Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Alan Alford / The Gods of Eden



The Gods of Eden

by Alan Alford

The Biblical tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is based on actual events which happened nearly 200,000 years ago. A comparison of ancient texts with the latest breakthroughs in genetic science reveals amazingly consistent details, which enable us to finally solve the mystery of mankind’s origins. The shocking conclusion is that man was a genetic hybrid, created and manipulated not by God, but by flesh-and-blood, walking, talking ‘gods’.

Man The Slave

A religious belief in One God has dominated the thinking of western society for more than a thousand years, leading to considerable difficulties with the concept of flesh-and-blood ‘gods’. However, such an idea did not present any problems to the world’s first known civilisation – the Sumerians – who lived alongside these divine rulers and depicted them as human-like beings. The Sumerian scribes and their Akkadian successors inscribed clay tablets with a wealth of information about the gods. One such text, commonly known by the name of its hero, Atra-Hasis, describes the background to the creation of man, when the gods themselves were involved in the painstaking extraction of minerals from Earth:
When the gods, as men, bore the work and suffered the toil – the toil of the gods was great, the work was heavy, the distress was much.
Conditions were so severe that, after 40 periods of hardship, the gods rebelled against their leader Enlil. A council of the gods was then called, at which the god Ea (alias Enki) provided the solution:
While the Birth Goddess is present, let her create a Primitive Worker, let him bear the yoke, let him carry the toil of the gods!
The ensuing passages of the Atra-Hasis describe what appears to a modern-day reader as a cloning process, in which the goddess Nin-ti (‘Lady Life’) made fourteen pieces of ‘clay’ and impregnated fourteen ‘birth goddesses’. The first slaves comprised seven males and seven females, referred to as LU.LU – a term indicating a genetic mixture between the primitive hominid Homo erectus and the gods themselves. The event can be dated to around 200,000 years ago when the large-brained Homo sapiens suddenly appeared on this planet.

The Meaning of Eden

The Biblical Garden of Eden is not a mythological place but a real location. In order to understand what happened there, it is necessary to appreciate that the word Eden is derived from the Sumerian term E.DIN. Whilst the first syllable ‘E’ meant ‘Home’, the second syllable was an abbreviation of DIN.GIR, commonly translated as ‘the gods’. Eden or E.DIN was therefore the ‘Abode of the Gods’.
Ancient texts describe more than one abode of the gods, with the Earth being divided geographically between two rival groups, headed by the brothers Enlil and Enki respectively. Whilst the Enkiites inhabited the African continent, the Enlilites occupied Asia and particularly the fertile lands of Mesopotamia. We are thus dealing with both a western Eden and an eastern Eden.
It was in the western Eden, also known as the Abzu or Lower World, that Enki and Ninti created the LU.LU slave, a detail which is confirmed by finds of the oldest Homo sapiens fossils in Africa. It was in these mineral-rich lands that man was put to work in the dangerous process of extracting minerals from deep underground.
A text known as The Myth of the Pickaxe explains what happened next. In the eastern Eden, Enki’s brother and rival, Enlil, was besieged by his underlings, who complained that the slaves were being unfairly monopolised in the Lower World. Enlil, described in the following text as ‘the Lord’, reacted accordingly:
The Lord called forth the AL.ANI, gave its orders. He set the earth splitter as a crown upon its head, and drove it into the Place-Where-Flesh-Sprouted-Forth. In the hole was a head of a man; from the ground, people were breaking through towards Enlil. He eyed the Black-headed Ones in steadfast fashion.
This raid on the Black-headed slaves is also mentioned briefly in the Old Testament, Genesis 2:7-8, where man rather curiously had already been formed when he was ‘put’ in the Garden of Eden by ‘God’.

The Serpent God

The Book of Genesis tale of Adam and Eve is nowadays regarded as a symbolic myth, but several clues suggest that it drew upon an earlier account of a real event. The first clue is that God himself is described as one of the walking talking gods. The second clue is the presence of the Serpent – a well-known symbol for the ancient Egyptian gods, and particularly Enki himself, the genetic scientist who had created man. It is no coincidence that the modern symbol of medicine is a serpent entwined around a staff.
The third clue lies in the outcome of the Serpent’s intervention. Adam and Eve’s embarrassment at being naked, along with Biblical references to the acquisition of ‘knowledge’, clearly suggest that they were the first human pair to become sexually aware. The Old Testament suggests that this change was caused by the consumption of a ‘fruit’. This is a significant detail because, according to the scenario outlined so far, man was created by the gods as a hybrid creature, and hybrids are nearly always born sterile. The tale of sexual knowledge being granted in the Garden of Eden therefore carries a distinct ring of truth.
How exactly did a ‘fruit’ bestow sexual knowledge on Adam and Eve? As mentioned earlier, the Serpent god was Enki, the genetic scientist of the gods, and the ‘fruit’ with which he tempted Eve would thus seem to symbolise a deliberate genetic intervention by him. However, in order to confirm our suspicions, we must first address the questions of motive and opportunity, and we must produce a solid scientific hypothesis on how such a genetic change could have been introduced. The background provided so far provides all but one of the clues we need to reconstruct the event. The missing piece which solves the puzzle is the mysterious ‘Tree of Life’ in the Garden of Eden.

