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The Irony and the Ecstasy

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posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 04:21 PM
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The Irony and the Ecstasy:


The "Problem of Reality" in Philip K. Dick's 1978 speech How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later

All external links from Here.

His own best definition of reality is given as:

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." That's all I could come up with. That was back in 1972. Since then I haven't been able to define reality any more lucidly.

He then goes on to explain

So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

Personally, I tend to also distrust their motives, but this is ATS, so that's to be expected.

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.

The points that he makes here are the very points which he ignores later, in his twist of irony
. .
1) Reality is not dependent upon belief.
2) Pseudo-realities can be manufactured
3) The old customs must give way for the new in order for authentic humanity to live.

The setup continues:

And yet the strange thing is, in some way, some real way, much of what appears under the title "science fiction" is true.
. . .
is it actually true? That is the issue: not, Does the author or producer believe it, but—Is it true?
. . .
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
. . .
the producers, scriptwriters, and directors who create these video/audio worlds do not know how much of their content is true. In other words, they are victims of their own product, along with us. Speaking for myself, I do not know how much of my writing is true, or which parts (if any) are true. This is a potentially lethal situation.

P.K. Dick then, without even realizing it, stepped into the potentially lethal situation which he had just described. Here is the irony. The ecstasy follows upon the heels of the irony.

It is an eerie experience to write something into a novel, believing it is pure fiction, and to learn later on—perhaps years later—that it is true.
. . .
In 1974 the novel was published by Doubleday. One afternoon I was talking to my priest—I am an Episcopalian—and I happened to mention to him an important scene near the end of the novel in which the character Felix Buckman meets a black stranger at an all-night gas station, and they begin to talk. As I described the scene in more and more detail, my priest became progressively more agitated. At last he said, "That is a scene from the Book of Acts, from the Bible! In Acts, the person who meets the black man on the road is named Philip—your name." Father Rasch was so upset by the resemblance that he could not even locate the scene in his Bible. "Read Acts," he instructed me. "And you'll agree. It's the same down to specific details."

Dick had never read the Book of Acts until after the priest, demonstrably and emotionally, had planted the notion in his head that the scene in his book was an exact retelling of Acts 8:26-40.

The objective fact is that it isn't in any way whatsoever a retelling of the story. The only real connection is two men talking and one happens to be black. That's it. Nothing more. That covers 1) and 2) listed above.

By not recognizing the spurious nature of this reality, he eventually came up with a theory that somehow he was living in AD 50, and that 1978 was an illusion.

There's 3), He was for 4 years seeing patterns that weren't there, and refusing to let AD 50 give way.

For a final kicker: The Book of Acts itself is in the genre known as historical fiction.

edit on 7-7-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 04:44 PM
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Love his books.


But it's verifiable fact he loved acid.
edit on 7/7/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by Chamberf=6


Love his books.

But it's verifiable fact he loved acid.

I love his books and short stories too.

I found the speech rather randomly while googling trying to find the name of one of his stories. I was shocked after reading the speech to discover that it was on a pro psychedelic website. I hope that doesn't get my thread deleted.

Maybe we better not discuss pros and cons.
edit on 7-7-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 05:34 PM
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Apophenia
/æpɵˈfiːniə/ is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.
The term is a misnomer incorrectly attributed to Klaus Conrad[1] by Peter Brugger,[2] who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness", but it has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general (such as with gambling), paranormal phenomena, and religion.



Pareidolia
(/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.

The word comes from the Greek words para (παρά, "beside, alongside, instead") in this context meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of; and the noun eidōlon (εἴδωλον "image, form, shape") the diminutive of eidos. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, seeing patterns in random data.


This cardboard box isn't really shocked.

When I was a youngster, 4 or 5, I used to see faces in the random swirls in the drywall texture. I felt watched, and for some reason, that comforted me.
edit on 7-7-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-7-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by Chamberf=6
Love his books.


