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The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, Page 81

Philip K. Dick

  And perishing. Forever. As if the body had a map of its own internal structure, the only structure ever to have been self-mapping, hence totally internally self-aware. Yet when you looked at this great system it was only ordinary objects such as you see every day. The basic things of the world, but interrelated and arranged without having moved in time and space. The internal arrangement was its own awareness of itself. Itself as map.

  As incredible as it may seem, I actually didn't realize (until last night) that when I saw what I called Valis I saw what I call macrometasomakosmos. Apparently this is the case; the case that (1) I didn't recognize their identity and (2) they are identical. That means that my vision as to how the macrometasomakosmos is constructed (out of pieces of the antecedent universe by means of the dialectic) applies to Valis. I literally saw the macrometasomakosmos into which the flux world feeds. So Valis didn't invade our world in a disguised or camouflaged form, as I have always supposed; it is constructed right here, but invisible to us. It grows; it becomes more complex and perfected; and it constructs itself. Absolutely it is the Cosmic Christ; either that or it is one fuck of a meta life form.76 It just ruthlessly plunders the flux world, treating it as a chaotic stockpile that it uses for parts. And it is selective as to what it assimilates and where it places it in its own soma. Did I realize this? I don't think so; I didn't realize that I saw it and that it is Valis. It's as if two thought clusters in my mind finally collided and formed one thought-complex. I had two separate categories: one involving invading; one involving construction, by its own self. [...] Suddenly years of speculation are rendered void, by this realization. Valis experienced three ways. Valis is—indeed must be—the Cosmic Christ assembling itself out of the antecedent universe which it uses as a stockpile, which it (the Cosmic Christ) defeats perpetually in a dialectical combat.

  (1) Its mind was in direct touch with mine and it explained how it comes into existence and out of what. The macrometasomakosmos.

  (2) I saw it externally as Valis.

  (3) I was inside it, and saw its inner information-metabolism, what I call "the second signal."

  Because the essence of its identity—its einai—is its structure, we can't see it; all its constituents are ordinary objects. Also its einai is noein; they are one.

  Supra (3) confirms that (1) and (2) are identical.

  The fact that the macrometasomakosmos is right here, made up of ordinary objects structured into a cohesive unity, changes my conception of it; I must now reappraise everything I've thought during the past six and a half years. I've missed the point all this time; I knew Valis was here, but I could not figure out where the macrometasomakosmos was—since I didn't realize that they—and what I call the "second signal"—are the same. It is a floating mind that turns objects into information within a brain, a brain that processes objects and their causal connections as information; it is especially active in our own communications media utilizing a set-ground system. I must admit that I don't really understand this; why can't we pick up, say, its meta-morphemes? Well, because we can't perform feature-extraction with it. It blends perfectly. Am I to assume that I'm the only human aware of it? Hardly. Where I differ is that (I'd guess) I've struggled so hard to explicate what happened to me ... no, that isn't it. Could it be here just recently? No; that isn't it either. It's not in time and space; it's exploded morphologically ... or it utilizes a retrograde time axis, what I call negentropic time. I don't know. It's impossible that no one else has seen it, but you can't see it unless it incorporates you. Maybe I'm the only one stupid enough to talk about it.


  [1:262]* November 17, 1980

  God manifested himself to me as the infinite void; but it was not the abyss; it was the vault of heaven, with blue sky and wisps of white clouds. He was not some foreign God but the God of my fathers. He was loving and kind and he had personality. He said, "You suffer a little now in life; it is little compared with the great joys, the bliss that awaits you. Do you think I in my theodicy would allow you to suffer greatly in proportion to your reward?" He made me aware, then, of the bliss that would come; it was infinite and sweet. He said, "I am the infinite. I will show you. Where I am, infinity is; where infinity is, there I am. Construct lines of reasoning by which to understand your experience in 1974. I will enter the field against their shifting nature. You think they are logical but they are not; they are infinitely creative."

