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/lit/ - Literature

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9631810 No.9631810 [Reply] [Original]

Was he right?

>> No.9631821

about what?

>> No.9631826

About everything.

>> No.9631828

>Hardly even cites Hegel in the Exegesis

>> No.9631836


>> No.9631837

Your short and neblulous statements aren't profound or thought provoking they just make you seem like a retarded baiter.

>> No.9631846

Nice meme

>> No.9631860

Nice argument, Karl

>> No.9631871
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>> No.9631873

The tractates is his way of understanding "everything"

>> No.9631907
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>Hegel was a Dick sucker, but not vice versa, he was casually not BTFO but just never able to make his way into Dick, a courtesy of the early Christians.

But still No; Even he knew it can't be expressed in words.
He may have been right, maybe still is, but his works can only be ever at most a tool to experience the truth itself and be right yourself.

>> No.9631908

*retard baiter

>> No.9631949

don't correct me you retarded bitch

>> No.9632397

>right about anything
Pick 1

>> No.9632426
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In 1959, Nash began showing clear signs of mental illness, and spent several years at psychiatric hospitals being treated for paranoid schizophrenia. After 1970, his condition slowly improved, allowing him to return to academic work by the mid-1980s.


>> No.9632480

But he did nothing "intellectual" while he was ill

>> No.9632484

holy fucking kek

>> No.9632498

Fucking normies making funny faces while PKD drops the truth bombs

>> No.9632500

I don't get it

>> No.9632512
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His condition merely improved enough, never cured.

But hey, you seem like a top chap mental disease expert.

>> No.9632531

No need for the irony

>> No.9632546

Read more PKD

>> No.9633639


>> No.9633737

he would have been the first to come up with some of that stuff, like:
>the empire never ended (we are living in the time of the Acts)
>a malevolent entity, or demiurge, or magnet, is preventing us from seeing the truth
>plasmate lifeforms are imbuing some people with knowledge of all this

I mean there are some interesting science fiction concepts in there, but I don't see how anyone could buy into this stuff seriously. There's a reason he never published exegesis. But there's some cool stuff also; links to eastern philosophies and mysticism, trippy interpretations of early Christianity and the Jesus myth, etc. I noticed the similarities to Gurdjieff's philosophy in some parts, although he probably didn't know it. There are some gems in there. Maybe some good inspiration for science fiction writers.

>> No.9633797

I mean, he was a leftist in most regards, but very pro life, which is typically a stance of the right.

>> No.9633834

He was also very religious.

Most of Dick's stances came from his emphasis on empathy. It's a constantly recurring theme in his work, and one of the things that seems to have driven his constant musings.

>> No.9633910


>> No.9633938

But he did buy into that stuff
If he was a schizo he was a very sober-headed one

>> No.9633957

>I noticed the similarities to Gurdjieff's philosophy in some parts
Damn, I thought I was one of the only people on /lit/ who read Gurdjieff, let alone both Gurdjieff and PKD's exegesis

I actually found it so extraordinarily interesting I wrote down quotes from each showing the eerie and seemingly unintentional similarities between Gurdjieff and PKD. There is not one reference in PKD's entire oeuvre or exegesis to Gurdjieff, and same for Ouspensky except for (according to the index) a fragment of a letter from PKD's friend to him suggesting he read Ouspensky; nowhere in the exegesis is it suggested he followed up on this.

These quotes I wrote down are quite extensive, but I never posted them online or showed them to anyone because of how few people I've found interested in both Gurdjieff and PKD, or let alone just Gurdjieff, which would be good enough for me. Of course you get the occasional PKD-heads but I'm not sure most of them care about Gurdjieff connections. I may post them sometime tonight at this prompting actually, seems like a good enough thread to do it in.

>> No.9634019

my understanding is somewhat superficial but I'd be interested in reading those quotes

>> No.9634035

His fans wanted him to .
And hes slowly becoming a self fullfilling prophecy becuase of it.

>> No.9634084

to what

>> No.9634442

post them when you can

>> No.9634673

Read The Pre-Persons

>> No.9635392

>I may post them sometime tonight at this prompting actually

Please do!

He was very honest about his experiences, and he worked real hard on explaining them, coming up with one crazy idea after the other. As a metafysical and ideological framework, I find his ideas extremely inspiring. But it's a mess too. Exegesis is anything but coherrent. In the words of his daughter he was a 'garage interlectual', which i think is a quite fitting title.

He was a humanitarian libertarian with conservative leanings, especially regarding private property. He hated commies with a venegance and went as far as accusing Stanislaw Lem of being a soviet spy.

>> No.9636850

>"Hello officer, I haven't been feeling myself lately."
>"We already know, your wife told us, she was a plant, we were testing your loyalty."

>> No.9637367

This still blows my mind. He was talking about this stuff in 1977 and today physicists are giving lectures and writing papers on this very subject. Dick was WAY ahead of his time and these people are looking at him like he's lost his mind.

>> No.9637456

Source on the papers?

