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The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, Page 82

Philip K. Dick


  [1:286] Footnote.

  My flight expressed by the phosphene graphics was a movement faster and faster through cosmogenic-entropic time, ending in exhaustion and then the enantiodromia of entropic time—which had reached infinite velocity and infinite fragmentation ("splitting")—which is to say the dialectic into negentropic time or synthesis, reintegration: hence I saw Valis, the universe pulled through infinity, inside out, to freeze; this was 3-74.

  My exegesis was entropic-cosmogenic time resuming, speeding up faster and faster, "splitting" (fragmenting) farther and farther. Finally, it, too, ended in infinite velocity and infinite fragmentation (creativity, expressed as ever newer and quicker theories); it ended in exhaustion and then the enantiodromia of entropic time—the dialectic of my thoughts—into negentropic time and another reintegration (this was 11-17-80). Only this time I did not see Valis, world, not God as I supposed. There was a theophany, and I was in the presence of God and God's loving-kindness; whereupon He explained everything to me. So events leading up to 3-74 and my experience with Valis had a parallel in the dialectic of my exegesis leading to 11-17-80 and the theophany of the Christian God of Love. The common ingredients of the two flights were: the cosmogenic-entropy "splitting" dialectic flight itself, until infinite velocity (time) and fragmentation (space) were reached, then exhaustion, then enantiodromia into negentropic time and "freeze" (reintegrational) of, so-to-speak, "Prajapati,"77 but then comes a totally different outcome.

  (1) 3-74. Valis which is world properly seen (morphological arrangement, growth and perfection and self completion in negentropic time, the entropic-flux-universe pulled through infinity—i.e., inside out). Compared to:

  (2) 11-17-80. The Christian God in theophany, who is other than world, who is transcendent. What I thought I had seen in 3-74.

  The summation (combining) of the two is (1) an acute knowledge of world based on 3-74 and the exegesis arising out of that experience. (2) Direct knowledge of God and God's nature based on the above elements; so that 3-74 led to the exegesis, which although it was a loss of negentropic, integrative time and a resumption of cosmogenic-entropic time, did lead (due to the infinite speeding up of time and the infinite breaking down of space until exhaustion set in) to the theophany I had supposed I had already had.

  Now it is possible to see how the Mary Jane fitted in; it added the final push to the dialectic in me, my exegesis (in other words, as preceded 3-74, my thinking) so that it reached infinite speed and infinite space, exhausted itself; and again, as before, enantiodromia set in.* This enantiodromia did not have to do with world, however, but had to do with the human intellect striving to find God—futilely. (Futilely until the last great enantiodromia occurred and God took the field to block the dialectic of my thinking himself, and thus revealed himself.) So there is a striking parallel—a logical, structural parallel—between 3-74 and 11-17-80, but in another, more profound respect the two are mirror opposites since the first is a vision of world (which I thought was God, yet it was not, and so it yielded no knowledge directly about God, but only inferential knowledge that he existed and that he had saved me—in pronoia) and the second is a genuine theophany. When one realizes that world and God are wholly other to each other (Satan rules world) then this mirror opposite situation can be appreciated. Let me add, too, that total revelation about world does not yield knowledge of God. God entered when I became aware that my theorizing was carrying me into an infinite regress, which is to say, when I became exhausted—at which point enantiodromia occurred; intellect had proven futile and yet, paradoxically, it had led to God—but due to God's volitional initiative. His (as I call it) taking the field, which is an inbreaking by the divine.

  The circumstances under which the theophany occurred (I gave up on the exegesis and kicked back and massively turned on) are not capricious causes but follow the logic of the dialectic along several axes. This shows the hauntingly eerie paradoxical (almost seemingly whimsical or playful) nature of enlightenment: it comes to you only when you cease to pursue it. When you totally and finally give up. Another way of putting this is to say that the answer lies in the least likely place, where you are least likely to look. This is what gave rise to Zen. Yet, emerging from this maze of paradox and mirror opposites, of seeming, of infinite change, here, finally, is the answer I sought, the goal I sought. And it is where I started from back in high school in my physics final when I prayed to God, the Christian God—who was always there, leading me to him.

  My guess in VR—that it was YHWH—was correct. But it wasn't a guess; it was what the AI voice told me. Always, faintly and distantly but clearly, the AI voice pointed the way to the truth. It knew the answer from the beginning, and spoke in the spirit of God (Ruah). Through it I figured out that Valis was not God but reality perturbed by God. I knew, then, that I had not found God after all. My great discovery, then, was not in knowing what I had found, but facing the fact of what I had not found—the very thing I was searching for.

  Ironies abound. But the playfulness ended in infinity, exhaustion and the great reversal. The God was reached, and the journey did not begin in 1974. It began in high school during that physics test when I first heard the AI voice. 35 years!