The Tree of Life

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were free to eat from a ‘Tree of Life’ up until the moment they became sexually aware. Only then did the Lord God say:
The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live for ever.
Why the sudden change of mind? Why was it that this god, identified earlier as Enlil, originally wanted man to eat the fruit and live forever, but then decided to withdraw it from Adam and Eve? Why did it suddenly become necessary for him to expel them and safeguard the Tree of Life with a ‘flaming sword’? The answer is amazingly simple. Originally mankind was designed as a slave workforce which could be easily controlled, and his sterility was an essential control mechanism. However, with the granting of sexual knowledge to Adam and Eve, man acquired the means to independent reproduction. The longevity offered by the Tree of Life thus changed from an asset to a liability, creating a serious risk of an out-of-control population explosion.
Is it really possible that consumption of a ‘fruit’ could have delayed Adam and Eve’s ageing process? Genetic scientists have recently discovered that ageing is caused by genetic mutations, and that one of the prime causes of these errors is excess oxygen in the cells. This oxygen, known as ‘free radicals’ causes damage to our cells in the same way that it causes cars to rust and butter to go rancid. Scientists are now investigating the possibility of using a cocktail of drugs to form a protective barrier around the cells, and so extend the human life span. Such a drug could well lie behind the symbolism of the legendary fruit of the Tree of Life.
Anti-ageing drugs, however, were only one method used by the ancient gods to maximise their life spans. As explained in my book Gods of the New Millennium, the primary factor behind the alleged immortality of the gods was almost certainly a genetic inheritance, as evidenced by the male gods’ obsession with marrying their half-sisters. Such a genetic longevity is indeed being sought in the laboratory today. Scientists at the Geron Corporation in America are confident that they can prolong the life of human cells by manipulating the telomeres on the end of the chromosomes. Furthermore, a genome which was artificially enhanced in this way would make perfect sense for a species which was attempting to overcome the time barriers to inter-stellar travel.

Adam and Eve

According to the Old Testament, Adam lived for 930 years, but this amazing life span pales into insignificance compared to the reigns of thousands of years recorded in the Sumerian Kings Lists. These periods once seemed incredible, but are now scientifically plausible, based on the assumption that man was indeed created in the gods’ image, genetically-speaking. Today’s average life span of three score years and ten is the inevitable result of the reproductive orgy and genetic mutations which followed the events in Eden.
Let us now return to the crucial question of how and why the god Enki genetically reprogrammed the human race. Enki’s motive presents us with no problem, other than denting our proud human heritage, for it would seem that his gift of sexual knowledge was simply a spiteful trick on his brother Enlil. Following the raid on the slave camps, mentioned earlier, we can safely surmise that Enki was more than a little upset with his brother, and was awaiting a suitable opportunity for revenge.
How was it that Enki, the Serpent god, turned up in the Garden of Eden? The plausible answer is that Enlil’s raid into Africa captured an insufficient number of male workers. Without the cloning technology and the females that were created to act as surrogate mothers, Enlil was powerless to expand his newly acquired labour force. It was thus inevitable that he would have to seek Enki’s help in setting up a fully independent medical centre.
What happened next? The most likely scenario is that Enki brought two female LU.LUs to the eastern Eden and offered to demonstrate the necessary procedures by carrying out the first cloning operations. Let us assume that one male and one female embryo were implanted into the two females with Enlil blissfully unaware that these embryos had been genetically altered by Enki. The birth of Adam and Eve would thus have appeared perfectly normal, and they would have happily spent their childhood days playing in ‘the Garden’ (or more likely a secure wing of the hospital facility). Then one day the sex genes kicked in (as they do) and the two pubescent children suddenly realised that they were naked. When Enlil saw them hiding with embarrassment, he immediately realised the genetic trick which had been played on him, and the rest is history – the serpent was cursed and the blameless Adam and Eve were expelled.

Conclusions

Modern genetic science has revolutionised our understanding of the Book of Genesis and other ancient texts. The alleged intervention by so-called gods is now supported by a scientifically plausible scenario, which involves two different Edens and two separate genetic creations. It is hardly surprising that the editors of the Bible were extremely confused, and their confusion has handed the Darwinists a walkover victory in the debate on mankind’s origins. But, whilst these mainstream scientists hunt in vain for mankind’s ‘missing links’, interventionist scientists are engaged in a different search which has shattering implications for the new millennium – a search for mankind’s ‘missing gods’.