>> No.9637870


>> No.9638367

CORRESPONDENCES BETWEEN GURDJIEFF & PHILIP K DICK (**note: everything not quoted from the Exegesis is something either of Ouspensky (who exposited Gurdjieff) or Gurdjieff)

"In addition to those centers [of functioning inside of man] of which we have so far spoken, there are two other centers in man, the 'higher emotional' and the 'higher thinking'. These centers are in us; they are fully developed and are working all the time, but their work fails to reach our ordinary consciousness" (In Search of the Miraculous, p. 142)

"But in ordinary conditions the difference between the speed of our usual emotions and the speed of the higher emotional center is so great that no connection can take place and we fail to hear within us the voices which are speaking and CALLING TO US from the higher emotional center" (ISoTM, p. 195)

"The point is re-establish what has been lost, not to acquire anything new" (Views from the Real World, p. 145)

"There is nothing new in the idea of sleep. People have been told almost since the creation of the world that they are asleep and that they must awaken. How many times is this said in the Gospels, for instance? 'Awake,' 'watch,' 'sleep not.' Christ's disciples even slept while he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane for the last time. It is all there. But do men understand it? Men take it simply as a form of speech, as a metaphor. They completely fail to understand that it must be taken literally" (ISoTM, p. 144)

"The higher thinking center [...] is still further removed from us, still less accessible. Connection with it is possible only through the higher emotional center. It is only from descriptions of mystical experiences, ecstatic states, and so on, that we know cases of such connections. These states can occur on the basis of religious emotions, or, for short moments, through particular narcotics; or in certain pathological states such as epileptic fits or accidental traumatic injuries to the brain, in which cases it is difficult to say which is the cause and which is the effect, that is, whether the pathological state results from this connection or is its cause.

"If we could connect the centers of our ordinary consciousness with the higher thinking center deliberately and at will, it would be of no use to us whatever in our present general state. The mind refuses to take in the flood of thoughts

>> No.9638371

superman did kneel before him so...

>> No.9638401

,emotions, images, and ideas which suddenly bursts into it. And instead of a vivid thought, or a vivid emotion, there results, on the contrary, a complete blank, a state of unconsciousness. The memory retains only the first moment when the flood rushed in on the mind and the last moment when the flood was receding and consciousness returned. But even these moments are so full of unusual shades and colors that there is nothing with which to compare them among the ordinary sensations of life. This is usually all that remains from so-called 'mystical' and 'ecstatic' experiences, which represent a temporary connection with a higher center. Only very seldom does it happen that a mind which has been better prepared succeeds in grasping and remembering something of what was felt and understood at the moment of ecstasy. But even in these cases the thinking, the moving, and the emotional centers remember and transmit everything in their own way, translate absolutely new and never previously experienced sensations into the language of everyday sensations, transmit in worldly three-dimensional forms things which pass completely beyond the limits of worldly measurements; in this way, of course, they entirely distort every trace of what remains in the memory of these unusual experiences. Our ordinary centers, in transmitting the impressions of the higher centers, may be compared to a blind man speaking of colors, or to a deaf man speaking of music" (ISoTM, pg. 195)

Compare to PKD for now:

"We're (1) missing entirely certain faculties and (2) what we have, the remaining ones, are very much hazed over ... The only this is, how come this happened? How did we (1) lose certain faculties entirely and (2) have the remaining ones occluded as they are, for all of us, unless somehow, as in a miracle of healing, they're restored?" (Exegesis, pg. 60)

"The experience of anamnesis is the moment when this sleeping mind which once was conscious remembers its own existence (Exegesis, pg. 61 - 62)

"We are talking about an intrinsic long-dormant personality capable of functioning on a level high enough to allow it to see, hear and understand the supernormal universe of the divine -- none of which can be perceived by the normal self" (Exegesis, pg. 282)

Back to Gurdjieff/Ouspensky for a while:

"It must be understood that man consists of two parts: ESSENCE and PERSONALITY. Essence in man is what is HIS OWN. Personality in man is what is 'not his own'. 'Not his own' means what has come from outside, what he has learned, or reflects, all traces of exterior impressions left in the memory and in the sensations, all words and movements that have been learned, all feelings created by imitation -- all this is 'not his own', all this is personality [...]

"Essence is the truth in man; personality is the false.

>> No.9638405

I've read:
A Scanner Darkly
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
The Divine Invasion
Lies, Inc
The Man in the High Castle
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

The amount of works he has are staggering though so I have no idea what else of his to read. What are his three best that I haven't already read?

>> No.9638440

Martian Time Slip
Time Out of Joint
A Maze of Death

Although if you enjoyed Divine Invasion you might prefer his later Valis related novels, I myself am not a big fan of those.

>> No.9638443

But in proportion as personality grows, essence manifests itself more and more rarely and more and more feebly and it very often happens that essence stops in its growth at a very early age and grows no further. It happens very often that the essence of a grown-up man, even that of a very intellectual and, in the accepted meaning of the word, highly 'educated' man, stops on the level of a child of five or six. This means that everything we see in this man is in reality 'not his own'. What is his own in man, that is, his essence, is usually manifested only in his instincts and in his simplest emotions" (ISoTM, pg. 162)

"Moreover, it happens fairly often that essence dies in a man while his personality and his body are still alive. A considerable percentage of the people we meet in the streets of a great town are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually ALREADY DEAD" (ISoTM, pg. 164)

Back to PKD:

"There are 'androids' or 'the mantis' among us which appear human but only SIMULATE humans" (Exegesis, pg. 257)

More PKD for a while to make it even:

"...rather than a split between body and spirit or body and soul, inner or outer in the usual physical-mental sense --- that totality is as the rotting fruit is to the growing seed within; as the fruit rots, the seed within grows ... What grows within me grows perhaps a new body as well as a new spirit" (Exegesis, pg. 64)

>(Soft parentheses such as these () are PKD's; brackets [] are added by me; same for other of Gurdjieff's quotes)

"Nurturing. I am not, rather than merely being nurtured (by the Earth, etc.) but nurturing Firebright [**GLOSSARY: One of Dick's terms for ultimate, living wisdom] within me ... This is the normal growth-line of an organism: it is born, and must, as an incomplete, ungrown infant, be nurtured ... So long as one takes [as opposed to giving], one is not full grown, and certainly not yet a parent (of the Spiritual, Immortal body within). One could speculate that this is the purpose of human beings: Why We Are Here: to serve as the recipient 'female' 'mother' for the implantation of the solar spermatika, the divine seeds" (Exegesis, pg. 150).

