Alienus Tempus: Part 2
MDK continues his account in part two.
Alienus Tempus – Part 2: PKD 101
The 6-23-02 Experience occurred on a Sunday. I say that now, because I didn’t mention that in the previous post. On 6-24-2002 (Monday evening) I began my initial investigation to learn something about Philip K Dick. Little did I know I was preparing myself for a quest that hasn’t ended to this day, nor I suspect will ever end. I chose the Red Pill.
I Googled “Philip K Dick”. One by one, I began browsing the sites that the search engine had conjured. I read a few essays, biographies, homages, etc. When I read a detailed biography of this enigmonomous person, curiosity soon fell to near obsession. My god! How many writers have experiences like this, much less science fiction writers? It was like his real life was an amalgam of his fiction. Which was which? Or was it that he was simply insane, like many seem to think? In which direction does causality flow? Did the mental illness (if there was any present) cause him to have these “experiences”, both internal and external, or did the “experiences” cause the mental anguish and supposed insanity? This is a question that I’m tackling in regards to my own experiences as well. I think the jury is still out on that one.
Perhaps the first thing that grabbed my attention was the years of his birth and death. 1928 and 1982. I suppose you know which is which. At least I hope so. I suppose this wouldn’t be impossible in a PKD Universe. Therefore, if you are not sure, that’s OK. Please stay with me. The last two digits being reciprocal of each other. Was this mere coincidence, or was this somehow significant? “Hey, look at me!” it seemed to be calling to me. If my thoughts are correct on this matter, I have about 25 more years to ponder this very question. I was born in 1973.
Through this initial search, I had learned of others having synchronous experiences and dreams involving Phil. I found a website, philipkdick.com , the official fan website at that time (now the official Philip K Dick homepage), headed by a webmaster whom I was later to learn had his own synchronous experiences involving Phil.
The homepage was a blue background with a retouched color photo of Phil in his early 30’s. It was taken when he was married to Anne in Marin County, California. He was wearing sunglasses and the wind tussled his hair across his right temple. His face was slim but sported a thick goatee.
I was taken aback at how similar Phil’s facial features were to that of my biological father’s. I had a picture of him in a US Marine’s yearbook that looked very similar. I was distracted with something for a while and when I came back I was surprised that my screensaver had not activated. I had forgotten the last time it had failed to activate. So there I was, staring at Phil and/or vice versa and ACDC’s “Who Made Who” was blaring out the radio speakers. Who was looking at who, really?
After restarting the PC, I ventured back to the philipkdick.com fansite. An essay here, an interview there, a book cover or two elsewhere. There was plenty to absorb. I found a spoof page that mentioned a sponsor named UBIK. By then, I had known UBIK was the title of one of his novels. The spoof advertisement showed a person spraying a can of UBIK onto items and they would then revert to their original state, decreasing the entropy of that system. A dark outline of a can of UBIK against a beige background situated at the center of the screen. The fansite is now defunct and the URL is associated with the Philip K Dick Estate.
As I was staring at the page I began to feel somewhat aloof, an uncanny feeling. Something like Déjà vu, but not exactly. Memories of the 6-8 weeks I had spent with my biological father in Tulare, California in the summer of 1986 began to flood my consciousness. There was such a sense of familiarity with UBIK that was instigated by viewing this page. It was a very surreal moment. Many more experiences such as this were to occur. Therefore, I would like to briefly say a bit about the Déjà vu phenomenon. I will not go into the theories, scientific or otherwise, but just the general classification of various types of déjà vu.
Déjà vu by itself is French for “already seen”. Although many say they’ve experienced déjà vu, it may be just as likely that they have experienced one of the other closely related déjà experience.
(EDIT: included in the original submission was a lengthy passage from the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute website. We have preserved the link, which readers may choose to investigate in depth, but have removed the text for space as well as legal considerations. -The Admins)
As you will come to see in a later installment of my experiences, I would like to posit an additional déjà experience. I’m going to skip this for now until it becomes more relevant.
Later on that night (early Tuesday morning) I found a story about the newly released filmMinority Report on the Time.com website. The article was mostly about Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, but included a snippet about Phil. I finally went to sleep around six that morning.
I awoke around two or three Tuesday afternoon having remembered fragments of a dream. It involved a close friendship with Tom Cruise and the Voice of Agatha, one of the precogs in the film Minority Report. Her voice was soft, like a child’s whisper. It was very tranquil and pleasing. But I could not remember what she had said to me.
Obtaining a paper copy of the Time magazine was all I could think about. Maybe there was more to the story than what was presented on Time.com.
Later that night I went to Walmart in search of TIME. The mini-quest was a failure as Walmart did not have TIME in stock. After exiting the store, I noticed two young women sitting on a bench to my right. They were wearing blue Walmart employee smocks and smoking.
One of the women said rather loudly to the other, “I know he’s a scientist”.
Then the larger woman said to the other in equal volume, “He thinks he’s a god, but he’s not”.
I turned my head to look at them and noticed they were staring at me, through me. I was probably about 100-120 feet away.
“WTF!”, was all I could think. What the hell is going on here? Is that normal conversation for two young women to have on their work break? It seemed as if they had read those statements from a cue card, ensuring that I had heard them.
Was it possible that they were merely students and were referring to a megalomaniacalprofessor? Having a degree in the sciences and hearing stories, I could imagine such a scenario. But the timing. Not to mention that I’ve had the passing thought that I was a consciousness scientist/philosopher from the future, or a parallel universe. Could this be the case? Is it even me, or is it someone or something else I should be concerned about? Or am I just a delusional megalomaniac? I can tell you with total honesty that at times I wish that I had never heard the name of Philip K Dick. I don’t think I’m a megalomaniac.
Earlier that day (Tuesday), my mother and siblings had come for a visit (which in itself was very rare). Without me knowing, she had bought McDonald’s for everyone. The situation was interesting but most likely coincidental. On the table lay a Green Goblin toy from one of the kid’s Happy Meal and next to it a soda carrier was turned upside down. When I examined the bottom of one of the individual cup holders, it nearly perfectly resembled the chamber in which the precogs resided in Minority Report.
That previous Sunday while watching Spiderman (before Minority Report), I felt a mental tug when Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility”. I realize this part may be coincidental, even possibly magical thinking and like above megalomaniac in nature, but with everything that has happened, It still tugs at me.
While surfing the Net a few days later I was directed to a site showing an image of Phil and his twin sister Jane, memorial in Fort Morgan, CO. The site was a virtual memorial at findagrave.com for persons to pay their respects. It wasn’t until I read a comment by a guest that I was overcome with a sensation of already haven experienced this, “déjà éprouvé”. The guest’s name was Kemek, and had posted on 6-30-2002.
The post read: “It’s strange to feel sadness for someone you never you [sic], especially someone who died 20 years ago, but your books continue to be eerily close to my own life (scary, huh?). I hope you got some answers.”
Kemek’s avatar was a horse’s head. That seemed familiar, too.
That’s the end of this post. I’m having procrastination issues at the moment, but I’ll try to have the next installment submitted for posting with less in-between time. Lame, I know… but true, nevertheless. The title of the next post is “The Secret Ascension”. Hope you continue to follow and thank you for your time.