But it's verifiable fact he loved acid.
edit on 7/7/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)


so did the following:
Bill Gates
Francis Crick
Kary Mullis
John C. Lilly
Ralph Abraham
Richard Feynman
Steve Jobs
Timothy Leary [duhh!!!]

yet I don't see you disregarding their works
or words as "tainted"

or did you have a point?



posted on Jul, 7 2013 @ 10:31 PM
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I love the works of P.K. Dick, and own most of them. He was truly a unique consciousness.
It's well known, however, that he abused amphetamines for most of his life. This resulted in amphetamine psychosis and paranoia on several occasions. I would tend to think that such stimulant use would be more to blame for any eccentricities than any other things he might have experimented with.

If you ever get the chance--although I'm sure some here have read it--check out A Scanner Darkly. Of all Dick's great works, I believe this to be his most personal.
Not only does it address the nature of reality as influenced by our own doing, it also chronicles the dark side of this man's turbulent life. Happily, the book was penned after Dick got clean, and is in many ways a defining point in his writing career.



posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 06:32 AM
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Considering the topic, which I figure is: Reality in Fiction,
something I listened to last night on internet radio, on the show, The Paracast, I think fits into this general theme quite well.
BTW, the reason I would know about Philip K. Dick is probably mostly from the Paracast, over the few years that I have been listening to it, since they do mention him from time to time.
Anyway, yesterday's show had as the guest, the author of a book,

"War over Lemuria: Richard Shaver, Ray Palmer and the Strangest Chapter of 1940s Science Fiction."

This gets into trying to figure out where reality ends and the imagination begins, with people who for whatever reason think that it is all real.
For anyone not familiar with the story, Shaver was this person who claimed to have spent a considerable amount of time in an underground civilization of a race of creatures who lived here before humans but mostly all left because of a change in the sun that was not healthy for them.
I'm not recommending the book, just to listen to the three hour (original air time, including news break and commercials) show. Listen while you are already doing something on your computer so you can be there to jump over the commercial breaks, where doing so shortens the time and avoids annoying things like hearing Alex Jones hawking mineral supplements.
edit on 8-7-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by pthena
 

I have always enjoyed Dick myself, but I find he's best read if I'm not already feeling a little depressed.

You mentioned one thing in your OP that jumped out at me because it just didn't seem to fit in. That was the comment about Acts and historical fiction. It seems like you've identified yet another miracle, that being that Luke invented an entirely new literary genre which was then buried (in plain sight) for at least 1600 years.

If, then, Sir Walter Scott's Waverley is not the origin of the historical fiction genre as has often been claimed then where should a history of historical fiction begin?

Richard Maxwell, author of the 2009 study The Historical Novel in Europe, 1650-1950, argues that Madame de Lafayette, author of Princess of Montpensier (1662) and Princess of Cleves (1678) can be accredited as the beginning point in a line of works that led to Scott.

ihrconference.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/mphillpott-historical-fiction.pdf (I'm not sure about linking to .pdf files, sorry.)

It seems to me there is little support for saying Acts is historical fiction.

Now, back to Phil Dick.



posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by Negotium of Verum


check out A Scanner Darkly. Of all Dick's great works, I believe this to be his most personal.

Sometimes the movie is available on Netflix. Somehow, I haven't seen it yet. I'll have to look out for it. The book was published in 1977, which puts it right in the time period discussed in the 1978 speech (1974-78).

A Scanner Darkly was one of the few Dick novels to gestate over a long period of time. By February 1973, in an effort to prove that the effects of his amphetamine usage were merely psychosomatic, the newly clean-and-sober author had already prepared a full outline.[5] A first draft was in development by March.[6] This labor was soon supplanted by a new family and the completion of Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (left unfinished in 1970), which was finally released in 1974 and received the prestigious John W. Campbell Award.[7] Additional preoccupations were the alleged mystical experiences of early 1974 that would eventually serve as a basis for VALIS
Background and Publication

Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said is the book he was talking about in the speech.

