tag: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The Exegesis: God as an interface between us and the world & a new post-Parousia theology

The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
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December 1981 

Dick realizes that God exists as a filter between us and the world controlling in a purposeful way how each person sees reality. It’s not something we ever notice (we assume everyone experiences the world in the same way), except he became aware of this filtering in 2-3-74. He began to deal with the interface itself (Valis/God) and he calls that theophany. Perhaps the world is unchanging but the interface alters our perception to make it appear however it wants. 

Knowledge can only come from the grace of God. It cannot come from internal reasoning but only from that external source. Usually knowledge arises in such a way that we assume it came about naturally, but occasionally (as in the case of Dick’s awareness of his son’s hernia) we arrive at knowledge that can only come from the outside. This leads Dick to conclude that all knowledge of reality comes from dealing with the interface and not from dealing directly with the world. 

Trying to truly understand this on our own is impossible. The interface actually encompasses both us and the world, and it can turn into an infinitely regressive loop of isolation. By studying the 18th century French philosopher Nicolas Malebranche Dick realizes salvation is knowledge of others and finally knowledge of God as the ultimate other.

He declares the Parousia is here and sketches out a new theology for the time after Christ’s arrival. He calls it Christian-Buddhist neo-pantheism, Teilhard’s Omega Point of unification that also involves ideas from Malebranche and physics and the ecosphere. In this new future the lowest of the low will be elevated to the suffering of Christ.

Attempting to figure all this out in the exegesis has exhausted him. The world has continued to draw him in as he seeks to regain what happened to him in 3-74.

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: 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.