tag: James-James

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: Creator of fake worlds

June or July 1978

Dick continues to believe USA 1974 is a phony world covering up the real one, although now he has shifted further back to Rome 45 A.D. as the true reality. Again with his circular reasoning Dick imagines his own 3-74 experience as mirroring the plot of his novels where a fake world conceals the true one. The world is a mask put up by God to hide himself from man.

“Axiom: The best forgeries go undetected.”

He says that he is the mad God James-James, creator of fake worlds, and he seems to believe here that he wrote the story of his life (particularly everything after the 3-74 experience) and embodied it. If that isn’t true his books and stories mean nothing and the exegesis has been a waste of time.

He recounts what happened to him. He wrote Flow my Tears, which included Biblical elements, before he had his vision triggered by the Jesus fish necklace where he saw ancient Rome. He wasn’t aware of the messages he included in that book and wonders how it happened. 

The Exegesis: Dreams about the moth, James-James and bees

November—December 1976

We are on to Part Two. Everything in Part One was in Folder 4 of Paul William’s system of organization. From what I can see going forward these next sections are collections of smaller fragments and notes.

Dick affirms the ‘inexhaustible truth’ of the Bible and recalls reading the Old Testament when he was a child. He talks more about the moth he dreamt about earlier and speculates about its identity and purpose. Because he is a science fiction author he knows that no one, not even his friends, will believe anything he as been saying, but he reassures himself that all of it was orchestrated by Christ. 

Dick tries to figure out what James-James is up to. We have to go to Radio Free Ablemuth to find out about that entity where he is described in a dream as a red-haired, godlike scientist who is equated with Valis. It’s not clear if he is evil or just a mad deity. In these notes Dick calls him the ‘improvident genius creator’ so perhaps he is just reckless and irresponsible. Either way he is after Dick for exposing what is really going on. Dick has a new dream in which James-James makes everyone immortal, and he tries to understand the geometry of James-James’s world. 

He wonders about the connection between what happened in Ubik and his 3-74 experience when he regressed through time. He details a dream about bees flying and buzzing in unison and decides that represents the collective joyful state of humans when we will all wake up in the end days. 

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.