Towards the end of his life, sci-fi master Philip K. Dick suffered from mental health ailments. Dick himself had always believed in a plurality of realities (‘pluriform pseudo worlds’), and didn’t necessarily consider schizophrenic visions to be insane. To delve into these issues would be to take on the entire 20th century psychiatric empire, which we will leave to the Scientologists.
Our purpose is to look a little closer at a particular paranormal experience Philip K. Dick had towards the end of his life. He readily acknowledges this experience occurred while he was under the influence of sodium pentothal.
According to Dick, he received a home delivery from a beautiful young woman who wore a golden necklace with a strange fish-shaped pattern Dick called “vesicle pisces”. The necklace refracted a pink beam that Dick strongly believed to be a sentient intelligence. He also believed it embedded him with visions of plasmic energy, recovered memory, and the power of clairvoyance. This pink beam began to reappear frequently; during one vision, he claimed it communicated to him that his son was sick. He immediately went to the hospital, where his son’s sudden illness was confirmed.
At the 1977 Metz Sci-Fi Convention in France, Dick elaborated on this experience and took it even further. He claimed that he believed that parts of his fictional worlds were real, particularly parts of The Man In The High Castle and the police state aspects of Flow My Tears the Policeman Said. At this convention, Dick states, “People claim to remember past lives, I claim to remember a very different present life.” You can watch the video of this address below, during which there is an enigmatic video scramble right during the meat of his speech.
He goes on to say: “We are living in a computer programmed reality and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed and some alteration in our reality occurs…at some point a variable was changed and because of this an alternative world branched off.”
This statement brings two concepts to mind: the theory of multiple universes, or the multiverse; and the idea of a simulated universe, a matrix of computer programs governing our lives.
It’s an out-there concept, and Philip K. Dick was well aware of it. He starts his address with this gem: “I may be talking about something that does not exist. Therefore, I am free to say everything and nothing.”