  [1:279] In 3-74 when I saw the second signal and Valis I saw world from a highly advanced standpoint, but it was still world. Yesterday I, on the other hand, knew God, and he was wholly other than world and transcendent and not complex and not material and not in process. There is no dialectic in him; that has to do with time, flux, change, growth, perfection, completion; something like an organism. He is not seen by the eyes in world or as world. The Jews and Christians are correct. And he has personality, which Valis lacked; Valis was machinelike, computerlike, an evolving mechanism, like a clever artifact. Intricate and growing more intricate. God ist ein lieber vater überm sternenzalt.78 I found him to be a person like myself, with personality and love and simplicity. He was not involved in world (pantheism). He manifested himself to reassure me—it is only a little pain that we feel now here in world—nothing compared to the bliss to come. Of which he gave me a little that I might see how it would be. And he was no foreign God but the God of my fathers, our own God. What he wills is. He simply wills it. This is simple; there is no mechanism, no complexity. Valis is the world properly seen, as if from outside from an objective standpoint outside space and time, but still world, with all its history preserved in it and advancing through its growth stages via the dialectic, it (Valis) is, simply, reality. But that is other than God. When I saw the glint of color in the alley and the rippling of the weeds I saw the edge, the end of creation, but not the beginning of God: I saw him not. But there is nothing to see, because he is not physical. All that happens he either wills (ordains) or allows.

  I think 3-74 was something I did vis-à-vis world that did not involve God. It involved world and information, but it was physical. I am the doubt; God allows it but it is satanic and rebellious. It is Satan the accuser of God's handiwork, Satan in me as rebel questioning reality under the guise of epistemological inquiry. It is hubris and intellectual arrogance yet God allowed it. It was—has been—blasphemy. World, which I questioned, came back at me in a subtle form, the subtle serpent, world as Valis which I then took to be real, and so fell even more under its domination than any average Christian is dominated by world; Valis is world as Satan's kingdom, subtly disguised in such a way as to fulfill my personal, individual preconceptions about God; this is why 3-74 resembled Ubik and Ubik; it was my own preconceptions and theology fed back at me to "ratify" them. This is world's—Satan's—victory, this great intellectual subtlety. World as it normally appeared was not complex and illusive enough to satisfy me, so Satan obliged: with world that would satisfy me emotionally and intellectually. (And in doing so, burned me with the hell labor of this exegesis.) [...] I have sinned in this exegesis; it is one vast edifice of hubris, of Satan in me questioning and accusing.

  And I finally began to realize it
; I prayed to be delivered from it. 3-74 was some vast enantiodromia in which I pulled reality inside-out, used up and hence froze time, saw the past ("Acts") and the future (the second sig nal) so it was a great feat. But it was still reality: epistemology and not even metaphysics, and no theology—world rightly seen—but not God.

  [1:293] November 24, 1980

  The arguments for Valis being the Cosmic Christ are not conclusive but they are compelling. I call my own attention to the typed pages of 11-16-80 which preceded by only a short while the theophany of 11-17-80. They were in fact the last thing I wrote before the theophany.

  [1:301] Strange to say, when I look back to 11-17-80 what seems to me now the most proof that it really was God is not so much the bliss but the distinct individual personality (with its intense love); the distinctness, the uniqueness, the individuality of the personality. I could then and still can imagine what he would look like were he physically visible: an old man in a robe, very old, very dignified and wise, but, most of all, loving and kind and gentle (yet firm, very firm)—but not as he is usually pictured, not a patriarch in the usual sense, more, perhaps, like a magician in contrast, though, to (say) Gandolf; much darker: gray and brown and black, in shadow, yes: in shadow, like Michelangelo painted him in his creating Eve, yet not so, but close to it. Not heroic, as Michelangelo painted him, and not Hebrew. More supernatural. Really sort of physical, not "spiritual." Yes: physical and supernatural, not a king or patriarch, all dark. Like a druid or humanist: learning. Not classical. Like a tree or a scholar.

  I know: Hence made of parchment, tree, branches, paper, cloth.

  He was not a type, like "the wise old King," not an archetype, not like a statue; he was an individual, not man but a given specific man (in contrast to sort of Platonic eidos). It was as if the universe had been created by one given specific individual man.

  Book. Robe. Tree. Gray. Brown. Dark shades and fabric.

  There was nothing generic about him. No so to speak DNA. No latency; all was actualized and distinct. As if you had gone from the physical, material realm of specifics to the Platonic archetypal—and then back to the specific man! Like a complete circle. Strange. He was like all ontogeny!

  As if a wise old scholar, a sage, had conjured up creation, not God as we normally think of him, but a scholar of love and tenderness, but of vast learning. Again I see a book.

