We are all aware of television’s ability to turn us into mindless zombies. But what if television could actually get inside our heads? What if our brains could be hacked and our most intimate thoughts, feelings and desires were broadcast for the world to see? Ben Shriver is about to find out…
Ben had been droning away at his desk for almost half a day when he received the package. It had his name on the card and was wrapped in what appeared to be golden ribbon. He unwrapped it carefully with trembling hands and the box exploded with sound.
“Congratulations Ben Shriver! You are today’s lucky Celebrilottery winner!”
His coworkers stopped their work and peered at him from over their cubicles.
“Grats Shriver,” said Gerald Manly, his cubicle mate. “It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving jackass.”
“Thanks Gerry,” Ben said, all smiles. Inside the box was a baseball sized object that took to the air hovering about three feet from Ben’s head. The lens cap slid open revealing an ominous red eye.
“Congratulations, Ben Shriver,” said a voice being pumped through tiny speakers on the hovering camera. “We here at Celebrilottery would like to welcome you to a once in a lifetime experience. Are you ready?”
“Do you give us permission to suspend your Biochip functions?”
Brain hacking my ass! Ben smiled, thinking of Mika’s unfounded worries. “Yes. Let’s do this!”
Vertigo seized him suddenly. When it subsided, he felt like he was in a dream. He was cognizant of what was going on around him, but unable to affect it. He had effectively become a spectator inside his own body. His arms and legs jerked awkwardly for a few seconds then a voice in his skull spoke. Hey there Benny Boy. It’s Elias Cartel here. You know who I am?
“Yes.” Ben answered. Elias Cartel was probably his favorite comedian on the circuit right now. “It’s an honor to work with you.”
Well I’m the one doing all the work, laughed Cartel. Let’s get started, huh? Do I have permission to suspend your Biochip for the duration of the show and use your voice and body in non-harmful, though potentially embarrassing ways?
“Yes.” With that one statement, Ben Shriver surrendered control of his body.
Excerpt taken from “Twisted Yarns” by Jason DeGray. Get it on Amazon now!
Swifting is a short story I wrote about hopping between parallel universes. Always remember: Nothing is impossible in the Realm of Possibility! Enjoy!
“How do I tell her? How can I tell her? There’s no way she’d believe me. Hell, sometimes I don’t even believe me. How can this be real? It can’t be real. Can it?” His knuckles whitened under his grip on the bathroom sink. But he was completely immersed in his thoughts and didn’t notice. Nor did he notice the intense half-insane face staring back at him in the mirror. To be honest, he didn’t know who he was anymore. Every time he looked in the mirror lately, he felt like he was staring at someone else—a different version of himself who was always something of a stranger.
“Forget it. I can’t do it. I can’t tell her,” he announced to his reflection. Then thought better of it. “What am I saying? You don’t fuckin’ care. You’re somewhere else right now. Every version of yourself is simultaneously shifting into a different place. You’re probably shitting yourself right along with me. Well it’s good to know that I’m not going crazy alone.” He laughed softly at his own joke and brushed his teeth. He couldn’t tell her, but he had to tell someone. He was going out.
“You can’t tell her shit man. You got that? You can’t utter a fucking word of this crazy shit to her. She’ll see you for the nutjob you are. Don’t. Say. A goddam word. You hear me?”
He had to hand it to Darren. He had a way of being himself no matter where he was. He admired that about him and it was largely the reason he was his best friend. He was a constant. When a person can’t keep their consciousness stable, constants help them cope. Constants offer grounding in a world that changes more than it stays the same. Darren was who he was. Short. Bristly. Built like a tank. Cursed like a sailor. He made no qualms about who he was or what he thought. He could always be trusted to speak truth, no matter what that truth may be. And most importantly, that never changed about him.
“Dude, you don’t understand,” he told Darren, “Shit is getting bad between us. Bad. All our fights end now with her telling me to go find someone else. I’m dying over here. And don’t get me started on our Bella…Fuck, man. I don’t even know which version of her I’m gonna get. Is this a place where we’re together? Or are we at each other’s throats again? It wears on a guy, ya know?”
Sometimes Darren regretted buying into Kurt’s story when he sold him drugs the first time. Time travel or universe hopping or other shit he was sure came straight from science fiction novels was what the guy talked about. Darren didn’t know for sure, he just thought the guy was kooky and amusing. He was pretty convinced that the drugs were only making whatever the fuck was wrong with Kurt worse. He almost felt bad for the guy. He really did. But his money was good. And the story was good at least. Better than most of the junkie insanity he listened to on a daily basis. But really, he put up with Kurt because he bought the drinks. And a person that did that was a friend, as far as Darren was concerned.