ALAN F. ALFORD (1961-2011) B Com., FCA, MBA, began his career as a chartered accountant, prior to turning full-time author in 1996. His published books comprise Gods Of The New Millennium (1996), The Phoenix Solution (1998), and When The Gods Came Down (2000). After this, he published his own books: The Atlantis Secret(2001), Pyramid Of Secrets(2003), and The Midnight Sun (2004). His aim was to lay the groundwork for an eventual unification of all the world’s religions by demonstrating that they all reflect the same esoteric myth, and that God is but a personification of that myth. For further details on Alan Alford’s work, see www.eridu.co.uk.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Philip K. Dick / The Man Who Remembered the Future


A Life of Philip K. Dick 

The Man Who Remembered the Future

By ANTHONY PEAKE

December 30, 2013

Philip K Dick with his wife Leslie (Tessa) Busby (married between 1973-1977). Photo courtesy of Tessa Dick.
Philip K Dick with his wife Leslie (Tessa) Busby (married between 1973-1977). Photo courtesy of Tessa Dick.

This year saw the 30th anniversary of the death of one of the most influential writers of all time, the iconic Philip K. Dick. Although virtually unknown outside of science fiction circles, during his lifetime Dick’s intriguing philosophy on the nature of reality has become a staple of the modern Hollywood movie. Huge blockbusters such as Total Recall, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly and Paycheck were loosely based directly on his novels or short stories, and movies such as The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento, The Matrix, The Truman Show and Inception all owe a huge debt to his vision.

One of the most intriguing themes of Dick’s writing was the concept of the “precog,” a person who could “see” the future before it happened. In 1954 Phil introduced the concept of precognition in his novel The World Jones Made. In this novel the eponymous anti-hero Floyd Jones can see exactly one year into the future. From then on “precogs” occur regularly in his novels and short stories, most notably in his 1956 short story The Minority Report, his 1964 novel Martian Time-SlipThe Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritchand many others.
What was it that made Philip K. Dick interested in precognition? It had not been a particular theme within classical science fiction nor had it been part of the books that the young Philip read during his childhood years and early teens. The answer may lie in one simple fact: Philip K. Dick himself was a “precog.” He was not writing fiction but heavily disguised autobiography. Let us review the evidence.
Like many of his schoolmates, Phil was expected to attend the University of California in his hometown of Berkeley. But in order to do so he needed to reach the entrance grades required. This possibility started to fade rapidly when, during a crucial physics test, Phil couldn’t remember the key principle behind the displacement of water. As eight of the ten questions involved this principle, he was clearly in trouble. And then it happened: a voice clearly and precisely explained to the surprised young man the scientific principles he so desperately needed to understand. All Phil had to do was write down the words in his head. Phil received an ‘A’ grade.

Although this “voice” effectively disappeared for many years, Phil continued to sense there was a part of him that was alien in some way. Throughout the 1950s the voice remained silent and then, under somewhat prosaic circumstances, it re-appeared. In an interview with his friend Greg Rickman, recorded in October 1981, Phil described how he had been watching a TV programme about the Galapagos turtles. The fight for survival of one particular female turtle had really upset him. After laying her eggs she had turned in the wrong direction and instead of going towards the sea she crawled inland. Soon the heat had brought about extreme dehydration. She was dying. As she began to fade her legs were still seen to be moving. The film had been edited to give the impression that the dying turtle was imagining she was back in the ocean. He went to bed with this tragic image in his mind. He woke up in the night to hear a voice. In careful and deliberate terms the entity explained to Phil that the turtle actually believed she was in the water:
I was just terribly amazed and dumbfounded to hear that voice again. It wasn’t my own voice because one of the sentences the voice said was “And she shall see the sea” and I would not use the two words “see” and “sea” in the same sentence. It tends to do that, use word choices I don’t use. One time it used the expression “a very poisonous poison” which I would not use.1
It is clear Phil recognised the voice as being the same entity that had helped him in his physics exam all those years before. It was back. He was to continue hearing this entity for many years, but only as a faint background whisper. In another 1981 interview he stated:
I only hear the voice of the spirit when I am falling asleep or waking up. I have to be very receptive to hear it. It’s extremely faint. It sounds as though it is coming from a million miles away.2