Back to Gurdjieff:

"You must understand that the 'astral body' is born of the same material, of the same matter, as the physical body, only the process is different. The whole of the physical body, all it cells, are, so to speak, permeated by emanations of the matter [of the astral body]. And when they have sufficiently saturated, the matter begins to crystallize. The crystallization of this matter constitutes the formation of the 'astral body'" (ISoTM, pg. 256)

"Inner growth, the growth of the inner bodies of man, the astral, the mental, and so on, is a material process completely analogous to the growth of the physical body. In order to grow, a child must have good food, the organism must be in a healthy condition to prepare from this food the material necessary for the growth of the tissues" (ISoTM, pg. 180)

>> No.9638455

Thanks mate. Divine Invasion was one I wasn't too huge a fan of, too cryptic

>> No.9638473


>> No.9638480

Back to PKD:

"I am led to the inescapable conclusion that, totally unknowingly, we are all constituents of a vast living organism" (Exegesis, pg. 278)

Back to Gurdjieff:

"It is not only we who are alive. If a part is alive, then the whole is alive. The whole universe is like a chain, and the earth is one link in this chain. Where there is movement, there is life" (Views from the Real World, pg. 85-6)

"The conditions to insure the passage of forces [from other planets to the Earth] are created by the arrangement of a special mechanical contrivance between the planets and the earth. This mechanical contrivance, this 'transmitting station of forces' is ORGANIC LIFE ON EARTH. Organic life on earth was created to fill the interval between the planets and the earth.

"Organic life represents, so to speak, the EARTH'S ORGAN OF PERCEPTION. Organic life forms something like a sensitive film which covers the whole of the earth's globe and takes in those influences coming from the planetary sphere which otherwise would not be able to reach the earth. The vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms are equally important for the earth in this respect. A field merely covered with grass takes in planetary influences of a definite kind and transmits them to the earth. The same field with a crowd of people on it will take in and transmit other influences" (ISoTM, pg. 138)

"The idea was roughly this: humanity, or more correctly, ORGANIC LIFE ON EARTH, is acted upon simultaneously by influences proceeding from various sources and different worlds: influences from the planets, influences from the moon, influences from the sun, influences from the stars. All these influences act simultaneously" (ISoTM, pg. 24)

Back to PKD:

"So our little psyche-world systems are perpetually bombarded with incoming information which we process and, at the right time to the right other stations we transmit in the rightly modified form --- but all this takes place THROUGH us as if we were transistors, diodes, wires condensers and resistors, all none the wise (Exegesis, pg. 387)

"The purpose of it all -- this feeding energy in, patterns in, at one end of the cube within which we stand yoked together, trapped within the cube like so many parts mounted on a circuit board --- this energy presents 'signals' which we experience as movement and events taking place within the cube. We respond, according to instructions fired at us from around us on all the six sides of our real world. The 'signals' or events are incorporated into each of us as learning -- learning by experience -- and they permanently modify our brain tissue, leaving permanent although minute trace-changes in us. This way we store this information, combining it and altering it, and we are prepared to transmit it again when instructed, to whoever we're instructed to transmit it to. Each of us is a vast storage drum of taped information which we purposefully modify, each of us differently" (Exegesis, pg. 129)

>> No.9638506


"In its moving about (discorporate in one sense) the brain [cosmic entity PKD claims he was possessed by on 2/3/74] is like a giant floating crap game.

"If it's like a floating crap game, this vast brain must be an organizing principle. A system of linking. This fits in with the disassembling and reassembling into a new structure. I was taken into a thinking system ... how, if at all, does this system exist independently from the constituents which it links together? The same question has long been debated about the relationship between a human mind and its brain! Can the mind exist independently from the brain?

"This model (brain-mind) is a good one for my understanding of 2-3-74. I keep hypostatizing Zebra [another of Dick's terms for the entity] as God or Nous [Greek for "Intellect"], and now as brain. But WE are the (physical) brain (components). The plasmatic entity I saw which I called Zebra must have been the analog for the electrical discharges constantly moving through neural fibers --- i.e., throughout the brain itself. Those electrical impulses are the life of the brain: its activity. So my brain, made up of millions of cells, in billions of (electrical) combinations, became ONE station (cell) in (of) a larger brain, linked to other 'cells' (persons), some dead, some living, some yet to be, with Christ as the total mind (psyche)" (Exegesis, pg. 354)

"The Jews theorize that the resurrection of the dead is accomplished through God's memory (of them); suppose, via our long-term DNA memory we ourselves are units of God's (the total organism's) memory systems? Suppose, for some of as at least, THAT (called, I think, WITNESSING) is our prime purpose? We ARE (parts of) His memory?" (Exegesis, pg. 240)

Gurdjieff (note: this passage may alert you as to why I have not more often quoted directly from Gurdjieff himself rather than quoting Ouspensky; this passage is written from the point-of-view of Beelzebub, and includes neologisms not to be found in any dictionary)

"This concentration of substances, localized in [the heads of human beings], they [human beings] call the 'head brain.' The separate 'ossaniaki' or 'poptoplasts' of this localization or, as terrestrial learned beings call them, 'brain cells', are destined to fulfill exactly the same purpose for the whole presence of each of them [human beings] as is fulfilled by the whole of our Great Universe by the perfected highest bodies [souls] of three-brained beings* who have already united themselves with the Most Most Holy Sun Absolute or Protocosmos [God]" Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson, pg. 713)

>*Gurdjieff conceives of humans as having a physical brain, an emotional brain, and a mental brain


"In other words, God is larger than man but congruent with him; we are identical" (Exegesis, pg. 300)

>> No.9638543

Note to understand this part: holograms have the unique property that any part of them (if not too small) has the information of the entire whole although with some slight loss of information. If you cut a hologram in half, that is, you'll get two smaller but identical-scale holograms of the original holograms.

