Look what just arrived…

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The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick – 944 pages of drug-induced metaphysical psychosis.

I’m still reading Ubik, which PKD felt was important to his interpretation of what happened to him in February and March of 1974, so I haven’t started it yet. But from the introduction, the structure looks intriguing – the editors have included every letter and note from the immediate aftermath, then become more selective when PKD’s explorations become more voluminous, tangential and repetitive.

What happened to PKD? I’ll pass you over to Robert Crumb…

3 thoughts on “2-3-74

  1. Carole Cusack November 10, 2011 / 10:25 am

    David, I have just finished reading Francis Wheen’s Strange Days Indeed, which is about Britain in the 1970s, and which is an extended meditation on ‘the paranoid style in politics’. It occurred to me that it is a book that you would very much enjoy (Don and I also loved his earlier How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World. Sometimes it worries me that reading all this conspiracist stuff might make you crazy (more than you already are, of course!!) But it’s undeniably fascinating. Enjoy the Philip K. Dick 🙂

  2. adamkadmon November 11, 2011 / 12:11 am

    Thanks, Carole, I’ll try and get hold of it. I’ll be starting on the historical chapter of the PhD after Christmas, charting UFOs, conspiracism and alternative spirituality from 1947 to the late 1980s, and it sounds like good background. UFOs and conspiracism were taken up by the counter-culture in the 60s, but the milieu soured through the 70s and by the mid 80s, people were coming up with reasons why the New Age hadn’t come about, and the growth of the “paranoid style” was a big part of that.

    I shall ignore your crazy comment. It takes someone as transcendentally sane as myself to be able to stare into the abyss for so long without it becoming me. Of course, to be sane in this world puts one in the minority anyway.

    Thanks for the book – it must have cost a fortune to post! It’s creating quite a stir on the interwebs already. Kripal is one of the scholars who added footnotes, I was surprised to notice.

  3. Jim Boyle May 26, 2012 / 5:50 pm

    Quite a thing to wade through David, . If you would like further information around PK Dick’s behavior and state during this period based on observation and not media conjecture, I could put you in touch with his ex-wife who was married to him during this period. His long term recreational drug use preceded this event which some incorrectly assume was due to the prescription drugs he was taking for a dental issue. I say incorrectly because it is an assumption which could explain a one time or short term event but not the prolonged experiences and visions. Some other mental disorder might account for it however. After his 2-3-74 experience he actually became a community advocate against drug use. Of course this was after years of his own house being a community drug house where teenagers would gather.From my understanding, psychosis and hallucinations alone don’t tend to lead to any long term clarity.

    What ever happened , he was personally altered on the other side of the it in a type of 180 degree way that is rare for adults unless acted upon by some major event. I don’t think this type of reversal hardly ever comes about by internal or external debate or contemplation alone.

    What actually happened to him? I have no way of knowing. I commend your efforts to attempt to study it though, and to attempt put it in context as to how it relates to any of the multitude of new religious beliefs.You must be fond of VERY large jigsaw puzzles.

    As you stare into that abyss have a wee bit of fun at least in doing it.

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