tag: Claudia Bush

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, March 21, 1975

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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Dick writes Claudia on the vernal equinox and tells her not only is it spring but it is also the Springtime the entity told him would eventually arrive. The tyranny, he thinks, has ended. 

His conception of the universe (at least for now) is a cube. We are all inside this cube and the patterns are fed to us. He uses Beethoven as an example of how signals are passed to humans for us to uniquely modify to produce an output. Another way to look at life is as a barrel that we roll up a hill until we eventually reach God… not the clearest metaphor here.

Dick ends the letter by briefly recounting what happened to him in 1974.

March 16, 1974: The entity appeared to him.

March 18, 1974: The entity looked out from inside him and denied the reality of the world.

March 20, 1974: The entity took over, showing him what was real.

March 20 until late July, 1974: The entity showed him how to defeat the world’s tyrannies. 

August 1974 and on: The entity (aka Elijah/the Holy Spirit/Dionysus/Zagreus) gradually went away leaving him mentally healed.  

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, February 26, 1975

Dick writes Claudia this long letter the morning after an epic drug bender. He relates questions his wife Tessa had asked him while he was ‘ripped.’She wanted to know what entity took him over during his 2-3-74 experience and he decided it was the Greek scholar Erasmus. 

He tells Claudia we spend our whole lives seeing time in its secondary axis instead of the real axis which is orthogonal. He toys with the idea that orthogonal time is cyclical and not retrograde like he previously thought. Our linear time is probably warped (which makes sense based on what Einstein told us about spacetime) and so time will eventually loop back around just like an object in orbit around a star. 

Time doesn’t really move but rather we move along time, from signal to signal, based on the plan of the Logos. 

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, February 25, 1975

Dick talks up his writing process in another letter to Claudia. He borrows from his own life experiences and often merges ideas from two novels into one. 

In a postscript he says he ‘commanded the entity to show itself’ to him the previous night. In a hypnagogic state he saw a dead man dressed in a fawn skin on the floor. He is convinced this is Dionysus (who is related to Zagreus in Greek mythology) and in the morning he finds confirmation, in his mind at least, when he comes across something about the followers of Dionysus wearing fawn skins. 

He attaches notes for his next novel which combines ideas from Valisystem A (which would go on to become Radio Free Ablemuth and later VALIS) and the previously mentioned To Scare the Dead. The protagonist is influenced by a telepathic signal from space to overthrow a government tyranny. In the remainder of his notes Dick brainstorms on the notion of retrograde time and how it can be worked into his story.

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, February 16, 1975

I assumed Dick made up the name Zagreus, but it turns out Zagreus is a character in Greek mythology, although his lineage is convoluted. Dick is going with the idea that Zagreus is the son of Zeus. Zeus tried to hide Zagreus from Hera and the Titans, but eventually the Titans found Zagreus, tore him apart and ate him. Dick draws a parallel between this and Jesus who Dick imagines was hidden on Earth by God until we (the titans) killed him and later ate him in our communion ceremony. 

Dick goes on to talk about the “Hymn of the Soul” in the “Acts of Thomas.” In that parable a man retrieves a pearl from the mouth of a dragon before returning home. Dick relates that story to his experience with the girl with the Jesus fish necklace, although the comparison is kind of slippery to me. He says he tried to track down the delivery girl a month after she visited him, but the pharmacy had no idea who she was.

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, February 16, 1975

Before Dick shows Claudia notes for a new novel he is working on about time dysfunction he tells her the true name of Jesus was revealed to him in a dream: Zeus Zagreus. 

The novel’s working title is To Scare the Dead. The sketch for the plot involves an LA man in the record business who is disinhibited by a girl with a Jesus fish necklace and suddenly has the spirit of a 2nd century A.D. Essene in his head. The man reads about Christ’s return in Revelation and later has his house ransacked and his file cabinet blown open by the government. I wonder where Dick is getting these ideas from.

Dick goes on to talk more about cubic time and the possibly retrograde horizontal time axis. Dick speculates he may have had false memories about his life in California implanted after being hypnotized (by who?), and wonders if whatever happened to him in March could have been due to Soviet experiments led by the astrophysicist Nikolai Kozyrev. 

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, February 14, 1975

Dick proposes that the universe we perceive is a hologram. Time, at least how we understand it, is created when we move through this hologram rather than the hologram moving forward around us. Each of us interacts individually with this hologram based on how we are programed.

He returns to the idea of the right hemisphere of the brain acting as a transducer. We won’t fully make sense of how we exist in this hologram network until we have achieved better communication between the right and left brain.