"Could OUR agony be microcosmic replication of the macrocosmic divine, with which we are (1) isomorphic; and (2) actual fragments of, like bits of a hologram: intact gestalts but 'dimmer' or less defined ... We as dimmer bits have not yet achieved ... self-intuition; hence, when we suffer, we do not know why. Up the hierarchical scale [towards greater consciousness] there is still suffering --- even perhaps an increasing level of suffering at each hierarchical stage. But also at each ascending stage there is a quantum leap in a self-intuition which bestows (permits) greater UNDERSTANDING of WHY there is this suffering" (Exegesis, pg. 287)


"Suffering can be of different kinds. To begin with, we shall divide it into two kinds. First, unconscious; second, conscious. The first kind bears no results. For instance, you suffer from hunger because you have no money to buy bread. If you have some bread and don't eat it and suffer, it is better. If you suffer with one center, either thinking or feeling, you get to a lunatic asylum. Suffering must be harmonious" (Views from the Real World, pg. 101)

"Everything in the universe is one, the difference is only of scale; in the infinitely small we shall find the same laws as in the infinitely great. As above, so below" (Views from the Real World, pg. 16)

"It is possible to study the sun, the moon. But man has everything within him. I have inside me the sun, the moon, God. I am -- all life in its totality.

"To understand, one must know oneself" (Views from the Real World, pg. 102)

>> No.9638591

Should I read first from Ouspensky's book or Gurdjieff's? This is all fascinating

>> No.9638612

"And here also is God!!! Again God! . . .

"Only He is everywhere and with Him everything is connected.

"I am a man, and as such I am, in contrast to all other outer forms of animal life, created by Him in His image!!!

"For He is God and therefore I also have within myself all the possibilities and impossibilities that He has.

"The difference between Him and my self must lie only in scale.

"For He is God of all the presences in the universe! It follows that I also have to be God of some kind, of presence on my scale.

"He is God and I am God! Whatever possibilities He has in relation to the presences of the universe, such possibilities and impossibilities I should also have in relation to the world subordinate to me.

"He is God of all the world, and also of my outer world.

"I am God also, although only of my inner world. He is God and I am God!

"For all and in everything we have the same possibilities and impossibilities!

"Whatever is possible or impossible in the sphere of His great world should be possible or impossible in the sphere of my small world" (Life is real only then, when "I am", pgs. 31-32)


"The transformation from the inauthentic to the authentic mode requires the sacrificial death of the illusory psyche, a difficult price to pay --- difficult to make because for a little time it means the extinction of the person. He must actually go through the experience -- not just knowledge -- of the irreality of himself and his projected world; he is replaced and his world is replaced by the not-him and not-his-world. (This is depicted in 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' as the Bardo Thödol trip.) Now, to his surprise, he is not who he is or when/where he is (I should say was). The impossible has happened; he has shed self and world. This is a moment of great fear and sense of dread, to experience the irreality of himself and his world, and to have both go, both slip away. Can he survive without himself and his world? The continuity of identity is lost. New memories arise as if out of nothing. And the new self and world; -- all out of nothing -- ex nihilo; new self, memories, identity and world without a history -- a past -- behind them: created on the spot -- as if he always had been this other person with these other memories in and of this other world. His self monitoring system discerns the impossibility of this and yet must accept it as so. He never really was who he was, or where and when he was. All reality, inner and outer [...] has been cancelled and replaced by, sui generis, the new, and the open. The closed sack has become the open sack" (Exegesis, pg. 390)

>> No.9638634


"There is a book of aphorisms which has never been published and probably never will be published. I have mentioned this book before in connection with the question of the meaning of knowledge and I quoted then one aphorism from this book.

"In relation to what we are speaking of now, this book says the following:

"'A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.'

"In another place it says:

"'When a man awakens he can die; when he dies he can be born.'

"We must find out what this means.

"'To awake,' 'to die', 'to be born'. These are three successive stages. If you study the Gospels attentively you will see that references are often made to the possibility of being born, several references are made to the necessity of 'dying', and there are very many references to the necessity of 'awakening' --- 'watch, for ye know not the day and hour...' and so on ...

"We have already spoken enough about the meaning of being 'born'. This relates to the beginning of a new growth of essence, the beginning of the formation of individuality, the beginning of the appearance of one indivisible I.

