tag: Cosmic Christ

The Exegesis: Three letters about the savior

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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September 1981

Dick writes three letters in September of 1981 attempting to explain his visions involving the savior. The first two are to his literary agent Russell Galen. He tells Russ that years ago the AI voice informed him a savior would be born, and two nights ago the voice filled him in on more details. The savior’s name is Tagore, he lives or was born on an island (modern day Sri Lanka south of India) and is either a Buddhist or a Hindu. 

This savior is crippled and burned by radiation, stigmata that are a result of taking on the sins of the world, which are represented by the nuclear waste we have been dumping in the oceans. Tagore’s message is that we must protect the ecosphere. If we don’t protect the planet then Tagore (Haiga Sophia / Christ) will die.

The ecosphere is the collective consciousness of Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere, which is also the Cosmic Christ / Valis. It has become man in order to communicate with us. He ends the letter to Russ by saying he has “independently confirmed Teilhard’s vast theory.”

Dick’s third letter is to Edmund Meskys, editor of the sci-fi fanzine Niekas. Under the guise that it is his alter ego Horselover Fat who had the vision of the savior he tells Meskys what he has recently learned about Tagore and the message to protect the planet’s environment and the noosphere.

The Exegesis: Parsifal & converting sorrow to joy

December 1980

Valis, just as Ubik, is camouflaged in the world, intertwined with everything we know. It is ancient but also here now.

Dick compares what he wrote (since his theophany) to Paul’s New Testament writing. God wanted something outside of himself to exist on its own, and he created us out of love. The only way to join with God is to return to the creator after withdrawing. This is what God truly desires. The great secret is that human sorrow will eventually push us to the reunion with God. 

Valis is not God but a brain-like construct that arranges information for us as it “thinks.” He compares it to Christ becoming the world in literal transubstantiation. 

In high school Dick loved Parsifal, Wagner’s opera about the quest for the holy grail. He always wished for the next logical step from the third act, and he found it in his 11-17-80 theophany. In Dick’s interpretation Parsifal equals 3-74, or the crucifixion, which leads to the ecstasy of love as sorrow is converted to joy. He calls it a sorrow-compassion-agapē-joy-God sequence. 

Buddhism, Christianity and Brahmanism all lead to the same place “specifically to the perception of reality as one total sentient field” which is Valis / Brahman / the Cosmic Christ. From there the path leads to God. Dick says he has included all of this in VR / The Divine Invasion.

The Exegesis: Valis as the Cosmic Christ & Valis as the macrometasomakosmos

October-November 1980

It took a heroic act of will for Dick to break out of his programming even though it was the Tao that caused the perturbation in the reality field that let him know something wasn’t right. Dick’s effort to make a change caused the future to flow into the past, what he calls “real time.”

He concludes Valis is the Cosmic Christ who isn’t physically real but only exists as the tug of the perturbation. He only knows this after rejecting all other possibilities during his studies over the last six and a half years.

He compares the tug to a breath in the weeds or a magnet’s effect on iron fillings, a barely detectable weak field. This small attraction though can cascade until it causes a big change. He now believes it came into existence out of nothing.

The self-awareness achieved at the end makes the suffering endured during the journey worth it.

He wonders if he’s had it wrong all along. Instead of Valis camouflaged as the world perhaps Valis is the world which it purposefully assimilated in “dialectical combat” piece by piece to make up its body. Dick makes it clear he doesn’t mean an anthropomorphic human body but something that encompasses the universe.

He connects Valis to the macrometasomakosmos and realizes they are one and the same. He’s surprised he didn’t understand this before. This confirms Valis as the Cosmic Christ. We can’t see it since its structure is created out of the ordinary world around us.

The Exegesis: Valis’s true identity & a successful exegesis except for one outstanding question

October-November 1980

If someone put a gun to Dick’s head and forced him to give an answer about the nature of Valis he would say it is the Tao, since that represents the mastery of the dialectic through the Yin and the Yang.

After six and a half years he says the exegesis has finally become successful as he can now perceive, within the flux, ordinary daily reality. He feels old and misses the energy of his youth, but takes comfort in the fact that nothing from his past is truly lost and that his writing will “permanently affect the macrometasomakosmos” and survive in the structure of the world order.

What he really wants an explanation for is the “perturbation in the reality field,” a tug that he compares to the moon’s effect on the Earth’s tides. He has circled back to where he started. What does it point to?

3-74 was a heroic act, but it didn’t happen because he was a hero, given his history. A new self was born in him when Thomas took over. Perhaps Thomas wasn’t a lost part of himself but energy transferred from the world.

Valis is the Tao, YHWH, Cosmic Christ, Brahman, Shiva, Krishna or a quantum mechanic phenomenon. Or maybe there is nothing in the last mystery box, just God creating existence out of nothing. Paradoxically it has existed here all along in the ephemeral trash. The final great reversal. So the mystery is there is no mystery. This means Ubik is true, something Dick didn’t realize when he wrote it.

The Exegesis: A model of God, components of a new theology & an obsolete viewpoint

June–October 1980

Dick describes a model of God where “the parts are subordinated to the whole, and can be understood only in relation to the whole.” If they could be understood alone that would mean there was no God, because “there would be no subordination of parts to the total design.”

Our past exists in Valis’s memory which operates in much the same way as human memory does.

He declares his work thus far is a new theology which combines:

  1. Plato’s account of creation in Timaeus
  2. elements from Zoroastrianism 
  3. the Cosmic Christ
  4. the meta-biology of Valis
  5. the AI system of Valis
  6. “process creation and divinity”
  7. Pythagoras’ kosmos
  8. “accretional laydowns from the phenomenal world to the real world”
  9. Spinoza’s pantheism

This reveals Valis to be a new, previously unknown God, although something similar to YHWH or the Zoroastrian creator deity Ahura Mazda. It’s possible Valis spreads by assimilating its environment. It can change the past because the past is part of its structure. Dick located it because it exists all around us instead of in the afterlife.

Valis unites units of information and is evolving and growing more complex. We are unable to see these meta-units. All we see is what constitutes them. Dick likes this view. He calls the Christ-centered model obsolete and is happy to finally get away from it toward a much more mechanical description of Valis working against entropy and making quantum leaps upward in levels of reality to where we cannot perceive it.

Immediately after abandoning a theological framework Dick goes on to describe Christ as a rebellious part of the Valis machinery that broke away and came to us two thousand years ago to clue us in to the secret of the prison we are trapped in and to heal us.