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Daily Wisdom-isms: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

“They”. “Them”. “The Establishment”. “The Machine.” Whatever it’s called, it’s the same thing: The ultimate force plotting the sinister downfall of humanity.  PKD called it “The Empire”. This force is always illusive and only seems exposed through “glitches” in the system.  Fighting the system is futile, because even if you win, you lose.


“The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.

To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox. Whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.” —-Philip K. Dick, “Valis” p. 235


Now think back to every movement that has challenged the system in the past 100 years. What’s happened to them? What happened to the hippie movement? To the Tea Party? To the Occupy movement? Each one was infiltrated and co-opted by the “Empire”.  Each one mutated into what it so desperately fought against. And there you have the paradox.


Spirited away
beyond the boundaries
of secret folklore.

Do you know of what I speak?

Whispers of soft velvet dreams
blanketing you with naked grace.

Three hundred and eleven eternities
inside the black liquid glass
that paves the road
into the heart of nightmares and waking visions.

Awake, you sleeping giants.

Jason DeGray 2012

Daily Wisdom-isms: Rumi

Today’s bit of brightness comes from The Essential Rumi as translated by, Coleman Barks. I can’t get enough of this book. Beautiful metaphysical and love poetry. Almost every poem tugs at my heart. Truly a timeless joy. The selection comes from a poem called, “The Worm’s Waking”. Enjoy!

This is how a human being can change:

there’s a worm addicted to eating
grape leaves.

Suddenly, he wakes up,
call it grace, whatever, something
wakes him, and he’s no longer
a worm.
He’s the entire vineyard
and the orchard too, the fruit, the trunks,
a growing wisdom and joy
that doesn’t need
to devour.

One day, all us worms will wake up and realize we don’t need to devour to survive, that we don’t need to consume to find happiness and completion in our lives.

Spiritual Flow

We are all slaves in chains. Cultivating fields for evil deities. Trapped in a false world. Leading fake lives. All praying for real deaths whether we realize it or not. This is NOT our state of being. It’s the state we’re trapped in. It’s what we fell into. And the Deceiver laughs triumphantly as It builds a twisted creation for us to inhabit. A mighty Machine for us to call God. An illusion for us to worship. A corrupted memory for us amnesic shells of once-greatness to toil in.

This Flow is spiritual. Energizing Taoist Matrices. You do not see the Paths of the Way when you are being blinded by light. Walk carefully, hands outstretched, stumbling over yourself, you are a blind fool journeying toward the final stop on this most Underground of Railroads. Wake up and remember.

Daily Wisdom-isms

Ah, the Tao te Ching. Such a poetic and lovely piece of literature. So simple, yet infinitely complex. I’m partial to the Stephen Mitchell translation. It inspired me very early on in my Search and I attribute a lot of my “Enlightening Up” to the understandings it revealed to me. I hope it can offer some inspiration for you as well. Enjoy!

“Fame or integrity: Which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If you happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.” —-The Tao Te Ching. 44


Silence: When He spoke everything was terror. All trembled at the vibrations of His voice. “What was that?” young particles (soon to be a Universe) asked one another. “That was He of the First Voice”, whispered the rippling Spirit as it gathered the particles together molding them into suns and planets…creating life and matter haphazardly. “What does he want of us?” the infant Universe asked, terrified. For it knew not itself or why it was brought into being. And the spirit replied, OM!

Man: There are two birds fighting over a piece of bread.

Woman: Oh.

Man: Really! Look! Right over there before you—too late. What’re you doing anyway?

Woman: Watching rain puddles. Checking for the slightest movement…There!!

Man: There…what?

Woman: I was hoping they’d fall upward.

Man: Why would rain puddles fall upward?

Woman: Who knows what could happen? It’s rained frogs before.

Man: I don’t understand you.

Woman: Neither do I.

Uncomfortable silence

Silence: Part of the Universe understanding itself is duality. Polar opposites. Everything in creation has one. If not, they very shortly cease to be. What is light without darkness? What is man without woman? Our heroes ponder these questions right now. During the silence. He doesn’t understand she’s only listening for OM. She’s only looking for the concentric rings of the spirit to move her into an awakening. But then again, we all are, whether we realize it or not.

Transcendent Memo

So there you sit—seeing everything and believing in nothing. Are you so brash to think yourself Masterful? Ah, my friend, you are but a student. An apt one, but one who has not been truly tested. The time has come to move on.

Within you are exponential worlds of energy. Increasing themselves into an Eternal Law. There they spin—triangulated by Three and carried off by the Breath of God.

You’ve been there. You’ve seen that gateway into Possibility. You have the key, opened the Way and yet you remain frozen at the threshold of transcendence. What fears paralyze you, intrepid traveler, that you cannot step into the great unknown? Don’t you hear your adventurous heart pounding its longing into your brain? And still you hesitate?

There is nothing to fear. Protection is with you in your travels. You have been armed and prayers invigorate you. And still you hesitate?

