The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

Funny how things run in groups. I was just talking to someone the other day about a scene from one of Dick’s novels after finishing A Scanner Darkly again. And, on a walk with the wife, wandered into Barnes and Noble and found the book at the low price of $6.98.

I had contemplated getting the book for a number of years (you get the price low enough and even I cannot say no). I love his books and have heard about the strange life of the man. The book THE EXEGESIS OF PHILIP K. DICK is culled from over seven thousand pages of notes dealing with experiences he had starting in February and March of 1974 (2-3-74). These were largely handwritten, back to back, single spaced, rarely with paragraph breaks, and little margin on the sheet.

I never really find anything too insane to read, there must be some coherence else the mind simply shuts off. Luckily for my seven dollars Dick rides the rails without completely falling off too many times. Not that I am that far into it, I can only handle small doses. It is not my trip after all and these were never intended for publication.

One passage that decided that I would go along for the ride as long as I possibly could is on page 11. He is talking to a correspondent (it (the collected exegesis) starts off with a few letters to people about his experience) about his book UBIK. In relation to it (you only get a notion of what he is saying, it is not a treatise after all) he refers to UBIK as a future total gestalt of purpose and meaning. It is, seeming, a personal manifestation, like God, Dick’s God, that he suggests may well have written the book for him.

…, in particular small creatures such as grasshoppers, are “written through” by what we call instinct, rather than “writing” their lives. However, I do think one could say this; rather than having it read: Ubik, by Philip K. Dick, one could put it this way:




I like that. I know I say that even in all likelihood that the man suffered greatly at the hands of whatever possessed him. But he probably exalted greatly as well.

Scanning ahead at various pages he covers such a panorama of topics and people ideas. From C.L. Moore to Nikola Tesla to Linda Ronstadt (eh, what?) to satori to Atman to Kant to Vernadsky’s Noösphere to gnosticism to Christ to Orphics to entelechy to Olivia Newton John (who?). 

It should be a wild ride.

And, who knows? Maybe he stumbled across some answers along the way!


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