The “Voice” Returns

In February and March 1974 the voice was to reappear and stay with him. It all started quite innocently. Phil had been in considerable pain after having a wisdom tooth pulled out. His wife, Tessa, called the dentist who prescribed painkillers. As Tessa did not want to leave her husband alone in such a state of agitation she asked if somebody could deliver the prescription to their house in Fullerton. Half an hour later the doorbell rang and Phil dashed to the door. On opening it he saw a young woman clutching the much-needed painkillers. Phil stood back stunned. Around the young woman’s neck was a necklace with a fish pendant. Phil recognised this as a symbol of something deep within himself. He asked her what it was and she explained it was a sign used by the early Christians as a code to show their secret beliefs to fellow Christians.
Dick later reported this was the first time he experienced the pink light, the same light so central to the Beatles incident (described below). He said a beam of this light shot out of the pendant and entered his brain. This light opened up a part of his brain that had long been asleep. He described it in this way:
I suddenly experienced what I later learned is called anamnesis – a Greek word meaning, literally, “loss of forgetfulness.” I remembered who I was and where I was. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, it all came back to me.3
As we have already mentioned, up until March 1974 what Dick had called “the voice” manifested itself on rare occasions such as the incident during the school exam. But after Phil’s “anamnesis” his hidden partner was to become very active in his life. It decided that Phil had become far too slovenly in his personal appearance. He was made to go out and buy a pair of nasal hair-clippers and it suggested he trim his beard. The entity even had Phil go shopping for new trendy clothes.
It was also concerned about the health of the shared body. It had Phil go through his drugs cabinet and forced him to throw out those medications that were proving problematical to his health. It discovered that wine was too acidic for his sensitive stomach and suggested he change to drinking beer. This being had many skills that Phil sadly lacked, such as business acumen. It realised he had made quite a mess of his tax matters and within weeks the entity sorted this out. It also had Phil sack his agent after it read over his royalty statements and discovered massive irregularities.
All of these were minor interventions compared to its apogee, the saving of Phil’s son’s life. Phil describes how one morning he was lying in a semi-sleep state when he heard the voice announce that his recently born son, Christopher, had a potentially fatal birth defect and that urgent medical attention was needed. Indeed the voice was quite precise when it stated: “Your son has an undiagnosed right inguinal hernia. The hydrocele has burst, and it has descended into the scrotal sac. He requires immediate attention, or will soon die.” Phil told various versions of this story, including one involving him listening to the Beatles and the lyrics of “Strawberry Fields” were changed to give the instruction. Tessa, acting on her husband’s frantic instructions, took Christopher to the family doctor and it was, indeed, confirmed that Christopher had exactly the problem the “voice” had described and surgery was needed.


Dick’s “Homoplasmate”

What was the source of this “voice” and how did it have information unknown to Phil? Phil was to conclude that it was an immortal part of himself, something he called a “plasmate.” He argued this entity had bonded with him and in doing so had taken human form, something Phil termed a “homoplasmate.” He was later to describe how his mind had been invaded by a “transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and had suddenly become sane.” He explained that:
…mental anguish was simply removed from me as if by divine fiat… some transcendental divine power which was not evil, but benign intervened to restore my mind and heal my body and give me a sense of the beauty, the joy, the sanity of the world.
This being, set free from its shackles by Phil’s “anamneses,” was able to use its powers to help Phil precognise the future. Indeed, Phil realised this being had been the source of a series of peculiar precognitive incidents that had taken place throughout his life.
For example, in his 1974 novel Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, Phil has a sequence in which one of his characters, Felix Buckman, is distraught at the death of his twin sister, Alys. He finds himself in an all-night gas station and there he meets up with a black stranger. Buckman and the black man start up a conversation. In the summer of 1978 Phil, uncharacteristically, decided to go out late at night to post a letter. In the darkness he noticed a man loitering by a parked car. Phil posted his letter and on the way back the man was still there. In a second uncharacteristic impulse Phil walked over to the man and asked if anything was the matter. The man replied that he was out of gas and he had no money with him. Much to his surprise Phil found himself digging into his pocket and giving the man some cash. The man asked for Phil’s address and said that he would return later and pay him back. As Phil entered his apartment he realised that the money would be of no use to his new friend. There were no gas stations within walking distance. Phil went back out, found the man, and offered to drive him to the nearest all-night gas station. As he stood watching the man fill up his metal gas can he had an alarming sensation of a déjà vu-like recognition:
Suddenly I realised that this was the scene in my novel – the novel written eight years before. The all-night gas station was exactly as I had envisioned it in my inner eye when I wrote the scene – the glaring white light, the pump jockey – and now I saw something which I had not seen before. The stranger who I was helping was black.4
Phil drove the black man back to his car, they shook hands and Phil never saw him again. He finishes off his description of this event with a slightly chilling comment:
I was terribly shaken up by this experience. I had literally lived out a scene completely as it had appeared in my novel…. What could explain all this?5


