Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS) - reading notes

I'm having to look up almost every second word to decipher VALIS, the book for the next few week's PKD course. so, some reading notes & research below ...

VALIS - by Philip K Dick

preface of the book
VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intel-
ligence System, from an American film): A
perturbation in the reality field in which a
spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex
is formed, tending progressively to subsume
and incorporate its environment into arrange-
ments of information. Characterized by quasi-
consciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth
and an armillary coherence.
-Great Soviet Dictionary
Sixth Edition, 1992

There is a line in the I Ching reading, "Always ill but never dies." (pg 10)

"Philip K. Dick’s Divine Interference." by Erik Davis

The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by R. Crumb


nous, or noos (Greek philosophy) Religious Groups in Literature
Platonism California: Oakland 1971 Dick, Philip K. Valis. New York: Bantam (1981); pg. 17.

"Yet, in all fairness, I have to admit that God--or someone calling himself God, a distinction of mere semantics--had fired precious information at Horselover Fat's head by which their son Christopher's life had been saved. Some people God cures and some he slays. Fat denies that God slays anyone. Fat says, God never harms anyone. Illness, pain and undeserved suffering arise not from God but from elsewhere, to which I say, How did this elsewhere arise? Are there two gods? Or is part of the universe out from under God's control? Fat used to quote Plato. In Plato's cosmology, noos or Mind is persuading ananke or blind necessity--or blind chance, according to some experts--into submission. Noos happened to come along and to its surprise discovered blind chance: chaos, in other words, onto which noos imposes order (although how this 'persuading' is done Plato nowhere says.) " [Also pg. 32, 220.]

week 5 VALIS


Philip K. Dick's Divine Interference - by Erik Davis (originally posted on nettime)

In the excepts of the Exegesis reworked into the "Tractates Crytptica Scriptura" that close the novel VALIS, Dick expresses the MIT computer scientist Edward Fredkin's view that the universe is composed of information. The world we experience is a hologram, "a hypostasis of information" that we, as nodes in the true Mind, process. "We hypostasize information into objects. Rearrangement of objects is change in the content of information. This is the language we have lost the ability to read."[4] With this Adamic code scrambled, both ourselves and the world as we know it are "occluded," cut off from the brimming "Matrix" of cosmic information. Instead, we are under the sway of the "Black Iron Prison," Dick's terms for the demiurgic worldly forces of political tyranny and oppressive social control. Rome is the eternal paragon of this "Empire," whose archetypal lineaments the feverish Dick recognized in the Nixon administration.

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