"But in order to be able to attain this or at least begin to attain it, a man must die, that is, he must free himself from a thousand petty attachments and identifications which hold him in the position in which he is. He is attached to everything in his life, attached to his imagination, attached to his stupidity, attached even to his sufferings, possibly to his sufferings more than to anything else. He must free himself from this attachment. Attachment to things, identification with things, keep alive a thousand useless I's in man. These I's must die in order that the big I may be born. But how can they be made to die? They do not want to die. It is at this point that the possibility of awakening comes to the rescue. To awaken means to realize one's nothingness, that is, to realize one's complete and absolute mechanicalness and one's complete and absolute helplessness. And it is not sufficient to realize it philosophically in words. It is necessary to realize it in clear, simple, and concrete facts, in one's own facts. When a man begins to know himself a little he will see in himself many things that are bound to horrify him. So long as a man is not horrified at himself he knows nothing about himself. A man has seen in himself something that horrifies him. He decides to throw it off, stop it, put an end to it. But however many efforts he makes, he feels that he cannot do this, that everything remains as it was. Here he will see his impotence, his helplessness, and his nothingness; or again, when he begins to know himself a man sees that he has nothing that is his own, his views, thoughts, convictions, tastes, habits, even faults and vices, all these are not his own, but have been either formed through imitation or borrowed from somewhere ready-made.

>> No.9638645

In feeling this a man may feel his nothingness. And in feeling his nothingness a man should see himself as he really is, not for a second, not for a moment, but constantly, never forgetting it.

"This continual consciousness of his nothingness and of his helplessness will eventually give a man the courage to 'die', that is, to die, not merely mentally or in his consciousness, but to die in fact and renounce actually and forever those aspects of himself which are either unnecessary from the point of view of his inner growth or which hinder it" (ISoTM, pg. 218)

>> No.9638660

Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous. Then go on to Gurdjieff.

>> No.9638709

I think I'mma post this all on /x/ too, some of them may appreciate it as well

>> No.9639778

This is pure gold. You, Sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

Valis and The Tramsigration of Timothy Archer if you liked The Divine Invasion.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is a must read either way

>> No.9639807

>but all this takes place THROUGH us as if we were transistors, diodes, wires condensers and resistors, all none the wise

Any artist, writer, painter, musician or other knows this to be true. Creating art is channeling. And in order to create great art, the artist must to some extend kill his ego. That's a micro version of the death and awakening Gurdjief talks about. Whether you like Kerouac or not, his method was the same. If you are familiar with method acting, Stanislawsky and so forth, you will find the same ideas. The awakening, death and rebirth is also prevalescent in all mystic systems. Take a look at alchemist iconography for example. Its all about purification of essence through elimination of the ego, or personality as Ouspensky puts it. For those of you who are familiar with Burroughs, that was exactly what he was trying to accomplish with his cut-up method. Other writers like Becket and Joyce tried to do the same through different methods. PKD tho, had no say or choice. His mind blew up inadvertedly, and as a consequence he wrote some of the most amazing fiction the world has seen. He was right in as much as he experienced and grasped that reality of higher mind and emotion and managed to convey some of it in writing. In mystic terms, this makes him a prophet.

>> No.9639822

>There is not one reference in PKD's entire oeuvre or exegesis to Gurdjieff, and same for Ouspensky
A writer of a religious text in Dick's A Maze of Death is named A. J. Specktowsky, which to me sounds somewhat like a play on P.D. Ouspensky. Is it possible Dick has read both him and Gurdjieff and just never deemed it necessary to tell anyone? I mean Exegesis is basically just his informal notes. No need to pay homage to anyone if you have no intention to publish, or if you're just talking to yourself.

>> No.9639914


>> No.9639963

>Egon Specktowsky was the captain of the Persus 9, but was killed in the unspecified accident which stranded the ship forever 70MAZE. His crew name him as the author of the book "How I rose from the dead in my spare time and so can you", but change his initials to A J (an example of PKD not cross-checking things?). In the crew's polyencephalic world, AJS was a 21st century theologian and is cited as discovering the true nature of the Deity in that world. He specifies five time periods: the first was the period of purity before the Form Destroyer was awakened; the second is the period of the curse when the Deity was weakest and FD the most powerful; Then there was the birth of God-on-Earth; Currently god walks the world redeeming the suffering now and all life later through the Intercessor; Lastly, there is the period of the Final Audit. PKD defined this theology with William Sarill from Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedism, Zoroastrianism and Tibetian Bhuddism based on the postulate that God Exists.


>Phil’s major edit on the draft is the deletion of one paragraph in Chapter One (page 17 of the Doubleday edition). Ben Tallchief, upon learning that his prayer for a transfer has been answered by the Manufacturer, muses about A. J. Specktowsky’s How I Rose From The Dead In My Spare Time and So Can You:

> "Strange, he thought, that a Communist theologian put it all down first, before anyone else. God is not supernatural. The premise of the most important book ever written. And we have forty god-worlds to prove it. They have let us study them and we have verified, by the mot scientific means, our religious presumptions – or anyhow many of them. Though admittedly there remains errors of detail."


Ouspensky wasn't exactly a communist theologian. But yout your idea is not off. Then again, Dick went through a lot of trouble to tie his ideas in exegesis on to existing theory, like the neo platonics, gnostics, judaism etc, so it would have been weird for him not to name Ouspensky, except maybe for his commie paranoia. If you recall the event of his manuscripts being ransacked it would make sense that he'd avoid naming a potential communist agent in his private writings. But we can only guess.

Another thing worth noting is that Dick was very particular about the meaning of his characters' names. Specktowsky is not a real name. Egon is, and it means Fiery, young warrior, strong with a sword, etc.

Delving deeper into this, Variants of the surname Ouspensky are listed on genealogy sites but with no explanation of origins / ethymology. However Ouspensky's first and middle name were Pyotr (Peter, petros, stone) Demianovich (From Damian, Damazo, 'To tame'). Interestingly, an 11th-century cardinal and theologian from Italy carried the name Peter Damian. The plot thickens...