Uncanny Precognition

In early 1974 Phil started a long-term correspondence with a graduate student called Gloria Bush. As time went on Phil described to Gloria some of his deepest thoughts, including his fascination regarding his own precognitive abilities. In a letter dated 9 May of that year he described to Gloria a particularly strange recurring dream he experienced in November 1971. In the dreams he always saw what looked like a Mexican city with “square arrangements of streets and yellow cabs.” The yellow cabs suggested to Phil a location in the USA rather than Mexico or Latin America. At the time of these dreams he was living in Marin County, north of San Francisco. In 1974 he was living in Fullerton, a southern suburb of Los Angeles. Right next to Fullerton is a place called Placentia which is a strongly Hispanic area. Phil explains to Claudia that he was convinced this was the place he saw in these dreams.6
But Phil’s dreams in 1975 took a turn to the macabre. On 25 February he wrote a letter to Bush that was very different from those he had sent before. In a fascinating postscript to an otherwise standard letter, he mentions “the entity” again. It had clearly been manifesting itself within his life at that time. How regularly and to what intensity we cannot say as we have no other source other than this letter. However, it is clear Phil wanted to bring things to a head. He told Claudia:
I was up to 5 a.m. on this last night. I did something I never did before; I commanded the entity to show itself to me – the entity which has been guiding me internally since March. A sort of dream-like period passed, then, of hypnogogic images of underwater cities, very nice, and then a stark single horrifying scene, inert but not still; a man lay dead, on his face, in a living room between the coffee table and the couch.7
On 9 May 1974 he wrote another typewritten letter to Claudia stating that he felt “scared.” He didn’t elaborate on this comment but at the bottom of the letter is a handwritten note that states the following: “p.s. What scares me most, Claudia, is that I can often recall the future.”
Almost exactly seven years later Phil had failed to answer a series of phone calls to his condominium. A group of neighbours then found his front door open. One witness, Mary Wilson, entered the condo and described how she initially thought nobody was home, but then she spotted Phil’s feet sticking out from behind a coffee table. She immediately asked her mother to phone Phil’s close friend, science-fiction writer Tim Powers. Powers jumped on his motorcycle to see what he could do to help. In his introduction to The Selected Letters of Philip K Dick Volume Four Powers describes what happened next:
As I was putting the key in the ignition of my motorcycle I heard the sirens of the paramedics howl past me down Main Street. When I got to Phil’s place the paramedics and Mary Wilson were already there and the paramedic had lifted him from between the coffee table and the couch and carried him to his bed, and Mary and I answered a few hasty medical questions about him before they got him into a stretcher and carried him downstairs to the ambulance.8
Phil’s February 1975 dream had come true in stunning detail. He had seen the circumstances of his own death.
Who, or what, was the “entity” that seemed to share Phil’s life and know his future? Surprisingly enough Phil believed this being to be a version of himself that existed outside of time; a being that could observe the whole of Phil’s life from a position of timelessness. Phil believed that during his dreams, in his semi-waking states and during certain times of heightened awareness, this timeless part of himself could communicate and use its foreknowledge to assist him.
In October 1977 Phil made a very curious statement during a radio interview at the Berkeley radio station KPFA FM. He described an incident that took place in 1951:
Back at the time I was starting to write science fiction, I was asleep one night and I woke up and there was a figure standing at the edge of the bed, looking down at me. I grunted in amazement and all of a sudden my wife woke up and started screaming because she could see it too. She started screaming, but I recognised it and I started reassuring her, saying that it was me that was there and not to be afraid. Within the last two years – let’s say that was in 1951 – I’ve dreamed almost every night that I was back in that house, and I have a strong feeling that back then in 1951 or ’52 that I saw my future self, who had somehow, in some way we don’t understand – I wouldn’t call it occult – passed backward during one of my dreams now of that house, going back there and seeing myself again. So there really are some strange things…9
If the figure at the end of the bed was a future version of Phil then that version would have foreknowledge of all Phil’s life-experiences between 1951 and 1977. Indeed, if Phil’s interpretation can be taken at face value, we have here evidence that in some way his mind from the mid-1970s was manifesting itself back within its own past.


Vertical Vs. “Orthogonal Time”