  I thought a thought and then an infinite regression of theses and countertheses came into being. God said, "Here I am; here is infinity." I thought another explanation; again an infinite series of thoughts split off in dialectical antithetical interaction. God said, "Here is infinity; here I am." I thought, then, an infinite number of explanations, in succession, that explained 2-3-74; each single one of them yielded up an infinite progression of flip-flops, of thesis and antithesis, forever. Each time, God said, "Here is infinity. Here, then, I am." I tried for an infinite number of times; each time an infinite regress was set off and each time God said, "Infinity. Hence I am here." Then he said, "Every thought leads to infinity, does it not? Find one that doesn't." I tried forever. All led to an infinitude of regress, of the dialectic, of thesis, antithesis and new synthesis. Each time, God said, "Here is infinity; here am I. Try again." I tried forever. Always it ended with God saying, "Infinity and myself; I am here." I saw, then, a Hebrew letter with many shafts, and all the shafts led to a common outlet; that outlet or conclusion was infinity. God said, "That is myself. I am infinity. Where infinity is, there am I; where I am, there is infinity. All roads—all explanations for 2-3-74—lead to an infinity of Yes-No, This or That, On-Off, OneZero, Yin-Yang, the dialectic, infinity upon infinity; an infinity of infinities. I am everywhere and all roads lead to me; omniae viae ad Deum ducent. Try again. Think of another possible explanation for 2-3-74." I did; it led to an infinity of regress, of thesis and antithesis and new synthesis. "This is not logic," God said. "Do not think in terms of absolute theories; think instead in terms of probabilities. Watch where the piles heap up, of the same theory essentially repeating itself. Count the number of punch cards in each pile. Which pile is highest? You can never know for sure what 2-3-74 was. What, then, is statistically most probable? Which is to say, which pile is highest? Here is your clue: every theory leads to an infinity (of regression, of thesis and antithesis and new synthesis). What, then, is the probability that I am the cause of 2-3-74, since, where infinity is, there I am? You doubt; you are the doubt as in:

  They reckon ill who leave me out;

  When me they fly I am the wings.

  I am the doubter and the doubt.

  "You are not the doubter; you are the doubt itself. So do not try to know; you cannot know. Guess on the basis of the highest pile of computer punch cards. There is an infinite stack in the heap marked INFINITY, and I have equated infinity with me. What, then, is the chance that it is me? You cannot be positive; you will doubt. But what is your guess?"

  I said, "Probably it is you, since there is an infinity of infinities forming before me."

  "There is the answer, the only one you will ever have," God said.

  "You could be pretending to be God," I said, "and actually be Satan." Another infinitude of thesis and antithesis and new synthesis, the infinite regress, was set off.

  God said, "Infinity."

  I said, "You could be testing out a logic system in a giant computer and I am—" Again an infinite regress.

  "Infinity," God said.

  "Will it always be infinite?" I said. "An infinity?"

  "Try further," God said.

  "I doubt if you exist," I said. And the infinite regress instantly flew into motion once more. "Infinity," God said. The pile of computer punch cards grew; it was by far the largest pile; it was infinite.

  "I will play this game forever," God said, "or until you become tired."

  I said, "I will find a thought, an explanation, a theory, that does not set off an infinite regress." And, as soon as I said that,
an infinite regress was set off. God said, "Over a period of six and a half years you have developed theory after theory to explain 2-3-74. Each night when you go to bed you think, 'At last I found it. I tried out theory after theory until now, finally, I have the right one.' And then the next morning you wake up and say, 'There is one fact not explained by that theory. I will have to think up another theory.' And so you do. By now it is evident to you that you are going to think up an infinite number of theories, limited only by your lifespan, not limited by your creative imagination. Each theory gives rise to a subsequent theory, inevitably. Let me ask you; I revealed myself to you and you saw that I am the infinite void. I am not in the world, as you thought; I am transcendent, the deity of the Jews and Christians. What you see of me in world that you took to ratify pantheism—that is my being filtered through, broken up, fragmented and vitiated by the multiplicity of the flux world; it is my essence, yes, but only a bit of it: fragments here and there, a glint, a riffle of wind ... now you have seen me transcendent, separate and other from world, and I am more; I am the infinitude of the void, and you know me as I am. Do you believe what you saw? Do you accept that where the infinite is, I am; and where I am, there is the infinite?"