  [1:303] But there were elements about him not found in man or men as I have experienced them: specifically, infinite love (agape). Not agape greater than I have ever known but infinite—and from it stems absolute theodicy and, for us, infinite bliss. (I might also add that infinite kindness was contained in this infinite agape, but—I would think—that is due to the nature of agape; it cannot be separated from it, something I already knew about agape—v. my story notes for the Ballantine collection.79) Here I see my earliest—and really inadequate—definition of agape as "worry"; by that I meant and mean concern for that which by definition is not you, that which is independent of you, having its own einai. This is what you cherish due to your agape: the integrity of the einai of the other (creature). You offer it life.*

  [1:309] It is a good thing that earlier in my exegesis I realized that I had a surd left over, because that surd is the God I experienced in 11-17-80; viz: when "perturbed" world was completely analyzed, there was something left over that was not world (the glint and riffle in the weeds of the alley, the glyphs of God).

  Folder 87

  November–December 1980

  [87:1] November 30, 1980

  I happened to read the EB article on Messianic Movements and am simply in shock. Everything revealed to me vis-à-vis 3-74 and the AI voice—it is Christian covert Messianic movement—it is—look; there is an invisible Christian Messianic movement or group or organization, what I used to call "the secret underground Christians"—my experience in 3-74 (based on 2-74), with seeing Valis and all my dreams and the AI voice (e.g., "The Empire never died")—anyhow; there are five kingdoms or empires; yes, empires. Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and the next—the fifth—will be Christ's. This is chiliastic, millennialist thinking, as opposed to Augustine; it has to do with movements breaking out later on, starting with (yes, you guessed it) Joachim del Fiore.

  This is incredible. I am in shock. The entire edifice of secret Messianic movements was supernaturally disclosed to me, or else by fantastic technology, and it's all in VALIS. And (get this!) the EB article on Messianic Movements talks about it being connected with the Enlightenment!

  The "second signal"—cryptic information, the two-word cypher in Tears, and the "Acts" material and the (oh God!) the dream material in Tears—Messianic chiliasm.

  There is a secret organization fighting the BIP.

  More. The Kingdom is here, secretly; I saw it. And Valis is Christ or God.

  I am pitted against all establishment Christianity, which takes its cue from Augustine, that the present order will endure. The EB:

  The granting of toleration to Christianity by the Roman emperor Constantine ... and its becoming the religion of the Roman Empire heralded a development in which the church became the ally of the present order rather than the harbinger of its passing away.

  There you have it. "As far as the struggle with evil in this world is concerned, Augustine surrendered and abandoned the field. No imminent supernatural intervention in history was expected. Augustine taught what has been referred to as 'realized' eschatology. For him the battle has already been fought on the spiritual ground that really mattered ... he rejected as carnal any expectations of a renewed and purified world that the believers could expect to enjoy." "Augustine's allegorical millennialism be came the official doctrine of the church, and apocalypticism went underground."

  And I have it all there in VALIS!!!!!


  I have it; why VR deals with Judaism.

  Emphasis on the expected Second Coming introduced an element of messianic unrest in addition to questioning the validity of the present order; it was soon repudiated by the church as "unspiritual," since it envisaged a messianic kingdom upon earth—rather in the manner of the Jews—instead of a heavenly Kingdom.

  Note: "Rather in the manner of the Jews." Hence VR, based on what the AI voice said, spoke of "He has been transplanted and is alive" as YHWH, not Christ.

  The heretical element, though not inherent in millenarianism as such, resided in the tendency of radical religious or social criticism to use chiliast-messianic terminology when such criticism propagated the notion that the present rulers—and even the very forms—of church and state would be superseded by a perfect order.

  This is just incredible. Because 2-3-74 constitutes proof that some secret underground chiliastic Messianic movement exists, and Christ or YHWH is the head of it; therefore it possesses either supernatural powers or advanced technology; I don't know which.

  This first shows up in Tears.

  It has to do with the future, so it may indeed be technology.

  It's all there in VALIS. It first showed up in Tears.

  So I'm not just a Christian; I'm a revolutionary chiliastic Messianic millennialist, part of a secret underground group led by either the Cosmic Christ or God and possessing either supernatural or advanced technological means.

  We are pitted against the entire world-order, both church and state (vide VR!!). And it is on the Jewish model, although Christian.

  I had better burn my exegesis.

  Because this has to do with revolution, radical social reform; it has some kind of relationship to Marxism, to socialism, to the overthrow of governments and the establishing of a new world order. Again let me think back to Nixon and his downfall. Oh dear. This secret group with its technology (?) acted in 1974. It's all true.


  [87:17] Today I've tried to work on my exegesis—as I've been doing for 6½ years. I can't do it. Why not? Because the love and personality that God showed me on 11-17-80 make any intellectual understanding seem unimportant—pa
le and weak and dry and faded. Never have I known anything like that love; and the personality—it was as distinct as any human personality. And this does not even consider the infinite bliss I felt. He answered all my questions anyhow; I have no more questions. To know God and God's love, and to understand how our suffering, our life here, will be justified—his gentle reproach: "Would you think I in my theodicy would not make it up to you, make it up so that this suffering here would seem—be—paltry in comparison?" And then he let me experience a little of the bliss to come. So the bliss did 3 things: