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Old 10-19-2016   #1
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Philip K. Dick: the Gnostic seer of science fiction

I think anyone versed in Gnosticism who read my notes would say, “You’re a Gnostic.” I am not happy about this, but it is so, based on 3-74. Simon Magus lives.
-- Philip K. Dick

In the past, I regarded Philip K. Dick as a simple science fiction author; but I am becoming increasingly fascinated by him, and see him as a Gnostic prophet disguised as a science fictionalist; he even once said that he was less a fiction writer than a prophet for the Gnostic female figure Sophia. Philip K. Dick seems a curious anomaly in science fiction. He seems less in the ranks of normal science fiction authors than with visionary lunatics such as Alejandro Jodorowsky, J.G. Ballard, Lovecraft, Ligotti, William Burroughs, Blake, and the American poet, James Merrill, whose 560-page epic The Changing Light at Sandover was inspired by transcribing angelic messages from an Ouija board a la John Dee. Philip K. Dick is the William Blake of science fiction. In later life he even had spiritual visions, which I not think many science fiction writers experience.
I have never read any Dick, and I was wondering which book would be the best place to begin with him; for he is one of those writers who could be accused of ''writing too much'', and it could also be said that he is one of those writers who essentially wrote the same story or book over and over. Any suggestions? Thoughts concerning Dick are also welcome. I understand he is one of those writers who was not, unfortunately, a great prose stylist, but whose incredible imagination overshadows any technical limitations he or she may possess.
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Old 10-19-2016   #2
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Re: Philip K. Dick: the Gnostic seer of science fiction

To really grok Phillip K. Dick, one can do no better than start with his last work, the semi-autobiographical "Valis," said to be found on his desk after he died. Valis is above all a gnostic fantasy. Irreverent, mystical, funny, satirical, it's well worth the read.




I am also especially fond of his hallucinatory work,"The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch."



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Old 10-19-2016   #3
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Re: Philip K. Dick: the Gnostic seer of science fiction

Phillip K. Dick's Exegesis is also a great overview of Dick's gnostic (nonfiction) writings.

As one reviewer put it... "be prepared for a deep and exacting examination of Logos and Mind, Christ and Sophia; the philosophies of Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Iamblichus; the Gnosticism of Thomas and Valentinus."



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Old 10-19-2016   #4
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Re: Philip K. Dick: the Gnostic seer of science fiction

Hey, Alchemist friend,
I regard Ubik as one of Dick's finest works. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Flow My Tears the Policeman Said are also brilliant.
Enjoy your voyage of Discovery.
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