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‘A Manifestation of the Lie’
Exegesis of Phillip K. Dick 4:34, Reading from Pages 18-19


A Letter to Claudia Bush, July 16, 1974

In this short, beautiful letter, Dick exposes himself as being deeply read and even learned in the texts of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, just as he had earlier demonstrated—and would in more depth throughout his letters—a high level of understanding in classic western paganism and Christianity. In each section in the early goings of this record Dick confirms through his attempts at dream analysis, that he went into those dreams possessing a deep understanding of those ancient cosmologies which revealed themselves symbolically in his dreams, demonstrating that these dreams may very well be his subconscious trying to keep pace with the massive load of literature he had saddled it with.

In the passage below Dick does seem to be consciously digesting what might be called today “the red pill” of clarity.

“The greatest thing in the Persian system of course was its affirmation of life, the value of life, the joy of life, the justice possible in this world and not the next, the value of trying. It put down passivity, resignation and despair, and I’m glad to say once released from the power of the Lie I saw passivity, resignation and despair as intended bi-products of the Lie, and any system of thought or religion which taught those virtues (Christianity included) as a manifestation of the Lie.”

It is interesting that so much of Zoroastrianism, some of which survives in the modern idea of Jesus Christ as “the light and the savior” and Satan as his dark opposite and enemy, and ironically also survives as Lucifer the light-seeker as another Christian image of the Devil, making the Christian Devil a conflation of the Persian God and the Persian anti-God. The biblical references to this Persian monotheism may be found in the persons of the Three Wise Men, or Magi and the references to the Pharisees, some of whom escaped to India and still maintain a small religious presence in its Western reaches. Sufism, practiced under Islamic rule, is also said to be a strand of the ancient Persian faith. This reader could not imagine Dick’s alienated, intellectual subconscious cleaving to any religion other than the historically crushed faith of the Magi.

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