveling always in straight lines-- but we can see otherwise; an invisible force keeps that straight line-- makes that straight line into an endless repeating cycle. Ah! Our linear time is exactly an analogy of the straight line of a small body near a dense star; we, as part of Earth, moving through time as the axis, do not realize that our time is being warped perpetually, back onto itself in a great circle, a vast cycle which will one day to our surprise, like an early sailor who sailed west across our oceans and eventually, incredibly, found himself back where he began-- circumnavigated our round world which he did not understand was round... it looked and felt flat; the universe looks and feels as if it extends analogously. [...] ...Suddenly there it will be: ahead of us in time will be something which we know from our historic record we left behind us in time.

If we think of an entelechy or a bunch of them, there would be change, growth, until completion; then-- frozen, forever. These terms just don't stand for anything; they're just words. What I saw was not the static or unchanging versus change, but an incredibly live and potent total organism linked together everywhere, with nothing excluded from it, controlling through an intricate system everything which was, is and will be simultaneously, as Avicenna said.

Each living thing feels impelled to move (to develop or change or grow) but can't locate the source of that urge. From what I saw and understood from 3-74 on, there is a total Plan (the Logos) which superimposes as a vast static-- complete-- blueprint pattern over a space-time continuum universe, the one we experience empirically: the one our senses tell us about.

If there is a universe of anti-matter there may be a universe of anti-time; which would be retrograde time, or rather, elements moving retrograde to... our ourselves-- which move forward in time. Thus time symmetry would be achieved this way.

...it is this inexorable but invisible, metaphysical but real momentum which we call Time. It's the same as destiny; it is the end or completion of our entelechy reaching back retrograde-wise, through the system of signals and dragging each of us bodily forward to meet that end, that completion.
This unitary organism which we call reality or the universe is most itself, most there, most alive, at completion... it's there now drawing us toward it; we move, it stands still. Being more than the sum of all its parts, how can any one or even all of its parts resist it? [...] "The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts," and surely the whole exerts a greater influence on those parts than they do mutually on one another or on it... . This must be why Parmenides understood that no matter how many "parts" he saw, how much diversity and change his senses reported, reality had to consist of a One, which was Unchanging. His sense saw those parts coming together to form that One, but the One... must already be. It did not lie ahead along a time-line somewhere in the future; it ontologically lay beyond or behind or deeper within the many, now and forever. The pressure of time driving all the pieces to come together into the complete pattern is a sort of voice calling to them, a summoning to return; everything has already been there, since this lay outside time; anamnesis was a memory not of the past, of former time, but of ontology outside of time, of already-complete-then-now-later. A memory of all time unified; this memory stretched in all directions in time, and finally into none: into Being itself: into the heart which is alive. Empedocles supposed it to have been in the past because he remembered it; but if time is cyclic he remembered the future just as well, logically speaking.

Empedocles didn't actually remember having once been divine... . To remember immortality is to remember outside of time. "Long ago I lived forever. I knew everything and could not die, and I was perfection itself. But somehow something went wrong. I forgot, I'm down here." Anamnesis could be said to be memory of the future restored... . He remembered what he was; he remembers what he is; he remembers what he will be. [...] Memory is to know; forgetfulness is to fail to know (cf. Plato).
"I remember" equals "I realize" or "I understand."

Today is the vernal equinox. [...] This, really... is the day the spirit of Springtime revives, down deep in the cold ground; I feel him wake up. When he wakes, he sees once more, since his dream has ended; he sees and we, for a moment, can see with him-- not just him but what he sees the world to be.

Maybe somewhere God has a set of headphones on and is listening to our civilization (which is now global, making the piece he hears more unified). Output must be most extraordinary in terms of richness; also it must be unique. I think it pleases Him.
"Play it again, Sam," God murmurs, when it ends.

It seems unlinkely that the... time I briefly discerned was there only so long as I discerned it, and then it departed; it is much more likely, if not certain, that it was there before, and is there now, but that I fell back into monotemporal vision once more. I would be like a blind person who upon seeing for the first time imagined that the objects were brought into being by his seeing them.

If we watched a speeded-up film of a form developing, we would easily discern the latent form within it (which means entelechy, really) press outward into actualization... .

The "Whale's Mouth" sign of intersecting arcs... -- if each arc represents a form of time... then this sign could be thought of as representing a single previous intersection (in our past) at which the two times came together (around 100 A.D.), and then each went its own way. But as they were moving in arcs, it was inevitable, by the laws of geometry, that eventually they would once more intersect, perhaps 2,000 years or so later (i.e., very soon). These also would represent the two hemispheres of the brain.... once before linked, then soaring off orthogonally, but fated by immutable laws to come together again.
It's possible that the Christian fish sign concealed these two geometric arcs intentionally.

Plot element... Nicholas discovers that each of his brains (minds, hemispheres) is travelling at right angles to the other in time.

As the two minds travel further and further apart, they form a vast double loop, enclosing more and more space, as on a Go board; enclosing, ultimately, all inside them; a double circumnavigation of the unierse.

This, then, is not only a journey; it is a simultaneous double journey; he watches himself recede from himself, grow smaller and farther away. When, later on, if ever, will he encounter himself again, the two arcs re-intersecting ultimately... . Eventually he (expressed as either hemisphere, in search of the Other) will encounter an other which is That Other: himself (v. Plato and the four-armed four-legged animus-anima whole person long ago split apart and in search of its other part): he will unexpectedly encounter Himself, and thereby close the loop, probably for ever.

What is expressed here is an extraordinary demonstration of the principle of conservation and symmetry... .

...long ago, when Earth fell to thrall, a signal was sent out for helf; that signal itself has returned in strength, bearing power and arms, in truth and justice; that signal accumulated space, hence time, transduced other fields, rose from unliving to animate.

...we who were secular scientific and left wing came around to an awareness of the Logos, and, as Heraclitus says, "we woke up from our dream and began to see reality, i.e., the plan or logos." And so it came to be, at least for me. Throughout all this the Logos was preemptive... ; and it triumphed through us not despite us. Using this multiplex human project as its plastic medium, the Logos ignited at last a dazzling triumph for dignity, for justice, for understanding and for truth above all... . This was vast benign divine intervention, within our work, like the invisible leavening of the bread, etc.

Beyond and behind the figure of any and all temporal powers, and their intentions, lie the intentions and power of God.

What is possible... is the notion of "mytosis-like" splittings of the present (due to time dysfunctions, perhaps in our past) that result in alternate worlds... .
It's as if the merely potential (i.e., discarded at one or more critical junctions along the linear time-line) has come into a periodic shimmering realization, alongside what is actual. [...] Just for story purposes, let us suppose a time-traveling team from our future has gone back to 45 A.D. to see to it that Jesus is not crucified. When the Parousia are finished with us, the time line we have will not even be remembered; our memories will be retaped to fit our newly made past, as well as present, and, as in "Commuter," wewill be relieved that "nothing has changed after all."

...it [the 'process which I saw in 3-74', which is itself an example of a 'major process in the universe'] plays its hand (so to speak) in such a nonlinear way that the pattern is never visible until the final sections or even section is lowered (or raised) into place-- one ca't even tell, for a long time, maybe a lifetime, that there is/are pattern(s) at all. [...] ...so intelligent is the method of play, that every guess as to the meaning of a partial pattern is brought to ignominious ruin when the true (completed) pattern is visible, and one must hang on, hang on, waiting for that last piece. [...] ...each gestalt is a subsection of a larger gestalt embracing several gestalts.

When I look back on those first days in 3-74 when I saw Rome around me, not Fullerton, and specifically the Rome of the period of Christ's time, and saw its angry military hostility, I was equally aware (and his is what I tend to forget) of my own identify standing in opposition to it; hence its hostility toward me-- the scurrying of its agents were specifically hostile toward me, and I had to work in stealth... . [...] ...I was a member of a secret group which Rome was dedicated to destroy; ...part of the Fish sign secret society, killed on identification and disclosure.