But Phil was not simply happy with accepting this may be the case, he wanted to create a model to explain such a belief. Immediately after the strange events of February and March 1974, or simply 2-3-74 as he termed them, Phil started to keep a journal. Initially in hand-written form and later as page after page of typewritten sheets with diagrams and side notes, this became known as his Exegesis. In effect this was Phil’s attempt to understand the source and meaning of the visions and revelations that he continued to receive until his death in March 1983.
We are fortunate that in November 2011 a single volume containing all the main sections of this huge work was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Running to 976 pages this is a fascinating read and in it one can discover Phil’s own understanding of how a part of him could see the future. His solution was a radical re-interpretation of time itself – something Phil called “orthogonal time.”
He proposes there are two variations of time, both of which exist at right angles to each other. We are usually only aware of “Vertical Time,” but there is another which runs at right angles to our space-time. He calls this “Orthogonal Time.” If we could perceive both times simultaneously it would look cubical, hence his term cubic time. He proposed that events are actually located within this cubic time. As such the idea of cause and effect cannot be applied within this model. Causality can run in reverse or act simultaneously with an event in the past or the future. In other words within orthogonal time all past and future states exist at this moment. In the whole of the Exegesis Phil makes one passing reference to a physicist by the name of Herman Minkowski, the teacher of the much more famous Albert Einstein. With reference to his own precognitions, Phil wrote:
This is a disturbing new view but oddly enough it coincides with my dream experiences, my precognition of events moving this way from the future; I feel them inexorably approaching, not generated from the present, but somehow already there but not yet visible. If they are somehow “there” already, and we encounter them successively (the Minkowski block universe; events are all already there but we have to encounter them successively), then this view might be a correct view of time and causality.10
Phil suggested that the basic premise of his short story Adjustment Team – that there exists a way in which the past can be “adjusted” to change the present – may be another of his fictionalised accounts of something that really takes place.11 
Phil believed that part of us exists within orthogonal time and this alternate-consciousness can, under certain circumstances, communicate with the every-day self that perceives only linear time. This was the source of “the voice” and VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System, Dick’s gnostic vision of one aspect of God). This is how, in dreams, Phil found himself back in his own past observing an earlier version of himself. In this way “the voice” was his own voice speaking from his own future. This entity created his plot-lines using material from his own future. Was this how the meeting with the black man at the gas station ended up in A Scanner Darkly? All information from all parts of our life is readily available to a mind open to receive it. Phil suggested in a letter to his friend Patricia Warrick, written in September 1981, that:
The universe is an information retrieval system; which is to say, everything that has ever happened, ever been, each arrangement and detail – all are stored in the present moment as information; what we lack is the access or entry mechanism to this stored information… where the past of each object – all its prior manifestations along the Form axis – this is all stored in the present object and can be retrieved.12
This is again astounding evidence that Phil seemed to be accessing information from some form of infinite data-field. It is very much in keeping with the work of modern-day researchers such as Ervin Laszlo and Bernard Haisch, both of whom suggest this “library” is, in fact, something known as the Zero-Point Field.13
Is this the answer to the mystery of Phil’s precognitions? It certainly makes sense. The future and the past are simply illusions. Phillip K. Dick and every being that reads this article consist of two independent consciousnesses. One lives in linear time and the other in orthogonal time. And in this way we may all be immortal. After all, the transition between life and death takes place in linear, not orthogonal, time.
In his novel Ubik Phil created a concept known as “Half Life.” This is a timeless place, hovering between life and death. Tibetan Buddhists call this the “Bardo State.” Is this from where Phil’s eternal mind communicated with him? To paraphrase the title of one of his most intriguing books, could it be we all exist in a place where “Time is Out of Joint”?
For more on the above, read Anthony Peake’s book The Man Who Remembered the Future: A Life of Philip K. Dick.


Footnotes

1. Gregg Rickman, Philip K. Dick: The Last Testament, Fragments West, 1985, 23
2. John Boonstra, Horselover Fat and The New Messiah, Hartford Advocate, 22 April 1981, reproduced inPKD Otako #06, 22
3. ‘How to Build a Universe that Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later’, published as an introduction to I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon, Doubleday, New York, 1985
4. Lawrence Sutin (editor), The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick, Vintage, 1995, 268
5. Ibid., 269
6. The Selected Letters of Philip K Dick, 1974, Underwood-Miller, 1991, 101
7. Philip K. Dick, Letter to Claudia Krenz, 25 February 1975
8. The Selected Letters of Philip K Dick, 1975-76, Underwood-Miller, 1992, ix
9. Richard A Lupoff,  A Conversation With Philip K Dick, Vol. 1, no. 2, August 1987, 45-54
10. Philip K. Dick, The Exegesis of Philip K Dick, Hachette Littlehampton, Kindle Edition.
11. Ibid.
12. The Selected Letters of Philip K Dick, 1980-1982, Vol. 6, Underwood Books, 2009, 262
13. Ervin Laszlo, Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything, Inner Traditions, 2007

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ANTHONY PEAKE is the author of a series of highly acclaimed books, all of which develop a hypothesis that he terms “Cheating the Ferryman.” In these books he presents an explanation for all of Philip K. Dick’s extraordinary experiences. His book on Dick is The Man Who Remembered the Future: A Life of Philip K. Dick

New Daw No. 139 (July-August 2013)



The 100 best novels No 15 / David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)



The 100 best novels: No 15 – David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)


David Copperfield marked the point at which Dickens became the great entertainer and also laid the foundations for his later, darker masterpieces

Robert McCrum
Monday 30 December 2013 07.29 GMT


David Copperfield was the first book Sigmund Freud gave his fiancee, Martha Bernays, on their engagement in 1882. It was the gift of a lifelong Anglophile to his beloved, a book encrypted with peculiar meaning to a man with a special fascination for the complicated relation of autobiography to storytelling.
Freud's choice – and Dickens's own opinion that David Copperfield was "of all my books" the one he liked "the best" – helps clarify an impossible selection midway through the 19th century. At the outset, I'm going to anticipate your howls of rage. Some Dickens aficionados will be dismayed. Why not Pickwick Papers? Or, better still, Great Expectations? Or Bleak House? Or Little Dorrit? And why not, here in the holiday season, that festive evergreen A Christmas Carol? Or the granite brilliance of Hard Times? Yes, in different ways, all masterpieces. Everyone has their favourite. This is mine.


