The Exegesis

The Exegesis: Another mystical experience and the vision of an arch-like doorway

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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Dick had another mystical experience on June 2, 1975, but unlike 3-74 and 2-75 this one lacked ‘all adventitious percept-system experiences.’ He realizes his 3-74 experience is something that happens all the time. It was just new to him. Since there is no way for him to understand God through his senses he either needs to deny God is at work in the world or deny the evidence of his senses. He decides on the latter. 

Evil isn’t as in control as it appears to be, although it had more power in the past. He envisions the universe as a delicate balance like the one between Yin and Yang. He again wonders why no one else reports an experience like his. 

He writes out a 24-point list about what happened to him ending with ‘my psychological projections are withdrawn.’ He decides even after all this he is not an improved or even necessarily a good person. His health is better and he has more control over his moods, but he is still cranky and domineering. 

He traces everything to a day in 1970 when he had a mental collapse which continued until 3-74 when he began his recovery. In 3-74 he saw an arch-like doorway which must represent death. Through it he glimpsed the Next World. We are not half-dead but half-alive since we haven’t yet found the missing part which lies ahead of us.

The Exegesis: A metal prison and the teachings of Meister Eckhart

Dick has now decided we are in a metal prison, although this prison has tubes drilled in the walls, camouflaged from the prison’s creator, and these tubes allow in signals which are designed to help us. 

He recounts a few different dreams including one where as a child in the ‘30s he received a bowl of cereal from a man who he determines to be the Savior. He thinks he has been working toward a reunion with the Father his whole life. 

Dick relates the teachings of the 13th century German theologian Meister Eckhart (filtered through Jung) to his own life. We all have the form of God encoded inside us which is reconstructed through a signal from God himself. Dick wonders what happens when someone is possessed by the Deity. Was the divinity inside them all along but just forgotten as Neoplatonism and Orphism suggests? He realizes the conflicting messages based on what happened to him. He experienced the anamnesis, but he also believes he received a message from the Savior who told him all of it was something new. 

He feels he is in a holding pattern after trying to decipher what’s been happening to him for the last fourteen months but he takes comfort in the Scriptures. 

The Exegesis: Biblical ideas for To Scare the Dead, a critique of Childhood’s End & a visitation by Astraea

For the previous 15 months Dick thought that Paul was the author of “Acts” in the Bible but he finds out that it was actually written by Luke. This new knowledge matches up to recent dreams he has been having. He incorporates Luke into the plot for To Scare the Dead: St. Luke will visit the protagonist and teach him that the Holy Spirit can possess ordinary people. 

Dick compares what happened to him with Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End (a book about an alien invasion of Earth) which he just read, although he doesn’t find too many similarities to his experience. Dick rejects a sci-fi interpretation and embraces a theological one. 

He recounts a new experience. Some light entity which he calls The Moth visited him and then the following morning he spoke with Astraea, the Greek (Dick incorrectly calls her Roman) virgin goddess of innocence and justice. She told him they will judge those who destroy the Earth. Afterwards he went in for a scheduled blood pressure reading and found his b.p. was normal. 

He considers folding an older story about a man who remembers the future instead of the past (I believe he is referring to “Recall Mechanism”) into To Scare the Dead.

The Exegesis: A ‘godly anarchy’ and questions about the perception of the universe

Dick continues to wonder why he can experience God and others can’t. What happened to him proves that God can communicate directly to people without an intermediary just as the Protestants said. The concept of God has evolved from something external to something internal which will affect future societies. He imagines a kind of ‘godly anarchy’ where laws are unnecessary. 

Any group that had the same experience he did might afterwards search for the cause by thinking back to recent people who have died. For Dick that was Jim Pike. For the early Christians it was Jesus. Others saw this being as Tammuz, Adonis or Osiris. Are all of these mystery religions thinking of the same entity with a different name?

During his experience Dick had the impression he had been viewing the universe ‘backwards’ his entire life. Are we perceiving the universe incorrectly? We’ve been taught since we were children to identify things by name which leads to an overfamiliarity and lazy thinking that could be preventing us from seeing things as they are. What we need to do is somehow look at things with fresh eyes. Dick is beginning to understand he encountered the totality of God and not just a small portion. If this happened to anyone they would obviously find it difficult to explain this overwhelming experience.

The Exegesis: Questions about the voice that spoke to him in Greek and more notes on To Scare the Dead

Dick attempts to describe the 2-3-74 entity and his description sounds identical to the Parakletos (or Holy Spirit). He is reminded of a time in high school when he was particularly agitated during a test and the same inner voice came to calm him. 

Instead of thinking about the past generating the future we could imagine the future pushing the present into the past. The past is a trick our minds play as we try to arrange events into a linear order. Another way to look at the future is something that already exists which displaces the present. 

Dick spends some time speculating on why the entity communicated to him in Greek. If God has the ability to speak to people why was he the only one chosen? He realizes the absurdity of assuming he is that special. He has a theory that all of this could be the next step in human evolution, but that doesn’t explain the voice speaking in Greek.

He wraps this up with some notes about the story he is working on called To Scare the Dead which is beginning to resemble his final novel The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

The Exegesis: Notes on the pineal gland and Firebright

Dick gets excited about an article he read in the April 1975 issue of Psychology Today that discusses the light receiving properties of the pineal gland in the brain. This means his pineal gland actually responded to the phosphene activity during the events of 2-3-74 which put him into his ‘true, absolute, ultimate Being state.’

He mentions Doris Sauter for the first time. She was the inspiration for Sherri in VALIS and Rybus Rommey in “Chains of Air, Web of Aether” and The Divine Invasion.

Dick is nurturing ‘Firebright’ within himself, but eventually it will grow enough to take over and begin nurturing him. Perhaps humans exist primarily to nurture this solar spermatika. Dick isn’t sure if the information that reached him was inside him all along ready to be triggered or if it arrived with the ‘seed.’ If someone is possessed by God do they become God? He was possessed for a period of several weeks, but that was over a year ago and Firebright remained behind with him.

Dick thinks humans may exist in a loosely interconnected colony like bees. He eventually decides he proved the Miracle of Transubstantiation. I’m trying to make sense of this but it’s bouncing all over the place. He ends these notes by teasing that he should replace ‘God’ and ‘immanent God’ in everything he’s written thus far in the Exegesis with the correct word ‘Christ.’