What is involved is a restoring, a new life which is the igniting by means of the penetrating of the solar spermatikos of what had lain dormant, asleep over two thousand years... ; it could not wake itself up-- like the root or bulb called to by spring (by the healing warming Sun of Righteousness) it had to be summoned. If new birth or new life refers to a restoring (which it does) then at one time that Healing Sun was present and somehow withdrew, at which time the higher life in us fell asleep, in the darkness. [...] In some fashion... we once were awake and then fell asleep, which is what the Greeks meant by Lethe, by forgetfulness; forgetfulness is equated with falling asleep, and waking up with anamnesis.

It was a deliberate signal from the Sun of Righteousness, in the night, a dazzling display of its kind of life... , and it tripped the pineal into things buried in our morphology for thousands of years... .

[P. 151] What took possession of me, which seemed like Elijah (if not truly Elijah)? I guess it was the Father... . A form of the Father: the Holy Spirit, which, recall, made Mary pregnant, which brought conception to her; she conceived by the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Logos; and yet, the Logos in a sense impregnated her; I guess the macro-Logos this way achieves its micropresence here. Locally.
Prophecy: seeing into. The past is within things (as in Ubik). Again, the onion rings universe. Where is the past? Within what we see, at the hearts. [...] Not behind but "below." Contained.
Well, if the past is within what we see (smaller concentric rings, constricted) perhaps one can reason that the future consists of larger rings than that which makes up our perceptual present; vide Plotinus. The next concentric ring of emanation would be the future... strange. Which we reach toward, and which reciprocally reaches down to assist us, as I inferred about the "space people": they're from the future, reaching back to what for them is a smaller inner ring of the past, to give help. Angels. They would come to us in dream-time, with visions of what is ahead, and this is why dreams are prophetic. And less dense, less constricted than the daytime Now ring.

Ursula [le guin] accuses me of getting away from "Taoistic balance" when I get into Christianity.

I decided to describe, without attempting to name, the entity which telepathically approached me in 3-74. Its most salient quality,... seemed to be not its thinking (mentation) but its knowing;... it seemed to know things and events and people from inside, out from outside... , but seemed to sweep them out at the very heart.

...it is just as easy to think of the future pushing the present into the past as to think of the past generating the present and moving toward the future.

The Jewish-Christian myth which says that we once had these faculties and lost them-- devolved-- might be true, and it certainly would explain my anamnesis, as well as the view Plato and Empedocles held. However, it is also possible that this myth was instilled in us... in order to push us toward this as a goal in the future, whether indeed we had such faculties or not; this might be the only way such an ideal state could be expressed for those earlier cultures. "The Fall" is a sort of ancient way of talking about the next evolutionary stage in terms that make sense to people who have no concept of evolution.

...logos is defined as "the meaningful structure of reality,"... .

Is someone of much higher intelligence, of another species, looking down at us from a distance above, like research scientists looking down at creatures in an artificial maze?

I saw the meaningful structure of reality (the logos), and there was constant change in it (everything around me) because it is alive and possesses activity because it possesses mind. We ask, Why do we experience time (i.e., Change)? And the answer is, This living reality is evolving-- perfecting itself. We're within it so I guess we are a subpart of it, also alive and also changing-- evolving-- toward completion; it a great entelechy.

...it would like to rouse us to consciousness... and hence has dispatched an incarnation of itself, to nag us, to arouse us to conscious awareness.

...the absolute substantiality of this world is taken for granted. But all my life I've felt it is not, that something truly real lies behind it; thus over my entire adult life I have prepared myself to encounter an immanent God emerging from within this world. [...] I kept looking beneath. I sensed that the ordinary concealed the extraordinary, and that the latter perhaps was a live, had volition... . 

Perhaps the reappearance of this spirit... signals the beginning of another major historical age like that of the Reformation; perhaps it comes forth when there is a historical necessity. So we may be seeing the beginning of the breaking down of the bullshit establishments here and in the USSR... . [...] If the Protestant could be said to be a new historical type emerging from an older authoritarian one, then perhaps an equally important new one is emerging now... .

The evolution of religion from God Above to God With Us to God Within Us is obvious, but what I see too is the social-historical meaning... [of] this internalization of God.

Perhaps a sign of its proximity will be a growing difficulty by the authorities throughout the world in governing. [...] My right hemisphere emerges when my left has painted itself into a desperate corner and its rat-like linear thinking had bogged down, leaving a vacuum.
Every time in my life that I've heard the spirit it's been when my normal (linear) thinking had exasperated and exhausted itself... . [...] How possibly could a lesser, minor, inferior portion (half) of the total mind be habitually turned outward to the world, and a wiser, older part, devoted to truth, in possession of immeasurable knowledge, holy and calm-- how could that part remain suppressed virtually forever? [...] I wonder if it is a self-system, an ego, at all. It is not another self, even a better one; it is absolute in all that it knows, does and especially in all that it is... .
This particular "myth," that of the death of Christ, is the only one... which survived of all the mystery religions and other cults and religions of the antique world. [...] Still, it's all there... . At a certain point Christ is actually present, in the wafer and wine and also He becomes the priest, and we are once more there again; we have found our way back, a concept contained in the religion itself; viz" the dead god who returns to life. The cyclic repetition which takes place in the mass governs also the concept of why the mass is spoken and what it is about. Our god died, and was buried (gone), but then He returned. So saying, the priest therewith becomes Christ, proving the authenticity, the rightness, of the whole religion and the whole service... . It is as if each time the mass (or Last Supper, "in remembrance of Me") was secretly celebrated by the early Christians, they got to unfold their miracle, about Jesus, for their own eyes alone, invisible to the (Roman-secular) world. [...] New people who had never actually known Jesus could be brought in one by one, and this shown to them. Suddenly He would be there, only not as a mortal but in His transformed state... . He would be all through them, the celebrants. "Time would be abrogated," as Campbell says. This abrogation of time might not be so startling at first, during the actual Roman era; but later on, as in my situation... suddenly "back" in Rome "again." We are always back there, just as before; nothing has changed.

I can see where it is an enormous task, really beyond our ability, when we struggle with such a titanic fiery wind from another universe, a far vaster reality in all respects... trying to codify it, put it into linguistic categories, trying to figure it out, cope with the enormous paradoxes which effortlessly transcend and defy human reason... we're all getting massive headaches and sitting up all night trying and trying to explain to ourselves and to write it down coherently... the secular world supposes that religion is a fake and a snare and we've got nothing to offer but a lot of flak talk... .

We like to be able to recognize everything. To know (label) what it is. Our early textbooks teach us to do this (horse, cow, cat, mother). Once we have identified everything, then reality has passed away and we're in a world of the familiar, stuck there because we wanted it that way... . It's a form of scientific-magic; it depotentiates the menacing and the hostile by abolishing the unknown. The word... replaces reality, as in Time Out of Joint; it's perceptual stereotyping. Lazy vision. [...] ...as Heraclitus said, we are stumbling around asleep, unable to see the Logos... .
Parmenides' notion of the All... : he described it as radially symmetric... . [...] If this is so, then theoretically one could comprehend the structure of the whole upon any authentic encounter with it, no matter how small the segment... . ...no matter where or how you took a core sample or segment or fragment, from it the extremes on each side could advance out fan-blade like, with a Tao always created in the center. [...] I watched the slimmest sample expand into what, in terms of universal constants, was an entire world; I don't think you could cut it too small to exclude that spontaneous process of total regeneration of World. That means that the All is immediately palpable... , if viewed at all; I mean, if it is seen it is not seen partially, in an impaired way... .

...regarding this projection-from-every-point-of-the-complete All, then any glimpse of it (as I say) would be an encounter with its totality, and would by definition not be partial... .

Cont. p. 176

We are all sleeping avatars of God, with amnesia.

[p.197] I kept dreaming of us as animals in a stagnant pond, interpreting this as our planet. But suppose it's not our planet, but our entire space-time universe, viewed from the next (Neoplatonic type) one? [...] This is also the next stage in our evolution. [...] We must be an early stage in a life-form which metamorphoses into a higher spce-time continuum.

[p.535] The historic process has-- or is-- a mind/brain evolving toward ends it desires.

