Robert Crumb Illustrates Philip K. Dick’s Meeting With God

weirdo1Via Open Culture (Incidentally, a website I recommend that you bookmark for continued awesomeness…)

In the months of February and March, 1974, Philip K. Dick met God, or something like God, or what he thought was God, at least, in a hallucinatory experience he chronicled in several obsessively dense diaries that recently saw publication as The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, a work of deeply personal theo-philosophical reflection akin to Carl Jung’s The Red Book. Whatever it was he encountered—Dick was never too dogmatic about it—he ended up referring to it as Zebra, or by the acronym VALIS, Vast Active Living Intelligence System, also the title of a novel detailing the experiences of one very PKD-like character with the improbable name of “Horselover Fat.”

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  • drokhole

    Enjoyed the hell out of that book (and need to get around to a second read-through), but one part that really stood out in particular was PKD’s “conversation” with God on Infinity. It’s about as labyrinthine as it gets, but makes for a great meditation on infinity:

    PKD on God as Infinity
    http://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/pkd-on-god-as-infinity/

  • InfvoCuernos

    O the Irony. Chubby chick chaser illustrates amphetamine driven vision. That’s a match I would have never seen coming.

  • Gabriel D. Roberts

    I read VALIS 2 months ago. I nearly joined a VALIS cult afterward. It’s THAT GOOD.

  • Andrew

    PKD’s son once shot me in the face with an air rifle from about three feet away.

    It was an accident, and the pellet ricocheted off the bridge of my glasses, breaking one lens and leaving quite a dent.

    • Calypso_1

      How did that make you feel?

      • Andrew

        Grateful that I didn’t have an unneeded hole in my head. He was far more upset about it than I. He kept apologizing over and over and I kept telling him that I could still see.

      • Andrew

        Touched by Valis.

        • Calypso_1

          I wonder where that pellet is now?

  • Haystack

    I read the Exegesis last year. After a point he came to view/explicate his own novels almost like sacred texts that had been transmitted to him, rather than as products of his own mind. He’s never able to bring it together, though; the Exegesis is him playing with different ideas to explain his visionary experiences, without ever being able to come to grips with it.

    • Ted Heistman

      Yeah. That’s why its awesome. That’s the human experience in a nutshell. You never quite arrive at absolute certainty about anything. We all create models of reality without realizing these are models of our own creation. He could just do it faster than most people.

    • Gabriel D. Roberts

      Isn’t that really what we all do? When you die, you will take only with the constructs and ideas you have in your head. It’s your own choice. By parsing many of his (and other great minds) brilliant ideas and combining them with many of our own, we are indeed standing on the shoulders of giants.

  • Orenthal Jameson

    The name Philip mean “Horse Lover” and Dick is German for “Fat”

  • smendler

    “improbable name”? not really – Horselover is the meaning of Philip, and Dick is a German word for Fat.

  • Ted Heistman

    This is actually my favorite comic of all times! Combining the work of the two of the most awesome visionary artists in the Known Universe!

  • drokhole

    Gonna try posting this again (excerpt from Exegesis where PKD has a “conversation” with God on inifinity):

    PKD on God as Infinity
    http://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/pkd-on-god-as-infinity/

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