Monday, April 03, 2017

Let's Blog VALIS! Part 7 of 14.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;

7: In which Phil narrates a dream about his Father’s house, and the rest of the stuff that goes on is more or less batshit insane

Sadassa Ulna – that isn’t a Russian name. Those are the first words Philip K. Dick managed to enunciate from the verbal aspects of his phosphene hallucinations. [“How Much Does Chaos Scare You? Politics, Religion and Philosophy in the Fiction of Philip K. Dick”, Aaron Barlow] And this chapter is all pretty much straight reportage about his Theophany, which is why it is more or less batshit insane. And why it is so dense that I won’t even attempt to summarise it. It pretty much covers the same territory as the well known R. Crumb comic, which is much more entertaining than any plan text from me.

Barlow’s book equates the three-eyed creatures with claws with the Sibyl of Cumae, by the way.


The Empire never ended.

August 1974 wasn’t a crippling blow to the Empire at the hands of the immortal plasmate. It was a minor rearguard victory, coming between catastrophic defeats for the rebellion. The theophany isn’t exactly in between, but it is close enough, to those two defining evil dates of the second half of the 20th century: January 22nd 1973 and 17th April 1975.


On the other hand: credo sanctorum communionem.

The idea that the community of saints can assist one another across space and time is perfectly orthodox. ‘Thomas’ means ‘twin’, as you know, so it is a great name to call your personality living at another time and place.


I have had a dream of another place myself, a city that seemed to be in southern California, a sprawling gritty place where it seemed always to be twilight or night. In real life I was twelve, but in the dream, I was about seventeen and driving around the archetypal sprawling suburban California streets. My best friend in the dream was a girl with short grey-blonde hair and a cynical air, and I was completely at ease around her, whereas in real life the only girl I was friends with was my cousin Jessica and all the others made me tongue-tied and nervous. This girl was my best friend, but I was in love with another girl, a tall Hispanic girl with long black hair, and the other girl who was my best friend was helping set me up with her. The face of the grey-blonde-haired girl in my dream was a bit like the face of my wife, who I first met five years later, but crueller and not as pretty. The I in my dream was not a  supercompetent adult in a wish-fulfillment way, but more relaxed and competent than twelve year old me, in much the same way as real seventeen or eighteen year old me would be.

I never dreamed about being me that me again, or about those two girls. Of course all three of them must really be slices of me.


I didn’t say anything before about Sherri’s last name, Solvig. Is this related, perhaps, to the Solveig of Peer Gynt? This name can mean ‘strong house’, ‘daughter of the sun’, or ‘sun’s path’. In Peer Gynt it is etymologically linked to the sun. 

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