...world evolving and assimilating and linking internally in greater and greater complexity, through a dialectic process with history as its arena... . [...] A great evolving brain cannibalizing its environment. Structure within a less highly organized structure. 

It is alive, and the whole of it thinks.

...it didn't enter human history to save mankind: no-- it had to, in order for it to function and evolve and grow more and more complex. It must make use of us and our history.

The E. of Phil. says of the Milesians that upon having banished anthropomorphic gods acting on the world they then had to conclude that the world was organic and alive and responsible for its own growth. This is precisely my position vis-a-vis Valis: nothing acts on Valis... . But I view Valis as being immanent but in conflict with an opposing principle or entity, and embedded at the core... of reality, renewing and structuring it, making it progressively more complex (by what I call "linking").

So I have pushed my thinking back to Parmenides, the point before material and non-material could be drawn-- in accord with Heidegger's plea for authentic being. Before certain dichotomies were drawn, which split the human world view.

There is no external deity and nothing prior to world. This is God in Spinoza's sense. The pre-Socratics drew the right conclusions: if there was no adventitious deity to cause, control, drive and direct world, then world itself possessed sentient or quasi-sentient faculties and volition, "and [was] responsible for its own growth." What has happened is that religion-- especially Christianity-- restored the nonexistent adventitious anthropomorphic deity, the artificer-artifact model, so world was again not seen organically, as self-governing and alive and responsible for its own growth. Otherworldliness returned, and the Christians were "in but not of" world; they were hostile to world and saw world as hostile to them. They located God in a mythical place called "the pleroma." So world is depreciated and devalued and it is stripped of its life and volition.

When I saw what was really out there I saw something alive embedded at the core of reality.

While I was lying there... [gazing] up at the stars... all of a sudden, a perfectly articulated, brilliant star map appeared to me. I didn't just see stars; I saw a star map, as if a switch had been thrown in my head.

[p.603] Therefore if you can get (your self) into a mythological narrative you will enter this dream time (as opposed to entering dream time and, by means of that, entering the myth). The entree to dream time is to reenact the (i.e., a) myth. I accidentally did this in 2-3-74 vis-a-vis "Acts" due to (1) Tears; and (2) the girl with the fish necklace. These plunged me into that other kind of time and so I saw world under that aspect, i.e., made eternal and holy-- and experienced anamnesis.

So I got into mythic time by reenacting the sacred myth, and, having done so, saw world under that aspect (e.g., the blood of the cosmic Christ, Rome, the secret real Christians). I fell into the myth by chance, and enetered the realm of the sacred.



'VALIS' by Philip K. Dick (1974-82)

From the 1974 Rolling Stones article featuring the author.

A selection from Philip Kindred Dicks VALIS, 1982. 


(V.A.L.I.S. Vast Active Living Intelligence System)

Chapter 1

I am Horselover Fat, and I am writing this in the third person to gain much-needed objectivity.

I am by profession, a science fiction writer. I deal in fantasies. My life is a fantasy.

Chapter 2

Fat... developed a theory that the universe is made out of information. He started keeping a journal-- had been, in fact, secretly doing so for some time: the furtive act of a deranged person.

The term "journal" is mine, not Fat's. His term was "exegesis," a theological term meaning a piece of writing that explains or interprets a portion of scripture. Fat believed that the information fired at him and progressively crammed into his head in successive waves had a holy origin and hence should be regarded as a form of scripture.... .

He stayed up to four A.M. every night scratching away in his journal. I suppose all the secrets of the universe lay in it somewhere amid the rubble.

Chapter 3

How do you break the news to someone that his brains are fried?

...the dope he did during the Sixties had pickled his head on into the Seventies. [...] Once, in 1964, when Sandox LSD-25 could still be acquired-- especially in Berkeley-- Fat had dropped one huge hit of it and had abreacted back in time or had shot forward in time or up outside of time; anyhow he had spoken in Latin and believed that the Dies Irae, the Day of Wrath, had come. [...] Well, perhaps the etiology of his later God-madness lay there.

You cannot say that an encounter with God is to mental illness what death is to cancer: the logical outcome of a deteriorating illness process. The technical term... is theophany. A theophany consists of a self-disclosure by the divine. It does not consist of something the percipient does; it consists of something the divine... does. [...] How are we do distinguish a genuine theophany from a mere hallucination on the part of the percipient?

The vividness of the impression which a supposed theophany makes on the percipient is no proof of authenticity. Nor, really, is group perception (as Spinoza supposed, the entire universe may be one theophany, but then, again, the universe may not exist at all, as the Buddhist idealists decided).

That the entire universe-- as we experience it-- could be a forgery is an idea best expressed by Heraclitus.

It is necessary to have understanding (noos) in order to be able to interpret the evidence of eyes and ears. The step from the obvious to the latent truth is like the translation of utterances in a language which is foreign to most men. Heraclitus... in Fragment 56 says that men, in regard to knowledge of perceptible things, 'are the victims of illusion much as Homer was.' To reach the truth from the appearances, it is necessary to interpret, to guess the riddle.... but though this seems to be within the capacity of men, it is something most men never do. Heraclitus is very vehement in his attacks on the foolishness of ordinary men, and of what passes for knowledge among them. They are compared to sleepers in private worlds of their own."

Thus says Edward Hussey.... in his book The Presocratics... . IN all my reading I have-- I mean, Horselover Fat has-- never found anything more significant as an insight into the nature of reality. In Fragment 123, Heraclitus says, "The nature of things is in the habit of concealing itself." And in Fragment 54  he says, "Latent structure is master of obvious structure," to which Edward Hussey adds, "Consequently, he (Heraclitus) necessarily agreed... that reality was to some extent 'hidden.'" So if reality "[is] to some extent 'hidden,'" then what is meant by "theophany"? Because a theophany is an inbreaking of God, an in-breaking which amounts to an invasion of our world; and yet our world is under the mastery of unseen "latent structure." Horselover Fat would like you to consider this above all other things. Because if Heraclitus is correct, there is in fact no reality but that of theophanies; the rest is illusion; in which case Fat alone among us comprehends the truth, and Fat... is insane.
Insane people... are not in touch with reality. Horselover Fat is insane; therefore he is not in touch with reality. Entry no. 30 from his exegesis:

The phenomenal world does not exist; it is a hypostasis of the information processed by the Mind.

35. [...] As Plato discerned, there is a streak of the irrational in the World Soul.

In other words, the universe itself-- and the Mind behind it-- is insane. Therefore someone in touch with reality is, by definition, in touch with the insane: infused by the irrational.

Fat told me another feature of his encounter with God: all of a sudden the landscape of California, USA, 1974 ebbed out and the landscape of Rome of the first century C.E. ebbed in. He experienced a superimposition of the two for a while, like techniques familiar in movies. In photography.

Chapter 4

Fat found himself locked up in the Orange Country mental hospital

After one night in the receiving ward... Fat underwent his automatic evaluation. A whole host of well-dressed men and women confronted him; each held a clipboard and all of them scrutinized him intently.
Fat put on the trappings of sanity, as best he could. He did everything possible to convince them that he had regained his senses. As he spoke he realized that nobody believed him. [...] All he managed to do was abase himself and thereby divest himself of his last remnant of dignity.

Fuck it, Fat said to himself finally, and ceased talking.
"Go outside," one of the psych techs said, "and we'll let you know our decision."
"I really have learned my lesson," Fat said as he rose and started out of the room. "Suicide represents the introjection of hostility which should better be directed outward...  I had a lot of time to meditate... and I realized that years of self-abnegation and denial manifested itself in my destructive act. But what amazed me the most was the wisdom of my body, which knew not only to defend itself from my mind but specifically how to defend itself. I realized now that Yeats's statement, 'I am an immortal soul tied to the body of a dying animal' is diametrically opposite to the actual state of affairs vis-a-vis the human condition."
The psych tech said, "We'll talk to you outside after we've made our decision."
Fat said, "I miss my son."
No one looked at him.

Presently, he sat outside in the corridor.... . Fat thought back over his life.

