tag: Buddhism

The Exegesis: A dream of Siddhartha & beginning VALIS

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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October 1978

Zebra destroys the four deformations.

  • It abolishes the phony world
  • It abolishes the occlusion 
  • It frees us from enslavement
  • It restores our memory

The Gnostics didn’t have it quite right. It is the living information itself, not the content of the information, that saves us.

Dick counts 21 of his stories that deal with the idea of fake vs real. 

The Logos contains the totality of the macrocosm. Once it replicates in someone (through just a tiny piece as happened with Dick in 2-74) they become one with the whole. Zebra is in Dick and his purpose is to restore this knowledge (gnosis) to the world, which he does through his lowbrow sci fi, just as in Ubik.

He has a dream about Siddhartha (the founder of Buddhism) and believes this means another savior is being born. Dick covers how the savior dynamic is depicted in Stigmata, Ubik, Galactic Pot-Healer and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The VALIS book he is working on will show the process of redemption, although he finds writing it very difficult.

He has a dream about a fish and from that concludes the secret Christian society does exist and he is a part of it. Time has not passed since Rome 45 A.D. It has only been made (by James-James?) to appear that way. Dick understood this in 3-74 when he woke up. His book VALIS (which he calls his maximus opus) will show the restored and redeemed man, but from the perspective of Gnosticism and Buddhism, not Christianity. 

The Exegesis: Two forms & a journey toward enlightenment

September 1978

Dick clarifies that Thomas is not himself or the Holy Spirit but a distinct human being in his head from the time of “Acts.” He contemplates destroying the exegesis, because he feels he is bound by some kind of code of silence and is not allowed to spill the cosmic secret that Christians from the past are operating within us. 

He points out that he has rewritten the same type of story over and over where a phony world hides the real one, which is exactly what was revealed to him in 3-74.

He touches on the idea of an infinite number of worlds and selves, and thinks he is a factory defect where the Thomas personality was stuck in his brain by mistake. He says we have two choices to make sense of everything. Either it is Rome 45 A.D. or else all time is a simulated illusion. He is leaning towards the latter.

In a moment of self-realization he admits “I have been governed too much by my own fictional models…” 

His writing, in the gutter of science fiction of the time, is a very unlikely place to encounter the holy message he found. He lists the two sides of what we see now that the illusion is breaking down: illusion – real, sleep – wakefulness, etc. Movement from one side to the other requires death of the psyche. Someone must experience their own irreality and the phony world.

Christ, after he died, distributed himself as living information with the goal of waking us up. Dick’s entire writing journey has been a search for enlightenment. In 3-74 he became a Buddha and since then has been able to understand intellectually what happened to him.

Why did we forget this wisdom and why do we need to earn it?