tag: Anamnesis

The Exegesis: Blasphemy & the AI voice

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
Buy it on Amazon

October 1978

Dick is confused how God can both delude us and want us to see the truth unless God is at war with itself or is like the paradoxical Brahman promoting both things at the same time.

He has rediscovered his identity. Zebra, Christ, Thomas and Dick himself are all God. God suffers amnesia within his own creation but has planted clues so that he will remember. Dick recognizes this is blasphemy, wishing to be like God, but he still thinks it is true.

Something he has dubbed the AI voice has been speaking to him and telling him the time he as waited for has come. He realizes his writing isn’t being smuggled into our world to alert us but instead is being smuggled out of our prison as a call for help.

The Exegesis: The Man Who Fell to Earth, “beyond lies the Wug” & Dick’s own system

Dick repeatedly dreams of the phrase “the only living reality we have now is Philip the first” and tries to figure out what that means.

He thinks our savior will arrive unnoticed just as the little boy in Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 movie The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie (a movie that inspired the film in VALIS). This fills him with dread since the time of judgment is so close, but he reassures himself that his faith will protect him.

He dreams about a story called “beyond lies the Wug” (published in Planet Stories in his dream). This is a combination of the Wub from his story “Beyond Lies the Wub” and the Vug from his novel The Game-Players of Titan, both of which are aliens who can take on the form of humans. From this Dick decides Earth will be invaded by aliens disguised as us.

Perhaps Paracelsus’s inner firmament means we are on the outside of the universe, like on the surface of a balloon, looking in.

Anamnesis is more than just remembering a past life. It is coming to terms with and understanding the phony world and time we are a part of. He recalls a passage from Virgil about the return of Apollo and reiterates that Christ will soon be victorious.

Dick lists everything he has studied thus far (Buddhism, Brahmanism, Paracelsus, etc.) and decides he is all of those things but has come up with his own system as well. 

We entered into a pact with the BIP to remain blind to it in a comfortable fugue state, as depicted in Time Out of Joint, Eye in the Sky, etc. We need to have the courage to stand up to the BIP and regain the freedom we lost. 

The Exegesis: An ersatz Soviet Logos & memory as an organ of perception

February 1978

Dick has decided the Soviets, using Tesla’s ideas, have built a Logos-like information transfer grid in the ionosphere. The true Logos is made of words and information. This inferior Soviet copy is an anti-Christ. 

Dick was a victim but now that role has been flipped and he is the one impinging on the world. These types of dramatic reversals are a sign of the end times. 

He thinks he experienced a version of time that indicates immortality is possible. When Dick reached his lowest point in 3-74 Christ was there and the entire universe was revealed to him. 

Memory is an organ of perception. Since the entity exists in time, anamnesis (aka remembering) is the only way to perceive it. We have forgotten this because of pain which we experience because we are individual parts yearning to be incorporated into the whole. The only way to do this is through Christ which will unite us into the totality, and it is the only way to give our lives true meaning.

When Dick saw Rome he knew that Christ would one day return, and he compares this to how UFO watchers must feel anticipating first contact, something that could happen unexpectedly at any time.