Spiritually, he was dead...
Either he had seen God too soon or he had seen him too late. In any case, it had done him no good at all in terms of survival. Encountering the living God had not helped to equip him for the tasks of ordinary endurance, which ordinary men, not so favored, handle.
But it could also be pointed out-- and Kevin had done so-- that Fat had accomplished something else in addition to seeing God.

"Listen!" Kevin said. "You know what Eliade says about the dream-time of the Australian bushmen? He says that anthropologists are wrong in assuming that the dream-time is time in the past. Eliade says that it's another kind of time going on right now, which the bushmen break through and into... . [...] ...the way they prepare for it is to undergo dreadful pain; it's their ritual of initiation. You were in a lot of pain when you had your experience; you had that impacted wisdom tooth and you were--" ...Kevin lowered his voice; he had been shouting. "You remember. Afraid about the authorities getting you."
"I was nuts," Fat had answered. "they weren't after me."
"But you thought they were and you were so scared you fucking couldn't sleep at night, night after night. [....] You started seeing colours... . [...] Thats described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead; that's the trip across the next world. You were mentally dying! From stress and fear! That's how it's done-- reaching the next reality! The dream-time!"
Right now Fat sat on the plastic and chrome couch mentally dying; in fact he was already mentally dead, and in the room he had left, the experts were deciding his fate, passing sentence and judgement on what remained of him. It is proper that technically qualified non-lunatics should sit in judgement on lunatics. How could things be otherwise?
"If they could just get across to the dream-time!" Kevin shouted. "That's the only real time; all the real events happen in the dream-time! The actions of the gods!"

"You found your way into the upper realm," Kevin declared. "Isn't that how you put it in your journal?"

48. Two realms there are, upper and lower. The upper derived from hyperuniverse I or Yang, form I of Parmenides, is sentient and volitional. The lower realm, or Yin, Form II of Parmenides, is mechanical, driven by blind, efficient cause, deterministic and without intelligence, since it emanates from a dead source. In ancient times it was termed "astral determinism." We are trapped, by and large, in the lower realm, but are, through the sacraments, by means of the plasmate, extricated. Until astral determinism is broken, we are not even aware of it, so occluded are we. "The Empire never ended."

"The Empire never ended," Fat quoted to himself. That one sentence appeared over and over again in his exegesis; it had become his tag line. Originally the sentence had been revealed to him in a great dream.

...during the interval in which he had experienced the two-world superimposition, he had seen not only California, USA, of the year 1974 but also ancient Rome, he had discerned within the superimposition a Gestalt shared by both space-time continua, their common element: a Black Iron Prison. This is what the dream referred to as "the Empire." He knew it because, upon seeing the Black Iron Prison, he had recognized it. Everyone dwelt in it without realizing it. The Black Iron Prison was their world.
Who had built the prison-- and why-- he could not say. But he could discern one good thing: the prison lay under attack. And organization of Christians, nor regular Christians such as those who attended church every Sunday and prayed, but secret early Christians wearing light gray-coloured robes, had started an assault on the prison, and with success. [They] were filled with joy.
Once, in a cheap science fiction novel, Fat had come across a perfect description of the Black Iron Prison but set in the far future. So if you superimposed the past (ancient Rome) over the present (California in the twentieth century) and superimposed the far future world of The Android Cried Me a River over that, you got the Empire, the Black Iron Prison, as the supra- or trans-temporal constant. Everyone who had ever lived was literally surrounded by the iron walls of the prison; they were all inside it and none of them knew it-- except for the gray-robed secret Christians.
That made the early, secret Christians supra-or trans-temporal, too, which is to say present at all times. [...] Why did these antithetical forces emerge into palpability only when the past, present and future somehow-- for whatever reason-- got superimposed?
Maybe in the bushman's dream-time no time existed. [...] ...how, if no time passed in the dream-time, could the prison come to an end? It reminded Fat of the peculiar statement in Parsifal: "You see, my son, here time turns into space." During his realigious experience... Fat had seen an augmentation of space: yards and yards of space, extending all the way to the stars; space opened up around him as if a confining box had been removed. [...] And at night in sleep he had dreamed of a measureless void, yet a void which was alive.

When you are crazy, you learn to keep quiet.

Conversations in mental hospitals resemble conversations in bus stations, because in a Greyhound bus station everyone is waiting, and in a mental hospital... everyone is waiting. They wait to get out.

The distinction between sanity and insanity is narrower than a razor's edge... . It is more elusive than the merest phantom. Perhaps it does not exist; perhaps it is a phantom.

Dr. Stone who had charge of the ward, interviewed him one day.

He could see that Dr. Stone was totally crazy, but in a good way.

"You have much anger in you," Dr. Stone said. "I am lending you a copy of the Tao Te Ching. Have you ever read Lao Tzu?"
"No," Fat admitted.
"Let me read you this part here," Dr. Stone said.

Its upper part is not dazzling;
Its lower part is not obscure.

Dimly visible, it cannot be named...
Go up to it and you will not see its head;
Follow behind it and you will never see its rear.

Hearing this, Fat remembered entries 1 and 2 from his journal. He quoted them, from memory, to Dr. Stone.
1. One Mind there is; but under it two principles contend.
2. The Mind lets in the light, then the dark; in interaction; so time is generated. At the end Mind awards victory to the light; time ceases and the Mind is complete.
"But," Dr. Stone said, "If Mind awards victory to thelight, and the dark disappears, then reality will disappear, since reality is a compound of Yang and Yin equally."
"What else can you tell me?" Dr. Stone said.
Fat said, "Time does not exist. [...] The universe is contracting into a unitary entity which is completing itself. Decay and disorder are seen by us in reverse, as increasing. Entry 18 of my exegesis reads: 'Real time ceased in 70 c.e. with the fall of the Temple of Jerusalem. It began again in 1974. The intervening period was a spurious interpolation... .'"
"Interpolated by whom?" Dr. Stone asked.
"The Black Iron Prison, which is an expression of the Empire. [...] What has been most important in my discoveries is this: 'The Empire never ended.'"
Leaning against his desk, Dr. Stone folded his arms, rocked forward and back and studied Fat, waiting to hear more.
"That's all I know," Fat said, becoming belatedly cautious.
"I'm very interested in what you're saying," Dr. Stone said.
Fat realized that one of two possibilities existed and only two; either Dr. Stone was totally insane... or else in an artful, professional fashion he had gotten Fat to talk; he had drawn Fat out and now knew that Fat was totally insane.

He decided to go for broke, to tell Dr. Stone the most fantastic entry in his exegesis.
"Entry number twenty four," Fat said. "'In dormant seed form, as living information, the plasmate slumbered in the buried library of codices at Chenoboskion until-'"
"What is 'Chenoboskion'?" Dr. Stone interrupted.
"Nag Hammadi."
"Oh, the Gnostic library." Dr. Stone nodded. "Found and read in 1945 but never published. 'Living information'?"
"'Living information,'" he echoed. And then he said, "The Logos."
Fat trembled.
"Yes," Dr. Stone said. "The Logos would be living information, capable of replicating."
"Homoplasmates. That's a human being to which the plasmate had crossbonded. Interspecies symbiosis [Editors note: see Terence Mckenna on the mushroom]. 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-"
Dr. Stone grunted and squeezed himself violently.
"-in which to replicate itself into its active form," Fat said. "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."
"But you're saying the plasmate-- the Logos-- was dug up at Nag Hammadi!"
"Yes, when the codices were read."
"Where did the plasmate originally come from?"
After a pause Fat said, "From another star system." [Editors note: see Dicks 'The Divine Invasion' where this theme is elaborated]
"You wish to identify that star system?"
"Sirius," Fat said.

"Dr. Stone," he said, "there's something I want to ask you. I want your professional opinion."
"Name it."
"Could the universe possibly be irrational?"
"You mean not guided by a mind. I suggest you turn to Xenophanes."
"Sure," Fat said. "Xenophanes of Colophon. 'One god there is, in no way like mortal creatures either in bodily form or in the thought of his mind. The hole of him sees, the whole of him thinks, the whole of him hears. He stays always motionless in the same place; it is not right-'"
"'Fitting,'" Dr. Stone corrected. "'It is not fitting that the should move about now this way, now that.' And the important part, Fragment 25. 'But, effortlessly, he wields all things by the thought of his mind.'"
"But he could be irrational," Fat said.
"How would we know?"
"The whole universe would be irrational."
Dr. Stone said, "Compared with what?"
That, Fat handn't thought of.