>> No.9640014

Specktowski breaks down to speck and tow, which probably alludes to the effort of the communist theologian bringing back forgotten knowlede, towing in something that has been forgotten and reduced to a speck.

Now, I would stipulate that Dick had no conscious knowledge of Ouspensky, who deliberately strove to avoid fame. When Dick had his psychosis / revelations, he worked hard for the rest of his life to make sense of it. Had he read Ouspensky, he'd have a strong fundament of understanding. Dick didn't bother with theosophy or the like. He went straight to the ancients for answers. BUT... He theorized that his earlier novels were forgotten knowledge shining through, just like both he, Ouspensky and Gurjief talk about: organic life as one complete sensory organism, and accepting that premise, the same Vast Active Living Intelligent System spoke the same truth through all of them...

>> No.9640041

Yes, this is a good point, but the problem is, in the Exegesis (and also to some degree in VALIS), he references ANYONE AND EVERYONE who could possibly support his ideas --- if you read it, he references at least one philosopher and/or mystic and/or religious figure on almost every page; choosing out some salient figures from the index, he has Terence McKenna, Buddha, Laozi, Jesus, Borges, H.P. Blavatsky, Giordano Bruno, Erasmus, Plato, Euripides, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Luther, Jung, Joyce, Kant, Paracelsus, Novalis, Plotinus, and much much more as figures who he references and reinterprets to fit into his system. He also flips out a lot over whenever something in philosophy/literature/history seems to match his own experiences, if he had read Ouspensky and/or Gurdjieff i think he would've had a stroke (which is in bad taste to say, since he did die of one).

I've read a biography of PKD which happened to mention in a natural way, as it went along, many of Dick's influences and reading tastes and books he particularly was affected by. Gurdjieff and Ouspensky never came up. I've read about 20-25 of PKD's books themselves, and he mentions, throughout these, a surprising amount of thinkers and writers, but never do Ouspensky and Gurdjieff come up.

Finally, a google search for "philip k dick gurdjieff" or "philip k dick ouspensky" reveals nothing, in all the annals of literary criticism of PKD and interviews of him online, and even the text of his books and biographies online (on google.books), in terms of suggesting Dick ever read them, although there's a few obscure articles of people suggesting they had strangely similar ideas

However, the A.J. Specktowsky is an interesting point.


"After reading Burroughs, I dipped into 'Ubik'. It certainly would be easy -- and reasonable -- for a reader to think that both Burroughs and I know something, and we want our novels to be taken as at least partly true. They have a strange ring of revealed truth about them -- I feel it about his book, about mine -- is, as Katherine Kurtz says, something writing THROUGH us?!" (Exegesis, pg. 305)

>> No.9640087

Also, PKD is talking about more than just art in that quote.

>> No.9640105

Under all circustances, to tow a speck, and to tame a stone (Pyotr Demianovich), could be a wordplay, but if you compare to other Dick-isms like Horselover Fat (Phillip is greek for fond of horses. Dick is German for fat), it doesnt carry the same obviousness...

If you read the pre-2-3-74 Dick, you will find plenty obvious references to his later cosmology, which, according to himself, he wasnt at all aware about at the time of writing it

Burroughs is a very interresting acquaintance if you dive into his theortical framework, and he was in many ways prophetic beyond reasonable doubt. But his approach was different than PKD. His work is almost devoid of empathy and emotion, and his method is that of armed revolution. PKD envisioned a revolution of empathy and love. Not in the hippie sense. In the Judaic / christian sense. And his post 2-3-74 are brimming with this emotionalit and empathyi, going from A Scanner Darkly and onwards. His best work in my opinion...

>> No.9640123

I know, but we are all aspiring artists on this board, are we not? In order to understand complex and abstract conepts it helps a great deal to be able to relate them to something we've eperienced...

Also, Dick was very much on about music and arts as unconscious conveyors of truth. A huge part of VALIS is centered around David Bowie and the movie 'The Man Who Fell To Earth'. Not to mention his obsession with Ziggy Stardust as an actual message from outer space

>There's a staaaarmaaaaan waiting in the sky // he'd like to come and meet us but he thinks he'd blow our mind // There's a staaaaarmaaaaan waiting in the skies // He told us not to blow it cause he knows it's all worth while

>> No.9640163

I feel like a brainlet reading this thread

>> No.9640181

>His work is almost devoid of empathy and emotion
I don't see this. Just because he's not overtly sentimental doesn't mean there's not compassion in his works, and something of a compassionate outrage over the state of the world today.

Although yes, Philip K. Dick is definitely the warmer writer of the two.

>> No.9640187

Also, despite being gay, he married a Jewish lady refugee fleeing from Germany to help her get into the US and remained friends with her after of course divorcing her.

>> No.9640241

Burroughs was a very gentle and loving person, who got hurt real bad, and resorted to address 'the ugly spirit' in his writings, trying to ammer it down by means of blatant exposure and aggressive force- breaking the language, breaking the logic, breaking the narrative, breaking everything. reading him is like having your head busted open and your brains kicked around. If you read his foreword to Queer, he admits that he specifically avoided the central emotional issues. In his later cut-up texts you'll find traces of emotional trauma that only made it through the edit cause he cut it up to almost unrecognizability (e.g.: the murder of Kiki). I love love the mans work, and to say he cured me from the language virus with his apomorphine would be an understatement. But in his art he was a thinker and a violent rebel before he was a feeler. His real life was different. He never got over his love for Allen. He was a voluntary patron of all those close to him. But you know, the man and the ball...

