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How to Build a Universe that Doesn't Fall Apart

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posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 11:45 PM
The article I am linking to is not particularly related to conspiracy theory but I think it gives us some insight into how to deal with "the conspiracy," whatever that may mean to each of us. Furthermore, I feel it gives much insight into the nature of reality, which is more than appropriate in this particular forum.

I present to you the king of sci fi surrealism, the duke of divergent reality, the sultan of slippery identity, Mr. Philip K Dick in his own words...

How to build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later

I highly recommend reading the whole thing. Here are a few excerpts I find particularly interesting:

But the problem is a real one, not a mere intellectual game. Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups—and the electronic hardware exists by which to deliver these pseudo-worlds right into the heads of the reader, the viewer, the listener.

What is the relationship between the average TV situation comedy to reality? What about the cop shows? Cars are continually swerving out of control, crashing, and catching fire. The police are always good and they always win. Do not ignore that point: The police always win. What a lesson that is. You should not fight authority, and even if you do, you will lose. The message here is, Be passive. And—cooperate. If Officer Baretta asks you for information, give it to him, because Officer Beratta is a good man and to be trusted. He loves you, and you should love him.

I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe—and I am dead serious when I say this—do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.

as you begin to ask what is ultimately real, you right away begin talk nonsense.

One time, when I was researching Gnosticism in the Britannica, I came across mention of a Gnostic codex called The Unreal God and the Aspects of His Nonexistent Universe, an idea which reduced me to helpless laughter. What kind of person would write about something that he knows doesn't exist, and how can something that doesn't exist have aspects? But then I realized that I'd been writing about these matters for over twenty-five years. I guess there is a lot of latitude in what you can say when writing about a topic that does not exist. A friend of mine once published a book called Snakes of Hawaii. A number of libraries wrote him ordering copies. Well, there are no snakes in Hawaii. All the pages of his book were blank.

Those quotes are all from the first half of the essay but I don't want to fill up the post with quotes - read it yourself if you're interested, that's why I posted it. The reason this fascinates me is because I have always found science fiction (along with all other speculative fiction) to be a particularly liberating and exciting medium for exploring ideas beyond the everyday experience of reality. Traditional literature can hint at these things in an abstract way, but sometimes the most bizarre tales are those most effective at demonstrating these ideas in a tangible, even visceral way.

But aside from the debate over whether spec-fic is serious literature (as an English major, I was never much into the "high brow" stuff,) I think the ideas in this essay offer plenty of fuel for a debate about the nature(s) of realit(y)(ies).

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:48 AM
Your link doesn't work for me.

So I googled the title of Dick's essay. There were hits, but none of them led me to the essay.

Definitely a conspiracy here.

posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 03:32 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

Weird...just tried the link and it works for me. No conspiracy here...I'm looking more at the way our perception of reality interacts with "conspiracy theory."

posted on Sep, 7 2008 @ 04:04 AM
reply to post by shipovfools

Yeah, well Dick was a master at that. You start reading one of his books and everything seems normal; then suddenly reality warps and shifts, and goes on warping and shifting till you haven't the faintest idea where you are. He carries it off best in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik. But all his stories are like that. See if you can find a creepy little short he wrote called 'The Father-Thing'.

Of course, you can't think like that without being a bit crazy; for years, Dick was a paranoid schizophrenic. But, genius that he was, he actually wrote a novel about himself as a schizophrenic. It's called VALIS and it might just be his masterpiece.

Of course, if you're an aficionado, you know all this already.

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