last updated July 13th 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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- Great Soviet Dictionary, Sixth Edition 1992
Following this event, Dick experienced a remarkable
series of visions, hallucinations, and dreams,
many of which centered around VALIS, a "Vast Active Living Intelligence
System" that he defined in his 1980
novel of the same name as a "spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex...tending
to progressively subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements
of information." Not a bad definition of the Internet,
though Dick experienced this incoming information web far more intensely
than today's online grazers. Sometimes it struck him as a pink beam of
esoteric data, or as a compassionate feminine "AI
[Artificial Intelligence] voice" speaking to him from outer space. Other
times, Dick felt he was in telepathic communication with a first-century
christian named Thomas, and once "the landscape of California, U.S.A.
1974 ebbed out and the landscape of Rome of the first century C.E. ebbed
The external informational or gnosis, then, consists of disinhibiting instructions, with the core content actually intrinsic to us - that is, already there (first observed by Plato; viz: that learning is a form of remembering).
The ancients possessed techniques (sacraments and rituals) used largely in the Greco-Roman mystery religions, including early Christianity, to induce firing and retrieval, mainly with a sense of its restorative value to the individuals; the Gnostics, however, correctly saw the ontological value to what they called the Godhead Itself, the total entity.
Two realms there are, upper and lower. The upper, derived from hyperuniverse I or Yang, Form I or Parmenides, is sentient and volitional. The lower realm, or Yin, Form II of Parmenides, is mechanical, driven by blind, efficient cause, deterministic and without intelligence, since it emanates from a dead source. In ancient times it was termed "astral determinism." We are trapped, by and large, in the lower realm, but are through the sacraments, by means of the plasmate, extricated. Until astral determinism is broken, we are not even aware of it, so occluded are we. "The Empire never ended."
The name of the healthy twin, hyperuniverse I, is Nommo. The name of the sick twin, hyperuniverse II, is Yurugu. These names are known to the Dogon people of western Sudan in Africa. (*Nommo is represented in a fish form, the early Christian fish.)
The primordial source of all religions lies with the ancestors of the Dogon Tribe, who got their cosmogony and cosmology directly from the three-eyed invaders who visited long ago. The three-eyed invaders were mute and deaf and telepathic, could not breath our atmosphere, had the elongated misshapen skull of Ikhnaton, and emanated from a planet in the star-system Sirius. Although they had no hands, but had, instead, pincer claws such as a crab has, they were great builders. They covertly influence our history toward a fruitful end.
From _VALIS_ by Philip K.
- Phlip K. Dick - _VALIS_
22. I term the Immortal one a plasmate, because it is a form of energy; it is living information. It replicates itself - not through information or in information - but as information.
31. We hypostatize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of the information; the message has changed. This is a language which we have lost the ability to read. We ourselves are a part of this language; changes in us are changes in the content of the information. We ourselves are information-rich; information enters us, is processed and is then projected outward once more, now in an altered form. We are not aware that we are doing this, that in fact this is all we are doing.
36. In summary; thoughts of the brain are experienced by us as arrangements and rearrangements - change - in a physical universe; but in fact it is really information and information-processing which we substantialize. We do not merely see its thoughts as objects, but rather as the movement, or, more precisely, the placement of objects: how they become linked to one another. But we cannot read the patterns of arrangement; we cannot extract the information in it - i.e. it as information, which is what it is. The linking and relinking of objects by the Brain is actually a language but not a language like ours (since it is addressing itself and not someone or something outside itself).
37. We should be able to hear this information,
or rather narrative, as a neutral voice inside us. But something
has gone wrong. All creation is a language and nothing but a language,
which for some inexplicable reason we can't read outside and can't hear
inside. So I say, we have become idiots. Something has happened
to our intelligence. My reasoning is this: arrangement of parts of
the Brain is a language. We are parts of the Brain; therefore we
are language. Why, then, do we not know this? We do not even
know what we are, let alone what the outer reality
is of which we are parts. The origin of the world "idiot" is the
word "private." Each of us has become private, and no longer shares
the common thought of the Brain, except at a subliminal level. Thus
our real life and purpose are conducted below our threshold of consciousness.
The first of Dick's three final novels (the others are _Divine Invasion_ and _The Transmigration of Timothy Archer_). Known as science fiction only for lack of a better category, "Valis" takes place in our world and may even be semi-autobiographical. It is a fool's search for god, who turns out to be a virus, a joke, and a mental hologram transmitted from an orbiting satellite.
The proponent of the novel, Horselover Fat, is thrust into a theological quest when he receives communion in a burst of pink laser light. From the cancer ward of a bay area hospital to the ranch of a fraudulent charismatic religious figure who turns out to have a direct com link with god, Dick leads us down the twisted paths of Gnostic belief, mixed with his own bizarre and compelling philosophy. Truly an eye opening look at the nature of consciousness and divinity.
Valis, the disorienting and eerily funny centerpiece of Philip Dick's final trilogy that includes The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, is part science fiction, part theological detective story--in which god is both missing person and the perpetrator of the ultimate crime.