“Then fucking leave her already, man. Shit. It’s always coming back to that woman poppin’ off or doing some stupid shit. Man, that’s prolly why you’re going crazy. She’s driving you straight off a cliff. I read an article that talked about how women nagging their men all the time actually kills them quicker. It’s true. Science and shit. But not you, man. You’re over here all, ‘but I think I might possibly love her sometimes when I don’t hate her fucking guts’. It’s bullshit man. Fucking bullshit. And you need to man up and opt out before you end up in a damn nuthouse or worse.”
“Yeah I hear that,” he said morosely. But he wasn’t really paying attention. He’d heard all this before. He knew this narrative by heart because it was whata he should be doing. But he couldn’t. He could never bring himself to ‘opt out’ as Darren put it. So he changed the subject. “Lately, I’ve been getting this visions. These mental flashes of these other versions of me offing themselves one by one. In all these different and weird ways. It’s like it’s moving down the line and I’m trying to keep ahead of it.”
“Oh man. You’re back to that freaky multiple universes shit? So tell me this: what happens when one of these other you’s puts one in his skull? Why don’t all of you die then?”
“It’s not how it works. We are connected to our other selves, but they are each an independent clone born of the choices we didn’t make. I think that movie ‘What the Bleep Do We Know’ explains it best.”
“What the Bleep Do We Know.”
“Never heard of it.”
“Huh. Probably not a movie here, then,” Kurt said to himself.
“Or you coulda just dreamed it up in that nutty head of yours.”
Darren checked the time on his smart phone. “Well as much as I love our little chat, I’ve got other business.”
Kurt had another beer, musing about his next move when he noticed the woman sitting at the bar. He hadn’t seen her before, he’d been too engrossed in venting to his friend. But damn if she wasn’t staring at him without staring at him; trying to act nonchalant and failing miserably. He normally wasn’t a brazen man—never could find the courage to talk to an attractive woman—and this stranger was definitely attractive. Brunette hair failing over her shoulders and halfway down her shapely back with a face of a movie star and body to match. But this wasn’t a pick up. She was watching him. Had been watching him and he wanted to know why.
He got up and made his way to the restroom where he splashed cold water on his face while trying to muster some grit. Whenever he emerged from the bathroom, she was still there stirring ice in an empty glass. He wasted no time in approaching her lest his grit fizzle out, and said in his best imitation of a macho voice, “Hey there.”
She looked him up and down, making no effort to hide the fact she was studying him before replying, “I need another drink.”
“I don’t work here. You better tell the bartender.”
“I know that,” she snapped smoothly. “I’m asking you to buy me a drink.”
“O.K…Wow. That was really forward.”
“You gonna buy the drink or what?”
“Yeah. Sure. Why not?” Kurt signaled for another round and sat down next to the intriguing brunette. “So what’s your name?”
“No? Your name is No? Man your parents were mean.”
She laughed and it sounded like a thousand crystals tinkling together. “I meant, no you can’t get in my pants. You’re with someone.”
“How d’you know that?”
“You’ve got a total dad bod going on. Vain enough to know you should look good but too lazy to give a shit.”
“Oh that’s hilarious,” the sour tone in Kurt’s voice was unmistakable.
The Brunette smiled disarmingly. “Look I get it. Depression can do that to people.”
“So now I’m depressed?”
“Definitely. You failed as a photographer. You failed as a—what was it you called it?—Oh yeah. Free lance journalist. You’ve failed as a partner to your wife. You’ve failed as a father. And most importantly, you’ve failed to remain rooted in one place for years now. Ever since your ‘accident’ with the train.”
The color fled Kurt’s face and he stumbled out of his chair. The barstool clattered to the floor as he backed away. “Who…who are you?”
“I’m a friend.” Her disarming smile seemed infinitely less so, taking on the qualities of a sinister leer instead.
He backed quickly toward the door. “Who the fuck ARE you? How do you know about me? About my Swifting?” The first few weeks after he realized his universe hopping, Kurt did an internet search and found an online forum dedicated to this very phenomenon, which they called “Swifting”. The forum was a safe, anonymous place full of people like him where stories were shared, theories discussed, lost loves and lives lamented, but most importantly, it offered camaraderie. It didn’t take very long before the forum became a constant and those on it like real friends. Lately though, it had been quiet and Kurt couldn’t help but wonder why.
