Blade Runner Blues
In my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven, I have a chapter trying to put some evidence as to why you might want to believe me when I say the wild things I say. I basically call myself a prophet in the line of Philip K. Dick, and rely on the one very precise factual thing that the Halospace relayed to him to back the validity of his prophethood. The big problem I have in getting people to listen to any of what I say is that I have at one point been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. A huge red flag, n’est-ce pas? Though actually, what the “psychosis” really always has been, in fact, is that I took an acid trip back in July 1991 that I never really came down from. Which doesn’t really help with my credibility either. Heh.
Normally, even with that going on, I have been able to hold down a well paying, professional job as a software engineer. I also have for the best part of 14 years been doing some serious research into artificial intelligence—but there, people who do that (especially on their own) have been known to be a bit kooky, too. And then, there have been certain “episodes” that have come over me, the last of which was so consequential I named it separate from the rest as “The Event”. Which was the reason behind me writing the Memoirs and another book of mine. They basically happen when I stop taking meds. There was something that happened to me back in 1991; like I broke something in the psyche, having some component of it actual physical damage. And now I routinely talk to angels.
When Philip K. had his initial “divine” experiences, which he labeled by date 2-3-74 (Feb. to Mar. 1974), he would occasionally think to ask, “Am I nuts?” And perhaps that was one of the saving graces of his sanity. And maybe he tried not to take what had happened, what was happening to him too seriously, but he knew it had been something major. World shifting, if it was only it was his specific world that was doing that shifting. Though there was definitely something in the air about that time, for in August of that year we saw the resignation of one Richard Nixon, of the highest office in the land. Phil said nothing about having caused that in any way: he did read it as something of a seismic break in the cosmos, however, as in the thinking of some mystics: “as above, so below”.
Phil wasn’t crazy enough to put away. At least, except for his drama where he tried to kill himself—using pills, which one might have foreseen to a body that was used to a variety pharmaceuticals that that was not going to work. He did think he was being visited, though, sometimes from familiar spirits, sometimes from benevolent strangers, sometimes he contended with the darkness. But to give root the whole experience of the last 8 years of his life, in 2-3-74, a pink light had told him of a specific ailment his son was suffering from, and which had been undiagnosed. And when he went to the doctor about it, dadgummit if he hadn’t been spot on.
Other things, though, much of what he was trying to figure out, that’s a lot more scattered. He was sort of all over the place. And it was not like he could go see a doctor to verify any of the things he was claiming. Stuff he even tried to distill, like at the end of VALIS, a friend of mine (who is a wholehearted Dick fan) called it “gibberish”. But the original contact, that diagnosis from the pink beam of light (which seems, upon reading, more like he had been struck by something, then “saw [pink] stars”)—how is something crazy, if it’s true?
I have my own little miracle, and it’s easy enough to brush aside, just by saying, “he’s lying.” But at least don’t think I’ve somehow misinterpreted the event. But one of the characters floating around in my own head, “Mother Nature”, she pulled a lever or something, and you know, I’ve been severely nearsighted most of my life—and suddenly I could see 20/20. That’s not something hallucinations can do! And like I said, there is no reason for you to believe me; I have been told by the higner-ups this happened just so I would have my own root to the experiences of mine. But there you go.
My deeper connection to Dick is to claim something which he himself might deny. At times, he called the entity that he had contact with, after 2-3-74, Thomas, meaning “twin”. He also called whatever it may have been, Firebright, Zebra, Elijah, the Holy Spirit. Myself, I think he was confused. It was nowhere near just one entity, even at a time. And how it may be this is quite a tale, but I’m Thomas—his twin. Yep, the concept is really out there, but I have my reasons why. When all this started for me, in my own date/signifier, 10/7/88, after I had been struck with the light of God, I saw a cosmic egg split, one part light blue, one part pink; and the light blue entered me, and the pink floated off. It took me about 25 years to put together that occurrence with the whole “Thomas” phenomenon.
I have read a bunch of his theories of everything. And I have my own, based on Christian myth, including J. R. R. Tolkien’s Ainulindalë, which may not count as Christian myth, per se, except that he was one. I have written about the whole thing elsewhere, and has much to do with the War in Heaven, why I wrote the books I wrote, the climax of which I call “The Event”. But all of it, the story, the theology, the philosophy, the blame, the beginning and the end, the world, the victory, the answer, the mystery, and the tragedy: there is just one idea at the heart of it all. God did not invent pain.
Sure, I’m crazy, I’m tripping: you talk to people in your head and you think they’re something other than an hallucination. Correct? Well, let me say that I can see it from the “normal” perspective: in the past, you did a lot of drugs, and perhaps they triggered some latent psychosis that you had in your genes, your makeup. You’re still on medication, right? The “episodes” happen when you stop, right? There you have it. Open and shut case.
I suppose if you believe that all those throughout history who claimed to be sent by God—if you think they’re just crazy or ignorant, or a mix of the two—if you lump me in with them, I really can’t complain. Philip K. Dick belongs with them: he belongs with the prophets; he was the prophet that fit the times, which was, in two words, “sensory overload”. Too many people, too many things going on, too many “realities” to keep track of: the prophets of old knew about Israel, and maybe who was attacking them. That was about it. Now we know what’s happening in places like Japan, like right now. And I’m not even talking about this now, with cell phones; the 20th century had live television. And before his day, how likely would he have been to find out what was in Dogon mythology?
I must tell you, you have nothing you will lose out on if you don’t believe me. I’ve found out that as well. For one, Jesus will save you even if you’re not Christian. There are reasons to be one, but that isn’t among them. And if you don’t believe there is a God at all, it might be meaningless to tell you He didn’t make pain to afflict all the generations to come. (There’s more to the story, but that’s the main stab.) You will find, however, that this is a solution to the problem of suffering, and if you take that problem out of the problem of evil, that becomes just a question of free will. What a lovely day.
And I am a prophet, too, of my own day, this day. In two words: “beyond reason”. What is my prophecy? “The Beginning is near.” We’re nowhere near the end, as the song lyrics go. You might ask, why would God bother with a couple of druggies like Phil and me? Drugs, maybe some drugs more than others, are like knocking on a door in the sky. Most of the time, what comes back are streams of sunlight, or sometimes rain; but every once in a while lightning will strike, and Heaven help you if that happens. For then you will intimately understand the ways of electricity, for better or no. For then art though in the very eye of God.
For the full story, from Heaven to Hell and back, check out my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven.