tag: AI Voice

The Exegesis: Notes on 11-17-80

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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October-November 1980

Dick finds parallels between his 3-74 experience and his efforts to figure it out afterword with the exegesis. Both involved entropy, and in both he split apart after speeding up and reaching infinite velocity. In 3-74 the end result was that he saw Valis. During his exegesis he sped up again, fragmented into endless theories and finally encountered the infinite God on 11-17-80 as noted in the last entry. 

The journeys were similar but the outcomes different. Valis is the world but God is transcendent. 11-17-80 was the theophany he thought he experienced in 3-74. In 3-74 he didn’t connect with God but only understood that God existed and had saved him. 

He credits a little “Mary Jane” as the thing that gave him the final push that accelerated him through the exegesis. His theophany occurred when he gave up on the exegesis and “turned on.” Enlightenment only comes when you stop pursuing it. He realizes his journey didn’t begin in 1974 but in high school when he first heard the AI voice.

He remarks on the anthropomorphic nature of God in contrast to Valis. Valis is machinelike and computerlike but God (who he compares to Gandolf) has a personality much like the wise, old, loving man in a robe people have always envisioned.

Misinterpreting Valis as God was hubris and a form of blasphemy. It appeared as Ubik to him because it fed his preconceptions back to him. Dick says the exegesis was a sin. He intellectually tried to understand the world, but was eventually delivered from it after exhaustion. 

The Exegesis: A narrative archetype

June–October 1980

The wars we fight today between communism and capitalism mirror the wars fought throughout history between the middle-class and the elites, between Protestants and Catholics, between the early Christians and Rome, etc, back through time. Dick had been trying to see the true world and when he finally uncovered it what he found was that narrative archetype which he had correctly depicted in Flow My Tears. Valis is always on the side of freedom, and the only way for enslaved people to be victorious is by overthrowing the Empire, not merely escaping it.

The AI voice who addressed him is YHWH who he realizes is Valis. Dick recognizes he has declared “he has figured it out” too many times and is hesitant to say that again (since it seems to doom him to uncovering more questions), but he does feel that Valis = God / Christ and that he saw and experienced him in 3-74. 

The Exegesis: A Third Age & Valis as the One

June–October 1980

A new third, post-Christian age is beginning, progressing from, but disagreeing with, the New Testament, the same as the relationship between the New Testament and the Old. If the first age was justice, and the second was love then what is the basis of this Third Age where man has direct communication with God without churches or priests? In age three information occurs inside of us avoiding the signal loss that occurs with intermediaries like institutions or men. We will produce the scripture directly. Instead of a human savior, the savior of the Third Age will be everywhere. This Christ will be a meta-organism, God inside and out.

Dick compares this revolutionary thought opposing the church to the way early Christianity fought dogmatic Judaic law. New scriptures and prophets are needed. He recounts a message from the AI Voice that told him a new savior, either God or one with the power/approval of God, is coming soon.

He describes how Valis (which he now calls a macrometasoma) inhabits our world with its memory-structure and grows more complex as it evolves. Our world is its brain activity / metabolism. Valis is the One. This understanding unites everything (Plotinus, Pythagoras, Sankara) that he has been studying.

The Exegesis: The Groove Override and the New Free Merit-Deed

January – April 1980

Dick breaks down the process of his path to salvation into two parts: the groove override (GO) and new free merit-deed (NFMD). In the GO period the not-self self (Thomas in his case) freed him from his deterministic loop so he could perform his “good-karma” act in the NFMD period in order to escape from the afterlife cycle. Someone who follows GO with an evil act would gain bad karma and be judged again by Ma’at, although the ones working to help you (Christ, Buddha) have an omniscient view you will do good. Dick gets himself twisted up here trying to decide which is the cause and which is the effect, GO or NFMD, and decides it’s a paradox: in order to get out of the deterministic groove you already have to be out of it.

What needs to happen for GO is a psychological death which allows for rebirth, something illustrated by the crucifixion of Christ. Dick says this ability to escape from a preprogrammed groove is an evolutionary leap in mankind (which he dubs the meta-mind), since someone who achieved this would exist out of time and could create alternate worlds. Does Valis encourage this? Or are “angels” evolved humans who have already figured this out? He wonders if a future self outside of time could influence a past self (as the AI voice), becoming both cause and effect.

The Exegesis: Christ’s role & Dick inside the universe

January 1980

If the world is made of information then it is completely deterministic with everything, including our death, unfolding according to plan. What we don’t see is that we are just one component in this world that extends back millennia. Without this understanding our existence doesn’t make any sense. Christ is the one who wakes us up and points this out to us. This consciousness he makes us aware of is a mirror of the macro-mind in the micro-mind of individuals. We remember our true identity when we wake up and experience anamnesis. When God sacrificed himself for man the whole became the part and the part became the whole.

Dick wonders if his 3-74 experience was Kabbalistic and perhaps he is in communication with the Torah itself.

In 3-74 he became Adam Kadmon and was able to change the world with his mind, since the world was his mind. Instead of seeing the universe from the outside he inhabited it and saw it from the inside. It protected him and spoke to him and comforted him. Everything that has been communicating with him (the hypnagogic visions, Thomas, the AI voice) come from this mind he is a part of.

The Exegesis: The Divine Comedy, a Satanic church, St. Sophia as the AI voice & YHWH

Dick continues his comparison of our world to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Just before entering Paradiso memory is restored. The mid-realm (Purgatorio) is a combination of signals from the irredeemably bad BIP and the entirely good top realm. Moving into the upper realm is akin to time travel, encountering Satanic voices from Inferno and angelic voices from the future. 

If he saw God while he was alive then Spinoza’s monism model is correct, but it’s also possible Dick is in the afterlife, which would mean a transcendent God. Based on the Paradiso canto “God is the book of the universe” he thinks of his experience as moving through a book where the pages are the layers of phosphene graphics he’s talked about before.

He has a dream that Satan has taken over the church and Christians are worshiping the wrong God. The true church, those with the full knowledge, exist apart from this evil which has been kept secret.

Dick wonders if he saw Valis because the analytical left hemisphere of his brain took over from his dominant intuitive side. This is how St. Sophia manifested herself, analyzing reality. He calls it a psychosis, his unconscious invaded although by a rational being. He decides this would explain the AI voice since the speech center is located in the left brain. This woman (who is also Sibyl, Athena, Diana and the Fairy Queen whoever that is) is a part of him, in syzygy with Valis, but he wishes she would take over and run things.

He has a hypnagogic vision that YHWH is the one who has been instilling knowledge in him. The AI voice tells him it’s the same being that contacted Elijah. The significance here is the name YHWH, aka “I am who I am,” God’s personal name. Could it be that the Christianity doctrine of the trinity is Satanic and blasphemous since it leads away from true monotheism? Perhaps Satan already won when the temple fell in 70 A.D. (with the aftermath revealed in Flow My Tears) but now YHWH is returning.