“Kurt! Don’t you dare split without paying,” growled the bartender. A burly vet Kurt had no intention of pissing off.
“Hey yeah. About that, I’m gonna leave it right here.” He threw a wad of cash on the table nearest him and bolted out the door.
“What the hell was that about?” the bartender asked the Brunette.
“I don’t know. Threatened by beauty, perhaps?”
The bartender grunted and shuffled over to collect the money from the table, “Damn nut jobs. City’s full of em.”
SWIFT_K: Any1 on right now?
GRL_BLU: Hey. What’s up K?
SWIFT_K: Just had some crazy shit go down.
SWIFT_K: This girl at the bar started talking to me like she knew about me. About my Swifting.
INCOMING PM FROM GRL_BLU
GRL_BLU: I think you should run.
SWIFT_K: WTF?? Y???
GRL_BLU: Look. I don’t know NEthing for sure. OK?
GRL_BLU: I was chatting with Kid_Kode the other day. Said he met some1 at Mal Mart. Some bald guy, I think. Said dude knew a lot about him.
SWIFT_K: WTF??? Where is Kode? He on?
GRL_BLU: No. Hasn’t been on in 3 days.
SWIFT_K: Shit. Shit. Shit! We should def not be logging on here anymore.
GRL_BLU: I know. But this place is a constant.
SWIFT_K: Not anymore.
GRL_BLU: I guess… Good luck, K. I’ll email you my info if you ever need to get in touch.
GRL_BLU: Be careful OK?
SWIFT_K: You know me. 😀
Kurt shut down the computer and immediately started stuffing clothes into a duffel bag.
“Kurt, what are you doing?” Esme, his wife, stood in the doorway holding their daughter.
“Baby, we gotta go. Get you and Bella packed. Quickly!”
“Where are we going?” she had known Kurt for what seemed like lifetimes. She knew every quirk, every trigger for mood swings. At least she thought she did. Lately, he hadn’t been the same. Almost as if he were a new person every few days. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Baby, we don’t have a lot of time. We aren’t safe…I don’t think…”
“Stop it, Kurt. You’re scaring me.” The baby agreed and started crying, sensing the tense and uncertain energy around her parents.
He briefly explained his encounter at the bar, leaving out the Swifting details.
“So you think this woman is after you to kill you? Why?”
Kurt searched his imagination for a plausible lie to go along with his fantastic truth. “I, uh, have been on these online forums. Umm…grassroots activist type stuff. And people started disappearing off the forums lately. Word is, they got approached by someone with a lot of information about them before they disappear.”
“We gotta call the police!”
“No!” Kurt exploded and then wrangled his control back. “That’s not—I don’t think they can—or will—help us. Please just pack your shit and go to your mother’s.”
“My mother lives in Arizona. You know that.”
“Yeah. Perfect. Get there. Fast. I’ll drop you guys off at the airport. Catch the next flight you can.”
“What’re you gonna do?”
“I’ve got to figure this out. I’ll catch up to you when things have calmed down.”
She stared at him, boring into his soul, trying to decide if he was serious or lying to get her out of town so he could fuck around with whatever little bitch he’d been screwing. Kurt had been acting weird lately, and she automatically attributed his odd behavior to cheating. She was convinced that was the reason for the deterioration of their relationship. It had to be. Nothing else made sense.
He shifted uncomfortably beneath her gaze. “Esme, please. I’m serious about this. It’s not safe. Please. If not for me then for Bella. Go to your mother’s!”
“O.K.” she finally conceded. “For Bella. I have two weeks I can take. Will you have your government-wants-to-kill-me shit figured out by then?”
“For sure. I’ll see you there in a week. Tops. Now please, pack and let’s go already!”
Death and life. Life and death. Like everything in our world, they are polar opposites. One extreme cannot exist without the other. As students in this realm of learning, we are inevitably drawn to these extremes. But extremes of any kind are a trap. They overwhelm us. Blind us to truth and eventually become stumbling blocks along our path. But there comes a time in every great epoch of history when men and women are called upon to choose a side. When faced with your great choice, will you have the integrity to become a disciple of life? Or will your need to survive override your humanity, turning you into a disciple of death?
When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.
Act for the people’s benefit.
Trust them and leave them alone.
Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are dry and brittle.
Thus, whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.