  I said, "Yes."

  God said, "And your theories are infinite, so I am there. Without realizing it, the very infinitude of your theories pointed to the solution; they pointed to me and none but me. Are you satisfied, now? You saw me revealed in theophany; I speak to you now; you have, while alive, experienced the bliss that is to come; few humans have experienced that bliss. Let me ask you, was it a finite bliss or an infinite bliss?"

  I said, "Infinite."

  "So no earthly circumstance, situation, entity or thing could give rise to it."

  "No, Lord," I said.

  "Then it is I," God said. "Are you satisfied?"

  "Let me try one other theory," I said. "What happened in 2-3-74 was that—" And an infinite regress was set off, instantly.

  "Infinity," God said. "Try again. I will play forever, for infinity."

  "Here's a new theory," I said. "I ask myself, 'What God likes playing games? Krishna. You are Krishna.'" And then the thought came to me instantly, "But there is a god who mimics other gods; that god is Dionysus. This may not be Krishna at all; it may be Dionysus pretending to be Krishna." And an infinite regress was set off.

  "Infinity," God said.

  "You cannot be YHWH who You say You are," I said. "Because YHWH says, 'I am that which I am,' or, 'I shall be that which I shall be.' And you—"

  "Do I change?" God said. "Or do your theories change?"

  "You do not change," I said. "My theories change. You, and 2-3-74, remain constant."

  "Then you are Krishna playing with me," God said.

  "Or I could be Dionysus," I said, "pretending to be Krishna. And I wouldn't know it; part of the game is that I, myself, do not know. So I am God, without realizing it. There's a new theory!" And at once an infinite regress was set off; perhaps I was God, and the "God" who spoke to me was not.

  "Infinity," God said. "Play again. Another move."

  "We are both Gods," I said, and another infinite regress was set off. "Infinity," God said. "I am you and you are you," I said. "You have divided yourself in two to play against yourself. I, who am one half, I do not remember, but you do. As it says in the Gita, as Krishna says to Arjuna, 'We have both lived many lives, Arjuna; I remember them but you do not.' And an infinite regress was set off; I could well be Krishna's charioteer, his friend Arjuna, who does not remember his past lives."

  "Infinity," God said. I was silent. "Play again," God said.

  "I cannot play to infinity," I said. "I will die before that point comes."

  "Then you are not God," God said. "But I can play throughout infinity; I am God. Play."

  "Perhaps I will be reincarnated," I said. "Perhaps we have done this before, in another life." And an infinite regress was set off.

  "Infinity," God said. "Play again."

  "I am too tired," I said.

  "Then the game is over."

  "After I have rested—"

  "You rest?" God said. "George Herbert wrote of me:

  Yet let him keep the rest,

  But keep them with repining restlessnesse.

  Let him be rich and wearie, that at least,

  If goodness leade him not, yet wearinesse

  May tosse him to my breast.

  "Herbert wrote that in 1633," God said. "Rest and the game ends."

  "I will play on," I said, "after I rest. I will play until finally I die of it."

  "And then you will come to me," God said. "Play."

  "This is my punishment," I said, "that I play, that I try to discern if it was you in March of 1974." And the thought came instantly, my punishment or my reward; which? And an infinite series of thesis and antithesis was set off.

  "Infinity," God said. "Play again."

  "What was my crime?" I said, "that I am compelled to do this?"

  "Or your deed of merit," God said.

  "I don't know," I said.

  God said, "Because you are not God."

  "But you know," I said. "Or maybe you don't know and you're trying to find out." And an infinite regress was set off.

  "Infinity," God said. "Play again. I am waiting."

  [1:282] So Satan served me up a sophisticated world in accord with my epistemological expectations (as expressed in my 10 volume meta-novel), and I took this to be God and worshipped it, which is not only delusion—although a subtle delusion—but blasphemy; but in doing this

  (1) Satan revealed to me a great deal about world (although he led me to believe it was God, not world); and

  (2) Because of the infinitude of my theorizing I reached God anyhow—and this is an example of the triumph of God the wise horn of the dialectic; so:

  (3)The dialectic revealed to me is the entropic world-process; but also:

  (4)The dialectic is God in combat with Satan and God always wins; winning me (as expressed in 11-17-80) is an example: Satan's delusions led me to God in the end (through the "infinity" route; viz: as God said, "Where there is infinity, there is God; where there is God, there is infinity").