So I guess if we read Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, A Scanner Darkly, and VALIS together as a sort of trilogy, we may get a clearer picture of his experiences and speculations.



posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60


Considering the topic, which I figure is: Reality in Fiction,

The topic I chose was Irony, which only goes so far, like,

"Whoa! Hey! Now that was ironic!" There's not much more to say after that. Might as well get into Reality in Fiction.

I checked NetFlix to see if A Scanner Darkly was currently available, no, but there is a documentary called The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick, people who knew him talking about him, basically.

One of the interviewees makes note that his writings have a timeless relevance to them. That's why stories from the '50s can become current movies. The set of short stories I have, We Can Remember it for you Wholesale includes the stories which formed the basis for the movies Total Recall and The Adjustment Bureau and Impostor (currently on NetFlix).

I've always pretty much considered speculative fiction to be a form of philosophizing. It's the "What if ..." factor with enough scenery and characters thrown in to sort of test out the "What If ...".

Now, to start skating on thin ice here, since the last thread that I started in this sub-forum ended up bounced into the religion sub-forum, which seems to be a demotion of sorts, I'd kind of like to avoid that.

But, while PKD was aware of such happenings as WaterGate, drug culture, ABC federal agency activities, and undercover cop activities, he seemed to have totally missed the Jesus Movement that was going on. In the speech he seems to have been rather blown away by seeing a fish necklace on a girl. I'm like, "What the heck, those were everywhere! It's no big deal seeing one in 1974!"

Just to throw a personal anecdote in here, showing some effects of being out of touch with events and movements: Back in '83, after returning to the U.S. after being gone for 3 years, I was driving through Oregon with my family. In Oregon there are no self serve gas stations. My then wife had placed a rainbow decal with white dove in the back window of the car.

When the gas jockey saw the decal, he assumed a very combative posture, "What do you mean by that sticker in the window?", he demanded. It seemed to be a very serious question, the answer to which may have lead to violence.

Very carefully I responded, "We got it at a Christian book store. The Rainbow is like the rainbow after the flood symbolizing promise. The dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Together it would symbolize the promise of the Holy Spirit."

He relaxed a little bit but didn't seem completely convinced. "Christian store huh?"

"Yes."

"Holy Spirit huh?"

"Yes."

"Well...I guess that's alright then. There's this movement going on that's really bad news, and they use rainbows for symbols too."

So I'm still left guessing what he was so against. Was it the Noahides, the Rainbow Push Coalition, or one of the imports from India that occasionally sets up in Oregon? Maybe I could write 3 different novels to explore the possibilities, or not, cause I'm not a novelist.


"War over Lemuria: Richard Shaver, Ray Palmer and the Strangest Chapter of 1940s Science Fiction."
I listened to about 45 minutes of it. It does get into some of the effects of someone suggesting that something is real. Then you have to do a reality check from time to time.
edit on 8-7-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 09:20 PM
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reply to post by charles1952


It seems to me there is little support for saying Acts is historical fiction.

Enough for me. There is an entry in Wikipedia Historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles. I'll say no more because I don't want the thread to end up in religion sub-forum.


Now, back to Phil Dick.

Alrighty then.


I have always enjoyed Dick myself, but I find he's best read if I'm not already feeling a little depressed.

That seems to be how he viewed his writings himself. In the documentary that I mentioned in response to JMDewey one of his lady friends was telling how in 1980 (?) she was recovering from an illness and told him that she was reading all of his books over again.

And he responded something like, "But you have all this pain, those stories aren't very pleasant."

And she said, "But it's like I can hear your voice when I read them."

After a moment's thought he responded, "Well, I guess that okay then."



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 04:37 AM
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Originally posted by TheMagus

Originally posted by Chamberf=6
Love his books.