—-The Tao te Ching Ch. 75 and 76
Dear Blackberry People,
I recently got one of your Blackberry Pearl phones. As I’ve never had a Blackberry, I spent many hours pushing buttons and flipping through screens. Imagine my surprise when one random button I pushed activated the “Voice Command” option. A sexy female voice prompts me to “Say a command”. At first I applauded your ingenuity. To think! A smart phone that follows the commands I dictate to it! I couldn’t wait; I started saying commands.
I say, “Send Ninjas.”
Response: “Say again.”
I say, “Give me $100,000” (I’m not greedy).
Response: “Command not recognized.”
[At this point I’m getting frustrated, but I thought maybe I wasn’t speaking clear enough. So in a clear, articulate voice…]
I say, “Teleport me to Bora Bora.”
Response, “Did you say call Eric at work?”
I say, “Initiate world peace.”
Response, “I’m sorry. Try again?”
Now, either my phone is broken or your phones aren’t as smart as they (and you) would lead us to believe. I’m not asking for much. Just a replacement phone with a working “Voice Command” option. Something about commanding with my voice is very appealing. If you can’t do this, I understand. But you need to understand that in that event, I’ll be switching to a Droid. Because while a Droid isn’t as cool as a Blackberry with a working Voice Command, having a phone with little robot arms that talks like Stephen Hawking would be super cool too.
p.s. Something else that bothered me is that the model is named the Pearl. But it looks nothing like a pearl. Or even a clam for that matter.
I seriously think the modern mega corporation was modeled after the N.I.C.E. Fairy Hardcastle (the Chief of the N.I.C.E. police force) plays an important role in Mark’s acceptance of N.I.C.E. In this excerpt, she and a few other key N.I.C.E. members discuss a riot they are planning and that they want Mark to write an account of. Enjoy!
“You mean you’ve engineered the disturbances?” said Mark. To do him justice, his mind was reeling from this new revelation. Nor was he aware of any decision to conceal his state of mind…
“That’s a crude way of putting it,” said Feverstone.
“It makes no difference,” said Filostrato. “This is how things have to be managed.”
“Quite,” said Miss Hardcastle. “It’s always done. Anyone who knows police work will tell you. And I say, the real thing–the big riot–must take place within the next 48 hours…In the meantime, you and I have to get busy about the account of the riot.”
“But–what’s it all for?” said Mark.
“Emergency regulations,” said Feverstone. “You’ll never get the powers we want at Edgestow until the Government declares that a state of emergency exists there.”
“Exactly,” said Filostrato. “It’s folly to talk of peaceful revolutions. Not that the canaglia would always resist–often they have to be prodded into it–but until there is disturbance, the firing, the barricades–no one gets powers to act effectively. There’s not enough what you call weight on the boat to steer him.”
“And the stuff must be all ready to appear in the papers the very day after the riot,” said Miss Hardcastle.
“But how are we to write it tonight if the thing doesn’t even happen until tomorrow morning, at the earliest?”
Everyone burst out laughing.
“You’ll never manage publicity that way, Mark,” said Feverstone. “You surely don’t wait for a thing to happen before you tell the story of it.”
This was the first thing Mark had been asked to do which he himself, before he did it, clearly knew to be criminal. But the moment of his consent almost escaped his notice; certainly there was no struggle, no sense of turning a corner. There may have been a time in the world’s history when such moments fully revealed their gravity, with witches prophesying on a blasted heath or visible Rubicons to be crossed. But for him, it slipped past in a chatter of laughter, of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.
Can you say “Wag the Dog”? Good ol’ Bill “the Old Shoe” Schumann. He really was real. For real. Because the media said he was real. Why would our medias, governments and corporations lie to us? Aren’t they all working for our benefit? Benevolent overlords who only want to protect us from ourselves? Isn’t that N.I.C.E.?
Potentiality of spirit…Kirkegaard was on to something. What happens when life is no longer exciting? What happens when the passion ebbs away? I was trapped in a passionless shell, unable to break free. I’d almost resigned myself to that suicidal fate. I could see and remember what it felt like for the world to be alive with possibility. I could recall the swell of excitement in my chest at the thought of meeting the day head on, of creating, of experiencing life. But all these old emotions, once mine to command, I stared at as if something unattainable–out of reach. But it’s not. I just needed to stand up and walk through that Door. Enjoy!
“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye, which ever young and ardent, sees the possible.”–Kierkegaard Either/Or
Alien Jesus has robot eyes
There is nowhere he cannot see you.
He dines at Chile’s
with Chucky Manson
discussing the End of All Things
The Helter of all Skelters
while drinking fish flavored fluids
disguised as vodka.