I love David Copperfield because it is, in some ways, so un-Dickensian. The story – so appealing to Freud – is of a boy making his way in the world, and finding himself as a man and as a writer. In the first half, before Dickens's irrepressible storytelling kicks in and the motor of the novel starts to hum with incident, we find him almost meditating on his literary beginnings. Dickens is one of the first to acknowledge the inspiration of the emerging English canon: Robinson CrusoeThe Adventures of Roderick Random and Tom Jones, the books he finds in his father's library. His own early novels (Oliver TwistNicholas Nickleby and so on) are largely comic picaresques. But here, he focuses on the interior life of his hero, as if saving the plot for later.
The second half of David Copperfield displays Dickens at his magnificent, and often uneven, best. There are the characteristic prose arpeggios, the virtuoso similes and metaphors, and the parade of timeless characters: Mr Micawber, Mrs Gummidge, Betsey Trotwood, Barkis, Uriah Heep, Steerforth, Mr Spenlow (of Spenlow and Jorkins) and Miss Mowcher.


At the same time, Copperfield and Dickens, autobiographer and novelist, become so indistinguishable, the one from the other, that the novelist no longer has the necessary detachment from his material. When the lovely, tranquil reflections on boyhood of the opening pages become replaced by the urgent demands of plot-making, protagonist and author morph together in ways that are not completely successful, though always revealing. As the novel builds to a climax, in which Heep is imprisoned and Mr Micawber, free of his debts, finds redemption as a colonial magistrate in Australia, Dickens succumbs to the pressure to please a hungry public with a satisfying fictional feast. Henceforth in his work, Dickens will become the supreme Victorian entertainer and moralist, the author of those mature, and darker, masterpieces, Bleak HouseHard Times and Great Expectations.

And so, as a key transitional text, David Copperfield becomes the antechamber to his subsequent mastery. But the door into the past is shut for ever; he can never go back. The young man daydreaming about literature among his father's old books has been replaced by the bestselling writer, "the Inimitable". Perhaps this was the poignant truth about creativity that so moved Freud.

Joanne Page as Dora Spenlow and Ciaran McMenamin as David Copperfield in a 1999 BBC adaptation of the novel Dickens considered his best. Photograph: John Rogers/BBC ONE
Note on the text
The novel that Dickens described as his "favourite child" went through many titles, from Only Once A Year and Mag's Diversions to The Copperfield SurveyThe Copperfield Confessions and The Last Will and Testament of David Copperfield. Eventually, with serial publication looming, he settled on The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to be Published On Any Account).

It is hard definitively to identify the true first edition. Following serial publication from May 1849 to November 1850 – in 19 monthly one-shilling instalments, each containing 32 pages of text and two illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz") – the novel, now simply inscribed David Copperfield on the title page, was published in a single volume of 624 pages on 14 November 1850 by Bradbury & Evans of Bouverie Street.
In any event, Dickens's MS, which is now in the V&A, had already undergone significant revision in the transition from magazine to book form. Three further editions (1858, 1859 and 1867) saw additional changes. The most scholarly edition to date is probably the text edited by Nina Burgis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981).


Other essential Dickens titles
Pickwick Papers (1837); A Christmas Carol (1843); Bleak House (1853); Hard Times (1854); A Tale of Two Cities (1859); Great Expectations (1861); Our Mutual Friend (1865)



THE 100 BEST NOVEL WRITTEN IN ENGLISH






Sunday, December 29, 2013

Andrew Wyeth / A Work to Admire


Andrew Wyeth
Trodden Weed, 1951
Tempera on Panel

Andrew Wyeth
Boots (Study for Trodden Weed), 1951

Christophe Thornock
ANDREW WYETH
A Work to Admire

I have a great affinity for the work of the late Andrew Wyeth. Finding his works when I was about 13 or so, really cemented a desire to look further into what it meant to be an artist. I had found books of reproductions at the local library and was so surprised by the power of the simplicity in the paintings. These works have always felt honest. This painting is one of my favorites. According to his autobiography, it is a self portrait. He is wearing a pair of French cavalier boots, once owned by Howard Pyle (the great American illustrator and teacher). After a surgery, Wyeth would wander the hills around Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in order to regain his strength.
In Wyeth's own words, "As I walked, I had to watch my feet because I was so unsteady. And I suddenly got the idea that we all stupidly crush things underfoot and ruin them-without thinking. Like the weed here getting crushed. That black line is not merely a compositional device-it's the presence of death. Before my operation I had been looking at Albrecht Durer's works. During the operation they say my heart stopped once. At that moment I could see Durer standing there in black, and he started coming at me across the tile floor. When my heart started, he, Durer-death-receded. So this painting is highly emotional-dangerous and looming. I like it."