>> No.9640418

VALIS is fucked up
I feel like reading it has affected my mood

>> No.9640501 [DELETED] 

I often feel a vague doubt or distrust in the the realness of reality after closing a pkd novel (like Ubik). I think he's great at making the reader feel what he feels. That's what a good book is supposed to do I guess.

>> No.9640955

It is a heavy read, especially if you are spiritually / emotionally inclined like PKD was. But then again, all good books affect your mood. Art is not supposed to be comfy just because.

>> No.9641039

Apparently he used to send cute Christmas cards to his friends and those he admired.

>> No.9641091

If you read The Cat Inside, you'll cath a glimpse of his sensitivity and softness. But he had had to project it on to his fucken cat's in order to channel it into writing

>> No.9641533

Personally I feel VALIS helped me out of the miserable nihilistic phase I was in during the time I read it. I was not acquainted with Gnostic concepts prior to reading it, and the way they were reflected through the book moved me in a very unique way.

>> No.9641551

had the same effect on me

>> No.9641701

To some people nihilism is a comfortable state. Like pointed out earlier in this thread, Dick's post 2-3-74 work is permeated not just by mind blowing and perhaps psychotic visions, but more importantly so by a very strong empathy and love. These feelings make you vulnerable.

I've had several friends who got lost in the psychiatric treatment system because they were sensitive and had strong spiritual experiences that rendered them extremely vulnerable and led the docs to diagnose them with eiter schizophrenia or psychosis.

One part of VALIS I really enjoyed was the doc indulging Horselover's rants about ancient greek philosophy and anamnesis, telling him "You're the authority". My friends had to lie their way out of the psych ward. One had to escape at night, breaking windows, cuckoos nest style.

Point in case tho: VALIS, along with the rest of PKD's later work exposes the reader to very far reaching emotions- getting close to the higher mind and higher emotional centers (as discussed in this thread too). He was deliberately aiming to convey that, because that was what he went through. And yes, if you are sensitive, it is both mind and heart altering reading.

I used to love Dick for his crazy ideas. But I really really love him for his brutal honesty about his mystic experiences, his hard work to convey them, and his stubborn focus on compassion and empathy.

>> No.9641712

Where to start with PKD?

>> No.9641735

The Man in the High Castle
Its the most well written (edited) of his early novels.

From there you can explore either his early work- Whacky metaphysical ideas set in mostly simple narratives with mostly two bit characters that serve only the purpose of framing and pontificating his particular idea. The ideas are amazing though. And quite a few of those novels are brilliant. My favorites are UBIK, Palmer Eldritch, Do androids dream, and Flow my tears

Or you can dive right into the second half, starting with A Scanner Darkly, then the VALIS trilogy. That is where the real mindfuck begins...

>> No.9641872

PKD: “I now see our fallen state as consisting of four basic deformations: (3) Pervasive deterministic enslavement, which reduces us to the level of reflex machines lacking true volition. We are totally unaware of this.”

Gurdjieff: “The law for man is existence in the circle of mechanical influences, the state of 'man-machine.' The way of the development of hidden possibilities is a way against nature, against God.”

PKD: “The pluriform salvific entity, as mysterious as quicksilver, will save us in the end and restore us to true human state. We will then cease to be mere reflex machines.”

G: "The 'man-machine' can do nothing. To him and around him everything happens. In order to do it is necessary to know the law of octaves, to know the moments of the 'intervals' and be able to create necessary 'additional shocks.'”

PKD: “I kept dreaming of us as animals in a stagnant pond, interpreting this as our planet. But suppose it's not our planet, but our entire space-time universe, viewed from the next (Neoplatonist type) one? The "helium-filled balloons," then, which rise — those are our souls. This is also the next stage in our evolution. But the pond has become so stagnant, now; few "balloons" rise. It is sad....”

G: “The evolution of a certain small percentage may be in accord with nature's purposes. Man contains within him the possibility of evolution. But the evolution of humanity as a whole, that is, the development of these possibilities in all men, or in most of them, or even in a large number of them, is not necessary for the purposes of the earth or of the planetary world in general, and it might, in fact, be injurious or fatal.”

>> No.9641890

>who is Plato

>> No.9642186

The man-machine is directly analogous to Dicks concept of androids. That much is obvious.

But Gurjiefs idea of development of man as detrimental to nature and/or against God... It seems to be in direct conflict with Dicks hope for mankind.

I am not versed in Gurjief at all, besides what I learned in this thread, but I think he is deliberately trolling. Or more precisely, I suspect he is pointing out the flaw of creation, and the conflation of the creator with God.

In other news Lucifer is the bringer of light. Prometheus was the original Jesus (or one of them). And so forth. Man-machine is the unenlightened man. Enlightenment is a sin. The snake in the garden. The three of knowledge. Christ rebelled against his father by bringing light to the man-machines and took the punishment upon him. Compare the depictions of Prometheus hanging on the cliff to the curcifix. Christ had it easy in comparison...

Now, if you dive into gnostic christianty, or gnosticism in general, the creator was not the godhead. The divine spark had to go through numerous emanations in order to materialize, and became so remote from its origin it ended up being something completely different. Violent, blind, hungry, full of desire to rule, will sum machen. And if you watch nature closely you will see these flaws: predatorial instincts. Even plants eat eachother. There is no escape except elimination of selfness like Krishnamurti said it.