But it's verifiable fact he loved acid.
edit on 7/7/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)


so did the following:
Bill Gates
Francis Crick
Kary Mullis
John C. Lilly
Ralph Abraham
Richard Feynman
Steve Jobs
Timothy Leary [duhh!!!]

yet I don't see you disregarding their works
or words as "tainted"

or did you have a point?



Where did I "disregard his works"?????

Where did I say his works were "tainted"????

My post was two lines.

You didn't seem to read the first one.

The second line was in reference to the OP and the topic of the year and the book of Acts in the bible.

Are you being a tad defensive?

Do you "protesteth too much"?


btw I also love W. S. Burroughs ( and in order to stop you there, no I don't think he is "tainted' either.
)



or did you have a point?

Yes. One that related to the OP in it's own way. How did your post relate to the OP, or contribute at all?
edit on 7/9/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by pthena

Let's get weird here:

On 8-7-2013 @ 06:36 PM my local time I wrote the story about the rainbow decal in the car _

without prior knowledge that Agent008 had started this thread: "Warriors Of The Rainbow" There is only one human tribe, one earth.,
On 8-7-2013 @ 11:31 AM my local time.


Legend of Rainbow Warriors

Since the early 1970s, a legend of Rainbow Warriors inspired some environmentalists in the United States with a belief that their movement is the fulfillment of a Native American prophecy. The origin is from a 1962 book titled Warriors of the Rainbow by William Willoya and Vinson Brown from Naturegraph Publishers. Brown, who is attributed with research supporting chapters on Hopi prophecies, is the founder and owner of Naturegraph Publishers.[1][2][3]

The book relates Indian prophecies to the Second Coming of Christ and has been described as purveying "a covert anti-Semitism throughout, while evangelizing against traditional Native American spirituality."[1] The book The Greenpeace Story, states that Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter was given a copy of Warriors of the Rainbow by a wandering dulcimer maker in 1969 and passing it around on the first expedition of the Don't Make a Wave Committee, the pre-cursor of Greenpeace.[4]

The legend also inspired the 1978 name of (the third) Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior that is used in environmental-protection protests.

Covert anti-Semitism? Does that mean it looks like Noahide, sounds like Noahide, but doesn't include Jews as superior or running the show? Interesting question.

Now I think that there has been rainbow activity around Eugene Oregon. I vaguely remember someone telling me they were going to a gathering, sometime in the last 8 years or so.

Here's an unofficial website: Welcome Home



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by Chamberf=6

Originally posted by TheMagus

Originally posted by Chamberf=6
Love his books.


But it's verifiable fact he loved acid.
edit on 7/7/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)


so did the following:
Bill Gates
Francis Crick
Kary Mullis
John C. Lilly
Ralph Abraham
Richard Feynman
Steve Jobs
Timothy Leary [duhh!!!]

yet I don't see you disregarding their works
or words as "tainted"

or did you have a point?



1-Where did I "disregard his works"?????

Where did I say his works were "tainted"????

My post was two lines.

You didn't seem to read the first one.

The second line was in reference to the OP and the topic of the year and the book of Acts in the bible.

2-Are you being a tad defensive?

Do you "protesteth too much"?


btw I also love W. S. Burroughs ( and in order to stop you there, no I don't think he is "tainted' either.
)



or did you have a point?

Yes. One that related to the OP in it's own way. How did your post relate to the OP, or contribute at all?
edit on 7/9/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)


1-[emphasis mine ]

Originally posted by Chamberf=6
Love his books.


But it's verifiable fact he loved acid.
edit on 7/7/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)

2-
[Y U MAD BRO?]



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by TheMagus
 

What's the point of your post?

Is it that his take on what year it was and on the book of Acts may have been altered by acid?

His fiction was great (as I have said) but his views on real life were often paranoid and colored by drugs.



Btw: Why did you get banned the first time you were a member of this site?
edit on 7/10/2013 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by TheMagus
 




[Y U MAD BRO?]

I'm not.

I simply responded to you and how you seem to misinterpret my posts.





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