tag: Noosphere

The Exegesis: Understanding the continuum & the biosphere’s soul

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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August–December 1981

Dick tries to outline how someone can become aware of a thing that is already familiar to them and make the leap from cognitive estrangement to “cognitive affinity.” It is difficult for him to explain the concepts though when space and time don’t exist, which means there isn’t really a “before” individual who would have already understood it.

He wonders if post-Newtonian physics might lead to us viewing reality as a unified field, exactly what he saw in 3-74. I think he is suggesting the atomists (presumably Newton and the other pioneers of physics) promoted a view of the world that prevented us from perceiving the continuum of the Noös. The quantum mechanical understanding of physics allows us to see the world correctly as a unified whole.

He believes the biosphere has been penetrated by the Logos and is alive to the point where it should be able to speak. Perhaps that is the source of the AI voice, and that could mean the AI voice is Tagore.

The biosphere/noosphere is trying to communicate, but we can’t make sense of it because of our limited perception. We have to learn to see what is surrounding us. The exegesis was not a waste of time, Dick decides, because it led to him figuring all this out. 

The Exegesis: Three letters about the savior

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: A third-stage organism

June 1981

The plasmate formed by the cross-bonding of two human minds is a new kind of non-biological life form. It has no body, and to it reality is an idea not a physical thing. It’s possible the combination of the two human psyches happens spontaneously as a random event. Dick ties this concept back to Teilhard’s noösphere that he wrote about many years before. Because this life form has no body it “floats” and might be using the human mind as a way to connect to physical reality. 

He saw footage from the upcoming Blade Runner movie and recalls his time in Purgatorio when he had a vision of hell before ascending to Paradiso. 

The New Testament is the “secret narrative” of the Old Testament. It contains the living info that is Christ which cross-bonds with a human mind, capable of infinite combinations in a form of evolution. The Scripture that is generated (a new phenomenon) is unique to each person and situation. The third stage progresses from the Torah (OT) to Christ (NT) to this, but Dick doesn’t yet have a name for it. 

He claims his later books like Scanner and VALIS were written by a Ditheonic brain. No one, not the Jews nor Paul, connected the Torah and the NT this way as earlier stages of a third-stage organism. 

Based on his Ubik idea of God in the trash, the mundane and the divine are two stages of the same thing. The mundane is a slow stage of the divine (or the divine is a faster stage of the mundane) but there has to be unity, a coming together of discrete things, before it can make that leap to divinity.

Dick believes that the infinite beauty which exists in the world is the benchmark that points to God. 

The Exegesis: The splintered soul and the splintered truth

October-November 1980

Dick thinks that perhaps Rome 45 A.D. and USA 1974 are not in fact superimposed but rather through metamorphosis Rome has changed into the USA.

By linking together all the different concepts he has been talking about he has destroyed religion’s hold over us and allowed the soul to understand its divinity and immortality. 

Dick’s intellect synced with his emotions and he saw the bleakness of the world, just like Buddha’s view of absolute suffering. He decides to face this stoically. We are all trapped in the cycle of birth-suffering-death because we made the mistake of believing the spatiotemporal realm is real, and only a few of us will discover the way out. In 2-74 Dick saw the spatiotemporal realm was not real and his soul “literally exploded through time and space,” leading to the terrible realization of everyone’s condition. 

We must recognize Tat tvam asi (“thou art that,” one of the four great sayings of the Upanishads expressing a relationship between an individual and the absolute) in order to reverse the primordial fall (when we took the spatiotemporal realm as real) and reassemble the splintered parts of our soul.

Dick admits he is rediscovering things he already knew and needs to rest.

The truth itself has been splintered up over the years, and bits of it can be found in all religions and philosophies. Alone none of them can be accepted as a total belief system, but Dick sees it as his task to reassemble them into one. He understands it is impossible to come up with the unified complete answer by only studying one of these bits of the whole. That would explain why he has never been able to match his 3-74 experience to any one religion or philosophy. 

The Noös (what Dick seems to be calling Valis in these pages) also appears exploded within the spatiotemporal realm, but in “the great reversal” we will see the Noös unified as it truly is. 

The Exegesis: Undeserved suffering

March 1978

When the universe encounters ‘counterfeit interpolations’ it repairs and replaces them which result in changes in the timeline, although we aren’t aware of it.

The Great Mother was the one who revealed herself to Dick, a big deal since no one has believed in this female side of God for thousands of years.

Dick tries to understand suffering from a cosmic point of view. He doesn’t think Christianity does a good job explaining undeserved suffering. He thinks it all comes down to the element of chaos in the universe. When the benevolent God sees suffering it substitutes itself to take it on. Through this the memories of the suffering beings are restored and they know their true identity. Because the suffering is undeserved and unavoidable they are forced to search for not just an answer but the answer.

Dick envisions a more mechanical concept of the Noös where St. Sophia is reorganizing the chaos and Christ is sent in to restore broken sections of a “circuit board.” This isn’t a supernatural idea but can and will be explored in a scientific way. 

The only way to encounter Christ is to be broken. Is the purpose of religion to merely explain suffering or to avert it?

The collective consciousness fell asleep in 70 A.D. when Christ left. Everything since then is fake time or a dream. Some group sits outside of this phony 1974 California reality and can see things we don’t see. Dick thinks his book Eye in the Sky is the most accurate representation of this. 

He lists all of his novels that fit this theme of fake or hallucinatory worlds that hide the real one: Eye in the Sky, Time Out of Joint, The Man in the High Castle, Martian Time-Slip, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Ubik, A Maze of Death, Flow my Tears, A Scanner Darkly, Clans of the Alphane Moon, The Game-Players of Titan, The Cosmic Puppets

Dick wonders if the Noös might not be a little insane and deranged in the paradoxes and illusions it creates.

The Exegesis: A time-traveler named Thomas and a hypnagogic message

February 1978

Zebra and the holographic world are both made up of some kind of thinking electricity that can shape shift into anything. Who or what is responsible for this reality? Is it the physical noosphere or is it in our mind? Dick leans toward something physical like Brahman. Another layer exists beyond 70 A.D. which Dick calls the abyss. 

Dick decides he is a time-traveler from 70 A.D. called Thomas and the PKD personality is just a mask. He thinks that Ubik the entity must have guided him to write Ubik the novel because where else would he have gotten the idea. It came about through a form of automatic writing. This makes that book a scripture of sorts along with A Maze of Death and Flow my Tears

In a hypnagogic state the spirit speaks to him and says they are “responsible for low-level decisions which can be overruled.” He assumes “they” refers to God. This means man’s relationship to reality is flipped. We become the objects in a living world. Dick sees this as a truly radical new understanding as it reveals God and reorganizes man’s place in the cosmic hierarchy. 

At Dick’s greatest point of desperation the being behind the veil let Dick see beyond it. His novels were a way to prepare him for his 3-74 experience and now he feels free. He ends this section by cryptically saying what comes next has something to do with Mexico.