The black iron prison Dick talked about was exactly this: Greed and lust for power prevailing over the possibilty of the "kingdom" Christ taught. The lion will sleep with the sheep, etc. I think we got it all wrong. I think Gurdjief pointed out some basic facts Dick didnt see: The light is not in accordance with creation. Nor was Christ God anymore than you or me. He was a rebel who brought the light to earth in spite of "his fathers" will. And channeling that light is by biblical definition satanic, or luciferian.

Bear with me. I propose that the teachings of christ are in fact a rebellion against nature and God himself (as in the patriarchal creator and ruler), and that "he died for our sins" is a vulgarization of what he actually tried to do.

If Dick was right about anything amidst his confusion, it was that divine light shines through us. And arguably, it's a sin to allow it. But arguably, it's what we are here for.

>> No.9642362

Thank you for this detailed post, however, that you are not acquainted with Gurdjieff shows because you lost some of the nuances of his thought by simply reading quotes of him.

I would go so far as to say, that all the quotes posted in this thread, if you simply read them and nothing else by/about Gurdjieff, you would have a completely awful and biased and incomplete view of Gurdjieff and would do better to say you'd never heard anything about him than to assume those quotes were enough of a lesson in him. Not being harsh, just saying it as I think I see it -- I'm also the same poster who posted almost all of these Gurdjieff/Ouspensky quotes by the way, comparing them to PKD quotes (although I'm not >>9641872)

Although yes, even without having read Gurdjieff besides these quotes, it is a nice bit of intuition that you happened to mention Gnostic ideas in connection with these and Gurdjieff's ideas.

For instance, Gurdjieff theorizes something called "the reciprocal feeding of everything existing", which he mixes with his "animism"
(belief that everything in the universe is alive) to demonstrate the belief that even seemingly inorganic things feed on and are fed on by organic things, and that, ultimately, planets and galaxies and everything feed and are fed on by each other to ultimately be fed on by God.

However, Gurdjieff views this as necessary so that God can escape from the inevitable ravages of time, which even He must be, in a way, limited by. The universe is a perpetual energy machine to keep God alive in Gurdjieff's view.

When Gurdjieff says development is a way that is "against nature, against God," in a way it is, because, as Gurdjieff puts it, man was made to be unaware of his position as merely a machine or apparatus for receiving and transforming cosmic influences so he wouldn't revolt and suddenly refuse to transform such influences anymore.

So, it would seem Gurdjieff is being Luciferian or Gnostic here. Indeed, he even has Beelzebub as the hero of his greatest, longest, most important work (Beelzebub's Tales To His Grandson). However, in this same work, he mentions at the end that a certain amount of enlightened men are also necessary for the proper functioning of the world/nature/God's needs. He also mentions that it is impossible to escape from giving energy/help to God ultimately, and that one should only wish to do with all one's being and do it consciously rather than do it unconsciously.

All in all, thanks for the detailed and interesting post. However, from my understanding at least, Gurdjieff does not make a difference between the creator and God as the Gnostics do/did, but he does have certain very Gnostic ideas which are obvious if you read his works ... for all I know, however, he may, esoterically, have been a Gnostic, and that's an idea I've considered reading him many times, since I'm also acquainted with these ideas you've put forth.

>> No.9642368

VALIS imo is his best work.

>> No.9642380

About talking to Jesus? No he was just sorta losing it after his home was burglarized

>> No.9642389

pffffft he's no ballard.

>> No.9642390

Also, I may as well post a very interesting passage where Gurdjieff seems to view Lucifer in a different light than he is viewed by the mainstream --- although it's very unclear that/unlikely Gurdjieff literally believed in the Christian (and Muslim, incidentally) mythos of a Devil-being once being an angel beloved by God then expelled to hell for pride and given an equal power to God:

"Everything, without exception, all sound logic as well as all historical data, reveal and affirm that God represents absolute goodness; He is all-loving and all-forgiving. He is the just pacifier of all that exists. At the same time why should He, being as He is, send away from Himself one of His nearest, by Him animated, beloved sons, only for the 'way of pride' proper to any young and still incompletely formed individual, and bestow upon him a force equal but opposite to His own? . . . I refer to the 'Devil.'

"This idea illuminated the condition of my inner world like the sun, and rendered it obvious that in the great world for the possibility of harmonious construction there was inevitably required some kind of continuous perpetuation of the reminding factor.

"For this reason our Maker Himself, in the name of all that He had created, was compelled to place one of His beloved sons in such an, in the objective sense, invidious situation" ("Life is real only then, when 'I am'", pg. 33)

"Reminding factor" may be obscure out of context, but in the context of Gurdjieff's works, "reminding factor" would seem to be something that would remind an individual (in this case, God) to be conscious and self-aware at all moments by creating a certain beneficial (if temporarily painful) tension or friction of awareness in them.

>> No.9643603

Thanks for elaborating. I was merely musing on the seeming dissonance between the quotes of Dick and Gurdjieff. And yes, like i stated in my post, I have no knowledge of Gurdjief besides what was posted in this thread. I am however very grateful of the knowledge shared here.

Now, the notion that the devil was put in place on purpose for the sake of balance is also found througout esoteric systems. And once you begin operating with the notion of unity (as in the pythagorfean / platonic sense - or veddic or judaic for that matter), it becomes impossible to accept the idea of divine antagonism. The so called devil is just another version, or emanation, or particular aspect of the godhead.

If you ever watched time bandits, there's a striking scene at the end of it where the young kid asks the supreme being why he created evil. The supreme being, somewhat distracted, busy with cleaning up the mess left by the rebelling dwarves, replies: "I don't quite remember... Something to do with free will I suppose..."

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