“It’s all a sham” is their motto
They say it twice, pay their bill and go.
Even then, he sees you.
We enter the alehouse as majestic as any lords to grace a social function with unique charm and wit. Having enjoyed the company of Gaia and her gifts earlier, we found ourselves in the most agreeable of dispositions. Aided by overpriced ale, we modified our moods to the desired fervor. Despite injury, the Duke of Slide is in high spirits and soon happens upon a doting maiden. His passions are secured thusly for the remainder of the evening. The Prince Perfidious is entertaining himself with idle chatter amongst some of the locals. And I find myself still weak from my battle with The Golden Worm two nights earlier. My weakened constitution was especially susceptible to the spirits of Alcohol and the gifts of Lady Gaia. This leaves me in an appropriate state of inebriation. For this reason, I took my leave and was followed by Perfidious. With the absence of the Better Part of the Duke’s Conscience effectively secured, he is now able to entertain his boisterous humors.
Assisted by Captain Rowdy they soon begin to enliven the house. On one attempt to acquire more ale the Duke spots one of the very agents who agitated him prior! The brash lord wastes no time. He advances toward his adversary, blood burning for revenge. A sturdy hand is placed on the evil agent’s despicable shoulder. The maiden, fearing danger, flees to the barkeep’s personal mercenary peacekeeper and begins to relate the tale unto him. The Duke whirls his foe around to face him. “Hey.” is all he says as that force of righteous fury and justice that became the Fearless Slide’s fist connects with an audible WHAP!! to the evil vermin’s eye. The would-be assassin plummets to the ground like a lovesick maiden in a swoon. Fear seizes the crowd and the moment is frozen in an eternal instant. The Duke merely points to his own wounded eye and understanding is conferred.
People return to their business as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. The maiden and the merc arrive to usher the agent out under his severe protest.
That night I saw a vision. The Princess of Swords was kneeling at the throne of her Queen. A most foul and wicked woman, the Queen of Swords is given to bouts of brutal and unfounded severity. She is administering a lethal dose of that same severity to her daughter. The Princess’ supplications and pleas for mercy go unheard. With one fell swoop of her mighty blade; The Horrific Queen separates the head from the shoulders of her only daughter. With no visible care as to her action or its consequence, the evil woman places the severed head of her Precious child above her throne to adorn the Krystle spikes that Rise from the seat’s demoniac back. Her daughter is now forgotten. The clouds swell and obscure my sight. The vision ends.
I don’t remember what I told her. I just remember I cried.
Under the watchful eye of two Japanese individuals having sex, we begin to explore those deeper places.
The Duke laments as the voice of old love and anguish pours sweetly into his ear. His expressions are daggers of pain wrought with tears and regret. He searches for escape.
I am in the company of the Hierophant. His divine wisdom shines forth and illuminates all the secret desires that have been dwelling in the innermost recesses of my soul. And I find the Aeon glimmering her way onto the stage. Definite steps have to be executed in order for a brighter future with the Ace of Cups overflowing its sweet inspiration into my thirsty and eager cranial mass (who would’ve guessed that these steps would be so definite and the execution so complete?).
I now begin to feel the pangs of loss and desire. I have recently divorced myself of certain obligations and commitments to one who had lease on my tender heart. Alas, she allowed our contract to expire. I always feel the emptiness of hell when I lose those that hold a special place in my heart.
Then arrives Sir Heathen, a personable old fellow from our university days. He arrives on his chariot of silver and greets us with his ever-charming smile. We venture off to the public house for an evening of entertainment that could possibly turn hedonistic if Coitus smiles upon we unworthy souls.
She does not.
…And we remained unworthy.
We dwelt in caves of pleasure and forgetting. A minstrel strums the beautiful chords of the flow and saturates the situation with a voice that cries out to be heard by the most sensitive places of your neglected fishome. We danced and laughed as we drank the night away one beer at a time. Shooting firewater into our gullets at absurd rates of consumption. Amidst a clutter of people we tried to define ourselves, to separate ourselves from the rest of this herd of individuals trying to separate themselves from the rest of this herd. We call this individualism and in all of its glory, tis truly a wonderful thing, but when forced into a situation unnaturally becomes a catalyst for inevitable disruption.
And then we moved on.
It would seem love, in one of its many beautifully twisted forms, is involved in this grand scheme of life, in the pursuit of grander visions than our noble spirits can envision.