"The Logos isn't rational," Fat decided out loud. "What I call the plasmate. Buried as information in the codices at Nag Hammadi. Which is back with us now, creating new homoplasmates. The Romans, the Empire, killed all the original ones."
"But you say real time ceased in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the [second] Temple [in Jerusalem]. Therefore these are still Roman times; the Romans are still here. This is roughly-" Dr. Stone calculated. "About 100 A.D."
Fat realized, then, that this explained his double exposure, the superimposition he had seen of ancient Rome and California 1974. Dr. Stone had solved it for him.
The psychiatrist in charge of treating him for his lunacy had ratified it.

Chapter 5

"I think you're ready to leave," Stone said cheerfully.
Fat said, "But let me ask you. I'm not talking about no mind at all directing the universe. I'm talking about a mind like Xenophanes conceived of, but the mind is insane."
"The Gnostics believed that the creator deity was insane," Stone said.

Perhaps Fat had discerned a vast mystery, in calling the Logos living information.

The universe might be irrational, but something rational had broken into it, like a thief in the night breaks into a sleeping household, unexpectedly in terms of place, in terms of time.

Normally it remained camouflaged.

What if a high form of sentient mimicry existed-- such a high form that no human (or few humans) had detected it? What if it could only be detected if it wanted to be detected? [...] The astonished human being would say, I saw God; whereas in fact he saw only a highly evolved ultra-terrestrial life form, a UTI, or an extgra-terrestrial life form (an ETI) which had come here at some time in the past... and perhaps, as Fat conjectured, had slumbered for nearly two thousand years in dormant seed form as living information in the codices at Nag Hammadi.

A "hylozoist" believes that the universe is alive... .

Fat came to the conclusion that it had invaded our universe; and a year later he realized that it was consuming-- that is, devouring-- our universe. Zebra accomplished this by a process much like transubstantiation.

Instead of seeing this in church [i.e., in the Eucharist as the 'body of Christ'], Fat had seen it out in the world; and not in micro-form but in macro-form, which is to say, on a scale so vast that he could not estimate its limits. The entire universe, possibly, is in the invisible process of turning into the Lord. And with this process comes not just sentience but-- sanity.

If Fat was psychotic, you must admit that it is a strange sort of psychosis to believe that you have encountered an inbreaking of the rational into the irrational.

What it did was step forward out of its state of camouflage; it disclosed itself as set to ground and fired information...; ...whole libraries at him in nanoseconds.

God, in very truth, attacks and injures us in his role as antidote. [...] Heraclitus wrote, "Latent form is the master of obvious form," and, "The nature of things is in the habit of concealing itself."
So the rational, like a seed, lies concealed within the irrational bulk.

Chapter 6

At this point in the Meisterwerk he had begun patiently to fabricate his cosmogony, which is the technical term for, "How the cosmos came into existence." Few individuals compose cosmogonies; usually entire cultures, civilizations, people or tribes are required: a cosmogony is a group production, evolving down through the ages. Fat well knew this, and prided himself on having invented his own. He called it:

Two source cosmogony.

In his journal or exegesis it came as entry 47 and was by far the longest single entry.

The one was and was-not, combined, and desired to separate the was-not from the was. So it generated a diploid sac which contained, like an eggshell, a pair of twins... (the Yin and Yang of Taoism, with the one as the Tao). The plan of the One was that both twins would emerge into being (wasness) simultaneously; however, motivated by a desire to be... , the counter-clockwise twin broke through the sac and separated prematurely; i.e., before full term. This was the dark or Yin twin. Therefore it was defective. At full term the wiser twin emerged. Each twin formed a unitary entelechy, a single living organism made of psyche and soma... . The full term twin, called Form I by Parmenides, advanced correctly through its growth stages, but the prematurely born twin, called Form II, languished.
The next step in the One's plan was that the Two would become the Many, through dialectic interaction. From them as hyperuniverse they projected a hologram-like interface, which is the pluriform universe we creatures inhabit. The two sources were to intermingle equally in maintaining our universe, but Form II continued to languish toward illness, madness and disorder. These aspects she projected into our universe.
It was the One's purpose for our hologramatic universe to serve as a teaching instrument by which a variety of new lives advanced until they would be isomorphic with the One.

The psyche of hyperuniverse I sent a micro-form of itself into hyperuniverse II to attempt to heal it. The micro-form was apparent in our hologramatic universe as Jesus Christ. However, hyperuniverse II, being deranged, at once tormented, humiliated, rejected and finally killed the micro-form of the healing psyche of her healthy twin. After that, hyperuniverse II continued to decay into blind, mechanical, purposeless processes. It then became the task of Christ (more properly the Holy Spirit) to either rescue the life forms in the hologramatic universe, or abolish all influences on it emanating from II.

Within time, hyperuniverse II remains alive: "The Empire never ended." But in eternity, where the hyperuniverses exist, she has been killed-- of necessity-- by the healthy twin of hyperuniverse I, who is our champion. The One grieves for this death, since the ONe loved both twins; therefore the information of the Mind consists of a tragic tale of the death of a woman, the undertones of which generate anguish into all the creatures of the hologramatic universe without their knowing why. This grief will depart when the healthy twin undergoes mitosis and the "Kingdom of God" arrives. The machinery for this transformation-- the procession within time from the Age of Iron to the Age of Gold-- is at work now; in eternity it is already accomplished.

At night he did the only act left open to him: work on his exegesis. He had reached an important entry.

Entry 48. ON OUR NATURE. It is proper to say: we appear to be memory coils (DNA carriers capable of experience) in a compluter-like thinking system which, although we have correctly recorded and stored thousands of years of experiential information, and each of us possesses somehwat different deposits from all the other life forms, there is a... failure of memory retrieval. There lies the trouble in our particular subcircuit. "Salvation" through gnosis-- more properly anamnesis (the loss of amnesia)-- although it has individual significance for each of us-- a quantum leap in perception, idenity, cognition, understanding, world-and self-experience, including immortality-- it has greater and further importance for the system as a whole, inasmuch as these memories are data needed by it and valuable to it, to its overall functioning.
Therefore it is in the process of self-repair, which includes: rebuilding our subcircuit via linear and orthogonaltime changes, as well as continual signaling to us to stimulate blocked memory banks within us to fire and hence retrieve what is there.
The external information or gnosis, then, consists of disinhibiting instructions, with the core content actually intrinsic to us-- that is, already there (first observed by Plato; vis: that learning is a form of remembering).

Fat reworked journal entry 29 and added it to his ON OUR NATURE entry:

29. We did not fall because of a moral error; we fell because of an intellectual error: that of taking the phenomenal world as real. Therefore we are morally innocent. It is the Empire in its various disguised polyforms which tells us we have sinned. "The Empire never ended."

30. The phenomenal world does not exist; it is a hypostasis of the information processed by the Mind.
27. If the centuries of spurious time are excised, the true date is not 1979 C.E. but 103 C.E. Therefore the New Testament says that the Kingdom of the Spirit will come before "some now living die." We are living, therefore, in apostolic times.

Fat decided to put down on the tractate all the prophetic statements fired into his head by Zebra. [...] But since he had gone crazy, he also entered absurdities into his tractate.

50. The primordial source of all our religions lies with the ancestors of the Dogon tribe, who got their cosmogony and cosmology directly from the three-eyed invaders who visited long ago. [They were] telepathic, could not breathe our atmosphere, had the elongated misshapen skull of Ikhnaton and emanated from a planet in the star-system Sirus. [...] They covertly influenced our history toward a fruitful end.

By now Fat had finally lost touch with reality.