  Thus my exegesis has been futile, has been delusion, and: has been a hell-chore, as I was beginning to realize, but God delivered me from it, from my own exegesis; and he pointed out the one truth in it: the infinity expressed in it was—but this was overlooked by Satan who does not possess absolute knowledge—a road to God, and did lead there; but only when I recognized the exegesis as futile and a hell-chore and delusion. Hence God permitted this deluding by Satan, knowing when it would end. So I wind up knowing a lot more about world—world as we will later experience it, the world-experience of the future; and I no longer suppose that I was discerning God, and realize that I was discerning world instead; and I was at last led to God. But not by my intellect, not by Gnosis, not by myself at all; it was due to God's initiative due to his loving-kindness; and what was proved was (once again) that all roads/ways/routes if pushed far enough lead to God. Hence (as I say) here is an example of how God the wise horn of the dialectic defeats its stupider foe inevitably in the end—this was an enantiodromia. It occurred when I realized that all that I had seen of God in 2-3-74 was a glint of color and a ripple of wind in the weeds of the alley, acting on reality; that Valis was not God but rather world ("the reality field") perturbed (from beyond creation) by God; but this did not yield knowledge of God direct, but only by inference; and that in fact 2-3-74 was not a theophany, but was a more sophisticated experience of world: creation pulled through infinity by reaching the end of (exhausting) its creative/entropic "splitting" (disintegrating; differentiating) dialectic process: entropic time converted into negentropic time. But this was still world, and Satan caused me to worship it ... to fall victim to it, ensnared by it; taking it to be God; until I found that I had pushed my exegesis to infinity without result! And then I focused on the very infinitude of my theories and s
aw (recognized) this as an instance of cosmogenic entropy; and, at last exhausted, prayed for release; and God did appear to me in theophany and took the field and blocked each and all theories, and ended my exegesis, not in defeat but in logical discovery of Him (which Satan had not foreseen). Thus intellect and knowledge on my part led to exhaustion and to destruction of that intellect and a recognition of the futility of what I was doing; I knew I knew nothing; and then God took the field and made his move that resulted in the enantiodromia that led me to him anyhow, as if I had wandered that way by chance; but it was by his plan all along. And this was an instance of the dialectic that I had seen. Finally I wind up with Y = Ȳ viz: Both these 2 following statements are true:

  (1) The intellect will not lead you to God.

  (2) The intellect will lead you to God.*

  I am left with this paradox, which Satan did not foresee; he saw only statement (1) and did not see how God could convert it into its mirror op posite through enantiodromia. Thus God works and wins within the fallen entropic creation of the disintegrating "splitting" dialectic to win us one and all in the end, by different routes. Thus the cosmic game between God and his adversary continues on; here was another victory by God; and in the end God will convert the dialectic itself into its opposite (through enantiodromia) and the game will end in God's victory and Satan's defeat, which God's victory vis-à-vis me echoes in microform. In a certain sense it can be said that God's victory consists in turning Satan's false creation—i.e., Satan's lies and delusion—into the real, which is exactly what I saw Valis doing: transmuting reality by transubstantiation into the real. Here is the secret and perpetual and ever-growing victory by God over his adversary as he (God) defeats him (Satan) again and again in the game they play—the cosmic dialectic that I saw. This is enantiodromia at its ultimate: the conversion of the irreal to the real. In my case it was the conversion of "the human intellect will not lead to God but will lead only deeper and deeper into delusion" into its mirror opposite: "The human intellect, when it has pushed to infinity, will at last, through ever deepening delusion, find God." Thus I am saved: and know that I did not start out seeing God (2-3-74) (which led to this 6½ year exegesis): but, instead, wound up finding God (11-17-80)—an irony that Satan did not foresee. And thus the wise mind (God) wins once again, and the game continues. But someday it will end.