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christian Coigny / Femmes


Christian Coigny

FEMMES








Yurie Nagashima / Bodies


Yurie Nagashima, Kazoku, 1993

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the photographer Yurie Nagashima whose photographs of herself and her family in the nude instigated a dramatic shift in Japanese visual culture. After exhibiting her phenomenally successful Kazoku series in 1993, Nagashima continued to interrogate photographic subjects related to gender, sexuality, representation and the body.
 
Yure Nagashima, Onion Boob and Sarah Lucas, Self-portrait with Fried Eggs, 1996

In one photograph, she holds an onion in front of her left breast while holding her t-shirt up by her teeth. This form of visual allegory and humorous photographic intervention locates Nagashima alongside artists such as Sarah Lucas who, in one photograph, placed two fried eggs in situ of her breasts. In the case of Lucas, the reference to female fertility and reproductive organs signified by the eggs is clear. In Nagashima’s case however, the onion is more difficult to locate since it does not immediately signify either the male or the female body. Instead, the onion might refer to the trope of perfectibility: the emphasis on aesthetic perfection of fruit and vegetable that is common in Japanese department stores. The perfect watermelon, the perfect carrot, the perfect onion, is, above all, determined by its symmetrical and even visual appearance. Nagashima’s photograph appears to question, even ridicule, this paradigm closely associated with consumerism and the representation of gender. Here, I am referring to consumerism in an economic sense but also consuming food as metaphor for consuming the female body. The onion thus functions as a pun on consuming and being consumed: in contrast to the soothing milk of the mother’s breast, Nagashima purposefully chooses a vegetable known not only for it’s acidic taste, but also, for causing tears. The unpeeling of the onion, and the allegorical pain associated with it, becomes the complete antithesis to the warmth associated with the mother.
Another photograph in which she has painted her breasts in the shape of two cartoon characters suggests that Nagashima’s preferred subject is her own body. Here, the body is not a neutral canvas or a corporeal ground zero, rather, the body functions as a potentially humorous even uncontrollable form explored by the camera. The physical act of taking a self-portrait is more closely located within the realm of performance art as Nagashima interrogates a corporeal and spatial interior by turning the camera on herself. In other words, the intervention takes places in Nagashima’s personal sphere via her body, while the camera acts as documentary device. Similar to the onion photograph, the cartoon characters serve as a visual pun that also acts to defamiliarize body parts. The cartoon characters have the effect of setting the photograph off from the classical iconography of the Nude and enabling it instead to act as asignifier for specific bodily functions. The defamiliarization of body parts also acts to desexualize the body as a whole. This visual methodology is perhaps most apparent in This Time, where Nagashima makes another direct gender specific reference to a bodily function. In his concept of the ‘grotesque body’, the literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin argued that references to bodily excrement can act as a powerful device to invert a hegemonic social order. The allegorical blood on the floor situates the body outside of stereotypical representations of the body in mass media, consumer culture or pornography, placing it instead within a discourse of necessity and privacy.

Yurie Nagashima, This Time
It is ironic that as much Nagashima explores narratives of private life in her photographs, she was herself in the meantime turned into a celebrity figure in Japan. For a period of time in the mid-1990s, newspapers, magazines, TV chat shows, and the so-called ‘wide shows’, relentlessly pursued Nagashima in hopes of featuring the up-and-coming artist in their programming. With the emergence of a number of women photographers in a relatively short time period, from 1993 until about 1996, critics referred to Nagashima as a leader of a ‘girl photography boom’. Nagashima fiercely sought to distance herself from this label and, in the process, became critical of the media attention that her work has provoked.
Yurie Nagashima, Red Undwear
In as much Nagashima appears to engage in the pleasure of looking and being looked at in her photographic series Kazoku, in more recent photographs Nagashima’s gaze back to the spectator is noticeably absent. In one photograph, Nagashima’s back is literally turned towards the spectator. Viewed within the context of Nagashima’s resistance towards the increasing media attention, this gesture signifies her growing desire to be left unmediated. Even if this photograph relates to Nagashima turning away from the camera, from representation, from our gaze, she is still using her body to communicate this message. By performing to the camera, by deconstructing socially constructed gender identities, and by becoming object as much as subject of her photographs, the many bodies of Yurie Nagashima have reset the parameters of photographic discourse in her native Japan.
Please also read my post The Family Photos of Yurie Nagashima.