Chapter 7

This mention of three-eyed invaders with claws instead of hands, mute, deaf and telepathic creatures from another star, interested me. Regarding this topic, Fat showed a natural sly reticence; he knew enough not to shoot his mouth off about it. In March 1974 at the time he had encountered God..., he had experienced vivid dreams about the three-eyed people-- he had told me that. They manifested themselves as cyborg entities: wrapped up in glassbubbles staggering under asses of technological gear. ...Solviet technicians could be seen, hurrying to repair malfunctions of the sophisticated technological communications apparatus enclosing the three-eyed people.
"Maybe the Russians beamed microwave psychogenic or psychotronic or whatever-they-call-it signals at you," I said, having read an article on alleged Soviet boosting of telepathic messages by means of microwaves.

...in these visions or dreams or hypnagogic states he had heard Russian words spoken and had seen page upon page, hundreds of pages, of what appared to be Russian technical manuals... .
"You overheard a two-way transmission," I suggested. "Between the Russians and an extra-terrestrial entity."

In Fat's opinion his apartment had been saturated with high levels of radiation of some kind. In fact he had seen it: blue light dancing like St. Elmo's Fire.
And, what was more, the aurora that sizzled around the apartment behaved as if it were sentient and alive. [...] ...when it reached Fat's head it transferred-- not just information to him, which it did-- but also a personality. A personality which wasn't Fat's. A person with different memories, customs, tastes and habits.

Well, I'll say this: Fat's encounter may not have been with God, but it certainly was with something.
No wonder Fat started scratching out page after page of his exegesis. ...he was trying to figure out what the fuck had happened to him.

All these events took place in March 1974.

[In Febuary 1974] Fat had an impacted wisdom tooth removed. For this the oral surgeon administered a hit of IV sodium pentathol. Later that afternoon, back at home and in great pain, Fat had gotten Beth [his wife at the time] to phone for some oral pain medication. Being as miserable as he was, Fat himself had answered the door when the pharamacy delivery person knocked. When he opened the door, he found himself facing a lovely darkhaired young woman who held out a small white bag containing the Davron N. But Fat, despite his enormous pain, cared nothing about the pills, because his attention had fastened on the gleaming gold necklace about the girl's neck; he couldn't take his eyes off it.

Touching the golden fish with one slender finger, the girl said, "This is a sign used by the early Christians."
Instantly, Fat experienced a flashback. He remembered-- just for a half-second. Remembered ancient Rome and himself as an early Christian; the entire ancient world and his furtive frightened life as a secret Christian hunted by the Roman authorities burst over his mind... and then he was back in California 1974 accepting the little white bag of pain pills.

Meta-circuits in Fat's brain had been disinhibited by the fish sign and the words spoken by the girl.
It's as simple as that.
A few days later, Fat woke up and saw ancient Rome superimposed on California 1974 and thought in koine Greek, the lingua franca of the Near East part of the Roman world, which was the part he saw.

Horselover Fat is living in two different times and two different places; i.e., in two space-time continua; that is what took place in March 1974 because of the ancient fish-sign presented to him the month before: his two space-time continua ceased to be separate and merged. And his two identities-- personalities-- also merged. Later, he heard a voice think inside his head: "There's someone else living in me and he's not in this century."
The other personality had figured it out. The other personality was thinking. And Fat-- especially just before he fell asleep at night-- could pick up the thoughts of this other personality...; ...the compartmentalization of the two persons broke down.

Fat himself expressed it very well to me in early 1975 when he first began to confide in me. He called the personality in him living in another century and at another place "Thomas."

I said, "You mean once you were Thomas. You're a reincarnation of him and you remembered him and his--"
"No, he's living now. Living in ancient Rome now."
"But your body," I said.
Fat stared at me, nodding. "Right. It means my body is... in two space-time continua simultaneously... ."

Space and time were revealed to Fat-- and to Thomas!-- as mere mechanisms of separation. Fat found himself viewing a double exposure of two realities superimposed, and Thomas probably found himself doing the same. Thomas probably wondered what the hell foreign language was happening in his head.

"There's someone else living in me and he's not in this century." That was Thomas thinking that, not Fat. But it applied to Fat equally.

..Thomas [also] remembered-- if that is the word-- other selves, one in Minoan Crete, which is from 3000 B.C.E. to 1100 B.C.E., a long, long time ago. Thomas even remembered a self before that: one which had come to this planet from the stars.

The promise of eternal life which Christ held out to his little flock was no hoax. Christ had taught them how to do it; it had to do with the immortal plasmate which Fat talked about, the living information slumbering at Nag Hammadi century after century. The Romans had found and murdered all the homoplasmates-- all the early Christians crossbonded to the plasmate; they died, the plasmate escaped to Nag Hammadi and slumbered as information on the codices [note in The Divine Invasion, the Logos fled to another star system, where it waited until the time came for it to return].
Until, in 1945, the library was discovered and dug up-- and read. So Thomas had to wait-- not forty years-- but two thousand; because the golden fish sign wasn't enough. Immortality, the abolition of time and space, comes only through the Logos or plasmate; on it is immortal.
We are talking about Christ. He is an extra-terrestrial life form whcih came to this planet thousands of years ago, and, as living information, passed into the brains of human beings already living here, the native population. We are talking about inerspecies symbiosis.

"You see, my son, here time changes into space."
First you change it into space and then you walk through it, but as Parsifal realized, he was not moving at all; he stood still and the landscape changed; it underwent a metamorphosis. For a while he must have experienced a double exposure, a superimposition, as Fat did. This is the dream-time, which exists now, not in the past... .

If the universe were taken to be rational, not irrational, then something breaking into it might seem irrational, since it would not belong. But Fat, having reversed everything, saw the rational breaking into the irrational. The immortal plasmate had invaded our world and the plasmate was totally rational, whereas our world is not.

For two thousand years the single rational element in our world had slumbered. In 1945 it woke up, came out of its dormant seed state and began to grow. It grew within himself, and presumably within other humans, and it grew outside, in the macro-world. He could not estimate its vastness... . If the devouring entity is evil or insane, the situation... is grim. But Fat viewed the process the other way around. He viewed it exactly as Plato had viewed it in his own cosmology: the rational mind (noos) persuades the irrational (chance, blind determinism, anake), into cosmos.
This process had been interrupted by the Empire.
"The Empire never ended." Until now; until August 1974 when the Empire suffered a crippling, perhaps terminal, blow, at the hands-- so to speak-- of the immortal plasmate, now restored to active form and using humans as its physical agents.
Horselover Fat was one of those agents. He was, so to speak, the hands of the plasmate, reaching out to injure the Empire.
Out of this, Fat deduced that he had a mission, that the plasmate's invasion of him represented its intention to employ him for its benign purposes.

Are there two persons in my brain, as there are in Fat's? Partitioned off, but, in my case no disinhibiting symbol accidentally triggered the "other" one into bursting through the partition into my personality and my world?
Are we all like Horselover Fat, but don't know it?
How many worlds do we exist in simultaneously?

"Phylogeny is recapitulated in ontogeny," as it is put. The individual contains the history of his entire race, back to its origins. Back to ancient Rome, to Minos at Crete, back to the stars. [...] This is gene pool memory, the memory of the DNA. That explains Horselover Fat's crucial experience, in which the symbol of the Christian fish disinhibited a personality from two thousand years in the past... because the symbol originated two thousand years in the past. Had he been shown an even older symbol he would have abreacted farther; after all, the conditions were perfect for it: he was coming off sodium pentathol, the "truth drug."
Fat has another theory. He thinks that the date is really 103 C.E. We're actually in apostolic times, but a layer of maya or what the Greeks called "dokos" obscures the landscape.

Where are we and when are we and who are we? How many people in how many places at how many times?

Horselover Fat is able to travel through time, travel back thousands of years. The three-eyed people probably live in the far future; they are our descendents, highly evolved. ANd it is probably their technology which permitted Fat to do his time-traveling. In point of fact, Fat's master personality may not lie in the past but ahead of us-- but it expressed itself outside of him in the form of Zebra. I am saying that the St. Elmo's Fire which Fat recognized as alive and sentient probably abreacted back to this time-period and is one of our own children.

Chapter 8

I did not think it should tell Fat that I thought his encounter with God was in fact an encounter with himself from the far future. [...] Fat had remembered back to the stars, and had encountered a being ready to return to the stars, and several selves along the way, several points along the line. All of them the same person.