But pause of a moment to be encompassed by the flow of melody. Crucial are the small things. They allow for the completions of the entire picture. Buddha told me that.
I’M A CARING MOTHER FUCKER!!
Tell them I proclaimed that very point. Tell them that those utterances of sound formed together and took a perilous flight to the ears of those present. Everybody knew and nobody cared. Such is Fortune’s wicked lot for my tumultuous life.
“It’s not my fault you went to the desert.” The Pirate Prince announces to me rather matter-of-factly.
“No, no its not. And it’s not your fault all the doors were opened for me because I did.” Was my quick retort.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. We all have parts to play. Roles. Sometimes somebody drops out and has to be replaced with another actor. But all anybody really is, is an actor.” Perfidious continued.
“That’s Bullshit! Fucking Bullshit Man!” Slide has been offended by the Prince’s Bold Statements.
Tonight heralded the grand ceremony of the Bestowing of Title to Sir Heathen. For his service to his realm he was awarded the title of Baron von Sometimes. For he had recently returned from his quest for the Holy Batteries and he found himself victorious. ‘Twas a grand ball, good people. All the Lords of Order and Chaos were in attendance, each accompanied by their own pomp and circumstance. There was He That Is Not A Pronoun. The most Ordered of Order. He was flanked with Pompus I on his left and The Excitement on his right. His chariot was conjured from gold and clouds and was pulled by a team of the most pure and noble winged foozle bunnies that ever could have been created. Behind him came a cohort of golden Seraphim with swords of Blue flame. Their eyes were fierce and filled with terrifying tempests. Their hair was sunlight magnified. Behind them came Lucius and his most devout. It was truly a humbling sight to behold and it filled the viewer with peace and ecstasy.
Next came the Jolly Man. He was a most splendid being. Composed of a happy ethereal substance he floated on love and roses crowned with the Sun himself. In his court were the twins of Brilliant Fire: Yin and Yang. There was also The Lovers. Day and Night. Fire and Water, constantly entwined in a passionate dance of never ending tension and eroticism in their realms of purple and red. The zodiac’s representative was there, and the Monkey frolicked and played creating mischief in his wake as he enjoyed his time in the cycle of life. And the Jolly Man laughed as he paraded through the city for he was the deity of kindness, peace and travel.
Next on the scene was Oberon, the fairy king. Lord over all fairy-kind and the mischief they produce. He was followed by his Queen Fair and the host of fairy kind who entertained the people with mindless nonsense as they cut their purses. His were the gypsy folk who sold fortunes and potions to the sheeple.
After him came the Beauty Coitus. Mistress of Desire, Love and Chaos. She represents the light half of disorder. Those chaotic scenes of pleasure and pain that never mean much harm no matter the consequences of their catastrophic involvement. She was accompanied by her Pets: Porpoise, Coffee, B-Fantabulous and Hot Chocolate (the latter being picked up for no real reason other than pity). This entourage was followed by The Minstrel Lord Bard who enchanted all with his soul-numbing voice.
Last came He that IS iN Grammatical Error. The Dark Side of Chaos. The Lord of Destruction, Death and Extinction. He was followed by his hordes of agents and imps who were so beautiful that they were grotesque abhor rations too frightening to gaze upon. On his arm was the delicious Mistress G. She holds the Auspicious Position of Dominatrix and Slave, depending on the moods of her most brutal and avaricious master.
Today’s Daily Dick-ism sheds light on PKD’s Gnostic tendencies. That he was heavily influence by Gnostic theology is hugely apparent in the Exegesis as well as his other works. This passage struck me as interesting because he seems to be blending Eastern and Western thought into an interesting concept. Enjoy!
“Everything is turned around; yin or YHWH bellows and curses and rants; whereas the true Abba, the authentic yang part, is gentle–and its voice is mild and small and reasonable; it does not threaten or rant. This voice seems almost feminine. That which is truly all-powerful (cf. Zen) has no need to threaten or intimidate. This is a “hall of mirrors” –the true creator is mild and gentle and loving; the usurper bellows (‘the arrogant one’ who does not know there is a father above him/her). Here, again, we are presented with a puzzle and a lesson. Q: ‘Which is the real creator, the ‘still small voice’ or the booming, threatening one who can curse the land with plagues and blights– i.e. has mekkis?’ The coercive or the reasonable-persuasive? ‘Come, let us reason together’. God the loving father wishes us to discern this along our path of enlightenment–not to worship power but to trust wisdom and love.”
——Philip K. Dick Exegesis p. 324
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.
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!!
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.
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.