tag: Dreams

The Exegesis: A metal prison and the teachings of Meister Eckhart

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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Dick has now decided we are in a metal prison, although this prison has tubes drilled in the walls, camouflaged from the prison’s creator, and these tubes allow in signals which are designed to help us. 

He recounts a few different dreams including one where as a child in the ‘30s he received a bowl of cereal from a man who he determines to be the Savior. He thinks he has been working toward a reunion with the Father his whole life. 

Dick relates the teachings of the 13th century German theologian Meister Eckhart (filtered through Jung) to his own life. We all have the form of God encoded inside us which is reconstructed through a signal from God himself. Dick wonders what happens when someone is possessed by the Deity. Was the divinity inside them all along but just forgotten as Neoplatonism and Orphism suggests? He realizes the conflicting messages based on what happened to him. He experienced the anamnesis, but he also believes he received a message from the Savior who told him all of it was something new. 

He feels he is in a holding pattern after trying to decipher what’s been happening to him for the last fourteen months but he takes comfort in the Scriptures. 

The Exegesis: Notes on the “Logos Effect”

According to the editors there aren’t a lot of letters in the Exegesis from here on out. Dick’s notes often lack context when he’s not explaining things directly to anyone but himself, but I’ll do my best to makes sense of what he’s talking about. 

When European explorers first visited tribes in the 1600s they noticed religious beliefs strikingly similar to Christianity even though those cultures had never encountered it before. Dick calls this the “Logos Effect.” Something must be universally providing these salvation ideas to every race. 

Dick revisits the time theory of Dr. NK (aka Nikolai Kozyrev), the Soviet astrophysicist first mentioned in a letter to Claudia Bush on February 16, 1975. Dr. NK’s time theory resembles the ideas in Ubik so much that Dick says this is an example of the “Logos Effect” since he wrote Ubik in 1968, the same year Dr. NK’s theories were published in English. 

Another possibility though is that he was telepathically contacted by the Soviets at that time. Did it work? He wonders if it failed since he developed a dislike for the Soviets. Maybe his ideas for Ubik came from a combination of both the “Logos Effect” and Soviet telepathic communication. 

Dr. NK’s theory involves the ability of information to be transferred to people via time. In a sense Dr. NK rediscovered what the Logos was already doing. 

After a digression about a dream involving an entity named James-James Dick speculates about time splitting and reality realigning according to the plan of the Logos. 

The Exegesis: Letter to Henry Korman, February 2, 1975

Dick met Henry Korman when Tony Hiss interviewed Dick for the New Yorker and brought Henry along. Henry and Dick discussed Sufism and Dr. Robert Ornstein’s work involving the parity between the two hemispheres of the brain. 

In a letter to Henry Dick tells him that he fell asleep after reading a Sufi magazine and had dreams of parallel universes, one in which he was a famous jet setter and another where he lived as a migratory worker in Mexico.

I don’t entirely understand the concept of the noosphere, but it dates back to the 1920s and the writings of Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Soviet geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky. Dick tries to connect the idea of the noosphere (some kind of next phase of the biosphere created by human cognition) to Ubik but he seems to be spitballing about what that connection really is.

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, July 24, 1974

Dick tells Claudia about a dream involving an elevator, a policeman and a pile of spaghetti. He decides the cop represents the guide who leads souls across to the ‘Other Side.’

In another dream he sees some men with egg-shaped heads who he is convinced are the superior race of Immortals. 

In an addendum to this letter Dick expands on his concept of these aliens who he refers to as ‘the Other.’ Dick believes ‘the Great Builder’ is orchestrating everything to get us to merge with this other race. 

The Exegesis: Letter to Claudia Bush, July 22, 1974

Dick solves the puzzle. He has been dreaming about the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls from the Qumran Essene community were found in 1946 in the Judean desert, so they weren’t exactly a brand new discovery when Dick wrote this letter. Nonetheless he is convinced that is what he is tapping into at night. Jim Pike studied the scrolls so perhaps this is because of Jim’s influence. 

I’m not sure how serious he is when he tells Claudia to be careful who she tells about all of this.