Entry 13 in the tractate: Pascal said [in the preface to his treatise on the Vacuum], "All history is one immortal man who continually learns." This is Immortal One whom we worship without knowing his name.

On some level Fat guessed the truth; he had encountered his past selves and his future selves... .
Time somehow got abolished for him, and the recapitulation of selves along the linear time-axis caused the multitude of selves to laminate together into a common entity.
Out of the lamination of selves, Zebra, which is supra-- or trans-- temporal, came into existence: pure energy, pure living information. Immortal, benign, intelligent and helpful. [...] The in-breaking deity that Fat encountered in 1974 was himself. [...] [The abolition of time] 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.

The three-eyed people who Fat saw represented himself at an enlightened stage of his evolving development through his various lifetimes. In Buddhism it's called the "super-human divine eye" (dibba-cakkhu), the power to see the passing away and rebirth of beings.

Fat had become totally bogged down in his enormous exegesis, trying futilely to determine what had happened to him. He resembled more a hit-and-run accident victim than a Buddha.

Fat's obsessive idea these days... was that the Savior would soon be reborn-- or had been already. Somewhere in the world he walked or soon would walk the ground once more.

Wagner says in his text that only those who the Grail itself calls find their way there. The blood Christ on the cross had been caught in the same cup from which he had drunk at the Last Supper; so literally it had wound up containing his blood. IN essence the blood, not the Grail, summoned the knights; the blood never died. Like Zebra, the contents of the Grail were a plasma or, as Fat termed it, plasmate. Probably Fat had it down somewhere in his exegesis that Zebra equaled plasmate equaled the sacred blood of the crucified Christ.
The spilled blood of the girl broken and drying on the pavement outside the Oakland Synanon Building called to Fat, who, like Parisfal, was a complete fool. That's what the word "parsifal" is supposed to mean in Arabic; it's supposed to have been derived from "Falparsi," an Arabic word meaning "pure fool." [...] ...the Grail is identified with the pre-Christian "lapis exilix," which is a magical stone. This stone shows up in later Hermetic alchemy as the agent by which human metamorphosis is achived. On the basis of Fat's concept of interspecies symbiosis, the human being cross-bonded with Zebra or the Logos or plasmate to become a homoplasmate, I can see a certain continuity in all this. Fat believed himself to have crossbonded with Zebra; therefore he had already become that which the Hermetic alchemists sought.

"Phil," Fat said, "if I don't find him [the savior], I'm going to die."

"Well, then I'll die, too," I said. "If you do."
"That's right," Fat said. He nodded. "You got it. You can't exist without me and I can't exist without you. We're in this together. .. ."

The leader of the Grail knights, Amfortas, has a wound which will not heal. Klingsor has wounded him with the spear which pierced Christ's side. Later, when Klingsor hurls the spear at Parsifal, the pure fool catches the spear... and holds it up, making the sign of the Cross with it, at which Klingsor and his entire castle vanish.

At the end of the opera, Parsifal touches the spear to Amfortas's wound, the wound heals.

...the pure fool... abolishes the delusion of the magician Klingsor and his castle, and heals Amfortas's wound.

...in our case, the pure fool, Horselover Fat, himself had the wound which would not heal, and the pain that goes with it. All right; the wound is caused by the spear which pierced the Savior's side, and only that same spear can heal it. In the opera, after Amfortas is healed, the shrine is at last opened (it has been closed for a long time) and the Grail is revealed, at which point heavenly voices say:

"The Redeemer redeemed!"

In other words, Christ has saved himself. There's a technical term for this: Salvator salvandus. The "saved savior."

"The fact that in the discharge of his task the eternal messenger must himself assume the lot of incarnation and cosmic exile, and the further fact that, at least in the Iranian variety of the myth, he is in a sense identical with those he calls-- the once lost parts of the divine self-- give rise to the moving idea of the 'saved savior' (salvator salvandus)." (article on 'Gnosticism' in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1967)

Maybe Fat was searching for himself when he set out in search of the Savior. [...] But what in our modern world is the analog for Klingsor's huge stone castle?
That which Fat calls the Empire? The BLack Iron Prison?
Is the Empire "which never ended" an illusion?
The words whcih Parisfal speaks whcih cause the huge stone castle-- and Klingsor himself-- to disappear are:

"With this sign I abolish your magic."

The sign, of course, is the sign of the Cross. Fat's Savior is Fat himself, as I already figured out; Zebra is all the selves along the linear time-axis, laminated into one supra--or trans-- temporal self which cannot die, and which has come back to save Fat. But I don't dare tell Fat that he is searching for himself.

Did some magic scene lie in the future where Fat would come to his senses, recognize that he was the Savior, and thereby automatically be healed? Don't bet on it. I wouldn't.

Fat conceives of the universe as a living organism into which a toxic particle has come. The toxic particle, made of heavy metal, has embedded itself in the universe-organism and is poisoning it. The universe-organism dispatches a phagocyte. The phagocyte is Christ. It surrounds the toxic metal particle-- the Black Iron Prison-- and begins to destroy it.

41. The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence... .
42. 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; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.
43. Against the Empire is posed the living information, the plasmate or physician, which we know as the Holy Spirit or Christ discorporate. These are the two principles, the dark (the Empire) and the light (the plasmate). In the end, Mind will give victory to the latter. Each of us will die or survive according to which he aligns himself and his efforts. Each of us contains a component of each. Eventually one or the other component will triumph in each human. Zoroaster knew this.... . He was the first savior.

Fat sees a cosmic phagocytosis in progress, one in which in micro-form we are each involved. A toxic metal particle is lodged in each of us: "That which is above (the macrocosm) is that which is below (the microcosm or man)." We are all wounded and we all need a physician... born with a heavy metal splinter in us, a wound like Amfortas's wound. And when we are healed we will be immortal; this is how it was supposed to be, but the toxic metal splinter entered the macrocosm and simultaneously entered each of its microcosmic pluriforms: ourselves.

Chapter 9


"You don't think it really is an information satellite, do you?"
I said, "That fired a beam at Fat?"
"No; that's a sci-fi film device, a sci-fi way of explaining it."

...the original apostolic Christians.... had acquired immortality through the plasmate which Fat had discussed in his tractate. Although the original apostolic Christians had been murdered, the plasmate had gone into hiding at Nag Hammadi and was again loose in our world, and as angry as a motherfucker, if you'll excuse the expression. It thirsted for vengence. And apparently it had begun to score that vengence, against the modern-day manifestation of the Empire, the imperial United States Presidency.

"Where do we hide," Kevin said, "when an immortal plasmate which knows everything and is consuming the world by transubstantiation is looking for you?"

"You're not on drugs now?" Lampton laughted. "I'll withdraw that question. we know you're squared up now. All right, Philip; I'll be glad to meet you and your friends personally. Was it you who got-- well, let's see. Got told things."
"The information was fired at Horselover Fat."
"But that's you. 'Philip' means 'Horselover' in Greek, lover of horses. 'Fat' is the German translation of 'Dick'. So you've translated your name."
I said nothing.

Chapter 11.

"The Friends of God formed originally in Basel. Finally we entered Germany and the Netherlands. You know of Meister Eckehart, then."
Kevin said, "He was the first person to conceive of the Godhead in distinction to God. The greatest of the Christian mystics. He taught that a person can attain union with the Godhead-- he held a concept that God exists within the human soul! [...] The soul can actually know God as he is! Nobody today teaches that. And [...] Sankara in India, in the ninth century; he taught the same things Eckehart taught. It's a trans-Christian mysticism in which man... merges with God, as or with a spark of some kind that isn't created. Brahman; that's why Zebra--"
"VALIS," Eric Lampton said. 

[...] "Sankara and Eckehart, the same person; living in two places at two times."
Half to himself, Fat said, "'He causes things to look different so it would appear time has passed.'"
"Time and space both," Linda said.
"What is VALIS?" I asked.
"Vast Active Living Intelligence System," Eric said.
"Does it come from the stars?" I said.
"This place where we are," Eric said, "is one of the stars; our sun is a star."