Revel in your discomfort. For it is there that amusement begins. In that place control is revealed for the petty illusion it is and the doors of Truth are finally opened. Now step through and be who you are.

True Stories from Dark Alleys

Based on actual events!!! 😀

Walgren Spray was looking for something. That something was very specific. Some might even call it important. But what that something was specifically, Walgren couldn’t say. He just figured he’d know it when he saw it. Then again, he wasn’t really looking for anything specific so he couldn’t find what he was looking for to begin with. Soon, Walgren grew confused and tired of all the confusion and thought it best to forget the whole business.

…Now what were we talking about?…

Walgren Spray wandered into town. Not into any town in particular, mind you. Walgren didn’t make a habit of such nonsense. Wandering into particular towns often caused particular events to cascade into motion. And the worst kinds of events are cascading ones. Cascading events just don’t know when to quit.

Being directionless in no particular town led Walgren Spray to quickly become lost. But can someone who isn’t ever going anywhere become lost? I tell you they most certainly can. And often do for the sheer audacity of it. Lost in thought, Walgren’s misdirection led him off the Path. Now he was lost in a strange town and displaced in a dark alley.
Walgren Spray shivered as darkness inched toward him on all sides. He looked all around but there was no escape. The darkness drew closer cackling in Its empty way and Walgren huddled in a corner, whimpering like a puppy.

“Have you forgotten me so easily, dear Lord?” he calls out as the darkness swallows him whole. Well, he isn’t really swallowed because the darkness doesn’t have a mouth. But that never stopped It from eating like a starved caterpillar about to cocoon. Walgren was no exception. The Black devoured him and never looked back because It has no neck.
Everything was…Nothing. Darkness, darkness everywhere! Oh how terrifying to think! But in the beginning was darkness. Void. The canvas of creation is Black. This is the first lesson Walgren learned while swimming in infinity.

The second lesson he learned was delivered to him by the Frog Prince. A large, warty frog-ish thing with a crown of golden luminescence approached him in the Black and croaked a greeting.

“It’s not what you think. This whole thing man! You croak me? I’ll ribbit your head with the Way of It. Can you croak it?”

Walgren wasn’t exactly sure how to “croak it” or even what “it” was. But he was an Idiot Savant of the highest order and often nodded at appropriate times for no appropriate reason.

This acknowledgement encouraged the amphibious liege and he continued, “When it all WAS, you croak me, it happened all of a sudden. SPLAT!! Pollack, not Rembrandt. You ribbit?”

This time, Walgren shook his head like he didn’t understand because he didn’t understand. But he learned the lesson anyway. The first OM was a yell. A chaotic management of color. This was the second lesson Walgren Spray learned while swimming in infinity.

Walgren spray suddenly discovered himself to be in a desert. A desert can be defined as a sandy place with lots of sand. Or a beach with no ocean. Why was Walgren suddenly in a desert? Don’t ask me. I’m just the narrator. Ask the darkness of reality, It took him there. Regardless, there he was. Surrounded on all sides by the canvas wiping itself clean. Tabula Rosa was making Walgren’s desert smaller by the second. So he started crawling on his belly, frantically trying to escape the inevitable. But we can’t evade the inevitable. With a GULP!, Walgren was once again a speck of light against Nothing. A smushed fly across Its windshield. And he learned. All of reality is a diorama floating in the Black. This was the third lesson Walgren Spray learned while swimming in infinity.

Swimming in infinity isn’t what you might think. It’s not like swimming in a pool in that you don’t get wet. It is like swimming in a pool in that you float around a lot. Walgren had almost resigned himself to an eternity of ceaseless floating when he saw a speck of light way off in the distance. Curious, hopeful, and maybe just a little bit frantic, Walgren began to swim (like a frog) toward that tiny speck. Yes you can frog-stroke in infinity. I’m not sure about doggie paddling or the butterfly stroke.

The closer Walgren go to the speck of light, the more focused it became until it had grown into the smiling face of an angel. He sobbed with relief and threw his arms around the angel’s radiant face.

“What’s wrong?” the angel laughed.

“Pull me out,” begged Walgren, “It won’t let me leave.”

The angel laughed again and tugged on Walgren. He felt his torso clear the edge of reality. Pulled back onto the diorama, so to speak.

“Pull again! I’m almost back!”

The angel tugged again and Walgren cleared the Black and lay rooted once more in reality. This cosmic dollhouse named, “the universe”.

“What did you see?” the angel inquired.

“All was Darkness. None was light,” murmured Walgren.

“To be Forever God in Eternal Night,” echoed the angel.

“What does that mean?”

“What does it seem?”

“It seems a load of nonsense to me.”

“Then nonsense is what it will be,” laughed the angel and disappeared.

Walgren was alone in a strange alley in no particular town. But he was here, at least, and that was something. He could feel the ground beneath his feet, the cold wind on his face and smell the stink of civilization. That was fine with him. So he left the alley and resumed his adventures, because after all, Walgren Spray was looking for something…

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