"You have a voice inside your head now?" Mini said. "The AI voice?"
After a long pause... Fat said, "It's a neutral voice. Neither male nor female. Yes, it does sound as if it's an artificial intelligence."
"That's the inter-system communications network," Mini said. "It stretches between stars, connecting all the star systems with Albemuth."
Staring at him, Fat said, "'Albemuth'? It's a star?"

"What is VALIS?" Kevin said to Mini.
"VALIS is a construct," Mini said. "An artifact. It's anchored here on Earth, literally anchored. But since space and time don't exist for it, VALIS can be anywhere and any time it wishes to. It's something they built to program us at birth; normally it fires extremely short bursts of information at babies, engraming instructions to them which will bleed across from their right hemispheres at clock-time intervals during their full life-times, at the appropriate situational contexts."
"Does it have an antagonist?" Kevin said.
"Only the pathology of this planet," Eric said.
"We're all from Albemuth. This atmosphere poisons us and makes us deranged. So they-- the ones who stayed behind in the Albemuth System-- built VALIS and sent it here to fire rational instructions at us, to override the pathology caused by the toxicity of the atmosphere."
"Then VALIS is rational," I said.
"The only rationality we have," Linda said.
"And when we act rationally we're under its jurisdiction," Mini said.
"Then in essence," I said, "VALIS detoxifies people."
That's exactly it," Mini said. "It's an informational antitoxin."

The Eye of Shiva was of course the way the ancients represented VALIS firing information. [...] Mini told us that VALIS is not actually close when it fires; it may be literally millions of miles away. Hence, in the film VALIS, they represent it by a satellite, a very old satellite, not put into orbit by humans.
"So we're not dealing with religion then," I said, "but with a very advanced technology."

"We are in a maze, here," Mini said, "which we built and then fell into and can't get out. In essence, VALIS selectively fires information to us which aids us in escaping from the maze, in finding the way out. It started back about two thousand years before Christ, in Mycenaean times or perhaps early Helladic. That's why the myths place the maze at Minos, on Crete. That's why you saw ancient Crete through the... doorway. [...] We did it voluntarily; were we such good builders that we could build a maze with a way out but whcih constantly changed so that, despite the way out, in effect there was no way out for us because the maze-- this world-- was alive? To make the game into something real, into something more than an intellectual exercise, we elected to lose our exceptional faculties, to reduce us an entire level. This, unfortunately, included loss of memory-- loss of knowledge of our true origins. But worse than that-- and here is where we in a sense managed to defeat ourselves, to turn victory over to our servant, over to the maze we had built-- we relinquished the third eye, our prime evolutionary attribute. It is the third eye which VALIS reopens."
"Then it's the third eye that gets us back out of the maze," Fat said.

"The third eye had to be re-opened if we were to get out of the maze," Mini said, "but since we no longer remembered that we had that ajna faculty, the eye of discernment, we could not go about seeking techniques for re-opening it. Something outside had to enter, something which we ourselves would be unable to build."
"So we didn't all fall into the maze," Fat said.
"No," Mini said. "And those that stayed outside, in other star systems, reported back to Albemuth that we had done this thing to ourselves... thus VALIS was constructed to rescue us. This is an irreal world. You realize that, I'm sure. VALIS made you realize that. We are in a living maze and not in a world at all."
"And what happens when we get outside the maze?" Kevin said.
"We're freed from space and time," Mini said. "Space and time are the binding, controlling conditions of the maze-- its power."

"'Salvation,'" Mini said, "is a word denoting 'Being led out of the space-time maze... ."

"There is only one [savior], over and over again, at different times, in different places, with different names. The Savior is VALIS incarnated as a human being."

He is born, however, from a human woman. He doesn't just generate a phantasm-body."

"And he's been born?" I asked.
"Yes," Mini said.
"My daughter," Linda Lampton said. "Not Eric's, however. Just mine and VALIS's."

"This time," Mini said, "for the first time, the Savior takes female form."

"[Sophia] was born in 1976."

"And we can talk with her?" I said.

Chapter 12

...the child, upon seeing us, rose to her feet... lifted her right hand and pointed at me.
"Your suicide attempt was a violent cruelty against yourself," she said in a clear voice. And yet she was, as Linda had said, no more than two years old: a baby, really, and yet with the eyes of an infinitely old person.
"It was Horselover Fat," I said.

Turning to speak to Fat-- I saw no one. [...] Fat was gone. Nothing remained of him.
Horselover Fat was gone forever. As if he had never existed.
"I don't understand," I said. "You destroyed him."
"Yes," the child said.
I said, "Why?"
"To make you whole."

"He was me all the time," I said.
"That is right," Sophia said.

I said, "Then Horselover Fat was part of me projected outward so I wouldn't have to face Gloria's death."

"You are VALIS?" I said.

David said, "You are eternal, aren't you?"
"Yes," Sophia said.
"And you know everything?" David said.
"Yes," Sophia said.
I said, "Were you Siddhartha?"
"Yes," Sophia said.

As we walked away from the child, I said, "Her voice is the neutral AI voice that I've heard in my head since 1974."
Kevin said hoarsely, "It's a computer."

"An AI system," Eric said. "An artificial intelligence."
"A terminal of VALIS," Kevin said. "An input, output terminal of the master system VALIS."

Smiling, Linda said, "An artificial intelligence in a human body. [...] She is sentient; she knows everything. But her mind is not alive in the sense that we are alive."

"She didn't say she was Christ," David said.

"She is St. Sophia," I said, "and St. Sophia is a hypostasis of Christ."

We obediently seated ourselves in front of her.

"A time of trial and delusion and wailing lies ahead because the grim king, the king of tears, will not surrender his power.

"Those who obey power will succumb as power succumbs."

"Those who love Wisdom and follow her will thrive under the sun. Remember, I will be with you. I will be in each of you... . I will accompany you down into the prison if necessary; I will speak in the courts of law to defend you, my voice will be heard in the land, whatever the oppression."

"Formerly you were alone within yourselves; formerly you were solitary men. Now you have a companion who never sickens or fails or dies; you are bonded to the eternal and will shine like the healing sun itself."

"...There is no place where I am not. [...] ...I am mindful of you continually."

"You did not choose me; I chose you. I called you here. I sent for you four years ago."
"Okay," I said. That placed her call at 1974.

"Sophia will protect us," David said.
"A two-year-old child?" Kevin said.
We both gazed at him.
"Okay, two-thousand-year-old child," Kevin said.

"Already I had heard the AI voice in my head, and others would hear that voice, more and more people. VALIS, as living information, would penetrate the world, replicating in human brains, crossbonding with them and assisting them, guiding them, at a subliminal level, which is to say invisibly. No given human could be certain if he were crossbonded until the symbiosis reached flashpoint. In his concourse with other humans a given person would not know when he was dealing with another homoplasmate and when he would not.
Perhaps the ancient signs of secret identification would return, more likely they already had.

Most people understand that in the miracle of transubstantiation the wine... becomes the Sacred Blood, and the wafer... becomes the Sacred Body, but few people even within the churches realize that the figure who stands before them holding the cup is their Lord, living now. Time has been overcome. We are back almost two thousand years; we are not in Santa Ana, California, USA, but in Jerusalem, about 35 C.E.
What I had seen in March 1974 when I saw the superimposition of ancient Rome and modern California consisted of an actual witnessing of what is normally seen by the inner eyes of faith only.
My double-exposure experience had confirmed the literal-- not merely figurative-- truth of the miracle of the Mass.
As I have said, the technical term for this is anamnesis: the loss of forgetfulness.

For some time I had held the opinion that Zebra-- as I had called the entity which manifested itself to me in March 1974-- was in fact the laminated totality of all my selves along the linear time-axis; Zebra-- or VALIS-- was the supra-temporal expresssion of a given human being and not a god.... not unless the supra-temporal expression of a given human being is what we actually mean by the term "god," is what we worship, without realizing it, when we worship "god."

When I woke up the next morning I could still see her lovely face, the dark, glowing eyes: such large eyes, so filled with light, a strange kind of black light, like the light of stars.

Chapter 14.